Saturday, 18 January 2020

Kings, princes, presidents, prime ministers will converge on Jerusalem.

Kings, princes, presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers will converge on Jerusalem this week for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
The race for hotel rooms has been frenetic and the prestige hotels have mainly been booked on a "first come first served" basis with a few exceptions.
The King David Hotel lobby is bedecked with the flags of many nations. The Irish flag was removed when Ireland backed out of this significant event. The Irish Government have a special skill in blundering their relationship with the Jewish State.
Another nation not sending its top leader is Poland. This is partly due to a disagreement with Israel over the Polish refusal to admit that many Poles not only assisted the Germans but killed Jews and took their properties in the aftermath of the war.
French President, Emmanuel Macron will be staying in the King David Hotel.
Britain's Prince Charles will also he hosted at the King David Hotel.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will be staying at the David Citadel Hotel.
Because the American delegation were late in confirming their attendance, both Vice President Pence and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, will both be staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The theme of the event will be "“Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism.”
Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January, 1945. There were 7,000 survivors in the camp, mostly sick and dying.
An estimated 1,300,000 men, women and children were deported to Auschwitz between 1940-1945. Of these, at least 1,100,000 were murdered.
The Fifth World Holocaust Forum will take place at Yad Vashem and Israel's President Rivlin will host 40 of the world leaders at a dinner and discussion at the President's Residence.

The list of world leaders attending include;
US Vice President Mike Pence
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
President of France Emmanuel Macron
President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen
Governor-General of Canada Julie Payette
Governor-General of Australia David Hurley
President of Russia Vladimir Putin
Prince Charles of Britain
King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander
King Felipe VI of Spain
President of Italy Sergio Mattarella
President of Slovenia Borut Pahor
President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier
President of Hungary János Áder
President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos
Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven
President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zolenskyy
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades
President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen
President of Finland Sauli Niinistö
President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev
President of Romania Klaus Iohannis
President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš
President of Albania Ilir Meta
President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili
Speaker of the Latvian Parliament Ināra Mūrniece
President of Moldova Igor Dodon
Minister of State of Monaco Serge Telle
Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belarus
President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željko Komšić
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
President of Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski
President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović
President of the European Council Charles Michel
President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
Vatican Representative Kurt Koch

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

The Challenge for Israel of Proving Innocence in the Age of BDS.

Professor Alan Dershowitz has written a passionate defense as part of his very public effort to clear his name.
Dershowitz was accused of having sex with underage girls during a period when he represented perhaps the world’s most notorious pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
One woman, Virginia Roberts Guiffre, filed a defamation suit against the famous lawyer in April 2019, in which she claimed heavy punitive damages based on claims of him having sex with her on numerous occasions when she was under-aged.
Dershowitz suffered further aggravation against his character when a Sarah Ransome alleged that she had participated in a threesome with him at a time when she was employed by Epstein.
Dershowitz was exposed to vile accusations at a time when he was, as he writes in his book, at the apex of his career.
The book’s title is Guilt by Accusation. The Challenge of Proving Innocence in the Age of #MeToo.
The book is the cry of an innocent man prevented from shouting his innocence in the public forum by a wall of opinion that favors perceived victims. In his case, young women involved in a global seedy under-age sex scandal involving lots of money and very important people.
In the public talking-place, too often justice and truth gets lost. Scandal is all. Guilty people are protected. Innocent people get tossed into the broiling pot of publicity. Reputations and lives are ruined.  That is not to say that injured people should not have their day in court.
A major emphasis of Dershowitz’s book is the contemporary experience of an innocent man being swept up by a movement which occasionally leaves innocent men desperately swimming against a maelstrom of public opinion that demands a woman’s complaint be sanctified without question, leaving the accused man to prove his innocence. This is a reverse of normal standards of justice in which the accused is innocent until proven guilty.
One standout example of the “always believe the woman” syndrome was the excruciating spectacle of the Judge Kavanagh Senate Star Chamber in which TV viewers watched a fine and innocent man being pilloried by the inquisitors of the #MeToo Movement and those who hated the President so much they were willing to cast a fine man to the gossip dogs.
That is not to say there are no monsters or innocent female victims. Epstein and Weinstein are just two ugly examples of a very serious problem.
Dershowitz cries out against this movement and the cacophony of media bias that destroys people while promoting titillating claims of women without bothering to thoroughly investigate the legitimacy of their accusations. His whole life, he felt, was being dishonored “because of a demonstrably false accusation by a woman with a long history of lying.”
Dershowitz claims that, when the accusations emerged against him, Meghan McCain, co-host of The View and ABC contributor, demanded that he not appear on TV because he was “accused” of sexual misconduct in the Epstein matter.
The accusation, Dershowitz claims, was sufficient to establish guilt in McCain’s mind to the extent that he was prevented from appearing to protest his innocence.
There was something eerily familiar with Dershowitz’s story. And then it hit me. His story reflects Israel’s experience.
Replace #MeToo with #BDS, and you have the same construct.
Replace “women are innocent and must be believed and all men are guilty until they can prove their innocence, with “Palestinians are innocent and must be believed and Israel is automatically guilty,” and there you have Israel’s dilemma in the age of BDS.
In fact, Israel has experienced the same shocking experience. Talk about "demonstrably false accusations by a woman with a long history of lying," how about what we Israelis and Jews have suffered from the mouth of Ilhan Omar, not to mention from  Linda Sarsour and Rashida Tlaib.
How many Israeli advocates have found it impossible to get a public forum in which to make our case and present our evidence?  How many of you have been hounded off campus and been shouted down by people with raging accusations unwilling to hear your voice? 
This has become the challenge of proving Israel’s innocence in the age of BDS, unable to make your case, guilt by accusation.
Today, Israel is guilty, not by facts, history, or legitimacy, but by accusation.

The broad campaign against us, whether by both factions of the Palestinian political movements, by malevolent actors in the UN and EU, by radical lecturers and campus groups, by the BDS Movement and other pro-Palestinian (read “anti-Israel”) groups, have decided and prejudged we are guilty by their false accusations.
They do this because they have an agenda that take no account of Israel’s innocence. They are exclusively bonded to a singular cause. BDS uber alles. Any opposing voice must be threatened and silenced. No rational argument can be made against them. They have prejudged us and will tolerate no defense.
Dershowitz is a lucky man. He is a powerful and successful advocate. His detractors were foolish to take him on. He has access to an unbiased court who will dispassionately hear his case and consider his evidence. Then he is likely to receive justice and compensation for the damage caused against him.
Sadly, Israel does not have that luxury. On the contrary, the “courts” are stacked against the Jewish State.
The UN is just one example of a biased chamber. The ICC is another. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launch hundreds of rockets from civilian areas at Israeli civilians and we are the ones accused by this ICC court of committing war crimes in Gaza.
Israel only has the court of public opinion to make its case, and we need an army of Dershowitzs to win our case.
Hope is on the horizon. We are chipping away with victories in a number of campuses, states and countries, who are only now slowly taking up legislation against the discriminatory and racist nature of BDS.  We need a more sympathetic media to support our case.
For Israel, the challenge of proving innocence in the age of BDS is a long and uncharted road.
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.’

Monday, 13 January 2020

The EU, and the Misuse of Language to Gain Diplomatic Advantage.

I have recently been offering a presentation on the Strategic and Diplomatic Challenges for Israel 2020.
In this presentation I include the linguistic trend, used by the international diplomatic community, away from Israel's original territorial legitimacy through the term "disputed territory" and arriving into "occupied Palestinian land," an incorrect, devious and dangerous change of language to suit a narrative.
And, lo and behold, this morning I read that the EU just changed their official definition of Judea & Samaria from "occupied or disputed lands" into a shorter, simplistic "occupied lands."  This fails to admit that Israel is occupying its legitimate land. On the contrary, it is part of the push to delegitimize Israel on its ancestral land in favor of an amorphous, undefined, “Palestinian” entity.
This is the new, contrived, anti-Israel definition of EU foreign policy under its new foreign official, Josep Borrell.
The bias against Israel has been a noticeable feature of EU foreign policy for several years, particularly emphasized under the foreign policy leadership of Federica Mogherini, a former Arafat groupie and disciple of Italian Communist, Massimo D’Alema. Mogherini rose through the rank of the Italian DS party, which emerged out of the Italian Communist Party. As such, her political dogma included sympathy for arch-terrorist, Yasser Arafat and a desire to reduce Israel’s legitimacy in order to create a balance favorable to a belligerent Palestinian ideology.
This EU formula continues to today.  
The misuse of language is just one strategic ploy used by EU officials when forging policies that leave Israel at a major disadvantage, and fly in the face of documented history and territorial legitimacy favorable to Israel’s case for justice and fairness.
A return to the phraseology of “disputed territories” would be equally unacceptable to Israel but that would be less politically biased than the noxious and incorrect term “occupied Palestinian land.”
To prove themselves to be balanced and even-handed, something they have never done for decades, I recommend that the EU bring legislation to bear to repeal the status of "refugee camps" located in areas under the full administrative and security control of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza.
This must be done in recognition of Israeli territorial concessions to the Palestinians in vain gestures for peace, gestures that has been totally rejected by both sides of the divided Palestinian political camps.
Simple logic decrees that people claiming to be "Palestinian refugees” born in territories under the sole control of a Palestinian regime, cannot be defined as “refugees.”
It is unacceptable for the EU to assist in the illogical claim that Arabs born and living in territories exclusively governed by Palestinian leadership, whether it be the PA in the "West Bank," or Hamas in Gaza, are "refugees."
That is as illogical as saying that people born in Belgium are refugees.
If the EU claim they are working to create a Palestinian state in "the West Bank" they are duty bound to make changes to their language and policy to prove it, and removing the fraudulent definition of refugeeship as one essential prerequisite.
The excuse that the EU has no control over refugee status, even as they help maintain such a status, but that this is a UN issue, is disingenuous. Collectively and individually EU members must bring a motion to the floor of the UN General Assembly, if not the Security Council, to rescind the definition of “refugee” from Palestinians living under Palestinian control as self-evident misnomer.
This will make the work of UNRWA redundant, but many countries and leading institutions say that UNRWA have gone beyond their sell-by date decades ago. Why should this UN body maintain its existence in perpetuity when there is another UN refugee body whose role has been to implement the reduction of refugees globally Why must Palestinians, living under Palestinian rule, be nurtured into their fifth generation by the Un and EU?
By not addressing this misdemeanor the EU remain exposed as having a clear diplomatic bias and of being an active participant of Palestinian ambitions to "liberate the rest of Palestinian occupied lands from the River to the Sea."

Barry Shaw,
International Public Diplomacy Director,
Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
Author of the book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Lies Palestinians Tell at Christmas.

When Israel relinquished control of Bethlehem to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo Accord agreement in 1995, 85% of this prosperous town were middle class Christians. Business and life was good when it was part of Israel.
By Christmas 2019, Christians are less than 10% of the population in an economically stricken town.
How did this come about?
In 1995, Elias Freij was that the last Christian mayor of Bethlehem. He appealed to Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, not to withdraw from the city as part of the Accords due to his fear for the future of Christians in Bethlehem. Rabin wanted an official and public statement from the mayor to that effect to take into his negotiations. Freij and the church authorities refused Rabin’s request. The rest is a tragic page in Christian history.

The Palestinian leadership blame the “security wall” for the current situation. They talk of Israel turning Bethlehem into “a prison.”
The British artist, Banksy, has advanced his reputation in left-wing circles by promoting propaganda graffiti scrawled on walls throughout Bethlehem. He has even built a hotel in Bethlehem called the Walled-Off Hotel which is full of imagery of Israeli negativity such as a nativity scene in front of a section of security wall with a shattered bullet hole which he calls “The Scar of Bethlehem.”
All this propaganda scandalizes Israel and projects Palestinians as oppressed victims.
Nowhere in Banksy’s work is there a mention of Palestinian terror promoted and rewarded by the Palestinian Authority, a prolonged terror campaign that has murdered hundreds of Israel and made the security barrier a necessity, or the threatening behavior of Palestinian Muslims that has driven out most of the town’s Christians.
Today, at Christmas 2019, Bethlehem is a once Christian town, with important churches, holy relics and sanctuaries, and a few Christians that live in fear not of Israel, but of Muslim Arabs.
There has been an Islamization of Bethlehem and the West has closed its eyes to this truth, prefering to blame Israeli security for the tense situation in that small town.
The Christians I once knew had businesses such as tourist shops selling olive wood carvings and religious symbolism to tourists. They are gone. Their homes and the shops now occupied by their Muslim neighbors.
The Palestinians will tell you it’s all Israel’s fault. They are, after all, the perennial victim. It’s become and industry for them. This image sells as much as Banksy’s souvenirs in Bethlehem.
But is this the truth?
The Palestinians wanted a separation from Israel and when Israel gave it to them, they used the vacated territories to relaunch their terror campaign against Israeli civilians, killing thousands.
In the name of peace, Bethlehem was the sixth town that Israel vacated and put under Palestinian rule following its withdrawal from Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus and Kalkilya.
Initially, there was a free flow of people. Palestinian Arabs worked in Israel. Israelis visited the Arab towns to buy and enjoy the services of the local Arabs. Everything was cheaper than in Israel and the interchange was buoyant and good for everyone.
That was until Arafat commanded his troops to engage in what they called “the Second Intifada,” a brutal terror campaign. This was a repeat of an earlier Arafat-inspired killing spree against Israelis civilians that killed and injured many thousands of Israeli Jews.
The Oslo Accords was but a way-station on the road to the total destruction of Israel according to the Palestinian plan of Jewish elimination by stages.
After the slaughter, Palestinians complain when Israel put up barriers to prevent the incursion into Israel of Palestinian suicide bombers, gunmen, and other forms of crude terrorism.
I am witness to the change, the division, between Israelis and Arabs who want to call themselves Palestinian. In the past, we also enjoyed visiting Tulkarm to buy household goods and enjoy their cafes. I even had Palestinian Arabs work on upgrades to my apartment. That was before Tulkarm became a hotbed of competing Palestinian terrorism.
Killers representing the PLO, Tanzim, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, even Lebanese Hezbollah have emerged from the hellhole that once was peaceful Arab Tulkarm to kill Israelis, including women and children.  I know. I became the co-founder of the Netanya Terror Victims Organization.  Over 50 Netanya victims were killed, many more injured, some badly, in my small hometown.
Since Israel constructed a security wall bordering Tulkarm, no Israeli has been blown up by Palestinian suicide bombers.
The Palestinians of Tulkarm, Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem can complain about restrictions as much as they want. They have only themselves to blame.
Peace was once an option. They killed it. Deliberately. Let them blame their leaders, not ours.

One deceptive fable Palestinians tell the world is that they are trapped in Bethlehem behind oppressive walls and checkpoints, that it is a prison with no exit, that it is a form of apartheid, ethnic cleansing. Yet, it is a strange sort of ethnic cleansing prison in which the Christian population has fallen dramatically while the Muslim population has increased exponentially! It’s a checkpoint where Christians leave and Muslims enter.
Some ethnic cleansing! Some apartheid!
Palestinians are not trapped in Bethlehem. They can go through checkpoints after an obligatory security clearance. Israelis, on the other hand, are advised not to enter Bethlehem. Road signs warn Israeli drivers that it is dangerous to travel on certain roads under Palestinian control, and are prevented from doing so in certain sensitive areas.
Contrary to Palestinian claims of Israeli “oppression,” in Bethlehem the major problem still facing the few remaining Christians is the duress posed by Islamic extremists and Palestinian bullies. They are the ones that are driving them out of that town.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, reported a few years back, “I have spent two days with fellow Christian leaders in Bethlehem. There are signs of disturbing anti-Christian feeling among parts of the Muslim population, despite the constant traditions of co-existence. But their plight is made more intolerable by the tragic conditions mads by the security fence.”
Both of these tragedies are the responsibility of the brutal and uncaring oppression of the Palestinian leadership and the emboldened Muslim population who have exploited the Palestinian-inspired turmoil.

In a televised report for Fox News by Pete Hegseth called “The Battle in Bethlehem,” Hegseth found it difficult to find a Christian willing to go on camera to tell him what they told him privately. He had several booked to appear. They all backed out at the last minute, even after he promised to hide their identity.
When Hegseth mentioned this to law professor, Eugene Kontorovich, the professor smilingly told him, “They are not going to tell you they live in danger, because they live in danger.”
Among the Palestinian Christians there are a radical minority that perpetuate an anti-Semitic Kairos doctrine of replacement theology. They help generate a relatively new Palestinian lie – that Jesus is a Palestinian.
Jesus has been hijacked by the Palestinian cause. Obscene conferences are held in Bethlehem including ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ in which Jesus is presented as a Palestinian messenger.
In my role helping our terror victims I sadly recognize a Palestinian messenger when I see one. They usually come attached to an explosive belt, carrying a rifle or a hatchet. They also have a penchant for sending their messages attached to a rocket or mortar shell. We are still waiting for them to come with a message of peace. These Palestinian messengers are the antithesis of Jesus.
Kairos Christians are in the camp of their real enemy. They slander Jews as the Christian population in territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas dwindle to nothing. During the same period the Christian population in Israel has grown by 56%. Kairos Christians should rediscover their moral compass.

Hegseth went in search of what is going on with Jesus in Bethlehem.
He sat with Adnan, owner of the StarB Coffee shop.  “Jesus is a Balestinian.” Most Palestinian Arabs cannot pronounce the letter “P.” “If you study all three books,” referring to the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, “he is a Balestinian.”
When Hegseth protested by saying, “But, for Christians, Jesus in the New Testament is a Jew and he went to the holy temple,” Adnan smiled and said, “He was born here and the Jews tried to kill him.”
Hoping for a more intelligent answer, Hegseth went to speak with Bethlehem University professor, Mazin Qumsiyah.  According to the professor, “the word ‘Jew’ and the religion came in the 3rd Century AD, long after Jesus. I am Judaic,” said this Palestinian academic explaining it thus, “The Judaic people came from Judea. This is Judea. Jesus is not from Judea. He came from Nazareth two thousand years ago which was not a religious place.”
Continuing the myth, and contradicting himself in the process, Qumsiyah told Fox News, “If you are asking if Jesus was a Jew from a geographic designation, the answer is no. If you talk from a religion, only in the 3rd century AD does Judaism as a religion come.”
Astonishingly, or maybe not, this is what professors are teaching students in Palestinian universities.
Hegseth took this anecdote to Dr. Naim Khoury from the First Baptist Church of Bethlehem who shook his head.
“That is not true. You cannot find this anywhere in the Bible. How can you deny that Jesus is born from Mary of Nazareth and that her family was known as Jewish people?”
Everyone knows the pastor is right. Everyone except the Palestinians and their obsessed supporters. And maybe UNESCO and the majority of the UN General Assembly.
This then is part of the Palestinian conflict.
Hegseth asked Dr. Khoury why they deny the truth.
“Politics. It’s a very dirty game. When bad people play politics they can say what they want.”
Dr. Khoury is a courageous Christian. According to his bio, he has been shot four times and the Palestinian Authority refuse to grant his church authority to function as a religious institution, but the brave pastor continues to care for his dwindling congregation.  His church has been firebombed and defaced, his members attacked, not by Israelis but by Palestinian Muslims.
The pastor’s son, Steven, told the 700 Club, “Christians are leaving because they are seeing that nobody is standing with them. They are seeing that extremism is growing, that an anti-Christian agenda is growing. Their ultimate goal is to put fear and submission into the heart of every Christian in the Middle East.”
First they came for the Saturday people. Then they came for the Sunday people. And shockingly, they are supported by radical elements among the Sunday people and a few of the Saturday people.
In a hundred-year conflict, ever since the anti-Semite Haj Amin al-Husseini set out on an incitement rampage exhorting Muslims to kill Jews. He was followed by Mahmoud Abbas his “Pay to Slay” incentive to kill Jews, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
We cannot build a path to peace, or a future, on the assumption that the Palestinians will stop their lies, their hate campaign, and their obsessive desire to kill Jews, and persecute Christians.
In Bethlehem, they are doing to the Christians what they did to the Jews. They are driving them out.
The dominant building in Manger Square are not the Christian churches. It is the Mosque of Omar with its tall minaret. This is a metaphor for what has taken place in Bethlehem. 
The lies that Palestinian tell at Christmas is an indication of the root cause of the conflict.
Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  He is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Antisemitism.’

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Irish Hypocrisy Hiding Under a Thin Veneer of Diplomatic Morality.

Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, visited Israel on a two day visit in early December. He met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, before meeting PA boss, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.
Bibi told him of Israel's displeasure to Ireland considering criminalising the buying or selling Jewish products from Judea & Samaria, parts of Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and the Golan Heights.
Such a law would have serious economic consequences for Ireland, currently enjoying a huge $1.1 billion trade surplus with Israel.
Trade from the limited areas threatened by Ireland is only $1.7 million.
From an Israeli perspective, Ireland wants to use a tank to destroy a tin can.
If they do that, Israel has the option of destroying the tank by closing its Irish embassy and using that budget to open a trading embassy in a more sympathetic country.
Israel can also counter-boycott by buying products and services elsewhere rather than from the Irish. This will be a damaging $1B+ poke in the eye of the Irish economy.
It will be an interesting exercise to research how much Ireland is invested in Turkey, China, Morocco, Russia and other countries who are occupying other people's territory (which is not the case with Israel). It is clear that Irish hypocrisy will be found hiding under the thin veneer of diplomatic morality. 
Minister Coveney was in an uncomfortable diplomatic position. He and his fine Gael party oppose the bill. He said a year ago that the bill “would send an important message to the Palestinians but would not enhance Ireland’s international position.”
He is right. The message would embolden Palestinian intransigence while damaging Ireland’s reputation with the stain of anti-Semitic exclusivity
If Ireland truly wants to move the sides towards peace, Ireland should impose a boycott, an absolute isolation on the Palestinian Authority, until it stops its terror indoctrination based on its Jew hatred, until it stops its obscene "Pay to Slay" policy of rewarding its killers, and commit to return to the negotiation table with Israel.
But of course none of this will happen as long as Ireland has a boycott foreign policy exclusively aimed at Israel, the Jewish State.
Barry Shaw,
International Public Diplomacy Director,
Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

EU’s Blatant and Discriminatory Anti-Semitism.

The BDS Movement began as an international civil insurrection against Israel following a series of military failures by combined Arab armies.
It was designed to inflict severe, even crippling, economic damage on Israel. International agencies were cajoled to join the global campaign to bring down the Jewish State and to isolate it diplomatically.
Despite all their hyper-active efforts this to has effectively been a failure.
If the raison d-etre behind their efforts was to improve the lot of the Palestinian Arabs, the results of this has been contrary to what they, perhaps, intended.
The prime example was the BDS high profile efforts to close down the Mishor Adumim factory of SodaStream, the Israeli-based company manufacturing the popular home soda machines. The brand carried the label “Made in Israel. This product is produced by Arabs and Jews working side-by-side in peace and harmony.”
This message infuriated the BDS Movement who set about a heavily-funded propaganda campaign to close SodaStream down. It happened at a time when the Israeli company was looking to expand its production facility due to increasing demand for its popular product.
Faced with its business needs and the rise of adverse publicity, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, decided to move its production to the Negev industrial area just north of Beer Sheba.
The result was the prime victims of the BDS anti-normalization efforts were over 600 Palestinians forced into unemployment after earning Israeli-scale wages and social welfare benefits.
The brand new factory today employs more people. The Palestinians have been replaced by the local Bedouin. SodaStream goes from strength to strength. It was taken over by globally-known Pepsi Cola. In November 2019, it was announced that a $92 Million expansion will enable the enlarged factory to employ a further one thousand workers. Had SodaStream stayed at Mishor Adumim, it would have benefitted the local Palestinians. Instead, BDS wrought significant financial damage on them.
Such is the bankruptcy of BDS efforts to inflict economic harm on Israel.
As a substitute, they have persuaded the European Union to introduce a labelling policy on Jewish produced products and services from Judea & Samaria in Israel, frequently called “the West Bank,” and used to called in diplomatic circles as “disputed territories.”  In a unique policy, the EU are insisting that Israeli products emanating from Jewish towns, villages, and industrial areas can no longer be labelled “Made in Israel” but must designate some other description.
When the EU calls upon “international law” to back up its demands, its history, apparently, begins in 1967. Based on that false premise, it is a convenient leap of commitment to decide that Israel occupied “Palestine” in a corrupted retelling on history upon which they base their diplomacy, policies, their resolutions, and their false laws.
They ignore the fact that there is no Palestine yet. Palestinians seem to be doing their best to establish a state only when Israel has been annihilated and Jews banished.
The Europeans take no account of the fact that, prior to 1948, the so-called West Bank was Israel in territory that included Judea & Samaria, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea down to Eilat.
They take no account that this was prescribed by the League of Nations (the forerunners of the United Nations) in 1922 in which they affirmed the 1920 decision of the Supreme Court of the League of Nations that “recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
We need to question the European drift from the requirement to “secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home” to a policy that id blatantly anti-Semitic.
As for the premise that Jewish products must be tagged as not being quite kosher, i.e., not made in Israel, but produced by Jewish labor and ingenuity in what are called “Jewish settlements,” the European framers of this discriminatory labelling policy would do well to consider Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine which says the Administration of Palestine... “shall facilitate Jewish immigration” and shall encourage “close settlement by Jews on the land.”
How the Europeans go from there to an attempted blocking and limitation on Jews choosing to live where they are entitled, historically and legitimately, to live, and call that an obstacle to peace, is, again, blatantly anti-Semitic.
As for “Illegal occupation,” it is not illegal for a nation to defend itself. Nor is it illegal for such a nation to hold onto territory seized in a defensive war against a congenital aggressor as Israel was against Jordan, both in 1948 and in 1967, when it twice invaded Israel in order to annihilate the Jewish state and to banish its Jewish population.
Evidence of this is seen in Jordan’s brutal occupation of Jerusalem in which they destroyed all the ancient synagogues and physically expelled all the remaining Jews, those they hadn’t killed, from the Old City of Jerusalem. That was when Jordan occupied Judea & Samaria and the Jordan Valley, which became known as The West Bank (of Jordan) between 1948 and 1967.
Nobody cried about “illegally occupying Palestinian land” during that period. The Europeans had nothing to say about calling on the Jordanians to withdraw from occupied Israeli land.  They were silent when Jordan joined with other Arab armies to “drive the Jews into the sea,” from their vantage positions on the high ground overlooking the narrow coastal plain of what was left of Israel since their initial conquest of Israeli territory.
The Europeans silently expected the annihilation of the Jewish State. They did nothing. They watched and waited. Many were disappointed by the miraculous victory of a determined people’s army against the British trained and equipped Jordanian army who were driven back across the Jordan River as Israeli soldiers liberated Jerusalem and drove the Syrians off the Golan Heights.
The Europeans have been supporting the proxy Arab cause, known as the Palestinians, ever since. They have silently acquiesced with Palestinian terrorism.
They have pressured and punished Israel while buying into the victim card played by a corrupt, violent, anti-Semitic Palestinian leadership in Ramallah who, according to all polls, do not represent Palestinian Arabs. That honor belongs to Hamas, the Palestinian chapter of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.
They pump European taxpayer’s money into Palestinian Authority coffers that fund a multi-million dollars “Pay to Slay” policy. They continue to fund UNRWA, the iniquitous UN organization that perpetuates a growing Palestinian refugee population into their 4th and 5th generation, living in the exclusive civil and security control of the Palestinian Authority!
Am I the first to ask how it is possible to be a Palestinian refugee when you have been born and live as the 5th generation under the control of the PA?
But the EU decision to target some 700,000 Jews while referring to “population transfers,” yet failing to impose the same strictures on Turkey who transferred its population into the northern part of Cyprus it occupied in a war of aggression, Russians in the Crimea, China’s grip on Tibet and Hong Kong, not to mention European fishing in the waters of Western Sahara occupied by Morocco, is not just hypocritical.
It is a blatant form of discriminatory anti-Semitism.

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, 20 November 2019

Jews who are misguidedly leading us away from peace.

Following Mike Pompeo’s declaration that Jews living in Judea & Samaria are not illegal, I read that Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who heads the American Reform Movement, disagrees with the US Secretary of State.
Inadvertently, Rabbi Jacobs is pushing the notion that it is fine for Muslims to live anywhere they like in the West Bank, but it is illegal for Jews to live in Judea & Samaria because this gets in the way of his vision for peace.
This notion is inherently anti-Semitic. It rejects the essence of Judaism and its connection to the land.
Irrespective of how this strange dichotomy between Rabbi Jacobs and the Secretary of State arose, I would like to urge Rabbi Jacobs to find his way back to reality and truth, and to bring his congregation with him, for they have all surely lost their way and wandered mistakenly into dark places where Jews have no place to tread.
A year ago, in an interview with The Times of Israel, Rabbi Jacobs said he intended for Reform Jewry to “double down” on Israel. How did he intend to do that exactly?
Rabbi Jacobs still promotes a two-state solution without being aware that this two-state solution is dead. It died years ago. It was killed by the Palestinians.
The Reform Movement protests the idea that Israel can annex strategically important territory that has always been Israeli and Jewish, like the Jordan Valley or parts of Judea & Samaria.
Years ago, Israelis were ready to give peace with the Palestinians a chance. Not anymore. Then, Israelis were like Rabbi Jacobs, naïve peace-makers, tired of war. Today, Israelis are realists. We experienced the evident truth of what the Palestinians are all about. And it is not peace. It is death. Dead Jews. Death to Israel.
Yet, people like Rabbi Jacobs are still trying to drag this dead two-state camel through burning Palestinian sand toward a distant oasis, an oasis called “peace.” What they fail to realize, through their fevered brow, addled by the heat of a region in constant conflict, that it is not an oasis but a fata morgana, a mirage of their own imagination. An image once shared by Israelis, but never by an obsessively anti-Semitic and rejectionist Palestinian leadership.
Those who do not strengthen Israel but wish to carve up the Jewish State at such a tremulous time, to reduce it to a rump and vulnerable state against an implacable enemy are not supporting Israel.  Rabbi Jacobs cut his connection to Keren Kayemet-The Jewish National Fund for buying land in Judea & Samaria.
I do not see young pro-Israel Reform activists joining with our affirmative Zionist students in facing down the Israel haters on campus.
I would relate to them, and to Rabbi Jacobs, the words of Menachem Begin when threatened by Joe Biden to surrender to Palestinian demands about building settlements, “I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”
Zionism, Rabbi Jacobs, is a noble endeavor. It is moral and just. We do not steal land from anyone. We will not let others steal our land from us.
When Rabbi Jacobs called for strengthening the ties between his Reform Movement and Israel he meant strengthening the influence of the Reform Movement in Israel which is fine if that doesn’t mean weakening the affirmative Zionism that Israel needs more than ever today.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs continues to blame Israeli Jews for the ills of a vengeful Palestinian society.
To Rabbi Jacobs, it is the Jew living in Ariel that is causing Palestinians to go hunting for vulnerable Jews to kill. For him, it is the Jew in Efrat that causes the imams, the Palestinian teachers, the political inciters, to inflame their people into killing Jews and to destroy the “Zionist entity.”
If only the Jew will pack up and leave, says Rabbi Jacobs, we will have peace.  He is wrong.
Which leads me to ask. What Judaism is Rabbi Jacobs selling? Is there anything in his brand of Judaism that feels a connection to the biblical call to honor and defend the land?
How much more shall we give, rabbi?  To 1967 lines, where Hamas terrorists will be looking down on Ben Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv, lying in the lowland below their feet? To seventy yards from the main north-south arterial highway that borders Tulkarm, where Hamas suicide bombers came to blow us up in Netanya at Pesach as we prayed in the Park Hotel, as we bought our groceries in our local shuk, as my wife went to meet a friend in the main shopping mall where a two suicide bombers were waiting?
How much more land, rabbi? How much more before you realize you were wrong with your two-state fantasy, a fantasy that leaves us dead?
Did you applaud when Arik Sharon pulled nine thousand Jews out of the Gaza Strip? Are you happy now that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are stockpiling more deadly rockets and missiles?
On which land, rabbi, will you make your final stand?
I have a message of hope for Rabbi Jacobs. There are solutions for peace, but they do not include your failed two-state non-solution. Get over it, Rabbi. Sit your week of Shiva for something that will never be, and join us in creating a better future for Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.
Simply put, peaceniks like Rabbi Jacobs have to realize they have become fixated on a solution that neither camp of the Palestinian political divide have any intention of achieving. How many more warning signs have to be waved in front of their non-seeing eyes before they get real.
The Palestinians have no intention, ever, of living in peace alongside the Jewish State of Israel.
Not the corrupt kleptocracy of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Not Hamas in the Gaza Strip, that is poised to usurp power in the West Bank as soon as Israel takes its hand off the security arrangements. Not Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iranian proxy that successfully launched over 400 rockets into Israeli civilian centers recently.
We all want peace, rabbi, but we will not get it by surrendering to the demands of our enemy and incrementally giving them more and more of our G-d-given land.
Think rabbi. Think! Maybe you can join us in planning a better future for Jew and Arab. One that begins by realizing that, to achieve it, we have to knock the props out of a dysfunctional Palestinian leadership. That we first need to dismantle the Palestinian political infrastructure that has become a violent monster, not a peace-partner.
Peace was only achieved to end World War Two by totally destroying Germany and Japan. Total victory was necessary in order to kill the obsessional enemy ideology by both warring regimes. It will only be by total victory that this perpetual stand-off that has caused fifty years of hopelessness and the continuation of the obsessional anti-Semitic ideology of our twin-headed Palestinian political-terror enemy will be defeated. It needs to be totally dismantled and replaced by technocrats, businessmen and leaders who really do want to deliver peace and prosperity.
First the rotten infrastructure that has caused so much grief, injury and death needs to be removed completely. It may take a generation but, without it, a better future cannot take root.
Even the anticipated Trump economic plan will not work without this painful, but essential, first step, rabbi.
Would you give a state in Syria to the surviving ISIS terrorists? I don’t think so. If the Palestinians end up with less than a state, so be it. They lost that right to a fully-fledged state, if ever they had it, following their fifty-year terror campaign. Why would we trust them now?
Maybe they should start thinking of an Arab confederacy. It worked for the United Arab Emirates.
Ideas, rabbi. Fresh ideas. New ideas. Think out of the box, because your old ideas are dead.
Those who forgot the errors of the past, or who are not aware of them, are carrying these errors on their backs today. They are the international diplomatic world, impotent to reform their ideas. Stuck in a fifty-year-old mantra that is not working.
They are the professional radical anti-Semites and Israel haters who are convincing their masters to ignore Palestinian crimes and abuses and solely punish Israel. 
They are well-meaning, but sadly mistaken, people like Rabbi Jacobs, J-Street, Jewish Voices for Palestine, who got lost in the hate-filled woods and who need to find their GPS and return to their Jewish roots.
They may not be aware of it, though many do, but, basically, they are pushing a world without Israel.
They are dooming us to repeat those errors. And, with them, we will never achieve peace.
Barry Shaw is an affirmative and unapologetic Zionist. He is also the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’