Sunday, 23 December 2018

Christmas Sympathy for Palestinians Wrapped in Lies.

Free speech should be protected and I applaud the Irish newspaper, Southern Star, for having the commitment to allow all views to be expressed in its columns, including its Readers Letters. 
But one thing should be required of its readers. That is to think and question dubious allegations that are frequently expressed in it columns, particularly those attacking Israel and dressed up with emotional imagery.
 In the complex world of Middle East violence, it is all too easy to accept, at face value, the stories of oppression especially when women and children are victims. But is there a deeper motive behind false blanket allegations. What is the full picture? What is being hidden from the reader? And why?
A typical example was a letter posted under the heading “No Peace for Palestinians.” The writer was clearly trying to exploit the Christmas season to gain sympathy for Palestinians “deprived of peace this Christmas through no fault of their own.”
Putting aside the fact that over 90% of Palestinian Arabs are Muslim, do not celebrate Christmas, and are not imbued with the Christmas spirit, the heart of the writer’s slander is that Palestinian families are disturbed “every night” apparently “without reason” by the “brutal violent invasion” of the Israel Defense Forces who causing a “nightmare” for the women and children scared by their “alien presence.”
A letter, dripping with such emotional imagery, can fool the generally uninformed but sympathetic reader. That’s how opinions are formed. In our case, by painting Israel in the darkest colours and the Palestinians in the hews of innocence and victimhood. The truth is somewhat different.
When Israeli security forces come knocking on doors, often in the middle of the night to avoid the involvement of innocent neighbours, it is because counter-terror intelligence have informed them that terrorists are hiding there.
Recently, Israeli forces raided houses in which Palestinian killers were hiding. Fire fights erupted and, in all cases, the terrorists were either apprehended or killed. Those killed include the Barghouti cousins who had shot at civilians waiting at a bus stop. They seriously injured several including a heavily pregnant young mother who remains in hospital more than two weeks after the attack. Her unborn baby died. This is a first in the gruesome Palestinian terror archives, the death of an unborn child. How’s that for a poignant Christmas story?
Another terrorist who was disturbed from sleep by the “brutal violent invasion” of Israeli security personnel was Ashraf Ma’alwa, a Hamas terrorist who had been working in a mixed Israeli-Palestinian workplace in Barkan before tying up two of his co-workers, including a beautiful young woman, and shooting them in the head before making his escape. Israeli intelligence had searched for his whereabouts for over a month before tracking him down to a house outside Ramallah. Ma’alwa was killed in a firefight with the arresting officers.
Readers, when reading such details, will appreciate that the occasional night visits to arrest or neutralize known terrorists who have committed such acts of violence and murder can, in no way, be called “without reason.”
People who write such things have an agenda, and that agenda is actively supporting the terrorists cause. And it is known that this cause has nothing to do with searching for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian problem. It has everything to do with maintaining the political and religious violent rejection of the Jewish State of Israel anywhere in the Middle East.
Peace can never come out of the barrel of a terrorist gun. Ireland, of all places, knows this to be true. And, to the writer of “No Peace for Palestinians,” until they are ready to lay down their rifles and bombs, Israeli security forces will be justified to go in search of the killers.
Wishing all the readers of Southern Star, and other Irish papers that print the false allegations of Israeli haters, a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

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

Friday, 21 December 2018

Walls save lives. Israel has proof.

A huge political row is going on in America over a security wall between the United States and Mexico. 

The President wants to stop the flow in illegal immigrants, drugs, criminals, and terrorists into America. 

The Democrats are vehemently against it. They say it's too costly and it doesn't work.
They even closed down the government over it. The Democrats refused to approve the funds to build it.
So let me offer them a couple of Israeli examples.

We have several walls in Israel - and they work!

1. When Israel started to be swamped by a growing tsunami of tens of thousands of illegal migrants from Africa, the vast majority men between the ages of 20-30 who trekked across other countries, including Egypt, to get to Israel and then falsely claim they were refugees escaping persecution, the government rapidly, and without objection, erected a long barrier between Israel, the Sinai, and Egypt. 
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told President Trump that, since the construction of the barrier, the intrusion into Israel of illegal migrants has fallen by 99%!

2. I live by the Mediterranean coast in Netanya, a town that was hit hard by Palestinian terror, including suicide bombers, car bombs, and shootings. That's why I became a co-founder of the Netanya Terror Victims Organization, to help the families of those killed and the traumatized survivors of gruesome Palestinian terror attacks.
We constructed a wall, just a 15 minute car ride from my home, by Tulkarm, an Arab town that had become a hotbed of Palestinian terror cells. 
Since that wall was built not one suicide bomber, not one car bomb, and not one Palestinian gunman has killed a single Israeli in my home town. 

Walls may be ugly, but they save lives. 
Israel has proof that walls not only stop illegal immigration, it deters them. These illegal migrants learn that there is a proper way to enter a country, or they go where they know other governments are sloppy over the issue of illegal immigration.

If you want security, want to stop the unbridled flow of illegal immigrants, drugs, criminals, and terrorists, build that wall.

Barry Shaw is a Senior Associate at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Monday, 17 December 2018


When a nation or culture is judged on its success or failure as a nation, one is required to evaluate what unique and positive developments it gave to its people and to mankind.

With this in mind, it’s worth examining what has been the exceptional prowess we associate with the Palestinians.
In a brief history, we remind ourselves that a nation or state called Palestine never existed. The name was an insult, a curse to obliterate the vanquished nation of Israel two millennia ago by the Romans. Today, we have come full circle with Arabs using the term Palestine as an insult and a curse as they attempt to obliterate the modern State of Israel.
A century ago, those described a carrying the term “Palestinians” were mainly the Jews who inhabited the district of Greater Syria, a barren and barely inhabited area of the fading Ottoman Empire, an empire that died after Turkey foolishly allied itself with Germany in World War One and was defeated by the British-led Expeditionary army aided by a volunteer force of Palestinian Jews who fought and died to liberate the land.
The Arabs, during and after the Great War, disliked being called Palestinian. In 1937, the Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul Hadi, told the United Nations Peel Commission on Palestine that “there is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented. Palestine in alien to us.  Our land was for hundreds of years a part of Syria.” 
This was confirmed decades later in 1970 by no less than Yasser Arafat who admitted in an interview with Italian journalist, Arianna Palazzi, that, “Palestine is nothing but a drop in an enormous ocean…What you call Jordan is nothing more than Palestine.”
They were right. A century ago the Arabs much preferred to live under the tutelage of an Arab ruler based in Damascus. No Arab fought to rid themselves of the Turks west of the River Jordan, and the Arabs east of the Jordan only fought for the Hashemite sheikhs in return for gold, weapons, or booty. When this was not forthcoming by the Britain they drifted back into the desert until money enticed them back to the battlefield.
In honoring the contribution of the Jews of Palestine in helping to defeat the Turks the post-war world governing body, the League of Nations, agreed unanimously, including the Arab vote, to mandate the establishment in Palestine of the national home of the Jewish people encouraging them to pursue close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
They did this in recognition of “the historic connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
It’s worth repeating. The League of Nations Mandate received the approval of the leading Arab voices who were satisfied that the local Arabs would not be harmed by this arrangement as stipulated by the condition that “nothing shall be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
The Arab leaders agreed to the terms of the mandate because they were in line to receive their share of lands including Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.
A significant result of the Mandate was a further boost to the Zionist enterprise in mandated Palestine. The Jews in Palestine developed the land, built the infrastructure and the industries required to sustain a rapidly growing population.
The early pioneering spirit in Palestine was seen in the construction of the Palestine Electric Company in 1923 by Pinhas Rutenberg, a Palestinian Jew, the introduction of the Palestine Post in 1932 by another Palestinian Jew, Gershon Agron. This national, later international, newspaper became the Jerusalem Post in 1950. The Zionist enterprise needed to be financed and this was established by the Anglo-Palestine Bank in 1902 which became Bank Leumi after Israel declared its independence in 1948. Palestinian Jewish farmers and tillers of the land created the unique collective agricultural settlements known as the kibbutz.
In advance of statehood the Jews were busy developing the needs of a people deserving of a nation of their own. All this attracted a mass immigration of Arabs from the region into Palestine for economic reasons as a result of the Zionist enterprise.
Later, the Arab urge for nationalism in Palestine grew out of envy, even greed and ambition for conquest, as they saw the Jewish endeavor flourish. The fundamental loathing in seeing the Jews succeed went against their core belief.
When five Arab armies failed to destroy the Jewish state the local Arab gangs continued their looting, pillaging, and killing against the Jewish settlers and farmers, particularly in isolated settlements.
Under a man born in Egypt, but pretending to be a Palestinian, they began to jell into organized terror groups. Yasser Arafat took to the world stage with a slogan and with shocking violence.
Palestine suddenly became the nom-de-plume for Arabs living in parts of the Jewish State, namely in Judea & Samaria - which the international community renamed the West Bank- and the Gaza Strip. Then, everything began to be called “Palestine” as in the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, etc. Perversely, terrorism was portrayed as a human rights issue, a reclamation of stolen land, a release from oppression and occupation.
The adoption of the name “Palestine” was followed by the creation of a legend, a history of a people who had been robbed of their heritage by those dastardly Jews from Europe. An injustice, a human rights crime, had been inflicted by the Jews on the “indigenous population of Palestine.”
As someone once said, if you tell a lie loud and often enough stupid people eventually believe it to be true and rally to your cause. And so the legend became an accepted truth and once manufactured as victimhood and suffering they lobbied and protested for recognition and legislation, even sanctions, against the perpetrators of their “persecution,” the Zionists.
So the first contribution the new Palestinians gave the world was the art of deception. Their version of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” became “How to convince people you are the victim in order to convict your enemy.”
The pinnacle of this deception was the award of a Nobel Peace Prize to the world’s first arch-terrorist in contemporary history, Yasser Arafat, he of the Munich Olympic Games massacre, among his numerous murderous achievements. Here was another Palestinian first. Using a massacre at an international sporting event to gain global publicity to a cause.
How else have Palestinians impacted people globally? Palestinian terrorism created a new norm in air travel, namely huge inconvenience for travelers and massive security costs and headaches for airports and airlines which increase the cost of air travel to us consumers.
They were the pioneers of plane hijackings and airport terror attacks that gained the attention of the world media. On 9/11 a bunch of Saudi terrorists combined plane hijacking and suicide missions on a horrendous scale, but it was the Palestinians that led the way in forcing us to arrive at airports three hours before our flights, to have our baggage and our bodies checked, to be treated like suspects. Thank the Palestinians for these modern day inconveniences by their earlier plane hijackings and airport attacks.
Israelis had to react to Palestinian bus bombings, but why confine ourselves to buses? The Palestinians also blew up planes, hotels, restaurants, markets, shopping malls when they are not shooting and stabbing Israeli civilians on the street or launching heavy barrages of missiles and rockets into civilian centers.
The Palestinians are an inventive people. Not satisfied with attempting to murder people on the land and in the air they now have units of underwater frogmen who can sneak into Israel by sea to attack convenient targets close to the coast in surprise terror raids. 
They are also the pioneers in attacking villages and towns via underground terror tunnels in which their trained killers can emerge kill or capture civilians or soldiers and hold them for ransom in exchange for their incarcerated killers.  This practice is now being exploited by their fellow terror merchants, Hezbollah in Lebanon. 
New inventions in the last year include flaming kites and bomb balloons to burn and destroy the land they wrongly claim to be theirs.
I have tried hard to find any valuable contribution the Palestinians have made to mankind. Sadly, I have to admit that I failed. If you can think of anything beneficial they have given us, please let me know. Because, quite frankly, I couldn’t come up with a thing.
The Palestinian Hall of Contributions to Mankind is as empty as the recently opened Palestine History Museum in Ramallah, an impressive building lacking in content.
You would think that millions of people in search of statehood would make their mark in something other than death and destruction.
But they haven’t, and there is no sign they will do so any day soon.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  
He is the Author of the books ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism’ and ‘BDS for IDIOTS.’
Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, and from Steimatzky bookstores in Israel.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Shocking Exposure of Failure, Deep Corruption, Torture, Human Rights Abuses by the Palestinian Authority.

A        Tim Sebastian (Conflict Zone) interviews Saeb Erekat (Palestinian Authority).
Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, and redundant since the PA refuses to negotiate with Israel, or even talk 
with the US Administration, talked to Tim Sebastian of Conflict Zone about Palestinian “democracy,” a strange concept since they haven’t had national elections since 2006. They also have a deep and unbridgeable political chasm between the PLO-Fatah Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Hamas-Islamic Jihad control of the Gaza Strip as a result of a coup d’etat in 2007. 67% are dissatisfied with the performance of the Palestinian Authority .62% want Mahmoud Abbas to resign. The latest polling show that 80& believe there is widespread corruption in the PA, nepotism, bribery, abuse of public funds, lack of transparency.
The Palestinian watchdog, Aman, issued a blistering report that the Palestinian Legislative Council has been dysfunctional for the past eleven years which has led to the loss of the most important official instrument of control and accountability.”
“The Palestinian Legislative Council has been dysfunctional for the past 11 years which led to…the loss of the most important official instrument of control and accountability.”
Erekat: “Do we have corruption? Yes.”
Sebastian” “In 2017, Shawqi Al-Issa, Miister of Agriculture said “It was not permitted to carry out any action to reduce corruption. Well qualified officials were removed, while those suspected of corruption had their positions strengthened.”
Erekat: I know Shawqi Al-Issa. He is in the opposition and he is entitled to say whatever he wants.”
Sebastian: “What about the case of Palestinian Airlines? Aman said that the Palestinian Treasury continued to pay salaries to hundreds of employees of Palestinian Airlines. There is, of course, no Palestinian Airlines.
Erekat; “Our four planes were destroyed by the Israelis, and we have people working there…”
Sebastian:  “Hundreds of salaries.”
Erekat: “Not hundreds…”
Sebastian: “It’s a big fraud, Mr Erekat. Human Rights Watch has just released a credible report of shocking human rights abuses by your security services. They say there are 147 cases as you know well. Shocking abuse in violation of international human rights law, including torture, that contravene the international legal obligations that you took when you signed up to the Human Rights Treaty over the last five years. Torture extensively documented may amount to a crime against humanity. (HRW. October 23, 2018). You have torture on a daily basis and you call yourself a democracy?”
Erekat: “We are acting on this.”
Sebastian: “I got the same answer from you for the last 10, 15, 20 years. “
Erekat: “You know me, Tim.”
Sebastian: “Yes, I do, and you make the same excuses for these abuses year after year.”
Erekat: “I live in Jericho because I refuse to rent an apartment at the expense of the Palestinians.”
Sebastian: “You live in Jericho and in Jericho some of the harshest treatments reported by detainees take place in Jericho. At the Joint Security Committee Detention Center. This is Human Rights Watch reporting. Officers force prisoners into painful stress positions locked in solidarity confinement. A young man from the Balata refugee camp said he was twice subjected to electric shock treatment and once had a cord tied around his genitals. So much for signing the convention against torture.”
Erekat: “We are members of the Convention Against Torture…”
Sebastian: “…and you violate it on a regular basis.”
Erekat: “The 147 cases over three years are being investigated. People who committes these atrocities will be held accountable.”
Sebastian: “How many of these people have been held accountable? How many? You can’t tell me. 3? 5? 7?”
Erekat: “Wait a minute. Security officials were fired. They were demoted.”
Sebastian: “How many?”
Erekat: “I can’t give you a number, but many.”
Sebastian: “You are also cracking down on freedom of speech as well.”
Erekat: “How?”
Sebastian: “January of last year, your security forces detained Faris Jabua, a student from Hebron about his participation at a book event organized by the Islamic group at his university. He’d already been arrested 5 times on charges that turned out to be false. You go after these people again and again and again. He was taken on one occasion to the Jericho Detention Center where officers alternated between kicking and hitting him with a stick…”
Erekat smiled.
Sebastian: “You’re smiling.”
Erekat: “No, because I live in Jericho and people wake me up at 2 am and 3 am and 4 am in the morning to tell me their sons and their daughters are taken here and there and I go with them…”
Sebastian: “So you know what is going on.”
Erekat: “Of course! And I go and tell them to stop it in the name of the President. We admit it. We don’t hide it.”
Sebastian: “Aren’t you ashamed of all this?”
Erekat: “In some cases I am ashamed. Yes. Sometimes I can because I am a man of authority.  I cannot differentiate between freedom of expression and incitement. Sometimes we have people who attack others because of their religion and so on and I’m ashamed of it.”
Sebastian: “Is this what a future Palestinian state would look like? Human rights abuses. Torture. Crackdown on free speech. Internet control.”
Erekat: “The future Palestinian state will be the future of democracy …human rights…transparency and the rule of law…This is my promise.”
Sebastian: “That’s very different from what you have now.”

Erekat: “No,  With 6 million people living in the West Bank and in Gaza we have 147 cases and we hope that will be reduced…”

Sebastian: “That’s all we have time for. Saeb Erekat. Thank you very much.”

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

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The Bible is my GPS

I'm a modern man, but my contemporary truth and direction are anchored and proven in the Bible, a book that disproves all the Palestinian and BDS lies.
Watch the video.   Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

The Real Message of Chanukah.

The contemporary message of Chanukah is this.  We, who are active in countering false claims against Israel, are accustomed to hear blatant lies about our country being an "apartheid state occupying someone else's land," but think about this.                                                                        
If Chanukah represents anything it is the message of how we Jews fought off Greece, an ancient European colonial power, because we were (are) the indigenous people in our own land.   

Remember that whenever you hear that we are "occupying Palestinian land."      
If you want to see real apartheid, how about the insistence of the Palestinian leadership that no Jew can be a Palestinian in a State of Palestine.    
That is genuine racist apartheid. 
Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Anti-Semitism Hiding in Plain Sight

There has been so much anti-Semitism trying to hide behind anti-Israel speech that we have come up with a new headline to cover these stories whenever they arise, as they will with nauseous regularity.
The title will be ANTI-SEMITISM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT because that is exactly what is happening today.
The shame of spouting direct Jew hatred has morphed into dressing anti-semitism in the garb of anti-Israel or anti-Zionism venom.
Advocating for a world without Jews is no longer fashionable, but a world without the Jewish State is trendy, particularly if it is dressed up as portraying the Palestinians, who are rabid Jew-haters, as victims. Add the slogan, "Free Palestine - from the River to the Sea" which advocates a world without the Jewish State, and you are well on your way to becoming the future fascists.
Today, it's the collective Jew they are after as they pose in their morally superior narrative of human rights.
So, from now on, my reports highlighting this racist crime will be headed by 'ANTI-SEMITISM HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.
Feel free to share my reports starting with these three examples of Anti-Semitism hiding in plain sight one;

Linda Sarsour, ally of the rabid anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan, calls for jihad in America. supports Sharia law, calls for the annihilation of the Jewish State of Israel, is held up as the darling of the feminist movement in America, and grotesquely supported publically by Jewish co-director of Code Pink, Ariel Gold, who said of Sarcour, "We have no greater ally in the Jewish community than Linda Sarsour."
If Sarsour is the greatest ally of American Jews, then American Jews are in deep trouble.
Sarsour is playing American Jews for fools, and there is no greater fool than Ariel Gold.

The World against the Jews.
The United Nations General Assembly is set to reject any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and its holy places.
No doubt European nations will take the cowardly and immoral step and abstain.

CNN Commentator, Marc Lamont Hill, shows his college miseducation by calling for the annihilation of Israel based on an "ethical and moral outline," whatever that means.
He did it at a meeting of the United Nations and his remarks were met with wild applause.
CNN fired him, but the damage has been done. Yet another under-educated "scholar, activist, and citizen" has opened his mouth to call for the end of the Jewish State.
And in his moral superiority Lamont, no doubt, can see no wrong in his inflammatory words.

Just three examples plucked from this week's news cycle. I'm sure there'll be more next week.

Barry Shaw. Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
Author of the book 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.'

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Israel finds old Arab enemies more reliable allies than the Dutch Government.

Why is the Dutch government practicing being so contrary against Israel in recent years?

At the end of November, the Dutch Foreign Minister urged Dutch Jews to protest Israel’s “occupation.”

What? You mean protest Israel maintaining its presence in Judea & Samaria, particularly in what is called Area C and which they are legitimately allowed to control under the Oslo Accords? Recently, I arranged for Dutch pro-Israel activists to go visit one illegal village called Khan al-Ahmar. It’s illegal because the Palestinian Authority with the connivance of the EU and individual European governments led by the Dutch are illegally building homes and schools and illegally transferring Bedouin families from other areas under the PA in order to create false facts on the ground?

Regavim, the Israeli NGO, show people what European countries and organizations are doing in the territories that are in serious breach of their Oslo commitments.

This contrarian behavior has a lot to do with their Minister for Foreign Trade and Regional Development.
Sigrid Kaag once served in UNWRA, the United Nations organization that has done more to condemn Palestinian Arabs to refugee status for seventy years, and in growing numbers, than any other organization on earth, and she is proud of it.  

In October, 2017, when acting as Dutch Deputy Foreign Minister, she called Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a “racist.”

What would you expect from a biased woman married to a Palestinian diplomat?

Kaag claimed in an interview that her father-in-law was stabbed by a Jew wearing a keffiya, and Arab head dress, a claim that was proven to be palpably untrue and smells strongly of being an anti-Semitic falsehood.

This is the way they practice peace diplomacy in Holland.

The Netherlands can play no impartial role with characters such as Sigrid Kaag playing a leading role in Dutch diplomatic life.

While her anti-Israel stance was on full display, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on November 26 and resolved to encourage Arab nations to establish economic relations with Israel, according to Arab sources close to the Jerusalem Post.

It seems that Israel can rely on past Arab enemies to be more even handed toward the Jewish State than the diplomatic hierarchy in the Netherlands.

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.’

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Israel-Europe Pipeline. The Geo-Political and Strategic Umbilical Cord.

After rapid negotiations, Israel has agreed with European nations to supply Europe with its future natural gas needs. The project will turn Israel into a significant fuel-exporting nation.
Construction will begin on the longest and deepest underwater fuel pipeline in the world. 1,305 miles in length and lying 1.86 miles under the Mediterranean Sea. The $7 Billion project will take five years to complete.
Natural gas will flow from Israel’s natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean via Cyprus to Greece and Italy. This multi-national pipeline will supply Europe with 125 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2030.
After careful strategic deliberations, Israel decided on the Cyprus-Greece-Italy connection to Europe than through the Turkish route. One factor in the decision was the political behavior of Tayip Erdogan, the Turkish President, toward the Jewish State.
The decision has been received poorly by the Turks who were quick to sign an alternative agreement with Russia for the construction of a rival TurkStream pipeline for the delivery of Russian natural gas to Turkey.
The Israeli decision may be the reason for recent provocative statements made by the Kremlin against Israel, but Israel has chosen the direct European route for important strategic, as well as economic, reasons.
As former Greek Deputy Minister, Demitri Dollis said during the negotiations, ‘The EU will prefer the Israeli pipeline over the TurkStream project because EU countries are involved (in the Israeli project).  Also, since Europe already relies heavily on Russian gas, the project is of top geo-political importance to Israel, Greece, and Europe and, for this reason, is backed by the United States.

Going forward, Greece will hold strategic talks in Washington with the Trump Administration on December 13 before heading to Jerusalem for talks with the Israeli Government.
As Dollis said when the new pipeline had been agreed, “Energy and security will work to the benefit not only of Israel but for the people of Europe. It will lead to the stability of governments, stability of energy prices, stability in the energy markets.”
When the fuel starts flowing it will certainly improve the relationship between the EU and Israel.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Israel, and Indigenous Peoples Everywhere.

Recently, I was honored with a phone call from the leader of a native American tribal nation who was, perhaps as surprising to many as it was to me, on a visit to Israel.

He told me of his passionate support for Israel. He rightly saw the Jews as the indigenous people in the Land of Israel, something that appealed to his own tribal history.

He shocked me by what he told me next. 
The Palestinians and the BDS Movement are conducting a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign to reach the hearts and minds of this ignored American community. 
Their campaign is based on strategic disinformation. They try to tell Native Americans that both have suffered by having their land stolen from them by white colonial supremacists and are suffering centuries of oppression and occupation. 
This may have truth in the history of native Americans and Canadians, but it is a lie when applied to Israel. 

My hometown of Netanya hosted the World Lacrosse Championships in 2018. Competitors from around the world had first experience of Israel. They loved their visit and returned home inspired. Competitors from diverse countries such as Hong Kong, Poland, Uganda, Luxembourg, China, Turkey, Peru, South Korea, joined the major nations of the world in this important sporting event.
Also participating were players representing the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team based in Canada. It was touch and go before they received their permits to come to Israel at the last minute. They were waiting at Toronto Pearson Airport as bureaucratic efforts were being made to allow them to travel to Israel on their native Haudenosaunee passports, rather than on Canadian passports. Their plane was delayed for three hours. They had also come under enormous pressure from the BDS Movement to boycott the event, but their passion for their sport and their desire to participate in the World Championships was a no-brainer for them. The bureaucratic impasse was solved thanks to the intervention of Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian Justice Minister, who pulled strings at top level both in Canada and in Israel. In the end they arrived and were met by VIPs including former Knesset Member, Dov Lipman, to welcome them to Israel.

In trying to dissuade the Iroquois not to come to Israel the BDS used the fraudulent Palestinian message that the famous Wingate Institute, which houses Israel’s sporting excellent projects and facilities and was one of the many venues for the lacrosse event, was once an Arab village named Khirbat al-Zababida which they claimed was “ethnically-cleansed” of its “Palestinian” inhabitants in 1948. The BDS with this, as with everything else they push, was wrong.  They were referring to the nearby villages of Yakum and Gaash which, between 1944 and 1945 was predominantly Jewish owned, the Arab landlords having sold their barren land to the Palestinian Jews. The same Arab landlords ordered the Arab peasants to vacate the land to the new owners who intended to develop the land for largescale agricultural purposes which they did, employing many Arabs in its development.
These are Israeli facts, not fraudulent BDS narrative.

People should heed our story. A story of an ancient people returning to join our fellow Jews who never deserted the land for three thousand years when it was the Land of Israel. Today, it has become the only truly diverse nation in the Middle East where all are free to practice their faith, their cultures and traditions, and to be represented in our democracy and the Knesset, our national congress.

Native Americans and Canadians must get to hear our message, as should indigenous peoples everywhere. They have been ignored not only by the Israeli government but also by Jewish and Christian Zionist organizations as if they don’t exist and don’t have a voice.
Yet, these are precisely the type of communities that could and should spread the truth about our history, both ancient and contemporary, for our story resonates with them. Both they and the Jews, those indigenous to ancient lands, and those who are returning to take pride in the re-establishment of our national home, share a love of the land based on original ownership and possession. 
Our message is a positive message of reclamation personified in the glorious success and example of Israel.

One simple truth comes out of this. Native Americans, native Canadians, indeed native people everywhere have one thing in common with the Jews of Israel. We are all stem from original indigenous people in our own lands. This is the simple truth that no BDS Palestinian propagandist can take away from us.
In an age of diversity and minority voices, instead of being BDS-trained enemies of Israel, native Americans and Canadians and others can become the most resonant ambassadors for Israel.
Anti-Israel haters, BDS among them, are teaching a false doctrine. 

There can be no salvation or prophecy built on lies.
Let’s do something affirmative and positive instead. That’s why I have begun a new initiative.

The Global Coalition of Indigenous Peoples United with Israel comes down to a simple truth. That the genuine indigenous people in the ancient Land of Israel were the Jewish people.

We are gathering together peoples of differing cultures and ethnicities and when we achieve a global brotherhood and sisterhood on all continents we will hold the 1st International Convention of Indigenous Peoples in Jerusalem.

The outreach of indigenous people with the Jewish people will result in a unity in which the helping hand of the Jewish nation will reach into communities in need as Israel reaches into distant communities today with its innovation and assistance.

Love begets love as indigenous people everywhere recognize the Jewish people as the original people in the ancient Land of Israel.

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’ and BDS for IDIOTS.’ Both available on Amazon.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


I don't know if many people noticed but a critically significant moment flashed by at the British Labour Psrty Conference in Liverpool today.

The results were announced of the voting for the party's priorities for Britain. 
One item in particular was startling. Labour voters chose, in order of priority, the following national issues;

5.   BREXIT.

Caring for Palestinians came before caring for Britain's elderly, sick, and welfare needs. It came before concern for local communities. It even came before Britain's place in the world (i.e. Brexit).

In fact, apart from Brexit, Palestine was the only international issue that concerned the Labour Party.
Not the horrendous Syrian conflict that has torn the Middle East and, indeed, most of Europe with its millions of refugees and loss of life. Not the famine, disease, poverty, terrorism, and slavery that is plaguing Africa. Not the Socialist-induced collapse of Venezuela. Palestine.
Palestine, Not solving the Middle East's most protracted conflict. Not listening to Israel's legitimate complaints that the chasm of the Palestinian political divide prevents them from negotiating a settlement with Israel. Palestine. Meaning pushing the Palestinian cause even if it breaks Israel. For Israel can have nothing to say, according to the Corbynites.  
To them anything that Israel has to say is illegitimate. 
What you are seeing in this poll is the modern face of the Labour Party. It is partially the result of the campus culture finding its way into positions of influence and opinion creating in Britain. 

The obsession to put Palestinians over Britain's weak, sick, and elderly in the Labour Party highlights the incomprehensible, anti-British, dogma of a developing hard left Socialist party where hatred for Israel supersedes vitally important domestic issues in Britain. 
The high ranking of 'Palestine' carries with it the latent anti-Semitism that has infected the party since the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
We are seeing a not so covert anti-Semitism on the rise. 
I guarantee that 'Palestine' will rise even further before the next Labour Party Conference in 2019.

Barry Shaw is the author of 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.' Fighting violence, bigotry, and hatred. 

Sunday, 9 September 2018

How about Idlib, Mr. Corbyn?

Original Thinking from Barry Shaw.

Like a suspended game of chess, Syria is poised for the final act of devastating destruction in the northern Syrian city of Idlib as Syrian tanks and Russian planes prepare to pound a town of 3 million people.
And when the town is ruined, it will be the Iranian proxy Hezbollah fighters who will join the Syrian soldiers that pour into Idlib to kill whoever remains to oppose the murderous Assad army.
Among those who will be silently impotent, as thousands are killed and many more become refugees, will be Britain's Jeremy Corbyn and his gruesomely, incorrectly, named Stop the War Coalition.
Corbyn has never effectively stopped any war. On the contrary, he has a sad history of siding with the violators and terrorists in conflicts ranging from Ireland to Israel.
He and his devious group will do nothing for one bad reason. He has never blamed Russian, Iran, or any Arab tyrant, for any wrongdoing anywhere.
He counts the Islamic terror organisation, Hezbollah, among his friends in their shared hatred of Israel, one of Syria's neighbor who is helping defenseless Syrians with food, shelter, and much needed medical treatment.
And therein lies the rub. He is silent because there is no Israel to blame for the carnage. And for Corbyn, Israel is quoted to be "the greatest international cause of our time."
In fact, it is Israel that waits at the border to give aid and comfort to citizens of a neighboring country that is officially at war with them.
Stop the War Coalition, Mr. Corbyn? Look to Israel as an example.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Corbyn's Britain and Israel. Heading for Confrontation.

Jeremy Corbyn is the greatest threat to Israel since the days of Ernest Bevan who, as Foreign Minister in the late 40s, opposed the establishment of the State of Israel.
Jeremy Corbyn will be Britain’s next Prime Minister. Corbyn’s foreign policy will be centered upon opposing Israel in all international forums. A Corbyn Cabinet will impose international sanctions against Israel.
Jeremy Corbyn will cause great damage to the intelligence sharing that goes on between Israel and Britain that will be more damaging to Britain than it will be to Israel. Jeremy Corbyn will also damage the trade arrangements between Britain and Israel to the detriment of both countries.
This is the assessment of Israeli security and intelligence think tank experts, an assessment that is making its way into the National Security Council and Cabinet in Jerusalem.
The assessment takes into consideration Corbyn’s political profile, the forensic evidence of his rise to power, his wide and powerful base that will ride him into leadership come the next election, and the political implications of a Corbyn government for Israel.
How do we know he will be the next British Prime Minister?  He has the revived strength of the traditional Labour Party and trade union machine. Even those within the Party will still vote for him. That includes the Jewish Labour Members of Parliament who think they can contain him from within once he is elected. They are wrong. Corbyn does not depend only on old school Laborites. For over thirty years he has built around him a wide radical base of support, and it is this base that will be the heart and soul of the future Labour movement. This power base is constituted by his Stop the War Coalition, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Palestine Solidarity Movement. They are well organized, well-funded, hyper active at grassroots level. They have established a hardcore constituency in certain key areas of Britain and they are ready to employ thousands of volunteers to get out the vote of millions of new voters. Opposed to them is a divided Conservative Party with a weak leader in disarray. Corbyn will be the next PM. And it’s a very bad choice not only for Israel, but for Britain.
Corbyn leads a political ideology that sees evil in the world. It is not the evil of communism that has slaughtered and repressed hundreds of millions of their own people in places like the Russia and China.
It is not the evil of hard left socialism that has ruined countries and impoverished people with failed economic policies in countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, despite Corbyn’s idolization of Castro, Che Gevara, and Chavez.
It is not the evil perpetrated by 3rd World and Arab liberation movements that have left a trail of bodies and millions of refugees in their wake, but that Corbyn supports ideologically.
Corbyn’s perceived evil is western imperialism, European colonialism, things of the past but to which Corbyn still clings today, and capitalism, another evil in the eyes of Corbyn.
They like to call his movement the new socialist left, but it’s not new, and it is certainly not democratic socialism.  It is more a hardened radical socialism supporting the antithesis of a normal democratic world such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
The glue that links the triple towers of American imperialism, European colonialism, and capitalism is Israel via the Zionist cause. And, according to Corbyn, at the heart of this malevolent movement are the Jews with their money, their powerful influence, and Israel with, according to Corbyn, its evil and racist tendencies to trample on the human rights of downtrodden Palestinians whose land has been stolen from them by the Zionist colonialists aided and abetted by Britain and America – a wrong that can only be corrected with the establishment of Palestine, preferably in place of the illegal state of Israel.
According to the Corbyn credo, Zionism is racism and the Jews of Britain are an enemy, guilty by association, by their love and support for Israel, a support that goes back a century. Zionism is racism, and if you are Jewish and love Israel you are a racist, and, according to the Corbyn doctrine, that doesn’t make Corbyn or his cohorts anti-Semites. So goes the mantra according to Corbyn. Israel is a mistake and a crime that must be rectified in the name of social justice and human rights.
We get a hint of this in a 2012 wall mural daubed with stereotyped figures depicting Jewish bankers playing a game of monopoly (money) with their table top resting on the backs of half-naked workers.
Corbyn originally supported the artist’s work. It reflected his worldview. But, after a media outcry, the Labour Party, and then a Corbyn spokesperson, fumbled a lame excuse that Corbyn had supported the artist in the name of freedom of speech, and not the content of his artwork to which he hadn’t really paid attention. 
This is the lazy anti-Semitism of Corbyn.
It is no coincidence that two of his sons inherited a detestation of Jews and Israel.
In March, 2018, Britain’s Daily Mail revealed that son, Tommy, posted a Nazi-style cartoon on his Facebook page showing an arm with a Star of David crushing people. It came with the Tommy Corbyn message, “why is it that I can critique my own, or any other government, but criticism of the Israeli state is branded anti-Semitic?”
Well, maybe son, that’s because you emblazon your page with stereotype cartoons that demonizes Jews.
He was followed into the Facebook pit he had dug for himself by someone who posted “Hitler was a Zionist.”  You see where it leads. Tommy Corbyn belonged to several Facebook pages that regularly posted anti-Semitic screeds that included claims that members of the royal family were Jewish and they controlled the world with the Rothschild banking dynasty. Or one depicting the earth with a Star of David and the anti-Semitic message, “the new world of Zionism is almost here! One government. One currency. One religion. Act now!” 
Sickeningly, it goes on, and on.
And the other one, Ben, is much the same. Keen to see a Palestine in place of Israel.  Cries for dead Palestinians. Not a tear for dead Israelis.
The apples don’t fall far from the rotten tree.  But the Corbyns’ Israel hatred goes well beyond family. It is far more broad-based and ominous than that.
On March 3, 2009, Jeremy Corbyn sent out a statement.
“Tomorrow evening it will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I’ve also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well…the idea that an organization that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about a long-term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government is really a big, big historical mistake.” 
The following year, thirteen Palestinian terror groups headed by the Islamist Hamas launched a military campaign of terror against Israel in an attempt to derail peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
During the fighting, Corbyn stood in Trafalgar Square and told a crowd of thousands gathered in support of a Hamas war against Israel at a rally organized by Corbyn’s triumvirate organisations, “in our thousands, in our million, we are all Palestinians.”
Corbyn’s spin-master, Labour’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, Seumas Milne, explained that Palestine had become “the greatest international cause of our time.”
It can’t be because of the Palestinians killed by Israel in response to the wholesale Hamas-motivated violence, although this was their excuse, because, right next door to Israel, the number of people killed in the Syrian civil war enormously outnumbered those in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Included in the dead in Syria were almost 200,000 Palestinians among the estimated 700,000 dead yet, as Dave Rich wrote in his book, The Left’s Jewish Problem, we have never heard Corbyn chant “in our thousands, in our million, we are all Syrians.”
Why is this not “the greatest international cause of our time”? Could it be he doesn’t really care about the Syrian dead, or dead Palestinians in Syria aren’t deserving of his attention?
The reason he is not a Syrian is because Syria is backed by Russia and Iran. Had Assad been backed by America, or perversely, Israel, Corbyn would have screamed about being a Syrian – but he didn’t, and that is telling.
Could it be that he supports Palestinians because his target for abuse is exclusively Israel, and he can’t pin the massive Syrian death toll on the Jewish state?
Actually, this is a perfectly reasonable assumption.
Israel is, for Corbyn, the epitome of his perfect enemy.
The Jewish state is, for Corbyn, the donkey he can beat and kick to his heart’s content. It fits all the evils of his malevolent mind. He can trot out all the hard left epithets and craft them to match his fevered image of Israel.
As Milne told an anti-Israel rally in London in 2014, “Israel has no right to defend itself from territory it illegally occupies. The terrorism is the killing of civilians by Israel on an industrial scale.” Later he wrote in The Guardian newspaper, “The idea that Israel is defending itself against unprovoked attacks from outside its borders is an absurdity.”
Corbyn and Milne construct Israel to be a white European colonial power, no matter that the majority of Israelis are Mizrahi Jewish refugees kicked out of Arab and Muslim lands for the crime of being Jewish.  Or that a colonist is someone enlisted by a major power to colonize a conquered territory, a description palpably out of whack with how and why a Jewish majority exists in Israel.
Corbyn can posit Israel as stealing someone else’s land when, in fact, the international community granted a specified mandate to re-establish the national homeland of the Jewish people on the barren land of a dead and defeated Ottoman empire.
This bequeath was an acknowledgement of a history in which the Jews were the original indigenous people in the ancient land of Israel.  But you will never find this in Corbyn’s vocabulary.
To Corbyn, Israel is scarred with the twin sins of deserting socialism for capitalism, made more bitter by the modern success of Israel’s free economy, and of Israel being a close ally of America.
To Corbyn, these are unforgiveable sins and must be opposed by all means possible, even disreputable ones. Hence the adoption of the Hamas doctrine.
Corbyn frequently calls on the British government to stop supplying Israel with military supplies and armaments. But Corbyn has no objection to Britain supplying infinitely larger supplies of military hardware to Turkey, a country that has been occupying the small European island of Cyprus for about as long as Israel has been in the West Bank, a Turkey that is killing Kurds with gay abandon, without restriction, and without a peep from Corbyn.  No “We are all Cypriots” from Corbyn’s mouth.
In Corbyn’s fevered mind, Israel is the most racist, violent, oppressive state on the planet. 
We have to ask ourselves why he thinks this way.
What can it be if not the famous Natan Sharansky definition of anti-Semitism when applied to Israel. Watch out for the three d’s – demonization, delegitimization, and double standards. Check this out, Corbyn is guilty of all three.
Corbyn hosted Hamas in the British parliament. Can anyone tell me if Corbyn ever hosted an Israeli diplomat or minister to hear their views, for balance if little else, to question the Israeli perspective in healthy debate, rather than propagandize an anti-Israel message?  It never happened. Israel is guilty. Nothing to discuss.
Did Corbyn ever applaud Israel’s efforts to bring about the long-term peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt that are still holding? Does he have anything positive to say about prolonged Israeli efforts to reach agreements with the Palestinians? There have been three substantial concessions offered to the Palestinians by Israeli leaders. The Palestinians rejected all of them, rejected the notion of living alongside the Jewish side, rejected any negotiations with Israel.
Did Corbyn ever criticize the Palestinians for their decades of violence and terror and their rejection of Israel’s right to exist?
Strange behavior for someone who claims to be a man of peace.
Corbyn spoke about a “long term peace” for “the good of the Palestinian people.” What is he talking about? Did his friends, Hamas or Hezbollah, ever do anything to bring about long-term peace in the region, let alone a peace with Israel?
Did he do anything constructive to engage in a peace process?
What is Corbyn’s definition of a terrorist organisation if Hamas and Hezbollah are not included.  On second thought, I am not interested in hearing his definition. His definition will be Israel and America. He and Milne have said so.
At the end of last August, when Israel, with the help of Egypt and Qatar, achieved a break in Hamas’s hostilities against the Jewish state an angry Mahmoud Abbas said that “Hamas is a gang and its leaders are thugs and thieves.”
Apparently, it takes a Palestinian to recognize a Palestinian.
He went on, “We will not allow anyone to turn Hamas into a legitimate government in the Gaza Strip, even if that means a direct confrontation with Egypt and Qatar.”
So much for long term peace between the Palestinians, Mr. Corbyn, let alone with Israel.
Truth be told, there is something disturbingly totalitarian about Corbyn’s unreasoned dogma that is dangerous.
Corbyn and his ‘Stop the War Coalition’ have always been on the wrong side of history. He and they have stopped no wars. On the contrary, they have been disrupters to peace processes.
He sided with the IRA against Britain. His heroes have been Castro and Chavez. Can you pick any greater socialist disasters than these regimes, a disaster he is keen to impose on Britain?
There is nothing meek, weak, peace-loving, or positive about Hamas, Palestinian Islamic jihad, or Hezbollah. They are the opposite of peace-makers. They are peace-destroyers. They are recognized internationally as terror organizations and the cause of instability in the Middle East. They threaten and oppress not only eight million Israeli citizens, but their own people.
In Hezbollah’s case, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen have been negatively impacted by Hezbollah’s violent interference. Thousands have been killed and injured by this proxy of the not-so-peaceful Islamic Republic of Iran.
Lebanese Hezbollah chief, Nasrallah, is not subservient to the Lebanese government, but take his orders from the Iranian Khamenei, both being Muslim Shia.  Less to do with loyal nationhood. More to do with a religious affiliation with a foreign power. Is this Corbyn’s sense of democratic values?
Corbyn cannot be further from the truth in his definition of Israel. He is incapable of dispassionately seeing the world in general and the Middle East in particular as it really is.  He is too invested in his personal biases and his political ambitions to be swayed by facts.
The Palestinians have been let down, depressed, oppressed, had their hopes for a better future dashed, by their own failed leadership, and by the outside influence of troublemakers.
At the end of the day, Corbyn has done absolutely nothing positive for peace or for the Palestinians in decades.
Even with his intimate contacts with the most brutal elements of the Palestinian leadership he has been unable or unwilling to heal the rift of the Palestinian political divide between Fatah and Hamas, a chasm that erupted in a Palestinian civil war and the ensuing murder of over six hundred Palestinians by Palestinians.
When they are not killing each other, they are killing Israeli Jews.
What sort of Palestine is Corbyn working for? Is it a two-state solution? Or is it one without Jews and without a Jewish state? For one thing is predicted with an awful certainty. If there is to be a Palestine, by the ballot or by the bullet, Hamas will usurp power. Which raises the question, do we really want to see another Hamastan in the West Bank, overlooking the narrow coastal plain of Israel, threatening Jerusalem?
In short, Jeremy Corbyn and his ilk must recognize the fundamental national rights of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, to accept the rights of Israelis to live without fear and without threats to our survival, and acknowledge that Israeli society share the same creative, constructive, peace-loving values cherished by good people everywhere.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
Author of 'Fighting Hamas, BDS, and Anti-Semitism.'