Sunday, 25 August 2019

Tlaib and Omar are preying on your ignorance.

Tlaib and Omar are preying on your ignorance. In other words, they are lying.
Rashida Tlaib screams about her Palestinian family being victims of Israeli oppression. But is that true?
The World Bank, in 2014, described her village as "one of the richest in the region."
Now comes the revelation that Achiam Tlaib drives a new BMW and lives in a three-storey building. How many of you enjoy this lifestyle?
Another relative, Raja Tlaib, poses on his FB page next to his new Mercedes (do you have a Merc?), wearing an expensive suit. He also has pictures working out at the gym.
Anas Tlaib also has a nice Mercedes. Mawaid Tlaib vacations in Italian coastal resorts.
Samach Tlaib drives a BMW, and Naif has a fancy Corvette convertible (rarely seen in Israel).
Good luck to them. We do not resent their prosperity.
What we do resent are the lies and disinformation of Rashida Tlaib and others designed to deliberately harm Israel as part of a campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel and create a Palestinian state "from the river to the sea" in place of the Jewish State.
As I write in my book, 'Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,' it is, at its core, an intense anti-Semitism to remove the Jewish presence from the Middle East.
It is illogical, impossible to achieve, but it drives the Red-Green alliance, made up of the radical Left and political Islamists, aided and abetted by Western useful idiots.
Barry Shaw,
International Public Diplomacy Director,
Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

My Palestine itinerary for Tlaib and Omar.

Ilhan Omar tweeted, “Yesterday at Social Justice Day a student asked me, ‘How do I stay hopeful that change is going to come?’ This is tough to unpack,” she responded before going on to give a blab la meaningless ramble.
More perceptively, @rdunnflorida tweeted, “Only weak people blame others. Strength is taking responsibility for everything that you do.”
This set me thinking. How about a different Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib itinerary for their Tour of Palestine? One based on them educating Palestinians to take responsibility for themselves based on their social justice and civil rights principles.
So welcome to my Omar-Tlaib Palestinian Social Justice Tour. 
It will not be the hostile agenda devised by Hanan Ashrawi and her anti-Israel Miftah group that will never lead to normalization and peace. Instead, it is one that appeals to anyone genuinely concerned about social justice, civil and human rights for Palestinian Arabs.  Hopefully it will solve all the unsolvable problems and lead to a better future for those that Omar and Tlaib claim to care for.
This tour demands a high level of truth and honesty. A difficult but necessary commodity for these two new Congresswomen.
It begins when their plane lands at Ben-Gurion Airport. This is their first test of honesty. The two Democratic delegates have to admit they have arrived in Israel. Don’t let them off the plane until they do. Honesty has to start with them. Without that, they have no chance of making the world a better place.
In fairness to them, my itinerary does not force them to meet Israel’s Prime Minister or President. Nor does it impose on them a visit to the Knesset, or to attend a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem. They will have to struggle with their Jew-hatred on another occasion. Maybe it will come as they strive to establish lasting peace which will sprout out of my itinerary.
They will head straight to Ramallah and, after a good night’s sleep in one of the five star hotels there, their schedule will begin.
After breakfast they will be driven to a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas. After handshakes, hugs and kisses, they will be ushered in to a special assembly of the Palestinian National Council. After initial formalities. The ladies will stress the importance of civil rights and request to know how many Hamas members are represented in the assembly, based on the fact that in the last 4-year national legislative elections, which took place 13 years ago in 2006, Hamas won a majority, 74 of the 132 seats.
The ladies will note than no Hamas representative has ever attended a council meeting since the Hamas-Fatah split in 2007 and the resultant Palestinian Civil War in which 600 Palestinians were killed and dozens more murdered or executed in the following years.
If Omar and Tlaib are insistent on pursuing a policy of civil justice, they will place a motion for both sides of the Palestinian political divide to come together and set a deadline to meet again in one years’ time. Good luck with that.
After lunch with the President, they will be driven to BirZeit University to meet the student body. Here democracy reigns with Hamas and Fatah each gaining 23 seats in April 2019 student elections. They will be disappointed to learn that a progressive movement in Palestinian student society does not exist. The Progressive Student Union received zero seats, while the student wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine won 5 seats. Which shows the way that future political winds are blowing around Ramallah.
On the second day, Omar and Tlaib will be taken to a UNRWA refugee camp to learn that  the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians does not exist. UNRWA officials will be pleased to show the two congresswomen the success of decades of dedicated service to Palestinian refugees that has bloated the numbers from a few hundred thousand to the amazing figure of over five million registered Palestinian refugees. Enough to keep thousands of officials in gainful employment for decades to come.
Apart from the propaganda benefits, little has been done to lift Palestinian Arabs out of poverty. During their visit they will examine schoolbooks to see that Israel does not exist.
From there, they will be taken to one of the summer camps where kids and youths are taught the importance of killing Jews, and then taken out into the open space to learn how to shoot guns and how to stab Jews to death.
To relieve the tension, they will be given an afternoon guided tour of Rawabi, the new Palestinian new city with its elegant shops and luxury homes built for families close to the corrupt plutocracy of the Palestinian leadership.
Hailed as “the flagship Palestinian enterprise” and built by Palestinian billionaire, Bashar al-Masri, Rawabi is only 24 kilometers (12 miles) from the Balata refugee camp they had just visited.
The juxtaposition of such wealth with the dire poverty of Balata will give them pause. Rawabi cost 1.5 billion dollars to build. Balata, which houses 27,000 Palestinians, was described by Ha’Aretz, Israel’s left wing newspaper, as “a rat-infested Mumbai-like slum.”
To compound the corruption and criminality of Palestinian wealth and poverty, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be invited to dine with President Mahmoud Abbas.  That was supposed to have been at his $8 million, 50,000 square feet, mansion complete with helipad, until uproar and embarrassment at the gross waste of foreign money turned it into a “national library.”  Instead, Abbas will host them at his more modest several million-dollar address.
In 2018, Mahmoud Abbas ordered a $50 million private jet from Boeing. It will be a specially-converted 737, though where he is going to park it is another matter. The only airport under Palestinian control is in Gaza occupied by Hamas, his deadly political enemy, and that runway was bombed by Israel to prevent weapons being flown in and used against the Jewish State.
This economic waste would make interesting conversation for the Palestinian-supporting American social justice socialists and the PA leader over dinner.
Day three will be a compulsory visit to Jericho for the justice warriors. Their visit will include a tour of the detention camp mentioned in a 2019 Human Rights Watch report.
According to HRW, “Both the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Hamas authorities in Gaza are arbitrarily arresting peaceful critics and opponents. From January 2018 through March 2019, the Palestinian Authority admitted detaining more than 1,600 people based on their peaceful expression, while Hamas authorities arrested more than 1,000 during the March 2019 protests against their rule.
‘The Palestinian Authority and Hamas remain bitterly divided, but unified in a common approach to crushing dissent,’ said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. ‘Leaders who have been in power for more than a decade without elections should, at the very least, listen to criticism, not punish it.’”
In the HRW report, the Palestinian Authority admitted detaining 65,415 Palestinian in the West Bank in 2018 and the first three months of 2019. I bet you didn’t read that in your mainstream media.
Is must be an issue for the concerned Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to investigate and report on to Congress?
It gets worse.
Tlaib and Omar insist they are champions for Palestinian human rights. Let them examine this.
Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, people are being detailed, imprisoned and tortured because of their political affiliations.
The Independent Commission for Human Rights has received 455 complaints from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza of “torture and mistreatment” in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. 242 by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and 213 by Hamas in Gaza.
Human Rights Watch recommended that, “other countries should suspend assistance to Palestinian security agencies that routinely torture dissidents including, for the Palestinian Authority, the Intelligence Services, Preventive Security, and Joint Security committee, and, for Hamas, Internal Security, as long as systematic torture and other serious abuses continue.”
Issam Akel, a Palestinian-American, was sentenced on December 31, 2018, by a Palestinian court to life imprisonment with hard labor for the crime of selling his Jerusalem property to a Jewish buyer.
He was part of a roundup of 44 Arabs arrested by the Palestinian Preventive Security forces for selling property to Jews.
This is an opportunity for Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to act against this human rights and civil rights abuse of Palestinians by Palestinian authorities.
It took the protests of the Israeli and American governments, including the personal intervention of David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel, to force the Palestinian Authority to release Akel into the hands of US authorities in late January.
Akel is one case. He was lucky. There are at least another 43 other Palestinians who are suffering incarceration for the anti-Semitic and racist policies of the Palestinian Authority that Omar and Tlaib must examine.
Day four will take them to a place that was on their original program. They will visit Khan al-Ahmar, the makeshift Bedouin village, but this time they will visit it with Regavim, the Israeli NGO that will not give them propaganda. Regavim will give them the facts and show them the maps and the aerial photos to back up their truth.
Khan al-Ahmar is a real example of “illegal occupation.” This one is being carried out by the Palestinian Authority with the connivance of several European nations and the EU in clear breach of the signed Oslo Accords. The land is in Area C which, according to all parties to the agreement, remains in Israeli administrative and security control until a future permanent peace agreement.
The Palestinian Authority have deliberately transferred in from other areas tribes of Bedouin families, dumped them down in a barren spot and given them free makeshift housing. The Europeans have brought in prefab structures, provided solar panels, and constructed a school. All in blatant illegal breach of international agreements.
Regavim will then take Omar and Tlaib to visit the empty lot in the Mishor Adumim industrial area which once housed SodaStream, the soft drink company that employed over 600 Palestinian workers enjoying Israeli wages and social benefits. They worked alongside and often above Jewish workers as supervisors. That was before the BDS Movement and the Palestinian Authority began to exert pressure and threats against this normalization designed to lead to cooperation and a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians. SodaStream moved out of the area and opened a new factory in the Negev, north of the Israeli city of Beer Sheba, where Palestinian workers have been replaced by local Bedouin who now enjoy the Israeli good life.
Omar and Tlaib should visit the 600+ unemployed Palestinians, thrown on the scrapheap thanks to BDS and anti-normalization Palestinian officials, many living the luxury life in Rawabi.
Miftah was determined to take them to Bethlehem. They should go there to visit the miracle checkpoint that “imprisons” the Muslim Palestinians of Bethlehem, but not the Christians.
When Israel governed the holy Christian town of Bethlehem, the population was 80% middle class Christians. Tourism was good and Bethlehem folk lived free and productive lives. Then came the peace agreement and Arafat’s men moved in. What followed were threats and violence against the Christian community and terrorism from Bethlehem against Israeli civilians in Jerusalem, Hebron, and other places.
A security barrier was built in the north of the town and a check point was needed to stop armed terrorists infiltrating into Israel. Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, Christians were harassed and threatened by their new Muslim neighbors and fled.
Today, the Christian population of Bethlehem is below 20% and falling. Omar and Tlaib would learn a lot by listening to those who barely escaped with their lives.
Bethlehem is a once-Christian town with an overwhelmingly Muslim majority. Those who have been “ethnically cleansed” have been the Christians by the Palestinian Muslims. Fact!
In other words, the “oppressive” Bethlehem checkpoint is a place that lets Christians out and lets Muslims in.  It’s a new form of replacement theology.
Simply put, since Israel moved out and the Palestinians moved in, Bethlehem has gone from being a thriving Christian town to a poverty-ridden Muslim town. This is due to corrupt and lawless Palestinian occupation, not a non-existent Israeli occupation.
Next stop Hebron
Omar tweeted, before she had visited the place, that Hebron was, “Once a bustling economic hub, settlement expansion has resulted in a two-tier city, with Palestinian living under military occupation forced to walk on the other side of the street from Israelis.”
Who is giving her this propaganda crap? How dare she write such nonsense, as if she is an expert and before she has even visited the place?
Hebron is the place where the Jewish Abraham bought a plot of land and where the Jewish Patriarch and Matriarchs are buried. A truly significant Jewish town.
 Jewish did I say? Jewish “settlement expansion” in Hebron?
Only 3% of Hebron is Jewish today. That may be because Hebron is the place where Arabs massacred the Jews in 1929, and continue trying to kill them.
Settlement expansion? Today, there are 220,00 Palestinian Arabs living in Hebron and barely 700 Jews. Who is expanding? Palestinians or Jews? You decide.
The few Jews are protected by IDF soldiers because Hebron Arabs, affiliated to Hamas, want to kill them. Jews dare not set foot in 97% of Hebron. You wouldn’t know that from the anti-Israel propaganda.
But how about Omar’s “once a bustling economic hub”?  Today, Hebron accounts to 30% of the West Banks GDP.
Omar tweeted on August 16, “77% of shops have closed bc of military occupation.”  In my tour Ilhan Omar will visit the thriving shopping malls and markets of Hebron. In fact, Hebron has more shops than any other Palestinian town. So much for 77% shops closed.
I told you I would bring you facts and truth in my Omar-Tlaib tour of Palestine.
Throughout their Palestinian tour to Ramallah, Jericho, BirZeit, Rawabi, Hebron, Bethlehem, they will not meet a single Jew. Jews are banned there. This is genuine racist apartheid. It is also the official policy of the Palestinian Authority.
But, when my tour demand that they walk through the Jaffa Gate to the most holy site for all three of the world’s great religions, they will be blown away, peacefully, as are all tourists who visit Jerusalem, at the intermingling of Jews, Muslims, Christians and others, walking freely among each other in the bustling alleyways of the Old City.
When they approach the Western Wall of the Temple Mount they will see hundreds of Jews praying with Muslims passing by undisturbed. But when they reach the plaza of the Al-Aqsa mosque they will witness Muslim women abusing any Jew that may have ventured there due to a personal sense of holiness in being on the spot of the ancient biblical Jewish Temple. The harmony they may have enjoyed in arriving at this location is ended by Muslim hostility to Judaism.
And this is the core of the whole problem.
Solve that, and you solve everything. 
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.’

Sunday, 18 August 2019

The Omar-Tlaib wrecking ball in the Democratic Party.

A senior Democratic lawmaker, who returned from Israel after leading a 41-member delegation, publicly attacked Israel for requesting Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to sign a letter not to engage in provocative anti-Israel activity during a trip she described as being a family visit to see her aging grandmother.
Tlaib confirmed in her letter to the Israeli Interior Minister that she would not engage in boycott activities during her visit. When Israel accepted her entry on humanitarian grounds but insisted she not engage in other acts of incitement Tlaib refused to come.
Israel had plenty of authority to ask for such a condition. They are privy to the antagonistic and dangerous itinerary of the planned Omar-Tlaib junket which could have led to violence as result of their visit.
What sounded like a reasonable request blew up when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who claims to be a staunch supporter of Israel, called the incident disrespectful to Tlaib and to the US Congress.
“Even more disappointing is that, after deciding to allow Rep. Tlaib to visit her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank, the Israeli government required her to sign a letter in some way limiting her actions while in Israel and/or the West Bank,” Hoyer said in a statement, totally dismissing that her request had been made on humanitarian grounds and the condition for her entry was precisely for that stated purpose, and no other.
“To my knowledge, no Member of Congress has ever been asked to agree to preconditions in order to visit Israel. The public release of that letter compounded the unacceptability of this requirement,” he said. “Not only was this request disrespectful of Rep. Tlaib but of the United States Congress as well,” he added, again totally ignoring the fact that Congresswoman Tlaib lied to the Israeli Government when making her personal appeal to enter the country.
So what? No other Member of Congress ever came to Israel to cause such trouble. The disrespect was entirely on Tlaib’s side.
Hoyer had called Israel’s decision to deny entry to the pair “outrageous, regardless of their itinerary or their views.” 
There is nothing outrageous in a country defending its right to protect itself and its citizens from harm that would result from the blowback of such a visit. Part of that blowback could potentially have been violence and future terrorism created from miscreants emboldened by the anti-Israel messaging of their American political visitor.
He called Israel’s move “self-destructive,” insisting the Israeli government should “seek to engage these Members of Congress in a dialogue regarding Israel’s security and the future of both Israelis and Palestinians.”
Hoyer knew full well that this is what Israel would have preferred but that it was not on the agenda or itinerary of the
Hoyer had no such qualms when the United States banned the entry into America to Israeli lawmaker, Michael Ben-Ari in 2012. The reason they blocked Ben-Ari was because he belonged to Kach, which they designated as a terror organization.
Hoyer, a Congressman at that time, did not plead to allow him into the America on the grounds that it would be “self-destructive” not to allow him to come and speak to Jewish communities. Ben-Ari’s visit was never about attempting to delegitimize and demonize the United States as was the intended visit of Omar and Tlaib. 
Hoyer did not describe the United States ban on a parliamentarian from America’s greatest ally, “outrageous, regardless of Ben-Ari’s itinerary or views.”
Truth be told, there is more than a small touch of hypocrisy there.
The political opinions of Ben-Ari, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib may be repulsive to a lot of people, but there is a lot more to this game than American lawmakers being upset with Israel. If that were so, there would be plenty of room for them to censure Omar and Tlaib collectively and individually, which they have not done.
The Democrats are using this incident and Israel as a punching bag to hit out against their political rival, President Donald Trump, by targeting his excellent ambassador to Israel.
Whether they succeed in removing Friedman from his position or not, they will still be left with the wrecking balls that remain within their own party, not with Israel.
Barry Shaw is the International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Mainstream media anti-Israel fake news versus Israeli facts and truth.

The biased Palestinian narrative of the mainstream media with their fake news and false imagery was depicted clearly by The Sunday Times reporter, Sarah Helm, in an emotion-drenched portrayal of Gazan, Bilal Masoud.
She painted him as an innocent protester with a slingshot against the mighty military Israeli occupier.
Thanks to Honest Reporting, who published contrasting pictures of Masoud, the truth was revealed for all who wished to see.
Helm described Masoud, "Bilal always took his slingshot: a piece of frayed nylon cord with a patch of Velcro for the stone, which Khalil now keeps. 'It was part of him,' he says, demonstrating how Bilal, who was known as the 'lion of the border,' would stand whirling the cord. I wonder whether 'the lion' ever hit an Israeli soldier. Khalil shakes his head, saying he was lucky if he ever hit a watchtower.'"
Sarah Helm became a Hamas spokesperson who elevated Masoub to martyrdom on a global scale, describing him as "the man who merely 'cut the fence' a small bit.'”
But Honest Reporting went where discredited journalist Helm did not go by releasing pictures of the real Bilal Masoud.
The real Masoud was a 29 year-old armed Hamas terrorist who died of his wounds during border violence.
Here are the contrasting pictures of this Hamas gunman. One showing the image portrayed by Helm and The Sunday Times, and two that the journalist and her biased paper decided not to publish.
You decide which is the real Masoud.
Barry Shaw,
International Public Diplomacy Director,
Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Staying Alive. The main motivation for Israelis heading to the polls next month.

Despite the allegations of fraud and bribery swirling around Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as Israel heads, yet again, for another election, Bibi, as he is affectionately known by the Israeli public, still has his nose in front in the polls.
Why is it that, despite the Prime Minister facing charges of breach of trust, the Israeli public’s trust in him has not yet been breached?
One can put it down to the principle of fairness and justice, that a man is innocent until proven guilty.  Bibi’s defensive drumbeat has been “there is no there there,” or as he puts it, “there will be nothing because there is nothing,” referring to his belief that the facts and evidence will acquit him.
I believe the motive of the mass of Israelis to stick with Bibi has a more basic instinct.
Simply put, staying alive.
Some anticipate watching the impending hearings and possible indictment as spectators about to witness the biggest trial in Israeli history. But the majority of Israelis feel personally invested in his fate, many fearing that his replacement will not keep them as safe as he has done both internationally and on the international stage.
In the terror years of 2000-2009, before Netanyahu was elected to office, 1072 Israelis were killed by Palestinians. Since becoming Prime Minister in 2009, and despite incessant Palestinian terrorism and rocket attacks, only 196 Israelis have been killed.
Israelis heightened sense of security makes them sensitive to the need to stick with a tried and tested leader with expertise on the international stage, rather than gamble with alternative candidates that fail the basic question “What would you do differently?”
Staying alive is what motivates Israelis to stick with the leader they have rather than live with the consequences of an alternative, as of now, unproven national and relatively unknown international leader at a time of constant threats from enemies near and far.
Every Israeli citizen knows somebody who was killed during the decades of Palestinian terror and rocket warfare.
Abroad, people read in the newspaper or see on their TV screens events that happen in places they almost never visit. Israelis do not watch the news as voyeurs staring at the tragic lives of others. They view the tragedies of fellow Jews as if they are part of their own family, because often they are.
Israelis, collectively, live in a world of constant conflict. They feel they live on a diverse and democratic island surrounded by a sea of haters who want to see them dead.
Israelis are constantly hectored by the international community that they have to make peace with people who are committed not to accept their existence, but also want to kill them.
From, “O Muslim, there’s a Jew behind me. Come out and kill him” (Hamas), to “Jews filthy feet” and “We bless every drop of blood that has been split for Jerusalem” (Mahmoud Abbas), Israelis fully understand the anti-Semitic message of a Palestine “from the river to the sea.” They have stopped believing in peace, especially the deceptive two-state solution, which is nothing more than a dog whistle for the staged destruction of Israel.
They are suspicious of any party whose platform advances this roadmap to Israel’s eventual demise. The question they fire at opposition leaders heading to the elections is “What would you do differently to Bibi?”
They are not getting any coherent alternative.
Every Israeli family is personally invested in Israel’s defense and security. They see their sons become responsible men willing to give their lives to protect them and their homeland.
Professor Asa Kasher of Tel Aviv University recently 11compared Israeli students to American students. Life-changing experiences that the Israeli students have by serving their country in the IDF matures them, makes them more patriotic.
As he told the Jerusalem Report, “In the US when you teach (American) undergrads, you call them kids. Their general attitude toward the world is more similar to that of kid’s than to that of Israeli ex-soldiers.”
“Think about young officers, very early in their military service,” Asher explained. “Some are slightly older than 20, many are younger. They shoulder quite a heavy responsibility. They have a responsibility to the defense of the state, and a responsibility for the lives of their subordinates. It is,” he said, “a very heavy responsibility that most American students don’t ever shoulder.”
He went on. “They know more, they have experience dealing with responsibility and risk, and they have experience sometimes losing comrades, so they’re more accomplished adults.”
The word “maturity” comes to mind. 
We will see this development in my family, having just inducted a grandson, son, brother, nephew, into an IDF fighting unit. It is clear to all of us that he is likely to see action during his three-year service.  It’s a worrying time, and “staying alive” lies behind the blessing we gave him to come back in one piece.
Being realistic Israelis, we said “piece,” not “peace.” 
It’s a sad reflection of the times we are living through.
So, we head to elections knowing that our close proximity enemies, and those further afield, are still alive and killing.
That’s why staying alive will remain a motivating factor as Israelis go to the polls next month.

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.’