Thursday, 18 December 2014

Israel looks on Europe with utter dismay.

Political tremors are starting to be felt across Europe.

In Britain, we see the rise of an emerging independent party, UKIP, which is Eurosceptic and takes a corrective line on the UK’s unbridled open-door immigration policy.

In France, the Socialist Hollande looks likely to be replaced by the center-right Sarkozy.

The left-wing Swedish government barely lasted three month before being forced to abandon a failed leadership. This gave them sufficient time to rush through a ‘Palestine’  vote which may be overturned by an incoming center-right government.

Polls show that center-right parties win the popular vote in Norway and Denmark.

Across Europe, voters are objecting to poor economic and immigration policies. They are offended by the rise of crime perpetrated by immigrants they had welcomed into their once decent countries. Cultural changes are making their countries unrecognizable to the indigenous population, and not to their pleasing.

The political swing reflects a desire to return to long lost national values, lost in the mire of uncontrolled immigration.

The recent outbreak of symbolic parliamentary voting for an ill-defined Palestinian state in many European nations is seen by many as politicians catering to a rising constituency against which their grassroots citizenry are rebelling, unhappy with faulty policies that makes them feel isolated and ignored.

Changes are coming, but will these changes come in time to save a sinking Europe from misguided decisions being taken by a largely left-wing fractured continent?

One nation that is suffering from European misguided decisions is Israel.

Parliamentary votes that work to bring about a Palestinian state while ignoring the recent incitement, violence, terrorism and the anti-Semitic platforms of both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are deeply troubling to an Israel that will be the only state faced with having to cope with European willful blindness.

Indeed, a clear expression of this blindness was a European Court of Justice denial that Hamas is a terrorist organization. This despite their blatant daily practices of terrorism, added to the two month terror war against we experienced last summer with terrorists emerging out of the ground near Israeli villages and farms and thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli civilian centers. Is this wasn't terrorism, what is?

Former Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, reminded Europe that Hamas is “an extreme Islamic religious terrorist organization that must be fought with all force.”

The European blindness to Hamas being a terrorist organization is both a diplomatic and moral failure of epic proportion.

The Europeans would be better advised to pressure the Palestinian to honor their Oslo commitment, namely to put an end to terror. A European Court waving its pen simply does not make Palestinian terror disappear.

Europe is committed by virtue of their signature to the Oslo Accords not to change the political status of the Israel-Palestinian dispute pending the outcome of a permanent settlement which can only result by direct talks between the parties involved.

External unilateral moves can only endanger such an outcome. This could be seen as a victory by the Palestinians, but Israel may treat it as a basic breach of Oslo and a violation of signed agreements. And this would be a disaster.

The Europeans would serve peace more effectively by forcing the Palestinians back to the original “two states for two peoples” solution which has been totally rejected by them. This meant a Palestinian Arab state and a Jewish state as specified in UN Resolution 181, also known as the Partition Plan. Europe seems to have ignored this. Why? It was supposed to be the cornerstone of a permanent peace deal. In fact, they question the need for Israel to insist on this condition.

Israel’s Prime Minister summed up the feeling of all Israelis and Jews when Benjamin Netanyahu responded, “It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing. But we in Israel, we've learned. We’ll continue to defend our people and our state against the forces of terror and tyranny and hypocrisy.”  

The hypocrisy was aimed squarely at a Europe that fails to support the only liberal democracy in the region, but bends over backwards to establish a state that will, in all likelihood, be headed by an Islamic terror group or by a rejectionist body with a shared motivation to remove Israel as part of a ‘liberating Palestine’ agenda.

European parliaments fall, one by one, to a ‘Palestine’ vote, and its court cannot understand what constitutes a terrorist organization if it is cloaked in Palestinian clothes. The result of this shocking political aberration brought the Israeli parliament into a rare unison.

Wall to wall condemnation was heard across Israel’s divergent political spectrum against the European Court of Justice and European parliaments whose decisions demonstrate the loss of a moral path to a bemused Israel.

Clearly, Europe today does not have the stomach, or the political will, to fight Islamic terror with all its force, if at all.

As Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein, said, the European Union “must have lost its mind!”

This is clearly the case. It’s a question of whether the winds of political change in Europe will arrive in time to save itself, and Israel, from the damaging tsunami of current political anti-Israel decisions.

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Who said this?

“The permanent solution will include a Palestinian entity which will be an entity, which is less than a state.

“Israel will not return to 4 June 1967 lines. These are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision in the permanent solution.

“First and foremost united Jerusalem, which will include both Maaleh Adumim and Givat Zeev, as the united capital of Israel under Israeli sovereignty. 

“The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

“Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Betar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the Green Line prior to the Six Day War.

“The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

This was not a right-wing politician. This was Israeli Prime Minister and peace-maker, Yitzhak Rabin, in the Knesset on October 5, 1995, seeking ratification of the Oslo Accords.

This address was delivered after he had been awarded the Nobel Peace prize and hailed as a “Valiant warrior for peace.”

For Israel, it’s time for a Churchill, not another Chamberlain.

Externally, Israel has been experiencing its Czech moment in history.

The supporters and appeasers to the violent avaricious demands of a Palestinian anti-Semitism are closing in on a tiny nation just as they did in the 30s to Czechoslovakia to assuage a demanding German anti-Semitism.

They insist that the Palestinians be given their ‘Sudetenland’ and chunks of land they claim to be their Czechoslovakia thrown in for good measure.

They are deaf to all Czech (read ‘Israel’) appeals. They really believe that only by this sacrifice can world peace be achieved.  But, of course, we know it won’t because now, as then, this is not what this is about. There’s more. There is always more, even if, especially when, the democratic world turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to it.

The explanation of what is to come, the manifesto of Palestinian Arab intent, is laid out for all to see in the separate charters of both Hamas and the PLO, two bodies representing the spearhead of the Islamic and Arab movement. The anti-Semitism of these charters is as eerily foreboding as was ‘Mein Kampf’ of the Nazi era which the democratic world also ignored.

Instead, today as then, they choose to cast this Masterplan aside in favor of adopting Labourite democratic misguided politics to feed the tiger using Israel in place of Czechoslovakia as their chicken.

Sadly, we have seen subsequent Israeli Prime Ministers – Rabin, Peres, Barak, Olmert, and even Netanyahu – play the feckless and ineffective role of Czech Prime Minister Benes, failing to turn the tide of a rolling European and American pact to throw Israel under the Palestinian bus.

Netanyahu, who single-handedly drew world attention on to a nuclear Iran, did little to offset the march of Palestinian appeasement even as they boasted of a world without Israel and used unending violence and terror to promote their agenda.  He failed to demand of Western democracies that they assert their considerable authority in challenging Palestinian leadership and society to reform just as they did, under Kennedy and Reagan, with Soviet Communism.

It took force to defeat the Nazis because the Western democratic world fed the anti-Semitic Nazis. Creating yet another Jew-hating state that rejects the identity of its neighbor and talks about liberating it cannot, must not, be given parliamentary support anywhere.

The moral of history, and it really is a moral one, is that Western democracies are beholden to enforce reform on violent regimes and not accept them for what they are. This was successfully applied with political and economic pressure against Communism, both Soviet and Cuban. It was enforced militarily against Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It must be applied against radical Islam in all its forms, particularly by reforming the anti-Semitic brand of Palestinian rejectionism.

This is the affirmative message that Israel must broadcast to a blind-deaf world.

Does Israel need domestic economic reforms? Absolutely.  Externally, it is Fortress Israel time, and for that we need a resolute leader to rise to the challenge of waking up a 30s era Western world to the reality of the Middle East, particularly educating them to the political reality of what a Palestinian state would bring.

This is why Israel needs to find a Churchill and not elect another Chamberlain into power.

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the  He is also a member of the Knesset Forum on Israel’s Legitimacy.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The lose-lose immigration policy.

Addressing the failure of immigration policy in liberal countries.

You accept immigrants you didn't really want for fear of being called racist. So you take them in under the lovely slogan of calling yourself a “multicultural” society.

Later, when you are drowning in major internal problems that an open-door immigration policy has brought you, including poverty, unemployment, crime, violence, even terrorism, you want to blame the immigrants, but you can’t.

Isn't it strange that, in every case of homegrown terrorism it’s either immigrants or second generation immigrants, not members of the indigenous citizenry?

You know it’s down to the type of migrant you have let in, but you can't blame them because it was your responsibility to regulate the immigration into your country, and it’s your responsibility to care for the immigrants you didn’t want in the first place.

The moral of this is that every nation must select and control the type, quality, character, and number of immigrant that it wants and needs, and not be dictated to by a tsunami of people forcing their way into your country, or by the bleeding hearts and “human rights” lawyers for they will haunt you when things go wrong, as they inevitably will.

Human rights begin and end with your indigenous population and the quality of country you wish to develop.

Barry Shaw.

Monday, 15 December 2014


Anti-Semitism is politically motivated. In Germany, the Nazis targeted the Jews in part because they represented liberal democracy and emancipation, the antithesis of everything that an authoritative Nazi Germany stood for.

It was the same back in authoritative Catholic Spain that viewed the Jews as outside their theological control yet prospering in their society and led to the expulsions and inquisition of Spanish and later Portuguese Jews. It was as political in its motives as it was religious.

We saw it under authoritative soviet communism where Jews were the scapegoat, as they had been under the tsarist rule.  

We see it in the drive of intolerant Islamic dominance of which the Palestinian problem is a part. Jews are constantly the target. Almost a million Jews were driven out of Arab countries in a regional wave of anti-Semitism that still festers despite the absence of Jews. Anti-Semitism is embedded in both the Hamas and Palestinian charters.

In every case, brutal regimes put a Jewish face as a target for their repression. They blamed Jews for all the ills of their societies and the world. 

Politically, they point to successful Jews not as having contributed to their society but as misdemeanors, inventing conspiracies and plots against a state or a religion.  This was the trope of Jews plotting to control the world, and the purported global influence and power of Jews or Zionists -they are interchangeable - as predicted in the infamous ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’   a rabid anti-Semitic screed that, alongside ‘Mein Kampf,’ is a best seller in much of the Arab world today. 

It’s important to see it as a political tool, a platform if you will, of political forces imposing themselves on the masses by bringing them to oppose the Jews as the perceived enemy, a ploy that brings them to power, or allows them to hold on to power.

We see attempts at this power play in Greece with the ‘Golden Dawn’ party or with ‘Jobbik’ in Hungary that use Jews as a platform on which to tread up the political ladder, dragging the uninformed and ignorant masses with them.

It’s the organization of politics against the Jews. We are seeing that being played out today against Israel.

In the Europe of Herzl, there were Jews who saw this force being brought against them because they were successful cosmopolitans but without a country of their own.  Although they were successful insiders they were looked on as alien outsiders.

As mentioned earlier, this was true of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. It was so for Russian Jews and especially for Jews in the Nazi era. It equally applied to the Jews of Arab lands.

So the urge developed for Jews to have a country of their own in their ancient homeland, to become a country like any other, to be considered normal in their own land. They thought this would solve all their problems. It didn’t.

People like Herzl saw a Jewish state as saving liberalism. By removing the Jews a country’s defects could not be blamed on the Jews. If no Jews were there, so it was believed, they would have no one to blame. It would put an end to anti-Semitism. How wrong they were! They misunderstood the variables of anti-Semitism.

The Arabs saw the opportunity of using Jews as a political lightning rod to concentrate attention away from their own defects, divisions, internal unrest and poverty by drawing the grievances of their people away from their failed leadership onto an enemy that was perceived to be exploiting them and dishonoring their religion - the Jews.

Israel has misunderstood the nature of this Arab anti-Semitism. Leaders thought that if only Israel reached out in peace they would be welcomed, or at least be left alone. If only Israel won the wars waged against it by the losing Arab armies they would appreciate Israel’s strength and determination and leave Israel alone in peace. When Israel established its permanency, it was assumed, the Arabs would become reasonable but, when it comes to the Jews, nobody and nothing is reasonable.

Today we have a world that for various reasons is anchored in political ideologies, unified around a common theme of opposition to the collective Jew – Israel.  We have a world that obsessively pressures and threatens Israel to appease and ease their sensitivities by surrendering hallowed Jewish land to an enemy, playing down that enemy’s anti-Semitic tendencies. They think, by making the Jewish state do their bidding, they can return the anti-Semitic virus, both theirs and the Arabs, back into the capsule and lock it away. And, if Israel, does not comply with their demands, well, it’s those pesky Jews, don't you know!

What are the Jews, what is Israel, to do about this phenomenon? The essential first thing to do is to stop playing the defendant. Once you accept the role and play the part of a defendant you lose the incentive to play the role of the prosecutor. You place yourself in the dock of the accused. This is what has happened to Jews through the ages. It is always the Jews that have been judged by others, never the other way round.

Jews, through the ages have always looked for acceptance from the people and the nations in which they lived, yet hated or distrusted them. They rarely found that sanctuary. More often they were judged and prosecuted for crimes uncommitted. Jews were always automatically put on the defensive. Sadly, Israel has played this role all too often.

What Israel should have done in 1947 when the United Nations Partition Plan was rejected by the Arab nations, and later with the 1948 declaration of Israel’s independence, was to have demanded and prosecuted the Arab world to recognize Israel’s legitimacy. How dare they countermand a United Nations resolution that recognizes the establishment of a Jewish state? As members of the United Nations they were, and are, duty bound to accept resolutions and the legitimacy of them.

Even today, non-compliant nations must be brought to book. They must, finally, be stopped from their dangerous rebellion against recognizing the right of Jewish state of Israel to exist. This brand of anti-Semitism has set back world peace for decades, has led to the death of thousands and the disaster that is today’s Middle East.

Israel must demand that world bodies reform their political thinking and stop imposing a different double standard to Israel and instead judge others by the norms they apply only against the Jewish state.

When we see European parliaments, one after the other, vote to recognize ‘Palestine’ we see cynical politicians cater to a rising constituency that will ensure their warm seats of power. We do not see right-minded politicians address the real context of the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict.

If Europe were truly against the plague of anti-Semitism they would admit to the anti-Semitic characteristics of an Arab-Palestinian cause they avidly support. They ought to be too horrified to stand shoulder to shoulder with it.  Instead, they turn a blind eye to it and, instead, put their collective political weight, not against the anti-Semitic Palestinians, but onto the Jew among nations – Israel.

This is wrong. Israel, Jews, and right-minded people must demand that European parliaments rescind their ill-advised recognition of a Palestinian state until a Palestinian leadership drops its violent and anti-Semitic language and intent.

The Arab and Muslim world, including Palestinian Arabs, must reform themselves, bottle up their anti-Semitism, right the wrongs of centuries, and work for a better world.  Only then can we have a chance of amicably solving issues such as the Arab-Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’
He is also a member of the Knesset Forum on Israel’s Legitimacy, and Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College in Israel.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

George Lansbury – a European politician in today’s mold.

In 1929 George Lansbury became a member of the second Labour government in Great Britain. As the most senior surviving minister after the electoral defeat of 1931 he became Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition.
George Lansbury served as Chairman of the No More War Movement.  Dick Sheppard, founder of the Peace Pledge Union, of which Lansbury was President at the time of his death, called him 'Public Pacifist Number One'.

In June 1933, George Lansbury, as leader of the Labour Party, made this message to voters at the Fulham East by election, “I would close every recruiting station, disband the Army and disarm the Air Force. I would abolish the whole dreadful equipment of war and say to the world: "Do your worst." 

Lansbury's deep Christian pacifist convictions were absolute. In 1933, Labour was essentially a pacifist party. Under his leadership, the British Labour Party suffered the shock of facing the reality of Hitler.

By the end of 1937 it had become a party that believed in armed deterrence, a party that urged collective security through the League of Nations and a party that bitterly opposed Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement.

A coherent case for pacifism as policy is so much harder to make after the knowledge of the Holocaust and the realization of the true nature of those you try to appease.

Like today, the appeal of pacifism in the early 1930s, was founded on its abhorrence of war. In their case it was the echoes of the Great War that still resounded in Britain. Today, it is the memory of World War Two, and experiences with more recent unsuccessful wars against Islamic terrorism. Both resulted in a delusional appeasement to, in the words of Winston Churchill, feed the crocodile in order that it eats you last.

Lansbury's greatest electoral achievement came in the 1933 Fulham East by-election, a few months after Hitler's election. It was fought on a peace ticket following Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations. There was a massive swing to Labour in Britain.

It was that by-election which helped to convince Stanley Baldwin, who had taken up many of the duties of an ailing Prime Minister, that there could be no public support for rearmament, leading Churchill to include his famous diary index indictment of "Baldwin, Stanley, admits putting party before country."

Lansbury was an accidental leader, like Attlee after him, who had office thrust upon him.

The Peace Pledge Union loudly supported Lansbury. It pursued peace and appeasement well beyond Munich.
Along with the British Union of Fascists, with which it, incredibly, formed an alliance on this issue, its Peace Newspaper became prominent in arguing that German territorial demands were reasonable and should be conceded peacefully. This has echoes in today’s European parliamentary demands for Israel to cede critical territory to a rejectionist Palestinian leadership in search of peace.

The PPU took this well beyond advocating giving Hitler the Sudetenland at Munich. 

Lansbury met with Hitler. He prepared a memorandum for Hitler to read which ended with the words, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  

Hitler played this elderly pacifist like a fool. Lansbury gushed with enthusiasm after his meeting. “Hitler treated the interview very seriously. I think he really wants peace.”

We hear similar statements by left-wing parliamentarians when talking about Mahmoud Abbas.

About Mussolini, Lansbury told people on his return from his meeting with Hitler, that “the cynics might say that Signor Mussolini’s assurances might be to ‘cod’ a silly old man but I prefer to take people at their face value.”

Sadly, European politicians make the same mistake in taking Mahmoud Abbas at face value by listening to what he tells them in English rather than what he is telling his own people in their own language, a la Hitler. In both cases, truth lies in the indoctrination of their people rather than deluding naïve politicians desirous of believing the unbelievable.

Lansbury had the nerve to visit Prague and the Czech Prime Minister who was under tremendous pressure exerted by Britain’s Chamberlain, France’s Deladier, and, of course, from Mussolini and Hitler to surrender land for peace, basically to acquiesce in the destruction of his country. This is hauntingly akin to the pressure being exerted on Israel today by politicians to surrender territory to an undefined Palestine.

Lansbury did it with a firm sense of pacifistic altruism that reflects current rationale for the intense pressure on Israel.  He cabled Prime Minister Benes with the following words,

The world’s peace is dependent on you accepting further sacrifices and giving away before the further demands, backed by the threat of force…”

This message resonates today with the unilateral pressure on Israel. Lansbury was the sort of person who believes he is so right that he was willing to sacrifice another country for his convictions, and no force of reason and reality could prevent him from throwing his entire weight into a cause that would jeodardize, first and foremost, another nation’s security and self-determination.

Doesn’t that sound all too familiar? Doesn't it represent today’s misguided politicians ignorant, or denial, of the real character and ambitions of a devious Palestinian movement?

It took the aftermath of Munich and Hitler’s deception with regard to Czechoslovakia to make Britain aware of the shame of Chamberlain and the embarrassment of Lansbury. It took the awful awareness of the Holocaust to understand the horror of what this political mistake wrought of the Jews of Europe.

Just as delusional British politicians dismissed Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” then so do they ignore both the Hamas and PLO Charters which are as equally anti-Semitic in their threatening language as the Nazi best-seller.

In his old age Lansbury admitted, “It may be that I have been too believing, that I should be more skeptical.”

This is the advice I would give to European parliamentarians who are rushing to welcome a Palestinian state, for altruistic reasons, without first checking the reality of the monster they are likely to create.

Try not to be too believing and become more skeptical of Palestinian leaders and Palestinian intent.

Barry Shaw is the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.”  He is also a Knesset Forum member on Israel’s legitimacy.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Colonel Richard Kemp.

Richard Kemp spoke at the Young Israel synagogue in Netanya on behalf of Laniado Hospital.
He spoke on the anniversary of the Turkish surrender of Jerusalem to General Allenby.
He remarked on the interment of Lt.Col. John Henry Patterson in nearby Moshav Avichail.
Patterson was the British commander who formed the Jewish Brigade in World War One, that preceded the formation of Israel's IDF. This was the first Jewish fighting force since Bar Kochba in biblical days. 
He wished to be buried alongside the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade in Israel. Last week his wishes were granted.
Patterson was a friend of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's, father and was godfather to Bibi's brother Yoni, who was named after him.Yoni fell in the Israeli rescue mission at Entebbe Airport in 1976 when Palestinian and German terrorists held Israeli and Jewish hostages and threatened to kill them. Bibi called Patterson "the godfather of the Israeli army."
Kemp paid thanks to Israeli technology that has saved the lives of untold number of British soldiers. Even badly injured soldiers have lives saved due to specific Israeli equipment. In a private conversation with me he acknowledged how the special Israeli field bandages had saved British soldiers in dangerous condition following explosions until they had been evacuated to medical facilities.
British soldiers, he said, have a different view of Israel than other members of the population whose opinions are formed by the media. It is born out of their professional and personal experiences.
"There is an understanding that is not shared by the public."

The number one item of the media and war commissions were Palestinian civilian casualties. Everything else was shunted to the sidelines.
"The anti-Israel movement has become institutionalized," he said.
He told of his impressions of going into Hamas terror tunnels. He was impressed about how much had been invested into them as he explained the sophistication of them. But one thing troubled him. He recalled his visit to Auschwitz. Both, he said, were industries designed to kill Jews.
"It is no coincidence. Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood were allied with the Nazis."
Richard is much loved for going where no man dare tread - and that is bravely telling the truth about Israel's IDF and its enemies from his professional expertise.
I'm proud to call Richard a personal friend.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

European parliamentarians support for “Palestine,” and for “Palestinian refugees” living in “Palestine.”

I was reminded, by Einat Wilf (Jewish People Policy Institute) and Jonathan Schanzer (Foundation for Defense of Democracies), of the sheer hypocrisy of European parliaments who, while they vote for recognition of a Palestine state, also fund the United Nations Relief & Works Agency. UNRWA is an organization that keeps Palestinian Arabs shackled into permanent refugee status, with growing numbers.

There is a massive elephant in the room in recognizing a Palestinian state and, at the same time, paying huge sums of money supporting a UN agency for Palestinians who are not refugees from Palestine but are, in fact, living in their desired homeland, namely Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza and the West Bank.

How can someone be a refugee and yet live in the “homeland” he or she desires?

This is the question that taxpayers in Sweden, Britain, Ireland, Spain, France, who have voted on recognition of a “Palestine,” should be asking of their politicians. Surely, such a vote, once made, must come with consequences?

It’s bad enough that these parliaments pass an unconditional vote for “Palestine” without including the demand that such as state must recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to live in peace and security, which they don’t.

It’s bad enough that they pass these votes without conditioning their approval on the nature of what this “Palestine” would be. Will it be a liberal democracy, or yet another troublesome radical Islamic regime? Is this not important?

Does it not concern European lawmakers that they may be voting into reality another Islamic monster that will disrespect its own people and its neighbors in pursuit of an overriding ambition to eliminate Israel that is clearly stated in both the Hamas and the PLO anti-Semitic, threatening, charters?

The point I opened with shows the shallow-minded approach these left-wing parliaments have employed when it comes to “symbolically” voting their support for “Palestine” unconditionally. 

Take Sweden, for example. Wilf and Schanzer mentioned that Sweden is the fifth largest donor country to UNRWA with a massive $54.4 million last year.

Sweden reckons that “Palestine” fulfills the criteria of statehood under international law of territory, a people, and a government. Putting aside that it actually fails on all three counts; let’s assume that Sweden is correct. If this is the case, why do they need to fund a refugee agency that caters for millions of Palestinians, not distant refugees, but actually living under the auspices and governance of Palestinian leadership in either the Gaza Strip under the rule of Palestinian Hamas, or in the West Bank under the administration of the Palestinian Authority? Many, if not most, are the third and fourth generation of original refugees, a status that does not apply to any of the sixty million refugees in the world today.

I am tempted to use the analogy of not being able to be “almost pregnant.” Either you are, or you aren't, a refugee. In this case, how can you be a refugee while living in the country you yearn for?

Or maybe the Swedish, Irish, British, French, Belgium politicians are more devious than we thought. Maybe they are not the altruistic peace-makers they pretend to be, but are deliberately helping to perpetrate the “refugee” issue in support of a Palestinian narrative that demands these millions be “returned” to Israel as part of their further aim to eliminate the “Zionist invasion,” i.e., the death of Israel.

That is a cornerstone of both the PLO and Hamas Charters that have been supported by left-wing activists, some of whom sit in European parliaments, for decades.

This question still lingers. Are European politicians ignorant of the facts? Or do they share a dangerous Palestinian Arab agenda to reduce and eventually eliminate the Jewish State of Israel?

Barry Shaw is the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.” He is also the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College, Israel.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Myths and facts about Israel and Zionism.

Myths about Israel and Zionism - Gerald McDermott (Public Discourse-Witherspoon Institute)

· The United Nations partitioned Palestine in 1947, offering part to Jews and part to Arabs, with the intention that each part would become either a state or part of a state. What is commonly forgotten is that the part of Palestine allotted to Jews was home to a substantial Jewish majority - 538,000 Jews to 397,000 Arabs, according to official UN estimates.
· Besides, the "Jewish national home," mandated by the League of Nations in 1920, originally included what is now the state of Jordan. 80% of this was given to Arabs, in what was then called Trans-Jordan. The remaining 20% was divided in the 1947 partition, which means Jews received only 17.5% of what was originally designated to be theirs.
· Jews were unhappy, because the land they were given did not include West Jerusalem, which had a Jewish majority, and because 60% of their portion was the Negev, an arid desert then thought to be useless. But they accepted the partition. The Arabs did not.
· Jews did not rob poor Arab peasants of their land, as many of today's critics suggest. By 1949, Britain had allocated 187,500 acres of cultivable land to Arabs and only 4,250 acres to Jews. So Jews were forced to pay exorbitant prices for arid land to wealthy, often absentee landlords - $1,000 per acre, when rich black soil in Iowa was getting $110 per acre.
· Overall, the 1.3 million Arabs who live in Israel are the best-educated, healthiest, and best-fed Palestinians in the Middle East. The vast majority of this prosperity has come from citizenship or other participation in the Israeli state.
· Those who support liberal democracy and religious freedom should remind themselves and others that claims for statehood ought to rest on historical fact - not fiction.

The writer is Professor of Religion at Roanoke College.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Voting for a symbolic state.

I recently spoke to a British lawmaker about the recent vote in the British parliament in favor of a non-existent Palestinian state. I admit that I ranted about the not so hidden dangers to Israel in the significance of this vote.

He told me that the vote was nonbinding and was only symbolic. I hate that word – symbolic. I hear it used when the parliaments of Ireland, Spain, and France voted symbolically for a state named Palestine in unknown borders with an unknown capital and an unknown constitution and unknown leadership.

Symbolic of what, I asked. Symbolically forcing a situation on Israel against a threatening entity refusing to accept its existence as a Jewish state? Were cynical lawmakers appeasing their growing constituents with this vote symbolic? Or, perhaps, it was symbolical of misguided altruists who cannot think further than imposing a mantra in support of a Two-State dogma that many of them have been financing for decades?

Symbolically, they take no responsibility for the fall out that their idiotic vote has caused.  Take Sweden for example. They had one of the shortest governments in their history. If you overslept you probably missed it. In a barely three months life their only “achievement” was damage caused to Israel. They leave behind a symbolic vote that leaves them with absolutely no responsibility for the fallout. The damage is done and they have left the stage.

Who gains from these symbolic parliamentary votes? Is it Israel? No. Is it the peace talks? No. Is it the Palestinians? Yes. Is it the cynical self-interests of the parliamentarians? Yes. So there you have it.

France was the last parliament to vote on this Palestine issue, although there are more lining up to vote symbolically.

What was symbolic about the French vote was that, for me, it echoed what transpired during the violent anti-Semitic riots of the summer. When mobs of angry Muslims attacked Jews and tried to get at them as they sheltered inside a synagogue they were taken on by members of the Jewish Defense League who fought them to protect the frightened Jews. The French state moved to disarm and outlaw them.

It seems this is what is happening in European parliaments in which they symbolically vote to reward those guilty of the summer violence while disarming and punishing the Jewish state.

Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the

Failure and success in fighting against Israel's delegitimization.

The Israeli government has been out of the game, deliberately and wrongly, in fighting BDS and delegitimization. They fail to appreciate the enormous harm that this phenomenon could cause to Israel, and when they did, or didn’t, take action the results were damaging to Israel.

 Two prime examples of the international harm caused to Israel, by its own wrong decisions, were the Goldstone Report and the Mavi Marmara.

With Goldstone, the Israeli Government decided, rather truculently, not to cooperate with Goldstone, thereby handing the Palestinians a huge PR victory. 

With the Mavi Marmara they decided not to give the Gaza Flotilla sufficient advance intelligence and gravitas and simply send soldiers onto the ships with paintball guns until their lives were in danger. The result was fatal and, again, a PR disaster for Israel.

It is only when Israel’s delegitimization is treated with the same seriousness by our government as it does for terrorism that the tide will begin to turn.

A past government created a Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. One of the things it produced was a tiny booklet called “Presenting Israel.” On the front page is a picture of a man with a camel. He is saying “Camels are a popular form of transportation in Israel…”  You couldn’t make this up! Is this the best our government can do?  The booklet gave the ministry’s website. I went to this website recently. It was closed down for updating.

Hillel Halkin, a Jewish intellectual and historian, described the official Israeli public diplomacy approach as one of “sheer incompetence.”

Eitan Gilboa found the government public diplomacy apparatus as being “fundamentally flawed.” He recommended the government to enlist NGO bodies to work alongside governmental ones. In my opinion, the government should follow President Obama’s foreign policy principle and lead from behind, letting the effective advocacy groups lead the way receiving material support from the government with transparency, cooperation, but no interference.

Those who are involved in the battle, those who are getting down and dirty on the campuses and other battlefields, when they have attempted to make headway with Israeli ministries are being treated with contempt, or ignored, by officials and politicians as if the topic of Israel’s delegitimization, demonization, BDS, and the growth and global spread of anti-Israel activity was a minor irritant.

My observation is that the bulk of anti-Israel activism takes place abroad, far away from the Knesset and the ministries. It had no influence or resonance on our politicians. It gets in the way of the daily workload of government officials. It did not resonate on their radar screen, or, if it does, they bleep it out, until the noise becomes too deafening to ignore.

Only recently have we heard public comments by some of our ministers, and then only in the context of very public political scuffs between political rivals with Yair Lapid saying boycotts will cause serious economic damage if peace talks fail, while Naftali Bennett takes a contrary view saying that Israel should not abandon its land due to economic threats. John Kerry talked about the boycott threat and Bibi devoted seven minutes of his 2014 AIPAC address to BDS in response thereby giving propaganda capital to the BDS Movement. 

There are too many conflicting panic noises coming from our high officials publicly. This is highly damaging.  This noise constitutes a major victory for the BDS Movement who broadcast this as a sure sign of their progress into mainstream. They announce how Israel is becoming destabilized and they are on the way to victory. Anything said publicly by Israeli politicians and ministers act as a megaphone and added publicity in the social media outlets of BDS, and other anti-Israel action groups.  It is way out of proportion to the economic harm done to Israel by BDS - so far.

We are about to feel the actions of the EU Horizon 2020 with the promised sanctions of anything over the Green Line.  They will show their displeasure with Israeli policies by offering funding and cooperation for Israeli research and development within the Green Line even as they will pull the plug on any cooperation with Israel over the Green Line. Is this action anti-Occupation, or is it actively forcing a European delegitimization policy on Israel?  It seems that way as European parliaments fall like dominos to the support a Palestinian state wave that is sweeping the continent. Either way, it will certainly feed into the BDS frenzy of hitting on Israel, giving them the added gravitas and success of EU policy.

Added to this will be the effect of the Palestinian Authority’s thrust for an affirmative vote in the UN Security Council where the American veto is, for the first time, in the balance.

The delegitimization campaign against Israel must be treated with the same seriousness as terrorism because, at its deep heart, it is a form of economic, diplomatic, and political terrorism designed to isolate Israel in the way they claim they succeeded in doing to the white apartheid regime of South Africa. That’s as serious as it can get - turning Israel into a pariah state.

Israel is nothing like the white apartheid regime of Pretoria but, increasingly, the international community, including public opinion abroad, have surrendered to the thought control that positions Israel as the party at fault, as they look on us with jaundiced eyes.

Increasingly it is becoming acceptable to inflict punishment on Israel deriving from a false narrative put out by the Palestinians and their hyper-active and well-funded supporters.

So, what to do?

We need to look on it as a form of warfare. We are not officially on the battlefield. We don’t have a central command and control center to fight this battle. We don’t even have the budget to create the essential foundation and infrastructure to wage this war. Those fighting the battles that are taking place abroad in various forums are groups of dedicated local Israel supporters acting independently.

They are desperately trying to put out a raging inferno with broomsticks and water pistols. Their efforts are brave and commendable, but they need the full support of the main fire station in Israel.

Whether on the campus, challenging a biased media, or applying lawfare, those who have understood the enemy, who they are, where they operate, what weapons and messages they use, have achieved notable successes. I can give many examples of how they have achieved these victories. Let me give you one prime example of volunteer public diplomacy over government intervention.

I mentioned the Mavi Marmara incident of 2010 when Israeli soldiers rappelling down to this Gaza-bound ship were attacked and activists were killed in the ensuing fighting. The following year, IDC Herzlia offered offices and computers to a bunch of social media activists. We set up what we called the Situation Room to counter the 2011 Gaza Flotilla by using the social media as a platform for global public diplomacy. We brought in a bunch of young computer nerds created a huge social media presence in many languages using Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts. We led a social media campaign to name and shame the participants attempting to sail from Greece to Gaza.

Credit to IDC, Jonathan Davis, and the amazing kids who manned the computer and laptops, but let me share with you one anecdote that has been a secret until now.

None of the ships in the 2011 Gaza flotilla managed to leave the Greek port of Pireaus? How did that happen, do you think?

Let me reveal that it was due to a simple act by a pro-Israel action group in London called UK Lawyers for Israel. A member of their NGO called a colleague in Athens and asked him if there was anything he could do to help. This man happened to have contacts in the Greek coastguard. After a thorough, slow, inspection of the ships many defects were found. One tried to make a run for it and was dragged back to Pireaus and compounded for defying the coastguard.

In the meantime, here in Israel, Shurat HaDin contacted Lloyds of London and informed them that the flotilla ships were about to defy the international law by defying the internationally recognized Gaza blockade and would, therefore, be acting in a criminal manner. Lloyds withdrew their insurance from the ships. None of the ships sailed to Gaza and the Gaza Flotilla of 2011 ended in a whimper.

It was a hugely expensive and public failure for the activists. The success of the anti-flotilla campaign did not come about by the actions of the Israeli government, nor the Mossad, nor the IDF, but by a bunch of hasbara volunteers.

As an added bonus, the work of our computer activists uncovered the plan of European anti-Israel activists to launch what they called a "Flightilla"  by sending hundreds of activists on various flights to Israel, create demonstrations on arrival into Ben Gurion Airport, and be met by pro-Palestinians to be taken for further disruptions around Israel and the Palestinian-controlled territories. Fortunately, we were able to discover the groups, the organisers, and names of demonstrators who had booked their flights to Israel. This information was passed over to the authorities and almost all were prevented from getting on to their flights at the points of departure. 
This is how pro-Israel activists, with coordination with Israel, can act as intelligence gathering to offset disruptions that target Israel.

This should be a valuable lesson for our government going forward. 
If they intend to get involved, and it’s a big ‘if’, they must motivate and materially support the independent groups who are effectively fighting for Israel with too little resources in the various hubs of delegitimization. These hubs are located in London, South Africa, Holland, Ireland, Scandinavian countries, and increasingly in America. They are up against an enemy that doesn't sleep, that are highly motivated and organized. They are well funded by the Palestinian Authority and other wealthy donors, as well as by organizations and charities with money given by European governments.
Currently the Israeli government spends as much on public diplomacy as a medium sized company spends on marketing Bamba. This is painfully inadequate!

A warning! The Israel government should not channel their resources through the major Jewish organizations in the countries where the battles are being fought. This would be a fatal mistake. These organizations, this year, have failed the domestic Jewish communities they were supposed to represent. They did little to rally people to rallies in support of Israel or even to protest rallies against the rising anti-Semitism in their countries. In the main, this was left to new grassroots groups that have sprung up in the absence of their elected representative. 
Israel must  read the political map correctly, and they will see that, in some cases, these countries are headed by wealthy Jews who have an agenda that is not affirmatively pro-Israel, and who have actively supported fringe groups that are strongly critical of Israel and act against us. These activist groups have been harmful to Israel by amplifying the propaganda that leads to boycotts and divestments.  Instead, the Israeli government must be persuaded to channel their resources directly to the affirmative action groups with transparent records of affirmative pro-Israel action and success.

Our government needs to empower those who are fighting for us. These people stood up when our government fell down.

The Israeli government should ally with groups and experts who have conducted intelligence gathering and apply that knowledge where it will do the most damage to those who are slandering us and acting against us. These activists in their various countries speak the language, know the terrain in which Israel’s enemies are active, and are our forward troops in the battle for Israel’s legitimacy. We need to set up a Command and Control center and support the troops in areas where victory can be achieved. The enemy is not invincible. Their message is corrupt, and we can beat them.

You can't win the battle against our delegitimizers until you identify the enemy and employ the right soldiers against them. I call them our hasbara warriors.  Groups like UK Lawyers for Israel, who have won many notable victories for Israel in their short life, and the newly formed South African Lawyers for Israel, that use their knowledge of local, national and regulatory law to prevent boycotts and other anti-Israel actions. We call this the application of ‘lawfare’ against those who wish to harm us. Similar groups must be encouraged in other critical countries.

 Another great example was displayed by IDC Herzlia in 2014. A group of six students were trained in advocacy skills and deployed to South Africa, into the lion’s den, during the infamous ‘Israel Apartheid Week.’  This was, yet again, a huge success.

The choice of students was our secret weapon. They were six attractive, eloquent, well-trained Ethiopian students who stood up to the organizers of IAW. How could these bigoted enemies of Israel possibly respond when an attractive Ethiopian Israeli girl stands up in the Cape Town campus auditorium at question time and says, “My name is Israela. I am an Israeli. I am a student at IDC Herzlia, and served in the IDF, and I am here to tell the students that I am living proof of the true face of Israel, and that the organizers of IAW are lying when they call Israel a ‘racist state’”

There is no way the anti-Israel bigots can win when we place the right people in the right battles.

These are the people who win us the battles against BDS. Its Stand With Us, not Israeli ministers. It’s NGO-Monitor, not Israeli officials. It’s Honest Reporting and CAMERA, not Israeli politicians. It is groups like Sussex Friends of Israel, NW Friends of Israel, CUFI, CFI, not the national leaders of Jewish communities. 
It’s the thousands of individuals, the groups, the NGOs and the affirmative pro-Israel organizations who are fighting our fight. They must be supported by our government, by our economic base in industry and commerce, because every battle they win protects our legitimacy, our good name, and the economy of our nation. 

Barry Shaw is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues with the Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.
He is also the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hypocritical nations that find fault with Israel as the Jewish State.

There has been criticism, and some passionate objections, to Israel identifying itself as the Jewish state. Some, in the Arab world, call this racist. 

Many do not appreciate that the main thrust of Israel calling itself the Jewish State are not based on Jews as a religion, but as a people.

Indeed, Israel's founding document, the Declaration of Establishment of the State of Israel, points this out in its opening sentence.

"The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people."

Later, it refers to "the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country."
Nowhere does it decree that Israel will be Jewish in any theocratic sense, but only as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Those that object to this already established concept should pause and consider not only their own country but to study how many nations have been founded and preserve a religion as the basis of their constitution to this day, even of they practice a secular statehood.

States created on a religious basis are not necessarily racist. Neither should Israel be chastised as racist.

Those criticizing Israel for calling itself the Jewish state overlook its obvious history, its founding principles, its enshrinement in international mandates, treaties and resolutions, as well as the national will of the vast majority of its people, as the national homeland of the Jewish people.
 The Mandate that called for the establishment of the National Home of the Jewish People also called for it to ensure the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities, and Israel has done that in an exemplary manner. This fact denies any false claim that it is, or will be, an apartheid, racist, state.
 Just look at the character of other nations. Fifty seven members of a group that calls itself the Organization of Islamic  Cooperation, and the four nations that call themselves Islamic republics, do so without any criticism. 

Let’s look beyond a Palestinian entity that finds great insult in being asked to recognize the Jewish state, but wishes to be Judenrein and operate under the Islamic Sharia code of law.
Let’s look to Europe, a Europe that seems to be devoted to the John Lennon imaginative creed of a world without borders, and no religion too, a Europe that has replaced it with, well, nothing really – just a secular vacuum.
 Many European nations have jettisoned their founding principles, lost their national identity to a modern-day free-for-all, and find themselves with increasing domestic turbulence. It’s still too early to judge the outcome of this experiment in replacement liberal secularism, but the signs are not good. It has led to valueless societies where national pride and patriotism seem confined to cheering, or complaining about, their national football teams, and questioning the massive invasion of other-culture immigrants.
 Yet, despite this, most European nations still cling to the founding values that created them. Almost all are based on religious, mainly Christian, Catholic, Lutheran characteristics that can be seen today. Here are a few examples;
 UNITED KINGDOM has an assortment of Christian crosses on their flag. They mention “God” in their national anthem. Which god do they mean? Presumably, the Christian god. The Church of England and the Church of Scotland are their national churches. Monarchs appoint officials of the Church of England. The government supports the Church of England. 26 Anglican bishops have been given seats in the House of Lords. There is a historic ban on a Catholic becoming a monarch. Britain has four Christian-based national holidays.  But Britain isn’t a racist state.
 GREECE has a cross on its flag. Its official religion is the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ. The national church is supported by the state. The president must be a member of this church. Witnesses in Greek courts must swear on the Bible or declare affiliation to another religion. God is mentioned in their national anthem, and they observe ten Christian-based national holidays. Greek is not a racist county.
 MALTA has a cross on its flag, and god in its national anthem. Their official religion is Roman Catholic. Religious teaching is compulsory in schools. They have seven Catholic-based national holidays. Malta is not considered a racist state.
 NORWAY has a cross on its flag, and god in its anthem. The Lutheran Church of Norway is its national church, according to its Constitution. Article 2 states “our values will remain our Christian and humanist heritage.” The king must be a Lutheran. They observe nine Christian-based national holidays.  Norway is not called a racist state.
 SWITZERLAND has a cross on its flag, and god in its anthem. Cantons collect taxes for the Protestant and Catholic churches. They have 17 Christian-based holidays. Switzerland has a ban on minarets and ritual slaughter of animals for meat. Yet, Switzerland is not a racist state.
 FINLAND. Guess what? It has a cross on its flag. The Lutheran and Finnish Orthodox Churches are declared their national churches. Taxes are levied to support these churches. Finland has ten Christian-based national holidays. But Finland is not a racist state.
SWEDEN has a Christian cross on its flag, and god in its anthem. There are twelve Christian-based holidays in a Sweden that is not considered a racist state based on religion.
NETHERLANDS has “Jesus,  “Lord,” “God,” and “Gospel” mentioned in their national anthem.  They have twelve Christian-based national holidays, but are not considered a religiously racist nation.
DENMARK has a cross on its flag.  Danish Constitution states that the monarch must be a member of the Lutheran Church, which is the official state religion. Its faith is taught in schools. The Swedish Lutheran Church controls the birth and death registrations. This is the only church that receives government subsidies. There are ten Christian-based national holidays, but Denmark is not a racist state.
ICELAND’s flag has a Christian cross. “God” and “Lord, we bow to thee” appear in their national anthem. Iceland’s Constitution declares that the Evangelical Lutheran Church is the national church and as such is protected and supported by the state. Schools must teach Christianity.  Religious-based national holidays include Palm Sunday, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and Christmas.
SPAIN has 14 Christian-based and one Muslim-based national holidays. Its federal laws allow for a percentage of income to go to the Catholic Church. No other religion has this privilege.
CYPRUS is an interesting case study. It originally had a cross on its flag. This flag was changed to one that portrays the island with olive branches to symbolize peace between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. When their original Constitution broke down over disputes with Turkish Cypriots it introduced a new Constitution that respects both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Article 18 guarantees freedom of religion. It has nine Christian-based public holidays. Article 62:2 declares that its House of Representatives shall have 70% Greek and only 30% Turkish Cypriots. According to the Constitution a Turkish Cypriot can never be elected as President of Cyprus. Yet, Cyprus is not considered a racist country.
PORTUGAL. The Catholic Church is entitled to receive special status including tax-exemption and the ability to receive taxes. Portugal has five Catholic-based public holidays.
With all the trappings of religious dominance, none can be called racist nations, or condemned for holding to their religiously-based national characteristics.
So it is troubling that Israel is exclusively criticized, and worse, for declaring itself to be what it is - the Jewish State. 
Jews live in many  other countries, tolerating the character while enjoying the freedoms granted to them to express their own civil and religious rights. Why can't Israel, the only liberal democracy in the region, be trusted to uphold those guiding principles, principles that are part of its international legitimacy and enshrined in its declaration of Independence?
 This level of responsibility can be entrusted to Israel to protect its non-Jewish citizens.
It is normal for countries to have a religion-based character to a state. In Israel's case that privilege is enshrined not as a religious-based principle but endowing Israel as the national home of the Jewish people. 
Anyone with the most basic knowledge of history from the bible through to today is aware of the unique heritage, commitment and belonging of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. This is the principle that deserves respect for the Jewish State of Israel.
Barry Shaw is the special consultant on delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College. He is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’