Friday 14 December 2012

Liberman-Livni Parallel lines.

Liberman-Livni. Parallel lines.
I was invited to the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Herzlia on December 12, 2012.

It turned out to be a special moment in Israeli politics when straight-talking Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister and smooth-talking Tzipi Livni converged in demanding that international diplomats and politicians get their perspectives right when approaching Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Although each have differing positions on the Israeli political landscape, they united in criticizing the diplomatic world for their one-sided attitude that encourages rejectionism and extremism on the Palestinian side and unjustly isolates Israel.
There was no advance coordination of their message as Liberman left before Livni arrived.
Livni appealed to the attending diplomats that “it should be part of the understanding that a secure Israel is in the interest of the international community, and not just our own interest. While it is true that there is criticism over Israeli policy, this must be separated from the support of Israel as a state.”
She reminded that the wrong condemnation of IDF actions against Palestinian terror restricts our freedom of movement leading to disgraceful scenes where Israeli soldiers are ordered not to fire at rock-throwing mobs. She also criticized diplomats for not doing enough to bring the two sides back into negotiations and for not condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
Avigdor Liberman was more scathing accusing the international community of duplicity. “When push comes to shove, many world leaders will be willing to sacrifice Israel without batting an eyelid in order to appease the radical Islamic terrorists and to ensure quiet for themselves.”
Expressing his disappointment at the European stance in supporting, or merely abstaining from, the Palestinian resolution at the UN for non-member status, he said, “My sense is that all the promises and commitments to Israel’s security is mere words. Despite clear announcements by Hamas leaders that they will never accept or respect any agreement with Israel and their intention to destroy Israel, the Europeans decided to place pressure only on our side.”
Liberman reminded the audience of past European commitments to protect Czechoslovakia in 1938 and the pressure put on the Czech government to partition Sudetenland. After all the promises and guarantees that were provided, Nazi Germany occupied all of Czechoslovakia bringing an end to its existence at that time.
“We are not willing to become a second Czechoslovakia,” Liberman told the diplomats. “We are not willing to compromise Israel’s vital national interests.” Reflecting on the diplomatic attitude towards Israel he closed by quoting Winston Churchill when he said at the outbreak of World War Two, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you got war.”
I have long made an issue of the situation in which a future Palestinian state will fall into the hands of Hamas. Until this conference I have never heard a prominent Israeli politician express the danger to the international community.  Liberman voiced his strong opposition to Israel returning to 1967 lines. He warned that Judea & Samaria would be placed in a similar situation to that of “Hamastan” in Gaza. “What happens the next day?” he asked rhetorically.
My disappointment was that he did not go on and portray, for the attending diplomats and journalists, the danger to towns in central Israel of having a Hamas Palestine bordered on Kfar Saba, Kfar Yona, and overlooking Ben Gurion Airport and our main national highways. It is the height of dangerous naivety to ignore, or push aside, such threatening scenarios.

 Barry Shaw,



Thursday 13 December 2012

God works in mysterious ways.

God works in mysterious ways.
Israel, the Palestinians, and Manchester City.
She, who must be obeyed, said to me the other day.
“He doesn’t want us to give land to the Palestinians. Have you noticed?”
I knew who she was referring to. He - with a capital “H”.  I was distracted. I was too busy watching Manchester City chase a two goal deficit on the telly, as they have been wont to do this season.
I don’t know what had gotten into her. She wasn’t watching the TV. I was doing that. She wasn’t reading the newspaper. I had trashed it after failing to complete the Sudoku.  She had been brooding into space before she had disturbed by soccer frustration.
“God doesn’t want us to give our land to the Palestinians. Haven’t you noticed the signs he sent us?”
“No,” I replied, not really wanting to follow her train of thought. I was more interested in having Him throw His mercy on the team in blue.
“Rabin agrees a deal with Arafat and, out of the blue, he gets killed by an assassin. Then Arik Sharon forces thousands of Jews out of their homes in the Gaza Strip and, puff!, he suddenly gets a stroke. Not an ordinary stroke, one that leaves him in a coma but alive. It’s almost as if God wanted to preserve him as a warning to others.”
“That’s a cruel thing to say,“  I protested, watching yet another futile attempt at goal by Balotelli.
“Maybe,” she concedes, “But you have to admit it’s strange. Why them? You have to admit the timing is strange. It must be for a reason. And what about Olmert?”  She was referring to Ehud, another Israeli Prime Minister.
“What about him?”  Why did I ask. I should have known better. She was in full flow.
“He chased after Abbas,” the Palestinian leader, “to close a deal with the Palestinians, even though Abbas jerked around like a stuck pig because he didn’t really want one, and then suddenly he had to resign to spend years chasing after criminal charges that proved nothing against him. Don’t you find that strange? It’s more than a coincidence. God is trying to tell us something.”
By now I was doing my impression of a goldfish out of water.
“So what about Barak?” I asked referring to another Ehud. “Nobody put a hand on him and he wanted to give Arafat the kitchen sink.” I gloated, sensing victory, which was more than City was doing.
“Him?” she answered scathingly. “He’s Israel’s Mister Bean. Nobody takes him seriously. Not even God!”
That remark, and City’s lethargic play, stunned me into silence. Then she turned the attack onto me. If only City were that aggressive.
“You remember how you said that God was on our side when nobody got killed by all the Scud missiles that Saddam Hussein launched at us from Iraq, and how He kept us safe from all the Hezbollah rockets, and how CNN and BBC are so upset that so few Israelis were killed by a thousand Hamas rockets from Gaza…” 
She was in full flow and, you know what, she began to make sense.
As if to prove it, Tevez blasted in a goal for City. It was a sign from above, surely?
“It’s supernatural what Israel has withstood. It’s not normal how Israel rose out of the ashes of Auschwitz. The whole thing feels like the hand of God.”
“Well,” I volunteered, “if the Arabs want to attack us in the name of Allah, it’s good to know that He is active in our defense.” 
There I go again with my footballing metaphors, watching City block an Arsenal attack out of the corner of my eye.
She looked at me as if I was a moron. I tried to appease her. I am not a religious Jew, but I am a believer. One of the things that makes’ me a believer is that, despite our blundering politicians, we Israelis feel safe and confident in the future even as we are increasingly surrounded by life-threatening enemies. There has to be a divine hand that is protecting us.
Then another miracle happened. With seconds left on the clock, a long pass fell at the feet of Dzecho, a lanky misfit of a player, caught it on the bounce and smashed it into the top right corner of the net.
God does work in mysterious ways.

Barry Shaw is the author of “Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.”
Miraculously available on Amazon, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository UK websites, from good Steimatzy bookstores, and from the author himself at

Monday 10 December 2012

Get ready to answer the condemnation of Israel by EU ministers.

Get ready for the blanket condemnation of Israel by EU ministers against Israeli notification of the lodging of plans to build homes in Jerusalem and Maale Adumim areas.

 Here are some of the facts that fly in the face of their condemnation and shouts of "illegality."

 1. The E1 area is 12 sq.kilometres adjacent to Maale Adumim, home of 40,000 Jewish inhabitants located just 4 miles from Jerusalem. Maale Adumim will remain within the boundaries of Israel in any future peace agreement.

 2. This fact was reaffirmed by every leading Israeli politician including Rabin, Peres, Barak, Yosi Beilin, Olmert, and Livni.

 3. At the outset of the Oslo Accords, and as a clear understanding of the future framework of the Road Map approved by the EU, Yizchak Rabin provided the mayor of Maale Adumim with annexation documents for E1 as this, in no way, breached the Oslo Accords.
4. As quid pro quo for Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2004, the Bush administration agreed to take into account the demographic changes caused by the Gaza residents being dislodged from their homes in Gaza to live in the E1 area in existing Jewish settlements like Maale Adumim.

 5. There is no truth in the rumour that building in E1 would prevent contiguity to a future Palestinian state.
6. The Jerusalem areas including in the E1 planning permit are within the legal boundaries of Jerusalem Municipality.

 6. For more than a decade, Israel deferred to international requests to delay planning and construction in E1 to appease the Palestinians. During that period the PA refused peace offers, refused to neogtiate with the current Israeli Prime Minister, incited hatred against Israel, perpetrated an intense rocket attack on Israeli civilians, and in breach of all signed agreements sidestepped israel to demand improved status at the UN.

 7. The European Union abrogated their responsibilities to the Oslo agreement by not condmening the Palestinian move at the UN. In fact, most of them actually voted with the Palestinian in defiance of their obligations according to the Interim Agreement of Oslo.

 8. The EU ministers did not condemn the violently anti-Israel Palestinian declaration coming out of Gaza and Ramallah that calls for an end to the Jewish state. They did not meet to condemn the deadly Palestinian attacks against Israel. It decided only to condemn Israeli building in areas already agreed to be integral parts of Israel, and call it "illegal."

 9. None of the land included in the E1 planning belongs to Palestinians.

Delivering weapons to terrorists for a good cause is never a good idea.

What was US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, doing in Benghazi without adequate security that led to his murder? What was so important that caused him travel from Tripoli to insecure Benghazi on 9/11? 

There is speculation that he was in Benghazi to arrange the transportation of weapons from post-Gaddafi, crisis-stricken, and unruly, Libya to war-torn Syria. The altruistic reasoning behind the transfer of weapons is to make Libya more stable by denuding it of its weapon stockpile while helping the Syrian rebels overturn the Assad regime. 

Catherine Herridge of Fox News, researching shipping records, confirmed that a Libyan ship, the ‘Al Entisar,’ sailed from Libya and entered the Turkish port of Iskenderun, thirty five miles from the Syrian border, on September 6. This was just five days before Stevens was killed.

On 9/11, Stevens’ last official duty was a meeting with Ali Sait Akin, the Turkish Consul-General, at the US Consulate. This was the main reason for the Ambassador’s visit to Benghazi.

At the end of his meeting, he escorted his Turkish guest to the gates of the compound. This was one hour before the start of the terror attack that left him and three other Americans dead. 

Retired Admiral and former head of the Pacific Fleet, James Lyons, claims that “one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gaddafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA7 portable SAMS (hand-held anti-aircraft missiles) to Islamists and other Al-Qaeda affiliated groups fighting the Assad regime in Syria.”

Former CIA Director, Porter Goss, told Fox News that there was no question that some of the weapons that flooded Libya during the uprising are making their way to Syria and that the CIA knows about it.

A former CIA officer and now Senior fellow at the center of Security Policy, Clare Lopez, claims that two large warehouse-type buildings linked to the US Consulate in Benghazi were raided during the 9/11 terror attack and they may have contained weapons.

All this was confirmed by the New York Times who reported on October 14 that “most of the arms shipped to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Basher Assad are going to hardline Islamist jihadists and not to the more secular opposition groups that the West want to bolster.” 

Is the Obama Administration engaged in gun-running between Libya and Syria? Somehow, America’s and Israel’s enemies are being strengthened with a huge arsenal that may be used against us in the future.

With this is mind, is it not time to question and investigate a dangerous covert policy that puts us in jeopardy? 

Although the State Department denies that Stevens was involved in weapon transfers we are reminded that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced in November 2011, in Tripoli, that the US was committing $40 million “to help Libya secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.”

Surely it is time to ask for a progress report and the official records of this mission to date? What weapons have been recovered, and where are they now? Are they securely in American hands? Or have they been shipped to dangerous extremists in Syria? 

A shady character by the name of Abdelhakim Belhadj, a tribal war-lord, is the leader of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. He has been linked to weapons shipments. What was his involvement in the Al Entisar shipment? Who does he know in the Obama Administration? What are his connections with those fighting the Assad regime in Syria? Qatar is the prime funders of this weapon transfer. Some of that money goes to Belhadj. 

Relating to the September 5 ‘Al Entisar’ shipment, the Times of London reported that the ship carried 400 tons of cargo that included the largest consignment of weapons to Syrian rebels. The inventory included surface to air anti-aircraft missiles.

Apparently there was an angry exchange between the Free Syrian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood over who got the weapons. It is evident that anti-Assad fighters now possess anti-aircraft missiles. The question is, who has them? A Syrian helicopter was shown on TV worldwide being shot down by such a missile on October 17.  

The supply of weapons from Libya to Syria via Turkey links neatly into the new geo-political map. The close relationship between America and Turkey, forged in the last four years has done no favors for Israel.

An Israeli warship was prevented from participating in a NATO joint naval exercise due to Turkey’s insistence. Israel was disinvited to a NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012. Erdogan objected to Israel participating in an international counter-terror conference. As ‘The Algemeiner’ reported on July 15, 2012, “The US was so concerned about offending Turkey that Under-Secretary of State, Maria Otero, did not invite Israel to be among the countries that have been victims to terror attacks.”. Obama has done little to stop Turkey pursuing provocative legal steps against Israel about the Mavi Marmara incident in which people linked to the Turkish terror group IHH attacked Israeli soldiers with clubs and knives leading to an on-board battle that left nine dead. Istanbul has now opened a show trial against leading IDF officers in abstentia. 

It is unlikely that America did not know about the weapon shipment on the ‘Al Entisar’. Was Stevens killed while coordinating yet another shipment with his Turkish counterpart in Benghazi? And was he killed by Libyan terrorists because he was depriving them of their weapon supplies? 

A covert understanding between America and Turkey to facilitate the transport of sophisticated military hardware to Syrian rebels, that include Islamist jihadi terrorists, opens a Pandora’s box of dangers and implications for Israel and for America. How does Israel cope with lethal weapons and terrorist insurgents over our eastern border, armed with military hardware shipped from Libya? What power and freedom of action will these dangerous characters enjoy if Assad is overthrown and yet another Islamic regime takes over Syria?  The idea of our planes and helicopters coming into the sights of a jihadi terrorist with an SA7 is frightening.

Even worse, what if one or more of these deadly weapons were smuggled into the West Bank overlooking Ben-Gurion Airport in central Israel? Which airline would fly to Israel tomorrow if a terrorist downs a British Airways flight over Israel’s international airport today? 

Then came the news that the most lethal and effective anti-Assad fighting force in Syria is the Nusra Front, which is a direct offshoot of Al-Qaida in Iraq.  Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, Islamic terror groups, and jihadists are proven enemies of Israel and America. Providing them, directly or indirectly, with deadly weapons that may be used to kill Israelis and Americans is surely a dangerous ploy. However much the international community wants to see the end of the brutal Assad regime in Syria, it would be foolhardy to allow trained anti-West Islamic terrorists to be the recipients of sophisticated weapons. The cause may be just, but the execution could be fatal later.

We see Libya disintegrated into lawlessness with no central government and with heavily armed gangs controlling large parts of that country. The Syrian war will surely fracture any cohesiveness in that country as power goes to those with the heaviest military capability.

If the outcome of the laughingly named “Arab Spring” has proven anything it is that a secular Syria will be replaced with a radical Islamic faction, and this will add to the instability of the region leaving Israel prone to attack from the east. 

The American disposition for arming dubious groups is nothing new. President Reagan supplied arms to Iran. The altruistic reasoning behind that wrong move was an attempt to obtain the release of fifty two Americans held hostage in Tehran in November 1979. This was a covert operation. Reagan denied his arms dealing with the Ayatollahs, but was forced to admit it when the evidence became overwhelming.

A plane crash in Nicaragua revealed America’s covert arming and training of the Contras in that country. This brutal group conducted grotesque terror and massacre against civilians.

These two covert activities cut Reagan’s image to shreds. After Oliver North became the fall guy, Reagan was forced to apologize for what became known as the Irangate Affair. 

Rumors swirled about the CIA covert links to Osama Bin Laden in order to push Russia out of Afghanistan. A simple search on Wikipedia reveals US involvement with Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Mujahedeen. 

Seymour Hersh exposed in the New York Times of January 26, 1992, that The Reagan Administration secretly decided to provide highly classified intelligence to Iraq in the spring of 1982 -- more than two years earlier than previously disclosed -- while also permitting the sale of American-made arms to Baghdad in a successful effort to help President Saddam Hussein avert imminent defeat in the war with Iran, former intelligence and State Department officials say.” 

More recent exposure was given by Daily Mail journalist, William Lowther, who in his November 6, 2012 article headlined “Rumsfeld ‘helped Iraq get chemical weapons.’” In his article he tells how US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, as envoy for President Reagan, made it possible for Sadaam Hussein to buy supplies, including anthrax and bubonic plague, from American firms. The extraordinary details have come to light because thousands of State Department documents dealing with the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war have just been declassified and released under the Freedom of Information Act.  It has long been suspected that the reason Jonathan Pollard is languishing in isolation in an American jail is because he provided Israel with sensitive information relating to the covert WMD deal with Iraq.

It remains to be seen who supplied weapons to the terrorists that killed the four Americans in Benghazi. One thing is for sure. Throwing weapons at unlawful people in the chaotic background of civil war, or regime change, is a risky form of altruism. It is na├»ve give your enemy weapons because you want to remove a tyrant. In the hostile Middle East the motto is “the enemy of my enemy is my enemy” and not the mistaken version so prevalent elsewhere. When you have a brawl between the Boston Strangler and Jack the Ripper it’s best not to take sides. The weapon you provide to one of the violent actors may be used against you one day. 

Lessons, it seems, have not been learned. Those involved in the weapons trade between Libya and Syria needs to give full disclosure. Its control must be strictly enforced. The risks are simply too great to let the chips fall where they may. They may have fallen on America in Benghazi. They may yet fall on 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 the Netanya Academic College.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Destroying Israel in stages.

I am writing an article about the Palestinian plan to destroy Israel in stages.
It is written up in the Palestinian National Council Charter.

Part of my research dug up this 2005 sermon by a leading Palestinian cleric.
It will be part of my evidence of their intentions for Israel.

Please read and distribute, especially to those who think that if only Israel would withdraw to 1967 lines everything will be lovely and peaceful.
Please delude them of their wishful thinking with a dose of reality.

Palestinian goal: Destroy Israel in stages;
Ibrahim Mudayris, Official, PA Ministry of Religious Trusts and Religious Affairs: 

 "We might return to the 1967 borders by diplomacy, but we shall not return to the 1948 borders [i.e. eliminate Israel] by diplomacy. The 1948 borders- no one on earth recognizes as ours. Therefore we shall return to the 1967 borders, but we have not given up on [Israeli cities] Jerusalem and Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle and Tel Aviv. Never. Your father's blood was shed here, at the villages, at Ashqelon, Ashdod, Hirbia [all in Israel] and hundreds of villages and towns that demand it from us. [Their blood] shall curse anyone who will concede a grain of earth of those villages. The land of Palestine will demand the Palestinians return as Muhammad returned- as a conqueror." 

This remains the Palestinian goal by both Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. Everything they can can be seen through this perspective.

(Attribution to PMW Org for the above quote. You can see the actual video of this cleric on their website.)