Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pro Palestinians Don't Seem to be Pro Anyone!

Firstly a Disclaimer: Someone called simply 'Matt' (who describes himself as anonymous West Bank journalist) has written a piece on similar lines to this blog, but I too had actually been working on making the same points myself for a couple of weeks, so thank you Matt (whoever you are) for giving me the encouragement to finish this piece and I hope you'll forgive me for borrowing from your work in my blog below :-)

It's a simple point that he and I both prove: The pro-Palestinian lobby doesn't seem to really care too much about Palestinians! In fact, their entire focus is Israel, or rather Israel bashing. So on the whole they are 'anti' rather than 'pro' anyone!

My anonymous friend 'Matt' makes this point nicely in his essay when he discusses the recent "Welcome to Palestine Campaign" group of around 100 activists who tried to enter Israel via Jordan despite being told they would be refused entry by the Israeli authorities. The activists had let the media know well advance that they would probably not be allowed to cross the Allenby Bridge, indeed a journalist friend of mine told me he had the story written days before the event and merely edited in details when it happened. The group, who said their mission was bringing school supplies, did bring a smile to even the faces of hardened media hacks with their bizarre assertions that they "merely wanted to give Palestinian children much needed bags and pencils for school" - who knew Palestinian kids lacked basic school supplies? Not the Palestinian Authority, the schools , Media or even the UN!

Anyway, having spent thousands of dollars on a publicity stunt at the Jordanian border, the group turned round and went home, achieving nothing but an anti Israel publicity stunt. Did this help the Palestinians? Doubtful, but then I'm not sure anyone really cared!

Had they truly been pro-Palestinian, one would have thought that they would have taken some of this 'unexpected' spare time in Jordan to visit Palestinians refugee camps and meet with some actual Palestinians. They might have learnt about the harsh living conditions the Jordanians impose on the 'refugees' (refugees in a country 60% Palestinian!); They might have attempted to discuss with Jordanian officials the country's recent decision to revoke the citizenship of many thousands of Palestinians, as well as other Jordanian discrimination against Palestinians that has caused a lot of criticism in the country. They did not do any of these things, they simply went home.

Its a shame, because they could have also used their time, money and 'love' of Palestinians to visit and maybe help thousands of Syrian and Palestinian refugees who are being held in miserable conditions along the Jordan-Syria border, and learn about the slaughter of Palestinian men, women and children occurring in that despotic country. And sadly, they didn't seem to care much about Palestinians in Lebanon either, who are being subjected to draconian laws that stop them from making a home there, even after three generations, keeping them 'refugees'. The truth is, despite absurd accusations that Zionists are Nazis / Fascist / racists etc, it is in fact their Arab Brothers in Lebanon who have enacted laws almost identical to Nazi Germany's anti Jewish laws of the 1930s: Lebanese Palestinians (who've lived there for 3 generations) have far fewer freedoms or rights than Palestinians inside Israel & the Territories are forbidden to own property, build property, or hold professional jobs, such as lawyers, doctors etc (all things that they can do in Israel). These are pure Nazi race laws and yet nobody seems to give a damn, not even the "Pro" Palestinian lobby.

This is the crux of the Palestinian support worldwide - it simply doesn't care about Palestinians. These people are in it to bash Israel, pure and simple, and their 'love' of Palestinians is merely the hammer they use to do the bashing with: they use incendiary words like "apartheid Israel" , accuse Israel of "buzzword" crimes that do not occur here, but are (and ignored) common across the arab world, like 'genocide', 'ethnic cleansing', etc, and proudly espouse a "one state solution" theory knowing full well that it would spell the end of Israel. We see the bizarre spectacle of liberal feminists supporting Hamas, who stand against everything a liberal of any nature believes in, except dislike of Israel; we see even gay rights movements joining the anti Israel brigade, standing with countries and societies that imprison homosexuals or worse, and these gay groups stand against Israel, the only country where gay rights are an accepted part of the legal and cultural system . It beggars belief!

If these "pro" Palestinians actually cared about the Palestinians, they may well still be pressuring Israel for concessions etc, but they'd also be thinking about nation building, and about the future, preparing the Palestinians for a future emancipation, as the Zionist leaders did for 50 years prior to the establishment of Israel. I have yet to see any groups who talk economic development for Palestinians, or who set up educational funds to advance Palestinian kids. Where's the pressure on the Palestinians from their 'friends' to break the cycle of violence, or who protest extreme groups like Hamas who seem determined to carry on a conflict with Israel at all costs? Why do we not see pro Palestinian groups putting pressure on Abbas & others to say holocaust denial is deeply offensive not just to Jews but to all human beings of conscience? Why do we not see pro Palestinians working with Palestinians to establish peace groups, which have a strong voice on the Israeli side (e.g Peace Now, etc); where is the outcry when the Palestinian Authority suppresses press freedoms or its insanely high corruption levels mean it regularly loses the wages of Palestinian Authority employees? Instead of boycotting Jewish business worldwide, why is there no incentive to encourage Jews in the so called "West Bank" to employee more Palestinians, perhaps even grants to make them business partners?

No..these "Pro-Palestinian" groups whether they attempt to cross the Allenby bridge by foot, or they head off from Greece by boat, or they scuffle at Ben Gurion airport, are only interested in "Israel is evil" publicity. They appear to have no love for Palestinians and they do nothing to make their lives better nor do they contribute any positive ideas or suggestions to the debate. Their websites, newsletters and gatherings are dedicated to rehashing Zionist history, reworked antisemitism (under the guise of anti-zionism) and demonizing Israel.

The result? Well Israel is a growing and a wonderful country that is proud of its open democracy, its great education, healthcare, hi tech industry and powerful defense force but the Palestinians? They're going nowhere fast, because with friends like the Pro Palestinians...who needs enemies!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Radio Interview

Not so much a blog as a link to my discussion on Israel News Talk Radio in New York. The host (Michael David McGuire) and I talk life in Jerusalem, Egypt, Iran and other current topics. I'm going to be a regular contributor on this station, and the output will be being syndicated across the US.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Is Egypt's Morsi The Master Manipulator?

On 5th August 2012 masked gunmen in Egypt's Sinai desert killed 16 Egyptian soldiers at a checkpoint along the border with Gaza and Israel, the first such attack on Egyptian troops - and then the attackers drove off, crashing into Israel, before being fatally stopped by the IDF. Egypt blamed Islamist militants from Gaza and Egypt's troubled Sinai Peninsula. President Mohammed Morsi said the attackers "will pay dearly.". However, while Morsi has certainly hit the terrorists cells in the Sinai very hard, the real payment seems to have been extracted from the Egyptian military and the real winner? President Morsi.

Following the attack, Islamic Brotherhood backed Morsi moved swiftly to consolidate power from the Egyptian
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) , which up until that point had seemed to have the upper hand in the battle of wills with the Islamists.Two days after the attack, President Mohamed Morsi announced the dismissal of Murad Muwafi, head of the General Intelligence Directorate, who had replaced Omar Suleiman, as well as the dismissal of the governor of the northern Sinai province and the head of the military police. Five days later, President Morsi announced that Defense Minister Tantawi, Chief of Staff Anan, and the commanders of the navy, air defense, and air force were “retiring.” It appears that the top command echelon of the Egyptian defense establishment, which operated as part of SCAF and has controlled Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster, was dealt a heavy blow in the struggle with the civil government. Many social media users are calling this development “check mate” and “a knockout” in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood. President Morsi also used the opportuni
ty to recover the executive and legislative powers that SCAF had taken from him.

Additionally, he is managing to achieve something his predecessor Mubarak did not even attempt, the re-militarization of the Sinai peninsula, emptied of all but lightly armed forces under the Camp David accords of 1978, unless by prior agreement with Israel. Egypt used attack helicopters and armored personnel carriers in coordination with Israel to go after militants suspected of being behind the Aug. 5 killing of the Egyptian soldier
s in Sinai. Later, however, Egypt deployed U.S.-made M60 tanks to Sinai without consulting with Israel, which drew objections from the Israel despite the fact that it has long encouraged Cairo to crack down on militants in Sinai.

Israel does not view the Egyptian military buildup there as a strategic threat. The problem, Israeli officials said, is with Egypt setting a precedent by moving troops to Sinai without coordinating the move with Israel first.

As the crisis passes and the dust settles, there is no doubt that President Morsi has come out of the incident as the clear winner. He appears to have seized the opportunity, dropped in his lap by the terrorists, to consolidate his power and demonstrate a strategic gain over the hated Israelis, in front of the Egyptian public. Where it starts to gets a little sinister and look less like dumb luck, more like calculated manipulation by Morsi, is that over the past weekend, the Palestinian Maan News Agency has reported that at least 4 of the Sinai terrorists were Jihadists released from Egyptian prison after being pardoned by President Morsi shortly after he came to power. This raises the ghost of a suspicion that Morsi may have planned the entire thing, or at least encouraged the terrorists to take action. By releasing the Jihadists, and opening the Gaza border despite recent attacks on Israel by Gaza backed terror groups in the Sinai, Morsi must have seen that a large scale, sophisticated attack was a distinct possibility. That knowledge allowed him to plan a swift coup over SCAF, and demonstrate immediate and dramatic resolve in the Sinai. In one foul swoop he has gained virtually full control over the armed forces, and dealt a heavy blow to the Sinai terror groups, in the process weakening the norms of military behavior in the Sinai.

The Muslim Brotherhood are today firmly in control in Egypt and triumphant President Morsi is now making his first foreign Iran.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Absurd Myth of Zionist Financial Control

"Jewish bankers rule the world" used to be the cry of the antisemite. Today it tends to be "Zionist bankers rule the world" or even "Rothschild Zionists.."
much more politically correct of course (as it leaves open the oft used defense of "I'm not antisemitic, just anti Zionist").
However, as is so often the case, the antisemites and particularly arab enemies of Israel & Zionism falsely accusing Zionism of doing precisely what they really are doing themselves (in this case massive financial investment in international financial markets) and what is crazy is that anyone with half a brain can see the evidence of this all around them! Cities skylines across US & Europe are dominated by Arab owned buildings, sports teams have Arab companies as owners and investors, and even the British Airways Concorde model you saw as you drove into Heathrow Airport is today an Airbus in Emirates livery, but then the airport that is the gateway to Britain, is itself now part owned by an Arab state!

In fact Arab money owns or has stakes all over the world in banks, stock markets, hotels, sports teams, iconic buildings, industry...the list is endless. here's just a few examples:
The Chrysler building is a US's owned by The United Arab Emirate!; You'll find arab investment in London's new landmark Shard as well; Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabir Al-Thani is Qatar’s prime minister and head of the Qatar Investment Authority, a $50 billion investment fund that bought 20 percent of the London Stock Exchange (he's probably not a Zionist!); the Dubai Investment Group owns a 19.9 percent stake in Nasdaq, the second largest securities exchange in the U.S.; In
sports Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (pictured below) owns Manchester City (current English league champions); Qatar just bought a 20% stake in Heathrow Airport, and this month Qatar was the top sovereign wealth buyer of European property in the last 12 months, spending 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion) on eight deals including the London Olympic athlete’s village and a mall on Paris’ Champs Elysees; Harrods was owned by Egyptian Mohamed Fayed, now Qatar holdings own this iconic British store, as well as Miramax Movies, stakes in Canary Wharf Group, & Paris Saint-Germain
football club! Dubai International Capital holdings include Travelodge, Merlin Entertainments , Doncasters, Mauser, Alliance Medical and Almatis as well as having major stakes in Daimler and Sony...the list is unending !

Israel is an economically strong but tiny state. To suggest it is dominating the world's financial market is absurd. OPEC alone has more impact on a daily basis than Israel has had in its 65 year existence! When you fill your gas tank and it costs an absurd amount of money, it is the oil producers that decide the price of crude, not the Zionists. Chances are your money is going to Mid East owned companies every single day.

While the enemies of Israel divert your attention, the actual financial power lies elsewhere but the true impact and implications has not yet registered with an unwitting western public...but one day it will & in a big way!