Monday, December 16, 2013

Jesus The Palestinian

As a religious Jew, it is not often that I write about Jesus, so what has sparked this evangelical fervor in a good Jewish boy? As it is approaching Christmas i thought this was the ideal time to right about the revisionist swill being sold to the world as Palestinian history:

There exists a very real “history war” whereby Jewish history is being erased and replaced with an invented Palestinian history by the well funded  Pallywood  propaganda machine. In recent years, they have invented  the  oft repeated lie that "Jesus was a Palestinian":

‘We must not forget that Messiah [Jesus] is a Palestinian, the son of Mary the Palestinian.’ [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 18, 2005] 

"Jesus was Palestinian and why it matters" Jehanzeb Dar Published 25/12/2010  

Lets use a little critical analysis of this nonsense: First there can be no question that Jesus was born and lived as a Jew (perhaps even a Rabbi). I doubt you'll find a single Christian scholar who would argue this point, which means that the Palestinian propagandists, who try so hard to eliminate the Jewish connection to the Holy Land, are essentially conceding that the original Palestinians were Jews! In fact the Pallywood lie machine ignores the fact that it was the Roman's who changed the name of Judea to Palestine, and they did this around 140 years AFTER Jesus died, which means he was a Judean  - an important point as that name is why we are called Jews to this day! 

Let's look at 3 places closely associated with Jesus: Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem:
The first 2 are closely associated with the arab communities today: Nazareth where he grew up is today a major Israeli-Arab city although in Jesus's time it was a small Jewish community in the Galilee where his Jewish mother Mary had grown up (Mary is actually anglicized from the Jewish name Miriam - very popular among Jews then and now as it had been the name of Moses's sister but not a common  Muslim or Arab name); 

Bethlehem is just 3 miles south of Jerusalem and is where Jesus was born according to the Christian bible. It is a city which hosted a strong and important Jewish community for many centuries: It was the biblical Ephrata (called Bethlehem Ephrata in the book of Micha) where Jacob buried his beloved wife Rachel, it was the home of Jesse, father of David as well as the prophet Samuel. The Jews were ethnically cleansed from Bethlehem after the Bar Kochba revolution. Incidentally, Bethlehem was for many centuries a majority Christian Arab city until a Muslim Palestinian influx during mandate times, and later the Palestinian Authority has made life there very uncomfortable for Christians who are leaving in large numbers.

Jerusalem, the 3rd city associated with Jesus, was the home of The Jewish Temple which stood many centuries before Islam was created until it was destroyed by the Romans after Jesus's death, on the spot where today stands the Al Aqsa Mosque. The entire city was devoted to serving the Temple, and the ancient parts of this city still show many signs from that period, including the Western Wall, the only remaining structure from the Temple itself, and the Holiest Jewish site in the world.

We don't need to be biblical scholars to see from this that the land Jesus walked through was a Jewish land, even with its Roman overlords at that time, and the looming exile of the Jews that would occur a few decades later. If Jesus was a Palestinian, then the true Palestinians & real the indigenous people of Israel - were and are the Jewish people.

The Palestinians crudely and blatantly invent a Palestinian history that distorts and insults Christian & Jewish belief,  as they are basically saying  our bible lies - this would  cause riots if it was said about the Koran!  What this kind of revisionist propaganda actually reveals, is the Palestinians sparsity of connection with this land as opposed to the deep and obvious 3000 year Jewish history in Israel.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why Does Israel call Obama's Offer to Iran a "Bad Deal"

The purpose of the world imposing crippling sanctions against Iran since 2006 has been very clear indeed - to end the Ayatollah's regime's efforts to develop nuclear weapons & long range delivery missiles:

  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1696 – passed on 31 July 2006. Demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and threatened sanctions.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737 – passed on 23 December 2006 in response to the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear program and, in this context, by Iran's continuing failure to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors and to comply with the provisions of Security Council resolution 1696 (2006). Made mandatory for Iran to suspend enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and cooperate with the IAEA, imposed sanctions banning the supply of nuclear-related materials and technology, and froze the assets of key individuals and companies related to the program.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 – passed on 24 March 2007. Imposed an arms embargo and expanded the freeze on Iranian assets.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803 – passed on 3 March 2008. Extended the asset freezes and called upon states to monitor the activities of Iranian banks, inspect Iranian ships and aircraft, and to monitor the movement of individuals involved with the program through their territory.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1835 – Passed in 2008.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 – passed on 9 June 2010. Banned Iran from participating in any activities related to ballistic missiles, tightened the arms embargo, travel bans on individuals involved with the program, froze the funds and assets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and recommended that states inspect Iranian cargo, prohibit the servicing of Iranian vessels involved in prohibited activities, prevent the provision of financial services used for sensitive nuclear activities, closely watch Iranian individuals and entities when dealing with them, prohibit the opening of Iranian banks on their territory and prevent Iranian banks from entering into relationship with their banks if it might contribute to the nuclear program, and prevent financial institutions operating in their territory from opening offices and accounts in Iran.

  • These sanctions have finally worked - they have brought Iran very reluctantly to the negotiating table and there has never been any question what Iran would have do to see the sanctions lifted - cease Uranium enrichment, and R &D into long range ICBM's. The Iranians more new and more pragmatic president knows that Iran needs to be able to export its oil freely, and to re-enter the world economy before the pressure on the state causes it to crack. So why has the West, led by President Obama and John Kerry, proposed a deal that would not involve dismantling the 18000 centrifuges in Iran, nor access to the Military bases where ICBMs are stationed, it will not stop their enrichment to weapon grade Uranium .. its  a BAD DEAL declares Israel's Prime Minister & Frances president - worse, its allowing the success of sanctions to be turned into a failure - an appeasement of a scale we have not seen since Chamberlain returned from meeting with Hitler declaring "peace in our time" on the eve of World War two.

    Lets remember a few truths - nobody needs weapons grade uranium except for weapons of mass destruction; Iran has no need for its growing arsenal of ICBMs in order to threaten Israel as it has missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv - the only reason it would want ICBM's would be to threaten or attack further afield: Europe & The US. Put those two capabilities together & this bad deal will leave the entire world within reach of the ayatollahs & their Jihadist terror supporting regime - Iran's terror network includes Hamas and Hezbollah, it has been implicit in terror events worldwide - this is the state Obama is appeasing - it isn't just the Israeli people he is failing, it is the people of American as well. It's a bad deal - any moron can see that! 

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Israel's Prime Minister Makes it Clear why The Palestinians Must Recognize Israel as The Jewish State.

    Love him or hate him, nobody can deny that in English and Hebrew, Bibi Netanyahu is one of the great orators amongst world leaders. Last night I had the privilege of hearing him deliver a major speech - in English - to the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of N.America here in Jerusalem. During the speech, Bibi explained his very clear, logical reasons why recognition of Israel, not just as a state, but as a "Jewish State" must be part of any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians:
    There is no question that Israel will recognize a future Palestine not just as a country in its own right, but as "The Palestinian state" - that is not to say that other faiths / peoples could not reside there, or even be citizens, but the culture and philosophy of the state would be enshrined within internationally agreed borders as Palestinian. The same, said Israel's Prime Minister, must be demanded of the Palestinians toward Israel. Why? Because they may recognize that a state called Israel currently exists east of the Mediterranean, but that recognition does not preclude a "one state solution" - ie Israel becomes majority Muslim Arab. They try very hard to twist and turn but never acknowledge the Jewishness of Israel -  Palestinian Authority education curriculum still talks about Palestine extending from the River to the Sea even as they sit with Israel to negotiate the borders of a potential state, and it is clear from the rhetoric on the Palestinian Authority controlled media, that any agreement with Israel, no matter how "final" the talks appear to be, is merely a stepping stone toward the goal of greater Palestine that included Haifa, Jaffa, Eilat, etc. Recognition that Israel is not only a state, but a 'Jewish state', is clear recognition that whatever border are agreed for this new Palestinian state, they will be final. Two states for two people and not - in Bibi's words - "One state for one people (Palestine) and one state for two people (Israel). 
    There are haters of Israel will read this and say "see Zionism is racism" but lets be clear what the Palestinians want - a Jew free Palestine - it is their stated policy. They will not be offering a home to any Jews who wish to remain in Judea / Samaria as Palestinian citizens as Israel did for those arabs that resisted their leaders call to leave Israel in 1948. Indeed it is Palestinian policy that makes it illegal for an arab to sell his land to  a Jew - the punishment? Death. That is racism. They want a Palestinian state for the Palestinians only. Israel is a Jewish state, but 20% of Israelis are arab, Israel has two official languages - Hebrew & Arabic and arabs are active in every aspect of Israeli society, from heading major army units, to sitting on the supreme court; running hospitals to entering parliament. Zionism is not racism - it is focused on building the Jewish state - it is PRO JEWISH, but not anti anyone. The same can not be said for Palestinian nationalism and it is long beyond time that the "Zionism is racism" mob, learn where the racism can be found.

    Monday, August 5, 2013

    Iran - A Self Destructive Extreme Ideology That Destabilizes The Arab World, Threatens Israel

    Iran is in a terrible economic position - According to the Washington Post, it is suffering from plunging hard-currency reserves, steadily dropping oil exports and inflation at 45% and growing. This disaster is entirely self inflicted, and they know it... and yet, they are not likely to change course - the reason? Blind unbending Islamic ideology - The Iranian people, repressed and powerless, are the ones suffering - All this is due to its own ideological stance - after all, lets be honest - Iran is building nuclear weapons to defend itself from the threat of what? Invasion by Israel? Being nuked by Israel? It was never going to happen...until Iran worked hard to make itself Israel's number one enemy -  In fact Iran doesn't share a border with Israel, and were it not for its very real threats, underpinned by an immovable  Islamist (and deeply antisemitic) ideology (great example can be seen in the Supreme Ayatollah's new twitter account) as well as a foreign policy goal of gaining power & influence in the neighboring Arab world through  the hearts and minds of the Arab street, Iran would not feature on Israel's radar screen. Iran has clearly set a goal to make itself Israel's problem, and has succeeded to make itself a very real threat to Israel which has resulted in many Israeli lives being lost already:  How? It built a proxy terror structure with Hamas in Gaza & Hezbollah threatening Israel's north & south (and destabilizing both Egypt's Sinai region & all of Lebanon as well as involving itself in the Syrian civil war) and then launched itself on a nuclear program, with very clear intentions of developing weapons grade nuclear fuel. This direct interference in the Arab / Israel conflict (which otherwise would be an irrelevancy to the Iranian people) has caused Iran to be a pariah state for the west, its economy in ruins, its people suffering genuine & totally unnecessary hardship.

    The possibility of a Israel & the Palestinians coming to a negotiated settlement has been made far more difficult by Iran's interference, without which it is unlikely Hamas would have had the ability to take over Gaza or wage its terror war with Israel. In any negotiated settlement, whilst the subject of borders might be the most technically difficult, the issue of Israel's security is the most vital for the Israeli side - Iran's on-going interference & desire to prolong the conflict between Israel & the Palestinians, playing on Jewish hatred endemic in the arab world  in order to use Israel as its scapegoat for its propaganda war for the arab mind,  make it difficult for the PLO to offer Israel any security guarantees. Indeed if the two sides do appear close to an agreement, it is a distinct possibility that Iran will order Hezbollah and Hamas (which is keen to make amends with Iran after distancing themselves during the Morsi era) to attack Israel - expect rockets, border fire & attempted kidnappings. If Israel once again has to subdue Gaza or enter Lebanon, it will be very hard for Abbas's Fatah to be able to sit at the table with Israel. 

    All this is so unnecessary - all it would take would be for Iran to place its economy over its fanatical Islamist ideology - and it would rapidly see its economy go from bust to boom, from extreme contraction to growth - after all a western world, barely emerging from a near depression economic downturn, will delighted to have oil supplies increase & the price per barrel plunge. The Iranian people would enjoy the benefit of a growing economy, with all that brings, however, for Iran this would mean doing business with Satan himself and ignoring the
    The Middle East Map - Iran (above Syria & to North & West of Iraq)
    too far away to actually be shown!
    tiny corner of Middle East real estate where Jews and not Muslims are the majority. It wont do that - its ideology of hating all that the west stands for and loathing everything Jews touch with a medieval passion overrides any practical concern. Let the people suffer - this is jihad & they will be rewarded! Shia Islam believes that every Muslim's obligation is to distance themselves from the enemies of Allah  and the infallible Ayatollahs of Iran have declared those enemies to be the US & it's allies, especially the "Zionists" - and lets be clear, by "Zionist" they mean Jews & everything Jews touch - for example, the mere fact that the future king of England's mother-in-law had a Jewish sounding maiden name is enough for Iranian state media to declare Jewish take over of the House of Windsor - although we aren't told why, if true (and it isn't!), this would be bad!

    Meanwhile Iran has found a receptive western ear for its hatred of The Great Satan (USA) and The Little Satan (Zionism / Israel / The Jews) in the liberal world. yes - the two disagree on everything - womens issues, democracy, gay rights, religious freedom, etc etc... but "US bad / Israel evil" is enough of a mutual hatred to bring these fools to support the Muslim fanatics (who still hate everything these liberals stand for!). If Iran says Israel is a white supremacist apartheid state on its Press TV propaganda channel (which would have made Goebbels proud!), these fools - based on their own illogical & hypocritical  inclination to believe the very worst of the fairly liberal Jewish State -  swallow it without thought and  will re-tweet without a moment's critical analysis.  

    All to often, the enemies of Israel both Arab & Western, accuse Israel of the very crimes that abound in the Arab & wider Muslim world - they see "Zionist" hands in the Syrian civil war, in Egyptian woes, in Lebanese instability...well perhaps they should get their heads out of their bigoted backsides and see who it is who truly is interfering in these places because people are suffering in their millions. 

    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    Bleak Future for the Palestinian 'Refugees' - Pawns & Victims of Arab World

    For over two years I have repeatedly blogged, tweeted and published articles about the plight of the so called 'Palestinian refugees' - I have said over and over that they have been used since 1948 as pawns by the Arab world - as a weapon against Israel. It should be obvious to all that despite the PLO's often repeated mantra of "law of return" for these refugees, no Palestinian state would have the resources to allow these 5,000,000 stateless pawns to live in Palestine. This has been a reason that the Palestinians for many years have been avoiding negotiations. However Obama & Kerry have dragged the PLO to the table, supported by Israel's impossible to ignore gesture of releasing Palestinian terrorist prisoners.  So now it is time to admit what the PLO has always known -   if these talks are successful the Palestinian refugees will not have a share in the new state:

    Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon Abdullah Abdullah admitted as much in a media interview in 2011 about Palestine’s  bid for U.N. statehood at that time. This high ranking Palestinian official  unequivocally stated that Palestinian refugees would not become citizens of any Palestinian state, an issue that has been much discussed. Abdullah said that the new Palestinian state would “absolutely not” be issuing Palestinian passports to refugees.
    “They are Palestinians, that’s their identity,” he said. “But … they are not automatically citizens.”

    A brief overview of the history of these refugees, shows how they have been treated treated like no other refugees in modern history creating the human tragedy that exists today - In brief  if you were made a refugee from Pakistan, Rwanda, or an Icelandic act of nature, you would be helped by UNHRC, who's website states their mission:
    "The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. UNHRC strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country."
    If however you have Palestinian ancestors, the UNHRC cannot help you, because apparently Palestinian refugees are under the mandate of UNRWA - which exists not to help them find safe haven or start new lives but to maintain them as permanent refugees as their own website admits:
    "UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight.

    What this difference  has meant is that 3-4 generations of Palestinians have been kept stateless across the arab world - often suffering from harsh racist local laws which deny them property, education and employment and most certainly citizenship. The reason has always been known, as was stated clearly in 1958 by the then head of UNRWA:

    This is a crime against humanity, which has seen the UN complicit in its role as enabler. The so called  Pro-Palestinians also have a lot to answer for - a genuine "Pro-Palestinian" would surely be someone who not only puts pressure on Israel but would also look for resolution to the plight of Palestinian refugees in the countries where they, their parents and their grandparents were born.  However, despite the racist anti-Palestinian legislation which exists in every arab country, the so called Pro-Palestinians never discuss the issue. As I've said before, they are not pro anyone, merely anti-Israel...sorry 'Zionism'.... as they can't bring themselves to use the name of the only democracy in the Middle East. 

    Imagine you are one of these "Palestinian Refugees" - you have never been to Palestine / Israel; you, your parents and grandparents have been born in Lebanon , Syria, Egypt etc - prior to 1948 your family may well have seen themselves as Southern Syrian rather than any other arab identity - in 1948 the Arab League, & local Palestinian arab leaders including the infamous Mufti of Jerusalem - who spent WW2 as a guest of Hitler - called for the Arabs of Palestine to leave while the arab armies would defeat Israel once and for all and so your family found themselves refugees in a neighboring arab state - all these generations later you have been born a refugee, not allowed to take part in the citizenship of the country of your birth  perhaps banned from an education or job, not allowed to put down roots or in any way improve your life - you have been told to blame the Zionists - "they did this to you! ...One day the Zionists will be pushed into the sea, and you'll go home...". Home, they are told, is not the country they want to live in, but the one they are TOLD they want to live in ! Its like Zionism's evil twin! The Arab world has created its own microcosm of the Jewish experience to build a politicized angry Palestinian identity by persecuting them in the same way Jews were persecuted for centuries - laws ensuring they live in ghettos (refugee camps)   lacking opportunity to buy property or some states even have professional training or qualifications... all this whilst punctuated by occasional pogroms and all along the UN has watched and supported this crime.

    Here we are in 2013 and the PLO is sitting at the table in Washington, talking with Israel, but as Palestinian ambassador  Abdullah Abdullah explained - regardless of the outcome, there will be no place for the refugees in the new Palestine - how could there be? They number 5,000,000 poverty stricken people - Palestine at best will be a small, poor state and will need many years to become economically viable - so after all these years, all the raucous bleating of the anti Israeli / BDS crowd, these Palestinians will have gained nothing from their 65 years as pawns - being to the Arab world what the Jews were to Europe prior to Hitler. Will anyone answer to this crime against humanity in the Hague? Will a commission of inquiry  ever be established to examine the UN's role in supporting one of the greatest human rights aberrations since WW2? Will the UN finally shut down the UNRWA and place the Palestinians under the UNHRC like every other refugee in the world since the founding of the UN? The UNHRC would of course seek to make the Palestinian refugees citizens of the countries that they have been born in. Will Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt etc finally recognize these people for what they are - children of their countries of birth - and grant them the rights of
    citizenship? if not - what will happen to them? Will they rise against the injustice the Arab world & UN has done to them - a true Palestinian Spring? or will they continue a campaign of terror, possibly aimed at Palestine as much as Israel?  Will Israel's BDS haters - motivated as many suspect by a virulent modern variety of antisemitism rather than any true humanitarian feelings - maintain their campaign against evil Zionism, moving from settlements to the Palestinian refugee cause as their hypocritical new  reason to boycott Israel - this would ensure that for another generation, the refugees will continue to suffer the racism of the past 65 years. of course these haters of the Jewish state will have the fullest support of Hamas & other Islamist Palestinian groups, which will no doubt gain succor from these campaigns and keep alive the false hope of return for the refugees. 

    While it must always be better in a conflict  if parties are talking, I am doubtful that anything useful can come from the current negotiations - especially in the current climate in the Arab & wider Islamic world. However, I will say for certain that if the Arab states are not part of a solution for the refugees, regardless of the outcome of the talks between Israel & the PLO, their suffering will continue. if it does, no amount of agreements on the ground in Israel will have the dramatic impact on the Middle East that President Obama is hoping for - his Sec. of State  John Kerry urgently needs to bring the non Iranian aligned states in the region to the table as well.

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    The EU Sanctions Against Israel - How to Lose influence & Credibility

    On the week that Israel has agreed to release hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from its prisons  - people with much Jewish blood on their hands - as a one sided gesture, merely to bribe the Palestinians to come to the table for talks that benefit Palestinians more than Israelis (and which are almost certain to be doomed to failure), the EU seems to think that now is the time when Israel needs pressuring and that this is the time for economic sanctions. Did the great and wise heads of the EU ever wonder why, if the Palestinians want a state so badly, if they long for freedom and for Israel to withdraw to  the 1949 armistice line (which is what is meant by pre-67 borders), if they waste a great deal of time and energy going to the UN to get some kind of meaningless demi / semi statehood in order to pressure Israel...if they are that keen for this to work, why do the need to be bribed to come to the table, and even then very reluctantly?

    In any case, the EU has issued its sanctions and the immediate result is...the Palestinians are being hurt - not the healthy growing Israeli economy, which makes the collapsing European Union look like economic morons  - but the Palestinian people, where the EU is engaged in a multitude of projects, that without Israel's support, cannot continue. Well guess what - a thoroughly and justifiably pissed off Israel is disinclined to continue that support making the EU's humanitarian efforts almost impossible. It is normative practice before any state issues sanctions, to consider the imopact, not only on the target of the punishment, but other effects such as minority impacts and economic damage to the enacter of the sanctions. it is clear the EU did not consider these issues at all.

    Further more, a European Union, desperate for sources of energy, has just placed sanctions on the only democracy in the Middle East - a state that has recently become a major oil & gas producer - potentially the 1/3 largest in the Middle East according to some estimates -  with the ability to find customers anywhere it wants, but an inclination to sell to Cyprus, Greece, Italy & Spain...all EU members with collapsed economies. More than likely, their contract  negotiations for that non Arab supply of Mid East oil & gas is not with Israel, the  willing exporter, but a sullen and angry Israel.

    Moreover, morally, for the EU to look at the complex, volatile situation in this region and believe that the place it should direct punishment  - for that is what sanctions amount to - exclusively against Israel, is absurd and impossible to fathom. Every Mid East state enacts racist anti Palestinian laws; 100,000s dead in Syria, Lebanon a fractured racist society virtually run by terrorists; Egypt shooting protesters in large numbers as democracy fails there after just a few months; Saudi Arabia which has laws suppressing women's rights that England was ahead of 150 years ago.... I could go on...but from this violent, racist, oppressive region, with 330,000,000 people living without rights, it has chosen Israel - the only free country in this region - for sanctions - please someone explain how there is an iota of justification for this move or any possibility for this to forward the cause of the Palestinians.

    So Israel is angered, EU efforts to aid Palestinian development have suffered a major set back, EU's ability to in anyway act as brokers in the Israeli Arab negotiations have virtually gone, Palestinians themselves are often employed by these israeli firms (so their jobs are endangered as the PA has said) and Israel's willingness to share its incredible technological and academic  achievements with Europe have almost certainly become more expensive for the Europeans. Their banks collapsing, their currency hanging on by a thread and now with this stupid move, their credibility in international diplomacy in tatters - who, if anyone, is running the EU - what a joke! 

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    Pushing The Palestinians to Violence

    At the risk of repeating the point I made in my last blog (which now seems almost prophetic!) President Obama & his sidekick John Kerry are pushing very hard to bring Israel & the Palestinians to the table. The only outcome I can see from this is bloodshed - particularly Israeli civilian bloodshed - the fact that Obama does not recognize this danger is simply a continuation of his astounding failure over past 5 years to understand the Arab &  Islamic world - this failing  has caused chaos in the Middle East.

    The Palestinian Authority have excellent reasons for not wanting to negotiate at this time - indeed they really cannot go forward in good faith, knowing full well they do not carry the Palestinian people with them and that they are unable to make any guarantees that Israel needs. The Palestinian people are split between the PLO / Fatah Palestinian Authority and  Iranian backed Islamists such as Hamas who will never accept any agreement that leaves Jews in Israel; The Arab world is in turmoil, and therefore no regional agreement can be produced, which is vital for any agreement to hold and for a Palestinian state to succeed (its failure would be a disaster for Israel as well as the Palestinians); there are powerful elements in the Arab & wider Islamic world that have no interest in seeing an end to the Israeli  / Palestinian conflict, most obviously Iran. Lets not ignore the all pervasive antisemitism that affects Arab thinking - it is an almost medieval hatred as Prof Robert Wistrich explained to me in this interview a couple of years ago, that reaches incredible levels within the palestinian world, thanks to the institutional incitement every Palestinian is taught from birth.  I've mentioned the Palestinian refugees in several posts - millions of people maintained as stateless generational refugees in countries they, their parents and grandparents were born in - the minute a Palestinian state is declared, we can expect the majority of these refugees to ethnically cleansed - oh, it'll be called "right of return" but it will be the sending of millions of people to a tiny poor newly founded state in a land they have no familiarity with. It will crush Palestine, and both Fatah & Hamas know this...they just can't say it!

    So what happens if the Palestinians are placed in the impossible position of having to negotiate by Obama & Kerry? If their standard tactic of producing unacceptable preconditions are trumped by Israel's gestures (such as releasing Palestinian terrorist prisoners merely to get its enemies to talk)  history has shown clearly that backing the Palestinians a corner of talks or agreement they don't want - but can't say they don't want - leads to violence. This was how Arafat dealt with the aftermath of Camp David (when then Israeli PM Barak offered him more than anyone ever expected) - Arafat's reaction has a name - the Second Intifada - which the Mitchell Report (the investigatory committee set up to look into the causes behind the breakdown in the peace process), the government of Israel asserted that:
    the immediate catalyst for the violence was the breakdown of the Camp David negotiations on July 25, 2000 and the "widespread appreciation in the international community of Palestinian responsibility for the impasse." In this view, Palestinian violence was planned by the PA leadership, and was aimed at "provoking and incurring Palestinian casualties as a means of regaining the diplomatic initiative."
    So at a time when the Mid East is in turmoil, when the Palestinians are deeply divided and their leaders are suffering unprecedented unpopularity and when external influences have a vested interest in the Israeli conflict continuing, how can President Obama consider it appropriate to place the Palestinians under this pressure to negotiate with Israel ? It is doomed from the start and that means people - mostly Israelis & primarily women and children - will die - There are times to push and times to back off - Mr Obama...Mr. Kerry BACK OFF BEFORE MORE MIDDLE EAST RESIDENTS ARE HURT! 

    Thursday, July 18, 2013

    The Very Real Cost of John Kerry's Foolish Peace Efforts

    US Sec. of State Kerry has been working all out on solving what is without argument the least pressing issue in the Middle East - the  Israel / Palestinian conflict - and his heavy handed efforts will almost certainly cost lives.

    As I've written previously , the Palestinians are unable and unwilling to enter into final status talks - unable because they are split between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah controlled Palestinian Authority. Worse, the Abbas led PA is deeply unpopular and seen as a "Zionist tool" by much of the Palestinian street, therefore rendering any agreement unpalatable to the Palestinian people & an anathema to Hamas. Worse, the many years of incitement in Palestinian society, which starts when their children are very small, has led to  a people who truly believe that a Palestinian state will include Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah. Then there is the issue of the so called Palestinian refugees - 65 years of being kept in slum camps, with no rights by their Arab brothers, they will almost certainly be "repatriated" to the new & very poor state of Palestine, crushing it before it even gets established. Abbas knows this, and knows he can't accept these refugees, nor can he (or any Palestinian leader) ever say this to the Palestinians, who have been brought up on the mantra of "right of return" for 65 years.

    We've seen in the past that when the Palestinian Authority has seen no way to walk from talks, it turns to violence, making the situation worse. If Kerry pushes them this time, we can expect to see images of blown up buses and bombed cafe's again - the Palestinians will resort to violence to stop this impossible agreement ever being negotiated - certainly Hamas & other Islamist will resort to violence forcing Israel to defend itself, creating the pretext for Abbas to walk away. Nothing achieved but dead and maimed Israelis, and ordinary Palestinians suffering from increased security measures by the IDF.

    Add to that the question as to whether anyone seriously looking at the Middle East, with rampant Islamist clashing with autocratic regimes, and chaos surrounding all of Israel's borders, believe that Israel can  trust the Palestinians & other Arab states to be able to honor an agreement? After all any Palestinian state will occupy the high ground above Israel's center, a military nightmare for the IDF, and yet the Palestinian Authority  cannot even guarantee it won't become a Hamas organization within a year! The what? Certainly a situation far far worse for both sides than that which exists today. The states that neighbor Israel are in position to offer anyone security guarantees - even Jordan, the most stable state in the area, could easily succumb to 'arab spring' violence at any moment. 

    I'm not saying there shouldn't be talks or that the potential for agreement does not exist - but this is not the time: Iran & their Islamists have caused chaos across the Mid East, hijacking the  Arab Spring with the potential to drag Lebanon & Jordan into the hell of Syria's civil war; diminished power of Arab oil (along with Israel's newly discovered oil & gas) has started a process of changing attitude to Israel from the Gulf States - a process that could eventually produce regional allies to support a peace agreement..but not yet; a deeply; and a  violently divided Palestinian state in no way ready for statehood - the only the Kerry can achieve here is instability and violence. A regional solution is needed, with regional guarantees & regional involvement in any negotiations, to deal with the issue of the refugees, security, etc...only a fool could believe that in the midst of the current chaos, such an agreement can be reached at this time.

    The Obama administration has shown that every time it has dipped its heavy handed toes into the Mid East  it has failed miserably, causing far more misery than existed before they butted in - so Mr. Kerry...your kind of help, we can do without! 

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    Egypt: Last Straw in Obama's Middle East Foreign Policy Disasters

    President Obama's knee jerk reaction to the original Tahrir Sq uprising forced the military to oust long time US ally Hosni Mubarak - the reason? "Well democracy must be better right?"!  No real thought appears to have been given to who or what might have filled that power vacuum, even though it seemed obvious to those of us who follow Middle East politics, that only the Muslim Brotherhood - with values inimical to democracy - had the organization in place to fight elections. The Brotherhood, recognizing this, pushed for early elections. Obama saw this as an embracing of the democratic values that america loves and so the Brotherhood won the first ever free elections in Egypt, because nobody else stood a chance! I have written here repeatedly that democracy is not "one person, one vote, one time" and in fact elections do not equal democracy, they are the result of democracy - something that has to be understood by the state & citizenship and ingrained into the national psyche, as it in Israel. What happened in Egypt was that a non democratic group of Islamic extremists manipulated democratic ideas to gain power. Obama had no choice, but to to back "democratically elected" Morsi, even after he granted himself semi-dictatorial powers after only 5 months into his year in office. This was a year marked by government censorship, and anti Christian racism as well as one of having no answers to Egypt's rapidly declining economy which led to 22,000,000 Egyptians signing a petition calling for his resignation! Obama's not so calculated risk could have even ended the Egyptian / Israeli peace agreement, and may well would have, without the non democratic influence of Egypt's military!

    When the massive anti-Morsi protests hit the streets a couple of weeks ago, Obama and his new (light weight) secretary of state John Kerry, had little to say, and only when the Egyptian army stepped in did Obama make a halfhearted statement in support of Egypt's now cancelled democracy that had never really existed in the first place, thanks to US supporting Morsi! What a mess. Its interesting to note (as several Israeli newspaper editorials did this past week) that two years ago the Egyptian army interceded to oust Mubarak only after the Obama administration turned against him. Now that same military have totally ignored Obama and ousted Morsi (and this despite the fact that congress may be forced by its own rules to block further aid to Egypt's ailing economy until democracy is 'restored'!)  - how the mighty US has fallen in a year.

    Looking across the Middle East, Obama has failed to tackle or understand the growing threat represented by Iran, or even place them under enough pressure to slow them down, which has allowed Iran the room to continue its drive to dominate the Arab world and fill the vacuum left by Egypt's demise, interfere in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey not to mention provide the support Hamas needs to maintain its Fortress Gaza policy & prosecute its terrorist war against Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

    In Syria Obama has been shown to be weak and ineffectual when faced by an emasculated UN and
    intransigent Russia - where is the decisive foreign policy of a superpower protecting its foreign interests and human rights? You would think it was the USA that had collapsed 20 years ago & not the USSR / Russia! The Obama administration's failure not only to act but to even formulate a coherent policy toward Syria has in part led to the death of 100,000 people, the further arming of Hezbollah, the involvement of Al Qaeda in Syria, the gradual destabilization of Lebanon and even a possibility of Turkey, Israel & Jordan being dragged reluctantly into the conflict. It has also created a huge refugee crisis.

    Meanwhile what has Hilary Clinton's replacement as Secretary of State been focused on over the past few months? Well yes...The Middle East issue - but unfortunately the wrong one - Kerry has spent a huge amount of time racking up air miles in an unprecedented shuttle diplomacy attempt to reignite the long stalled Israel / Palestinian peace process!! He declares that he has made "real progress" - This despite the clear and obvious signs that now is not a time when the Palestinian side is in a position or mind set to enter talks - it is deeply split between Fatah and Hamas, the Palestinian Authority is unable to hold internal elections, its President's mandate having ended years ago and its current leadership vacuum in its Prime Minister's office. it is telling that literally as Kerry flew back to the US, talking about his successful talks with the Palestinians and their willingness to enter negotiations, Palestinian president Abbas was busy on Palestinian TV, honoring a terrorist leader, with the blood of multiple Israelis, including many children, on his hands   - this incitement is a direct snub to Obama & Congress, which has long criticized the Palestinians over incitement and the glorification of terrorists. Meanwhile on the Israeli side, the new Netanyahu government has other more pressing & divisive internal issues to focus on, before it will want to enter the politically difficult and contentious  [and quite probably fruitless talks] with the Palestinians. 

    So while the Arab Spring turns into another Arab Disaster; Iran heads towards nuclear arms and consequential conflict with Israel & other Mid East states; and in Syria (where Iran where not coincidentally, is interfering) the mass slaughter continues, threatening the entire region, John Kerry is wasting his time on an issue that should not (at this time) be even close to the top of his agenda and its not as if he is making headway! A few years ago, former President Bush was criticized for taking a heavy hand in the Mid East, but at least we can say that he had influence and that right or wrongly, his administration was listened to - Obama has turned US's role into that of a minor player on the word stage and because of that, people are dying - that will be his legacy here and that is unforgivable.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Truth of Israel Exposes Lies of BDS

    Its been a bad week for BDS campaigners - already suffering from having their motives questioned even by left wing Peace campaigners and genuine pro-Palestinians, because they exclusively advocate boycotting all things Israeli, defying logic and reason, while 100,000 have been slaughtered in Syria, and 330,000,000 arabs live with limited democratic rights, they see democratic Israel as the evil state of the Mid East, if not the world.  So in defiance of the BDS calls for boycott, yesterd ay my wife and I - and 29,700 others - went to "Teddy Stadium", Jerusalem's newly enlarged sports arena (which now sits 34,000) for the final of the Euro U21 football (soccer) tournament which has been played in Israel this month. The demographic of the crowd would cause BDS haters to lose bladder control -  I sat on a row filled with american visitors (none of whom understood the offside rule!), in front of a group of  Jewish Israeli 12 and
    13 year old kids-  whose parents had no concerns about them coming to the game unsupervised - and behind a group of Palestinian youth, who on hearing my english accent , spent several minutes debating Manchester United's future with me, in Hebrew & English. This pretty much reflects the makeup of the crowd at this match and throughout this superb tournament and quite frankly, is pretty much a  microcosm of life in Jerusalem

    If this wasn't enough to have BDS bigots & fanatics reaching for the adult diapers, we had Formula 1 cars racing through the streets of Jerusalem last week, with crowds of Israelis and Arabs standing shoulder to shoulder, each making way for the others kids to squeeze through to enjoy the spectacle. 

    Last night in Jerusalem - in celebration of Israel's 89 year old President - Barbra Streisand has finally come to the Jewish state, while America's former President, Bill Clinton & daughter Chelsea (+ Jewish husband)  were spotted praying at the Western Wall - one can feel BDS fanatics  worldwide chomping on their antacids - add to that the savaging in the press by the pop duo the Pet Shop Boys & Alicia Keys dismissal of their rantings - and one can imagine hospitals around the world prepping for an influx of hypertensive, incontinent Israel hating fanatics! 

    All this activity has brought the world press to Israel, and not the usual jaded Middle East journos, but rather a broad range of sports and entertainments writers - you can see the result of this in a rash of stories about day to day Israeli life and recent achievements they've spotted in their free time. This is the last thing BDS crusaders want - they peddle in lies - they lie about their real objective, they lie about the situation on the ground in Israel and they lie about Israel & Palestinian history. Press stories exposing what life is really like in israel is a disaster for them - they don't want people knowing more, they want them knowing less, allowing BDS hate to fill that void of ignorance with their lies.

    They lie about "apartheid" - and mixed arab Jewish events in Israel demonstrate that clearly; they lie about 'peace' being their objective - it isn't - destruction of Israel is their objective, whilst two state solution ideas cause them to vomit - indeed we have seen in the past that BDS supporters go out of their way to undermine palestinian leaders who move toward negotiations - for example  writing in the Guardian, Clayton Swisher, head of Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit & BDS supporter,  referred to the then advanced state of negotiations as “a peace process run amok.” !! A peace agreement with Israel would not only mean a future for the Palestinians, but also for Israel - they don't want any  future for "the illegal Zionist entity" and they have no problem with lengthening the Palestinian suffering across the Middle East that they pretend to be motivated by.

    So lets make it clear - BDS fanatics are NOT pro-Palestinian, they're ANTI-Israel - they know that talking about apartheid, gender cleansing and any other slur they can find is at best an extreme exaggeration and at worst a downright blatant lie, but they don't care - talking about the real issues and problems creates conversation and ideas, which in turn can lead to negotiations. 

    Before I end this on a positive note, let's not forget the hypocrisy of BDS - they call on you to boycott all things Israeli from fruit to orchestras, sports to science, but do their leaders boycott Israel, avoiding its contributions to the world the way a vegan avoids animal products? BDS hypocrites have made no suggestion of not using Google, despite it's recent our chase of Waze (the Zionist GPS!), I've never heard any suggestion that BDS urges people not to use disk-on-keys (Zionist technology!) or any other important Israeli invention. They are liars & hypocrites who cause  harm & unemployment to Palestinians and manipulate other well meaning people into doing the same. Their policy isn't new! 

    So wheres the positive: Its Israel!! BDS are a pathetic failure - Israel an incredible success - its a success in democracy, its a success militarily, its a success economically, its a success culturally. Utopia it is not - there are very real difficult issues, but the BDS haters are not talking about them, so they are not talking about real solutions - if you genuinely want to see life improve for israelis & of course palestinians, then put your ideas out there - but don't be taken in by hatred - no answers lie in hate. In the meantime look at Israel & its contributions that so outweigh its small size and population - what an achievement for Zionism!  

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

    The Palestinians, badly treated by the Arab world, must turn to Israel to build a lasting future

    The Palestinians have no friends in the Arab world - they are to some states pawns, to others parasites and to yet others, the "untouchables" of the arab world - Across the Middle East the so called 'refugees' are denied passports & citizenship by the countries they, their fathers  and grandfathers were born in. The aim, aside from clear racism and lack of basic humanity, seems to remain the same since 1948 - the politicization of the Palestinians: 

    "The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it an open sore, as an affront to the UN and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die." Ralph Galloway, former Director of UNRWA, August 1958 

    Arafat himself said "We refuse to talk about the resettlement of refugees [where they are currently living] because this is a crime….It is the Palestinians' right to return to their homeland." Yasser Arafat, Al-Quds (Palestinian newspaper) September 11, 1999

    Arab states treatment of the Palestinians born in these countries - their countries -  is beyond awful - it is deeply racist - in Lebanon they can not own property or study any course of higher education or professional qualification;   Saudi Arabia, during their labor shortage of the 1970s and 80s , chose to employ foreign workers rather than resident unemployed Palestinians.
    In fact, it often seems that the only time Arab states even pay lip service to Palestinian concerns is when they are connected to Israel. 

    Meanwhile, the Palestinians themselves, kept poverty bound and stateless in their 'refugee camps' (essentially a policy of Nazi era style ghetto-ization) are taught that all their woes are because of "Zionists" who caused this Nakba (calamity). They are taught to hate from kindergarten -" Zionism caused your problems...Zionism is day the Zionist state will fall" say their Arab "brothers" and the Palestinians know no different. They hate the Zionists, believing with great faith, the Pallywood lies of apartheid, genocide and child murder.They see Israel as the perpetrator of the horrors in truth are occurring daily in virtually every other state in the Middle East APART from Israel! They see no irony in Israel being the only country in the Middle East where all its citizens, including Arabs, have the rights 330,000,000 other arabs can only dream of; They probably never hear that israel is the safe haven for minorities persecuted in Palestinian society (gays, Druze, Bahai, christians etc) - they only know that their Arab brothers say everything bad is Israel's fault - look at Twitter: Syria is a zionist plot, riots against Morsi in Egypt - Israel caused that; Hamas persecution & oppression - if Israel wasnt there it wouldnt happen; 9/11 - Mossad - even the Japanese tsunami is widely believed in Arab world to have been caused by Zionism.

    The truth however is that for them to have any future, it can only be with Israel. The Arab states hold no solutions for the people against whom they have perpetrated a racist crime against humanity for 65 years, and if & when a Palestinian state is born, they'll offer little more than lip service. More than likely they will expel their Palestinian 'refugees' forcing millions of people to emigrate to the tiny Palestinian state which will be unable to receive them.

    A future Palestinian state will need port access, it will need water , gas and oil, food even. That isn't going to come from Lebanon or Syria, and probably not too much from Jordan - only Israel can provide the trade agreements that Palestine will need - without Israel they will be doomed - indeed as I have already said, if the Arab states unload their refugees on this state, it will be doomed anyway and Israel will find itself with a worse situation on its hands than it currently faces.

    Further more, the Palestinian position in the Arab world became weaker as Israel recently became a gas producer, and shortly will be the 3rd largest gas and oil exporter in the Middle East. The oil producing Arab states are aware of this and are already signalling a shift in their entrenched positions toward Israel, with some of their smaller allies and proxies trading openly with the Zionist entity. Iran (not an Arab country) is making a power-play for political control and influence within the Arab world, and has chosen Israel as the method of gaining that power - this too makes it worthwhile for those Arab states ranged against Iran, to change their position on Israel. All this does not bode well for the Palestinians, whose policy - sometimes stated, sometimes not - has always been "all or nothing" - they have avoided negotiations on final settlement agreements even when they have had this in their hands, because  they have sold their people the lie that there really is only a one state solution - Palestine - after all, how can they tell the people they are making a deal with the source of all evil? So Arafat started an intifada rather than sign an agreement, and Abbas twists and turns, offering any reason and objection he can find why he can't negotiate. 

    There is a glimmer of hope in all this for both Israel & the Palestinians - the possibility, rarely mentioned, of a regional agreement. As Arab states start to need Israel more than they need it gone, they may become more able to pressure the Palestinians to the table, more willing to offer citizenship to 2nd and 3rd generation 'refugees' born in their countries. This offers Israel the security guarantees that it seeks, and opens for the Palestinian state the opportunity for trade and goods to travel through their small country. Its a small window of hope, and if this doesn't come to be, I see no future for the Palestinian people, who history will probably judge as a people who, in the words of Israeli elder statesman, the late Abba Eban  "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity"

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    The Lowest Kind of Jew Hatred: Silencing The Holocaust

    Over and over we hear the slogan "I'm not antisemitic, I'm anti Zionist" - let me clarify one thing at the start - if you are "anti Israel's policies" then that does not make you antisemitic, but as soon as you say you declare that you are anti the very concept of Jews having a state (antizionist) then, yes, you are almost certainly an antisemite.

    In any case, today is Israel's holocaust memorial day, known as Yom HaShoa. Its a day when radio's play no music, flags fly at half mast, and just minutes ago, at 10am here in Israel, sirens sound for two minutes and the entire country stood, heads bowed, on buses, airports, shopping factories, during meetings, in makes no difference, all citizens of the Jewish state share the collective pain of the methodical slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews by the Nazis. The loss of almost half of all the Jews living at that time is still felt today and always will be in this country forged by survivors: Last night six aging survivors lit memorial flames at the national memorial 
    ceremony. These six people had settled in Israel after the war and between them had around 12 children, 30 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. How many Jews were never born because of the loss of the 6,000,000? What contributions to Judaism, art, literature, science and world economy would those 60 or 70 million people have made? We mourn this too. It is unfathomable that the Holocaust would not be deeply ingrained into the national psyche of the Jewish people, and of course the Jewish state and beggars belief that anyone should not understand and respect this, or worse could resent it.

    Turn then to our enemies, who use holocaust and Nazi imagery to describe so many debates conflicts or clashes they have with Israel and Zionism: Minor's arrested for stone throwing = Fascist Zionists; Israel returns Hamas fire = Nazi genocide; Gaza =  a concentration camp; Bibi is compared with Hitler and so on. If this cheapening of what the holocaust was and stealing its imagery for propaganda against Jews were not enough, yesterday (on the eve of Holocaust day)  we saw Israel's enemies launch a cyber attack on Israel called 'Op Israel' - admittedly this effort was an embarrassing failure for the not so 'anonymous' hackers, but never the less, it is telling that their tagline was "silencing Israel" and their websites did not contain political messages, but extreme Islamic ones. What was sickening is that one of the handful of websites they managed to bring down was an NGO working with children with cancer, and the most extreme effort of the day was against Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial & educational organization. They wanted to bring down the world's most important holocaust site hours before Yom HaShoa - how is that political? How is that about building a Palestinian future? It is an attack not on Israel - it is an attack on the Jewish people, an effort to tell them that 70 years after the holocaust, there are still people out there that want Jews gone, that they want talk of the holocaust silenced. 

    Perhaps they fear the images of a people little more than walking skeletons in 1945, beating the combined arab armies 3 years later in Israel? Perhaps the religious Islamists see the hand of G-d in the Jews remarkable survival and subsequent success and they seek to dispel their fear with denial. I don't know, but I do know that stealing the holocaust, using its imagery against the Jewish state and worse seeking to deny it occurred, silencing it's websites - essentially attempt to rip the holocaust away from the Jewish people, I know that this has nothing to do with Israel & The Palestinians, nothing to do with final agreements or settlements - it is hatred of Jews and anything that may give the wider world an understanding of the Jewish people - it  is antisemitism in its purest, Jew hating form.

    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    Some Questions for Ireland's Teachers- Educators No More!

    I am incensed by the decision of Ireland's teaching union's call for an academic boycott of Israel. Why has this particular BDS absurdity caused me to put pen to paper (well..finger to keypad anyway) ? Because this is a group of people who are supposed to be ! As Malcolm Forbes (Forbes Magazine) put it "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." . So I want to post a few open questions to Irish teachers:

    1. Why did the difficult and complex situation in Israel lead you to make a decision to boycott just one side of this issue? The Palestinian Authority are clearly avoiding talks, while Hamas, the other half of Palestinian society, are committed to genocide. Why did you not decided to at LEAST "knock heads together" and boycott both sides until things improve! I might disagree with the moral equivalency but I'd have some respect for this position.

    2. When you looked at the oppression of civilians, the various conflicts, rogue states, and state human rights abuses occurring worldwide, why would any reasonable group of people (never mind a union of educators!) single out Israel? I'm not saying Israel is without fault and has not made mistakes in this difficult region in which it exists, but  Israel is a genuine democracy, offering freedoms and rights for 65 years, denied to 330,000,000 Arab citizens in the Middle East (including to Palestinians by their own leaders, as well as by Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and other states). Let me emphasize that Israel's democracy (free elections, media, judiciary etc) extends to the 20% of Israeli's who are not Jewish and was recently on display in elections which saw both Arab & Jews elected to the Knesset! It also included women, who enjoy full rights in Israel, a country that elected  a female prime minister over a decade before Britain did the same ( and something Ireland has never done) , whilst in comparison,Saudi Arabia's women can now ride bicycles (with some major restrictions), but cant drive cars of course.

    3. As educators, I must ask you how you can boycott the country that made significant steps to improve Palestinian education over the years prior to the Palestinians own PA taking over? Are you aware that Israel built seven universities & college of higher education in the West Bank after capturing it in a defensive war from Jordan (who did not build a single educational institute for Palestinians prior to 1967). Palestinian illliteracy was at 50% under Jordan, but by 1980 it was at 30% under Israel, and by the time the Palestinian Authority was formed it was at just 15% West Bank adults! In contrast Lebanon's racist anti-Palestinian laws forbid them from higher education or professional training. Has the Irish teachers union considered boycotting that country?

    4. Are the members of the union aware of the legislated anti-Palestinian racism of Lebanon, which resembles 1930s anti Jewish laws? I would hate to accuse anyone of rank hypocrisy, but I'll give it a go anyway: If the Irish teachers are so concerned about Palestinians, surely they would be incensed at this ongoing crime against humanity? The fact that they choose to ignore it and focus on Israel, leads me to suspect that this whole "boycott" is about hating Israel rather than helping Palestinians, something I wrote about a year ago.

    4. Do you understand that you damage Ireland's educational institutions when you stop working with one of the most important high tech & medical innovators in the world? For one thing, Israel is leading the world in the fight against cancer and Ireland's teachers are opting out of sharing in that vital work! Israel has recently helped cure River Blindness blighting 100,000s africans, its  disaster relief teams are always first on the scene worldwide, and share their expertise with anyone who will listen (so no longer Ireland !), its hi-tech innovations have changed the world: cell phone technology, intel chips, usb drives, even acne cream for spotty teens! 
     When the Irish teachers boycott Israeli academic institutions but continue to make use of the many benefits and advances Israel has provided the world  students are going to see the hypocrisy, apply some critical analysis and their relationship with Ireland's educator's will suffer, which is truly sad. Of course, by then, this boycott will have hurt them, damaging their country;s ability to participate in the innovation's that Israel leads the world in. Bottom line, Who the hell do the Irish teacher's think they are hurting when they decide not to work in cooperation with Israel?

    Aristotle wrote that It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it -  Supporting this boycott is not anti Israel - it is anti education! You may say "but  the Palestinians need a resolution; Israel does things i don't like etc" but as I said above, when you look at countries like China, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, various African states, Iran, Pakistan etc, and you decide to that it is Israel, struggling to survive as a democracy in the most unfriendly, antisemitic region in the world, that you will select as the sole state you abhor enough to not share ideas with, you stand exposed as a prejudiced hypocrite not an educator. You have nothing to offer your students - a hater and a closed mind never does.