Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How Brexit negotiations can help Israel


Video - Myths exposed by Canadian reporter - http://tinyurl.com/kl3y9m3

Article by Manfred Gerstenfeld, JP 18-3-2017
For the full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/m9kaymr
 
The Brexit negotiations are likely to be useful for Israel in a number of ways. One is that the British government, and in particular the country’s media, will expose in much detail the problems and misbehavior of the EU. 

An article in the British daily The Telegraph forecasts: “The EU will soon be crippled by Britain’s departure, robbing it of its financial center and billions of pounds a year in net contributions. The EU’s modus operandi has always been to buy support with German and British money, especially in poorer regions and in France’s agricultural heartlands: when the cash runs out, or is replaced by some euro-tax, tensions will flare up again.”

A second reason is the exposure of the problems of Europe’s leading countries. Even though the negotiations have not yet started, examples of this can already be found. One concerns France, a country which has a disproportionately weighty role in criticizing Israel and inciting against it in the EU, both in the past and under the current presidency.

The Telegraph has published an article identifying France as the sick man of Europe. It mentions that France’s public debt has increased over the past eight years and is now approaching 100% of GDP. This puts it among the top six EU countries suffering from high public debt. The paper also shows that French government spending was as high as 57% of GDP in 2015. This puts it jointly with Finland at the top of the 28 EU members in terms of spending. France’s economic growth in 2015 was only 1.3% compared with the 2.2% average of the EU. It furthermore has the second highest level of labor disputes in the EU.

There are indications of a further advantage for Israel from the Brexit negotiations. International law has frequently been abused by the EU against Israel. Here also the UK has a vested interest in showing that international law is a vague and inconsistent construct. The European Commission had threatened to force the UK to make payments of about 450 billion pounds sterling when it leaves the EU. Yet a financial affairs sub-committee of the House of Lords said in a report that “under international law the UK will not be legally obliged to contribute to the EU budget if an agreement is not reached at the end of Article 50 negotiations.” The committee said that even if the EU member states bring a case against the UK based on international law, it will be slow to litigate and hard to enforce. The more the British detail the limitations and shortcomings of international law, the better.

The late Meir Rosenne, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and France, and an international law expert, has said, “There are two types of international law. One is applied to Israel, the other to all other states. This comes to the fore when one looks at the way Israel is treated in international institutions.”

Rosenne mentioned as a typical example the 2004 International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the Israeli security fence. “In its judgment The Hague court decided that the inherent right of self-defense is enforced only if one is confronted by a state. If this were true, that would mean that whatever the United States undertakes against al-Qaida is illegal. This cannot be considered self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter because al-Qaida is not a state.”

There is another likely source of problems which most probably will yield useful insights for Israel in its confrontations with both individual European countries and the EU.

Though formally the Brexit negotiations are between the EU and Great Britain, the EU has to reach a consensus of its member countries on the terms to be agreed. Their interests are all very different and the negotiations with the UK are likely to be a source of tension between them. The British will do their best to stoke these controversies.

The more internal dissension, the better for the UK.

About a year ago I had suggested in The Jerusalem Post that Israel prepare a black book on the EU’s misbehavior against it, as the European defamation of Israel and the undermining of its sovereignty are of major dimensions.

This proposal is now obsolete. What will come out in criticism of the EU by the UK will be far more encompassing than Israeli experts could ever have achieved.

Now another approach will, however, be useful. Israel should establish a committee of government officials and outside experts, who out of the huge flow of articles and data will identify those elements which can be used by Israel in its confrontations with the EU.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Teachers funded by YOU tell pupils that terrorists are heroes


Video of the week- Golda Meir speaking; http://tinyurl.com/gpmgdzy

  • Palestinian schools funded by British foreign aid are named after terrorists 
  • Pictures of 'martyrs' and revolutionary slogans are posted all over the walls
  • Despite this millions of pounds of aid continues to pour into the region
  • The Mail on Sunday is calling on the government to end foreign aid madness 

For the full article go to: http://tinyurl.com/jasuv4l  

Britain is pumping huge sums of foreign aid into Palestinian schools named after mass murderers and Islamist militants, which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models.

A Mail on Sunday investigation has found 24 schools named after Palestinian terrorists and evidence of widespread encouragement of violence against Israel by teachers, with terrorists routinely held up as heroes for schoolchildren.

Pictures of ‘martyrs’ are posted on school walls, revolutionary slogans and symbols are painted on premises used by youngsters, sports events are named after teenage terrorists and children are encouraged to act out shooting Israeli soldiers in plays.

In a sick classroom play children at the Al-Surra School surround a classmate dressed as an Israeli soldier to play out a mock 'execution'
Head teachers openly admit flouting attempts by British and European donors to control the curriculum at schools. They print overtly political study aids for pupils, some even denying the existence of Israel, and teachers boast of encouraging pupils to emulate teenage attackers killed in the most recent wave of terrorist attacks in the region.

One senior teacher from a prominent West Bank school, asked what he would say to a pupil threatening to attack Israelis, told this newspaper: ‘I would tell them go in the name of God.’

This is all despite a review of the hundreds of millions of pounds in donations poured into Palestinian public services last year, which came after Western donors raised concerns about the indoctrination of children.
The changes to aid handouts followed a furore sparked by a previous Mail on Sunday investigation exposing how British taxpayers’ cash supported monthly payments to convicted terrorist killers and the families of suicide bombers.

After the soldier was 'shot' dead the photo was posted on the school's Facebook page.

The investigation also discovered that British aid was funding salaries for thousands of civil servants who had not worked for nine years, despite many admitting they had second jobs. These payments were stopped three months ago.

The investigation was part of this newspaper’s long-running campaign against the Government’s commitment to foreign aid which is set to reach £12 billion.

Joan Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Israel and MP for Enfield North, said she supported sending aid to Palestine but urged Ministers to make the Palestinians stick to funding agreements. She said: ‘We cannot stand idly by while the Palestinian Authority sanctions anti-Semitic incitement which poisons young minds and makes a two-state solution ever more difficult to achieve.’

This year alone Britain is giving £25 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA). It will help fund salaries for 30,000 officials in West Bank health and education.

The EU, which gets one-tenth of its aid budget from Britain, is donating £272 million. More than half of this goes to public servants in education, health and social services in Gaza and West Bank.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Your Complete Guide to Hamas’ Network of Terror Tunnels

Video Of The Week - BBC goes inside Gaza tunnel - http://tinyurl.com/h7ny7xx
By Dan Feferman , The Tower Magazine. For the full article go to - http://tinyurl.com/jylcx6s
Is another Gaza war inevitable? Judging by the latest reports in the Israeli media, it might seem that way. At a funeral for seven Hamas militants killed in a tunnel collapse, Hamas’ Gaza-based chief Ismail Haniyeh declared that the so-called “terror tunnels” are a mainstay of the terrorist group’s strategy against Israel. A senior Israeli defense official told reporters that Hamas has mostly rebuilt its tunnel infrastructure, which Israel destroyed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. During the operation, the IDF demolished 32 tunnels, 14 of which crossed into Israel for the purpose of conducting terror attacks. Hamas publically confirmed their ongoing efforts to rebuild the tunnels by praising its subterranean heroes who are “toiling day and night” on reconstruction. Meanwhile, reports have trickled out of Gaza that six tunnels collapsed over the past two months, killing at least thirteen Gazans.

The debate further heated up when a sneak peek at a State Comptroller report showed great dissatisfaction with how the Israeli Defense Ministry was handling the tunnel threat. Residents in communities near the Gaza border complain that they can hear and feel digging under their homes. In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised he would respond appropriately to all threats and “will act very forcefully against Hamas, and with much more force than…Protective Edge.” Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, not to be outdone, called on Netanyahu to “bomb the tunnels and destroy this threat.…Why are we waiting? For terrorists with…weapons drawn to emerge in a kibbutz?” Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett similarly called for a preemptive attack on the tunnels. In any case, the public remains on edge.

But is war inevitable? And is it the best option?
By 2009’s Operation Cast Lead, Hamas’ use of tunnels had evolved into a clear threat. In 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF targeted the tunnels as much as it did Hamas’ rocket capabilities. In 2013, a large tunnel was discovered that led to an Israeli town. It was clearly intended for a large-scale terrorist attack. An even bigger tunnel was discovered later that year.

During Protective Edge, a major tunnel infiltration aimed at the residents of a kibbutz near the Gaza border was thwarted just as terrorists were emerging on the Israeli side. Four more such attacks would be interdicted, some with the Hamas fighters having already crossed into Israel. What had originally been an operation to halt Hamas’ rocket fire evolved into an operation to neutralize the tunnel threat.
Clearly, then, the tunnel infrastructure is both Hamas’ primary military asset and a major threat to Israel’s security. How can Israel effectively combat it?
The history of warfare is, in essence, a history of constant adaptation to an enemy’s capabilities. The tunnels were born out of this competition. They are classic examples of asymmetric warfare, in which a much weaker enemy takes advantage of the vulnerabilities of a militarily stronger force. But it is important to differentiate between the three distinct types of tunnels used by Hamas, and explore their tactical and strategic importance.

The original tunnels, as noted, were and still are used to smuggle arms and commercial goods from Egypt to Gaza. Hamas substantially expanded this infrastructure after 2007 and Israel’s imposition of a blockade. At the time, it is estimated that there were as many as 2,500 such tunnels running between Gaza and Egypt in the area of Rafah.

A second type of tunnel is the tactical or “defensive” variety. These are meant to assist Hamas in its next war if Israel sends in ground troops. They form a subterranean web underneath Gaza, and give fighters and commanders freedom of movement, allowing them to evade capture, hide from aerial assault, and maintain the element of surprise. Rockets, launchers, and ammunition are also stored in these tunnels, so Hamas can continue firing even while under aerial attack. Hamas commanders are said to have personal tunnels for themselves and their families
It is the third type of tunnel, however, which is most worrying—the terror tunnels. Given Israel’s security fence and buffer zone on the border, Hamas was left with essentially two options for launching attacks on Israel—going over the fence, via rockets and mortars, or going under it. And since Israel’s anti-missile capabilities have advanced to the point where the rocket threat is largely neutralized, Hamas shifted its investments underground.

IDF intelligence and military planners have been aware of this emerging threat for some time now, with Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot affirming that it is now one of the army’s main priorities. Despite this and nearly a billion shekels (about $250 million) spent over the past decade in search of a solution, there are still only a limited number of ways to detect and fight the tunnels—which is primarily why Hamas is so keen on using them.
As far as detection, technologies are still limited, although the Israeli Ministry of Defense has been working around the clock on the problem for some time. Successful early testing was conducted this past year, but an operational solution—essentially an Iron Dome for tunnels—is still a ways off.
There is a tragic side to Hamas’ tunnel strategy. Roughly 9,000 homes were destroyed during Protective Edge, and very few have been rebuilt. This is not Israel’s fault, as building supplies flow regularly into Gaza. But according to declassified intelligence reports, these supplies are routinely stolen by Hamas in order to serve the group’s terrorist purposes. Hamas smuggles in cement, diverts from construction and humanitarian donations, and even raids civilian construction sites in order to rebuild its tunnels. Estimates are that one tunnel can cost a million dollars to build and uses around 50,000 tons of concrete. Close to a million tons of concrete were poured into the terror tunnels before 2014.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A VIEW FROM THE FRONTLINE


Video of the week: UN hypocristy exposed by US ambassador Nikki Haley- http://tinyurl.com/htnc42x


A year working as a journalist in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, made Hunter Stuart rethink his positions on the conflict.
By Hunter Stuart, The Jerusalem Report magazine Feb. 20, 2017
For the full article go to:  http://tinyurl.com/gmn9wsl
In the summer of 2015, just three days after I moved to Israel for a year-and-a-half stint freelance reporting in the region, I wrote down my feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A friend of mine in New York had mentioned that it would be interesting to see if living in Israel would change the way I felt. My friend probably suspected that things would look differently from the front-row seat, so to speak.

Boy was he right.

Before I moved to Jerusalem, I was very pro-Palestinian. Almost everyone I knew was. I grew up Protestant in a quaint, politically correct New England town; almost everyone around me was liberal. And being liberal in America comes with a pantheon of beliefs: You support pluralism, tolerance and diversity. You support gay rights, access to abortion and gun control.

The belief that Israel is unjustly bullying the Palestinians is an inextricable part of this pantheon. Most progressives in the US view Israel as an aggressor, oppressing the poor noble Arabs who are being so brutally denied their freedom.

“I believe Israel should relinquish control of all of the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank,” I wrote on July 11, 2015, from a park near my new apartment in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood. “The occupation is an act of colonialism that only creates suffering, frustration and despair for millions of Palestinians.”

Perhaps predictably, this view didn’t play well among the people I met during my first few weeks in Jerusalem, which, even by Israeli standards, is a conservative city. My wife and I had moved to the Jewish side of town, more or less by chance. As a result, almost everyone we interacted with was Jewish Israeli and very supportive of Israel. I didn’t announce my pro-Palestinian views to them ‒ I was too afraid. But they must have sensed my antipathy (I later learned this is a sixth sense Israelis have).

During my first few weeks in Jerusalem, I found myself constantly getting into arguments about the conflict with my roommates and in social settings. Unlike waspy New England, Israel does not afford the privilege of politely avoiding unpleasant political conversations. Outside of the Tel Aviv bubble, the conflict is omnipresent; it affects almost every aspect of life. Avoiding it simply isn’t an option.

During one such argument, one of my roommates ‒ an easygoing American-Jewish guy in his mid-30s ‒ seemed to be suggesting that all Palestinians were terrorists. I became annoyed and told him it was wrong to call all Palestinians terrorists, that only a small minority supported terrorist attacks. My roommate promptly pulled out his laptop, called up a 2013 Pew Research poll and showed me the screen. I saw that Pew’s researchers had done a survey of thousands of people across the Muslim world, asking them if they supported suicide bombings against civilians in order to “defend Islam from its enemies.” The survey found that 62 percent of Palestinians believed such terrorist acts against civilians were justified in these circumstances. And not only that, the Palestinian territories were the only place in the Muslim world where a majority of citizens supported terrorism; everywhere else it was a minority ‒ from Lebanon and Egypt to Pakistan and Malaysia.

I didn’t let my roommate win the argument early morning hours. But the statistic stuck with me.

Less than a month later, in October 2015, a wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Jewish-Israelis began. Nearly every day, an angry, young Muslim Palestinian was stabbing or trying to run over someone with his car. A lot of the violence was happening in Jerusalem, some of it just steps from where my wife and I had moved into an apartment of our own, and lived and worked and went grocery shopping.

At first, I’ll admit, I didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for Israelis. Actually, I felt hostility. I felt that they were the cause of the violence. I wanted to shake them and say, “Stop occupying the West Bank, stop blockading Gaza, and Palestinians will stop killing you!” It seemed so obvious to me; how could they not realize that all this violence was a natural, if unpleasant, reaction to their government’s actions?

IT WASN’T until the violence became personal that I began to see the Israeli side with greater clarity. As the “Stabbing Intifada” (as it later became known) kicked into full gear, I traveled to the impoverished East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan for a story I was writing.

As soon as I arrived, a Palestinian kid who was perhaps 13 years old pointed at me and shouted “Yehudi!” which means “Jew” in Arabic. Immediately, a large group of his friends who’d been hanging out nearby were running toward me with a terrifying sparkle in their eyes. “Yehudi! Yehudi!” they shouted. I felt my heart start to pound. I shouted at them in Arabic “Ana mish yehudi! Ana mish yehudi!” (“I’m not Jewish, I’m not Jewish!”) over and over. I told them, also in Arabic, that I was an American journalist who “loved Palestine.” They calmed down after that, but the look in their eyes when they first saw me is something I’ll never forget. Later, at a house party in Amman, I met a Palestinian guy who’d grown up in Silwan. “If you were Jewish, they probably would have killed you,” he said.

My attitude began to shift, probably because the violence was, for the first time, affecting me directly.

I found myself worrying that my wife might be stabbed while she was on her way home from work. Every time my phone lit up with news of another attack, if I wasn’t in the same room with her, I immediately sent her a text to see if she was OK.

Then a friend of told us that his friend had been murdered by two Palestinians the month before on a city bus not far from his apartment. I knew the story well ‒ not just from the news, but because I’d interviewed the family of one of the Palestinian guys who’d carried out the attack. In the interview, his family told me how he was a promising young entrepreneur who was pushed over the edge by the daily humiliations wrought by the occupation. I ended up writing a very sympathetic story about the killer for a Jordanian news site called Al Bawaba News.

Writing about the attack with the detached analytical eye of a journalist, I was able to take the perspective that (I was fast learning) most news outlets wanted – that Israel was to blame for Palestinian violence. But when I learned that my friend’s friend was one of the victims, it changed my way of thinking. I felt horrible for having publicly glorified one of the murderers. The man who’d been murdered, Richard Lakin, was originally from New England, like me, and had taught English to Israeli and Palestinian children at a school in Jerusalem. He believed in making peace with the Palestinians and “never missed a peace rally,” according to his son.

By contrast, his killers ‒ who came from a middle-class neighborhood in East Jerusalem and were actually quite well-off relative to most Palestinians ‒ had been paid 20,000 shekels ($5,300 USD) to storm the bus that morning with their cowardly guns. More than a year later, you can still see their faces plastered around East Jerusalem on posters hailing them as martyrs. (One of the attackers, Baha Aliyan, 22, was killed at the scene; the second, Bilal Ranem, 23, was captured alive.)

Being personally affected by the conflict caused me to question how forgiving I’d been of Palestinian violence previously. Liberals, human-rights groups and most of the media, though, continued to blame Israel for being attacked. Ban Ki-moon, for example, who at the time was the head of the United Nations, said in January 2016 ‒ as the streets of my neighborhood were stained with the blood of innocent Israeli civilians ‒ that it was “human nature to react to occupation.” In fact, there is no justification for killing someone, no matter what the political situation may or may not be, and Ban’s statement rankled me.

SIMILARLY, THE way that international NGOs, European leaders and others criticized Israel for its “shoot to kill” policy during this wave of terrorist attacks began to annoy me more and more.

In almost any nation, when the police confront a terrorist in the act of killing people, they shoot him dead and human-rights groups don’t make a peep. This happens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh; it happens in Germany and England and France and Spain, and it sure as hell happens in the US (see San Bernardino and the Orlando nightclub massacre, the Boston Marathon bombings and others). Did Amnesty International condemn Barack Obama or Abdel Fattah al-Sisi or Angela Merkel or Fran├žois Hollande when their police forces killed a terrorist? Nope. But they made a point of condemning Israel.

What’s more, I started to notice that the media were unusually fixated on highlighting the moral shortcomings of Israel, even as other countries acted in infinitely more abominable ways. If Israel threatened to relocate a collection of Palestinian agricultural tents, as they did in the West Bank village of Sussiya in the summer of 2015, for example, the story made international headlines for weeks. The liberal outrage was endless. Yet, when Egypt’s president used bulldozers and dynamite to demolish an entire neighborhood in the Sinai Peninsula in the name of national security, people scarcely noticed.

Unfortunately for Israel, videos on social media that show US-funded Jewish soldiers shooting tear gas at rioting Arab Muslims is Hollywood-level entertainment and fits perfectly with the liberal narrative that Muslims are oppressed and Jewish Israel is a bully.

I admire the liberal desire to support the underdog. They want to be on the right side of history, and their intentions are good. The problem is that their beliefs often don’t square with reality.
* * *

THERE’S AN old saying that goes, “If you want to change someone’s mind, first make them your friend.” The friends I made in Israel forever changed my mind about the country and about the Jewish need for a homeland. But I also spent a lot of time traveling in the Palestinian territories getting to know Palestinians. I spent close to six weeks visiting Nablus and Ramallah and Hebron, and even the Gaza Strip. I met some incredible people in these places; I saw generosity and hospitality unlike anywhere else I’ve ever traveled to. I’ll be friends with some of them for the rest of my life. But almost without fail, their views of the conflict and of Israel and of Jewish people in general was extremely disappointing.

First of all, even the kindest, most educated, upper-class Palestinians reject 100 percent of Israel ‒ not just the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. They simply will not be content with a two-state solution ‒ what they want is to return to their ancestral homes in Ramle and Jaffa and Haifa and other places in 1948 Israel, within the Green Line. And they want the Israelis who live there now to leave. They almost never speak of coexistence; they speak of expulsion, of taking back “their” land.

The other thing is that a large percentage of Palestinians, even among the educated upper class, believe that most Islamic terrorism is actually engineered by Western governments to make Muslims look bad. I know this sounds absurd. It’s a conspiracy theory that’s comical until you hear it repeated again and again as I did. I can hardly count how many Palestinians told me the stabbing attacks in Israel in 2015 and 2016 were fake or that the CIA had created ISIS.

For example, after the November 2015 ISIS shootings in Paris that killed 150 people, a colleague of mine ‒ an educated 27-year-old Lebanese-Palestinian journalist ‒ casually remarked that those massacres were “probably” perpetrated by the Mossad. Though she was a journalist like me and ought to have been committed to searching out the truth no matter how unpleasant, this woman was unwilling to admit that Muslims would commit such a horrific attack, and all too willing ‒ in defiance of all the facts ‒ to blame it on Israeli spies.

USUALLY WHEN I travel, I try to listen to people without imposing my own opinion. To me that’s what traveling is all about ‒ keeping your mouth shut and learning other perspectives. But after 3-4 weeks of traveling in Palestine, I grew tired of these conspiracy theories.

“Arabs need to take responsibility for certain things,” I finally shouted at a friend I’d made in Nablus the third or fourth time he tried to deflect blame from Muslims for Islamic terrorism. “Not everything is America’s fault.” My friend seemed surprised by my vehemence and let the subject drop ‒ obviously I’d reached my saturation point with this nonsense.

I know a lot of Jewish-Israelis who are willing to share the land with Muslim Palestinians, but for some reason finding a Palestinian who feels the same way was near impossible. Countless Palestinians told me they didn’t have a problem with Jewish people, only with Zionists. They seemed to forget that Jews have been living in Israel for thousands of years, along with Muslims, Christians, Druse, atheists, agnostics and others, more often than not, in harmony. Instead, the vast majority believe that Jews only arrived in Israel in the 20th century and, therefore, don’t belong here.

I’m back in the US now, living on the north side of Chicago in a liberal enclave where most people ‒ including Jews ‒ tend to support the Palestinians’ bid for statehood, which is gaining steam every year in international forums such as the UN.

Personally, I’m no longer convinced it’s such a good idea. If the Palestinians are given their own state in the West Bank, who’s to say they wouldn’t elect Hamas, an Islamist group committed to Israel’s destruction? That’s exactly what happened in Gaza in democratic elections in 2006. Fortunately, Gaza is somewhat isolated, and its geographic isolation ‒ plus the Israeli and Egyptian-imposed blockade ‒ limit the damage the group can do. But having them in control of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem is something Israel obviously doesn’t want. It would be suicide. And no country can be expected to consent to its own destruction.

So, now, I don’t know what to think. I’m squarely in the center of one of the most polarized issues in the world. I guess, at least, I can say that, no matter how socially unacceptable it was, I was willing to change my mind. If only more people would do the same.


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BDS: A threat to the entire Middle East

Video of the week - BDS: The Attempt to Strangle Israel - http://tinyurl.com/haxpnhr

 Article by Abed Almaala - Israel Hayom 15th Feb 2017

As a Jordanian politician, I feel obligated to speak out against the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and its effect on the Middle East and the world.

I represent the point of view and interests of the Jordanian people.By doing so, I have freedom that many others may not. My views onBDS are unbiased and balanced because I am not an Israeli and nobody could accuse me of being anti-Arab.

Let me be clear: BDS is a reckless act of hatred that threatens thesecurity and stability of not only Israel, but also my country, Jordan, and the entire Middle East.

BDS seeks to attack and isolate Israel. But what is Israel's importance to Jordan, and to the world? Why should anyone care if Israel is hurt?

This is what the president of the Jordanian opposition, Mudar Zahran, wrote last year in Israel Hayom:"If the day were to come when Israel falls, Jordan, Egypt and many others would fall, too, andWesterners would be begging Iran for oil.
"We can hate Israel as much as we like, but we must realize that without it, we toowould be gone.‏"‏

Israel is at the front of the war against terror in our region,and if Israel is hurt, we all will suffer, and Jordan will suffer the most.

Therefore, BDS is a threat to us all -- a threat to America as much as it is a threat to Israel, Jordan and our Palestinian brothers.

BDS claims to target Israel because Israel oppresses the Palestinians. If so, why does BDS never target Jordan's government, which oppresses and destroys the lives of the majority of Jordanians of Palestinian origins, and where many of my own people, the Bedouin Jordanians, go hungry?

Why does BDS never boycott Lebanon, where Palestinians are banned from workingas taxi drivers? Why does it not boycott Syria, where President Bashar Assad has killed thousands of Palestinians in Yarmouk camp?

BDS, admit it: You are racists and anti-Semites.
Your activities are a threat to Jordan, and it is my mission as Jordan's shadow commerce secretary to enhance, expand, strengthen and promote tradebetween my country and Israel.

But BDS is not alone. It could not survive without support, bothfinancial and political, and we in the Jordanian opposition have information that BDS receives support of various kinds from Arab dictators.

From day one, Arab rulers have been telling us that Israeli is the enemy, and that weshould forget about our own hungry children and our ruthless governments and focus exclusively on hating and killing Jews.

BDS promotes the very same bankrupt concepts.
I say, BDS: Shame on you.

Shame on you for attacking the only country that offers jobs to my Palestinian brothers.

Shame on you for attacking the country that provides free health care for Palestinian cancer patients.

Shame on you for selling your souls to Arab regimes.

As a Muslim, I know that since my Prophet Muhammad was welcomed in Medinaby the Arabs and the Jews, he traded with and even signed a mutual defense agreement with the Jews.

And as a Jordanian and a member of Jordan's opposition, it is time we stoppedtalking about peace and began living peace through economic prosperity; this is our promise and our mission.

BDS is not only hateful and shameful, but also strengthens Arab dictators who hypocritically criticize Israel for alleged human rights violations when they, themselves, are the world's top human rights violators.

A man is known by the company he keeps; if the biggest supporters of BDS are Arab and Muslim dictators,what does this say about BDS?

We Arabs have boycotted Israel for 70 years. Where has it gotten us? We arelight-years behind Israel in technology and the economy. We will stop this in Jordan and begin learning from our Israel friends.

This dream is not new. It was the dream of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, whosaw economic prosperity as the road to peace. That is why I was honored to organize a memorial event for him in the U.S. Congress when he was killed, more than 20 years ago.

Let us make his memory live through action. Let us turn the lost hopes into a beautiful reality, and disappointment into happiness. And let us all put BDS where it belongs, in the dust bin of history.

Someday soon, Jordan will be free and we will build a new system that will work closely with Israel, through partnership, not competition, and through true cooperation rather than just a cold peace.

And we will turn Jordan into a model for Arab countries to follow through cooperation with our Israeli brothers and sisters and the blessings of our American friends.

Am Yisrael Chai. Am Yarden Chai.

Abed Almaala is a member of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition.


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