Startup Nation Needs an Internal Tune-up

The modern nation of Israel was reborn in 1948. This year it will observe its 70th birthday. In honor of this milestone President Trump has made two remarkable decisions. He publically recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Following this he fulfilled a campaign promise by announcing the US will relocate its Embassy to Jerusalem.

Further, it’s been announced the new (temporary) Embassy will open its doors timed with Israel’s 70th birthday. Trump himself may even attend.

The tiny nation of roughly 8 million Jews has had nothing short of a miraculous run during its first 70 years.  Its accomplishments, which include numerous high-tech inventions, surpasses virtually any other nation. For example, the following have been invented in Israel:

  • Flash drive
  • Cell phone
  • Instant Messaging
  • Pentium processor
  • Anti-virus
  • Digital printing
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Waze GPS
  • Whatsapp

These are but a few of its high-tech inventions.

Much More than High-Tech

Beyond high-tech Israel is a world leader in pharmaceutical, medical, science, agriculture, military technology, and more. For example, did you know the drip irrigation system which is saving hundreds of millions of gallons of water worldwide every day is an Israeli invention? Were you aware Israel is the fifth largest arms supplier in the world? With respect to fruits and vegetables Israel is to Europe what California is to the US – the largest supplier. There are numerous lists of Israeli inventions available online.

Other than the US no other country has produced more significant breakthroughs or had a greater impact on what we use in our daily lives than the tiny nation of Israel. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are on record touting Israel’s achievements.

What makes its accomplishments even more incredible is Israel must devote a huge amount of time, resources and personnel 24/7 to defend itself against millions of hostile enemies that are eager to destroy it.

If you go beyond Israel’s borders to Jews in general the accomplishments are even more amazing. For example, 22% of all Nobel Prize winners are Jewish, yet Jews make up a mere .02% of the world’s population. Google and Facebook far and away control information, viewership and ad revenue on the internet. They are two of the world’s most powerful companies. Both were founded by Jews. Take a look at this list of famous Jews and you get the point.  

Domestic Underbelly

There is no question Israel has brought immeasurable benefit to the entire world. It’s almost inconceivable to put this tiny nation of 8 million Jews in the same conversation with the most powerful developed nation on earth-the United States, when it comes to achievements. Personally speaking, I love, support and believe in this miraculous nation. Yet, as painful as it is I have to admit there are domestic issues still facing Israelis which should not be ignored.

For example, how do Israelis get connected to the internet? The number of providers in Israel is very small. Bezeq has owned virtually all wired infrastructure for decades. Other companies have begun to tap into the market, but Bezeq has the vast majority of market share for everything wired, including land based telephone connections.

Yet, Bezeq is typically not the ISP. You must establish an account with a separate ISP, which in certain cases Bezeq can do for you. Your internet connection requires two suppliers – the hardware (Bezeq) and the ISP. Unlike in the US where cable broadband is readily available, generally from a single source, it has very little market share in Israel. Bezeq has a monopoly. Thus, low cost reliable high speed internet is slow in coming to Israelis.


Electricity in Israel presents its own challenges. On many occasions during peak usage (winter and summer, due to its limited capacity, the demand on the system is record breaking. Plus, the grid itself has vulnerabilities


A routine trip to the grocery store or shopping mall can become exasperating simply finding a parking space. In fact, parking spaces are so hard to find cars, park on sidewalks in almost every city in the country. Sidewalk parking is so common the majority are not ticketed by police.

As for traffic flow itself, two recent studies confirm Israel’s roads are the most congested of any western developed country. Many people just stay home rather than fight the crowded streets and roads.

An additional contributing factor is the traffic signals. In Israel the majority of traffic signals run on timers instead of sensors. This means the time it takes a signal to cycle through red, yellow, green is no different at 5pm in the afternoon, (when traffic is the heaviest) than at 3 am in the morning. Try sitting at a signal at 3 am when the road is empty and wait for the signal to go through its full cycle.  It’s enough to raise the average person’s blood pressure!


Israel has serious water pollution issues. Fully 20% of its drinking water facilities have been closed due to contamination. Consequently, water boiling becomes necessary on occasion. The problem extends to the beaches as well. Israel’s coast is the single most polluted section of the entire Mediterranean Sea. As a result beach closures have been a problem.

Another issue is air quality. Aggressive action on this important health issue has been slow in coming. This news article lists the major air polluters. The Haifa area has a high rate of cancer as result of pollution from facilities that are located next to residential areas. The problems in the Haifa area also include infant disorders.

Cigarette smoking also affects air quality, especially indoors. While the US adopted no-smoking laws in restaurants decades ago, Israel put them in effect only in 2012.

Israel also scores low on healthcare. Visit any public hospital. Most emergency rooms are so crowded people have to stand due to lack of seating. You can grow old waiting to see a doctor. While Israel is a leader in medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs, statistics show it near the bottom of developed countries with respect to available hospital beds.

Scourge of Corruption

One of the most unsettling problems in Israel is corruption.
Teva, the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs is just one recent example among Israeli companies. In another scandal five senior executives of Israel’s National Electric Company were convicted of taking bribes. Sadly however, corruption is not limited to the business sector. It has also plagued numerous elected officials. Moreover, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Moshe Katsav have served prison time. Current PM Netanyahu has been dogged with corruption charges. Even two former Chief Rabbis have been nailed for criminal wrongdoing.

Tune-up Needed

If anyone reading this piece thinks it’s meant to be a smear they couldn’t be more wrong. The fact remains Israel is truly an amazing country, the likes of which has never been seen. No other nation has burst upon the world stage with more impact in a shorter time than Israel. The world has enjoyed tremendous benefits from cutting edge inventions and technologies developed in Israel. No doubt it will continue being a world leader in multiple industries for years to come.

Yet, for all the blessing this tiny nation has poured out to the world, it’s a shame its own people are lacking on quality of life issues and so many are behaving in unscrupulous ways. The entrepreneurs who have enjoyed billions of dollars of wealth selling their inventions to the rest of the world should do more to benefit their own country.

The Startup Nation could use a major tune-up. It’s my hope this piece is seen as a wake-up call. I hope someone is listening….

For more of Dan Calic’s articles visit his Facebook page.

The Anatomy of an Israel Hater

There’s been plenty of rancor since President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.  Some are saying his remarks have brought the peace process to a halt.

Yet in all frankness, there is no peace process.

I’d like to offer two words which sum up why- Mahmoud Abbas.

His vile attitude toward Israel and the Jews makes for a resume that screams louder than a jet engine. In case you need a little convincing, or reminding, here are some reality bites:

Munich Olympics



Who will ever forget the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre where 11 Israeli athletes were held hostage by Arab terrorists and lost their lives. The financier of the operation was Mahmoud Abbas.

Holocaust Denial  



In 1982 he wrote his PHD thesis entitled “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.” The topic was denial of the Holocaust. Aside from Israel, 21 countries have made Holocaust denial a crime. The United States does not criminalize it.

In January 2005 he was elected to a four year term as President of the Palestinian Authority. Here’s a short list of what’s taken place during his never-ending four year term:

Rejects Recognition of Jewish State



While several Israeli Prime Minister’s including Benjamin Netanyahu have acknowledged acceptance of a ‘Palestinian’ state, Abbas has repeatedly said he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This alone is a non-starter for any “peace process.” This past week Abbas challenged Israel’s right to be recognized as a state by the international community saying it is “invalid.

Right of Return



Abbas demands the “right of return,” for so-called “refugees,” along with their descendants, from the 1948 and 1967 wars. Their numbers vary, but suffice to say this would eliminate the Jewish majority in Israel, thus the only homeland the Jewish people have would cease to exist as such.

No Jews Allowed in Future Palestinian State



There are well over 1 million Arabs who live in Israel with full benefits of citizenship. They vote, own businesses, own property, are doctors, lawyers, professors, etc. They are elected to the Knesset and even been members of the Supreme Court. Yet Abbas says not one Israeli [Jew], civilian or soldier will be tolerated in any future Palestinian state. Ironically, he’s accused Israel of being an ‘apartheid state.’

Fatah Constitution


He is the leader of the Fatah Party. Their constitution calls for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

For example-
Article 9: “liberating Palestine and protecting its holy places is an Arab, religious and human obligation.
Article 12:complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, military, political and cultural existence.”

Can you imagine if Israel had similar statements regarding Arab Palestinians in its constitution? Where are the demands from world leaders and organizations for their constitution to have these statements removed?

Terrorist Glorification



Abbas routinely praises terrorists who murder Israeli civilians. Moreover, he names parks, schools and even children’s summer camps after them. Children grow up seeing these murderers as role models.

Salaries Murderers



He provides large salaries for jailed terrorists who murdered Jews. The more heinous the crime, the larger the salary is. He goes so far to say he will never stop paying them, thus rejecting a direct request by President’s Trump.




He claims Jerusalem as Muslim and says every drop of spilled Muslim blood is holy. He also says any Palestinian state must have ‘east’ Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel Slapped in the Face at UN



On November 29, 2012 Abbas spoke at the United Nations when “Palestine” was admitted as a ‘non-member observer.’ It’s interesting to note the date of his speech (November 29) is the very same date the UN voted to approve UN resolution 181 in 1947, which partitioned two states, one Arab, one Jewish, resulting in the birth of modern Israel. I believe this  event was specifically orchestrated as a slap in the face to Israel. Abbas, a glorifier of murderers, a Holocaust denier whose party’s own constitution calls for the destruction of Israel (a full UN member), received thunderous applause which included standing ovations.

‘Educating’ the Next Generation



If you believe the future may bring hope for peace don’t hold your breath. The next generation is being fully trained to take up the banner of destroying Israel.

In ‘Palestinian’ schools children are taught-

  • Jews stole their land
  • Jerusalem is theirs
  • Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Tiberius and other Israeli cities belong to them
  • They must engage in armed jihad to kill the Jews, destroy Israel and take ‘their’ land back

Here’s a video about ‘Palestinian’ schools.


Fatah Party Emblem


Lest there be any doubt the goal of his Abbas’s Fatah Party is to destroy Israel and replace it with a single Muslim state take a look at the party’s official emblem . Where are two states, one being Israel? Note the weaponry? If there is any doubt that their goal is the destruction of Israel through war, this emblem makes it perfectly clear.

There are additional bullet points about Abbas, however I believe this list provides more than enough proof that Israel is not the reason why there is no peace agreement, or even a peace process. Mahmoud Abbas is fully committed to the elimination of the State of Israel. Whether its demise is economic, demographic, political or through force is irrelevant. Israel stands in the way of his goal which is a single Muslim state of Palestine. To that end he is fully committed.

Does the world community realize this? More important do they care?

Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker
For more of his articles visit

“Palestinians” Lie and Count on Your Ignorance

In the Arab-Israel conflict the one issue which rises above every other is the accuracy of what is presented. The Palestinians are relying on people not knowing history in order to advance their narrative.  Israel on the other hand is relying on people knowing history.  From where I sit, over the past 2 – 3 decades it appears most people do not know history very well. Thus, the Palestinian narrative has gained popularity and has shaped much of public opinion.

What’s especially troubling is mainstream media has adopted most of the Palestinian propaganda, or sympathizes with it. Sadly, the days of objective news reporting appear to be gone. Today’s news reporting has pretty much turned into op-eds, rather than simple straight forward  news.

Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, we hear noble words such as “just solution,” “dignity,” “peace,” etc.  on a regular basis. Who has fault with these?

Yet, if this conflict ever stands a chance of being resolved isn’t it incumbent upon the world to know the actual facts and to stand for the truth, so these noble goals actually apply to its resolution?

If so, we need to understand whose narrative reflects the truth and whose are false. For this we need to unpack what we frequently hear and apply a litmus test.

For example:

  • CLAIM: Palestinians are  an ethnically unique people or nationality

The Facts:

The Palestinians are Arabs They are a mix of Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrian, etc. Several hundred thousand of them were displaced, many be choice, as result of the 1948 and 1967 wars. In both wars the goal of the Arab nations was to destroy the Jewish state.  They failed.  After this their tactics changed. Not that destroying Israel militarily was dropped, it remains their goal. However, in 1964 the  Palestine Liberation  Organization (PLO), was formed for the specific purpose of destroying the Jewish state of Israel.

After the devastating defeat in the Six Day War, and the refusal of the surrounding Arab nations to absorb the displaced Arabs,  PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat embarked on a campaign to bring their plight to the world stage. Part of his effort included calling them “Palestinians.” This took root and the world has bought into calling them Palestinians to this day.

Answer to the claim: FALSE

Ironically, what many people forget, or are unaware of is that prior to 1948 the Jews were called Palestinians!

  • CLAIM:  Israel is illegally occupying ‘Palestinian’ land and violating international law

The Facts:
After the British Empiredefeated the Ottoman Empire during  WW1 they controlled a large swath of the Middle East. By virtue of the Balfour Declaration written in 1917 the British committed to set aside 43,000 sq. miles of land as a national homeland for the Jewish people, which included the area where ancient Israel was located. Since they had militarily defeated the Ottomans, under international law they had the right to determine the future of the area they controlled. In 1922 the British gave away 75% of the ‘promised land’ to become Transjordan, today’s Jordan.

After many years of upheaval, which included WWll and the Holocaust, the British decided they wanted to pull their troops out of the region. They turned the matter over to the United Nations.

In November 1947 the UN voted 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions to partition the remaining 25% of the land into two states, one Arab, the other Jewish. Jerusalem was not contiguously connected to the Jewish state of Israel. This infuriated the Jews. However, they accepted the UN vote.

The Arab nations did not.

Ignoring the UN vote, one day after the Jewish state of Israel declared independence in May 1948 the surrounding Arab nations attacked it.

In my view it is the refusal of the Arabs to accept the vote of the UN which bears the most responsibility for what we are dealing with today. This cannot be overstated.

The war lasted until July 1949 at which time an armistice was signed. The original partition called for the Jewish state to have roughly 5,000 sq. miles. As a result of the defensive war Israel was forced into, they gained control of additional land, including Jerusalem. However, Jordan remained in control of the Old City.

In 1967 Israel gained control over all of Jerusalem.

Under international law when a defensive war in fought, any territory gained by the victor belongs to them. In plain language whatever territory Israel gained is theirs to keep.

Many people consider the ‘rebirth’ of modern Israel, along with the Jewish people gaining control over all of Jerusalem in 1967 as prophetic.

Whether prophetic or procedural through a legally designated organization (UN) there is no illegal occupation, and Israel is not violating international law.

Answer to claim: FALSE


  • CLAIM:  Jews have no connection to Jerusalem


The Facts:
King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel over 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible over 600 times. It is not mentioned once in the Quran. To go on would give too much undeserved attention to this claim.

Answer to claim: FALSE

  • CLAIM: Temple Mount never housed a Jewish Temple, it is an exclusively Muslim site

The Facts:
Temple Mount is the location of the First Temple built by King Solomon 3,000 years ago. It was destroyed in 586 BC. The Second Temple was completed roughly 70 years later and was destroyed in 70 AD. This is confirmed in the Bible as well as countless historical and archaeological records. The current Muslim Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa was completed in 692 AD. Jewish temples predate any Muslim presence on Temple Mount by at least 1,700 years.

Answer to Claim: FALSE

More Claims

If you are shaking your head at the aforementioned  claims you may be even more surprised to find out some others.

For example:

It seems the ‘Palestinian’ narrative has no limits as to how absurd their claims are.

Resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict is unquestionably a daunting task. There are political, geographical, economic, historical, theological, and cultural issues which are entwined. However, one element which must not be overlooked is the importance of knowing the facts. Without facts one cannot come to appropriate conclusions.

This piece has provided proof that the so-called ‘Palestinians’ have been  manufactured and marketed for a specific purpose. That purpose includes promoting a false narrative based on rewriting history in order to delegitimize Israel and the Jewish people. They are counting on people’s ignorance, and frankly some degree of anti-Semitism to be their ally. In short they are intentionally lying to the entire world.

Are we going to allow this to triumph? Aren’t we better than that?

Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker.
For more of his material visit his Facebook page.

Trump Marks the End of Revisionism

“If you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it….”

President Trump has announced Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Is this news? Hardly. Jerusalem has been the official capital of the Israel since its rebirth in 1948. Never mind it has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people throughout all of history.

Yet with Trump’s announcement most of the world has gone upside down, especially the Arab world. Why is there such an uproar about this announcement? Some think it may be complicated while others see it differently.

For me his announcement is more of a yawn. Why? The simple fact is Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. This is not an opinion, or up for debate. Is London the capital of Brittan? Is Paris the capital of France? Clearly the answer is yes to both. So why would anyone have a problem with Jerusalem being called the capital of Israel?

It’s when you ask this question the issue becomes less of a yawn and more complicated.

One must unpack who is saying it and why?

Leading the charge of the nay sayers is the Arab world. Virtually every nation, including Jordan and Egypt which have formal peace agreements with Israel have voiced objection to Trump’s announcement.  Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and others have criticized Trump. The UN is scheduling an emergency meeting of the Security Council .To no one’s surprise the Muslim terrorist groups have also decried it.

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the PA has declared “endless war” will commence, and the US is no longer seen as an “honest broker” of the so-called “peace process.”

For those who see Trump’s move as damaging or ‘killing’ the peace process, I say what “peace” process are you talking about? The two key players in the “peace” process are the Prime Minister of Israel and the leader of the Palestinians.  They are the ones who would participate in such a process.

It seems to me if there was an actual “peace” process there would be ongoing negotiations regarding the key issues that divide the parties involved. Yet Mahmoud Abbas has stated and restated he will never recognize the Jewish state of Israel. He’s also said the Jewish people have no connection to Jerusalem. Plus, he’s denied there has ever been a Jewish Temple on Temple Mount. How is Israel supposed to “negotiate” its very right to exist?

As if these statements aren’t enough proof that Abbas is devoid of reality, he actually wrote his college thesis on denying the Holocaust.  Sadly, much of the Arab Muslim world, and indeed many outside the Arab world are in alignment with Abbas’s views.

With such statements it’s clear Mr. Abbas is living in his own world of revisionism. The Bible, historical records  and countless archaeological digs prove his comments to be utterly false and without merit.

Further, as if there isn’t enough reason to confirm that Abbas has no interest in a genuine “peace” process, he is paying large salaries to Muslim terrorists that have been jailed for murdering innocent Israelis. He considers these payments to be a “holy duty.” Much of the money he pays terrorists with comes from  US taxpayers in the form of aid from the US government.

Americans are so outraged that their tax dollars are being used to pay Muslim murderers, Congress is in the process of passing legislation which will strip the PA of US aid.

So the question again begs, where is the “peace” process?

Seems there is more than one definition of this. According to the Palestinians and the Israel bashers, the “peace” process consists of Israel agreeing to give away every inch of land beyond the ’67 cease fire lines. This would include the eastern portion of Jerusalem where the Holy Old City is located. Approximately 400,000 Jews living in Judea/Samaria would have to be relocated.

I recall in 2005 when roughly 8,000 Jews were forcibly removed from the Gaza Strip after a 38 year presence, civil war almost broke out in Israel. Keep in mind this was a unilateral decision made by Israel that land for peace would work. Given what’s happened in the Gaza Strip since then, it’s obvious the land for peace concept does not work.

So why would any clear thinking person believe giving more land away would bring peace? Especially, when Abbas refuses to accept the existence of the Jewish state of Israel no matter what the borders are?

In reality, there is no “peace” process. So Mr. Trump has done nothing to damage it by stating a simple fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Unless you happen to be one of those who believe if you tell a lie often enough people will believe it.  Seems Abbas has been hedging his bets on this.

Of course the moon might be made of cheese……

Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook Page (


Will Trump Triumph or Will Abbas Mimic Arafat

Will President Trump achieve the impossible breakthrough his predecessors were unable to accomplish? Or, like his predecessors will he fall victim to two-faced Arab Palestinian leadership?

Let’s not forget how hard President Bill Clinton tried to forge an agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO founder Yasser Arafat during the Camp David ll negotiations in 2000. Prior to negotiations Arafat was all smiles and sounded committed to peace between the Arab Palestinians and Israel. Negotiations dragged on and on. Barak provided Arafat with an incredible offer, which would have placed Israeli security at great risk. Virtually 100% of Judea/Samaria, commonly called the West Bank was offered to Arafat. Jerusalem would have been divided and eastern Jerusalem would be awarded to the Arab Palestinians. A land bridge between Judea/Samaria and the Gaza Strip was included, effectively splitting Israel in half. Compensation for so-called refugees was included.

President Clinton would later say he could not believe how good the offer was. Yet all Arafat said was “no.” in the end Clinton was furious with him and publically blamed him for the collapse of the talks. Subsequent to the failed negotiations the Arab Palestinians rioted and an extended intifada ensued.

Arafat fell from favor as far as Clinton was concerned. He learned a painful and embarrassing lesson. Arafat could not be trusted.

In 2002 when the late Ariel Sharon was Prime Minister President George W. Bush was attempting to persuade Arafat to stop his terrorist activity and pursue peace with Israel. Sharon then dropped the hammer on the two-faced Arafat. He provided documents which proved that while Arafat kept up the diplomatic chatter, he was signing off on terrorist operations. Bush was angry and embarrassed. He had faith that Arafat could be a genuine peace partner.

However, when Sharon proved Arafat to be a liar, Bush publically called for his ouster. Relations between the Bush administration and Arafat went flat and never recovered.

Abbas Echoes Arafat

Subsequent to Bush came 8 years of an Obama administration. In 2008 another incredibly generous offer was put forth by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. This time the recipient was Mahmoud Abbas who had succeeded Arafat who passed away in 2004. Abbas rejected the offer out of hand. Abbas demanded Israel halt “settlement” construction as a pre-condition for peace negotiations.

In an effort to entice Abbas to the table, Israel did stop construction for 10 months. However, Abbas failed to return to negotiations. Obama was never able to achieve measurably diplomatic breakthrough during his 2 terms as president.

Enter the Trump Era

He’s called a peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs the “ultimate deal.” He’s met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas. This past week he made his first foreign trip as President. The first stop was Saudi Arabia where he spoke to an assembled audience of 50 Arab leaders.  The Saudi Royal Family rolled out the red carpet, signaling a clear departure from uneasy relations with the Obama administration.

In Trump’s speech to the audience of Arab leaders he said they must “drive out” the terrorists from their countries and from the earth. These are the strongest words ever spoken by a US President while in an Arab nation, and speaking to Arab leaders. Trump also signaled the Saudi’s are warm to his efforts to achieve a peace agreement with Israel.

Trump moved on and flew to Israel. He met with Mahmoud Abbas, who has already told Trump he is ready to begin negotiations with Israel right away….without preconditions. This is a departure from his long held position of demanding Israel halt all construction before he would consider coming to the table. The question begs, is Abbas sincere? Will he come to the table while Israel continues to build?

Something else noteworthy took place while President Trump delivered his remarks as he stood next to Abbas. Not once did Trump mention the words “Palestinian State,” nor did he use the phrase “two state solution.”

While in Israel Trump became the first sitting US President to visit the Kotel (Western Wall). He also paid a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum. While in Israel he restated the US commitment to Israel’s security and promised a continued qualitative edge in weaponry for Israel.

Yet, as was the case in Bethlehem with Abbas, in all of Trump’s remarks while in Israel he neglected to use the words “Palestinian State,” or “two state solution.”

A Quid Pro Quo?

One cannot help but wonder what took place in the private discussion between Trump and Abbas as well as with Netanyahu. Did the Saudi’s whisper something in Trump’s ear while he was there? Is there a quid pro quo brewing?

Will Donald Trump be able to achieve the impossible and forge an agreement between Israel and the Arab Palestinians as well as the Arab world in general? Is Mahmoud Abbas changing his colors and expressing genuine interest in peace with Israel? Will he sign off on what no other Palestinian leader has been willing to? Will he recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state? Will he accept Israeli sovereignty over Temple Mount?

President Trump seems to suggest there is a fresh wind of optimism blowing through the halls of power in the Middle East. He is eager to facilitate the most dramatic diplomatic breakthrough ever in the Middle East. He deserves an opportunity to do the unthinkable.

However, what remains to be seen is what Abbas will do. Will he follow in the footsteps of his predecessor and say one thing publically in English, while continuing his Islamic agenda of terror when he speaks in Arabic? Will he string President Trump along, only to ultimately show his true colors and embarrass President Trump as Arafat did with two previous presidents?

Or will Abbas do what no other Arab Palestinian leader has done?

We will wait, watch and witness…

Read more articles by Dan Calic on his Facebook page.

So You Think Israel is Apartheid?

Once again accusations of Israel being an apartheid state have hit the headlines.  A UN committee ESCWA (Economic Social Commission of Western Asia) has released a report accusing Israel of practicing ‘apartheid,’ which has since been pulled from their web site. The term itself refers to what took place in South Africa between 1948 and 1994. However, its popularity increased primarily as a result of a book written by former President Jimmy Carter-  “Peace, Not Apartheid” released in November 2006. Carter, a strong supporter of Hamas and Yasser Arafat, sought, to portray Israeli policies toward the terror groups committed to its destruction as racist and discriminatory.

To call Carter’s use of the term “apartheid” a mischaracterization is akin to calling the Pacific Ocean a tiny lake. Moreover, his use of said term suggests he either doesn’t understand its meaning, or he is truly anti-Israel, which is more likely.

Let me illustrate….

During apartheid South Africa was comprised of approximately 70 – 75% black people with roughly 25 – 20% whites. Under the apartheid system of government, the small minority of white people ruled the country. The black majority was forced to live in ghettos, which were separated from the white cities. Plus, they were surrounded by walls or fences, making it impossible for blacks to come and go freely. The gates were guarded and no black could leave without proof of ID and the strict understanding they were only allowed to leave for specific purposes, such as work.

Within the cities they lived in “townships,” which were very rundown separate slum areas. All non-whites were required to carry special passes which designated where they lived. They were required to show them to police upon demand.

After a prolonged series of negotiations between 1990 and 1994 the apartheid system was done away with and free elections took place. Nelson Mandela, a hugely popular black activist who had been imprisoned for 27 years was elected President.

Comparing and Contrasting

Let’s review why use of the term “apartheid” is so incorrect.

First off, the situation in South Africa occurred within the sovereign borders of the country. In the Israeli-‘Palestinian’ conflict there are three distinct areas. The land within the ’67 lines, Judea/Samaria (disputed territories) and the Gaza Strip, which is run by the terrorist group Hamas, whom Carter is quite fond of. Both the major terror groups Fatah in the disputed territories and Hamas in Gaza have charters which commit them to destroy the Jewish state of Israel.

Unlike the blacks under apartheid in South Africa, the ‘Palestinians’ in Judea/Samaria and Gaza have always had the option of resolving the conflict by renouncing terror and accepting the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. In South Africa the blacks and whites all lived within the country. The blacks were subjected to overtly racist laws and were harshly mistreated by the white Afrikaners, and never had the same options as the ‘Palestinians.’ In other words their fate was not in their hands, whereas the ‘Palestinians’ have always had that option. To date they have not committed to peacefully co-exist with the Jewish state of Israel. This is an important distinction.

Unlike the blacks of South Africa the ‘Palestinians’ have weapons and have made it clear they prefer to murder innocent Jewish Israeli’s rather than live in peaceful co-existence with them.  Plus, their charters specifically call for the destruction of Israel, to be replaced by a single Muslims controlled ‘Palestinian’ state. Whereas, all the ruling white Afrikaners had to do was agree to fully integrate the country and allow democracy to take hold, which is what ended up happening in 1994. There were no border issues in South Africa, everything occurred within the sovereign nation. This is another distinction.

However, with the ‘Palestinian’s’ commitment to eliminate the Jewish state and kill innocent civilians it makes unilateral moves of full integration impossible for Israel. Plus, the demographic s would shift dramatically, placing the Jewish majority of Israel at risk.

Apartheid Practice inside ’67 Lines?

Israel has been accused of practicing apartheid within the ’67 lines as well. This is absolutely false. Within the ’67 lines there are roughly 1.5 million Arabs who are full Israeli citizens. They own homes and businesses. They vote, hold local government positions, are elected to the Knesset, and serve on the Israeli Supreme Court.

They are fully integrated into Israeli society, sitting side by side with Jewish Israelis throughout the overall workforce in virtually all cross sections of industry. They are construction workers, taxi drivers, truck drivers, electricians, etc. Go to a supermarket and you’ll find Arabs working side by side with Jews. The same is true in hospitals. In fact in certain industries Arabs make up virtually all the employees on the weekend because of the Jewish Sabbath, (Shabbat).

Arabs are professors, students, doctors, lawyers, gas station attendants and virtually every other profession.

Fact Checking President Carter

Regarding President Carter, here are some of his comments, which question his integrity and truthfulness:

  • For example, in his book he describes Yasser Arafat as a man of peace saying “the PLO has never advocated the annihilation of Israel.”  (pg. 62)
    Fact check: “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine.” (Article 9 PLO Charter)
  • He also says there would be peace if Israel would only return to the 1967 borders. (pg 242)
    Fact check: The PLO was founded in 1964, 3 years before the Six Day War of 1967. The goal of the PLO is to replace the Jewish state of Israel with a Muslim controlled Arab state.
  • He said “Since August 2004 Hamas has not committed a single act of terrorism that cost an Israeli life, not one.” (PBS Newshour interview Nov. 28, 2006.
    Fact check: There have been 44 Israeli deaths from terror attacks from Gaza since 2004.

I once had the opportunity to speak with him one on one when he was a guest on a talk show. He stuck to the same lies as indicated in the aforementioned quotes. I, along with the show host took him to task for his remarks. He remained immovable.

There are also critics who say if Israel wishes to be seen as truly ‘democratic,’ it should cease the practice of Zionism, which they describe as racist. Former Secretary of State John Kerry for example, said” Israel can be Jewish or Democratic, it cannot be both.” Let’s examine this…

Jews were scattered all over the world after the failed revolt against Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 AD. In his anger he renamed Judea Phillistia. For two millennia they were separated from their ancestral homeland and the center of their spiritual life. The Zionist movement sought to bring Jews home to the land which was given to them by God. The realization of the Zionist dream provides the only nation on earth the Jewish people can truly say is their home. This, in spite of its 20% Arab population. Keep in mind there are already 22 sovereign Arab nations in the Middle East with a population of almost 400 million. One tiny nation with 6.5 million Jews as the majority should be fully understandable by any fair minded person.

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with Arabs who live within the ’67 lines and they have acknowledged the quality of their lives is superior than if they lived under ‘Palestinian’ rule, or in a Muslim dominated country. They also indicated those who accuse Israel of practicing apartheid are incorrect.

I suggest those who accuse Israel of such practice take a closer look at themselves, and check their own level of racism.

For more of Dan Calic’s articles visit his Facebook Page.

Time for Palestinian Sacrifices, Israel Has Made Enough

One of the oft repeated laments from many world leaders when speaking about the long festering Arab-Israeli conflict is regarding sacrifices.

How many times did former US Secretary of State John Kerry, or former President Obama, or other leaders talk about the need for both sides to make sacrifices for peace? We heard it repeatedly. Yet the truth of the matter is only one side has made sacrifices, while the other side has not made any. One side has continuously demonstrated its desire for peace, while the other side has continuously demonstrated it wants the other destroyed.

The Middle East consists of 22 Arab nations with a combined population of almost 400 million, compared to a little over 8 million in Israel (6.5 million Jews, and 1.5 million Arabs). Size wise Israel is roughly 8,000 square miles, compared to over 7 million square miles for the Arab nations. The Arab population makes up over 98% of the Middle East, while geographically covers over 99% of the land compared to the size of Israel. These facts are merely to provide some perspective. Yet in spite of the overwhelming advantage the Arab world enjoys, the tiny Jewish nation of Israel is considered intolerable by many.

Let’s see if criticism of Israel is justified, by providing proof of what sacrifices have already been made.

List of Jewish Sacrifices

  1.   In the 1947 UN partition of the land west of the Jordan River the Jews were to receive roughly 5,500 square miles of land, while the Arabs were to receive roughly 4,500 square miles. This would have created the 23rd Arab nation in the Middle East. Jerusalem, which has been the ancestral capital of Jewish life for well over 3,000 years was designated as an international city and cut off from a contiguous connection with the Jewish state.

In spite of seeing the creation of yet another Arab state, and not having a physical connection to Jerusalem, the Jews, while furious, made the sacrifice and agreed to the partition plan. However, it was the Arab world which rejected the vote of the UN and attacked Israel in May 1948 one day after its independence. After a protracted war which lasted over a year, Israel was able to secure additional land, including Jerusalem, bringing its size to roughly 8,000 square miles. On Dec. 13, 1949 Prime Minister David Ben Gurion announced Jerusalem would be the official capital of the Jewish state of Israel.

  1.   In June 1967 Israel was forced to defend itself against Syria, Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War. During this decisive Israeli victory the Holy Old City of Jerusalem was captured from the Jordanians, who had been in control of it since the Independence war ended in 1949. The victory reunited the Jewish people with Temple Mount and the Western Wall of the Second Temple compound. Israeli flags flew over their holiest site for the first time in modern history.

At the conclusion of the war Defense Minister Moshe Dayan made a highly controversial decision. Against the advice of the religious and conservative Jews, he made a huge sacrifice in the interest of peace by awarding administrative control of Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust). He ordered Israeli flags removed and he banned Jews from praying on Temple Mount. This remains in effect today.

In the same war Israel captured the Gaza Strip and virtually all of the Sinai Desert.

  1.   On Yom Kippur 1973, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Israel was attacked on two fronts from Egypt and Syria. Caught by surprise many Israeli lives were lost before they were able to turn the tide. After Israel successfully crossed the Suez Canal and had tanks in route to Cairo Egypt summoned the US to broker a cease fire. Six years later in an historic agreement, Israel signed its first formal peace treaty with a sovereign Arab nation. The Camp David Accord was brokered by President Jimmy Carter and signed by Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin on the White House Lawn in March 1979.

In their effort to secure peace Israel gave up the entire Sinai Desert. Later that year Israel also turned over control of the Alma oil field, which had $100 billion in untapped reserves.  Anwar Sadat later lamented “poor Menahcim, I got back the Sinai and the Alma oil fields, and what has Menachim got? A piece of paper.”

  1.   Since Israel’s independence is 1948 ongoing terror attacks had taken hundreds of Israeli lives. In an effort to secure peace with the ‘Palestinians’ in 1993 Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin signed the first of several agreements with Yasser Arafat founder of the PLO terrorist group. This was known as the Oslo Accords. Once again the US played the key role and the formal signing took place at the White House. Just under 1,600 Israeli’s had been murdered between ’48 and ’93. Over this 53 year period that is a sustained average of one murdered every other week.

The accords were designed to provide self-rule for the Palestinians. Israel was willing to give up control over specified areas on the condition the Palestinians stop the terror attacks against innocent Israeli civilians. This was an effort to build trust between the two sides. The longer the Palestinians refrained from terror, the more land Israel would turn over to them. Ultimately if the Palestinians showed good will and stopped the terror, the end game of the Oslo Accords could have given them much of the land they demanded for statehood. All they were asked to do is stop murdering Jews.

However, they did not stop. In 1994 Palestinian terrorists murdered 65 Israelis and another 29 in 1995. Then tragedy struck in 1995 when Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated .

Subsequent to this the terror continued. Between 1996 and 2000 Palestinians murdered another 165 Israelis. The Oslo Accords had all but collapsed because the Palestinians refused to honor their commitment to cease their terror against the Jews.

The Israeli government went into crisis mode and had to come up with something to protect Jewish civilians from being murdered. A highly controversial decision was made to construct a security barrier. The Palestinians and Israel’s critics called it a land grab. However, this reluctant decision had to be made for one simple reason- to protect Jewish civilians from being murdered. It was never intended to be a land grab.

Throughout the first phase of the barrier’s construction the Palestinians not only did not stop the terror, they increased it significantly. During that four year period they murdered 984 Israelis or an average of just under 5 per week!

The sacrifice Israel made by turning over land to the Palestinians was a total bust. Responsibility for its failure rests with the Palestinians.

  1.   Now we come to one of the most gut wrenching sacrifices Israel made in an effort to secure peace. In 2005 after a 38 year presence in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided to pull almost 8,000 Jews out of the coast enclave.  Heart breaking images of Israeli soldiers physically dragging screaming families from their homes brought the country to its knees. The tiny Jewish nation came to the brink of civil war. Yet the task was completed and the Gaza Strip was turned over to the Palestinians to establish self- rule.

After Israel vacated the Strip the Palestinian held elections in 2006. They voted the terrorist group Hamas into power. Since then Hamas has fired over 15,000 rockets and mortars into Israel. There havebeen three wars between them. To this day Hamas has been relentless in its effort to deny Israel any peace. It constructs underground tunnels made from supplies designed for humanitarian purposes, while continuing their hateful campaign of Israel’s destruction.

Once again a huge sacrifice by Israel for peace backfired.

Another Sacrifice?

Then there is Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Most world leaders consider Abbas a moderate. Since October 2015 the so-called ‘knife intifada’ has been going on. This has been a series of premeditated attacks by Palestinians who have carried out dozens of stabbings and vehicle ramming’s against Israeli soldiers and civilians. At least 44 Israelis have been brutally murdered. Abbas reacts by praising the murderers, saying “we bless every drop of blood.”  In addition he demonstrates his complete disdain for Jewish lives by meeting with the families of Palestinian terrorists.

He also has said on numerous occasions he will never accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas says Israel is the obstacle to peace because of its ‘settlement’ construction. Sorry Mr. Abbas, if anyone is responsible for lack of progress on the peace front it is you who bless murderers and categorially deny Israel the right to exist as a Jewish state.

Once again world leaders and organizations are pressuring Israel to consider yet another sacrifice for peace by giving up land the Palestinians demand for a state, which Abbas demands must be 100% Jew free. They offer nothing in return, not altering their charters calling for Israel’s destruction, not renouncing terror, not even recognition.

Let There Be No Doubt

It should be exceedingly clear by now who has made the sacrifices for peace. It is Israel. Both land an lives have been sacrificed. What has been asked of the Palestinians? Simple, stop the murder of civilians, and accept Israel as a Jewish state. They offer neither. Yet, in spite of not making a single compromise for peace the Palestinians are not penalized and continue to receive hundreds of millions in aid. Plus, they continue to pay salaries to terrorist who murdered Jews.

How are the Palestinian people ever going to desire peace if not a single one of the leaders speaks about necessary sacrifices it requires? When the Palestinian people hear and see their political and religious leaders is glorify murderers by naming schools and summer camps after them, these become their role models. This makes peace impossible. It’s not to say there aren’t Palestinians who want peace. There are. However, they are in the minority and afraid to speak out because they get threatened by the fundamentalists. I am still waiting to see the first peace demonstration in the streets of any Palestinian city. For peace to have any chance this has to change.

Here’s the list of Palestinian sacrifices: Zero

That says it all.

More of Dan Calic’s articles are on his Facebook Page.

‘Palestinian’ Agenda Based on Fabrication and Destruction

While talk of a comprehensive Arab, Israeli peace agreement seems never ending, newly elected President Trump has described securing such an agreement as the “ultimate deal.” However there is ample reason why no deal has been struck, and why it will likely remain beyond reach.  An honest assessment reveals why.

The most important factor in reaching an agreement is both sides must want peace. However, in this conflict indisputable evidence shows only one side actually wants genuine peace and co-existence.  A sober look at the facts reveals the Arab Palestinians have no interest in peace. In order to draw reasoned conclusions it’s also essential to separate fact from fiction.  

Who’s Who?

The Arab ‘Palestinians’ are in a different category than the rest of the Arab world, which consists of 22 sovereign Middle Eastern nations. They do not have the distinction of being a sovereign nation, which they feel they are entitled to. However, shouldn’t we first understand who they are, as well as their motives?

They are a mix of Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrian, Sudanese etc. who settled within the area known as the British Mandate of Palestine. This land encompassed 43,000 square miles and was promised to the Jews as a national homeland in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Yet, in 1922 the British turned over 75% of it to create the nation of Transjordan, (today’s Jordan). This left roughly 25% or 11,000 square miles of land to be dealt with.

In 1947 the British decided to leave the area and turned the issue over to the United Nations, which by a 72% majority voted  to partition two separate states, one Jewish and one Arab.  However, the surrounding Arab nations rejected the vote and attacked the new Jewish state one day after its independence intending to destroy it. This is all indisputable fact.

The coming storm

Regional leadership directed local Arabs living in the area to relocate temporarily, while the armies of the surrounding countries carried out their plan to destroy the UN partitioned Jewish state. Thinking they would soon be able to return and grab a huge windfall the majority of Arabs chose to leave.

However, their destructive aspirations failed, and the tiny nation of Israel not only was reborn, it remains…. and flourishes.

One can only lament how different history might have been if the Arab nations chose to accept the UN partition vote. Yet, they chose war and have never taken responsibility for their action. What’s worse is the nations of the world have never required it of them.

So what happened to those Arabs who left hoping the Jews would be wiped out allowing them to reclaim their homes, plus those of the defeated Jews? Many ended up in “no man’s land,” which gave birth to the so called “Palestinian“ refugees.” Yet are they truly refugees? They did not leave with the intention of relocating elsewhere to start a new life as refugees typically do. They left because they were hoping the Jewish state would be destroyed and they could return to claim what was theirs, plus what wasn’t theirs. An honest assessment disqualifies them from being classified as “refugees.”  It was nothing less than bloodthirsty greed.

Since then they have portrayed themselves as victims deserving of compensation; Not from the Arab nations who directed them to leave in order to launch their attack, but from Israel or Britain.  If anyone is to blame for their plight it surely rests with Arabs, not the Jews. Unquestionably their fate was driven by hatred, greed and destructive intentions.

Have they ever admitted this? No. Instead they went on the offensive and to this day the Arab nations and the ‘Palestinians’ lay blame elsewhere. This is precisely what Yasser Arafat did when he founded the first ‘Palestinian’ terror group in 1964- the PLO. He blamed the Jews, and took no responsibility for the intent of the Arabs to destroy the Jewish state. He also rejected the United Nations partitioning of a sovereign Arab state, because it meant the existence of a Jewish state, which he refused to accept. His PLO charter defined the “Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them null and void.” (PLO Charter Article 20)

Moreover, his organization’s charter specifically calls for the “Palestinian people to assert their absolute determination and firm resolution….to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and the right to return to it.” (PLO Charter Article 9)

So much for peaceful co-existence.

“Their Country”?

Moreover, what country is he talking about? The so-called ‘Palestinians’ did not have their own country. The area he is referring to was under the British Mandate and was turned over to the UN who voted to partition an Arab and Jewish state, which was rejected by the Arab nations. The fact is the ‘Palestinians’ never had “their own country,” to return to and “liberate.” They could have had a country if the UN partition was accepted. However, hatred of the Jews and refusal to accept the existence of a neighboring Jewish state outweighed the gift of having their own state.  This abhorrent fact renders Arafat’s statement about the existence of “their country” as a lie.

It should also be noted the Jews have had a constant presence here dating back over 3,000 years. Plus, since they were victorious in defending themselves in the Six Day War of 1967 international law allows them to claim the disputed land, which gave them the legal right to build communities.

It’s time to call a spade a spade. The entire premise on which the PLO was founded is a fabrication. There was never a ‘Palestinian’ country and no ‘Palestinian’ people. What is correct is there were Arabs of various ethnic origins living together with Jews in an area which was under the control of the British. Arafat himself for example, was a transplanted Arab Egyptian, not a ‘Palestinian.’

Part of the challenge of this unending conflict is separating fact from fiction. Suggesting the ‘Palestinians’ have the right to “liberate their country,” assumes they have or had one. They don’t and never did. This cannot be overstated. Any reference otherwise is pure fabrication. However, this has not stopped them from spreading outright lies and others from buying into it. This includes defining the land they claim as “occupied Palestinian territory,” while blaming Israel as the cause for a lack of peace.

The charters of all the ‘Palestinian’ terror groups, including Fatah, (which means ‘conquest’) the party of Mahmoud Abbas  don’t merely speak of self-determination within the area commonly referred to as the” West Bank.” Each charter places equal weight on the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel through armed struggle, and replacing it with one ‘Palestinian’ state.  It makes clear their goal is to eliminate the world’s only Jewish country, and replace it with another Muslim dominated country. This would bring the total to 23 in the Middle East, while the Jews would have none, and be subjected to live under Muslim rule in what used to be their own country.

If the community of nations decides to reward those who seek Israel’s destruction with nationhood, without requiring them to alter their charters, renounce terror and recognize the Jewish state of Israel, it will be a black mark on humanity.

Then again the community of nations has ample history of treating the Jews unfairly. Evidence today’s United Nations for starters….

More of Dan Calic’s articles are on his Facebook Page

Can One Man Make a Difference? Just Ask Israel

Donald Trump has been President for just over 5 weeks. Yet on many fronts there is little doubt a new era has been birthed. One of the most obvious is relations with Israel compared to the previous 8 years under Barack Obama.

From the beginning of the Obama administration he was determined to put the US on a different path with regard to the Muslim world. Indeed, the first foreign leader he called was Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Obama even made a point of telling Abbas his was the first call to a foreign leader, emphasizing his intent to signal a new direction for the US.

Obama furthered his effort at a new direction by making his first international speech in Cairo. During his address he lamented about how the Palestinians suffer “daily humiliation under occupation,” and criticized Israel for building “settlements.”

Plus, throughout his two terms, it was clear Obama did not like Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Right up to the bitter end the Obama administration went out much like it began, with a slap at Israel. The final kick in the stomach was UN resolution 2334, which singled out Israel’s construction of “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace.  The US was intimately involved in the language of the resolution, yet not a word was mentioned about ongoing Palestinian terrorism and murder of innocent Israeli civilians. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the US has veto power and could have killed the resolution. However, knowing this would be his last opportunity to make a statement against Israel, Obama directed the US to abstain from the voting, thus allowing it to pass, cementing his legacy as the most anti-Israel US President.

One Door Closes, Another Opens

Contrast this against the early stages of the Trump administration. Throughout his campaign he made it clear that the US had treated (Israel) its best Middle East ally terribly.  Since taking office the difference can only be described as startling.

For example, he has called the Iran nuclear deal “the worst deal ever negotiated,” and has already imposed new sanctions on Iran.

His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry for how he handled Israeli-Palestinian issues. “Israel is, always has been, and remains our most important ally in the region” according to Tillerson. He characterized UN resolution 2334 as an effort to “coerce” Israel to change course, further stating, “that will not bring a solution.”

Trump’s Ambassador the UN Nikki Haley has already come out swinging against the overwhelming anti-Israel sentiment which dominates the organization. After attending her initial Security Council meeting and witnessing the absurd obsession it has with Israel she said “the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. “ Additionally she stated “the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.” She went on to say “we will never repeat the mistake of resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel.” Haley called the UN’s double-standards “breathtaking.”

In fact President Trump is so upset at how unfairly Israel is treated by the UN, there is some discussion that the US may be considering withdrawing from the UNHRC. Could anyone imagine Obama doing this?

Trump has also indicated he will move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. However, this is still under discussion.

In another clear effort to demonstrate US-Israel relations have changed Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to a meeting at the White House. (He also invited Netanyahu to his inauguration)The chemistry between the two of them was obvious and in stark contrast to the strained relations with former President Obama.

Let the Parties Decide for Themselves

During a press conference Trump moved the peace process in a heretofore new direction by backing off the long-standing US policy pushing for a two-state solution. He made it clear the position of the United States is to have the two parties negotiate a solution between themselves, saying “I want the one both parties want,” referring to a deal.

This doesn’t suggest the US is against a two-state solution, because Trump has indicated he would be fine with it.  However, in a clear departure from the Obama administration’s attempts to strong arm Israel, the Trump administration is saying let the two sides negotiate their own deal.

Such a stand by the US sends a blunt message to the Palestinians that Israel has every right to expect them to come to the table without pre-conditions, and has the freedom to tell the Palestinians what their conditions are for a resolution to the conflict, without being bullied by the US. Abbas has made it known he isn’t happy about this by stating his commitment to a two state solution and demanding the world recognize Palestine. In my view Abbas missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate some flexibility and strike a deal during the 8 years of the Obama administration, which was clearly more favorable toward the Palestinians.

For example, he could have urged Abbas to amend the charter of his Fatah Party by eliminating the language requiring Israel’s destruction, as a gesture toward being a genuine peace partner. Moreover, he could have cut off US aid because Abbas uses US money to pay huge salaries to terrorists who have murdered Israelis. These are just two examples of how Obama could have been more even handed with the Palestinians. He did neither of these.

On several occasions Obama tried to almost force Israel to accept a two state solution. He showed more interest in promoting self-determination and dignity for the Palestinians, than understanding Israel’s obvious need for security and a genuine peace partner willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

While it is still very early in the administration of Donald Trump, there is little doubt as Bob Dylan once sang “the times they are a-changin’.

View more of Dan Calic’s articles on his Facebook page.


The World’s Largest Anti-Israel Organization

Have you ever wondered why the United Nations is so anti-Israel? Did you know the UN Human Rights Council has passed more resolutions against Israel than all other countries combined?

Take a look at the rest of the world. The Syrian civil war has been raging since 2011 with close to 500,000 deaths by various estimates. Hezbollah has built up an arsenal of approximately 150,000 rockets in Southern Lebanon. This is a flagrant violation of UN resolution 1701, to which the UN has turned a blind eye. ISIS is terrorizing and murdering people in the Middle East and is responsible for numerous attacks in Europe and elsewhere. North Korea continues its rogue behavior, with provocative missile launches. Iran is a threat to the entire Middle East, especially Israel. It launches missiles with “Israel must be wiped out” painted on them. It’s also the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Again the UN is silent.

In perspective these are but a few of the highly significant issues plaguing much of the world. Yet the UN seems to have a permanent case of tunnel vision when it comes to Israel.

Keep in mind Israel is a mere 8,000 square miles in size, or roughly the size of New Jersey. Its total population, including more than 1 million Arabs is just over 8,000,000. The Jewish population of Israel is approximately 6.5 million. Contrast that against the world population of 7.5 billion, Jewish Israel represents less than one tenth of one percent of the entire world.

So why is a tiny country like Israel and its ongoing conflict with the Arab Muslim ‘Palestinians’ standing head and shoulders above much more important issues as far as the UN is concerned? This question may have people scratching their heads trying to come up with an answer. Yet a closer look inside the make-up of the UN provides the answer.

Obsessed with Resolutions

For example let’s examine the most anti-Israel body within the organization- the UN Human Rights Council. Since 2006 when the United Nations Commission on Human Rights changed its name to the United Nations Human Rights Council, it has passed no less than 60 resolutions against Israel. That’s a sustained average of almost one every other month during the past 10 years. In 2016 alone there were no less than 20. Incredibly 10 were passed on a single day! A total of 4 were passed against the rest of the world in 2016. This seems almost absurd, until you break down the UNHRC.

There are 47 member nations that comprise the UNHRC. Keep in mind the focus of it is “human rights.” Yet look at some of its members- China, Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Burundi, Bangladesh, UAE, etc. Shouldn’t members be beacons of protecting human rights? Yet these countries are some of its worst offenders.

Unfair Playing Field

Now let’s look at the actual structure of the UNHRC which is quite telling. They divide the nations of the world into five regions:

  1. Africa (including Middle East)
  2. Asia
  3. Latin America/Caribbean
  4. Western Europe
  5. Eastern Europe

In case you are wondering the US is part of the Western Europe region.
The African and Asian regions each have 13 members. Latin America/Caribbean has 8 members, Western Europe 7 and Eastern Europe 6. Now here’s where the rubber meets the road…. Every nation where Muslims make up 50% or more of the general population is in one of two regions- the African or Asian region. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize when those two regions vote as a block, their 26 votes comprise an automatic majority of the UNHRC’s 47 members.

Another noteworthy  point is how the US is positioned. Keep in mind it’s the home of the United Nations, and puts up roughly 22% of the overall UN budget. Yet on the UNHRC the US doesn’t even have its own region. It’s buried as a member of the Western Europe region which has a mere 7 member nations. It can be easily outvoted by the Muslim dominated African and Asian regions.

Back to the question of why the UNHRC has been so ardently anti-Israel for many years; once you understand how the UNHRC is structured with the Muslim nations in control, it becomes clear why they ignore many other obvious problematic areas, and devote so much attention to Israel. It sits smack dab in the heart of the Middle East, and has been a thorn in the side of the Arab Muslim world since the moment it was reborn in 1948.  The existence of a sovereign Jewish state on land which most of the Muslim world considers holy, especially Jerusalem, represents a huge obstacle to their goal of ‘liberating’ all of Israel in favor of “Palestine.”

Multiple Fronts of World’s Largest Anti-Israel Organization

The UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. No other people or nation enjoy such a distinction. Plus, there are other anti-Israel UN agencies.  UNESCO for example is in the business of revising history by passing resolutions reclassifying obvious Jewish holy sites such as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and Temple Mount as Muslims holy sites. This is in outright contradiction to documented historical fact.

There’s also UNRWA, which is the only UN refugee agency created exclusively for a single group of people- the Arab Palestinians. It runs schools in the Gaza Strip and in Judea/Samaria. This virulently anti-Israel agency openly teaches students jihad against Israel and the Jews.

Then there’s the UN Security Council which recently passed a resolution naming Israeli “settlements” as the main obstacle to peace. The resolution completely ignored Arab Palestinian terrorism.

It’s not as if the UN Security Council hasn’t made other efforts to pass anti-Israel resolutions. It has. However, unlike the UNHRC where the US influence is minimal, it’s one of 5 permanent members of the Security Council, and as such has veto power. Since 1970 the US has used its veto power on 39 occasions to thwart anti-Israel resolutions.

The United Nations as an organization is charged with upholding dignity and security for all the nations of the world big and small. Yet, is it acting with equal vigilance enforcing these noble principles when it comes to Israel? The answer is a resounding no! One could make a strong case that the UN has a separate anti-Israel agenda from its overall calling, effectively making it the largest anti-Israel organization in the world…. unofficially of course.

However, now that Donald Trump has replaced Barack Obama as President and Nikki Haley is the US Ambassador who sits on the Security Council, we are about to see Israel getting the support it rightfully deserves. Moreover, Trump has indicated the US may consider taking punitive action against the UN and some of its internal agencies, in the form of reducing or eliminating financial support.

We are in the early stages of a long overdue new era. It’s about time someone is ‘Trumpeting’ support for Israel.