$1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Passed Saturday Night and Both Parties Make Compelling Points


Ethan brings us up to speed on the $1.1 Trillion spending bill passed Saturday night in the halls of the capitol buildings in Washington D.C.

Only a corrupted process could spend that much money in a convoluted 1,603 page bill.

In an unusual twist, Ethan agrees with both the conservative right (Senators Ted Cruz-TX and Mike Lee-UT) and liberal left (Senator Elizabeth Warren-MA) in their objections on the bill and he gives us the bottom line.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Hack Attack is a Preview of World War III


Ethan discusses the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment by North Korea and why this is a critical event that shouldn’t be ignored.

The Sony Pictures Entertainment hack has cost millions of dollars in direct cost, massive lost productivity for over 6,000 employees, was malicious by destroying data and stealing movies and proprietary financial information for online posting.

Movies, documents, and sensitive information were hacked from Sony’s system leaving employees with nothing but ink and paper until things could be restored, costing the company millions of dollars in losses.

Ethan tells us why these cyber attacks may just be a preview of the possible face of WWIII and the importance of online security for businesses and individuals.

Do you thinkIs this is what World War III will look like?

Latest Unemployment Statistics Paint A Misleading Picture


In this video, Ethan discusses the latest unemployment report from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dated December 5, 2014.

The headlines in media and pundits all over were touting the huge success of this report with a number of 321,000 new jobs. While getting Americans working in full-time jobs is something worth celebrating, the truth is different from the 321,000 number.

In reality the numbers look like this: 119,000 new people entered the labor pool, 115,000 people lost their jobs, the number of full-time jobs decreased by 150,000, and part-time jobs increased by 77,000. Not as good as the headlines is it?

The U-3 official unemployment rate stayed steady at 5.8%. 321,000 new jobs but unemployment stayed the same? That’s because the net new jobs was only 4,000.

That official unemployment number never tells the true story anyway. They don’t want to scare the masses and speak the truth. You CAN handle the truth. The truth is the U-6 unemployment number. The U-6 unemployment rate is 11.4% or 1 in 9 Americans.

According to the BLS, U-6 is total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.

What that means is that 1 in 9 Americans either can’t find a job for the past 27 weeks (the number in U-3), can’t find a full-time job only part-time, or have fallen out of the stats because they have been looking longer than 27 weeks.

Not quite the rosy picture now, is it? What are the politicians doing to reduce red-tape, streamline bureaucracy, allow innovation to flourish, and simplify the tax code thus vaulting the United States to the top of business competitiveness?

Later in the video, Ethan covers some of the fallacies of the massive lithium-ion battery because of the sources of lithium.

Artificial Intelligence Could Destroy Us All


Ethan brings us his technological perspective on artificial intelligence, the importance of self-driving cars, and our exponential growth toward A.I. He discusses some of the worlds most brilliant scientists, like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, and how they are now fearing that a self replicating artificial intelligence may be the end of the human race like the movie “The Terminator.”

Remember that this technological singularity was first predicted and described by John Von Neumann in 1958.

Don’t be the last to know. Click the links at the end of the video or right here and don’t forget to subscribe to this page so you never miss a beat!

Special thanks to Bird Creek for supplying the closing track, “Surfing Lama.”

Jew Hatred Reaching Heights Not Seen Since Nazi Era


Ethan exposes the mounting Jew hatred. All while Palestinian-Arab leadership doesn’t want peace, it’s not good for their personal bank accounts!

Palestinian-Arab terrorism reaches new levels against Jews with the murder of four rabbis and a Druze policeman in West Jerusalem, Israel. Continued attempts to delegitimize Israel, yet Egypt razes Gaza homes and nobody cares.

Ethan also discusses a new indoctrinating video game from Hamas where a suicide vest is a valuable item.

Obama, Immigration, and Executive Action


Ethan gives you the rundown on Obama’s new immigration plan, it’s impact on Americans. and his use executive action. Don’t miss this episode.

President Obama announced Thursday night the he isn’t giving amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants, just a legal way to avoid being illegal, but it isn’t amnesty. What has illegal immigration done to African-Americans? The United States Commission on Civil Rights held a hearing and it contains rather damning information regarding the President’s action. So are our politicians supposed to put Americans first?

Don’t be the last to know. Click the links at the end of the video or right here and don’t forget to subscribe to this page so you never miss a beat!

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

19thCenturyThanksgiving

Giving thanks for what we have has a great history in many cultures.

We free people of the United States of America have enshrined this day as a national holiday, Thanksgiving. We give thanks to our Creator, as the Wampanoag Native Americans before us on this land, for our harvest of plenty.

According to the Plimouth Plantation one of our forebears Edward Winslow wrote to a friend in England, and said: “And God be praised, we had a good increase…. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling that so we might after a special manner rejoice together….” Winslow continues, “These things I thought good to let you understand… that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favourably with us.”

As we celebrate with a feast today I am thankful for much.

  • I am thankful for life. I am thankful for the love, trust, respect, and support of my wife.
  • I am thankful for my two beautiful, talented, loving children.
  • I am thankful for wonderful family and friends around the world.
  • I am thankful for living in the greatest country on earth, the U.S.A.
  • I am thankful for the freedom of expression, of conscience, of religion, we all have here.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity for productive work.

Those words have real meaning, and you have much to be thankful for too. For all of the complaints we might have in our lives, our blessings far outweigh them. Remember, somebody else has it far worse than you.

For what are you thankful today?

Note: I ran an informal poll on the radio and my Facebook page asking about favorite desserts for Thanksgiving, and it was a dead heat between pumpkin pie and pecan pie.

You are being lied to about wind and solar energy!


Ethan exposes toxic climate change myths, discusses the true causes for excess carbon dioxide, and addresses the lies we are all being told about renewable energy.

Read Ethan’s articles on the only valid renewable energy source that is also a base load source for the grid, geothermal power. HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE

Don’t be the last to know. Click the links at the end of the video or right here and don’t forget to subscribe to this page so you never miss a beat!

Thank you to TeknoAXE for supplying the ending music:

The Jew Hatred Continues Unabated with Attack on Synagogue

Picture: Abir Sultan/EPA

Picture: Abir Sultan/EPA

Blame the victim resonates across the Arab and Muslim world as four rabbis were brutally murdered and six others wounded in a gruesome attack on an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel, today.

The way Arab and Muslim leaders are responding to these reprehensible murders which were conducted by two members of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jews therein, is nearly as despicable as the acts themselves.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is quoted in the Daily Sabah, “We condemn the attacks on holy places. We had condemned Israel’s attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque as well. We are in a spiral right now, Israel’s reckless attitude towards Gaza continues, however there are no excuses for the synagogue attack either.” (bold added to text for emphasis)

Quite the diplomat of a foreign minister you have there Turkey. A valid, defensive war toward Gaza justifies the brutal murder of four religious leaders inside a house of worship far away from Gaza “with guns and cleavers” according to Newsweek.

From Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), President of the Palestinian Arabs, in Ma’an News Agency, “Consequently, today the presidency denounces the killing of worshipers at a place of worship in West Jerusalem. The presidency also denounces all violent acts no matter who their source is, and demands an end to the ongoing incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocative acts by Israeli settlers as well as incitement by some Israeli ministers.”(bold added to text for emphasis)

Abu Mazen blames the victim. No peace with the Palestinian Arabs can ever occur when everything is Israel’s fault and because the Jews exist anywhere near them, not as subservient citizens, like the Ottoman Empire, but in control of their own government, with their own institution and military.

This mentality exists for multiple reasons.

One, the Palestinian Arab leadership makes billions of dollars through their victim status, as can see when one drives through the West Bank as I did during the war this summer, or through the billions stolen from the people by Yasser Arafat.

Two, the orthodox Muslims take literally the Q’uran and Hadiths where it designates hatred of the Jews (and Christians and Zoroastrians for that matter) and therefore they must get rid of the Jews (example Quran 5:51, 9:29). Or this, which Hamas uses in its own charter, “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (the Boxthorn tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews. (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)”.

Three, an endless breeding of hatred through indoctrination of children that violence toward Jews is a good thing. See the riots and attacks across Europe this summer with Jew Hatred rising to levels not seen since the 1930s, mostly committed by Arabs and Muslims living in Europe. You probably didn’t know about the latest attack on Saturday where a rabbi was stabbed in the throat in Antwerp, Belgium. Or the endless videos out of Middle Eastern countries documenting the teaching of hatred.

I grieve for the families of the victims: Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, and Rabbi Moshe Twersky. And it is time for those who believe in Universal Human Rights, as only Israel does in the Middle East, to condition any aid or support to the Arabs with official recognition of Israel as the Jewish state it is (with full protections as it does for all minorities, again unlike every other country in the Middle East) and the cessation of violence, calls to violence, and indoctrination of violence in children.

Peace can only happen when both sides desire it.

ADDENDUM 11/18/2014 9:30 PST – A druze police officer was also killed in the attack. A chilling quote I just came across: “Jewish worshipers lay dead in pools of blood, still wrapped in prayer shawls and phylacteries, with holy books strewn on the floor,” Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, who heads Zaka, an emergency response group led by Orthodox Jews, told Israel Radio. “Such sights I have never seen — they recall dark days.”

 

Interviews with Flemming Rose on Free Speech and Dr Kit Yarrow on Shopping

When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in 2005, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper’s culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations to freedom of speech in the 21st century. In his new book, The Tyranny of Silence, Mr. Rose writes about the people and experiences that have influenced the way he views the world and his understanding of the crisis, including meetings with dissidents from the former Soviet Union and former Muslims living in Europe. He provides a personal account of an event that has shaped the debate about what it means to be a citizen in a democracy maintaining free speech and how to coexist in a world that is increasingly multicultural, multireligious, and multiethnic.


Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., is an award-winning consumer psychologist, a professor, author, consultant and speaker. Her home base is Golden Gate University, where she is a jointly appointed professor of both psychology and marketing. As part of her ongoing research on the psychology of consumers, Dr. Yarrow conducts interviews and ethnographies on a regular basis. She shares her findings and analysis in her books, Decoding the New Consumer Mind (Wiley, 2014) and Gen BuY (Wiley, 2009) which Ethan discusses with her in this interview.

In Honor of All Who Have Served

Vintage-Veterans-Day2

All of our freedoms, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, our shores, our homes, our communities, are free from foreign occupation thanks to all who have served our country with honor in the armed forces. A sincere and heartfelt thank you.

On this day, please take time to reflect on how we not not under British, German, or Japanese control. Thank you to our veterans.

And days like this when I reflect on our free country, I am concerned that many do not understand the word sovereignty. According to Merriam Webster, it means a country’s independent authority and the right to govern itself or freedom from external control.

To me U.S. sovereignty means our borders are secure, our citizens are the first priority, our freedom, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are the focus of the government we elect. That is what veterans served to protect and each and every chance we get, we must remind those that serve us in government of that sovereignty and sacrifice.

We must also remember that many service members need our help and we owe it to them: Proper medical care at a minimum, respect in our community, and our effort at their integration into civilian society.

Take a moment today to thank a veteran.

KSFO, GCN, and WPHT all this weekend

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Genesis Communications Network
wpht Looking for a variety of shows to listen to covering topics like current events, entertainment, technology, and lifestyle? Look no further!

I am pleased to announce that this Thursday and Friday I’ll be filling in for Brian Sussman on Cumulus Media’s Hot Talk 560 KSFO in San Francisco, CA from 5 to 9 a.m. Pacific Time on AM 560 or online at www.ksfo.com

Saturday is my regularly scheduled Ethan Bearman Program on Cumulus Media’s Hot Talk 560 KSFO in San Francisco, CA from 4 to 7 p.m. Pacific Time on AM 560 or online at www.ksfo.com

Sunday is the Ethan Bearman Show on affiliates of the Genesis Communications Network from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Click HERE to listen or learn more about the show.

Then Sunday night I am hosting the 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. slot on CBS Radio’s WPHT AM 1210 Philadelphia, PA from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Click HERE to listen or on the radio.com app on your smartphone.

Thanks for tuning in and remember to visit the podcast site should you miss a show or want to listen again!

WPHT, KSFO, and GCN all this weekend

wpht

KSFO Hot Talk Logo

Genesis Communications Network

There are a great many opportunities to catch me on-air the next several days and I couldn’t be happier to speak with you.

I am pleased to announce that this Thursday and Friday I’ll be filling in for Rich Zeoli on CBS Radio’s WPHT AM 1210 Philadelphia, PA from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Click HERE to listen or on the radio.com app on your smartphone.

Saturday is my regularly scheduled Ethan Bearman Program on Cumulus Media’s Hot Talk 560 KSFO in San Francisco, CA from 4 to 7 p.m. Pacific Time on AM 560 or online at www.ksfo.com

Sunday is the Ethan Bearman Show on affiliates of the Genesis Communications Network from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Click HERE to listen or learn more about the show.

Then Sunday night is my inaugural show in the 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. slot on WPHT AM 1210 Philadelphia, PA.

Thanks for tuning in and remember to visit the podcast site should you miss a show or want to listen again!

Shellshock as Bad as Heartbleed Bug

My current generation iMac with the latest OSX 10.9.5 shows the Shellshock bug

My current generation iMac with the latest OSX 10.9.5 shows the Shellshock bug

Just when you thought computer security couldn’t get any worse, it did. Much worse.

Remember the Heartbleed bug a few months ago? This new “Shellshock” bug is at least as widespread and, in many ways, even worse.

Web servers are responsible for presenting the information you see and read when browsing the Internet. Your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) is responsible for displaying the information retrieved from a web server.

The majority of web servers on the Internet run a variant of the UNIX operating system, including Linux. According to W3Techs Web Technology Surveys, 66.9% of all web servers are running a UNIX operating system variant, which includes the Apple OSX operating system,

This Shellshock vulnerability is specific to what is called the bash shell on these UNIX systems. Think of the bash shell as a command line interface for doing things without a mouse and graphics.

That alone is bad enough, but what makes this so particularly troubling is the Apache HTTP (web) server is what is used on these systems for serving up your cat videos and memes and it uses the bash shell for processing certain commands.

That means that nearly 2/3 of all web servers are vulnerable to a hacker maliciously embedding code or taking over a web server. With that, the malicious hacker could load a virus, worm, or trojan on YOUR computer when you visit an affected website.

Uh-oh.

Let me make this worse for you. Not only could bad guys exploit this to infect you, they could exploit this to take over corporate networks, and possibly even your smartphone. That’s right your smartphone.

Suddenly the Target and Home Depot hacks appear to be small-time operations.

And like the Target and Home Depot hacks, you are almost helpless. If you are a network or web administrator, immediately patch all of your systems. Right now.

If you aren’t a tech administrator, follow all of my basic rules on how to protect yourself from my article HERE

And if you want a little more detail reading on the Shellshock bug, take a look at U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Awareness System report HERE

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu 5775

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Traditional foods served during Rosh HaShanah

May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and literally means “head of the year.”

Rabbi Benjamin Blech has an insightful article titled “Jews Don’t Say Happy New Year” on Rosh HaShanah. An excerpt quoting Kathleen Vohs, “”Happy people get joy from receiving benefits from others while people leading meaningful lives get a lot of joy from giving to others.” In other words, meaning transcends the self while happiness is all about giving the self what it wants.”

After a year in which Jew Hatred reared its vile, ugly head across Europe (synagogues firebombed in Germany and Belgium, Jews viciously attacked at a synagogue in France), and around the rest of the world surrounding Israel’s war with Gaza.

Let us all, Jews and Gentiles alike, pray for peace. Pray for people to value life more than death, pray for our children to be the future of goodness, pray for the hate-filled to become love-filled, pray for the angry to let it go, pray for the righteous to shine joyful light on the darkness that lurks and leaps, and pray for leaders to step forward.

In this New Year, may peace, prosperity, and joy find you and your family.

Reflections on My First Day in Israel

I travelled to Israel July 29 through August 1, 2014 to see for myself and report what was happening on the ground in Israel.

My desire was and is to bring another perspective to my readers, listeners, and fans that may very well be quite different from what they have seen in the news.

The morning of the second day, I shared my thoughts reflecting back to my first day on the ground.

Videographer: Joshua Fleisher

My Interview of Yishai Fleisher

My first night in Jerusalem, Israel I had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing father, talk radio host, columnist for Jerusalem Post Magazine, and IDF soldier, Yishai Fleisher of the Voice of Israel. We spoke in their brand spanking new studios, which they opened before their planned date due to the war.

Thanks to Chanan Elias with The Face of Israel for the video work and Binyamin Nakonechny our senior chief engineer working the board.

Day 4 in Israel: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

My final day in Israel, a 72 hour cease-fire announced, a chance for two hours of tourism in Jerusalem, and a final interview from Israel in Tel Aviv.

Chanan Elias from The Face of Israel met me first thing in the morning to head over to the Old City of Jerusalem and the older City of David. The place is the center of the universe for Judaism and Christianity, and the third most important city in Islam behind Mecca and Medina.

This is the location of so many major biblical events. Fascinatingly, over the past 150 years archaeologists have uncovered evidence supporting the events and continue making new finds to this day. I needed to see it first hand.

City of David Excavation, Jerusalem

City of David Excavation, Jerusalem

We began at the City of David, the much older and original Jerusalem, outside of the great walls that we see today. The sun was already beating down from a cloudless blue sky, slow-cooking the top of my head. It was truly magnificent to see the thousands of years of history uncovered in front of my eyes, the layers so carefully scraped back so we could see many different epochs ruled by the various dynasties.

The variety of ethnicities and religions represented by the tourists visiting was astounding. Represented were Africans in traditional wear, Arabs with hijabs, Germans in their sporting gear, Israelis with their small children, what appeared to be an American college-aged group, and more. There were far fewer numbers than normal due to the war.

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

After visiting the Western Wall (כותל), I wanted to visit the various quarters of the old city. We started by heading to the Arab Quarter and found ourselves denied entry by the police. Why? A “Day of Rage” protest was called by the Palestinian leadership. The police said no entry due to the danger as the previous week’s protest in another area had turned violent.

So much for peace or even a cease-fire. Within 15 minutes of the cease-fire time of 8:00 am, terrorists in Gaza continued lobbing rockets at Israeli civilians. Then approximately 90 minutes in to the cease-fire, the terrorists killed two IDF solders and a third is missing. IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, an officer in the Givati Brigade, is officially listed as missing in action. (UPDATE 8/2/14 18:48, Hadar Goldin has been declared deceased)

Jerusalem Police

Jerusalem Police

The police were everywhere. Absolutely professional, even-handed in their treatment toward all, and somehow not melting in the unforgiving late morning sun.

Next up was a trip to Tel Aviv. Chanan and Shay Attias co-ordinated an interview with Sendi Bar, a well-know Israeli actress for shows like the Unit and Prisoner of War, which is the original Israeli series that Homeland is based upon.

Interviewing Sendi Bar

Interviewing Sendi Bar

An actress wanting to speak out about the war with Hamas? I was intrigued. Our intrepid videographer, Joshua Fleisher, joined us to video the interview. Once the video is complete, I will share it with you.

In the meantime, let me just say that Ms. Bar is a kind, caring, compassionate, mother who is concerned for her country. She shared an analogy about instructing her son about schoolyard bullies and Hamas. She told her son that the first time a bully hits him, try to work it out with the bully. The second time a bully hits him, tell an authority figure. And the third time a bully hits him, punch him back hard. That is how she feels about Hamas at this point, enough is enough.

After the interview I went to visit Tel Aviv’s internationally famous beachfront. It was everything you have heard: cosmopolitan and beautiful, populated with tanned and toned bodies as if in Los Angeles. Except there were fewer people than a normal, late summer afternoon.

Beachfront Tel Aviv, Israel

Beachfront Tel Aviv, Israel

Finishing up my final hours in Israel, Sendi Bar invited me to a friend’s house for Shabbat dinner. Of course I said yes.

This was a traditional, yet modern, Shabbat dinner. Generations of family members gathered around the large table outside, friends, and stranger all joined together to light the candles, eat challah, drink wine, and eat well.

After the meal, I went to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport to head home. This was an exhausting trip, that opened my eyes to realities on the ground across Israel and the West Bank. There will be more to come soon.

Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, Andrew in Austin, TX, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



Please note that donations to Ethan Bearman Company are not a tax deductible charitable donation

Day 3 in Israel, West Bank, Pesagot, Ariel, Samaria

Day 3 was the day to cross the infamous wall that we have heard so much about. You know, the wall the Pope kissed, the wall that supposedly destroyed the chance of the Palestinians to do anything, the wall that essentially stopped the suicide bombing attacks that killed at least 600 Israeli civilians.

To my American eyes, the wall was a jolt. As we passed through the checkpoint in a breeze, I actually had to ask Chanan Elias, my gracious host from The Face of Israel, if that was the infamous wall. His reply was yes. I incredulously asked, “That is what the fuss is all about? We have bigger walls all over the United States.” It wasn’t very big. It doesn’t loom over anything. It’s part of the way down a hill and is utterly dwarfed by everything around it.

Interesting start to the day’s adventure.

All stops on today’s itinerary were in disputed territory in the West Bank. We passed through a couple small Palestinian villages and then arrived in Pesagot.

At Pesagot we visited the winery. I might as well have been back home visiting any winery in California: the oak barrels, the fermenting tanks, the display of wines for sale. The people at the winery explained that the vines were planted on previously unproductive land, cultivated, and now are producing award-winning wines. Wines that are kosher. Kosher wines that taste good, you ask? Yes, I tasted a 2011 Cabernet and it was as fine as any.

Pesagot Winery

Pesagot Winery Photo: Joshua Fleisher

I asked about displacement of Palestinians to create Pesagot, the response was that this was not a residential or agricultural spot and hadn’t been used for a very long time.

We left the winery and drove to Ariel, location of Ariel University with 15,000 students.

During the journey, I simply could not help but notice the Palestinian villages, noted by the black water tanks whereas the Israelis use white, were almost indistinguishable as Palestinian based on the endless stories in the media about the horrid conditions forced on the Palestinians. The squalor was missing! The tin shacks of a Brazilian favela were nowhere to be seen!

Typical view of Palestinian Village in West Bank

Typical view of Palestinian Village in West Bank Photo: Joshua Fleisher

These were nice homes clustered in villages that looked like any I would expect to see, except significantly nicer. In nearly every cluster of Palestinian homes there was a beautiful three to five story mansion either on top of the hill or just in with the other houses. Sometimes there were several. One town, right before Shilo, was a Palestinian gated community of approximately 50 of these massive, beautiful, new mansions. It might have well been a tony suburb of Dallas.

The other thing I inquired about were that some cars had yellow license plates and others had white. Yellow license plates are Israeli and white are Palestinian. But they are all driving on the same roads? Yes, and I also could not differentiate the cars other than the license plate color. The Israelis and Palestinians all were driving similar cars. I would have thought, based on the news coverage, that the Palestinians only drove 30 year old Syrian hand-me-downs.

Also along the way, off to our left as we drove along highway 60, were Ramallah and Rawabi. Ramallah was a surprisingly modern looking city, only observed from a distance I realize, with several modern high rises with a very clean looking surrounding cityscape. Rawabi is a massive new city, master planned by the Palestinian Authority, to provide this a nice community for 40,000 people.

We arrived at Ariel, a hilltop, university town, with a little guard post and a single guard who opened the basic lift-arm and waved us in. We drove around and up to the main administration building. I felt like I could have been in any little college town in the United States. We were greeted and brought in to meet the Chancellor, Yigal Cohen Orgad. We had a little lunch and talked about the University. It is highly focused on medicine and biotechnology, the aim is to help the lives of people.

At Ariel University

At Ariel University Photo: Joshua Fleisher

I inquired about Palestinian students, do they attend as well? Yes, there are hundreds, plus Arab-Israelis. Have there been incidents, are the Palestinian students safe, do they get harassed? No, they are treated exactly the same as everyone else and we haven’t had incidents.

Back on the road again, this time to Samaria, our final stop of the day. An iIsraeli industrial park surrounded by Palestinian villages. Makes sense, economic activity lifts everyone right?

I went in to Shamir Salads facility. We entered a meeting room and met the CEO, Amiram Guy, and Israeli. We tasted the variety of hummus, babaganoush, and other dips they make at the plant. All were delicious by the way, and I discovered that I prefer Druze style hummus, which is slight less ground beans.

How many employees do you have and how many are Palestinian? We have 140 total employees and between 90 and 100 are Palestinian. What kind of wages do you pay them? Average they make net US $2000 per month plus health and pension, which is four to five times the average teacher salary in Palestinian controlled areas, this is a high wage for this area. Do you provide them safe working conditions? Yes, we follow every Israeli law. Do you have any issues with violence? No, we have not had any problems.

I surprised everyone when I said I wanted to go and tour the factory, see it for myself. You see, I grew up in and around the food business. I know what a U.S. factory like this should look like, smell like, safety measures, equipment, and the like.

So we went out to the factory and put on the gear to protect the food from contamination from us.

In The Shamir Salads Plant

In The Shamir Salads Plant Photo: Joshua Fleisher

Indeed, nearly every worker was Palestinian, and this was a modern, food processing facility. It looked like it could have been anywhere in the United States, all equipment looked similar, basic processes were identical, standard safety procedures were in place, except there was mainly Arabic in the air and not English or Spanish. Amazing.

We made one additional stop to visit the Israeli local governing body. The mayor was a kindly man who took pains to explain to meet their desire to work with and help the Palestinians, regardless of the top diplomats. He explained how when they purchased new municipal water filtration equipment, they offered free water, no strings attached, to the surrounding Palestinian communities but the Palestinian authorities flatly rejected it.

Finally back to Jerusalem. We arrived back at the vaunted wall and highly publicized checkpoint. I made sure to really look around and observe the area. I spotted one Palestinian family camped out near the wall, it appeared they were just there temporarily for the day. Otherwise, this looked far less ominous or dominating than the U.S. border near Tijuana, Mexico. I almost laugh to compare the two, especially with the furor over this checkpoint expressed in the international media.

We drove up, there were multiple lanes for traffic, armed Israeli soldiers manning each lane, checking the papers of people passing through. We got the twice over because of me in the passenger seat not speaking to the guard in Hebrew. I observed a van of Palestinians, to my right, having their papers checked. And then we were waved through.

Has no journalist ever crossed the Mexico/U.S. border from Mexico? You have got to be kidding me. Crossing from the Palestinian side to the Israeli side was a simple compared to crossing from Mexico to the U.S. at a border checkpoint. Getting into the U.S. takes hours waiting in line, far more visible security cameras and device, a more menacing looking facility, and a near interrogation from U.S. officials.

I understand that I didn’t visit any refugee camps today that still exist in the West Bank. But clearly, what has been portrayed in the media is far away from the reality on the ground.

Thank you to Vicky Culver, Haole Craig, the Gorson’s, Andrew in Austin, TX, and everyone else for contributing so far.

If you haven’t yet and would like to support this trip. Please contribute what you can by clicking the Donate button below.

Contributions of $100 will receive public acknowledgement on this website’s postings from Israel.

Contributions of $500 or more will receive public acknowledgement in videos I produce and on my nationally syndicated Ethan Bearman Show.

Thank you!



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