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Ant Katz

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Ant Katz is currently the editor of this website. He has spent almost his entire working career in community media at every level. Born and bred and educated in Joburg (an Old Davidian Linksfield), Ant ‘emigrated’ to the Eastern Cape in the early 80s where he started a number of community titles between PE & Plett & became involved in the Struggle by training & employing families of emigrant cadres & sharing information he obtained by virtue of his position back offshore through the same channels. In ’92 Ant sold his stable of titles to Times Media for whom he then worked in various capacities and as directors of various companies. In 2003 he branched out into the world of digital community media consulting and 2009 he built and launched www.MyShtetl.co.za  (SEE MORE BELOW).

Israel not target of Obama’s UN ire, Trump is!

by Jewish Report | Dec 28, 2016

Au Contrère: A blog by ANT KATZ



Do Bibi Netanyahu and his government get that the US allowing the UN anti-Israel Resolution to pass this week was not targeted at the Jewish state?

 
Because this fact is quite transparent and Israel’s PM is certainly no fool. So what is Netanyahu playing at?

Of course he is angry about the UN Resolution. So are all people who love Israel. The Obama administration may well have drafted and promoted the Resolution on Israel. But not because Obama, America or the present administration are anti-Israel.

There is only one logical purpose in what is being viewed as a sea of anti-Israel madness in the White House and State Department… and that is that they fear Donald Trump and his incoming Administration and State Department may tip the very, very delicate scale of seemingly pragmatic even-handedness that exists between the US and the Arab world.

In a blog I posted last week, US unlikely to open Embassy in Jerusalem, I wrote why I did not think the US’s Embassy would move to Jerusalem – as much, I added, that I would sincerely like to see the move. 

This issue has been on the table since it was unequivocally decided by US lawmakers in 1995 to shift the embassy and acknowledge Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Congress sent to then-President Bill Clinton to action the move. Neither Clinton, nor the successive eight-year-long governments of George Bush (the Younger - and stupider); nor that of Barak Obama, had made any moves in that direction.

Trump and his team are taking no advice on this issue from State or the White House. So scared is the Obama administration of Trump’s rhetoric (the dangers it could impose on the ground), that it has seen fit to send him a stern warning of just how seriously they believe he could be blundering into this eons-old balancing act without understanding the consequences.

Trump, therefore, was the target of the US administration’s actions.

Israel was simply the instrument they chose to get the message across to him.

Why does Obama want Trump to slow down and assess the motivations of Presidents going back over 20 years? Here are some of the reasons that have been mooted by Obama’s predecessors:

  1. It would send out a message that could jeopardise the security of both the US and Israel. And, what’s more, it would kibosh any future role that America could play as an ‘honest broker’ in any mid-East peace talks as it will have already taken what is probably the world’s hottest political potato (the future of Jerusalem) and placed it squarely on the table as a fait accompli – a done deal – leaving scant space for a ‘no pre-condition’ meeting;
  2. It is essential that the US ensure it remains on very good terms with Saudi-aligned states in the neighbourhood – and especially so with Israel’s friendly neighbours Egypt and Jordan. The beat of the Trump drum could see these countries having to leave America/Israel’s sphere of influence under renewed pressure from fellow-Muslim states and become client-states of Russia which is working hard on becoming a bigger role-player in the region, (or even China, Iran, North Korea…);
  3. Israel gets the most advanced American armaments, while Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States get second-tier weapon systems. This may change if any US President risks being accused of bias in this regard and result in Israel not getting them, or a business-friendly Trump selling the best to everyone;
  4. Worldwide anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitism would gain another stick to beat Israel with, just as they did after the rocket-firing provocation that led to the outbreak of the 2013 Gaza incursion. That event was so masterfully exploited globally by BDS-acolytes that I have little doubt Hamas knew its provocation would lead to hundreds of Arab deaths. The sick interpretation of Islam by militants denies any value to life lost (actually, it rewards it) in its propaganda war against Israel and the West;

 

These and similar reasons, quoted by successive Presidents to explain the dangers of implementing Congress’s 1995 decision to relocate the Embassy, are what has forced the current administration to do something it would otherwise have been loath to do.

By not exercising its veto on the settlements issue, the incumbent administration was firing a shot across Trump’s bough – albeit using Israel as their weapon.

There can be no doubt that Obama & Co. realised fully the potential risk of negative implications that Israel and the world would face as a result of the Resolution being passed.

That they did it anyway, is indicative of the enormity of the risk they feel of allowing Trump, with all good intent but bad understanding of the situation, to continue down the path of over-placating Israel while creating a more dangerous future.

As I wrote last week, I would love to see all Embassies move to Jerusalem. Heck, I would also like to see the annexation (Golanisation) of the West Bank everyone is suddenly talking about.

But does the short-term gain of such moves create a greater long-term risk to Israel? If so, I urge Israelis and Zionists, to think whether it is the actions of Obama’s outgoing administration sending a message to Trump, or the latter’s reckless and uninformed statements, that is placing them at more risk.

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Always an innovator, Ant Katz was the second person in the Eastern Cape (after UPE) to install Microsoft Windows and the first publisher in SA to produce a digital newspaper combining advertising and editorial. His Jeffreys Bay-based production facility was visited variously by management of Media24, Times Media and Caxtons when they heard that it was possible to do this. Ant Katz worked on Times Media teams throughout the country and the world seeking the latest and most innovative common IT platforms for their myriad of business interests.

Ant’s experience as a journalist, editor and media law specialist, media marketer and manager ensured he was well poised to become involved from the very start of online news websites and, from 1997 to date has had a hand in the development of over 30 such sites – of which www.sajr.co.za is but the latest. While less challenging operationally than daily newspaper websites, says Ant, this has been the most challenging to develop. “One is always having to try and anticipate the technology of the future, today,” he explains. And, while it may be easy for a journo to know what his various readers want, says Ant, “making sure that users can find what they want and use what they need in the easiest possible way is the secret of online news success.”

Add to that the question of on what tech platform they will want it in three years’ time, and you’ll understand why Ant has to keep his eyes on all evolving tech trends and be ready for those that will become ubiquitous.
 

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