Peter Baum, Editor (International Political Affairs) of Blitz has been mostly writing research-based articles on Israel and Palestinian and international issues. Some of his highly-read articles in Blitz are: The gold medal for antisemitism to Ireland, Supporting Palestine statehood goes against Islam and Koran, Arab nations responsible for Palestine refugee crisis, The Lebanese-Palestinian mutual hate affair, The UK media are mocking South Asian Muslim and Hindu migrants, Gay rights under Islam, some consistency please, A rational criticism of radical Islam is not Islamophobic, Support for Palestinians is a euphemism for antisemitism, and Middle East myths exposed.
Peter Baum has worked for four decades in the International Financial Markets specializing in the Capital Market. He held directorships at large International Financial Institutions and ended career as consultant to an Investment Management company. Baum is a member of the Institute of Directors. He has worked extensively abroad in the Asia, Africa, the USA and Europe and after retirement spends his time as a political researcher, activists and columnist.
In addition to writing for Blitz, Peter Baum has also been writing for the Gatestone Institute, Conservative Woman and Decisive Liberty and has appeared numerous times on TV and radio mainly talking about Israel and the Middle East.
As the world is currently witnessing extreme notorieties of the Taliban and other jihadist forces in Afghanistan, where some experts are even anticipating that a large number of American citizen and thousands Afghan allies of the US may be held hostage by Taliban fighters, Vijaya Laxmi Tripura, Senior Reporter of Blitz has spoken to Peter Baum on Afghanistan issue and other contemporary issues in an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts:
Blitz: In you latest article in Blitz, you have written, “the map of Palestine was an amendment of a map originated during the latter years of Ottoman rule, After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the same map was used by the political bureaucrats working on the Sykes – Picot Agreement 1916 to divide the geography and to agree the spheres of influence of the victors”. But in your previous articles you have repeatedly claimed that there was never any place named Palestine in that part of the world. Would you please clarify the matter?
Peter Baum: No that is not correct. I have always claimed that the geographical area was called Palestine firstly by the Greek Herodotus and then by the Romans having defeated the Jewish uprising lead by Simon Bar Kochba in 135 ce. What I have repeated in numerous articles was simply the fact that there was never an indigenous people, tribe, race or culture calling themselves Palestinian. Palestinians are a very recent construct originating with Soviet aid during the mid-1960’s.
Blitz: In your latest article you have stated “I verified that those who today identify as ‘Palestinians’ with historical, religious and legal land claims are in fact third and fourth generation immigrants from surrounding countries attracted to the area as a direct consequence of the economic benefits that Zionism created”. Under such realities, why the international community, particularly the United Nations and Israel’s key ally the US are still nurturing the issue of Palestine, if this entity had been historically non-existent?
Peter Baum: The United Nations is truly the Theatre of the Absurd and has caved in to majority rule rather than moral decency. The Arab block nurtured and bribed, for example, African countries to vote anti-Israeli Resolutions and pro-Palestinian ones with the oil revenues they commanded. Israel was helping African agriculturally in the 1960’s and in less than a decade financial greed, corruption and pro Islamist ideology undid all the good work that Israel had done in Africa. Fortunately, this is now being rectified but the question of Palestine is still ongoing. Paradoxically the relationship between Israel and anti-Iranian Arab countries is on an unstoppable upward trajectory and the Palestinian issue whilst still important is definitely declining in importance.
Blitz: In your latest article titled ‘The map of Palestine doesn’t show the existence of any Palestinians’, you also have provided a map of Palestine. Can you please describe details about this map?
Peter Baum: The map I believe appeared originally in the American Geographical Society Atlas and was updated during the Sykes -Picot arrangements to indicate which peoples / races were inhabiting certain areas. The map was provided by an American researcher who photographed it during a 2018 exhibition at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. It is indeed remarkable by the mere fact it shows a map of Palestine without any reference to Palestinians thus endorsing my comments in the answer to Question 1 above.
Blitz: According media reports, Hamas has congratulated the Taliban for “defeating the US” stating: “We congratulate the Muslim Afghan people for the defeat of the American occupation on all Afghan lands, and we congratulate the Taliban movement and its brave leadership on this victory, which culminated its long struggle over the past 20 years,” Hamas said in a statement. While Hamas wishes the Afghan Muslim people and its leadership success in achieving unity, stability and prosperity for Afghanistan and its people, it stresses that the demise of the American occupation and its allies proves that the resistance of the peoples, foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian people, will achieve victory”. Does it mean, being encouraged by the happenings in Afghanistan, Hamas will intensify its notoriety of the State of Israel?
Peter Baum: Unfortunately I do believe that Hamas will in the short term be encouraged by this but long term I believe their future is doomed as those under Hamas rule will certainly revolt and undoubtedly Egypt will assist in removing Hamas whom they see as a potential threat to Egyptian stability because of the close ties Hamas have with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Blitz: With America’s defeat in Afghanistan, do you see the possibility of Hamas getting direct support and patronization from Iran as well as Tehran’s proxies in the Middle East in beginning a fresher war with Israel?
Peter Baum: Hamas are already receiving military, financial and political support from Iran. However, the most remarkable political changes in the Middle East are happening with the growing relationships between the Sunni Arab Gulf States (and Morocco and Sudan) and Israel as a counter to Iranian influence. Moreover, Iran’s continued presence is having a terrible impact on Israel’s enemies such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon who are becoming increasingly weaker. One other point – Iran domestically is under huge pressure. Their infrastructure through natural disaster is falling apart; their currency is crashing; COVID is rampant; and there are many domestic riots. Iran’s ability to continue promoting foreign conflict may well be ended by internal events.
Blitz: In your assessment, what is the future of Afghanistan?
Peter Baum: This truly depends on the Taliban. If they can only offer an Islamic totalitarian theocracy the country is doomed. However, if they are pragmatic there is hope. And by pragmatism, I mean meaningful engagement with the UN and a loosening of Islamic culture.
Blitz: As we know, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, had a well-covered public meeting with Taliban leaders in Qatar. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has historic ties to the Taliban: Abdullah Azzam, one of the Islamic Jihad’s prominent leaders, even joined the Taliban and helped it develop its military capabilities. At the same time, Hamas, PIJ and the Taliban are having relations with Iran. Under the current scenario, what would be the consequence of America’s defeat in Afghanistan?
Peter Baum: Let’s be absolutely clear that the US Administration has suffered a hugely embarrassing political and military defeat. Domestically Biden cannot allow this to progress and I believe the US will react, possibly disproportionately to any future attacks – military or political.
Blitz: Analysts are predicting war between Israel and Hamas imminent stating, even if Hamas does not immediately throw all caution to the wind, one may assume that the sense of self-confidence and euphoria, and certainly the emergence of other jihadist organizations in the sphere, will affect Hamas’ conduct—and could contribute to escalation. Do you see another Israel-Hamas war soon?
Peter Baum: Again the experts are predicting this and I have to agree with the proviso that Iran’s continuation of supporting Hamas is having a negative impact on the Iranian Government domestically and with the G7 . Hamas are puppets of Iran so the ball is very much in the Iranian court.
Blitz: As you know, Blitz is neither an Israeli State nor Jewish owned or sponsored publication. It is an independent journal which has been publishing the truth under extreme adversities since 2003. This is the only newspaper in the Muslim world that has been vigorously confronting radical Islam and jihad and denouncing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial for the last two decades. How will you assess the role of Blitz in this world of insanity?
Peter Baum: Any morally decent person will recognize the role that Blitz has performed and is continuing to perform under extreme pressures domestically and internationally. Those who work for WB are certainly in my humble opinion amongst the most courageous journalists globally and I pray that one day they will be suitably rewarded with the recognition they deserve. I am not over exaggerating by suggesting they are worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.
Blitz: In your opinion, is there any necessity of a newspaper like Blitz to Israel and the Jewish population around the world? Why?
Peter Baum: There is every necessity. False narrative has morphed into fact and it is only publications like Blitz which can challenge and hopefully change the torrent of propaganda and anti-Jewish state narrative.
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