We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The D[h]im & The Dutiful: "Tragic" says Marvellous Melanie

Recently, in this land Down Under, the Uniting Church (which, incidentally, is not renowned for love and affection towards Israel) held an interfaith meeting on the illustrated theme, coined in response to the "We'll fight radical Islam for 100 years, says ex-Army lead Peter Leahy" headline that which appeared in The Australian on 9 August.

That headline appeared above this report, in which Professor Leahy, a retired lieutenant-general who is director of Canberra University’s National Security Institute and part of the Abbott government’s team carrying out a comprehensive review of Australia's defence,  maintained:
"Australia is involved in the early stages of a war which is likely to last for the rest of the century. We must be ready to protect ourselves and, where necessary, act pre-emptively to neutralise the evident threat. Get ready for a long war....
They [the government] should advance a narrative that explains that radical Islam­ism and the terrorism it breeds at home and abroad will remain a significant threat for the long term, it will require considerable effort, the expenditure of blood and treasure and it will, of necessity, restrict our rights and liberties"....
He said radical Islamists intent on a new world order were already a threat to the survival of nations in the Middle East and Africa.
If the declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq survived, bases would be established there for attacks on the West and that would embolden “home grown” radicals to attempt attacks in Australia. Military action would be needed to eliminate the threat.
Radicals saw the West as “the far enemy” and they were undoubtedly planning more attacks in Australia. Senior intelligence believes the view that the threat posed by radical Islam would pass was “optimistic”....'
All pretty sensible stuff, we may think, particularly in view of the number of Islamic fighters from Australia known to be fighting abroad, including the father of the seven-year-old pictured recently holding a severed head.

But smacking of "media vilification" in the minds of the above-mentioned conference (at which a rabbi, the not widely known Zalman Kastel of Sydney was present) and its supporters, apparently.

For they issued the the following statement, all motherhood and apple pie and good up to a point, though arguably a reckless over-generalisation, which some "as-a-Jews" as well as some of the more naive (or indifferent to Israel, rationality, and to women's rights) among the Jewish community have hastened to append their names:
'As people committed to building a healthy, cohesive and diverse communities in Australia, we have observed with dismay and empathy the way our Muslim friends have been affected by the language and tone of recent political statements and media coverage. We agree with the concerns of Muslim community leaders that the language and policies of our leaders should not marginalise or vilify people of Muslim faith, and that rhetoric used in relation to Australian security and conflicts around the world should not cause further division in our society, or make anyone feel alienated from the nation they call home.
We believe people of Muslim faith are being unfairly smeared in the eyes of the Australian public by both subtle and overt links to violent extremism in political and media discourse.
This month in Sydney; Herald-Sun photo
We know and understand the deep concern and hurt this is causing to our Muslim friends and the risks this kind of generalisation has for social harmony and cohesion.
The violence and values of extremists like ISIS are not representative of the vast majority of Muslim people in Australia, who are characterised better by their commitment to peace, community and mutual respect.
We stand in solidarity with all people who are suffering the results of war, violence and terror around the world, recognising the dignity of all people and their right to enjoy freedom from persecution and oppression.
We celebrate the diversity of the Australian community and recognise the valuable contribution of people of Muslim faith to our culture and community.
We know that vilification and alienation are not the way to peace or social harmony, but that authentic relationships, solidarity, listening, learning and mutual respect go along way to building the kind of community we’d like to live in.'
And now, worse, far worse, we read in the UK Jewish Chronicle, that the d[h]imwitted British Board of Deputies has dutifully undertaken to make common cause with the Muslim Council of Britain:
'Muslim and Jewish leaders have united in calling for stronger collaboration between their communities in the wake of the Gaza conflict.
In an unprecedented joint statement, the Board of Deputies and the Muslim Council of Britain condemned civilian deaths as tragic and called for efforts to avoid them.
They also condemned any expression of antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism generally, calling on both communities to “redouble efforts to work together and get to know one another”.
But the statement was not without controversy, with both sides unable to agree the exact meaning behind one key line.
The line reads: “The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions.” ....'  (See more here)
Rightly comments the great and incomparable Melanie Phillips, who puts what passes for the Anglo-Jewish leadership to shame:
'It is hard to exaggerate the stupidity of the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in what it has just done. It has signed a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain condemning antisemitism and Islamophobia and urging that the Middle East conflict should not prevent good community relations in Britain. Apart from the false equivalence between antisemitism and Islamophobia, which equates a metaphysical global derangement – the cause of centuries of pogroms and genocide against the Jews – with a spurious thought-crime invented to silence legitimate criticism of Islam, these were unexceptionable pieties.
However, the statement also contains this passage:
"The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions."
Daily Mail, 25 March 2009
The MCB is an umbrella organisation, a number of whose member groups are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and support Hamas. The Board of Deputies may have assumed the second sentence above could only refer to Hamas, since the IDF does not target civilians and goes to great lengths to avoid hurting them wherever possible. But there is no way the MCB would ever suggest that Israel behaves honourably while Hamas does not. It should therefore have been blindingly obvious that the MCB would do what it has immediately done – claim that the Board had agreed with it that both Israel and Hamas had targeted civilians. The Board has thus now enabled the MCB to claim that the UK's Jewish community leadership has condemned Israel for targeting civilians.
Unbelievable. But that's not the full extent of it. The Board seems to be proud that this joint statement is an "unprecedented" achievement. But just look at its new friend.
MCB leaders have in the past strongly supported Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of Hamas who supports suicide bombings against Israelis (and previously, British forces in Iraq) and who has also asserted that the Torah permits Jews to spill the blood of others and seize their money and land.
The MCB boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day, for which it was shunned by the British government until it ended its boycott. In 2009, its then deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, signed the Istanbul Declaration which threatened violence against Israel supporters and British troops.
In 2005, it offered its condolences to the family of the leading Hamas terrorist Abdul Aziz al Rantissi after he was killed by the Israelis. Its former Secretary-General, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, branded Israel a "Nazi" state, accused it of "murderous leadership", "Zionist brutality" and "the ethnic cleansing of Palestine", and compared Hamas suicide bombers to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. Also that year, the BBC TV Panorama programme exposed the influence on the MCB of the Islamist thinker Sayed Maududi, who preached the need for jihad to bring abut the "universal revolution" of Islamic state rule.
In short, it is beyond astounding that the Board of Deputies should have had anything to do with the MCB at all. Its action has also dealt a blow to all who are struggling to deal with Islamic extremism in the UK. For at a stroke the MCB, which in any sane universe should be shunned as a threat not just to Jews but to Britain, has been awarded a kite-mark of respectability and decency by – of all people – the Jews.
The Board of Deputies is not fit for purpose. It has shown that it does not have a clue about the true nature of the threat posed to Jews and to Britain by Islamic extremism. Britain's Jewish community is leaderless at a time when strong, brave and wise leadership has never been more urgently and desperately needed. Tragic.'
As for the often-heard analogy between antisemitism and "Islamophobia", and more specifically that in Europe Muslims are "the new Jews", James Kirchick has a rather splendid refutation here

Friday, 29 August 2014

David Singer: The Key to Peace Lies in the Past

Entitled "Palestine – Unearthing Past Remains Key To Resolving Future", this is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

The cease fire agreement ending hostilities in the Fifty Day War between Israel and Hamas marks yet another milestone attesting to the failure of Jews and Arabs peacefully to resolve their claims to sovereignty and self-determination in the territory once called “Palestine”.

Amazingly, the continuing inability of the parties  – and the international community – to reach consensus on identifying when this long running conflict actually commenced, ensures it will continue to remain unresolved.

Emeritus Professor Richard Falk – formerly United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights in the West Bank – still claims in his latest article that the conflict started in 1947.
“Israel was born in 1948. Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly [dated 29 November 1947 – Ed] is widely regarded as the most convincing legal basis for founding the State of Israel.”

Falk gave the following reasons for his viewpoint on 1 August 2012:
“I regard the Balfour Declaration and the mandatory system as classic colonial moves that have lost whatever legitimacy that they possessed at the time of their utterance, and prefer to view the competing claims to land and rights on the basis either of the 1948 partition proposal or the 1967 boundaries, although if there was diplomatic parity, I would respect whatever accommodation the parties reached, but without such parity, it seems necessary to invoke the allocation of rights as per settled international law.”
Falk’s opinion mirrors Article 20 of the Palestine Liberation Organization Charter:
“The Balfour Declaration [1917], the Mandate for Palestine [1922], and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”
Falk’s opinion is not shared by Matti Friedman – who in his latest article identifies the starting date as being much earlier than 1947:

“The Israel story is framed in the same terms that have been in use since the early 1990s—the quest for a “two-state solution.” It is accepted that the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” meaning that it is a conflict taking place on land that Israel controls—0.2 percent of the Arab world—in which Jews are a majority and Arabs a minority. The conflict is more accurately described as “Israel-Arab,” or “Jewish-Arab”—that is, a conflict between the 6 million Jews of Israel and 300 million Arabs in surrounding countries. (Perhaps “Israel-Muslim” would be more accurate, to take into account the enmity of non-Arab states like Iran and Turkey, and, more broadly, 1 billion Muslims worldwide.) This is the conflict that has been playing out in different forms for a century, before Israel existed, before Israel captured the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and before the term “Palestinian” was in use.
The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party. It also includes the implicit assumption that if the Palestinian problem is somehow solved the conflict will be over, though no informed person today believes this to be true. This definition also allows the Israeli settlement project, which I believe is a serious moral and strategic error on Israel’s part, to be described not as what it is—one more destructive symptom of the conflict—but rather as its cause.”
Adopting Friedman’s viewpoint over Falk’s, one can confidently nominate the 1920 San Remo Conference as the legal basis for founding the State of Israel – when England, France, Italy, and Japan agreed to divide the areas of the 400 years old Ottoman Empire conquered by them in World War 1 into three mandates: Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Syria/Lebanon and Palestine.

This carve-up was intended to see Arab self-determination eventually achieved in 99.99 per cent of the conquered Ottoman territory and Jewish self-determination in the remaining 0.01 per cent.

These proposals were unanimously endorsed by all 51 member States of the League of Nations in 1922.

But they proved to be temporary only in relation to Palestine – because three months later the provisions of Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine enabled Great Britain to restrict the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home to within 23 per cent of the tiny area of land originally set aside to achieve that objective at San Remo – with the remaining 77 per cent of Mandatory Palestine eventually becoming an independent Palestinian Arab state in 1946 – that is today called Jordan.

The period 1920-1947 without doubt covers a host of critically important legal and historical signposts that cannot be forgotten or buried.

Whilst the two-state solution ultimately created between 1946-1948 as a result of the San Remo Conference is ignored  – attempts to resolve sovereignty in today’s highly volatile West Bank and Gaza – are destined to certain failure and renewed conflict.

The two-state solution posited by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap creating a 22nd independent sovereign Arab State in the West Bank and Gaza between Jordan and Israel for the first time ever in recorded history has failed to materialize – despite twenty years of intensive political and diplomatic efforts by the international community.

The PLO (founded in 1964) and Hamas (founded in 1987) both seek to unravel the decisions made at San Remo in 1920.

They need to be replaced as Israel’s Arab negotiating partners by the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine – Jordan and Israel – and possibly Egypt – to determine and allocate sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza between their respective States.

Unearthing the past still remains the key to peacefully resolving the future.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

"A Script Written By Hamas": Media Manipulation and Mendacity (includes video)

The BBC's Donnison showing his bias and ignorance yet again
By Professor  Phyllis Chesler, inter alia, here;
'Monday night, on the upper east side of New York City, a gang of anti-Semitic "thugs" attacked a peaceful but visibly Jewish man – he was wearing a skullcap (a yarmulke or kippa). They also attacked his wife.
Two cars "flying Palestinian flags and multiple motorcycles" pulled up to the couple at 8:00 p.m. while it was still daylight. They began yelling "anti-Jewish statements." Then, they threw a water bottle that hit his wife, and, when her husband came to her defense, they "punched him in the head."
The suspects fled. No arrests have been made. The 27-year-old man refused medical attention at the scene.
This is my neighborhood, my home town. This incident took place about a mile away from where I live and work. So far, I have found only one brief article about this in the New York Post.
Are there more such incidents that are not being covered?
There are so many synagogues on the upper east side of New York City and so many visibly Jewish men and women. New York City's largest mosque is also on the upper east side. What are Jews supposed to do? Hide our faith – even as more and more Muslims in this very neighborhood proudly proclaim theirs by wearing hijab, burqas, Islamic skullcaps, and Islamic dress? Something is very wrong with this picture.
Jews do not attack Muslims or Christians – or anyone for that matter – for wearing religiously identifiable clothing or jewelry. Only ​some ​Muslims ​appear ​do that – ​some ​Muslims or pro-Muslim sympathizers.
Jews and Christians are not allowed to openly and visibly practice their religion in most Muslim countries, and yet Muslims in America and Europe expect to be able to practice their faith, often in very aggressive ways, in both America and Europe....
Now, Jews everywhere are being held responsible for and hostage to Israeli acts of self-defense, which, alas, have been touted in the media as aggressive and genocidal acts. The media, the professoriate, international bodies, religious and political leaders have followed this lethal narrative for so long and so intensely that people really believe that Jews and Jewish Israel are evil and must be attacked on sight.
What we are seeing is this: The decades of Big Lies in the media, inflammatory sermons in mosques, churches, and synagogues, which falsely present Israel and Jews as genocidal Nazis, have finally empowered the latent hatred among Arab Muslims and their sympathizers in the diaspora to freely attack individual Jewish civilians as targets and symbols – nay, as collaborators – with the Israeli regime....'

By Australian Jewish News publisher Robert Magid in the latest issue, out today, a excellent op-ed entitled "The Media's True Lies" prompted by his recent visit to Britain, and the high levels of indignation at Israel's actions in Operation Protective Shield among the public there, prompting disturbances and discomfort for Jews. 
 '.... For a whole month the visual media has been bombarding us with what Hamas wants us to see ....
The conclusion we are to draw: "Israel bombs – innocent people die".
What we have witnessed this month is [sic] the most slavish, most egregious examples of media manipulation which can only be described as propaganda: a Hollywood show, produced and directed by Hamas and performed by the corps of media producers, directors, journalists, freelancers and stringers presented verbatim from a script written by Hamas.
Forgotten is the cause of the war: deadly barrages of rockets directed at Israel unprovoked and the construction of tunnels intended for a massive attack on civilians in the South.  Rather than Netanyahu rushing to war, in Israel the main criticism of him is that he held back so long despite ample evidence  that Hamas was building tunnels under Israel....'
 He goes on:
'.... Why aren't we told about the manipulation of information such as the rearrangement of bodies for the cameras. Why do they keep repeating ... that according to the UN the overwhelming majority of the casualties are civilians?
They know thatthe dubious information is provided by Hamas and the UN has no independent means of verifying it.  According to Israel's checks of the dead, a majority are combatants.
We are not told that journalists are regularly physically threatened if they deviate from the script.  Why haven't journalists reported even after they left Gaza that they operated under coercion?....'
I can only suggest that the answer to the last question might be that the journalists fear that the media outlets for which they work might on a future occasion send them back there ...

For more on this subject of intimidation of journalists be sure to read David Gerstman's article here  and Daniel Greenfield's article here 

Three cheers for this leading American Reform rabbi!

As for media bias in Britain, please don't neglect to look at the latest posts by blogger and activist Edgar Davidson here and here

See also Harry's Place here

Voices From Eurabia (videos)

A British Islamist: "Only ISIS will help Palestine"

A Spanish Islamist: "Allah, Destroy the Plundering Jews, Do Not Spare a Single One"

Percentages of people with a positive view of ISIS:

 (Read more on that public opinion poll and its implications here)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What Makes The Welsh Greens' Leader "Think"

Flamboyant, statuesque  and with a flair for courting the limelight, Pippa Bartolotti is leader of the Welsh Greens, and in May tried for a seat in the European Parliament.

One of that monstrous regiment of liberated western feminists who for reasons best-known to themselves appear to prefer the Hamas misogynists to the gender-tolerant Israelis, she is known for her oft-expressed condemnation of Israel, and for her participation in the flotilla/flytilla stunts.

She is also known for making a bit of a fool of herself by displaying a flag with a far-from- blemish-free symbolism:

And for this rant while in transit in Israel in 2011.

On Facebook she's shared this video, of Gazans celebrating the new ceasefire, interpreted by them as a "victory" over Israel (So, h/t to Ms Bartolotti).

Here's a nugget of naive and noisome nonsense that she's also posted on Facebook within the past twenty-four hours.

A sensible riposte from a fellow-countryman of hers that, predictably,  has not gone down well among the leftist Israel-haters who follow her:

Ms Bartolotti is by no means the first leftist Israel-basher to attempt to push an analogy between Anglo-Jews who have served in the IDF and Bristish Muslims who have flocked to the banners of extremist forces in the Middle East from the United Kingdom, "the Yemen of the West" as one journalist is calling it.  (I seem to recall that Stephen Sizer made a remark along those lines of Ms Bartolotti's on Facebook some time ago.) And I doubt she will be the last.

It is, of course, utterly ridiculous to draw a parallel between Jews who have served in Israel's defensive wars and Muslims who have joined the ranks of Jihad.  It is a false analogy that in today's antisemitic climate only serves further to demonise Anglo-Jews and of course Israel itself, and indeed to minimise the repellent preoccupations of the Britons fighting for ISIS.

It marks a fresh low in the Left's ongoing crusade against Israel and Zionism and in the Left's inexplicable love affair with Islam and Islamists.

That particular virus eems to be catching
 Read more about Yasmin Queshi's remarks here

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Rooting For The Enemy: Hamas's Jewish Useful Idiots

'We, the undersigned, are saddened by the devastating loss of life endured by Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. We are pained by the suffering on both sides of the conflict and hope for a solution that brings peace to the region.
While we stand firm in our commitment to peace and justice, we must also stand firm against ideologies of hatred and genocide which are reflected in Hamas' charter, Article 7 of which reads, “There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” The son of a Hamas founder has also commented about the true nature of Hamas.

Hamas cannot be allowed to rain rockets on Israeli cities, nor can it be allowed to hold its own people hostage. Hospitals are for healing, not for hiding weapons. Schools are for learning, not for launching missiles. Children are our hope, not our human shields.

We join together in support of the democratic values we all cherish and in the hope that the healing and transformative power of the arts can be used to build bridges of peace.'

It's good to see people from the arts community, including Hollywood A-listers, speaking out against Hamas in this way.  If only more, many many more, would nail their colours to the mast.

What is particularly satisfying about the above list of signatories is that it includes Roseanne Barr, who has, if reports can be trusted, made some unpleasant references to Israel and Zionism in the past but who has been outspokenly supportive of Israel for some time .

An (occasional) Hollywood personality (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Torch Song Trilogy), the estimable Ben Stein, observed last month:
"The media in this country for a very long time has been contemptuous of Jews and contemptuous of Jewish life.
This was true during the Holocaust, when the media was largely controlled by old, lying, wealthy, white Protestant males, and it's true now when it's controlled by mostly left-wingers....
The media likes to portray Jews as bullies and murderers and . . . it's kind of amazing to me, because so much of the media is Jewish....
[T]here's a deep-seated self-hatred, especially [among] the New York City elite media.
They want to show they're not Jewish by being anti-Israel, and it's not going to work. We know they're Jewish and we know that they're not being fair to their own people, but they'll keep doing it...
Every story about the war in Gaza should begin with 'Hamas started it, Hamas endlessly refuses to have a ceasefire.'
Hamas could have an incredibly prosperous and happy, peaceful partnership with Israel, and they don't, they prefer to fight, they prefer to kill....''
Now, they might seem naive and innocuous enough, but these protesters  (see the videos here and here and here and here) disrupting in relays a fundraising dinner for Israel at the Chicago Hilton on 21 August, at which the city's mayor Rahm Emanuel and Michael Oren (Israel's ex-ambassador to the United States) spoke, are representatives of an odious organisation which effectively gives aid and comfort to Hamas: the bizarrely-named "Jewish Voice For Peace" (JVP).

Bizarrely-named, because as the heading to an article dated 20 August by Yitzhak Santis, Chief Programs Officer at Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor (where he directs the “BDS in the Pews” project) declares
 "Jews abetting Hamas are no voice for peace".

Rooting for the enemy
Sinisterly, JVP keeps its source or sources of funding firmly under wraps; needless to say, if we knew who finances it we would know who pulls its strings.

Writes Santis inter alia:
 '... JVP’s executive director, Rebecca Vilkomerson, describes her group as “the Jewish wing of the [Palestinian solidarity] movement,” with the mission “to facilitate conversations inside the Jewish community… [to] put that wedge in, saying the Jewish community’s not agreeing on these issues.”
 That’s it. JVP seeks to divide American Jews—Israel’s main foundation of international support—so as to reduce or eliminate U.S. backing for Israel for the benefit of Israel’s enemies.  
Undermining Israel ...
JVP is part of the international NGO “soft power” war, whose unrelenting attacks on Israel’s right to self-defense ultimately aid Hamas.
 This global political warfare strategy includes sustained delegitimization campaigns, BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions), and promoting a “right of return” for Palestinians, which means dismantling Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
... every step ...
 It partners with a wide coterie of radical leftist, Islamist, and Arab ultra-nationalist groups to promote its program. When asked, JVP states that they are “agnostic” about a two-state solution. But that is a smokescreen. The group’s actions demonstrate a clear anti-Israel agenda. [Emphasis added here and below]
A JVP contingent marched at a July 12 “peace” demonstration in San Francisco, where “anti-war” protesters waved Hamas banners and burned an Israeli flag while chanting in Arabic “Ya Hamas, ya habib, udrub, udrub Tel Abib!” (Oh, dear Hamas, strike a blow at Tel Aviv!)  Signs read, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “From Gaza to Ramallah Forever Intifada,” and “F*** Zionism!” The rally’s advertising demanded an “end to US aid to Israel and to Zionist rule over Palestine.”
... of the way ...
In Los Angeles, JVP teamed up with American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) to “put on a massive die-in street theater.” AMP’s website refers to Hamas as a “Palestinian resistance group.”  In Detroit, JVP protested for the release of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh....
JVP calls the current conflict with Hamas “Israel’s war on civilians”—which follows Hamas PR guidelines to describe “anyone killed or martyred” as “a civilian from Gaza or Palestine.”  JVP demands an “end [to] the siege on Gaza,” a central Hamas demand. JVP insists the U.S. “suspend military aid to Israel,” which would also benefit Hamas and other jihadist terrorists. Finally, when JVP supports the call to “Stand Against Zionism Everywhere,” it is clear whose water they are carrying. JVP stands unmasked as anything but a voice for peace.'
Read the entire article (with its links) here 

Monday, 25 August 2014

"O, Scoundrels, Let Me Deliver A Personal Message To You..." (video)

"We are preparing for you an army you cannot match ... to die for the sake of Allah"

With bloodcurdling ferocity a Hamas cleric promises Jihad against the Zionist Entity:

Meanwhile, regarding Australia ...