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)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen: A Clarification

The BBC's unfit for purpose Middle East editor on his Twitter account:

As "untrue and offensive" as your appalling bias against Israel, including some of your commentary on Bibi Netanyahu's speech to Congress, eh, Jezza?

 On which see Hadar Sela's excellent article (part one) ...

More here and here

Meanwhile, the BBC's former Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, now based in the United States, shows he's still every bit as capable as the incorrigible Bowen of flaunting his bias in contravention of BBC regulations:

But what, meanwhile, of the man in the White House who boycotted Bibi's speech?

And the woman who walked out before the speech was over?

 So now we know.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Bibi – Hero Of The Free World – & The Petty People

"He’s a hero not only of the Jewish People, but of people everywhere who feel themselves part of the free world, people who oppose the horrors that Islamic State is inflicting and Iran’s nuclear plans...."

So, and rightly,  Sara Netanyahu has said of her husband, in an interview with Naomi Ragen, to be carried in full by the Jerusalem Post at the weekend.

Superb, simply superb, and typically so, was the speech, punctuated by frequent sustained thunderous applause, that The Hero delivered yesterday before Congress (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRf1cdw4IAY):

As Isi Leibler predicted in the interview he gave to Mark Golub that I posted yesterday, Bibi began by acknowledging the good things that (the insultingly absent) Barack Obama has done for Israel.

He continued, inter alia, in a speech worthy of Churchill taking on the Appeasers during the Devil's Decade:
 '....  Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The six million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War Two. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime.
The people of Iran are very talented people. They’re heirs to one of the world’s great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots — religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship.
That year, the zealots drafted a constitution, a new one for Iran. It directed the revolutionary guards not only to protect Iran’s borders, but also to fulfill the ideological mission of jihad. The regime’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, exhorted his followers to “export the revolution throughout the world.”
I’m standing here in Washington, DC and the difference is so stark. America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.
Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.
Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That’s just last week, while they’re having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran’s attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.
Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, DC.
In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.
So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.
We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.
Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation!
Rouhani’s government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.
Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I’d like to see someone ask him a question about that.
Iran’s regime is as radical as ever, its cries of “Death to America,” that same America that it calls the “Great Satan,” as loud as ever.
Now, this shouldn’t be surprising, because the ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.
Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.
In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no place for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember — I’ll say it one more time — the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.
But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.
Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don’t need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it.
Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.
The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.
According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.
Because Iran’s nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran’s break-out time would be very short — about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.
And if — if Iran’s work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.
True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here’s the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don’t stop them.
Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn’t stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.
Now, we’re warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.
Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It’s done that on at least three separate occasions — 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras.
Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock — as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught — caught twice, not once, twice — operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn’t even know existed.
Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don’t know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, “If there’s no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn’t have one.” Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that’s why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.
But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs.
Iran’s Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount — 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.
My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires.
Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.
And by the way, if Iran’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States.
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.
So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?
Well, I disagree. I don’t believe that Iran’s radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite — would only wet Iran’s appetite for more.
Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?
Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world’s: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel’s neighbors — Iran’s neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it’s been given a clear path to the bomb.
And many of these neighbors say they’ll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won’t change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that’s supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.
This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.
If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.
We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.
Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second…
Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.
And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.
If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.
If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn’t change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.
If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country....'
[Emphasis added; read the entire speech here]

Little wonder that the speech prompted a score of standing ovations.

Little wonder that very many of those who have Israel's interests at heart are hoping that Bibi will still be Israel's prime minister following the forthcoming election. (Example here)

But of course there are always the petty people who put partisan rivalries ahead of what should be a common cause:

(See here)

As well as the leftist as-a-Jews and renegades who seem to deny the real and present danger:

And who denounce not only the Hero of the Free World but others determined to keep the free world free.

Jewish hard leftists.  What a frightful strange breed they are.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

"The Most Thoughtful & Insightful Columnist On The Jewish Scene Today" On Netanyahu, Israeli Politics, Antisemitism & Aliya ...

That's Rabbi Mark Golub's assessment of the incomparable Isi Leibler, who for a quarter of a century bestrode the Australian Jewish communal scene like a Colossus, and who is of course also an international Jewish leader of great renown and prescience, based in Jerusalem.

In this thought-provoking interview Isi Leibler gives his views on Bibi Netanyahu's current visit to Washington (about which the previous post on my blog, by David Singer, is concerned), Obama's "humiliation" of Netanyahu, unparelleled by Obama's treatment of any "rogue state" leader, the attitude of Israeli politicians, the "demonisation" of Netanyahu and his wife in the Israeli press, the Iranian issue, and much more.

 Incidentally, prior to a deep and searching discussion of Israeli politics, parties, political leaders  (including Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman and other electoral candidates), and the rabbinate, he cautiously predicts that Netanyahu will be returned as prime minister when Israelis go to the polls on 17 March.

He also gives his views on the attainment of a Two State solution ...  on Netanyahu's attitude to peace  ... on Obama's "frightening" inability to use the phrase "Islamic fundamentalism" in relation to terrorism and his apparent support for the Muslim Brotherhood...

Isi Leibler is worried that the Obama administration will not stand by Israel over the remaining 22 months of its existence, and he fervently wishes American Jewish leaders would abandon their "silence"and publicly speak up against Obama ... He believes that American Jews have in their DNA a "liberal" unwillingness to be critical of a Democrat president and a black one at that.

He contrasts their attitude with his own as leader of the Australian Jewish community, when he was not afraid to take on prime ministers.

Viewing American support as absolutely critical for Israel, he is afraid the Obama's administration will distance itself from Israel and turn towards European initiatives...

Regarding antisemitism, he believes there will always be Jewish communities in Europe ("a cemetery for the Jewish people"), but contends that Netanyahu would have been remiss had he not reminded European Jewry that Israel exists for them, and that in a situation in which Islamic antisemitism is rising and Jews need to be guarded from violence, aliya (although ideally to be undertaken for positive rather than negative reasons) becomes an obligation, if only for the sake of the next generation.

He pours scorn on the attitude that aliya from Europe would give Hitler a posthumous victory given the fact that Jews are obliged to live fearfully and almost as pariahs.

And he also worries, in view of campus antisemitism and the dodgy attitude of some Hillel groups, that a critical situation for Jews may eventually happen there.

Israel, he points out, is "the greatest miracle of our times", a happy society despite its problems, its "crappy politicians", and its whingeing and it awaits.

David Singer: Netanyahu Flies Into Washington On A Wing And A Prayer

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington this week is going ahead despite unsuccessful attempts from far and wide to shoot him down in flames before he was even airborne.

President Obama’s unsuccessful attempt to stop Netanyahu’s visit by claiming breach of protocol – represents an ugly attempt to deny Netanyahu his right to freely address the Congress – the very nerve centre of the world’s leading democracy.

Netanyahu has not been deterred by many Democrats threatening to boycott his speech. At least 30 House Democrats and four Democrat Senators will not be on hand to hear what Netanyahu has to say concerning the threat to world security and peace posed by Iran’s implacable march towards producing a nuclear bomb and its threat to use such a bomb to eradicate the State of Israel.

Netanyahu has ignored the entreaties of a panoply of American Jewish groups and Israel’s opposition parties pleading he cancel his visit:
“When there is something that is connected to our very existence, what do they expect the prime minister to do, bow his head and accept something that is dangerous in order to have good relations? I think the relations are strong enough to overcome the disagreements, and that Iran with an atomic bomb is much more dangerous than one disagreement or another [with the US].”
American-Israeli relations were irreversibly intertwined when the Congress – voting 407:9 – and the Senate – voting 95:3 – overwhelmingly endorsed the commitments made by President Bush in his letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004.

Among those commitments was an unequivocal declaration that: 
“The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.” 
Netanyahu’s address will fortuitously take place on the eve of the Jewish Festival of Purim when Jews remember the foiled plot in Persia (now Iran) in the 4th century AD: “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

Netanyahu has observed: 
“it is the same Persia with a regime that is waving the banner of destroying the state of the Jews. The means by which they intend on implementing this threat is with many atomic bombs” 
Netanyahu will be flying into Washington accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to the United States – Ron Dermer – and all Netanyahu’s top advisors.

They will – in the words of that famous World War II song – be: 

Comin' in on a wing and a prayer
Comin' in on a wing and a prayer
With our full crew on board
And our trust in the Lord
We're comin' in on a wing and a prayer

As for trusting in the Lord,  Obama and those churlish Senators and Congressmen who don’t have the decency to listen to what Netanyahu has to say might well recall the following words from Psalm 83: 
“O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! 2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. 3 They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. 4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” 5 For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant" 
The Jews have long memories of past attempts over many centuries to exterminate them – as Jew-hatred once again spreads its evil roots around the globe.

The ancient Jewish Book Ecclesiastes proclaims 
“there is no new thing under the sun" 
Pray President Obama heeds Netanyahu’s message.

Monday, 2 March 2015

"The Palestinian Armed Struggle Must Be Seen In Context As A Broader Middle Eastern Effort To Destroy Israel"

The articulate Danny Ayalon tells the truth about the balance of power in the Middle East, and why Israel should be supported:

Meanwhile, a picture that's worth a thousand words:

(Hat tips: David Singer; Barry Shaw)

As Binyamin Netanyahu said on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport prior to flying off to the United States some hours ago:
"A few days before the Fast of Esther, I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission. I feel that I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me, of the entire Jewish People. I am deeply and genuinely concerned for the security of all Israelis, for the fate of the nation, and for the fate of our people and I will do my utmost to ensure our future."

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Pro-BDS Israel-Haters Prance & Scream In London's Covent Garden

This is how some London Israel-haters have spent part of this weekend.

I wonder how many, if any, are from the toxic BDS-voting SOAS (see my previous post).

After such a "knees up" let's hope the oldies among them aren't feeling too stiff in the joints today:


Meanwhile, further north in the British Isles, Scottish PSC chief Mick and his retainers have been quick with some tosh re one Josh:

Rum sort of analogy, eh?

What can have caused it?

Something in the whisky, perchance? 

 Of the Kuwaiti-born Londoner claimed to be "Jihadi John" (see this troubling article in the Washington Post, btw) a friend reportedly remembers:
'A former friend of the terrorist, who met him in 1999 when they both attended Quintin Kynaston Community Academy in St John's Wood, North London, said he found out Emwazi was a Nazi sympathiser during a Year 9 lesson.
The 27-year-old told the Daily Mirror: 'The teacher told us the Nazis drew up plans to get rid of all the Jews.
'I heard Mohammed mutter "Good, they deserved it". I thought he was joking but later he told me that he hated all Jews and blamed them for the plight of Muslims.'
The school friend said that if they ever walked past a house in Golders Green that Emwazi knew was owned by a Jew, he would shout obscenities such as 'f***king pigs'.'
(Read more here)

And see Douglas Murray's article (with videos) here

Another Scots Israel-basher heard from: read about Gorgeous George's lawfare threats here

Saturday, 28 February 2015

London's SOAS Votes For Academic BDS

It was predictable really, given the fact that the School of Oriental and Asian Studies at London University has the reputation as the most toxic of all British campuses for Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel.

Yes, it was announced late on Friday that SOAS has voted in favour of the academic boycott of Israel.

The photo at left shows a number of the Israel-haters whooping it up earlier in the week, and as we saw earlier this month, a sophisticated video was part of the propaganda against Israel that formed part of the campaign that ended in "triumph" yesterday.

A recent SOAS stunt for "Israel Apartheid Week"
To quote an anti-Israel source:
"SOAS students and staff have endorsed an academic boycott of Israel, after the results of a week-long referendum were released Friday evening.
The vote, open to students, academics, and all other staff and management, finished with 73% for the 'Yes' campaign and 27% for the 'No' campaign.
The referendum asked members whether they think SOAS should fully join the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and implement academic boycott following the guidelines of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).
Earlier this week, PACBI and Palestinian student and academic unions expressed their support for the 'Yes' campaign, and applauded efforts of pro-boycott campaigners.
The SOAS Students' Union has supported the BDS campaign since 2005. In October 2014, the Students' Union passed a motion that called on the Union "to take the BDS campaign to the University", through a school-wide referendum.
Along with Palestinians at SOAS, the boycott campaign received support from "the Justice for Cleaners campaign, the LGBTQIA+ Society, the Kashmir Solidarity Movement, Tamil Society, and the SOAS Student Union itself."
(Hat tip for bottom photograph: Seymour Alexander)