Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

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)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

David Singer: Jordan-Israel Negotiations on Trump Peace Plan Set to Bypass PLO

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

He writes:

Jordan-Israel negotiations based on President Trump’s long-awaited peace plan seem increasingly likely to happen – following retired Jordanian Ambassador and former editor of the Jordan Times– Walid Sadi – flagging Jordan’s legal and sovereignty claims in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and East Jerusalem (“disputed territories”).

Sadi – in an op-ed article in the Jordan Times on 12 August – has forcefully argued that Jordan’s decision to cut off all legal and administrative relations with the disputed territories in July 1988 did not amount to Jordan ceding its claims to sovereignty for the following reasons:
“First of all, the unity of the West Bank with the East Bank was officially and constitutionally adopted on 24 of April 1950. No one disputes this fact. The Constitution of the country at the time was the 1952 Constitution, which stipulated in no uncertain terms that no part of the Kingdom shall be ceded, period. This provision makes the 1988 decision to cut off all legal and administrative relations between the two banks stopping short of ceding the West Bank to any side whatsoever. Any other interpretation of the 1988 political decision is absolutely untenable constitutionally.”
The Jordan Times is published by the Jordan Press Foundation – in which the government-owned Social Security Investment Fund has a majority stake. Wadi’s politically-charged and highly-significant article could only have been published with the knowledge and approval of Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Jordan’s claims are far superior to those of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) – Jordan being the last Arab state to occupy and claim sovereignty (albeit illegally) in the disputed territories from 1948 until their loss to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Indeed the 1964 PLO Charter made no claim to sovereignty in the disputed territories –completely negating any claimed ancient and long-standing rights accruing to its Arab populations which would outweigh the claims by Jordan to these areas – where sovereignty still remains undetermined between Arabs and Jews.

Jordan’s pivotal role in bringing Trump’s peace proposals to a successful conclusion are grounded in the following salient facts:
  • West Bank and East Jerusalem Arabs voted to unify these areas with Transjordan in 1950 and rename the unified entity – “Jordan”
  • West Bank Arabs were citizens of Jordan possessing Jordanian passports between 1950 and 1988.
  • Half the members of the Jordanian Parliament were elected from the West Bank Arab population between 1950 and 1967.
  • Jordan’s population is overwhelmingly comprised of Arabs born east or west of the Jordan River.
  • Jordan itself comprises 78% of the territory of former Palestine
  • Jordan and Israel are the two successor states to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine already exercising between them mutually-agreed sovereignty in 95% of former Palestine
  • Jordanian custodianship of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem is guaranteed under the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.
Reunifying into one territorial unit the East Bank with areas of the West Bank allocated to Jordan only requires Israel and Jordan to redraw their already existing internationally-recognised border.
Israeli and Jordanian negotiators – armed only with pencils, sharpeners and erasers – can achieve this new dividing line between their respective states within a relatively short time.

The PLO has made it clear that it wants no part in negotiating Trump’s proposals. It – and Hamas – will be left to cool their heels and contemplate the many squandered opportunities to create an additional state between Israel and Jordan since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.

Jordan’s decision to resurrect its long-dormant claims after 30 years of studied silence and subservience to PLO posturing should be welcomed by all who want to see the Jewish-Arab conflict ended.

(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

"Israel Has Been Made an Alibi for a New Climate of anti-Semitism on the Left"

Time to re-read the late lamented Professor Norman Geras's post here on "Alibi Antisemitism".

Here's the merest taster:
"In Marx's essay On the Jewish Question, written in 1844, there are two contrasting sets of themes vis-à-vis the Jews. In Part II of the essay Marx deploys some well-known negative stereotypes, according to which: the mundane basis of Judaism is self-interest, egoism, or, as Marx also calls it, 'an anti-social element'; the worldly religion of the Jew is huckstering; and the Jew's jealous god – 'in face of which no other god may exist' – is money.
The emancipation of the Jews is said by him to be equivalent to the emancipation of mankind from Judaism. Part I, on the other hand, presents a version of secular democracy in which the Jews, like any religious or other particularistic grouping, may retain their religion and their separate identity consistently with the state itself rising above such particularisms, and rendering these politically irrelevant.
Though Marx himself regards this – political emancipation – as an incomplete form of emancipation, he nonetheless articulates a genuine type of moral universalism: different faiths, ethnicities, peoples, have a right to assert their specific identities and shared beliefs within the free secular order of the democratic state. The distinctions between such groups just cease to have a political bearing. Marx does not extend this argument beyond the single state to the global arena (that not being part of the discursive context), but the correlate at international level of what he argues in Part I of On the Jewish Question is today embodied in the notion of a right of nations to self-determination, as affirmed in Article 1.2 of the United Nations Charter.
The contrasting themes of Marx's essay may be taken as emblematic of the state of affairs obtaining today between Jews and the left. It is not difficult to understand the long affinity there has been between them. Common traditions of opposition to injustice, the commitment within liberal and socialist thought to ideals of equality (whether this is equality under the law or equality in substantive economic terms), opposition to racist and other similar types of prejudice – these things have long served to attract Jews to organizations and movements of the left, and they still do.

[Continues Prof Geras:]
At the same time, that affinity has now been compromised by the existence of a new climate of anti-Semitic opinion within the left. This climate of opinion affects a section of the left only, and not the whole of it. But it is a substantial section. Its convenient alibi is the state of Israel – by which I mean that Israel is standardly invoked to deflect the charge that there is anything of anti-Semitism at work. Israel, so the story goes, is a delinquent state and, for many of those who regard it so, a non-legitimate one – colonialist, imperialist, vehicle of oppression and what have you.
 Similarly, diaspora Jews who defend Israel within their home countries are not seen as the conduit of Jewish interests and/or opinion in the normal way of any other democratic articulation; they are treated, rather, as a dubious force – the notorious 'Jewish lobby' – as if their organized existence were somehow improper.
These themes pitch those who sponsor them out of a genuine, and into a spurious, type of universalism: one where the Jews are special amongst other groups in being obliged to settle for forms of political freedom in which their identity may not be asserted collectively; Jews must be satisfied, instead, merely with the rights available to them as individuals. I call this a spurious universalism because people's rights to live as they will (subject to the usual constraint of not harming others) is an incomplete right – a truncated and impaired right – if it does not include the freedom to associate with others of their own kind.
To repeat: Israel has been made an alibi for a new climate of anti-Semitism on the left." [Emphasis added]

 (All tweets pictured above are current ones.)  For Corbyn's eyeroll see here

Monday, 13 August 2018

Love & Hate, New Time, Olde Tyme

Canadian politician Candice Bergen (yes, really!) poses a straightforward question regarding funding for an antisemitic group in Toronto to Pierre Trudeau, and receives a less than straightforward answer. 

Meanwhile, two tweets from a brave man:

And another of those lovable Olde Tyme-in-our-time preachers:

To quote the translator and uploader,
'During a parliamentary session in Gaza, Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal recited at length quotes from the Quran, vilifying the Jews. "We do not have time to list their abominations, which merited their transformation into apes and pigs," he added, saying that due to these faults, Jewish scholars were described as "dogs," and the simple people were described as "donkeys." Al-Astal further said that Allah has gathered "those corrupters" in Palestine in order "to annihilate their corruption at the hands of His servants of great might," and ended with a recommendation to produce a generation of "servants of Allah with great might." The Gaza parliamentary session aired on Al-Quds TV (Lebanon).'
And a preacher stateside:

To quote CAMERAorg:
'Gayle Harris, Suffragan Bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, defames Israel while speaking at a meeting of the denomination’s House of Bishops during the 2018 General Convention.
During her testimony in favor of a resolution that condemned Israel for allegedly mistreating Palestinian children (but made no mention of the hate-indoctrination on television shows broadcast by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority), Harris accused Israeli soldiers of shooting a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in the back 10 times.
When did this happen? What is the name of the victim? The first that the world heard of this atrocity was from Harris herself speaking at a church meeting a few years after the alleged incident happened. That doesn’t make any sense. Since when would Palestinian leaders fail to broadcast such an atrocity to the world?
Harris also told a story about Israeli security officials attempting to handcuff a three-year-old boy after his rubber ball bounced off the Temple Mount onto the Western Wall.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center highlighted the absurdity of the bouncing-ball story: “There is a high stone wall on top of the Temple Mount that blocks balls and people from going over the side.” Moreover, as anyone who has been on the Temple Mount can attest, Israeli soldiers do not need to “come up” to the Temple Mount as Harris stated, because they are already stationed on the site.
CAMERA has called on Bishop Harris to provide confirmatory details about these stories and if she can’t retract them and apologize for spreading unsubstantiated propaganda to her fellow Bishops. The Israel-Palestinian conflict is tragic enough. It does not need to be made worse by unsubstantiated atrocity stories that only serve to demonize Israel.'  (See also here and here)

Saturday, 11 August 2018

The Blond, the Berks & the Burqa

Regarding Boris Johnson's recent remarks about the burqa, condemned by Theresa May and a bunch of trembling Tories as well as the usual suspects, I was looking at this Twitter page admiring the forthright views of true feminists such as the page owner herself when I spotted this:

Corbyn's an atheist.  Strange to see him at prayer.  But has he been traduced?  Here's more on that story.

Among Suzanne Evans's tweets and retweets regarding Boris's criticism of the burkha, such as those by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who's in a spot of trouble over one tweet, there's this delight:

 Splendidly, British broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer tells a Muslim female caller that the burqa's "a horrible, ghastly dehumanising garment" and a lot else besides.

A fabulous set of arguments on Julia's part!  She's clever, polite and relentless!

Meanwhile, Guardianista columnist Polly Toynbee, an atheist, parades her "Islamophobic" credentials yet again. Too bad she lumps Judaism and Christianity in with the "primitives".
"The pens sharpen - Islamophobia! No such thing. Primitive Middle Eastern religions (and most others) are much the same - Islam, Christianity and Judaism all define themselves through disgust for women's bodies. There are ritual baths, churching, shaving heads, denying abortion and contraception, arranged marriage, purdah, barring unclean women access to the altar, let alone the priesthood, letting men divorce but not women - all this perverted abhorrence of half the human race lies at the maggotty heart of religion, the defining creed in all the holy of holies."
 As Taj Hargey, an imam in Oxford put it, inter alia, in a letter to The Times:
"Boris Johnson should not apologise for telling the truth. His evocative analogy is unfortunate but he is justified in reminding everyone that the Wahhabi/Salafi-inspired fad of female facial masking has no Koranic legitimacy. It is, however, a nefarious component of a trendy gateway theology for religious extremism and militant Islam.  The burka and niqab are hideous tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim. Although this deliberate identity-concealing contraption is banned at the Kaaba in Mecca it is permitted in Britain, thus precipitating security risks, accelerating vitamin D deficiency, endorsing gender-inequality and inhibiting community cohesion."
O, the irony!  Al Beeb (among others) reports:
"Christine Hamilton has been removed as a charity ambassador after comparing burkas to the hoods of the Ku Klux Klan. The broadcaster and wife of UKIP Welsh Assembly member Neil Hamilton sparked outrage on Twitter with her comments. Muscular Dystrophy UK said it opposed "prejudice and discrimination" and had severed all links with Mrs Hamilton."
"Prejudice and discrimination", eh?  For the prejudice and discrimination against women involved in enforced veiling try this for size, and be sure to look at the comment that links to this:

Thursday, 9 August 2018

David Singer: Trump and Israel Dabble in Hamas and PLO Quicksand

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

He writes:

President Trump’s attempt to see a five-year Gaza ceasefire negotiated between Hamas and Israel seems to be an exercise in futility destined to failure. 

America’s involvement first surfaced on 7 July when “an unnamed senior Trump administration official” stated:  
“We definitely have a Gaza focus right now because the situation is the way it is, and we want to try to help. But it’s not as though we think we need to fix Gaza first before we would air the peace plan.”   
If it sounds like a cop-out and looks like a cop-out – it is a cop-out.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) had made it very clear months ago it would have nothing to do with Trump’s yet to-be-released peace plan – no matter when it is aired. 

Arab States supportive of Trump’s plan were wavering.

Leaving those small technicalities aside - any negotiations between Israel and Hamas over Gaza would be anathema to the PLO - which has been engaged in an internecine struggle with Hamas to govern Gaza since 2007.

Indeed, Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmeh has already reportedly said the number one priority should be achieving Palestinian unity on the basis of previous agreements signed between Hamas and Fatah - and not a truce with Israel in return for humanitarian aid.

Trump’s “ultimate deal” was initially foreshadowed back in 2016 – before Trump was even sworn in as president:
“I believe that my administration can play a significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace – which must be negotiated between the parties themselves, and not imposed on them by others. Israel and the Jewish people deserve no less”  
Trump did not then define who he meant by “the parties”.

Given the developments in the Middle East generally since 2016 – and in Gaza and the West Bank specifically – both Hamas and the PLO seem to have disqualified themselves from possibly participating in negotiating Trump’s peace plan. This leaves the way open for Jordan and Egypt – the last two Arab States to occupy the West Bank and Gaza respectively between 1948 and 1967 – to fill the empty Hamas and PLO chairs at the negotiating table with Israel.

Trump’s new Gaza approach is conditioned upon the following observation made by his three negotiating emissaries – Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman – in their op-ed article in the Washington Post on 20 July:
“For far too long, Gaza has lurched from crisis to crisis, sustained by emergency appeals and one-time caravans of aid, without dealing with the root cause: Hamas leadership is holding the Palestinians of Gaza captive. This problem must be recognized and resolved or we will witness yet another disastrous cycle.”
Hamas is not going to suddenly disappear or allow free and fair elections in Gaza to determine who shall govern Gaza’s population. Any reconciliation by Hamas with the PLO seems most unlikely to occur.

Israel appears to be going along with this Gaza trial balloon being floated by Trump.

Realistically however – ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas will be fatuous unless the following provision in the 1988 Hamas Covenant is shredded:
 “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. … " 
Trump needs to persuade previously-supportive but now wavering Arab states to back his peace plan being released without delay.

For Trump to contemplate being dragged into the Hamas and PLO quicksand that has claimed so many sincerely-intentioned do-gooders preceding him is incomprehensible.

(Author's Note: is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” – one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

What Did Ben-Gurion Really Say?

In the immediate wake of the Six-Day War?

 In refutation of the continuing untruths and misrepresentations  promulgated by the New York Times, Martin Kramer has the answer:

    • We are now in possession of the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank of the Land of Israel, the Syrian heights east of the Jordan river, Gaza, and the Old City of Jerusalem and its environs.

    • We must be prepared to discuss peace with all our neighbors who fought us: Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. However, I am not sure the other side is prepared for that.

    • If Egypt agrees to conclude a peace treaty with Israel—and commits to our freedom of navigation, not just in the straits of Eilat, but also in the Suez Canal—we will be ready to evacuate the Sinai desert immediately after the signing of the treaty.

    • We will not discuss the Old City of Jerusalem and its environs with anyone. It was the capital of Israel at the time of King David, and so it will remain forever. The State of Israel will safeguard the holy places of the Christians and Muslims not less than [past] Muslim rule, or the rule of the Crusaders.

    • We will propose to the inhabitants of the West Bank to choose representatives with whom we will conduct negotiations on a West Bank autonomy (excluding Jerusalem and its environs), which will be tied to Israel in an economic alliance, and which will have its outlet to the sea via Haifa or Ashdod or Gaza.

    • A Jewish army will be stationed on the western bank of the Jordan river to protect the independence of the autonomous West Bank.

    • The Gaza Strip will remain in Israel, and efforts will be made to resettle its refugees in the autonomous West Bank, or in other Arab territory, with the assent of the refugees and the assistance of Israel.

    • If Syria agrees to sign a peace treaty, and commits to preventing attacks on Israeli settlements by Syria’s inhabitants and from within its territory, we will evacuate the Syrian [Golan] heights now in our hands.

    • All the Jews who lived in Hebron and its surroundings will be allowed to return to their former homes, even after the West Bank is granted internal autonomy.

    • We will propose a peace treaty to King Hussein between Israel and the East Bank of the Jordan, and will agree to give it an outlet to the Mediterranean, like that given to the West Bank.

Read all of Martin Kramer's article here

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Not Cute & Cuddly (videos)

 Activists on an American campus and their Jew-hatred:

"The Jews are behind every conspiracy ... human garbage ..."
So, citing the Quran, stated Abdul Samee' Al-'Arabeed, Professor of Quranic Studies at Al-Aqsa University, on 19 July this year ( video):

Another video:

In a Friday sermon on 27 July at the Al-Faruq Mosque, Copenhagen, Imam Mundhir Abdallah claimed that his sermon of 31 March last year, for which he was recently indicted on charges of hate speech, was not about the Jews, but about Palestine. To quote the uploader:
For MEMRI TV’s translation of this sermon, in which he had recited the antisemitic hadith about the Prophecy of the Rock and the Tree, see MEMRI TV clip 6013. "The only solution for Palestine is Jihad," said Imam Abdallah in his recent sermon, calling for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate. "That means war," he emphasized, "not in Denmark and not elsewhere, but in Palestine, to liberate it from the occupation." For more statements by Imam Abdallah, where he said that the "rampaging, filth, and vileness" of the Jews reflect their "immutable nature," see MEMRI TV clip 6689. The July 27 sermon, which was delivered partly in Arabic and partly in English, was posted on the Al-Faruq Mosque Facebook page.
Meanwhile, towards the end of this clip, plucky Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist politely but passionately explains to an interviewer why Islamic face coverings should not be tolerated in Denmark, Sweden, or the rest of Europe.