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)

Friday, 21 October 2016

"The Basic Goal of Islam is to Conquer Territory or Win Converts ... Is it Not Time for Western Leaders to Get a Grip for Once?" (video)

The marvellous Professor Dennis McEoin tells some home truths about Jihadist goals, whether regarding Israel or any other part of the non-Muslim world (Gatestone Institute video):

 In this recent video for Prager University, Ayaan Hirsi Ali insists that for all our sakes the West should support Muslim dissidents just as it supported Soviet dissidents during the Cold War:

Clinton's Coffers

Yes, the choice is pretty abysmal, but would you vote for this woman?

From a major report:

Read all about it (with further links) here

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Lentin's Loathsome "Elegaic J'Accuse"

Born into a Christian family in Lebanon, Professor Ghassan Hage of Melbourne, whom we've met before on this blog in connection with his petition against Israel of a few years ago, co-written with Sydney academic John Docker, and his on-going pro-BDS stance, is highly critical of white colonial settlement in countries such as Australia, which appears to inform his attitude to Israel.

Sometimes his indictment of white colonial settlement can appear so harsh as to give the impression, rightly or wrongly, of reverse racism.

See, for instance, this poetic contribution of his on social media:

Born in Haifa in 1944, Associate Professor Ronit Lentin of Dublin is one of a number of Israel-hating  academics  from Eretz/Medinat Israel resident in Britain and Ireland.  Her name appears here as one of the endorsers of "The One State Declaration" of 2007 authored by Ilan Pappe and others, which if implemented would end Israel's existence, and her anti-Israel activism is well-known.

Ghassan Hage's poem (what she calls his 'elegaic J'Accuse') has inspired her to write one of her own, adapted from "white colonial Australia to Palestine," as she puts it:

We stole the lands of another people but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We expelled 800,000 of the owners of the land, renamed their villages and settled our own people in them but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We uprooted their trees and planted European conifers to cover the ruins of their depopulated villages, which they are not allowed to settle but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We massacred whole villages, tortured their men, raped their women and beat their children but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We bombed their cities, demolished their homes and built concrete walls to separate them from each other but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We installed hundreds of checkpoints preventing the owners of the land from getting to hospital to give birth or get treatment but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We started war after war outside the non-declared borders of our state, leaving hundred of thousands homeless, claiming self defence but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We put the owners of the land under military government, enlisted them as collaborators and informers, and controlled their movement and freedom of expression but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We put thousands of the owners of the land in prison and hundreds in administrative detention without trial but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We build our settlements on their lands while preventing them from tilling their fields and picking their olives but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We allowed our illegal settlers to beat their children on their way to school and to take over their homes but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We kept thousands of citizens in 'unrecognised villages' without electricity, water, roads or schools but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We extra-judicially execute the owners of the land, arrest their children in dawn raids and try them in military courts but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We lock up asylum seekers whose cases we don't process in concentration camps away from our towns, into some of which they cannot enter but that's not who we are we are better than this.
We deny the owners of the land the memory of their catastrophe but that's not who we are we are better than this.
You see we are Holocaust survivors, and their land had been promised to us by our god and those doubting our right to expropriate, kill, settle, imprison, shoot, bomb, torture are antisemites.

 Demonising, and demonic, stuff, eh?

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

David Singer: Obama, Clinton and Trump Must Affirm America’s Crucial Commitment To Israel

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

He writes:

President Obama is causing consternation and uncertainty in Israel because of his continuing refusal to make clear that America will veto any Security Council resolution attempting to impose a settlement of the Jewish-Arab conflict in former Palestine other than under the Roadmap of his predecessor George W. Bush.

The Roadmap – first envisioned on 24 June 2002 – was finally documented on 30 April 2003.

Bush made the following written commitment to Israel in his letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 April 2004 – which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the American Congress by 502 votes to 12 in June 2004:
“First the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.”
Bush’s reasons for giving this American commitment were stated in his letter:
“The United States remains hopeful and determined to find a way forward toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. I remain committed to my June 24, 2002 vision of two states living side by side in peace and security as the key to peace, and to the roadmap as the route to get there.
“We welcome the disengagement plan you have prepared, under which Israel would withdraw certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and withdraw certain military installations and settlements in the West Bank. These steps described in the plan will mark real progress toward realizing my June 24, 2002 vision, and make a real contribution towards peace….
… The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking represents.”
Israel honoured its disengagement plan and withdrew from Gaza and part of the West Bank in August 2005.

The risks in doing so have been translated into reality with the indiscriminate firing of tens of thousands of rockets from Gaza into civilian population centres in Israel and ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza since 2005.

That Obama would seek to resile from this Bush Congress-endorsed American commitment to Israel is unthinkable and should be disavowed by him immediately.

Amazingly two presidential debates have been held so far between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton where the word “Israel” has not been mentioned once.

Both Trump and Clinton have remained silent up till now on stating whether they would uphold this American commitment to Israel.

Clinton was among those Senators overwhelmingly endorsing America’s commitment by 95 votes to 3.

Clinton needs to publicly commit that she will honour this commitment to Israel if elected President Trump has so far failed to say whether he will do likewise – although his rival Marco Rubio pledged at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum:
“I will revive the common-sense understandings reached in the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter and build on them to help ensure Israel has defensible borders”
Trump needs to follow suit.

The third presidential debate also gives Trump the perfect opportunity to state his position if he is elected president.

Hopefully the moderator, Chris Wallace, will ask them both this crucial question – or they volunteer an answer themselves.

America’s reputation and trustworthiness for keeping its promises are on the line.

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Lichfield Disgrace: Answers Demanded from Dean Dorber

"Cathedral naves are the traditional meeting places for people to come together and debate matters of concern, to learn, reflect and find wisdom in the middle of difficulty and confusion.
 Our recent weekend conference ‘Holding Palestine in the Light – the context of the conflict’ was an attempt to help people understand the complexity of the situation and what roads to peace are available for all the people of the Holy Land, Israelis and Palestinians. There were some passionate exchanges and contributions from the floor representing very diverse views. It takes courage to make peace and the first step is to listen. 
That is a proper requirement for everyone who is concerned with the long term future and flourishing of all the Israeli and Palestinian people. We hope that the opinion, prayers and righteous action of people of faith and goodwill could yet help bring all sides together on a path to a lasting peace. It is my hope, and that of the Ecumenical Planning group who arranged the conference, that the weekend was a small contribution to understanding, and an encouragement to people of faith to pray and work for peace."
That's the statement that the Dean of Lichfield, the Reverend Adrian Dorber, issued in reponse to criticism of the shameful anti-Israel conference held at Lichfield Cathedral at theend of last month (see here and here and here)

And here's a declaration plugging the conference that Dean Dorber made on the so-called [Christian] Social Responsibility Network about a week before the shamefully biased event was held:
"I would be very grateful if you could bring a conference we are holding in Lichfield to the attention of all whom you think might be interested.  The details are on the attached flyer.
We are delighted to be able to host the event and we hope it will provide insight and knowledge into this most complex and agonising conflict.  We have scholars, writers and religious leaders coming from Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds.  Recent Pilgrims to Israel/Palestine will find something on the programme to broaden or deepen their experience and understanding.  We will extend a warm welcome to all who attend and your commendation of the event will mean much to us."
Not surprisingly, the Dean's statement attempting to justify the conference has failed to cut much ice with those aghast at the thrust and tone of the deeply one-sided event.

Further to his powerful post describing his experiences at and impressions of that conference (see my middle link above), British blogger David Collier has written a long must-read follow-up post divided into sections.

In one section, he asks the Dean of Lichfield ten pertinent questions:
Revd Adrian Dorber, given my experience at Lichfield last weekend, given the audio below, given your statement and given the publicly stated mission of the conference itself:
    1.During the main run of speakers on Saturday. Why was there not a single person who would push a Zionist line or counter the vile lies invited?
    2.How did a Jew suggesting that ‘Jews have a lot to be sorry for’, help expose the truth or assist in the search for peace; how did that help cohesion in our own society?
    3. Why was there not a single book, nor single leaflet at the entire event that was not urging people to blame or punish Israel?
    4. How did it help the cause for peace that someone suggested Palestinian reaction to Oslo was children throwing flowers (whilst not mentioning any of the brutal terror attacks)?
    5. How do you feel that suggesting Zionists made a deal over holocaust victims in exchange for European support helps expose the truth or assists in the search for peace?
    6. How do you feel that demonising Israel’s peace camp by suggesting there was no reason for them to ‘close the box’ in 2000, helps expose the truth or assists in the search for peace. Would you accept someone saying ‘attitudes in the US towards Afghanistan changed in 2001 but we cannot know why’?
    7. How do you think it exposes the truth or assists in the search for peace to suggest that Israel has committed the ‘same crimes’ as both regime and opposition in places such as Syria and Iraq? (Note to Dean, as a Christian, you are a dying breed everywhere in the Middle East EXCEPT Israel).
    8. How do you feel about the refusal to accept a second question from an attendee who had been identified as a Zionist?
    9. Do you think, given the history of the blood libel and classic antisemitic tropes, that suggesting Jewish Zionists are like vampires in any way helped to expose the truth or assist in the search for peace?
    10. Do you think belittling or even denying Jewish religious and historical ties to the land helps expose the truth or assists in the search for peace?
Read all of David Collier's post here

Dean Dorber's replies are eagerly anticipated ...

Sunday, 16 October 2016

David Singer: Trump thrashes Clinton on Ending Sexual Violence in Syria and Iraq

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

He writes:

Mainstream American media’s obsession with groping allegations against Donald Trump going back twenty years or more has papered over public discussion of major policy differences between Trump and Hillary Clinton on defeating Islamic State and end the horrific sexual violence perpetrated on women and children in Syria and Iraq for the last two years.

In a stark report to the UN Security Council on 30 September – UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon warned:
“ISIL [Islamic State] continues to systematically use sexual violence against Yazidi women and girls in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as against other minorities caught up in the conflict. Even though some women have managed to escape their captors, around 3,800 abducted Yazidis were still missing at the time of writing. This is a matter of grave concern. Those who have escaped have described the appalling conditions under which they were bought, sold, traded and abused. Both girls and boys are advertised online and traded for weapons, suicide vests, cars and a range of other commodities. Thus far, no formal mechanisms have been established to secure the release of those held captive by ISIL. Those who have managed to escape have done so with the help of their families and smugglers or by taking advantage of other opportunities. Some have resorted to suicide as their only escape. The children of women who commit suicide, or who attempt to escape, are beaten or killed as punishment”
You have to search high and low to find any American media discussion of these highly disturbing revelations.

America and Russia have become embroiled in these conflicts raging in Syria and Iraq and both bear a major role in ending this ongoing dehumanisation of women and children.

Yet American media has not critically examined Trump or Clinton’s views on what each would do under their presidency to defeat Islamic State and end such reprehensible sexual violence.

Co-operation with Russia to achieve these objectives – as espoused by Trump – has been rejected by Clinton, who promises to follow President Obama’s resolute refusal to co-operate with Russia in defeating Islamic State in Syria since November 2015.

Clinton made her policy crystal clear in the second presidential debate:
“It’s also important I intend to defeat ISIS, to do so in a coalition with majority Muslim nations."
Who these Muslim nations are and how Clinton intends to defeat Islamic State in Syria without Russian co-operation remains unexplained. It is a pipedream the American media should be grilling her on every day until they get an answer.

Trump however indicated in the same presidential debate that he would welcome co-operation rather than confrontation with Russia:
“I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example."
Trump and Putin acting in concert or going hand in hand to the Security Council jointly sponsoring a commonly agreed plan of action to eradicate Islamic State represent two possible ways forward.

Meanwhile new allegations of decades-old sexual transgressions by Trump surface in the American media accompanied by sanctimonious expressions of indignation to justify his unfitness to be America’s next president.

Makes for salacious reading – but keeps voters in the dark on whether Trump or Clinton is the best candidate to:
* See Islamic State defeated
* End the ongoing sexual violence in Syria and Iraq
* Extricate America from Obama’s disastrous forays in the Middle East that continue to cause American military casualties and bankrupt America both morally and financially.
Trump may not be perfect but America’s media should hang its head in shame.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Lord Sacks: "Anti-Zionism is the Antisemitism of our Time" (video)

On 26 September former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks delivered this magnificent keynote address entitled  'The Mutating Virus: Understanding Antisemitism" at the start of a conference on the future of Jewish communities in Europe hosted by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. .

"Antisemitism is not about Jews. It is about antisemites. It is about people who cannot accept responsibility for their own failures and have instead to blame someone else....
The appearance of antisemitism in a culture is the first symptom of a disease, the early warning sign of collective breakdown. If Europe allows antisemitism to flourish, that will be the beginning of the end of Europe. And what I want to do in these brief remarks is simply to analyze a phenomenon full of vagueness and ambiguity, because we need precision and understanding to know what antisemitism is, why it happens, why antisemites are convinced that they are not antisemitic.
First let me define antisemitism. Not liking Jews is not antisemitism. We all have people we don’t like. That’s OK; that’s human; it isn’t dangerous. Second, criticizing Israel is not antisemitism.
 I was recently talking to some schoolchildren and they asked me: is criticizing Israel antisemitism? I said No and I explained the difference. I asked them: Do you believe you have a right to criticize the British government? They all put up their hands.
 Then I asked, Which of you believes that Britain has no right to exist? No one put up their hands. Now you know the difference, I said, and they all did....
 The new antisemitism has mutated so that any practitioner of it can deny that he or she is an antisemite. After all, they’ll say, I’m not a racist. I have no problem with Jews or Judaism. I only have a problem with the State of Israel. But in a world of 56 Muslim nations and 103 Christian ones, there is only one Jewish state, Israel, which constitutes one-quarter of one per cent of the land mass of the Middle East. Israel is the only one of the 193 member nations of the United Nations that has its right to exist regularly challenged, with one state, Iran, and many, many other groups, committed to its destruction.
Antisemitism means denying the right of Jews to exist as Jews with the same rights as everyone else. The form this takes today is anti-Zionism.
 Of course, there is a difference between Zionism and Judaism, and between Jews and Israelis, but this difference does not exist for the new antisemites themselves. It was Jews not Israelis who were murdered in terrorist attacks in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen.
 Anti-Zionism is the antisemitism of our time. [Emphasis added, here and below]
In the Middle Ages Jews were accused of poisoning wells, spreading the plague, and killing Christian children to use their blood. In Nazi Germany they were accused of controlling both capitalist America and communist Russia.
 Today they are accused of running ISIS as well as America. All the old myths have been recycled, from the Blood Libel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The cartoons that flood the Middle East are clones of those published in Der Sturmer one of the primary vehicles of Nazi propaganda between 1923 and 1945.
The ultimate weapon of the new antisemitism is dazzling in its simplicity. It goes like this.
 The Holocaust must never happen again. But Israelis are the new Nazis; the Palestinians are the new Jews; all Jews are Zionists. Therefore the real antisemites of our time are none other than the Jews themselves.
 And these are not marginal views. They are widespread throughout the Muslim world, including communities in Europe, and they are slowly infecting the far left, the far right, academic circles, unions, and even some churches.
 Having cured itself of the virus of antisemitism, Europe is being reinfected by parts of the world that never went through the self-reckoning that Europe undertook once the facts of the Holocaust became known.
How do such absurdities come to be believed? This is a vast and complex subject, and I have written a book about it, but the simplest explanation is this. When bad things happen to a group, its members can ask one of two questions: “What did we do wrong?” or “Who did this to us?” The entire fate of the group will depend on which it chooses.
If it asks, “What did we do wrong?” it has begun the self-criticism essential to a free society. If it asks, “Who did this to us?” it has defined itself as a victim. It will then seek a scapegoat to blame for all its problems. Classically this has been the Jews.
Antisemitism is a form of cognitive failure, and it happens when groups feel that their world is spinning out of control. It began in the Middle Ages, when Christians saw that Islam had defeated them in places they regarded as their own, especially Jerusalem. That was when, in 1096, on their way to the Holy Land, the Crusaders stopped first to massacre Jewish communities in Northern Europe. It was born in the Middle East in the 1920s with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Antisemitism re-emerged in Europe in the 1870s during a period of economic recession and resurgent nationalism.
 And it is re-appearing in Europe now for the same reasons: recession, nationalism, and a backlash against immigrants and other minorities. Antisemitism happens when the politics of hope gives way to the politics of fear, which quickly becomes the politics of hate.
This then reduces complex problems to simplicities. It divides the world into black and white, seeing all the fault on one side and all the victimhood on the other. It singles out one group among a hundred offenders for the blame. The argument is always the same. We are innocent; they are guilty. It follows that if we are to be free, they, the Jews or the state of Israel, must be destroyed. That is how the great crimes begin.
Jews were hated because they were different. They were the most conspicuous non-Christian minority in a Christian Europe. Today they are the most conspicuous non-Muslim presence in an Islamic Middle East. Antisemitism has always been about the inability of a group to make space for difference. No group that adopts it will ever, can ever, create a free society.
So I end where I began. The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews. Antisemitism is only secondarily about Jews. Primarily it is about the failure of groups to accept responsibility for their own failures, and to build their own future by their own endeavours. No society that has fostered antisemitism has ever sustained liberty or human rights or religious freedom. Every society driven by hate begins by seeking to destroy its enemies, but ends by destroying itself.
Europe today is not fundamentally antisemitic. But it has allowed antisemitism to enter via the new electronic media. It has failed to recognize that the new antisemitism is different from the old.
 We are not today back in the 1930s. But we are coming close to 1879, when Wilhelm Marr founded the League of Anti-Semites in Germany; to 1886 when Édouard Drumont published La France Juive; and 1897 when Karl Lueger became Mayor of Vienna.
 These were key moments in the spread of antisemitism, and all we have to do today is to remember that what was said then about Jews is being said today about the Jewish State.
The history of Jews in Europe has not always been a happy one. Europe’s treatment of the Jews added certain words to the human vocabulary: disputation, forced conversion, inquisition, expulsion, auto da fe, ghetto, pogrom and Holocaust, words written in Jewish tears and Jewish blood. Yet for all that, Jews loved Europe and contributed to it some of its greatest scientists, writers, academics, musicians, shapers of the modern mind.
If Europe lets itself be dragged down that road again, this will be the story told in times to come. First they came for the Jews. Then for the Christians. Then for the gays. Then for the atheists. Until there was nothing left of Europe’s soul but a distant, fading memory.
Today I have tried to give voice to those who have no voice. I have spoken on behalf of the murdered Roma, Sinti, gays, dissidents, the mentally and physically handicapped, and a million and a half Jewish children murdered because of their grandparents’ religion. In their name, I say to you: You know where the road ends. Don’t go down there again.
You are the leaders of Europe. Its future is in your hands. If you do nothing, Jews will leave, European liberty will die, and there will be a moral stain on Europe’s name that all eternity will not erase.
Stop it now while there is still time."
Read the entire transcript here

Meanwhile, antisemitism at the UN as usual : that dastardly UNESCO resolution of recent days