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, 25 October 2014

"Cancel Their Passports & Prosecute Them For Treason": Mark Steyn talks to Alan Jones regarding "The West's wannabe jihadists"

Listen to the excellent Canadian columnist in Friday's interview with the veteran Sydney radio host here

The moving tribute to the Canadian Parliament's heroic sergeant-at arms, Kevin Vickers, a former Mountie, mentioned in the interview, is seen below:

And here's the 17-year-old Australian jihadist to whom Steyn refers.

As Steyn emphasises, what the West ignored in the past to its peril must not in all conscience be ignored now.

Here's a blast (not literally, thankfully) from the very recent past (2012 to be exact)
an eight-year-old girl's speech to the 600-strong "Muslims Rise" conference in Sydney organised by extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which surely would function as a wake-up call if it took place now (woefully, not to the perverse leftists, of course):

(More on that speech here)

Meanwhile, a Canadian Muslim lady, Raheel Raza, suggests that her country should put these measures into immediate effect:
'1. Close all mosques for three months to have intense scrutiny on the Imams and their sermons in the past 3 months. This is not abuse of religious freedom – it’s to ENSURE that religion can be free and survive in Canada while protecting the country.
 2. All Muslim organizations (including mine) should submit detailed financial statements to show where their donations are coming from.
 3. Put a moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries for a set period till matters here settle down. Anyone wishing to partake in armed Jihad abroad or proven to be returning from such a venture, needs to have their citizenship revoked and given a one-way ticket to the country of their choice as soon as possible.
 4. Islamic schools need to have accountability and if their syllabus shows even an iota of hate, they should be shut down.
 5. The Islamists calls for un-reasonable accommodation like face covering, special prayer spaces, Friday prayers in public schools should be taken with a pinch of salt and instead of just giving in to these demands, there should be a body of well-informed Canadians discussing and debating these issues in light of Canadian values and norms.'

Friday, 24 October 2014

Arab Loans & Arab Voters: Gough Whitlam's hostility to Israel & its causes

The death this week of Gough Whitlam (1916-2014), prime minister of Australia from 1973-75, has of course many obituaries and reminiscences.

Popular columnist Andrew Bolt sums up Whitlam well here:
'Gough Whitlam was lucky his government was sacked in 1975. To our cultural elite, that turned him from a failure to a martyr.
That allowed the ruin he caused to gradually become obscured by the giant shadow of his myth. More ominously, it also allowed Labor to gradually forget what it learned, painfully, from Whitlam’s disasters.
So Labor today weeps for Whitlam and much of the media with it. The ABC’s massive coverage in particular has resembled the state-ordered mourning for a socialist dictator....
Aloof and arrogant, Whitlam was no man of the people and no prime minister was shunned by them so comprehensively — twice.
Whitlam ruled chaotically for just two years and 11 months until he was sacked by governor-general Sir John Kerr to end a damaging stalemate in the Senate, where the Opposition had cut off the scandal-racked government’s money.
The Left raged at the dismissal. On Monday, hours before Whitlam died, prize-winning author Peter Carey was still spluttering on the ABC that his sacking was a wicked conspiracy — “the US government destabilised and helped overthrow our elected government”.
But at the election the public wholeheartedly backed Kerr’s verdict, destroying Labor in a 44 per cent to 56 wipeout. Whitlam the martyr — bellowing “maintain the rage” — nevertheless held on to the Labor leadership, convinced he’d be seen in time as more sinned against than sinning. Instead, two years later the public made clear to Whitlam that he really, really wasn’t wanted, rejecting Labor again by another massive margin, 45 to 55....
Yes, Whitlam made ambitious changes widely accepted as good, bringing in need-based funding for schools, transferring Crown lands to traditional owners, allowing no-fault divorce, legislating for equal pay for women, ending gerrymanders, decriminalising homosexuality and getting sewerage systems to many suburbs. He blew fresh air into power’s musty corridors and to many made Australia seem bigger, broader and brighter.
But other “reforms” came at a cost we’re haven’t yet counted....' 
And what of Whitlam's attitude to Israel?

Photo credit: Sydney Morning Herald
Let me say that there was a delicious irony in the fact that the person who, in iconic footage (see photo, right) charged with reading out the proclamation of Whitlam's controversial dismissal from office by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, happened to be a Jew, (Sir) David Smith, who was Kerr's official secretary (see a snippet regarding Sir David's personal view of Whitlam here).

Whitlam's deep hostility to Israel is described at some length in Professor W. D. (Bill) Rubinstein's volume 2 of The Jews in Australia: A Thematic History, published in 1999 (the professor, of course, is no stranger to regular readers of my blog, having from time to time contributed guest posts to it).

Below is what he writes about Whitlam (pages 541-45) although there are plenty of other references scattered about the volume.
"Whitlam alone of all post-1948 [Australian] Prime Ministers was not merely regarded as no friend of the Jewish community, but as an enemy, and at the 1975 General Election most Australian Jewish leaders recommended a vote for the Coalition [i.e. the Opposition, consisting of Malcolm Fraser's Liberals and their Country Party allies]
the only time in history Australian Jewish leaders expressed a party political preference.
There was little or nothing in Whitlam's background to suggest any overt hostility to Israel or Jewish interests.  An intelligent, sophisticated, and articulate barrister, Whitlam (b. 1916) came from the same generation of moderate social democrats as Harold Wilson and Hubert Humphrey who remembered the Holocaust and were almost instinctively Zionist.  By 1971, Whitlam had visited Israel four times, and had Jewish confidantes such as Jim Spigelman and Peter Wilenski.  Yet he proved hostile to Jewish interests on a variety of key issues: directly on the Middle East War of 1973, the ill-fated Iraqi Loans Affair of 1975, and PLO representation in Australia, and indirectly over the Khemlani Loans Affair of the previous year.
Whitlam's conflict with the Jewish community first emerged during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when his Government's 'even-handed' position slipped into gratuitous condemnation of Israel, according to most Jewish leaders.  This perception was greatly aggravated in early 1974 when Australia criticised Israel at the United Nations for a reprisal raid on PLO bases in southern Lebanon in retaliation for the PLO's terror attack on Kiryat Shemona in southern Lebanon.  A now-legendary meeting between Whitlam and Jewish leaders in May 1974 failed to clear the air; it was described in a Jewish community press release at the time as 'disappointing and unacceptable,' and was, in fact, acrimonious to a degree that is still recounted by those present many years later, Whitlam noting inter alia that the 'Jewish community, because of its wealth and its cohesion has been able to make its point of view well understood.  The Arab has not.  I believe it would be wise for the Jewish community to realise that the Arab community is becoming more articulate,' and claiming that the Israeli raid was 'not only a raid, but a crime'.
The Iraqi Loans Affair was, in many respects, more inexplicable and outrageous than Whitlam's stand on the 1973 war.  On 16 November 1975, five days after Whitlam's celebrated dismissal by Sir John Kerr, David Combe, the ALP [Australian Labor Party] National Secretary, was drawn aside at an ALP meeting by pro-Arab activist and extreme left-wing figure in the ALP Bill Hartley and told that Hartley believed the ALP could borrow a substantial sum (usually stated to be $500,000) from Iraq to finance its election expenses in the pending election.  In the words of Alan Reid [In his book The Whitlam Venture, published in 1976]:
'Combe told Whitlam of Hartley's proposal.  Both men knew that Hartley, who functioned as a spokesman for the pro-Arab, anti-Israel cause in Australia, had some very influential Middle East connections.  The three men went off to a side office ... Hartley put his proposal.  Whitlam approved it.'
As his go-betweens, Hartley used Reuben Scarf, a Lebanese-Australian businessman who had corresponded with Whitlam over the admission of PLO representatives to Australia, and one Henry Fischer, a Sydney businessman with a long record of association with ultra right-wing and racist causes.  Secret negotiations ensued between the Arabs, Hartley and his intermediaries, and Whitlam.  Whitlam met Fischer on several occasions, as well as Iraqi representatives who flew to Australia for this purpose.  No money arrived by election day (11 December 1975) but, according to Alan Reid, probably did so in 1976.  As Reid noted:
'the story did not become public knowledge until early in 1976.
Whitlam was later to claim that th money would not have changed his foreign policy approach... [B]ut if Arab sources were to provide large amounts of money, they would not be providing such amounts for nothing.  They would undoubtedly feel themselves entitled to something in return, if only a change in emphasis in an ALP government's so-called 'even handed' Middle East policy, a change that would be of benefit to the anti-Israel cause.'
A former ALP minister, Kim Beazley, was even franker when he stated, of the Iraqi Loans Affair, that
 'it would be inevitable for the Australian Jewish community to regard any such [Iraqi] money as being in effect blood-money that might be paid for, ultimately, in Israeli blood'.
The Iraqi Loans Affair was not, of course the first entanglement by the Whitlam government with vast amounts of Arab money.  In the more celebrated Khemlani Loans Affair of 1974, the Australian government sought to borrow US$4billion from shady Arab sources, repayable in a lump sum of US$18billion after twenty years.  Whitlam's hostility to Israel and the 'Jewish lobby' continued vocally after he resigned the ALP's leadership in 1977.  In May 1979 he told a lecture audience at Harvard University that the United States was being
 'dragged through the nose' by Israel, and unambiguously supported a Palestinian homeland in the Middle East.  In 1980 he accused the Australian Jewish community of 'crude political blackmail of spokesmen and letter writers from the Jewish community'.
There has been much speculation as to the reasons for Whitlam's stance.  Whitlam, it has been claimed in print, cynically calculated that there were more Moslem  votes in Australia than Jewish votes.  In 1978 Don Chipp noted to his biographer:
 'In later years, however, I found that expediency had made its way into [Whitlam's] principles.  I remember being disappointed in him recently when in my presence he advocated a hard anti-Israel line, only for the reason that he believed that there are now more pro-Arab than Jewish voters in Australia'.
Remarkably and oblivious to the deep cynicism underlying this statement Whitlam  repeated this view even more explicitly in his autobiography, published in 1985:
'By the time of the 1972 elections there were as many Arabs as Jews in Australia.  While the Arabs were not as articulate and established as the Jews they were as important in as many individual electorates as the Jews'....
Professor Rubinstein's narrative points out at that stage that the accuracy of Whitlam 's statement regarding the number of Arabs in Australia at that time is "highly arguable," most Muslims in Australia being Turks, Pakistanis, Yugoslavs and Malays.  He continues:
At a Canberra Press Club address to mark the launching of his book  on 11 November 1985 [the tenth anniversary of "The Dismissal"] Whitlam was asked about the 'blackmail references in it.  He stated:
'the blackmail was exercised by some heroes in the Australian Jewish community on the other side of the world from the hostilities, that we should support Israel in the dispute between Israel and its neighbours... Now if I should enlarge on this, since then, people in Australia should realise that there are now as many Arabs as Jews in Australia.  There are as many Moslems as Jews ...'
Whitlam went on to boast that as Australian Ambassador to UNESCO he changed Australia's vote in an anti-Israel direction on resolutions condemning 'excavations of archaeological purposes in the Old City of Jerusalem and ... the harassment of the universities in the occupied Arab territories' both clear-cut examples of purely propagandistic motions contrived by the Arab-Communist-Third Wold bloc to humiliate Israel of the type which has done so much harm in the West to the reputation of neutral international bodies such as UNESCO.
Here the professor quotes Bill Hartley at length, regarding Whitlam's support for what Hartley noted were 'the growing links between the Libyan and the Australian people'.  The narrative continues:

More deeply, Whitlam clearly went beyond the traditional western social democratic stance towards Israel to support for a more radical position favouring the Third World and the anti-Zionist position found so often among Third World states, especially those with substantial Moslem populations.  Whitlam's foreign policy while Prime Minister was quasi-neutralist and often, implcitly or explicitly, anti-American; after Labor's return to power in 1983 Whitlam was appointed Ambassador to UNESCO, where he resolutely defended the corrupt leadership of UNESCO President M'Bow and its anti-Western stance which led to the withdrawal of the United States and Britain from that organisation.  Whitlam's stance was highly illustrative of the transformation of the geo-political position of Israel and the Jewish people in the contemporary world, with attack and hostility coming from the Left rather than the Far Right....'
 (See also Aussie Dave's blog here)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

David Singer: "Skirt-fronting Putin Can Help Eradicate Islamic State Crisis"

Julie Bishop; Credit: www.thenewdaily.com.au
 Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer. 
He writes:

The possibility of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott shirt-fronting Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Brisbane next month over the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 in Ukrainian sovereign territory with the loss of all on board – including 38 Australians – has receded following Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s 25 minute meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the Asian Europe Summit held in Milan this week.

Abbott had vowed:
 "I'm going to shirtfront Mr Putin. I am going to be saying to Mr Putin Australians were murdered. There'll be a lot of tough conversations with Russia and I suspect the conversation I have with Mr Putin will be the toughest conversation of all."
“Shirtfront” is an Australian slang term used in Australian Rules football to describe: “a head-on charge aimed at bumping an opponent to the ground”

ABC News reported on Bishop’s meeting with Putin:
“The Foreign Minister said she received assurances from Mr Putin that he would help facilitate access to the crash site for international investigators but could not confirm a timeframe in which the Russian president would act.
"I had a very detailed discussion with him. I expressed our concerns about the Malaysia Airlines crash. He said that he would seek to respond to my request by asking the separatists to provide that access.
I announced to the gathered world leaders that I'd had a conversation with President Putin and that he had been most cooperative and had responded very constructively to my request that Russia use its influence to ensure that the independent investigators can have access to the crash site of MH17."
Hopefully such access will have occurred well before the G20 leaders meet.

Putin however should not believe he will have a trouble free ride in sunny and welcoming Brisbane.
Australia punches well above its weight and is a member of the American-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS) in Iraq – whilst carefully avoiding confronting IS in neighbouring Syria.
Australia – also currently a member of the United Nations Security Council – should be increasingly concerned at the lack of a specific Security Council Resolution authorising the use of force against IS.

Bishop was alerted to Iraq’s frustrations with the Security Council – when Iraqi Foreign Minister Al-Ja’afari stated at a joint press conference with Bishop in Baghdad on 18 October:
“We have requested assistance with air strikes, logistic preparations, and the provision of intelligence information from the Head of UN Security Council and all the member countries. We also asked for their help with humanitarian assistance for 100,000 people who have been internally displaced from Mosul and other areas in Iraq. We have asked a number of countries to help us in rebuilding infrastructure, especially in Mosul…
…The clear message we send to the Head of the UN Security Council was that any country that wants to work with us needs to coordinate and communicate closely with the relevant authorities. The main points we have mentioned in our letter to the Head of the UN Security Council and to coalition member countries and non-member countries such as China and Iran are that they must avoid striking civilian targets and residential areas. China and Iran have offered to help Iraq. China is not a member of the coalition. We will work with any countries that want to help and assist Iraq even if they are not members of the coalition”
The idea that China and Iran should offer any help to Iraq outside the American – led coalition – which itself is operating without Security Council authorisation – seems a recipe for disaster.
Only a UN Security Council mandated force – backed by Russia – can degrade and destroy IS and end what has become a crisis of increasing international concern.

Putin – from his perspective – needs to ensure that the passage of any such Security Council resolution does not result in Syria’s President Assad being removed from power.
Russian and Iranian national interests in Syria dictate that Assad remains in power – whilst his American-supported opponents attempt to overthrow him in a conflict that has raged for more than three years and seen over 200000 deaths and three million refugees – with no end in sight.
Putin has previously supported a Security Council resolution that removed a common threat to both American and Russian interests – Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal – whilst leaving Assad untouched.

The looming threat that battle-hardened Chechens fighting for IS represent for Russia is made chillingly clear in this report:
“When the Islamic State commander known as “Omar the Chechen” called to tell his father they’d routed the Iraqi army and taken the city of Mosul, he added a stark message: Russia would be next.
“He said ‘don’t worry dad, I’ll come home and show the Russians,’” Temur Batirashvili said from his home in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, on the border with the Russian region of Chechnya. “I have many thousands following me now and I’ll get more. We’ll have our revenge against Russia.”
Iran’s Shiite population has no illusions about the threat the Sunni ideologically-based Islamic State poses.

America and Russia face that same common threat.

Ms Bishop – meeting Putin again in Brisbane on the sidelines of the G20 Summit – could be the catalyst persuading Putin to back a Security Council resolution to eradicate the Islamic State.

“Skirt-fronting” could well become the new buzz word in international diplomacy.