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, 9 December 2016

David Singer: Trump and Putin need Security Council Resolution to Defeat Islamic State

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

He writes:

The United States and America seem set to jointly confront their common enemy – Islamic State – once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office on 20 January 2017.

This possibility emerged after a telephone call between Trump and Vladimir Putin following Trump's stunning presidential victory on 8 November.

President Obama's failure to co-operate with Putin for the last two years in seeking to degrade and destroy Islamic State has resulted in hundreds of thousands of needless civilian deaths and injuries and the internal and external displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis.

Islamic State has been confronted in Mosul – Iraq's second largest city – for the last three months without Security Council authority by a US-led coalition airborne force supporting 100000 Iraqi and Kurdish infantry against an estimated 7000 Islamic State fighters. Some territorial gains have been made but little progress in ending the 30 month rampage by Islamic State and the spawning of  many offshoots in at least 25 other countries.

Identified as a threat to world peace and security in a number of Security Council resolutions – the UN's resolve to defeat Islamic State has stopped short of authorising military action.

An eye witness account published on 7 December in the Wall Street Journal says it all:
"Yet ISIS hangs on. Is it because it concentrated its most seasoned personnel in Mosul proper? Is it because the remaining fighters have their backs to the wall and battle here with furious desperation? Or is it that the coalition – with the cold weather setting in, with the rain and low, cloudy skies interfering with airstrikes – is getting weary?
Whatever the explanation, I return home with a deep sense of unease. Between Al-Zohur and Al-Qadisiyyah, a handful of fanatics manages to hold off an Iraqi counterterrorism unit. A little to the west, in Mishraq, a single sniper holed up alone in a mosque stalls the coalition’s advance. One senses that the battle for Mosul, which began with a flourish, could bog down.
Is it possible that we might become resigned to the idea of a strange war in which 4,000 cornered fighters stop an ultra-powerful coalition? For the children of Mosul, held hostage and on the verge of famine, that possibility would be catastrophic. And, in the capitals of the West where populations already live in fear of the next terrorist attack, it would be an admission of weakness that could only embolden aspiring jihadists whose hearts beat to the rhythm of the supposedly great feats of their big brothers in the “caliphate” of Iraq and Syria.
The fire must be stamped out. And very soon. To bring this about, one looks to Barack Obama, who might prove willing to quicken the pace so as to end his second term with a victory for civilization over the pseudo-state that presently threatens every real state in the world."
The chances of President Obama rising to the occasion seem very remote.

Regrettably the conflict is set to escalate unless Trump and Putin can agree on joint action to defeat Islamic State.

Their first step should involve obtaining a Security Council Resolution under Articles 42 and 43 of the UN Charter authorising the use of military force and obliging all member States to contribute such forces and resources as are necessary to defeat Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

A Security Council Resolution is vital – if the mistakes of America's 2003 invasion of Iraq are not to be repeated.

Whilst Russia and America continue to fiddle, Syria and Iraq bleed and burn.

It is time to start getting serious.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Stephen Sizer Posts Early for Christmas (plus Hypocrites on Press TV)

To judge by the coy facetiousness below, our old friend the vicar seems to be taking both seriously and not so seriously the Bishop of Guildford's directive to him not to post anything about the Middle East on social media while he remains the incumbent of Christ Church, Virginia Water:

Someone asks where the camels can be purchased, and someone else replies, to which our old friend adds:

Speaking of our old friend leads to thoughts of Press TV, the Iranian government's propaganda satellite news channel on which he has not been averse to appearing, despite the regime of the ayatollahs' frightful record regarding human rights including those of Christians.

Happily wallowing in Israel-hatred are a bunch of European trades unionists spewing invective against the Zionist entity with no qualms about appearing on the odious Iranian regime's propaganda channel:


And by appearing on Press TV, blissfully turning a collective blind eye to the real, ongoing and worsening human rights violations committed by Iran:

CLICK HERE for article

I reckon that qualifies as antisemitism, as set out in an updated chart by Edgar Davidson here

Jeremy Corbyn's latest excrescence here 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Witnesses & Survivors, Survivors & Witnesses

Dr Brendan Nelson, a former medical practitioner and former federal politician (from 2007-8 he was leader of the Liberal Party in opposition, succeeded by Malcolm Turnbull,  Australia's current prime minister) is presently director of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

At the opening of the War Memorial's exhibition "The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors" on 29 November Dr Nelson delivered an interesting  speech.  Inter alia:
'Six million people.  Almost a quarter of the population of Australia, almost the entire population of Sydney.  That is how many were exterminated in the worst genocide of the twentieth century. Jews, Roma, gypsies, the disabled and political prisoners. But almost all were Jews.
Jewish identity has been shaped by three things: Antisemitism, still a virulent and repugnant force in many parts of the world; The Holocaust or "Shoah"; The embattled nature of the state of Israel for whom existence is a daily struggle.
Adolf Hitler was able to undertake this mass extermination for two principal reasons. The first was that the majority were indifferent to the plight of the minority. The second was that in Germany – as in other parts of Europe, antisemitism was deeply rooted – religious, secular and racial.
 One observation through my own life not having ever faced nor endured even a fraction of the adversities suffered by many of you here, is that almost all of life’s suffering and pain stems from people making themselves the centre of their own lives. So too, nations making their own narrow self-interest the centre of all else....
The Australian War Memorial is many things. But above all else is the repository of our nation’s soul. This place and the stories of two million men and women told here, reminds us that we are Australians and that there are in the end some truths by which we live. And they are worth fighting to defend – politically, diplomatically and at times, militarily.
Not everyone agrees with this exhibition. One regular visitor to the Memorial told me emphatically that she was opposed to this exhibition. “This has nothing to do with Australia and the Australian War Memorial”, she said. She told me that she would never walk through it.  It has everything to do with us, for we are a part of humankind.
In a world grappling with the mass movement of people; the persecution of political, religious and ethnic minorities; euthanasia and a generational struggle against resurgent totalitarianism in the form of those who have hijacked the good name [sic] of Islam to build a violent political utopia, we must remind ourselves of that of which humankind is capable.
Our responsibility is to stimulate and challenge visitors, Australian and international, to see the world through the eyes of others....
The Australian War Memorial does not aspire to be one of the best museums in the world – it is. As such, we have a responsibility to tell the story of the Holocaust as responsible global citizens with a global outlook....
In this exhibition – this permanent exhibition will be found our own sense of morality, to be reminded of the difference between right and wrong and the consequences of allowing currents of political and social thought to head in certain directions.
Not a single person lobbied us to present this exhibition.
We are doing it because it is the right thing to do....'
But of course awareness of a tragic past, of a shared persecution, is not the only factor that drives Jewish identity. This video, made last year, captures the essence of what defines the Jewish People very well.  There is something deeply mysterious about the Jewish story, there is a profound suggestion of the supernatural or Divine ...

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

"Hating Israel Was a Badge of Honour" (video)

But then this British Muslim, brought up to hate Jews, travelled to Israel (in order to augment his hatred of that country) and found out that what he had been taught was not true at all.

All praise to the urbane, articulate Kasim Hafeez for his candid, courageous commentary, made available by Prager University, maker of many excellent, thought-provoking videos.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Jews Against Islamofascism Brew a Brouhaha in the Aussie Shtetl

To read article click here
In the Shtetl on the Yarra (aka Melbourne, specifically the district known as Caulfield, within the jurisdiction of Glen Eira City Council) there has been a brouhaha regarding Jewish gym owner Avi Yemini's invitation to controversial One Nation party leader Senator Pauline Hanson and party member Senator Malcolm Roberts, to address interested members of the Jewish community.  When the Glen Eira Council advised that it could not provide premises for the proposed  meeting, Mr Yemini changed the location to his gym.  (Its name? "IDF Training".  Its speciality?  An Israeli martial art, Krav Maga.)

Later, the Caulfield Park Bowling Club undertook to host the event, which would be taking place now, Sunday evening, 4 December, had it not been called off owing to security concerns, those ever-tolerant types from the left having vowed to cause a rumpus outside the venue, with Jews Against Fascism (but not, apparently, Islamofascism) calling on protesters to bring
"your noisemakers: your graggers, your pots and pans, your shofars, your musical instruments"
and declaring 
“Australia’s premier fascist parliamentary party is coming to the matzah belt.”
 The curiously-named Australian Jewish Democratic Society, a body known for its anti-Israel views and for inveighing against Jews expressing "Islamophobia," was also among the protesters.
"We protested One Nation because they’re racist and fascist and their Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism and anti-immigrant attitudes are destructive and hateful...." 
 So said one of the Jewish leftists opposed to the meeting.

The charge of antisemitism is highly dubious, with both senators expressing their support for Jews and Israel.

It is, of course, to be wondered why these leftist Jews give a free pass to the antisemites on the political left: could it be because Zionists and Zionism are the target of that antisemitism, as in the case of the appalling Greens?

These  Jewish and as-a-Jew "anti-fascists" are anti-racist but forget that Islam is not a race.

During her first incarnation as a federal politician, in the 1990s, Senator Hanson's focus was on opposing mass immigration from South-East Asia into Australia.  Now, she and her party focus, inter alia, on opposing Islamic immigration and fretting about how it might impact upon Australia's security and society in the years to come.

There is no doubt that Senator Hanson is a bit of a ratbag, and that her views are typically crudely expressed, and some unfortunate.  But, like Senator Roberts, she is an elected representative of the Australian parliament, and if people wish to go to hear the two speak, than that is their right. 

It is also Mr Yemini's right to invite the senators, though obviously Jewish communal officialdom's feathers were ruffled when he issued the invitation through the "Independent Jewish Council of Australia," a body hitherto unknown.

Needless to say, Mr Yemini is not the only Australian Jew who worries about radical Islam, and it goes without saying that Jews have as much reason to worry about it as anyone else, without jibes of racism being hurled at them by the totalitarian left.

How many members of the Jewish community intended to attend the meeting is unknown.  But Senator Hanson certainly has her Jewish fans, and several of them have been articulate in her support in letters to the Australian Jewish News and on J-Wire.  For instance:
"Please be assured Senators Hanson and Roberts that not all Jewish people are so opposed to free speech, and can be intimidated into silence by hard-left bullies. I may not agree with much of your political views but you have been elected to one of the world’s most robust, democratic parliamentary systems, and so deserve to be heard peacefully in any public forum. It’s such a pity that people who want to hear what you have to say, are now just going to hear from the haters, about what you may or may not have actually said, regarding current issues facing Australia today...."
 and, from an evident non-Jew, 
"Our wonderful nation is being manipulated by leftist propaganda. The ABC is the chosen weapon. The ALP and the Greens are the perpetrators.... The media are causing total polarisation and hatred, just as they have done in the USA with the absolutely biased and manipulative coverage of the recent election. Though I do not subscribe to everything of the Hanson view point, I respect her more than ever for having the courage to stand up to a hateful, blasphemous, manipulative and corrupted media.... It is a fact that the Islamists hate Israel. They bring this hatred to our beautiful nation. They should integrate or leave. Simple as that. It would be good if they took their ABC, ALP and Green buddies with them."
But as so often (see here and here), one of the best commentaries comes from Australian Jewish News publisher Robert Magid.  He writes in the paper's latest issue, inter alia:
'To compare One Nation to Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists [as one commentator in the paper did] is totally inappropriate.  The essential element of fascism is violence and intimidation.  Mosley's troops wore uniforms, worshipped Hitler and provoked street battles with Jews and communists.  There is no resemblance to Senator Hanson of One Nation.  
As in the case of those who voted for Donald Trump, there would be some "deplorables" who support One Nation, while many others of its its followers are reacting to the perceived failure of the "establishment" and its surrender to the politically correct mindset.
If we are so broad-minded that an avowed critic of Israel, [World Vision Australia's] Tim Costello, is invited to address a Jewish organisation [Hadassah,  at Glen Eira Town Hall last month], why should we refuse to listen to someone who is sympathetic to the Jewish community but whose views we oppose?"

Friday, 2 December 2016

How the News We Watch Can Shape The Way We Think: BDSer Jake's BBC Take (video)

The London Times of 25 July 1994 carried an article by the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson entitled "When reporters act on their consciences".  Unfortunately, I don't have a copy in front of me now, but from memory the springboard for the article was a recent broadcast in which BBC television reporter (later newsreader) George Alagiah abandoned objectivity to advocate for a particular cause, so outraged was he at what he was seeing around him.

Simpson evidently understood and approved, and foreshadowed more instances of the kind.

Nowadays, of course, the intrusion of BBC reporters' own sympathies and prejudices into their reportage has become, if not commonplace, then certainly a matter for concern, as indeed is the case regarding certain broadcasters on the ABC, Australia's answer to the BBC, its Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill having before her controversial appointment made no secret of the fact that she considers herself an activist as well as a journalist. 

The following 12-minute video dates to 2014.  It features Jake Lynch, the BDS-happy associate professor who heads the so-called Peace and Conflict Centre at the University of Sydney.  In his discussion of his background as a BBC presenter he refers to how "peace journalism" informed his broadcasts, how he steered interviews in order to incorporate it, how the BBC effectively allowed him to take the line he chose, and how useful a tool it is in shaping audience responses to international conflicts.

The video provides an insight into former anti-Apartheid (the real apartheid, in South Africa) activist Lynch's anti-Israel bias and is an indicator of the BBC's leftist bias, and lack of concern for the objectivity incumbent upon it by its Charter and Producers' Guidelines.  (The academic Boycott of Israel, incidentally, raises its ugly head at 9:23).


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

David Singer: Carter Threatens Chaos for Obama, Trump and US Foreign Policy

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

He writes:

Former US President Jimmy Carter has urged current President Barack Obama to:
* betray another former President – George Bush,
* destroy America's reputation for integrity and trustworthiness and
* thwart President-elect Donald Trump in attempting to resolve the 100 years old conflict between Arabs and Jews

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times Carter has proffered the following advice to Obama as his eight year term of office is ending:
"The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership."
 The following calamitous consequences for American foreign policy would ensue should Obama accept Carter's irresponsible advice:

1. President Bush's 2003 Roadmap and 13 years of American diplomacy would be trashed.
Endorsed by the United Nations, European Union and Russia and accepted by Israel (with14 reservations) and the then Palestinian Authority (since disbanded on 3 January 2013) – the Roadmap provides for:
 "A settlement, negotiated between the parties," that "will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors"
 2. Obama would break Bush's following written commitment made to Israel on 14 April 2004:
"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."
3. Any such State would not be "democratic" – its current "President" now being in the 11th year of a four year term – whilst two separate claimants – the PLO and Hamas – engage in a bitter internecine struggle to become the recognised Government of the Palestinian Arabs despite elections not having been held to legitimise the authority of either since 2007.

4. Carter's following call in May 2015 will remain unimplemented and a distant pipe dream:
"We hope that sometime we'll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank"
5. Obama will break his pledge to Israel to require any such State to first recognise Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

6. Obama would be recognising a State which has no legal basis for existence in international law since it fails to comply with the provisions of customary international law as expressed in the Montevideo Convention 1934.

7. Full United Nations membership under Article 4 of the UN Charter is only open to peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter.

No such State is "peace loving" nor would it ever accept the obligations contained in article 80 of the Charter preserving the rights vested in the Jewish people under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine

Ironically Carter hit upon the clue to finally resolving the conflict when addressing Jordan and Jordan's late monarch King Hussein in another op-ed in Time magazine on 11 October 1982:

“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”

Jordan  – 78 per cent of former Palestine – originally designated as part of the location for the Jewish National Home – still remains the key to resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Obama should reject Carter's latest disastrous advice and leave Trump to try and end the long conflict which has eluded all American presidents.