We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Internationally Recognised State of Palestine – Not All it Seems?

The following article, obtained from the antipodean J-Wire news service, is by David Singer, a Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst, and is entitled "Palestine – Lawyers, Hot Air and no Clothes": 

John V Whitbeck – described as “an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team” – has recently written an article published in Al Jazeera* pointing out that 106 members of the United Nations have now recognized the State of Palestine, whose independence was proclaimed on 15 November 1988.

Whitbeck also tells us that such recognition covers between 80-90% of the world’s population.

Behind these apparently impressive statistics and the conclusion that Whitbeck draws from them – the story is strikingly different. Whitbeck’s claim of international recognition is pure window dressing bereft of any clothes. It amounts to hot air and nothing more.

What Whitbeck claims as fact is fiction, a state that exists in the mind rather than in reality, an ideal eagerly sought without any current prospect of being achieved.

The declaration of independence proclaimed on 15 November 1988 by Yasser Arafat was nothing more than a public relations stunt since the Palestine Liberation Organization then controlled not one single centimeter of former Palestine. Such declaration sought to be justified on the basis of the United Nations 1947 Partition Plan that had recommended division of Western Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab States. That recommendation had been unanimously rejected by the Arab League. Relying on it 41 years later seemed a hypocritical exercise in diplomatic peace making.

A large part of the world was however prepared to forget and forgive the Arab aggression that followed the rejection of the 1947 UN recommendation and grasp this 1988 lifeline in a further effort to bring about a resolution of the conflict between Jews and Arabs. It has proved to be a waste of time in achieving what the Declaration sought to supposedly accomplish.



….fiction represented as fact.

Whitbeck further reveals the fantasy world in which he is living when he states:

“While still under foreign belligerent occupation, the State of Palestine possesses all the customary international law criteria for sovereign statehood. No portion of its territory is recognized by any other country (other than Israel) as any other country’s sovereign territory, and, indeed, Israel has only asserted sovereignty over a small portion of its territory, expanded East Jerusalem, leaving sovereignty over the rest both literally and legally uncontested.”
Whitbeck’s claim is a load of arrant nonsense.

The criteria for recognition of a state in customary international law were codified in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention signed on 26 December 1933 which provide as follows:

“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
(a) a permanent population;
(b) a defined territory;
(c) government; and
(d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”
There is indeed a permanent Palestinian Arab population living in the West Bank and Gaza. 55% of the West Bank Arabs live in 17% of the West Bank under the exclusive administrative and security rule of the Palestinian Authority (known as Area A) and so could be said to exist within a defined territory. 100% of Gaza and its entire Arab population is under the administrative and security control of Hamas and so would also meet the first two criteria.

However such a State possesses no government. Relations between Hamas as governing authority in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority as governing authority in the West Bank. are at rock bottom. Arab League efforts to effect a rapprochement continue to founder. Death, torture and false imprisonment continue to mark the three years long internecine struggle between the two governments to win the hearts and minds of the West Bank and Gazan Arab populations. Neither has the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Both of these criteria for statehood are non-existent and their fulfillment appears a hopeless dream.

Whitbeck’s claim of international recognition of the State of Palestine is therefore meaningless – other than to indicate this is a result the world would like to see. But that was also the world view in 1947 when the Arabs then rejected an Arab State in an area much larger than the one contemplated by even the most optimistic of today‘s recognizing States.

Whether any such an option in any kind, shape or form is available in 2010 – given the new facts created by 500000 Jews now living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – appears increasingly to be fated to consignment once again to the garbage bin of history.

Any suggestion that the West Bank be entirely cleared of its Jewish population would be a preposterous notion that has no place in the current interpretation of international humanitarian law.

America. Russia, the European Union and the United Nations have been actively involved in trying to overcome these obstacles during the last seven years – but all to no avail. There is no prospect on the horizon that this situation will change.

Whitbeck’s claim that Israel has only asserted :

“sovereignty over a small portion of its territory, expanded East Jerusalem leaving sovereignty over the rest both literally and legally uncontested”
is another self-serving piece of propaganda and is completely removed from reality. It completely ignores Israel’s legal right to establish the Jewish National Home in both the West Bank and Gaza under the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter. Sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza resides in neither Jews nor Arabs at the present time. Sovereignty in East Jerusalem has been claimed by Israel but not internationally recognized. Efforts extending over the last 17 years to determine sovereignty in all these territorial areas have been unsuccessful.

Israel’s claim as sovereign owner of the whole or part of West Bank and sovereign ruler of East Jerusalem cannot be summarily dismissed or written off by the pathetic bleating of a former adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team.Indeed one could reasonably conclude that with advice such as this – it is no wonder that the Palestinian negotiating team have been indoctrinated into believing that they are entitled to continue to claim sovereignty in 100% of Gaza and the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem to the total exclusion of Israel’s claim.  As one saying goes – “I can only act on my lawyer’s advice”.

As another saying goes – “I think you better change lawyers because the advice being given to you by your current adviser seems to be way off the mark”

Whitbeck’s conclusions on the international recognition of the State of Palestine are not worth the paper they are written on.

*For Whitbeck's article see http://English.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2010/12/201228131929322199.html

Why Are You Protesting Against Israel?

Here's a must-see video for all those "Israel is an apartheid state" demonisers out there:

Enjoy!

The English Defence League

A couple of recent posts of mine have touched on that controversial organisation, the English Defence League, giving rise to a number of comments regarding the advisability, or otherwise, of Jews becoming involved with what many insist is a crude fascistic organisation, but which others defend with a passion.  Below, from the Arutz Sheva Israel news service, is an article to some extent defending the EDL. Its author, Brian of London, is a Tev Aviv businessman who made aliya in 2009 "after deciding that the anti-Israel lynch-mob atmosphere in London would not be good for his children". In addition to running his business, Brian writes and broadcasts on the Internet on sites such as Israellycool and Israpundit:

The English Defence League (EDL) has attracted some attention in Israel because of the incongruity of non-Jews waving Israeli flags at demonstrations dubbed “far right” by the press and the Israeli Embassy in London’s virtually unprecedented step of condemning a pro-Israel local group in another country. The irony is compounded by the fact that this happened immediately after the EDL held a large pro-Israel rally outside the embassy.

This distancing was presumably motivated by the attacks on the EDL in much of the British media and fear that failure to denounce the group will increase anti-Israel feelings in the United Kingdom, already at an all-time high. In fact, however, the people attacking the EDL are already Israel’s enemies while this group is one of its few friends nowadays. Moreover, the accusations of the EDL being a racist or fascist group are simply not true.

Indeed, the slander against the EDL is another example of how special treatment for Islam and radical Islamists compared to the repression of forces criticizing them so often prevails in Britain today. Here’s a little case study of how things work.

On December 11 the EDL held a demonstration in Peterborough. The EDL proclaims itself as “dedicated to peacefully protesting against radical Islam” and on that December day they largely fulfilled this role. Around 2,000 people marched through the town and listened to speeches. A handful of counter-demonstrators claiming the EDL are “fascists and racists” were kept at bay by the police. The day passed with fewer arrests than a typical Saturday night in any English town.

But not according to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. Ten days later, an EDL leader was arrested and charged under Section 4b of the Public Order Act with “Racial Aggravation” in relation to a speech he gave in Peterborough. That speech can be viewed here


One doesn’t need to condone the speech’s content or agree with it to acknowledge that it is a normal expression of free speech. But there are also additional points of interest to this case.

The man who gave the speech is Guramit Singh, a Sikh whose family comes from India. During his talk he noted that he has been called a “racist” for criticizing Islam, though he is from the same ancestry as Pakistani or Indian Muslims. Indeed, many or most Sikhs are actually the descendants of Muslims.

Singh also explained that he was particularly passionate that day because it was the anniversary of his grandfather being killed fighting in the British army during World War Two. He was angry that some Islamists burned poppies, the symbol of honoring Britain’s war dead on November 11, British Remembrance Day. This is an emotional issue in the UK. I don’t need to point out to readers in Israel how we would feel if the Israeli authorities allowed aggressive Islamic demonstrations outside military cemeteries on Yom Hazikaron.

Singh says nothing trying to inspire violence, whereas it has been shown that some mosque sermons in the UK are directly inflammatory (including derogatory statements about Christianity and Judaism). I wouldn’t be in favor of arresting Muslims who said something I don’t like or agree with either, though I’d be happy to see the statements publicized so more people are aware of the things being said.

But consider the double standards at play. When a television program played examples of mosque sermons demonizing Christians and Jews a few years ago the police filed a complaint with the media watchdog against the program makers, and nothing against the sermon-givers. The program makers eventually sued the police and won considerable damages.

Meanwhile another EDL leader, who goes by the pseudonym of Tommy Robinson, has been arrested on three separate and apparently trumped-up offenses. One of these is related to the Remembrance Day poppy burning incident. The first charge is that when Robinson grabbed a flag from an Islamist protestor during the struggle the pole might have accidentally hit a police officer. At his first appearance in court on November 22, the judge expressed surprise that the police had placed restrictions on his freedom of association and voided them.

In addition, Mr. Robinson has been charged with some vague financial irregularities. The authorities have frozen his bank accounts, virtually shut down his business, and demand that he ask permission before he can spend any money to pay for his living expenses. He and his pregnant fiancée was arrested by heavily armed police. He has made a detailed accusation that the police have been shopping for informants to give false testimony against him.

One tactic being used against the EDL is a court-imposed “Anti-Social Behaviour Order” or ASBO. In one case, two men were ordered not to engage in any EDL-related activity—including even posting anything on the Internet, for ten years. In effect, this is a specially created law used only against the EDL in which the rights to free speech and peaceful protest are simply taken away from them.

Why is there so little protest against this repression? The answer is that once demonized the EDL and its members can simply be deprived of democratic rights. This is bad enough without Israel’s government or Jewish groups adding to the slander and untruth about the most visibly active pro-Israel organization in the United Kingdom today.

What makes all of this even more ironic is that radical Islamist groups, including those engaged in incitement against Jews and Israel, are treated with kid gloves by a police force and court system that is literally too frightened to take them on. Here’s one example: recently, a group of extremists on trial for doing massive damage to a factory making goods for Israel were released after the judge told the jury to find them not guilty since, he said, conditions in the Gaza Strip were so terrible as to justify their vandalism.

The erosion of civil liberties combined with what at times seems like an anti-Israel lynch-mob atmosphere especially in much of the media and on campuses cannot be good for British Jews or for Israel.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

London's Hamasnik Centre Is Outlawed (in Israel)

The Israeli Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, has signed a decree declaring as illegal in his country membership of the Londonistan-headquartered Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Return Centre.

The following, by Israeli journalist Gil Ronen, tells why (hat tip: Assad Elepty and http://voiceofthecopts.org/en/news/israel_declares_england-based_hamas_group_illegal.html):

A report released by the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) on Monday explains that the Center is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while delegitimizing Israel's status as a nation.

It was not immediately clear what ramifications the declaration will have on the ground, since the organization does not operate on Israeli territory. However, public statements by the Shin Bet are not everyday occurences, and the report could signal a new, tougher approach by Israel in the war of delegitimization being waged against it abroad.

Among other terror-affiliated activities, the Center organizes many conferences in various European countries for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists from all around the world, along with active members of the Center. The participants mostly include Hamas fundraising representatives in Europe, and representatives of Hamas from Gaza.

Founded in London decades ago, the center officially declares its sole mission as promoting the issue of "Palestinian refugees".  However, in reality, the Center functions as Hamas's organizational branch in Europe and its members are senior Hamas leaders who promote the movement's agenda in Europe, and directly interact with various Hamas leaders, particularly from Damascus.

The Center's leaders include prominent Hamas activists including: Majad El Zir, Zahar Birawi and Maged Akil. Another activist, Assan Paur, also serves as a member of the Interpal Board of Trustees, an organization also declared to be a terrorist organization in Israel and in the United States due to its direct involvement with Hamas global funding.

During the past few years, the Center became a leading contributor for the European Campaign for Ending the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) and was involved in transporting one of its main activists, Arafar Madi, to plan the violent confrontation on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010. They had worked in cooperation with the IHH Foundation in Turkey, as well as other Hamas fundraising bodies within Europe and around the world.

Recent Center conferences included taped speeches by Hamas leaders who are banned from entering Europe, since Hamas is considered to be a terrorist organization by the European Union.

The Palestinian Return Center is only a part of the broader Hamas activism and support network within Europe, which is especially strong in England. The Center is only one affiliate out of many global Hamas associations that support and recruit for Hamas terror activities inside Gaza.

(For more on the PRC's activities see http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/03/06/london-hamasniks-and-interpal/ and http://www.spittoon.org/archives/4639)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A Not So Beleaguered Bethlehem

From the antipodean J-Wire service comes an interesting, well-illustrated, upbeat account by Ben Weiss, "A Sydney Jewish Boy’s Christmas in Bethlehem", which paints a different picture of life there from what the world media loves to feed us.  I've omitted Ben Weiss's "touristy" passages, to concentrate on the heart of the matter:


Sipping a Turkish coffee in the heart of Tel Aviv early last week, I pondered how a secular Jew from Australia might experience Christmas in a country where a public celebration of such a holiday is considered taboo. The instinctive answer lay 93 kilometres away, in the primordial town of Bethlehem (Hebrew meaning “The House of Bread”), the heralded birthplace of King David and one Jesus of Nazareth, and home to the oldest continuous Christian community in the world.

So on a crisp Christmas day morning I bussed from Tel Aviv and arrived at the Damascus Gate outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem and boarded Arab Bus 21A, en route to Bethlehem. The 30 minute bus journey took me straight into the heart of this ancient and vibrant nerve centre of 30,000 inhabitants. An Australian Jew, I was able to travel freely into the Palestinian Territories, bypassing the travel restrictions currently in place on Israeli passport holders, and joined the flock of 90,000 tourists and pilgrims who made the journey to attend this year’s Christmas festivities.

....

There has been a loud argument sounded that the West Bank barrier, a 400-plus mile-long mix of cement walls, is illegal, oppressive and a form of apartheid. A contra view, having witnessed the streams of tourist’s seamlessly crossing the fence into the West Bank (the 1.45 million people that visited Bethlehem alone this year was 60% up on last year), the overflowing coffee shops and souvenir stores, is that it is business as usual in the West Bank.

With easy tourism, co-operation between the Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces at the highest levels, an absence of terror attacks originating from the West Bank (incidentally, there were 30 rockets fired into Israel from Gaza last week alone), there is great room for optimism that a form of stable “peace” and recognition can be achieved between people from 2 great religions who co-existed for centuries and have more in common than that which divides them.

….

Riding the bus back to Jerusalem, I reflected on a surreal outing which will loom large in my thoughts and memory for some time. And why was that? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that my new reality was in stark contrast to the picture of abject hopelessness, created and fanned by world media regarding the state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (and which admittedly I had previously carried around in my head too).

The great English thinker, John Milton, said it correctly “Evil news rides post, while good news bates”. Today, there was only good news to report and long and far may these positive words stretch. Far from being the leper of the international world, Israel has diplomatic ties with 154 countries, and if a Jew and a pair of religious Catholics can cross the border together into a Muslim controlled area on Christmas day, share a falafel inside an Arab market and a drink overlooking the old city of Jerusalem, talking world affairs freely and openly, a Utopian solution to this border problem may be more conceivable than the world media may have us all believe.

….

The Jihad Against the Christians

Not before time, some voices in the West are speaking up loud and clear on behalf of the persecuted Christians in Islamic countries.

One of the most powerful pieces to appear this Christmas is the following, entitled "Time to stand up for Christians", by respected and popular columnist Piers Akerman in Sydney's DailyTelegraph (hat tip: reader Shirlee)
http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/time_to_stand_up_for_christians/

Around much of the Western world [writes Mr Akerman], Christmas hymns are still echoing in the ears of happy holidaymakers, but elsewhere, Christians, for whom Christmas is one of the holiest days, are being persecuted.

While Australian troops are dying in Afghanistan in a war with Islamist forces, the Afghan Government which our forces are supporting seems incapable of implementing policies that respect fundamental principles guaranteeing real religious freedoms.

Afghanistan is not alone. Islamic nations which regularly issue calls for the West to respect Islam and show tolerance for its traditions, rarely practise what they preach.

A 200-page study of religious freedom reveals that Christianity is under siege in the Islamic world and that the dwindling number of Christians still living in Islamic nations remain among the most oppressed.

Pope Benedict, who released the study last month, called for all nations to guarantee freedom for all to practise their faith publicly, with authentic respect for each person.

Although this freedom is assumed in Australia, the US, the UK and other European nations, it is paid scant regard in the Islamic world and across China. India is rife with divisions between the many religions followed.

But it’s the fate of Christians under Islamic rule that is most concerning, particularly as Islamic nations play a greater role within the UN and are granted an unearned tolerance by the Left in the West.

In calling for religious freedom to be respected, the Pope appealed for reciprocity - full rights for Christians in Islamic states where laws ban them from practising their faith openly. Such a call does not sound unreasonable. No Christian state bans the practising of Islam, but the 3.5 million Christians of all denominations who live in the Gulf Arab region, the birthplace of Islam, are barely tolerated and any form of non-Muslim worship takes place in private.

In Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, the report notes, conversion of Muslims is punishable by death, though such sentences are rare.

The Vatican expressed particular concern about the fate of Christians in predominantly Muslim Iraq, where 52 hostages and police were killed last month when a church was seized by al Qaeda-linked gunmen.

"Armed groups go into neighbourhoods where Christians live and kill indiscriminately everyone they find in their way," Monsignor Philip Najim, representative of the Chaldean Church to the Holy See, reported.

"These are cold-blooded murders in broad daylight, before dozens of witnesses, as if these groups wanted to show that they can act with impunity; that they are in control of the city."

Monsignor Louis Sako, Archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq, said: "We are the target of a campaign of violence and liquidation with political goals."

The West’s tolerant approach to religion is mocked by Islamic governments, most of which claim to observe the Universal Charter of Human Rights’ Article 7, stating that religions are “free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of the law,” but also declare Islam as the state religion. This contradiction gives them a fig leaf whenever the issue of persecution of Christians arises.

In Afghanistan, courts apply Islamic Sharia law to the interpretation and judging of individual cases concerning, for example, blasphemy or apostasy - crimes which are not covered by the penal code.

Under Islamic law, the death penalty applies for these crimes. The same applies in Bangladesh, where Christians and Hindus suffer extreme violence and persecution.

Marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims is forbidden in Brunei and Iran, and any non-Muslim man who wishes to marry a Muslim woman must convert. The law of blasphemy is the worst instrument of religious repression in Pakistan, with the penalty of life imprisonment for all who offend the Koran, and the death penalty for those who insult the prophet Mohammed.

According to the report, accusations against alleged blasphemers are often false or motivated by petty interests, which result in scandals and encourage enraged crowds to inflict justice on their own.

Even if arrested on the basis of accusations from only one witness, the unfortunate person risks violence and torture inflicted by the police. Under pressure from crowds incited by local mullahs, a number of judges have imposed the death sentence even in the absence of any evidence against the accused.

The report says the penal law, based on the Koran, punishes with floggings and stoning all behaviour incompatible with Islamic law, such as adultery, gambling or drinking alcohol. This law on blasphemy provides an example of one of the most sectarian and extremist forms of legislation, in addition to paving the way for a radical Islamisation of the country.

How is it possible for Christians, even nominal Christians who hum hymns and visit churches once or twice a year, to be so oblivious to the fate of those who stake so much more on their Christianity than many in Western countries today?

In large part it is due to the insistent demands for tolerance made by the political Left, a tolerance which embraces Islam, but denies Christianity the same comfort.

It’s obvious to the most casual observer that there are no refugees fleeing the West, but the same cannot be said for the Islamic nations, or the totalitarian Asian states.

The difference lies in the Judeo-Christian cultures which formed the core of Western culture, the source of rallying cries of freedom and liberty.

Standing up for those suffering persecution in oppressive nations because of their Christian belief is a small price to pay for the historic liberation this religion has bestowed on so many around the world today.












Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Patter of Antisemitism

London, 1945. The first harrowing reports of the horrors perpetrated on European Jewry by the Nazis are reaching the public.  Yet casual remarks such as these are still being made:

Middle-aged office employee: "I generally come to work by bus. It takes longer, but I don't care about using the Underground from Golders Green nowadays. There's too many of the Chosen Race travelling on that line."
Young intellectual, Communist or near-Communist: "No, I do NOT like Jews. I've never made any secret of that. I can't stick them. Mind you, I'm not antisemitic, of course."
Middle-class woman: "Well, no one could call me antisemitic, but I do think the way these Jews behave is too absolutely stinking. The way they push their way to the head of queues, and so on. They're so abominably selfish. I think they're responsible for a lot of what happens to them."
Those were three of several individuals whom George Orwell heard, and quoted in his essay "Anti-semitism in Britain".

Yet, after the full scale of the destruction of European Jewry became known, most people, appalled, ceased such remarks, and all but the most diehard antisemitics were too ashamed to voice them (except perhaps in private).

However, 65 years later "the longest hatred" has gone mainstream again – as Rabbi Marvin Hier noted last week when the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which he founded and heads, printed its list of "TheTop Ten Antisemitic Slurs" of 2010.

"Never before, in recent memory, has the Simon Wiesenthal Center seen such a proliferation of anti-Semitism going mainstream," he said. "Unfortunately, our list shows that anti-Semitic canards normally thought to belong to the lunatic fringe have, in fact, been bought into by major elements of Western society."

Ninth on the list is British columnist Christina Patterson, who in The Independent (28 July) made an ill-tempered outburst about the manners of her Chasidic Jews of neighbours. It almost amounted to group defamation.

Wrote Ms Patterson, inter alia:
"I would like to say to all these people that I don't care if they wear frock-coats, and funny suits and hats covered in plastic bags, and insist on wearing their hair in ringlets (if they're male) or covered up by wigs (if they're female), but I do think they could treat their neighbours with a bit more courtesy and just a little bit more respect.
When I moved to Stamford Hill, 12 years ago, I didn't realise that goyim were about as welcome in the Hasidic Jewish shops as Martin Luther King at a Klu [sic] Klux Klan convention. I didn't realise that a purchase by a goy was a crime to be punished with monosyllabic terseness, or that bus seats were a potential source of contamination, or that road signs, and parking restrictions, were for people who hadn't been chosen by God"
And now, in the same newspaper (Independent, 23 December 2010), she’s vented her rage at finding herself on the Wiesenthal Center's roll of infamy.

'The Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal died five years ago, at 96. Just, perhaps, before he could hunt me down, too', she opens, before scorning the work of the Center, and going on to say:

'They [the Center], and their friends in this country, seem pretty damn serious that anyone, anywhere, who criticises the behaviour of anyone who happens to be Jewish should be stuck in the stocks and slapped with a label that marks them out as not just racist, but a hater of a particular, entire race, so that when anyone puts their name in Google, what pops up is words like "anti-Semitic", "prick" and "bigot". They seem pretty damn serious that their support for "Jewish Rights in the World" translates into direct support of Israel, too. "Had enough of Israel-bashing?" asks the Wiesenthal website. "Act now!" To speed things along, it has even written the letter. "To the President, Prime Minister and Leaders of Israel," it says. "We are with you!! Don't heed the world's Israel-bashers. We, Jewish and non-Jewish lovers of peace, are with you in your just defensive war against Hamas terror."
And then come a splenetic dig at Israel:
'It doesn't matter if a UN report says that Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla "betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality". It doesn't matter if its soldiers use weapons banned by the Geneva Convention. It doesn't matter if they use a nine-year-old child as a human shield. It doesn't matter if its citizens raze homes and build new ones on someone else's land. Or if they destroy their neighbours' crops and treat them like criminals. It doesn't matter what they do. "We stand," says the Wiesenthal website, "in solidarity." And we know what they call those who don’t.' http://www.independent.co.uk/.../christina-patterson/christina-patterson-how-i-was-%20smeared-as-an-antisemite-2167310.html
In the Telegraph (23 December) Guy Walters, who wrote the book Hunting Evil, in which he denigrated Simon Wiesenthal, raced to Ms Patterson’s aid in a repellent little piece – accompanied by a photograph of several Chasidim in Stamford Hill (who have therefore been defamed by implication) – entitled "It’s not anti-Semitic to say that Hasidic Jews are intolerant of goyim", which supports her arguments by repeating website slurs on Chasidim. (For shame!)

'What, precisely, is so wrong with what Patterson is saying?' he begins.
 'First, it is clear from her biography that she is hardly likely to be chummy with Nick Griffin and David Irving. According to The Independent’s website, she is a "former director of the Poetry Society, and literary programmer at the Southbank Centre". With these credentials, I hope it is not bigoted of me to assume that Patterson is perhaps not a member of the BNP. For heaven’s sake, she writes a column for The Independent.'
(Now that is unintentionally funny: I mean, does he really think that only the far right is antisemitic and that writing for The Independent, stomping ground of Robert Fisk, instils reassurance!)

'In her column', he goes on to say, making a slur or two of his own, 'she cites the example of a black friend being made to feel unwelcome in a local fishmonger’s shop. Does that sound an unlikely scenario? I think not. Hasidic Jews have a reputation for being intolerant of those outside their world. It’s clear, that by moving to Stamford Hill, Patterson witnesses this intolerance every day. Let’s get this straight: Patterson is telling the truth.'
You can read all of Walters’s gutter-sniping here: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/guywalters/100069450/its-not-antisemitic/

I’ve made my own quick list of ten "dishonourable mentions" – slurs that were uttered or issued during the year in England’s green and pleasant land. I’ve barely scratched the surface, for I’ve made no attempt to trawl the antisemitic comments that appear on the Guardian’s Comment is Free (CiF) site and similar sites day in, day out. Patterson's and Walters's pieces (above) certainly qualify for inclusion. These are the other eight, in broad categorical order; they’re representative of the slurs that can be found without any trouble at all on CiF and even on the comments sections of the online Times and Telegraph, though their sources were elsewhere:

'Bloody Jews, bugger the Jews, I’ve no sympathy for them.... Israel is terrible, the massacres, Plan Dalet, the ethnic cleansing, they’re like the Nazis, they’re the same as the Nazis…" Unnamed academic at a university dinner in front of a shocked Eve Garrard (http://www.fighthatred.com/recent-events/.../774-table-talk-by-eve-garrard )
'There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system.' Labour MP (now ex-MP) Martin Linton
'Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby.' Lord Phillips of Sudbury (Lib Dem life peer)

"The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide.
....Why do we let it continue? Is it Holocaust guilt? ... Is it the power of the pro-Israel lobby here and in the USA?
....Or is it the need, maybe, to have an aircraft carrier called Israel in the Middle East from which to launch attacks on countries such as Iran? The cynic might think that that is why HMS 'Ark Royal' and the Harriers can be dispensed with - we already have a static 'Ark Royal' in a strategic position, armed to the teeth and ready to fight, provided that we do not offend Israel.
I feel sorry for the people of Israel sometimes. Their government's policies have made that country the cause of a lot of the world's problems, yet now they are seen as the remedy and the base for the West to fight back." Baroness [Jenny] Tonge (Lib Dem life peer)
"The Jewish population in the UK is 280,000 or 0.46 per cent. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons so, as a proportion, Jewish entitlement is only three seats.
With 24 seats they are eight times over-represented. Which means, of course, that other groups must be under-represented, including Muslims.
The UK's Muslim population is 2.4 million or 3.93 per cent. Their proportional entitlement is 25 seats but they have only eight – a serious shortfall. If Muslims were over-represented to the same extent as the Jews (i.e. eight times) they’d have 200 seats.
Jewish over-representation is only part of our problem. An even bigger worry is the huge number of non-Jew Zionists that have stealthily infiltrated every level of political and institutional life.
....Too many pro-Israel MPs speak and act as if they would rather wave the Israeli flag than the Union Jack....
 It is business as usual between Britain and the rogue state’s amoral thugs, as Sir Gerald Kaufman calls them.” Veteran judeophobic ranter Stuart Littlewood
http://www.redress.cc/global/slittlewood20100521
"So is it true or not? Did Israelis remove or did they not remove body parts? That is all we want to know,quite simple really" tomeisner2 [Tom Eisner, a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist] supporting Baroness Tonge’s call for an enquiry into the behaviour of Israeli medical teams in earthquake-stricken Haiti http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/tonge-tied (See what I mean, incidentally, about "The Organ of Anglo-Jewry" allowing antisemitism on its blogs? – this is one such post among dozens that remained unmoderated!)
"Israel ... wants the Holocaust of Jews to be unique. That way Jews are uniquely privileged to do things others are not." Anti-Israel activist Rod Cox rodcoxandgaza.blogspot.com/.../turkey-sending-ten-boats-to-break-gaza.html
"In case you missed it, the jokes in question are: 'I’ve been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well…that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.'
I think the problem here is that the show’s producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal was an appropriate target for satire. The Trust’s ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds
..... It’s tragic for such a great institution but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying." Comedian Frankie Boyle responding to his rebuke by the BBC Trust  http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2010/04/30/10922/franke_boyle%3A_bbc_are_cowards#ixzz18flUbGpP

Thursday, 23 December 2010

“The Whole Thing Has a Nazi Smell About It”: How Britain’s Palestine Censor de-judaised a Christmas Message

Just before Christmas in 1940 Dr Norman Maclean, a chaplain to King George V and an ex-moderator of the Church of Scotland, who happened to be visiting Jerusalem, was invited to write a Christmas message for inclusion in the Palestine Post (since 1950 the Jerusalem Post) at the invitation of its editor, Gershon Agron.
Doing his utmost to raise morale during that dark period, when, since France had fallen and America had not yet entered the conflict, Britain and its Commonwealth faced the Nazi barbarians alone, the good clergyman entitled his message “Sursum Corda” (“Lift Up Your Hearts”).

Mindful that Chanukah and Christmas coincided that year, he referred in his message to the “world of wonder and mystery, in which the threads of life are so closely interwoven that were it not for the Jewish festival there would never have been a Christian festival, for the one is the child of the other”.

Inexplicably, that passage never made it to Agron’s newspaper – it was cut by the Palestine Censor employed by the British government during the Second World War.

Dr Maclean also wrote: “it is totalitarians today who must be changed from instruments of torture and tyranny into men of goodwill ‘ere peace can come”. For some reason the Palestine Censor disapproved, and through that passage too went his blue pencil.

The Censor also struck this through: “the Angels did not proclaim peace to gangsters, robbers, and mass murderers”.

And this:

“Bethlehem will conquer Berchtesgaden. In that great hope Christians and Jews can rejoice together. The Jews no less than the Christians. For it is the Jews who have given the world a universal religion. They gave the world the priceless gift of monotheism that through Bethlehem has gone until the ends of the earth. It is no exaggeration to say that there is nobody in the world today for whom life is not different because of Jerusalem or Bethlehem.”
That’s right. Blue-pencilled as well.

In fact, 61 lines of Dr Maclean’s 100-line text were deleted by the Palestine Censor, so that only 39 remained.

As Time and Tide (a British literary and current affairs journal of liberal bent, founded in 1920 by Lady Rhondda) indignantly noted when it broke the story at the beginning of 1942 – over a year after the event – that official even reworked the translation from the Latin “Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis” to excise the words “to men of goodwill”.

Time and Tide maintained that the Censor’s changes constituted a “British version of the Index Expurgatorius”.

And it concluded, not unreasonably:

“If any underlying idea can be traced in the Censor’s excisions, it seems to suppress the connection between Christianity and Judaism. This connection is asserted by all the Christian Churches, while the Nazis deny it by suppression and perversion of evidence. Is Bethlehem not to conquer Berchtesgaden?”
Following Time and Tide’s exposure of the story, a leading article in the Manchester Guardian (as pro-Zionist as its egregious successor, the London-based Guardian, is anti- ) called for an explanation of the Censor’s “eccentricities”, adding:
 “There seems to be no reason for the fantastic exercise except that the Palestine censorship must have wanted to hide the origins of Christianity in the Jewish race and religion. But why? The Colonial Office, which is the Ministry responsible to Parliament, should be made to explain.”
On 10 March 1942, in the House of Lords, a Welsh peer and former Liberal MP, Baron Davies of Llandinam (pictured; 1880-1944), who took a keen interest in international affairs, made a stinging indictment of British policy in Palestine.  He cited the Censor's behaviour (italicised passage, below) as yet another example of Britain's "policy of appeasement" towards the Arabs. 
'I always imagined that when the war started the policy of appeasement was dead, but now I do not believe it is, at any rate so far as Palestine is concerned. It will be remembered that on the very first day of the war a Jewish Congress was sitting in Geneva and they dispatched Dr Weizmann post-haste to the Prime Minister, Mr [Neville] Chamberlain, in order to assure our Government that the manpower and the material resources of the Jews were at our disposal in carrying on this war. There were two ways in which Jewish man-power could have been used to assist our war effort – first of all, recruitment in Palestine itself, and secondly, recruitment of Jews from abroad. Unfortunately these offers have never been accepted and given effect to. I believe at the outset, when Mr Malcolm MacDonald was Colonial Secretary, he turned them down, and he of course, was one of the arch-appeasers, who was not only prepared to sacrifice other people in a policy of appeasement but even to make a present of our ports on the West coast of Ireland which has caused us intense embarrassment ever since.
After him came Lord Lloyd. He was always regarded as a friend of the Arabs, but he realized the importance of accepting with both hands the offers which had come from the Jewish Agency of help in order to prosecute the war. He, I believe, did away with the stupid regulation of parity between the Jews and the Arabs in the matter of recruitment. Up to that time, I believe, only a certain number of Jews were allowed to be recruited, and that number could not exceed the number of Arabs who volunteered. Another thing which he did was to abolish the distinction between the combatant and the non-combatant categories in which Jews could be enlisted. At the outset they were allowed only to enlist in the Pioneers, but subsequently they were also allowed to enlist in the combatant units of the British Army, and many of them did so. The third thing which he did was to agree, in principle at any rate, to the formation of a Jewish Division, which would be recruited overseas, recruited in what are now – but were not then – enemy-occupied countries and in South America and other places. This Division was to be prepared to fight anywhere – not only in the Middle East but in any theatre of war. Unfortunately, Lord Lloyd passed away, and as your Lordships are aware he was succeeded by my noble friend Lord Moyne, and, regrettably, this proposal for the Jewish Division, as he explained to us here a few weeks ago, did not come to fruition. It was postponed, and more or less rejected. Now, of course, all these Jews who could have been mobilized at that time in what are now enemy-occupied countries have become, in effect, slaves of Hitler, and they are entirely lost to us.
I cannot help feeling that we have been guilty of pouring cold water upon the enthusiasm of the Jews to assist us and to aid our cause. In fact, there has been a succession of snubs. First of all, as I have said, we insisted upon the stupid rule of parity of enlistment. Then we said the Jews must only enlist in Pioneer units – they must not be allowed to join combatant units. Then we refused to allow them to have their own badges, or to form distinctively Jewish units. I cannot understand why, because that concession has been made to the Druzes. Fifty thousand Druzes in Syria have been allowed to form a Druze Legion alongside the British Forces in Syria, and each of the allied nations gets credit for whatever it contributes to the common cause. If it could be done in the case of the Druzes, why not in the case of the Jews? Then, I believe, we have a Division in Egypt which has been recruited from the Senussi tribe. They are called the Senussi Division. May I ask why is it that the same privilege, or, at any rate, the same treatment, should not have been accorded to the Jews? After all, any person who is prepared to wear a badge knowing that if he is caught by the enemy he will be put up against a wall and shot simply because he is wearing that badge, shows an offensive spirit and also that he has taken his courage in both hands.
Lastly, we have never recognized, so far as I am aware, the services which Jews have already rendered on all fronts in the Middle East. If you go to their commanders you will hear lots of praise of the Jews, but when it comes to reporting it in the Press or to extending any official recognition, not a word has been said or published. And so I cannot help feeling that this is a stupid and a wrong policy....
I must apologize to the House for continuing for so long, but I wish to bring to the notice of your Lordships two more instances which illustrate the kind of atmosphere which has prevailed in Palestine, and the attitude of our Administration there. Twelve months ago – it took a long time before it was published in this country – Dr Norman Maclean, an ex-Moderator of the Church of Scotland and a King's Chaplain, chanced to be in Jerusalem. He was asked by the editor of the Palestine Post to write an article for publication in that paper because it so happened that the celebration of Christmas by the Christians and the celebration of the Jewish Feast of Lights coincided that year. He was invited, as I say, to send an article for publication in this newspaper. What was the result? The result was in the publication which I hold in my hand. When this article appeared, the Censor had got hold of it and out of 139 lines he had struck out 100 lines. If your Lordships will read the article you will find that there is not a single word about any political subject at all. It is simply an endeavour to put the case from the standpoint of the Christians and from the standpoint of the Jews. I cannot help feeling that it was not only an affront to the Jews but an affront also to the Christians that this article should be dealt with in the way that it was. I wonder whether the censor has been reprimanded. The whole thing has a Nazi smell about it, and I cannot help feeling that it does show the extraordinary way in which our Administration carries on affairs in Palestine.
There is a second instance to which I must draw the attention of the House, and which happened quite recently. Dr Weizmann, who, as your Lordships are aware, is the head of the Jewish Agency, sent a cable to Palestine on the occasion of a great recruiting campaign, in order to encourage people there to join not Jewish regiments but the British Army. He said: "My heartiest greetings to the Palestine Auxiliary Territorial Service at the outset of its recruiting campaign. I know how eagerly our women will welcome this opportunity to share with the ten thousand of their men already serving in defence of their lives, homes and of all that Palestine means to them. That was the message, but the censor refused to allow it to be published in the Jewish papers in Palestine. I cannot help wondering how we can ever hope to win this war if this is the way in which we treat our friends and their efforts to help us in fighting the enemy. It is a stupid policy. It brings us into contempt with the Arabs, and it brings us into disrepute with our friends".
Let me recall to you the view expressed by the present Prime Minister as recently as May, 1939. This is what he said: "To whom was the pledge of the Balfour Declaration made? It was not made to the Jews in Palestine, it was not made to those who were actually living in Palestine. It was made to World Jewry and in particular to the Zionist associations. It was in consequence, and on the basis, of this pledge that we received important help in the war, and that after the war we received from the Allied and Associated Powers the Mandate for Palestine. This pledge of a home of refuge, of an asylum, was not made to the Jews in Palestine but to the Jews outside Palestine, to that vast, unhappy mass of scattered, persecuted, wandering Jews whose intense, unchanging, unconquerable desire has been for a National Home.... It is not with the Jews in Palestine that we have now or at any future time to deal, but with World Jewry, with Jews all over the world." Does not that apply to these unfortunate refugees who sought refuge in Palestine, who journeyed there on the Patria and on the Struma, who were refused admission, and so many of whom were sent to their doom? I cannot help feeling, therefore, that this policy is not really the Prime Minister's policy; I cannot believe that he has joined the ranks of the appeasers.
I come now to another declaration, which was made in November of last year, when General Smuts said: "The case for the Balfour Declaration has become overwhelmingly stronger. Instead of the horror of new ghettos in the twentieth century, let us carry out the promise and open up the National Home. The case has become one not merely of promises and International Law, but for the conscience of mankind. We dare not fold our hands without insulting the human spirit itself." That, I think, goes to the root of the matter. This is not merely a question of expediency; this is really a moral question. Since Hitler has for years past made the Jews the target of his persecution and of his outbursts of hate, I feel that anyone who refuses to accept the challenge is playing a double-faced game and is injuring the cause for which we are fighting. I do not believe that there can be any neutrality in this matter, and I believe that the whole attitude of the administration in Palestine has been in complete contradiction of our declared war aims, the rescue from oppression of all the oppressed peoples of the world.
.... I am sure that we shall not make a real effort to win this war if we go on in this way, and indeed if we continue on these lines it is doubtful whether we shall win it. I ask myself whether we shall deserve to win it if we treat in this way people who are prepared to help us to the limit of their capacity, and who arc willing to pour out their blood and their treasure for our cause. I am not a pro-Jew or a pro-Arab, and I hope that most of us, at any rate, take that line and will welcome assistance from both Jews and Arabs. If the Arabs want to have their own Division and their own units, why cannot they have them, and why cannot the Jews have them as well?
I know that the Jews are not popular in this country, for reasons which we all know, at this moment, but I should like to point out that there are good Jews and bad Jews, just as there are good Christians and bad Christians. Although we see in the Law Courts every day "black-market" prosecutions, and so on, obviously the thing to do with people who are guilty of these offences is to put them up against a wall and shoot them, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. That would soon put a stop to this sort of thing. That, however, does not mean that the Jews in Palestine are of this type. They, as I have said, have helped us, and are helping us even now; they are exhorting their people to join our Forces and to fight against their arch enemies. I think that it is only reasonable, just, fair and wise, therefore, to give them every encouragement and ever recognition.'

Baron Wedgwood (pictured), that genuine and stalwart philosemite about whom I blogged in October ("We Who Have Urged Patience on the Jews..."), followed Davies in addressing the House, and was characteristically blunt and forthright in his condemnation of British policy:
'I think that the whole gist of the speech of my noble friend Lord Davies points to one self-evident truth, which is that the Administration in Palestine is anti-semitic. I think that all our troubles in connexion with that country have come from this constant anti-semitic bias of the Palestine Administration. The evidence of that anti-semitism has been given in the speech of my noble friend, and, in addition to the things which he mentioned, I should like to refer to certain other facts. I will quote as evidence the toleration shown by the Administration to the Arab side in the riots of four years ago, and the escape of El Fawzi and the Mufti from that country when the riots were suppressed and their capture could have been effected. Then there was the question of the imprisonment of those Jews who dared to drill. They attempted to drill with the rifles that had been issued to them. It was against the law. They were all sent to prison, with sentences which range up to seven years' imprisonment for merely drilling in order to learn how to defend themselves. Some of them are still in prison. That, I think, is evidence of anti-semitism.
Then there was the prohibition of the right to buy land in Palestine. You do not find any other part of the British Empire where a certain number of British citizens are denied the right to buy land, except in the Punjab where it is denied to the Hindus. I think they may buy land which was not previously owned by Moslems. But the Jews in their home land are refused permission to buy or lease land. Another piece of evidence was the case of the partition of Palestine. You will remember that the first partition included Galilee in the Jews' part of Palestine. The Administration there objected very strongly. A fresh Commission was appointed which acceded to their point of view that Galilee should be excluded from the Jewish area. In all these cases there may be two sides to the question, but I am merely citing them as evidence of the consistently anti-semitic attitude of the British Administration in Palestine.
I pass to the case which has just been referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Davies, the case of the Patria. The Patria had about 1,300 Jews on board. It got into Haifa harbour and they were not allowed to land—they were to be sent on to Mauritius. The Jews blew a hole in the bottom of the ship and those who managed to get ashore were allowed to land: the rest were drowned. The Patria case was a pretty bad one, but at any rate those Jews were allowed to go to Mauritius; they were not to be sent back to Hitler. But what I would draw your Lordships' attention to, because it is such evidence of anti-semitism, is the fact that [High Commissioner] Sir Harold MacMichael on that occasion went to the microphone and broadcast messages to the Jews in which he specially pointed out that even at the end of the war these people whom he was sending to Mauritius would not be allowed to land in Palestine. It was not necessary to say that at all: there was no reason for it; besides, who knows what will happen at the end of the war? It was simply that he wanted to show that he did not want these people to have a chance of feeling safe or coming to Palestine. I think it was a particularly brutal thing, when you remember that the sons and other relations of those people on the Patria were actually waiting on the shore ready to receive them.
Next I come to the consequences of the Patria, which everybody realizes, except the Administration there – the case of the Struma. The Struma was not allowed to get as far as Haifa, because after the Patria trouble the Government arranged with the Turkish Government not to allow ships to sail for Palestine. Therefore the Struma never reached Haifa and remained in the Bosporus. It remained there for three months – 760 people on a ship of 200 tons, with no food and no medical appliances. Nothing more nearly approaching the Black Hole of Calcutta can be imagined. Meanwhile the Colonial Office were pestered with telegrams from America and all over the world, begging them to allow these people to proceed to Palestine. I do not know who it was that refused, but, moved by some feeling of humanity, they said, "Oh well, if we must have any Jews, take the children between eleven and sixteen." I do not know whether that offer ever reached the Struma, but I can imagine that the parents of the Jews on board the Struma would not have accepted the offer – I doubt whether the children would. They could not take the little children, but they could take the children between eleven and sixteen.
Your Lordships know that when garrisons surrender they sometimes pick out by lot the people who will be shot: here the Palestine Administration were more humane, they picked out those who might be saved. But they were not saved. Whether they had the chance or not I do not know. They went back, or rather the ship went back – back to Hitler. You must remember what had happened to Jews in Rumania already. They had had thousands murdered. There were tales of people being roasted alive in bakers' ovens. Every atrocity and inhumanity had been perpetrated on that unfortunate people. The Rumanians are almost worse than Hitler. We sent the Jews back there. It is no wonder they did not go. But when the sinking did take place we got the final, beautiful comment of The Times correspondent in Palestine. I am told that this gentleman is a clergyman of the Church of England. This is what he said, as quoted from The Times: "It is not fully appreciated by outsiders, or even by the Jews, that Hitler's policy would be doubly served if Great Britain were jockeyed into the position of having to accept in Palestine any Jewish refugees forced out of countries under Hitler's rule, for this would reduce the number of Jews in those countries and would arouse disquiet among the Palestinian Arabs." That, I think, is typical of the frame of mind not only of this Times correspondent, but of the whole Palestine Administration, and it is on such evidence as that that I base my first charge that the Administration there is anti-semitic.
The argument that has been used to me, and I think is going to be used here this afternoon, is that it would have been dangerous to allow these refugees to come into Palestine because they might contain among their numbers some who were in Hitler's pay. That was said at the time of the sinking of the Patria. That is why most of the people who managed to swim ashore then are still interned, though some have been allowed out to do work of national importance. It has been the argument used in this country. It has been used by my noble friend Lord Croft [a right-wing peer who was Under-Secretary of State for War] – we ought not to allow refugees into this country because some of them might be in Hitler's pay. That is the argument on which we based the internment of all refugees a year and a half ago—some of them might be in Hitler's pay. There has never been a particle of evidence which would convince anybody that any of the refugees have been in Hitler's pay. It is manifestly improbable that Hitler would employ a Jew in any circumstances. It is ridiculous to suppose that even our own Intelligence system would employ in Germany a person who spoke German imperfectly. There is the further reason that the Jews have certainly more cause to hate Hitler than anybody else in this world. In Palestine you have the additional argument that Hitler can get Arab agents more easily and cheaply than anybody else.
That allegation regarding the Jews is a bare-faced excuse which supplies fresh evidence of anti-semitism on the part of people who admit quite openly, "We do not like Jews" What is the excuse given by the Colonial Office? I am sorry it will be given by my noble friend opposite [Colonial Secretary Viscount Cranborne, the prominent Tory politician who eventually succeeded as 5th Marquess of Salisbury]. The need to appease the Arabs! The Arabs have rebelled. They have never fought for us, and they never will fight for us. The probability is, if the Germans get there, they will fight against us. Hitler's propaganda continues to advertise and jeer at our weakness in Palestine. It keeps on telling the Arabs in Palestine that this is a Jewish war. Mussolini, I believe, avers that he is the protector of the Mahomedans, and indeed we have seen in Iraq how successful this propaganda was. The rebellion in Iraq was due principally, I believe, to the weakness we showed in Palestine – a weakness that indicated fear. Iraq rebelled, and we repressed the rebellion with the most perfect kid-glove diplomacy. Egypt will not fight. By this sort of appeasement we only give Orientals the impression that we fear them. Are we afraid of them? If we are afraid of them, arm the Jews, and then we shall not need to fear the Arabs. If we are not afraid of the Arabs, then we really ought not to continue conciliating our enemies at the expense of our friends.
The last example I shall give of this policy of appeasing our enemies and injuring our friends is the refusal of the Colonial Office to allow Home Guards to be formed in Palestine. It is four months since some of us went to see Lord Moyne on this question. We thought it was going to go all right, but nothing has been done. The danger has certainly become more obvious—danger not only from Germany, but also from Japan. Why has nothing been done? For the same reason - because we must not annoy the Arabs, because of this continual passion for appeasing at the expense, in this case, not merely of the Jews, but of our honour. If we abandoned the Jews in Palestine as we abandoned the unfortunate Chinese in Malaya and Hong Kong, we should blacken our history beyond repair. To refuse people the power to defend themselves, to refuse them the right to carry a rifle, own a rifle, and to drill when their most deadly enemy is on the borders, with a knife at their throats, is neither the act of a sane man nor of a gentleman. That is the crime we are committing in Palestine to-day. I have said that the real reason of all our troubles in Palestine is that the Administration does not like Jews. All other reasons they may give are excuses on the part of a pro-Arab, pro-Italian clique who are the enemies of this country and the abettors of Fascism.
What is the Secretary of State going to do about it? Is the policy going to change? We have had twenty-two years of this policy – this attempt to appease the Arabs, this continual bias against the Jews. Now we are in the middle of a desperate war fighting for our own lives. Cannot we, even now, revise that policy and provide ourselves with friends who can fight and die - friends who dare not surrender. If we had that support, our morale in this country would be better than it is. We might get as good an example from these people in Palestine as we are getting from the Russian morale. We are throwing it all away through a stupid prejudice carried to excess in Palestine and, believe me, my Lords, carried to excess in this country also.'

His Master's Voice – From the NIF's Mouth to the "Organ of Anglo-Jewry"

Snow-bound in her igloo somewhere in the ice-covered rural landscape of the British Isles, this sun-loving Aussie gal wasn't able to pick up her hard copy of last week's Jewish Chronicle (17 December) until the lanes became passable. 

And what did I find? Why, the JC and the New Israel Fund tucked up in bed together.  Yes, cosily between the JC's sheets is a loose tabloid-sized four-page insert calling itself New Israel News ("NIF Publication", Winter 2010).  Under the banner headline "New debate welcomed by NIF", the insert's main frontpage article declares: 'The move by Mick Davis and leading figures in Anglo-Jewry, to engage in "honest and open debate" about the policies and actions of the Israeli government, has been welcomed by the Chair of the New Israel Fund (UK), Nicholas Saphir.' 

The article generously quotes Mr Saphir (pictured), and when we turn to page two we find – lo and behold! – an article by that gentleman entitled "Diaspora Jewry must speak up".  At the foot of the article is the note "Nicholas Saphir is Chair of the New Israel Fund" – he’s also, as a matter of fact, a trustee of the Kessler Foundation, which owns the Jewish Chronicle, as was noted in my recent post called "Screwing the Right".

Yes, folks, that’s the same New Israel Fund whose dodgier initiatives have been exposed by NGO Monitor, as I indicated in that same post.  And that’s the same Jewish Chronicle which has yet to feed its readers all the hard sober facts about the existential threats faced by Israel – for example, I have looked in vain yet again for anything about the possibly domino-effect recognition of a Palestinian State with its borders pre-Six Day War (those "Auschwitz borders" for Israel) by several South American nations (four at last count; the JC hasn't even reported one!).  I thought this news, which was ignored by thewebsite, would be in the hard copy.  It's been a futile search, and I don't think I need Specsavers.

Oh –  there is the now seemingly obligatory article denouncing the EDL, which according to the JC's headline has 'left the BNP a mere sideshow'. The report claims that the anti-fascist monitor Searchlight (whose representative is the source for the report and its analysis), "will launch a think tank to examine new forms of extremism such as the anti-Muslim politics of the EDL and totalitarian Islam".  Ah, so! We live in interesting times.

On page 26 the JC carries an article by Isi Leibler.  (Although he’s bestrode the Jewish world like a Colossus this past quarter-century and the “Organ of Anglo-Jewry” might be expected to be au fait with his name, they’ve in two places managed to misspell it as Liebler.)  His article declares – in response to criticism in the JC last week by the left-leaning journalist Jonathan Freedland – that he stands by his criticism of Mick Davis and reiterating why.   

As usual, he's a fount of sagacity.  The article, reposted to his blog, says:
'In these pages last week, Jonathan Freedland accused me of indulging in a “viciously personal” attack on, and misrepresenting the views of, Mick Davis.
Let me begin with a clarification. My source was the Jewish Chronicle itself, which summarised Davis’s remarks by stating: "One of British Jewry’s most senior leaders this week shattered a long-standing taboo by publicly criticising Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the peace process, voicing moral reservations about some of Israel’s policies and calling for criticism of Israel to be voiced freely throughout the community."
In an exchange of correspondence initiated by Mr Davis, who also claimed I misrepresented him, I responded that if the JC report was incorrect or if quotations attributed to him were false, he was duty bound to request a correction - something he failed to do for obvious reasons.
I am personally unacquainted with Mick Davis and hold no animus against him even when he depicts me as "that mad Australian who attacks everyone".
My criticism was not about freedom of expression or the right of Davis to criticise Israel. My concern is about the propriety of a person holding one of the most senior positions in a major Jewish community publicly questioning the morality and “courage” of the democratically elected leadership of Israel and, from the vantage-point of London, having the gall to challenge Israeli security policies which have life-and-death implications for Israelis.
It is in this context that Davis made the bizarre statement: "I think the government of Israel has to recognise that their actions directly impact on me as a Jew living in London, the UK. When they do good things, it is good for me, when they do bad things it’s bad for me. And the impact on me is as significant as it is on Jews living in Israel… I want them to recognise that."
I am also appalled that, instead of rallying Jews to support an embattled Jewish state, Davis called on them to join in the criticism of Israel. It is not surprising that Freedland, who admits he condemned Davis for speaking at a rally supporting Israel, now rushes to defend him.
Having occupied senior leadership positions in national and global Jewish organisations, I reaffirm the view that a person heading bodies like the UJIA and JLC [Jewish Leadership Council] is totally out of line in making such remarks. I would further submit that, in the United Kingdom, where demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel - not to mention antisemitism - have reached record levels, it is the height of irresponsibility for a communal leader to behave in this manner, knowing that such remarks represent fuel for our enemies.
No other Jewish community in the world would tolerate such outbursts from a leader. American Jews are more inclined towards liberalism than their Anglo-Jewish counterparts but one could not visualise any mainstream American Jewish leader expressing such views.
My vexation is not merely that Davis still fails to appreciate that he was out of line, but that most Anglo-leaders lack the backbone to condemn his behaviour or have become so adjusted to living in an environment hostile to Israel that they cannot even appreciate the lack of propriety when one of their leaders acts in such a manner.
It was shameful that Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom was obliged to intervene and say what should have been conveyed to Mick Davis by his peers.
I hope Mr Davis resumes his positive work on behalf of Israel but refrains from unleashing his personal criticism until such time as he retires from his leadership positions. Had he not held office when he made his remarks, I doubt whether anyone would have noticed.
Anglo-Zionist pioneers of the calibre of Chaim Weizmann would turn in their graves were they aware that those who consider themselves Jewish leaders could voice public condemnations of Israel, when the embattled Jewish state is a facing such enormous pressures from a biased and largely hostile world.'

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

It Ain't 'Arf Easy Being Green ...

The council of Marrickville, an inner suburb of Sydney, is believed to be the first local council in the great land of Oz  just look at its size compared to that of beleaguered valiant Israel  to pledge its allegiance to the grotesque and infamous BDS movement. The Greens and Labor-dominated council has resolved, by ten votes to two, to dissolve links with organisations that support the Israeli "occupation", and to ban any academic, government, sporting or cultural exchanges with Israel. (Hat tip: reader Shirlee)

It’s reported that Greens councillor Cathy Peters, who introduced the motion at last week's meeting, said the council’s move reflects the feelings of Marrickville's multicultural community and its sister-city relationship with Bethlehem.

Comments one local person, most sensibly, of these Marrickville dhimmiwits (http://www.australianislamistmonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3961:australian-council-disgraces-itself&catid=205&Itemid=59):

"When Greens and Labor have too much power on local or federal levels, biased, whacky things happen. As we have seen in various ways over the past few years. Take a look at this recent absurd move of Marrickville Council ...
I am not Jewish but I am utterly appalled at this decision. Israel is a tiny land surrounded by aggressive Muslim nations and ... the aim of those nations is to deny Israel the right to exist.
Marrickville Council you have got it all wrong – you have sided with the aggressors, the bullies, the friends of Hitler and those whom Hitler considered his friends in their antisemitism.
It is a nonsense to say that this move represents the community, who may have voted Green just to preserve the environment and stop pollution in an inner city suburb.
Let us hope people of many ethnic backgrounds from all over Sydney protest this and show that it does not represent the way they think – it is the reflection of a prejudiced group of tunnel visioned ideologues."
And Vic Alhadeff of the Jewish Board of Deputies in New South Wales aptly describes the boycott as ''an exercise in rank hypocrisy that has everything to do with local politics and nothing to do with the realities of the Middle East''.

I do hope that the Marrickville Council and BDS-ers everywhere will prove that they are not in the least hypocritical by sweeping from their lives all traces of the items in the above picture, all made in the plucky little country that in their greenery, stupidity, hatred and malice they are hell-bent on bringing to its knees.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Prejudicing Public Opinion against Israel – Al Beeb and the History Channel

With its loathsome left-liberal bias against the interests of Britain, the United States, and the West in general, the BBC has long dealt in half-truthes and distortions where reportage and (all too often gratuitous and unwarranted) commentary regarding Israel and "Palestine" is concerned. But it seems that, sadly, the History Channel, which puts out so many fascinating and popular programmes, can’t be trusted for scrupulous accuracy or fairness either. The following, courtesy of J-Wire, is by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer. It’s entitled "Palestine – the BBC and the History Channel Bias Distort Debate"  (I've added illustrations of anti-Israel demos in London and the USA).

The BBC and the History Channel stand accused of denigrating Israel by the use of factually incorrect statements or misleading and deceptive statements that are factually correct but only tell half the story. Take this gem from the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11988018:

"Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 war. It withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005."

No mention is made of the fact that Israel also simultaneously evacuated all 8000 Jewish civilians who had been living there as well. Was the omission of the words "and 8000 Jewish civilians" due to space constraints?

The BBC did not have to mention that such evacuation was done unilaterally to advance the peace process, such evacuation was subsequently followed by a Hamas takeover of Gaza that threatens any further progress in peacefully ending the conflict and that the civilian population of Israel has been subjected to incessant and indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza ever since the evacuation was completed.

However – failing to mention those 8000 civilians in this news item as part of Israel’s pull out from Gaza can only be viewed as an attempt to downgrade the extent and significance of Israel’s withdrawal.

The History Channel’s release http://www.history.com/this-day-in.../un-votes-for-partition-of-palestine for one of its programmes illustrates a similar bias that is ugly in its contemplation.

Consider these statements:

"Despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state"


No mention is made of the fact that the UN also voted for the creation of an independent Arab State.  Again the inclusion of just nine words "and an independent Arab state which the Arabs rejected" would have clearly indicated that the UN had not only offered the Jews a state but also offered the Arabs one as well – which the Arabs rejected.

The failure to insert those missing words carries the innuendo that only the Jews were offered a state in 1947 but the Arabs missed out and begs the question – isn’t it time the UN now rectified that injustice in 2010?

"The modern conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine dates back to the 1910s, when both groups laid claim to the British-controlled territory"

Actually the conflict had started about thirty years earlier – so that chunk of history is either unknown to the History Channel’s researchers or was deliberately overlooked.

The territory was not "British-controlled" until the conclusion of World War 1. It was part of the Ottoman Empire until then. 

Pity the poor students who use this material in their projects – and their teachers – who rely on this material as being accurate and reliable.

"The native Palestinian Arabs sought to stem Jewish immigration and set up a secular Palestinian state"

Really? Are the history buffs at the History Channel unaware of the following facts*?

"The three main political organizations in Palestine-the Arab Club, the Literary Club, and the Muslim-Christian Association (the lack of mention of Palestine in their names is revealing) — all worked for union with Syria. The first two went farthest, calling outright for rule by Prince Faysal. Amin al-Husayni was president of the Arab Club; the extremism which later made him notorious as the leader of Palestinian separatism (and an ally of Hitler) already showed itself in 1920, when he instigated riots for union with Syria. A member of the Arab Club, Kamil al-Budayri, co-edited from September 1919 the newspaper Suriya al-Janubiya (“Southern Syria”) which advocated Palestine’s incorporation into Greater Syria.

Even the Muslim-Christian Association, an organization of traditional leaders-men who expected to rule if Palestine became independent-demanded incorporation in Greater Syria. Its president insisted that “Palestine or Southern Syria-an integral part of the one and indivisible Syria-must not in any case or for any pretext be detached.” The Muslim-Christian Association held a Congress in early 1919 to draw up demands for the Paris Peace Conference. It declared that Palestine, a “part of Arab Syria,” is permanently connected to Syria through “national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic, and geographical bonds,” and resolved that “Southern Syria or Palestine should not be separated from the independent Arab Syrian government.” Musa Kazim al-Husayni, Head of the Jerusalem Town Council (in effect, mayor) told a Zionist interlocutor in October 1919: “We demand no separation from Syria.” The slogan heard everywhere in 1918-19 was “Unity, Unity, From the Taurus [mountains in Turkey] to Rafah [in Gaza], Unity, Unity."

"Beginning in 1929, Arabs and Jews openly fought in Palestine"

Staggeringly the History Channel seems to be unaware of the 1920 riots which saw four Arabs and five Jews killed, while 216 Jews were wounded – 18 critically – and 23 Arabs wounded – one critically.

"Radical Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine"

Since when is fighting the armed forces of your adversary – not its civilians – described as "terrorism"? The History Channel’s biased slip is surely on display for all to see.

"At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause"

The United States had taken up the Zionist cause on 30 June 1922 when both Houses of Congress unanimously endorsed the Mandate for Palestine.

On 21 September 1922 President Warren Harding signed the joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine

"The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine…"

It is a pity the History Channel could not have added: "more than 70% of which was the arid and sparsely populated Negev Desert"

"The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces"

Strange that the History Channel should be unaware that these “volunteers” comprised the “Arab Liberation Army” set up in Damascus under the command of Fawzi Kaukji. Seven of these detachments with a strength of about 5000 had made their way into Palestine by March 1948. They were divided into four commands.

"The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded"

Oops – the History Channel forgot to include Saudi Arabia – a small oversight.

The History Channel then has the gall to state at the end of this outrageous release:

"Fact Check. We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us! "

Creating myth instead of stating fact is one of the greatest impediments to securing a resolution of the conflict between the Arabs and Jews.

The next time you watch the History Channel (if you ever do so again) – don’t take what you hear and see as the truth. There are apparently a lot of dunderheads employed there or – perhaps more insidiously – persons deliberately bent on misleading the public.

[*From Daniel Pipes, “Palestine for the Syrians?”, Commentary, December 1986, which begins:

‘During a meeting with leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1976, Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad referred to Palestine as a region of Syria, as Southern Syria. He then went on to tell the Palestinians: "You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Do not forget one thing: there is no Palestinian people, no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria! You are an integral part of the Syrian people and Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the real representatives of the Palestinian people."
Although unusually candid, this outburst exemplifies a long tradition of Syrian politics, and one that has gained increasing importance in recent years. The Asad government presents itself as not just an Arab state protecting the rights of the Palestinians but as the rightful ruler of the land that Israel controls. According to this view, the existing republic of Syria is but a truncated part of the Syrian lands; accordingly, the government in Damascus has a duty to unite all Syrian regions, including Palestine, under its control.
The growth in Syrian military capabilities in recent years makes these ambitions a major source of instability throughout the Levant. Indeed, the Syrian claim to "Southern Syria" has become central to the Arab-Israeli conflict; Syrian has become not only Israel's principal opponent, but also the PLO's. Damascus is likely to retain this role for many years, certainly as long as Hafiz al-Asad lives, and probably longer.
When Asad uses the term Southern Syria, he implicitly harks back to the old meaning of the name "Syria." Historically, "Syria" (Suriya or Sham in Arabic) refers to a region far larger than the Syrian Arab Republic of today. At a minimum, historic Syria stretches from Anatolia to Egypt, and from Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of today's political geography, it comprises all of four states-Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon-as well as the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and substantial portions of southeastern Turkey. To distinguish this territory from the present Syrian state, it is known as Greater Syria.
Until 1920, Syria meant Greater Syria to everyone, European and Middle Easterner alike; For example, an early nineteenth-century Egyptian historian, 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Jabarti, referred to the inhabitants of El Arish in the Sinai Peninsula as Syrians. Palestine was called Southern Syria first in French, then in other languages, including Arabic. The 1840 Convention of London called the area around Akko "the southern part of Syria" and the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (published in 1911) explains that Palestine "may be said generally to denote the southern third of the province of Syria." These examples could be multiplied a thousand-fold.’] For the full article see http://www.danielpipes.org/174/palestine-for-the-syrians