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, 31 March 2011

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's Planned Israel Visit Attacked by BDSers

Another country heard from in the ongoing crusade by leftist fanatics to delegitimise Israel. This time it's New Zealand - you know, the country composed of two antipodean islands that Europeans with no previous claim or title to the land or links to it whatsoever snatched from its owners, the Maori people?

Yeah, that one.

A group of anti-Israel New Zealanders suffering from Boycott Derangement Syndrome and calling themselves Global Peace and Justice Auckland made a nuisance of itself noisily and noisomely protesting the presence of Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer when she played at the ASB Classic in Auckland in 2009 and 2010.


Now this group is badgering the renowned opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to cancel plans to perform at the Israel Festival towards the end of May.

Says spokesperson John Minto (who was one of those arrested by police in the video): "By going to Israel in the face of a call by Palestinians for a comprehensive boycott Kiri Te Kanawa would be turning her back on the Palestinian struggle while giving comfort to Israeli apartheid and its brutal military occupation of Palestinian land."

Dame Kiri has yet to respond to a letter to that effect that Minto sent her in February.

 http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/4821979/Dame-Kiris-Israel-plans-attacked?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

Glenn Beck on the Contrast Between Israel and its Enemies

Glenn Beck is a rather - how shall I put this? - loud-voiced member of the team at America's Fox ("Fair and Balanced") TV.  He's not everyone's cup of tea, but here he is, saying some obvious truths about Israel and the double standards that apply to that much-traduced liberal democracy (hat tip: reader Rita):

Anti-Israel Activity on British Campuses

The Israeli Ambassador to the Court of St James, Ron Prosor, who in my humble opinion, and that of countless others, is a truly superb envoy (one of the very best that his country could possibly field, especially to the hub of Israel delegitimisation that is Londonistan) has in a speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (aka Chatham House) described the "hate and hypocrisy" towards Israel at British universities as being at an all-time high. See http://www.thejc.com/news/israel-news/47183/ron-prosor-israel-hate-uk-universities-worst-ever

Anti-Israel activity at such London campuses as LSE and SOAS has been well documented, and today the case of a provincial university is the focus of an incisive essay on the CiF Watch site: http://cifwatch.com/2011/03/30/a-case-study-in-anti-semitism-within-british-academia/#comments

A British Muslim on Israel as a Template for Democracy Across the Middle East (video)

This articulate young guy gets it! No wonder this video's gone viral. He's Hassan Afzal, a representative of the group British Muslims for Israel, and how wonderful it is to know that there are Muslims like him, prepared to risk anger and obloquy from some leaders of their community, by speaking appreciatively of the positive aspects of Israeli government and society, with its respect for human rights, and suggesting it as a role model for Middle Eastern societies struggling for democracy.


See http://www.britishmuslimsforisrael.com/BMFI/Welcome.html

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

"Are We Too Critical of Israel?": Douglas Murray in Debate (video)

Here's the great Douglas Murray, Director of the Institute for Social Cohesion, speaking up for Israel in a debate at Royal Holloway [College], London University:



Hat tip: reader Shirlee
(I've chosen the long version of the video; shorter versions are available)
Meanwhile, Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador in London, says that the amount of Israel-hatred at British universities is at an all-time high: http://www.thejc.com/news/israel-news/47183/ron-prosor-israel-hate-uk-universities-worst-ever

Hamas and its Horrible History

Coincidentally, at the time that a socialist party in Norway's government exhibits its moral depravity by calling for Israel to be bombed if it defends itself against Hamas in Gaza (see http://tundratabloids.com/2011/03/norway-socialist-left-party-to-vote-on-motion-calling-for-bombing-israel-if-it-acts-against-hamas-in-gaza.html) Dr Harold Brackman has written for the Simon Wiesenthal Center a masterly, footnoted analysis of Hamas entitled "Hamas, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - No Partner for Peace".  It opens with a number of handy bon-mots and battle cries from the Jew-hating death cult that is Hamas, and provides a clear insight into Hamas's antisemitic Charter. The similarities to Nazi propaganda are obvious, and there are clear links to the antisemitism spewed out by radical imams in Egypt and elsewhere in the Islamic world; of course, Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.  I can think of no better or more comprehensive overview of Hamas.

Here are some of those bon-mots and battle cries:

“‘I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike
them over the necks, and smite all their fingers and toes. You have killed
them not, but Allah killed them’.”

“Truly, the destruction of the state of Israel is a Quranic inevitability.”

“The language of bullets and bombs is the only language that the Jews
understand.”

“We tell them [the Israelis]: in as much as you love life—the Muslims
love death and martyrdom.”

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”

“Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population,
defies Islam and the Muslims.”

“The Jews are a cancer that is spreading and is threatening the entire
Islamic world.”

“[Jews are] brothers of the apes, assassins of the prophets, bloodsuckers,
and war mongers. . . . Only Islam can break the Jews and destroy their
dream.”

“They [the Zionists’] established a state to protect the Jews from death
and murder. If death and murder chase them in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem,
Netanya . . . then they will say: I want to flee and go back to Europe and
America.”

“The Islamic Movement gives it condolences to the hero of the attack
[at Beit Lid in January 1995], which led to the killing of twenty pigs and
injuring of sixty monkeys.”

“The war is open until Israel ceases to exist and until the last Jew in the
world is eliminated.”

“You [America] will face the mirror of your history for a long time to
come. . . . [With the 9/11 attacks] Allah has answered our prayers.”

“We are in love with the color of blood.”

“Palestine is a green tree whose thirst can only be quenched with the blood of martyrs.”

“Our words remain dead until we die in their cause.”

“Hamas has won the election on the Israeli body county ticket.”

“When the blood of martyrs irrigates the land, roses appear.”

“The children are the holy martyrs of tomorrow.”

Read Harold Brackman's entire article here: http://www.wiesenthal.com/atf/cf/%7B54d385e6-f1b9-4e9f-8e94-890c3e6dd277%7D/HAMAS_YESTERDAY_TOMORROW.PDF

"We Are At War": An Itamar Resident Speaks at a Rally in New York (video)

Make 30th March a BIG Day: Buy Israeli Goods!

All around the western world certain folks are salivating - and it's not at the prospect of eating some juicy Jaffa oranges, Sharon fruit, or any other temptations for the palate that Israel has to offer.  Alas, no.  They're salivating in anticipation of their big Boycott-of-Israeli-Goods Day on 30th March.

Remember the old lady about whom I posted on Sunday, the one who demanded of me and other shoppers that we give the potatoes and peppers from Israel a wide berth?  Well, she was in the advance guard of this nefarious initiative, and I'm certain she'll be at her post tomorrow, even more shrill and sprightly than before.

Yes indeed!

Don't let her and those like her have their way.  Those who say and do things like this:


Thwart 'em.  For the day has in retaliation been designated Buy Israeli Goods Day, and it's our chance to fight back on Israel's behalf!

See http://www.buyisraeligoods.com/promo.asp and http://www.buyisraelgoods.org/

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Strength of Israel's Liberal Democracy Seen in its Rule of Law in Counter Terrorism

"The essence of any democratic society is that it does not subject people to prolonged imprisonment without a fair process," observes Amos N. Guiora, a law professor at the University of Utah, in an article comparing Israel's record favourably with America's.

"From its its founding in 1948 to the present day," he writes, "Israel has been at war with one or more nations, has faced mortal threats to its national survival, and has been the target of countless acts of terrorism against its civilian population, with devastating losses of life."

Nevertheless,

'Even in the midst of hostilities and warfare, under Israeli law, all detainees, regardless of nationality or the circumstances or location of their seizure, have a right of access to counsel and to independent courts empowered to review the basis for their detention and, when warranted, to order their release. This is true even when judicial review takes place amid continuing terrorist attacks or large-scale Israeli military operations.
Although Israeli security officials make the initial detention assessment, the crucial judgments - including the weight of the evidence, or whether detainees and their counsel have access to classified evidence or adequate substitutes - are all matters for a judge.
I was - and remain - convinced that Israel's robust judicial review is both necessary to maintain the rule of law and makes for effective counterterrorism policy. As a former military commander, I know that a robust and independent court review process helps to ensure that we are properly detaining the right people, and not those wrongly picked up in sweeps, or who are otherwise innocent.
This, in turn, ensures the legitimacy of military and counterterrorism operations. That is why the Israeli Supreme Court applies as its guiding principle the truth that, even in combat, "there is no more potent weapon than the rule of law."
Read the entire article here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03/28/1828962/what-america-can-learn-from-israels.html

An Israeli Musician Hits the Right Note on the BDS Movement

In the Jewish Daily Forward Kobi Oz, lead singer of the Israeli group Teapacks, has written an open letter to Roger Waters, front man of the group Pink Floyd, who recently announced his support for a cultural boycott of Israel and encouraged other musicians to follow suit.

The case against the BDS movement is superbly outlined by Kobi Oz (pictured below), who says in part:
'Unfortunately, the Middle East isn’t the most stable place, so Israelis know we have to be very careful as we pursue peace. We could sign an agreement with a moderate regime and suddenly find ourselves confronted with a fundamentalist enemy. We withdrew from Gaza and got Hamas. We pulled out of southern Lebanon, and now Hezbollah dominates the Lebanese government. We gave back the Sinai, and now Egypt is a great unknown.
Still, we yearn for peace. We try to talk with our neighbors in the Palestinian Authority, where life is getting better for ordinary Palestinians. If Hamas’s leaders would stop the bombardment of Israeli civilians and stop calling for our destruction and start having a normal relationship with their brothers in Ramallah, I’m sure that most Israelis would want to talk to them, too. And our wall, which you want to see dismantled, will fall when we have lasting quiet. Insha’Allah.
But in the meantime there are events like the murders in Itamar. Terrorists sneaked into a family’s home while they were sleeping and cut their throats. That settlement was outside of our security fence — they did not have this “appalling edifice,” as you called it, to protect them. A father, a mother and three kids — one a 3-month-old infant — paid the price.
Should we give up the fence that has made the last few years mostly free of suicide bombers? If we did, would you stand by our soldiers when they go out to intercept terrorists, or would you continue tying our hands while we fight to protect our citizens’ lives? I didn’t hear your voice, or the voices of your friends in the BDS movement, when thousands of Qassam rockets were being launched at my hometown and neighboring communities after we got out of Gaza. We only heard the world’s voice when we fought back.
Lastly, I want to ask, when you demand that we “promote” the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, do you understand that this means Israel would no longer be a Jewish state? If so, why should the Jews not be allowed to have their one state, while the Palestinians get four states? (Let me count them for you: the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the Hamas state in Gaza, Jordan with its Palestinian majority ruled over by a Hashemite king and an Israel that would have a majority of Palestinian citizens after millions of refugees’ descendants move here.)
Jews have come home to Israel after centuries of living under Christian and Muslim “hospitality.” My own parents immigrated to Israel from Tunisia; they had to give up all their property and start their lives over. Jews from around the world came to Israel to fulfill our ancient dream of returning to our homeland, and to bring an end to our long nightmare of having no country to call our own.
Now you, in effect, are demanding that we forget all our dreams and become a minority in our own homeland. Are you serious? Have you not seen how the Coptic minority is treated in Egypt? Have you not seen how the Kurds have suffered in Turkey and Iraq? We won’t share their fate — we have had enough of that already.
At your age you ought to be suspicious of open-and-shut narratives of the sort embraced by the BDS movement, and be willing to look more deeply at the other side. Of course, we Israelis have plenty of room for improvement and could do more to pursue peace. But you should understand that if we are cautious, it is because our very survival is at stake.
If you truly want to be helpful in bringing about peace, embrace the power of dialogue, not boycotts. Music is for breaking down walls, not for building new ones.'
Read more: http://forward.com/articles/136188/#ixzz1Hu7yBvlt
and http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/03/another-bandsman-on-bds-bandwagon.html

Monday, 28 March 2011

Facing Hate and Hypocrisy

(

See http://www.aish.com/v/93393689.html (where there's a petition to sign) and http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/03/we-are-coming-palestine.html

An IDF Spokesman on Hamas Aggression and Israel's Response (video)

This is an interview with Captain Avichai Adraee of the IDF.  It occurred around the time of Operation Cast Lead, when Israel responded to the provocation of years of rocket attacks from Gaza on but is still relevant given on-going aggression from Hamas and the condemnation of Israel's defensive actions by much of world opinion.

Melanie on her "Felony": Melanie Phillips interviewed regarding Arab Barbarism and Media Bias against Israel (video)

In a recent post (http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/03/stinker-out-of-bedfordshire.html) I told how an article on The Spectator website by the British columnist Melanie Phillips, in which she referred to the barbarism of the Arabs who perpetrated the Itamar massacre, has been referred to British police.  In this interview with Yaakov Achi-Meir on Israeli TV's Channel One Ms Phillips defends her choice of phrase, and explains how the British media are "world leaders" in the "moral inversion" which leads it to ignore atrocities against Israel and only the military responses to Israel, thus contributing materially to the public's impression of Israel as the aggressor.  Ms Phillips pulls no punches in condemning Arab attitudes and in telling how Israel should be dealing with its public relations problem.


Hat tip for the original video http://www.iba.org.il/olam to Avraham Reiss of Jerusalem

Obama's Policy is "Extremely Counterproductive ... the Palestinians Don't Want to Reach a Settlement" (video)

Here's Dr Dan Schueftan, Director of the National Security Studies Centre at Haifa University talking about the Obama administration's "extremely counterproductive" policy towards Israel, which is being coerced unreasonably, and the consequent intransigent attitude of the Palestinians, who, he says, are telling themselves why they should make concessions since they see that "violence pays":


And as a bonus here's a soft-voiced plea for that Third Intifada:

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Not Just a Funny Old Lady: Ancient Prejudices Indoctrinating the Young

There she was, right on time, an hour before noon, when the supermarket was beginning to get busy for the day.  From across the car park I recognised her instantly, a small elderly figure with grey pudding-basin hair.  Rain or shine, she and  a coven of offsiders (one of similar vintage) meet weekly in a local campus canteen, where they sit with coffee cups abutting a great wad of Palestine Solidarity Campaign and BDS literature (destined for saturating the tables when the place fills up with students), and confer in low conspiratorial tones.

Presumably they get together like that to plan their next anti-Israel initiative - a concert or three, Rod Cox's exhibition of propaganda from Gaza (at which, thanks to a series of tough questions that the wily bloke refused to answer, I was revealed as a supporter of the Zionist Entity and  treated accordingly),  a mock-up apartheid wall obstructing pedestrians, imitation IDF checkpoints in the town centre entailing the harassment of passers-by, twinning the town with Gaza ... these have all been tried.

This weekend (and all next week) it's back to the more routine business of trying to cajole shoppers into boycotting Israeli goods (not just "settlement goods"), and a press release to that effect was duly printed in the local paper, which happily gives this Israel-loathing coven publicity but rarely if ever has deigned to print letters in support of Israel.

Anyway, there she was, zippily starting off the Boycott Week, darting back and forth for all her 65-and-then-some years with the agility and appearance of a little grey bird, her eyes bright with misplaced zeal as she buttonholed shoppers (including me), thrust leaflets comparing Israel to "apartheid South Africa" into their hands, and demanded that they refrain from purchasing the potatoes and peppers from Israel. 

I seldom shop in that particular supermarket (its prices are higher than its rivals in town) but as a result of her alerting me to the Zionist produce inside, in I strode, and out I soon came, to show her proudly my generous helping of Israeli red peppers (and sweet and delicious they've proved, too, even if they are nearly double the price of their admittedly shorter and thinner Spanish equivalents in the El Cheapo store).

Seeing her energised, almost youthful, with the lust of Israel-bashing made me snap.  "This is my response to antisemites!" I told her as I passed, jabbing long peppers suggestively upwards into the air.

An innocent expression pervaded her worn features.  "How can I be an antisemite? The Palestinians are semites"  she responded sweetly in an obviously well-used answer. (Yeah, whatever.)

There are lots of old ladies like her in the Israel-delegitimising movement worldwide.  I particularly abhor them because they are of a generation that in childhood saw the horrific newsreels of the liberated death camps, and which knows full well the extent of Nazi horrors against the Jewish People and yet would deny Israel, tiny sliver-like Israel, the right to self-defence and of the Jewish People to self-determination.

Some such women are naive pacifists.  Yet like the local "Peace Network", led by an octogenarian who wears a funny floppy hat with a CND badge affixed to it, they obsess about one world troublespot  to the exclusion of all others, and in their repeated calls for Israel to end the siege on Gaza they forget that Israel withdrew from Gaza only to be rewarded with rocketfire from the barbarians of Hamas. 

Some, I have no doubt, are cloaking an innate antisemitism in the "respectable" mantle of anti-Zionism.

Some in the BDS (I call it Boycott Derangement Syndrome) movement are prepared to commit something akin to vandalism, such is the extent of their fanaticism.  Look at the mess this activist in Wales has made outside a Tesco store, upsetting a trolley deliberately packed with Israeli goods from inside and smearing the contents over the foyer.

Some of them, like the "Raging Grannies" in Massachusetts or our local "peace choir" (whose repertoire consists almost entirely of songs and carols denouncing Israel) make fools of themselves, demonstrating in public with literal song and dance.

Others betray an ignorance of the history of "Palestine" that is staggering, and of course entirely to the detriment of the Jews.

As Professor Barry Rubin has warned regarding Helen Thomas, about whom I've posted twice in recent days, ridicule cannot deny the fact that their views are working their poison.

'It's amazing how bad the public discussion of issues is nowadays. Here's a tiny example. Helen Thomas was fired for her anti-Jewish statements and was recently interviewed in Playboy where she made more such remarks that are--correctly--being interpreted as antisemitic.
But why does Thomas hate Israel so much, a hatred that spills over into antisemitism? I haven't seen a single person who's gotten it right. She's no neo-Nazi or nut case. Thomas is of Lebanese descent, albeit Christian, and basically views herself on this issue at least as an Arab. The important factor is not her eccentricity but her typicality.
What Thomas is doing, then, and has done for many years, is to express ideas common in the Arabic-speaking world which are becoming increasingly common in the West. That's why she's significant and that's where she's coming from. Her blend of anti-Zionism and antisemitism--using traditional anti-Jewish themes, sometimes applied to Israel and at times to all Jews--is just like what exists in a high percentage of households in the Arabic-speaking and Muslim-majority worlds.

We're not talking about a funny old lady but about a worldview held by millions of people in a lot of countries, by revolutionary Islamists and terrorists, and by a growing number of people on Western college campuses and in elite circles. This is not some joke but rather a "craziness" that kills and shapes the fate of whole nations and continents.' http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2011/03/two-helen-thomas-farces-what-she-says.html
The pity of it is that this poison, helped, needless to say, by the prejudices of the mainstream media, which kindles the enmity towards Israel in some individuals and of course reinforces it in them and others, has spread even to Jewish youth.  Blogger Edgar Davidson recently mentioned how it has infected the Orthodox school in London which his daughter attends (http://edgar1981.blogspot.com/2011/02/anti-israel-indoctrination-in-uk.html) and around the same time the Jewish Chronicle (25 February 2011) reported that many Jewish teenagers in Manchester had "begun to acknowledge arguments that questioned the moral validity of Israel's creation as a state".

It quoted a 17-year-old at Manchester Grammar School thus:
 "I've always thought Israel has a right to exist.  But it is hard when there is so much anti-Israel news and a lot of people I go to school with are quite strongly anti-Israel."
Said an 18-year-old at the city's Jewish day school, King David School:
"In my year there are quite a lot of us brought up in left-leaning families but they don't talk about their views because the school is completely Zionist."
This inculcation of anti-Israel prejudices among the young is the sobering reality which faces us today.  And it's mainly because of what they've learned from their elders, who like many a "funny old lady" have been influenced by what the Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh characterised last year as ignorant international journalists:
“They don’t speak Arabic or Hebrew, they don’t know the history and they are often very biased. They don’t want to report the corruption and violence within Palestinian society because it doesn’t fit their narrative of good Palestinians and bad Israelis.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/journalist-says-only-truth-will-set-palestine-free/story-e6frg6z6-1225866997079
(He named no names, but I reckon that's as good a nutshell description of Al Beeb's Jeremy Bowen as any, any that are printable, that is, which we're likely to find!)

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A Friend in Need ...

... is a friend indeed.

The late Elizabeth Taylor, a convert to Judaism, starred in one of the two Hollywood films that came out virtually simultaneously following the extraordinary rescue of most of the 105 Jewish passengers aboard an Air France jet bound for Israel that was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and members of the notorious German Baader Meinhoff gang in the summer of 1976 and forced to fly to Entebbe Airport in Idi Amin's Uganda.  It was a shocking episode, in which the captors separated Jews from non-Jews (who were not detained), and in which three Jewish hostages died. Another, an elderly woman who had been taken to hospital earlier after choking on her food, was shot on Amin's orders in reprisal for the raid. The Israeli commandos who executed the daring raid, which captured the imagination of the world, were led by Binyamin Netanyahu's brother, Yonatan Netanyahu, who was killed in the execution of his duty.  Now, in the wake of Elizabeth Taylor's death this week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) has released the following report (dated 16 June 1977) from its archives:
Movie actress Elizabeth Taylor offered herself as a hostage for the more than 100 Air France hijack victims held by terrorists at Entebbe Airport in Uganda during the tense days before the Israeli rescue raid last July 4. That disclosure was made here by Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Simcha Dinitz, at a Jewish National Fund gala honoring Ms. Taylor and her husband, John W. Warner, for their devotion to the land reclamation work of the JNF and other humanitarian causes.
Dinitz, who presented the couple with a certificate for a forest to be planted in their names within the American National Bicentennial Park near Jerusalem, said that Ms. Taylor's offer was "appreciated" and "the Jewish people will always remember it."
More than 1200 friends and supporters of the JNF attended the event which was addressed by Moshe Rivlin, the JNF's new world chairman who flew in from Jerusalem for the occasion. "We hate to destroy, we love to build, and it is the common desire of the people of Israel for peace no matter what party is in power," Rivlin said.
Ms. Taylor said "The trees we planted with our own hands in Israel symbolize a new hope that the whole world, Christian, Jew and Arab, will live as one in harmony and under one God."
For more on her pro-Israel activities see: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/263133/elizabeth-taylor-stood-israel-benjamin-weinthal

King Solomon and the Eternity of Israel

Although this blog is primarily concerned with contemporary issues affecting Israel and the Jewish People, anyone who has read it regularly for a while will know that I love to delve into relevant historical archives, and that very occasionally Avraham Reiss of Jerusalem, who studied at the Mercaz HaRav Kook, provides a guest blog on aspects of Jewish thought.  Here's his latest contribution:

This article is a prequel to the article already published in Daphne’s Blog: The Secret of Israel's Eternity (http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2010/11/secret-of-israels-eternity.html), and should in fact have been published first (that it wasn’t, is the fault of the author). The two articles combine to examine the secret of Israel’s eternity throughout the ages

Whereas the second article discusses Israel’s activities while in exile, this article discusses the attempt to reach perfection and attain a promise of eternity whilst in the Land of Israel. Only upon the failure of this attempt did the second – exile – long sojourn outside of the Land of Israel become necessary, and we discuss here the reasons behind King Solomon’s attempt at attaining perfection and eternity, and for his subsequent failure.

1. The Jewish attitude towards materialism

Exodus chapter 35
4 And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel,
saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying,
5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a
willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and
silver, and brass,

...

21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one
whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to
the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service,
and for the holy garments.

22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing-hearted,
and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels
of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord.

In verse 22, the name of the fourth item – tablets – is a poor translation, and gives no indication of its nature.

The commentator Rashi quotes the Talmudic explanation, which says that “tablets” refers to an item of jewellery that was used to cover the female genitals, and thus is of a negative connotation. The question immediately arises: how can such a negative item be used in the service of holy worship in the Temple?

The question possesses a wider relevance, since it characterizes all the problematica created by Israel’s living amongst gentiles for the larger part of our history as a nation, and goes even further in relating to Israel’s relationships with materialism in general.

What is allowed, what is forbidden, and under what circumstances – and limitations - can we adopt behavioral concepts and material objects from other nations?

The Ramban (Nachmanides) relates to the matter of introducing the tablets mentioned above into the service of the Temple:

“The tablet was regarded by our Sages as disgusting, but all the various contributions were mixed up (the tablet thus losing its individual identity – A.R.). It would have been forbidden to manufacture a special vessel from the tablet alone, whose purpose was connected with man’s evil inclinations.”

We are familiar with the concept of an item of negative content or value losing its identity when mixed up with larger quantities of positive items, from the law concerning a piece of un-kosher meat falling into a pile of pieces of kosher meat: in such a case, if the pile of kosher pieces of meat numbers at least sixty pieces, then we say that the negative attribute of the un-kosher piece has been “cancelled within the sixty”, and all sixty one pieces of meat may be eaten.

The difference between the two cases – the tablet and the meat – is that the un-kosher meat can only be ‘cancelled’ after the fact: a person holding a piece of un-kosher meat cannot go looking for sixty pieces of kosher meat, in order to throw it in and make it ‘eatable’. The law is only applicable if the un-kosher piece fell into the kosher pile by accident, with no prior intention to throw it in. The tablet, however, can be brought to the Temple a priori, knowing in advance that it will lose its negative value when mixed with ‘valid’ contributions.

A similar problem – introducing into Israel (out of necessity) something forbidden, we see early in Israel’s formation – several hundred years before it became a nation – when two of Jacob’s sons – Simeon and Levi – kill for the first time, in retaliation against the city where lived Shechem son of Hamor, who had defiled their sister Dinah.

They persuaded the citizens of Shechem’s city to circumcise themselves, and while the citizens were still suffering from the pains of circumcision, Simeon and Levi went in, slaughtered all the male inhabitants of the city, and rescued their sister Dinah from Shechem son of Hamor.

Many years later, on his death-bed, when blessing his sons, Jacob relates to Simeon and Levi as follows:

Genesis Chapter 49
5. Simeon and Levi are brothers; stolen instruments are their weapons
6. Let my soul not enter their counsel; my honor, you shall not join their assembly, for in their wrath they killed a man, and with their will they hamstrung a bull.
7. Cursed be their wrath for it is mighty, and their anger because it is harsh. I will separate them throughout Jacob, and I will scatter them throughout Israel.

From various calculations made possible both by Biblical statements and Rabbinic determinations, we know that at the time of the Shechem incident, Levi was thirteen years old. When Jacob was on his death-bed and blessed his sons (excluding Simeon and Levi, as above), Levi was then 67 years old, i.e. Jacob had waited 54 years (!) to scold them. We offer a reason for this, which is the subject of another article. But here, we home in on verse 5 as quoted above, and concentrate on the word “stolen”.

The commentator Rashi relates to this word, and in one sentence says four different things, which are in fact four facets of one truth:

“ ‘stolen instruments’: this ‘profession’ of murder was stolen by you; it belongs to the Blessing of Esau (given by Isaac – A. Reiss); it is his profession; and you stole it from him”

Rashi is pointing out – in explanation of Jacob’s utterance in verse 5 above, that until the Shechem incident the ‘profession’ of murder was unknown to Israel, and that Simeon and Levi had stolen it from Esau, and thus introduced it into Israel.

A negative item has now been introduced into Israel.

But how negative was it? Without the capability of killing at time of war, the nation that is Israel would have ceased to exist thousands of years ago. It had to be ‘introduced’ somehow, some time. And so it later was. Mount Sinai, where the Torah was given to Moses, has seventy names in Jewish tradition; one of them is ‘Horev’. (Exodus, 33,6). Our Sages point out the similarity between the Hebrew words Horev and Herev – meaning ‘sword’ – and say that from Mount Sinai/Horev the Sanhedrin was given permission to authorize death sentences by the sword.

At this point, we are now examining how Israel should relate to the material aspects of the world in which we live, in general.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, first Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel (he passed away in 1935), in his book Orot HaKodesh (‘Lights of Holiness’), divides mankind into four sections regarding the way it relates to our material world.

1. Total Evil.
The viewing of materialism as covering everything. The desire for evil to gain control of all facets of life on earth. Dictator no. 2 of the previous century defined it well in just seven words: “How many divisions does the Pope have?”.

2. Total Despair
After viewing evil controlling the world, is born the desire to escape to nothingness from the material point of view. This is regarded as idol-worship, because it contains the assumption that the controlling force in the world is evil - and not G-d. This is Buddhism.

3. Semi Despair
After viewing evil controlling the world, out of desperation and despair is born the desire to vacate materialism and concentrate on the internal, spiritual aspects of life. This is Christianity.

[We add that from here is born the idea of “Separation of Church and State” – an inherently Christian idea, which has no place in Judaism – as the following paragraph shows]

4. Facing the challenges of materialism, the desire to save everything, to sanctify materialism together with the spirit. And from here it evolves that Judaism has mitzvot – commandments, precepts, instructions – regarding all practical aspects of material life: commerce and finance, labourers wages, agriculture, food, male-female relationships and many other aspects. Even behaviour regarding speech, and as far as thought, are covered by Jewish Law.

The Torah divides material matters into a number of categories, depending upon the various forms they take. Following is a representative – but by no means complete – selection of such categories:

• Spiritually clean or unclean
• Kosher or un-kosher
• Chametz - bread and related products are forbidden to be eaten or even found in one’s possession during Passover
• Disqualified (Heb: Pasul) – for a certain purpose only, such as a citrus (etrog) being disqualified for ceremonial use on the festival of Tabernacles (Sukkot), but being ‘kosher’ for use in making jam, drinks etc. Also, a person can be disqualified from giving testimony in court
Pigul – the classic translation terms this ‘abomination’. It refers to a Temple sacrifice that has been rendered invalid for sacrifice or eating by impure thoughts or invalid intentions. One who intentionally eats such a sacrifice invokes upon himself a celestial (i.e. not imposed by man) death sentence. The subject - and influence - of mind (thought) over matter in Judaism, is worthy of a separate essay, if not an entire book.
• And above all of these – Holy. And this also contains degrees. There are, for example, 10 degree of holiness in the Land of Israel, the highest being inside the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Keffiyeh Chic Still Rules OK?

They're a strange lot, aren't they, women (and men for that matter) who demonise Israel, yet ignore the true demonic regimes of this world, including those Islamic ones that persecute women, regard them as inherently inferior to men, and treat them like chattels. 

Regimes such as Iran's, which stones or hangs women for sexual misconduct, and beats them for transgressing the draconian dress code, and societies such as Pakistan's where wife-beating is rampant, and routine for the "crime" of failing to give birth to male children.  Wow! Is some basic instruction in human biology and genetics overdue in that benighted corner of the world!

Like this Iranian girl (the video's long, but you only need to see the first few minutes):


Are the West's anti-Israel women, who jump on the bandwagon of every anti-Zionist initiative going, the successors to all those giddy women who used to fantasise about seduction by Rudolf Valentino in the guise of a sheikh?

It's as bizarre as it is baffling.

Following the Itamar massacre and the Jerusalem bomb outrage will they still wear their keffiyehs, the chic  left-liberal chicks of the Western world, including gilded youth and bourgeois elements, to express their solidarity with the perceived victims of the "Israel-Palestine Conflict".

Will they and their equally fixated menfolk continue to flaunt their partisanship, despite (dare I suggest in some cases "because of"?) the antisemitism that pervades much of Palestinian society.

Protesting Ahava in London: courtesy Richard Millett
What will it take to stop them being as side-blinded as a carthorse wearing blinkers on his eyes, owing to that willful refusal of theirs to direct their gaze anywhere but on Israel?

For, as the Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer has observed this week, in the aftermath of the Itamar atrocity:

'There is a widespread culture calling for death to the Jews – and official support for that culture – rampant in Palestinian society as evidenced by the following:.
• Abbas – in January – allowed a presentation of $2000 to be awarded to the relatives of a Palestinian terrorist – reported as follows in Al-Hayat Al Jadida on 25 January:
“The governor of the Jenin district, Kadura Musa, has awarded a presidential grant to the family of the Shahid (Martyr), Khaldoun Najib Samoudy, during a visit that took place yesterday in the village of Al-Yamoun. The governor noted that the grant is financial aid in the amount of $2000 that the President [Mahmoud Abbas] is awarding to the relatives of the Shahid, who was recently killed as a Martyr at the Hamra checkpoint by the Israeli occupation forces”
• Abbas was the President who did nothing to prevent the indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets, shells and mortars into Israeli civilian population centres from Gaza and the smuggling of weapons into Gaza prior to being deposed there by Hamas in 2007. Hamas continues to maintain its threat to rid the Middle East of Israel – ostensibly as the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people.
• Both Abbas and Hamas leader – Ismail Haniyeh – head organizations whose Charters call for the elimination of the Jewish State and the denial of any right of statehood for Jews under the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
• A Palestinian Authority TV tribute to “Martyrs” just three weeks ago included the terrorist who killed three Israelis in a 2002 terror attack in the same West Bank town of Itamar where the Fogel family was murdered.
The video was in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the DFLP (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine), and was broadcast on PA TV several times daily for four days. It featured a collage with photographs labeled “Martyrs (Shahids) of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Nablus.” It included the picture of terrorist Habash Hanani, who in May 2002 entered Itamar and murdered three students in the local high school.
• Abbas sanctioned the inauguration of a square in el-Bireh in March 2010 named after Dalal Maghreb - the Fatah woman who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in which 37 Israeli civilians and an American photographer were killed, and 71 were wounded,

PSC activist in UK
 Three days later the Palestinian Authority launched a four day seminar named after Maghreb – called the “Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Camp,” in Jericho under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority’s Military Science Academy. Its main goal was to discuss the legislative and local elections in the PA territories.'
Read all of Singer's article: http://www.jwire.com.au/featured-articles/obama-confronting-the-killing-culture-in-palestine/15787

Or, as that splendid journalist Khaled Abu Toameh asked recently, "Where is the Outcry against Arab Apartheid?"

He observed, inter alia, that in the last year alone 180,000 Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank sought medical attention in Israel, and that many could not afford treatment, yet received it anyway.
"In Israel,even a suicide bomber who is - only? - wounded while trying to kill Jews is entitled to the finest medical treatment.  And there have been many instances where Palestinians who were injured in attacks on Israel later ended up in sme of Israel's best hospitals."
By contrast, Palestinians, including an 11-year-old boy denied treatment in Lebanon, are being turned away from Arab hospitals if unable to meet the bills.
"It is disgraceful that while Israel admits Palestinian patients to its hospitals, Arab hospitals are denying them medical treatment for various reasons, including money. But then one is reminded that Arab dictators do not care about their own people, so why should they pay attention to an 11-year-old boy who is dying at the entrance to a hospital because his father was not carrying $1,500?

But as the death took place in an Arab country – and as the victim is an Arab – why should anyone care about him? Where is the outcry against Arab Apartheid?"
Read the rest: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=212512

Arsen Ostrovsky, at the start of this year's annual excrescence known as Israel Apartheid Week, posed the pertinent question "Why Not an Arab Apartheid Week?"


Keffiyeh cool, USA
 He wrote, in part:
'The irony is that in Israel, despite problems in Israel as in any other country, Arabs enjoy more rights, freedoms and liberties than do their neighbours in any number of Middle East countries currently fighting for these very same privileges. As the Muslim Arab Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh repeatedly says (http://www.frumforum.com/abu-toameh-what-the-western-media-misses):
"Israel is not an apartheid state...Israel is a free and open democratic country. I enjoy living here and I would rather live as a second class citizen in Israel, even though I'm not, than a first class citizen in any Arab country."
The real apartheid today is in places such as Saudi Arabia, where the government totally forbids the public practice of non-Muslim religions, the presence of a Bible there, officially labels both Christians and Jews "unbelievers," and cautions in the Qu'ran Muslims not to befriend Christians or Jews:
"O you who believe! do not take the Jews and Christians for friends: they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people." (Qu'ran 5:51)
"You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for , that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide [ie: Muslim who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell.] " (Qu'ran 5:80}
"Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah," (Qu'ran 3:28)
"O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among other than your own people… they love what distresses you…." {Qu'ran 3:18)

Keffiyeh kid, Irish PSC
 "O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your bretheren for friends if they take take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith." [ie: Even family members should not be friend if they do not submit to Islam.} (Qu'ran 9:23) *
Also in the Qu'ran, Muhammed curses the Jews and turns them into pigs and monkeys. (Suras 2:62-65, 5:59-60, and 7:166)
Iran routinely executes, tortures and persecutes Baha'is, Sunnis and Kurdish minorities.
Turkey continues to harass and persecute its Alevis, Kurds, Zoroastrians and other minorities. How many Christians or Jews, for example, are in its government?
In both Saudi Arabia and Iran, women and homosexuals are stripped of their rights as the United Nations grants Saudi Arabia a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and Iran with a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
In Lebanon, Palestinians are banned from working in many professions.
Egypt continues to persecute its Coptic Christians and torch their churches.
Jordan last year revoked the citizenship of thousands of Jordanian Palestinians, and still denies citizenship to Jews.
Iraq continues to persecute and murder members of its Christian Assyrian population.
Yet Israel is the only country constantly to be singled out for opprobrium by groups such as the IAW. If its organizers were truly interested in human rights, going from worst to best, wouldn't a better starting point be to hold an Arab Apartheid Week?'
http://www.hudson-ny.org/1937/arab-apartheid-week

Yes, indeed.  Attack is the best form of defence.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Some Home Truths for Sydney's Boycott Derangement Syndrome Brigade

Sydneysider Shirlee Finn (pictured, who I'm proud to say is a frequent commenter on this blog and to whom I've often had occasion to tip my hat) gave the BDS fanatics of Sydney's Marrickville and Randwick councils a piece of her mind at a council meeting this week.  As the antipodean news service J-Wire reports ( http://www.jwire.com.au/news/silence-shirley-good-luck/15876#more-15876) “attempts by the Mayor to cut her back fell foul of Shirley's persistence and determination.... Randwick Council had voted against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions but the three Greens members who voted for it were seeking a rescission of the motion.”

Shirlee Finn told J-Wire: “I had to shout down Greens Mayor Murray Marson to be heard. In fact, there was a lot of heated arguments as to whether I should have been allowed to speak…and I am a ratepayer. He first interjected at line six of my speech but instead of making me nervous, it just inspired me. Half way through my speech he asked me how much longer I was going to take and I told him ‘for as long as it takes and for as long as you keep quiet’”.

The motion remained pass. Marrickville councillors Victor Macri and John Hanna who oppose the motion to implement BDS in the inner West municipality attended the Randwick meeting.

This is what Shirlee Finn had to say:

'I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Cadigal people and pay my respects to elders past and present
On December 14th 2010, the Greens-led Marrickville Council chose to support the BDS, a rapidly growing global organisation, whose basic agenda is the destruction of the State of Israel. Whose founder openly speaks of a Two State Solution as being “A Palestine next to a Palestine, rather than a Palestine next to an Israel”.
They showed their support by passing a Motion, to boycott all goods made in Israel, prohibit cultural exchanges, sporting and academic institutions. Which so far has taken many staff, countless hours to begin enforcing .
Surely, the money spent so far by Marrickville Council, in their attempted boycott of Israel, would have been better used within the Municipality .
Councillors Macri and Hanna, the two councillors who voted against the motion, are here with us this evening. I ‘d would like to personally thank you both very much for being here and for your steadfast support in opposing this motion and for your help, not only to me but to the Community also
In light of Marrickville’s motion, ouncillors at Randwick passed a Motion against them and in support of Israel, which passed by 9 votes to 3.
The three being the Greens, who in response chose to put in a Rescission Motion.
Marrickville Council, pushed by the NSW Greens agenda, and now followed by Randwick Greens, have chosen to support a group whose aim is the destruction of Israel,. and have done so in the run-up to an election, guaranteeing even more publicity for the foul antisemitic agenda of the BDS.,
That both Marrickville and Randwick Greens, would even consider making such an ill advised decision, when their own Federal party commits them to a policy of dialogue and reconciliation towards the Israeli-Palestinian situation, is a stunt of deplorable taste..even for them
Let’s remind ourselves that Israel is a small democratic state, occupying one sixth of 1% of the entire Middle East, it’s barely one third of the size of Tasmania.
Yet in spite of recent events, it remains the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East,.
It enshrines freedom of speech, a free press and a State whose citizens live under the rule of law.
It’s the only state in the Middle East, where people of all religions can practice their faith freely and openly.
It’s the only state in the Middle East, where homosexuals are free to live without fear of persecution, or indeed execution.
It’s a state, which only today, has been the first country to set up a field hospital in Japan.
In short, it’s the state in the Middle East which resembles our own values and with whom Australia has long stood side by side, as a friend and ally
Yet it’s the only state which the Marrickville and Randwick Greens, want to be shunned by our community.
It’s a case of irresponsible, student-style politics of the most opportunistic kind
Shame on you Greens.
The job of Local Government, is just that, taking care of local issues and maintaining much needed services in the local area for the community, regardless of race or religion."'
Shame on the Greens indeed, Shirlee.  But good on yer, girl!  You're a star!

"This and Everything That Happens to the Jewish Nation Won't Break Us": Interview with the orphaned Tamar Fogel (video)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Before She Was in Playboy: The Jews Aren't Semites, says Helen Thomas (video)

Oh dear!  Here she is again, for anyone who missed Helen Thomas's recent interview with Joy Behar.  It took place before the Playboy one, from which I included excerpts a few days ago.  I have to admit that when Ms Thomas made her original remarks, which are included in this video as a flashback, I wondered whether, given her advanced age, she might be suffering somewhat from "senile dementia" and consequently confused.  I really thought that perhaps she'd forgotten that there had been a Holocaust, and was reliving a decade in her early youth.  However, it's clear from this that she's as sharp as a tack, and a genuine unrepentant antisemite.  No two ways about it. A very ugly attitude. Ugh!  She told Playboy, with tear-filled eyes, that her obituary will call her an "antisemite".  With views like these, that's a safe bet!

Fighting Jack's Lone Stand: How a British Major Tried to Save Jews from Arab Killers

The ambush and merciless destruction by Arabs in the Sheikh Jarrah district of Jerusalem of a convoy of vehicles – clearly marked with the symbol of the Magen David Adom – taking Jewish medical personnel and patients to the Hadassah Hospital in 1948, just four weeks before the Declaration of the State of Israel, was a terrible blow to the emergent state.

Most of the victims of that outrage were badly burned and unrecognisable. The dead included top specialists in their fields who, had they lived, might have achieved breakthroughs in medical science to the benefit of humanity. Among those killed were Hadassah's Director, the ophthalmologist Dr Haim Yassky, who had done much to treat trachoma; Dr Moshe Ben-David, Secretary to the Medical Faculty, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dr. L. Doliansky, Director of Cancer Research, and the Assistant Director, Dr Musbursky; Professor Joseph Bonaventura, Head of the Psychology Department at the Hebrew University; Dr Klar, Lecturer in Philology, and Dr Freiman, Lecturer in Jewish Law.

The incident embittered the Yishuv against Britain, whose Mandate rule was coming to an end, since British troops failed to come to the convoy’s aid.

However, the Jewish Chronicle (27 May 1988) carried an article by its Foreign Editor, Joseph Finklestone, based on the reminiscences of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert King-Clark (1913-2007), one of the officers who helped Orde Wingate to crush the 1938 Arab Revolt by leading one of the renowned Night Squads. According to King-Clark, some of the victims might have been saved had they accepted an offer of help from his friend Major John (“Fighting Jack”) Churchill (1906-96), of the Highland Light Infantry.

I reproduce Joseph Finklestone's account below, without further comment:

The Hadassah convoy, taking some 100 doctors, nurses, and patients to the Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University on besieged Mount Scopus, set out on its tragic two-mile journey on Tuesday morning, April 13, 1948, exactly a month before the British Mandate was due to be terminated. The convoy vehicles were marked with Magen David Adom’s red Shield of David. As the buses and lorries entered Sheikh Jarrah, they were ambushed between two craters in a narrow street.

Hundreds of Arabs poured withering fire on the helpless convoy, ignoring completely the fact that the passengers included dedicated doctors and nurses, as well as patients. The Arab gunmen showed no mercy as they set fire to the vehicles and saw their victims burn to death.

Major Churchill [pictured] was the first senior British officer at the scene of the ambush. He had been on a battalion inspection parade when he saw a soldier waving a piece of paper.

This was a message from a British post at Sheikh Jarrah that a Hadassah convoy had been ambushed. The Arabs had mined the road, and the firing was intense. The time of the message was 9.30 – a significant time.

Major Churchill told the regimental Sergeant-Major to inform the commanding officer that there was trouble at Sheikh Jarrah and that he was going to see what was happening.

Having collected his “Dingo” vehicle and driver, he quickly drove to the Sheikh Jarrah area and “Tony’s Post,” as the British post was known.

Major Churchill saw Arabs firing at the convoy from houses while an ineffective response was coming from the outnumbered Jewish guards.

He also spotted large numbers of Arabs, many armed, swarming up the Wadi el Joz (Valley of the Walnut) to join those in the houses.

Appreciating that the Jews were facing an inevitable massacre if they did not receive immediate help, Major Churchill sent a radio message directly to the Second Infantry Brigate HQ – the telephone line having been cut by a mine – and asked for an artillery observation officer and two 25-pounder field guns to be put immediately at his disposal to blast the Arab gunmen from their ambush positions. “I need real guns, not machine guns,” he said.

However, Brigade HQ turned down his request. Lieutenant-Colonel King-Clark charitably attributes this decision to the Brigade HQ being startled by such an unorthodox demand and desiring to steer a middle course between Jew and Arab, as the Mandate was coming to an end.

Major Churchill, having explained that a very dangerous situation was developing and that some action would be needed if the Jews in the convoy were to be saved, then asked for two Staghounds – large armoured cars armed with a cannon and a machine-gun. This request was granted.

However, he was told that it would take some time to get these vehicles back from convoy protection duties elsewhere. “But for Christ’s sake try and avoid using their guns, “ said the staff officer. “It’s for their cannon that I want them,” replied Major Churchill.

There was nothing he could do in the meantime at Tony’s Post, which consisted only of a subaltern and about 15 Scottish soldiers with no heavy weapons.

However, feeling a sense of responsibility, Major Churchill decided to try to rescue some of the trapped Jews by using one of his battalion’s big armoured personnel carriers and a Bren carrier.

Having warned Battalion HQ by radio to have the vehicles ready, he went back himself in his “Dingo” to the transport lines.

With these two vehicles and a small police armoured car, he returned to the ambush.

Getting out of his “Dingo,” Major Churchill walked about 30 yards, alone and in full view of the Arab gunmen.

Later he told his friend, Lieutenant-Colonel King-Clark:

“As I walked along, swinging my blackthorn stick, I grinned like mad from side to side, as people are less likely to shoot you if you smile at them.
Of course, having just come off a battalion parade, I was very dressed up – in Glengarry tunic, Sam Browne belt (but no claymore, worse luck!), kilt, hair sporran, red and white diced hose – and white spats!
This outfit in the middle of battle, together with my grinning at them, may have made the Arabs laugh, because most of them have a sense of humour. Anyway, they didn’t shoot me!”
Arriving at the Jewish buses, Major Churchill hammered on the door of the nearest one. A woman’s voice called out: “What is that?” He replied, “This is Major Churchill of the Highland Light Infantry. I am here with a big, powerful armoured vehicle, and I can evacuate you from this bus and each of the other buses in turn if you would like to come. But there may be casualties when you transfer from one to the other. Do you understand that?”

The woman replied, according to Major Churchill: “Yes, but are you going to drive the Arabs off first?”

“No,” he said. “I cannot do that. I have only 12 men and there are hundreds of Arabs.”

“Well, I will have to talk to Dr Yassky (director of the Hadassah Hospital) or somebody else,” she replied.

The major heard her speaking in Hebrew to people on the bus. After a few moments he called out: “Hurry up and decide. It’s very dangerous for me outside here.”

Shortly afterwards, the reply came from inside the bus: “Thank you very much, but we don’t want your help. The Jewish Army – the Hagana – will save us.”

Major Churchill told Lieutenant-Colonel King-Clark that he had walked to the other buses, repeating the offer and stressing that it was their last chance of getting help from the British, and that if they did not accept the offer, it was most likely that they would all be killed. In each case, the reply was the same, according to the major: “No thank you, the Hagana will save us.”

As Major Churchill was leaving the buses, the driver of the Bren carrier shouted out that his Bren machine-gunner had been hit and was dying. Major Churchill said that he again shouted at the trapped Jews: “Look, one of my men has been killed, so I am leaving at once! You are on your own!”

They called out “Yes, yes.”

Major Churchill went to Tony’s Post which, he said, had continued to support the trapped Jewish vehicles with small arms fire against the Arabs.

The fire from the post and that from the small Jewish escort in the trapped convoy prevented the Arabs from directly assaulting the vehicles.

This personal intervention by a brave officer was the last – and sole – action by the British forces. The Arabs, now very numerous, became emboldened and noisy and set the Jewish buses on fire with Molotov cocktails. They shot the occupants of the buses. By mid-afternoon, 77 Jews lay dead and a further 25 wounded.

Only eight of the 110 men and women who had set out in the Hadassah convoy that morning escaped unhurt.

When the British armoured cars eventually arrived at 3.30 pm – six hours after the ambush had been spring – they could do little else than survey the carnage.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Forthright but not "Far Right": The English Defence League lays down the gauntlet

The much-vilified English Defence League (EDL), which is branded a "far right" organisation by the Jewish Chronicle, the BBC and most of the mainstream media, thus effectively putting the organisation beyond the pale and making dispassionate consideration of it virtually impossible, has issued a press release disavowing the label and insisting that it stands for "human rights"

Here's what is says:
'Please note: the English Defence League (EDL) is not now, nor has it ever been a "Far Right" organisation. The EDL welcomes all colours, creeds, religions, sexualities and anyone who believes in the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.
In the past many media outlets have dubbed the EDL "Far Right" without providing any significant evidence to back up this claim. We have not reacted up to now.
The EDL would like to alert all media outlets we have been advised in the future we should not allow news reportage to describe as or link the EDL to the "Far Right" without significant evidence (such as has not been provided up to now).
Should any media now refer to the EDL as "Far Right" or associated terms with negative or extreme conotations, without providing justifying evidence and giving the EDL a right to reply, as they are required to do by Press Complaints Commission (PCC) Editors' Code section 1-i and 1-ii (Accuracy) & Section 2, we will have to consider an official complaint to the PCC.
As the EDL has a large following among ethnic minorities, different religions and differing sexualities, who are happy to stand up for the England they want to live in, describing these people as "Far Right" is inaccurate, insulting and morally wrong. The EDL has an obligation to protect its supporters from this accusation and will act accordingly.'
Read more: http://englishdefenceleague.org/content.php?255-Press-Release-EDL-Is-A-Human-Rights-Organisation

Monday, 21 March 2011

More on That Attack on a Pro-Israel Activist at London University

StandWithUs, the organisation whose representative was bitten on the cheek, requiring hospitalisation (see my previous post), has issued the following press release:
SOAS should uphold free speech and bar incitement to violence and antisemitism.

A small number of pro-Israel protestors, including supporters of StandWithUs, participated in a peaceful protest against the “Celebrate Palestine Festival” event held at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS] on March 20th. The event included calls for boycotting Israel and libeling it as an “Apartheid” country.

The pro-Israel protesters were standing at the university, with signs behind them pointing out that Israel is the opposite of an 'apartheid' country and calling for a peaceful two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. They peacefully discussed these issues with attendees, only once approached by people. The police had given them permission to be there.

Anti-Israel activists then engaged them in conversation. One man verbally assaulted them with anti-Semitic slurs, saying, “the best thing that Jews have ever done was to go into the gas chambers. It was the best thing to happen to Germany to have been cleaned of Jews. The same thing needs to happen in the Middle East.” Another anti-Israel activist then punched and bit a Jewish member of the group, who was hospitalized. This was an unprovoked attack. His attacker was later arrested by police.

StandWithUs unequivocally condemns the disgusting act of violence against peaceful Israel supporters on the SOAS campus. The attacker evidently was spurred on by the hate-filled, one-sided event taking place at SOAS.

“I am totally shaken and distressed by what happened. One of the most disturbing things is that the people involved, fearing negative publicity…started accusing us shouting, "how dare you come here? It's a Celebrate Palestine event, you knew what would happen. You asked for it.’ I didn't think I would ever get to a stage in which I would feel like a Jew in Nazi Germany, and I don't say it lightly," reported StandWithUs-UK Coordinator Gili Brenner who was one of the pro-Israel demonstrators.

"It is unacceptable that violent rhetoric by Palestinian supporters spills over into violent actions. We expect the university to condemn this attack and those who incited it. Universities must have a policy of zero tolerance policy for hate speech and anti-Semitism. They should carefully monitor incendiary events like ‘Celebrate Palestine' to ensure that hate speech, violence, and suppression of free speech do not occur,” said Michael Dickson, StandWithUs-Israel Director who was in London during the incident.

“Unfortunately, the kind of blatant anti-Semitism, bigotry, and incitement to hatred that occurred at SOAS lurk at the bottom of far too many anti-Israel events on campuses. They frequently become a toxic brew that can lead to physical violence as they did in this case. They also prevent any serious discussion of the issues, and often lead to intimidation and the suppression of free speech, as they did in London,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.

"It is unthinkable that in the UK people can be prevented from peacefully demonstrating and expressing their opposition to incitement, hatred and blatant anti-semitism which, given the outrageous comments about Jews this undoubtedly was. It is important that the right to challenge anti-Israel events be protected, and Israel’s supporters must not be intimidated or silenced by the mindless violence that occurred on Sunday,” commented Joy Wolfe, UK Chairman of StandWithUs.

A short video made following the attack (the man featured is not the attacker):



For more information and photos, including yesterday's events at SOAS and Covent Garden: http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/

Pro-Israel Activist at London University Physically Attacked

I suppose it was only a matter of time, given the hate-ridden antisemitic atmosphere that prevails on some of Britain’s campuses, especially in London, and the lily-livered attitude of the university authorities.

The Jewish Chronicle reports that a pro-Israel activist was physically attacked and hospitalised during Israel Apartheid Week. He was one of a foursome from the organisation Stand With Us who went along to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University to observe a “Celebrate Palestine” event there.

One man reportedly told the group that “the best thing the Jews had done was to go to the gas chambers” and then another man, described as “of Middle East appearance”, bit one of the foursome on the cheek, causing the victim to be taken to the nearby University College Hospital.

To add insult to injury, the university authorities seem to be blaming the Stand With Us group for the assault on the grounds that their presence was provocative.

Read more: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/46817/pro-israel-protester-attacked-soas
And see my next post for updated material.

And here's a taste of student opinion at SOAS, with George Galloway thrown in:

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A Saudi Officer Reflects on What Might Have Been Had the Arabs Recognised Israel in 1948


Signatures on Israel's Declaration of Independence, 1948
 "What if Arabs had recognized the State of Israel in 1948?" asks retired Saudi commodore Abdulateef Al-Mulhim in a remarkable op-ed in Arab News.  He continues, inter alia:

"If Israel was recognized in 1948, then the Palestinians would have been able to free themselves from the hollow promises of some Arab dictators who kept telling them that the refugees would be back in their homes and all Arab lands will be liberated and Israel will be sent to the bottom of the sea. Some Arab leaders used the Palestinians for their own agenda to suppress their own people and to stay in power....
If Israel was recognized in 1948, then there would have been no need for a coup in Egypt against King Farouq in 1952 and there would have been no attack on Egypt in 1956 by The UK, France and Israel. Also there will be no war in June 1967 and the size of Israel will not be increased and we, the Arabs would not have the need for a UN resolution to beg Israel to go back to the pre-1967 borders. And no war of attrition between Egypt and Israel that caused more casualties on the Egyptian side than the Israeli side....
Now, the Palestinians are on their own.  Each Arab country is busy with its own crisis. From Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Somalia, Algeria, Lebanon and the Gulf states. For now, the Arab countries have put the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on hold."
Read the entire article: http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article322715.ece