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 June 2011

The Lady and the Sheikh, and Other Snippets

The following, entitled "Jihad Jenny Threatens To Quit The Lib Dems Over Salah Detention" (see my previous post for the details of his arrest) is is a crosspost by prominent British pro-Israel activist Jonathan Hoffman.  It also appears at http://www.thejc.com/blogs/jonathan-hoffman/jihad-jenny-threatens-quit-libdems-over-salah-detention

At a meeting in a House of Commons Committee Room last night where I was present, “Jihad” Jenny Tonge spoke about “the power of the Israel Lobby”. Her remarks were in connection with the Home Secretary’s decision to arrest and deport Sheikh Raeed Salah (who had been billed to address the meeting). She declared herself “ashamed” at the action of a government of which the LibDems (her party) are a member and said “I am carefully considering my position in my party”.

Go on Jihad Jenny – I’ll lay odds that if you resign the words “Good Riddance” will be on Nick Clegg’s lips. I doubt he has forgotten your seemingly antisemitic comments in 2006:
"The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they've probably got a grip on our party."
 Most of the speakers at the meeting agreed that the banning of Salah was down to the all-powerful “Israel Lobby”.

Er ..how about the outrages catalogued here?
http://thecst.org.uk/blog/?p=2639http://hurryupharry.org/2011/06/29/raed-salah-sitting-in-a-cell-awaiting...


I for one congratulate the Home Secretary. As the CST [Community Security Trust] says,
"The Government, therefore, is to be congratulated on its Prevent strategy and its efforts to better control those who would import and promote such politics (with its attendant hatreds) into the UK."
Sarah Colbourne of the PSC claimed that the ‘Lobby’ had ensured Salah’s arrest in order to stop his legal actions (against Andrew Gilligan of the Daily Telegraph and Robyn Rosen of the Jewish Chronicle).; Diana Neslen (Jews for Justice for Palestinians - JFJFP) spoke about “those with certain influence”.

Other lowlights of the meeting:

[Manuel] Hassassian (Palestinian so-called “Ambassador”):
“Rightwing fascist Israeli government … Israel is above international law .. supported unequivocally by the International Police – the USA”
Ismail Patel:
'The watchword of the early Zionists was “a land without a people for a people without a land”' [False quote: no Zionist ever said this]
 Lord Dubs [Labour life peer]:
“Israel is its own worst enemy”.
 He spoke with horror about seeing 14- and 15-year old boys in shackles in a military Court in the West Bank but when I asked him what crime they were accused of, he didn’t have a clue .. he even suggested they were not accused of any crime …

Diana Neslen (Jews for Justice for Palestinians): JFJFP has issued a statement deploring the arrest and banning of Saleh. (This puts them firmly in the extremist camp). Her talk “as-a-Jew” was no more than a tirade of vilification of Israel and Israeli Jews:
“Jews do not see the citizens of the West Bank as worthy of human rights"


Sheikh Raed Salah (videos)

Get out the popcorn - here's Israel's Islamist hate preacher Sheikh Raed Salah, who despite being banned from Cloud Cuckoo Land (the once great UK), entered unchallenged, as cool as a cucumber: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2009453/Sheikh-Raed-Salah-Banned-hate-preacher-arrested-WILL-deported.html

http://anneinpt.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/sheikh-raed-salah-banned-in-uk-enters-uk-gives-speech/

See also this partisan press release, re "The Gandhi of Palestine": http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/press-release/2532-press-release-the-facts-and-sequence-of-events-surrounding-sheikh-raed-salahs-arrest



Wednesday, 29 June 2011

All Over, Over All? Fatah's Accord with Hamas

In an article entitled "Palestine: Forget Reconciliation Between Hamas and Fatah," which comes via the antipodean J-Wire service, Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer cites irreconcilable differences as the reason that the Fatah-Hamas Accord announced several weeks ago is likely to founder .

David Singer writes:

'The much vaunted reconciliation between rival Palestinian Arab groups Hamas and Fatah still remains a mirage almost two months after the widely publicized signing of a reconciliation agreement in Cairo between the two groups on 4 May.

Really no more than a heads of agreement – there has still been no demonstrable progress on any of the matters to be implemented under that agreement.

Ostensibly the logjam has been caused by the parties being unable to agree on a Prime Minister to head the new government of reconciliation until fresh elections are held – supposedly on 4 May 2012.

Fatah has nominated the Palestinian Authority’s current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad – whose appointment has been vehemently opposed by Hamas – and for good reason.

Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as prime minister on 16 February 2006 following the Hamas victory in the elections held on 25 January 2006. He was formally presented to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on 20 February 2006 and was sworn in 29 March 2006.

On 14 June 2007, Abbas dismissed Haniyeh and appointed Fayyad in his place. This followed a bitter internecine struggle between Hamas and Fatah that resulted in Hamas gaining control of Gaza culminating in the ICRC estimating that 118 Gazans had been killed and 550 wounded in just the previous week’s struggle for control of Gaza.

The appointment of Fayyad to replace Haniyeh has been challenged as illegal, because under the Palestinian Basic Law, the President of the Palestinian Authority may dismiss a sitting prime minister, but may not appoint a replacement without the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council. According to the law, until a new prime minister is thus appointed, the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government. Fayyad’s appointment was never placed before, or approved, by the Legislative Council.

For this reason, Haniyeh has continued to operate in Gaza, and been recognised by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister.

Anis al-Qasem – the Palestinian constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who has publicly declared the appointment of Fayyad to be illegal.

Certainly the appointment of a mutually acceptable Prime Minister is an issue – but there are other far more critical problems threatening the likelihood of reconciliation ever being implemented.

A report prepared by the Cairo Institute For Human Rights Studies in December 2009 titled “Bastion of Immunity, Mirage of Reform” details the enormous challenges faced by Hamas and Fatah in reconciling their differences:
“Under the cover of the war in Gaza, Hamas embarked on several repressive measures targeting Fatah members, figures who oppose Hamas’ rule, and suspected collaborators with Israel, and it is suspected that dozens of people were killed, either shot to death or as a result of torture. Hamas personnel also broke the legs and arms of dozens of other people to compel them to stay in their homes. Also, some government employees in Gaza were replaced with Hamas loyalists.
In the West Bank, under the authority of Fatah, hundreds of Hamas sympathizers remain in detention; it is thought that at least two of the detainees have died as a result of torture. The West Bank authorities fired civil servants and teachers suspected of Hamas sympathies, while the salaries of thousands of employees of the Palestinian authority inside the Gaza Strip were suspended. Licensing for associations and companies in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is now preceded by a security check,and those organizations that have affiliations with the “wrong” party are refused Licenses.”
Rectifying this reprehensible conduct on both sides is virtually only mentioned in passing in Article 4B5 of the 4 May reconciliation agreement in these bland and impersonal terms:
“To resolve the civil and administrative problems that resulted from the division.”
An unknown number of political prisoners held by both sides continue to languish in prisons as a result of Hamas and Fatah being obviously unable to agree on their release.

Matters such as compensating families for the loss of their family members murdered and tortured or who lost their jobs will also need to be resolved if true reconciliation is to be achieved.

Other fundamental doctrinal issues also indicate the unrealistic possibility of reconciliation.

They centre around the provisions of Article 13 and Article 27 of the Hamas Covenant 1988

Article 13 declares:
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.”
Hamas could hardly agree to be part of a Government seeking to approach the United Nations in September to declare a Palestinian Arab State in only 5% of former Palestine. Abandoning its stated goal of securing sovereignty in 100% of former Palestine would defeat the raison d’etre for its very existence.

Article 27 poses even bigger problems for the mooted reconciliation by making it clear that Hamas is opposed to a secular State of Palestine as endorsed by the Palestine Liberation Organization – of which Fatah is the controlling factional member – whilst Hamas is not even a member:
“Secularism completely contradicts religious ideology. Attitudes, conduct and decisions stem from ideologies.
That is why, with all our appreciation for the Palestinian Liberation Organization – and what it can develop into – and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser. The day the Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies.”
The struggle for the hearts and the minds of the Palestinian Arabs is set to continue for a long time – whilst these fundamental differences of philosophy divide Hamas and Fatah. Reconciling these two conflicting viewpoints in a united Government seems impossible to achieve.

The dispute about who will be Prime Minister pales into insignificance compared to these fundamentally very different positions.

Only an election can clear the air between Hamas and Fatah and determine which should govern. The likelihood of this happening in the current circumstances is very remote.'

Love This!

This video is just one of the many goodies to be found on http://www.flotillafacts.com/ - a new website created by the pro-Israel organisation StandWithUs:

Pro-Israel British Methodists On The Offensive

Hot on the heels of Britain's University and College Union, which on the motion of leftist diehards at its annual conference recently voted to change the defintion of antisemitism contained in the European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC) Working Definition of Antisemitism to suit their own vicious Israel-bashing ends, motions by pro-Israel elements within the BDS-committed British Methodist Church might effectively  deter any copycat move by anti-Israel colleagues.

Writes staunchly pro-Israel Methodist preacher David Hallam on his blog (hat tip: reader Ian G):
 'It is heartening to see that three circuits have submitted resolutions (or "memorials") affirming Methodist opposition to anti-Semitism and expressing concern at the impact of the disastrous 2010 report and resolution purporting to about "justice" for the Israelis and Palestinians.
The charge is led by the  The Barnet and Queensbury (35/35) circuit which has the highest percentage of Jewish residents in the UK.... 
Their memorial M32 outlines the growing difficulties facing the Jewish community in the UK and asks conference to reaffirm our formal opposition to anti-Semitism. Possibly the most significant sentence in the memorial is the inclusion of the [EUMC Working Definitism of Anti-Semitism].
This however will create difficulties for the British Methodist Church. For example at last year's conference a guest speaker Naim Ateek accused Jews of using the Holocaust as a Zionist tool, with the Holocaust used as an "industry" which is "exploited for financial gain". This speech was applauded by the very people ... who are now running round boasting that we are involved in interfaith engagement with the Jewish community...'.
Read more: http://methodistpreacher.blogspot.com/2011/06/methodist-conference-to-be-pressed-to.html

Is Jordan Palestine? (videos)

This video is one of several available that insists that it is.


And so does this instantly recognisable gentleman.
I posted the script of Geert Wilders's speech in Tel Aviv at the time he made it.  But if you'd like to see the controversial Dutch politician actually delivering it, here he is, warning that "ideologies cannot be defeated by concessions" and that the conflict in the Middle East "is not about land and borders but about Islamic jihadism":


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Real Freedom Flotilla

"O Liberty," famously exclaimed Madame Roland as she awaited death by guillotining during France's Reign of Terror," what crimes are committed in thy name!"

The antics and prattlings and sheer hypocrital double standards (to put it no stronger) of the leftwing Israel-bashers who have joined the so-called Freedom Flotilla Two inevitably put me in mind of her words...

In a new article entitled "The Authentic Palestine Freedom Flotilla" Ruth S. King writes:
'No! I do not mean the motley crew of terrorist enablers, terrorists and assorted curs and knaves that is taking to the briny to defame Israel and bring “humanitarian” aid to the denizen of Gaza. Never mind those immoral misfits who forgot how the residents of Gaza trashed and looted and destroyed the farms, greenhouses, state of the art farming tools and implements, organic fertilizers and even seeds in the lush gardens of Gush Katif which provided 70% of Israel’s produce and $120,000,000 in exports of foods and flowers.
I speak of a real Palestine freedom flotilla….that fleet of ancient and ramshackle ships and the valiant volunteer crews that transported the wretched survivors of the Holocaust to Palestine in defiance of the perverse British blockade between 1946 and 1948.'
 Read all of Ruth King's article here: http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.9834/pub_detail.asp

As for double standards, watch this segment from a Canadian show - John Downs's pitiful evasive responses to Michael Coren's probing!

Alone In Their Sights

Last August, on the occasion of poor Gilad Shalit's 24th birthday, I drew attention to an unconnected piece that Brian Keenan, an Irishman seized in 1986 by Islamic Jihad in Lebanon, happened to have written that very week in a London newspaper regarding his own ordeal.  I wondered whether the kidnapped Israeli soldier found himself in a similar hellish situation.

For Keenan had recalled:
'I was blindfolded and kept in the dark for a large period of my four and a half years’ incarceration in Beirut. I would wake up not knowing whether it was day or night. The darkness was palpable. You could touch it with your fingers. I wondered in that blackness: how do they know I’m alive. How do I know? .... Your self-awareness is swallowed up in the black incubus all around you. You may hear moaning or screaming or swearing, but you are gone. You question your own existence. You have no point of reference without being able to see another’s face.
I had no contact with the outside world.  The only sound I heard was the call to prayer.  If someone is communicating with you, the confinement seems less.  At least for a while.  Once the reality hits - that liberation might not come - strange things happen inside the body, brain, and mind.  When you are trapped, or in captivity, "mind time" is totally different from ordinary time.  It is out of time.  It has no structure.  That is the struggle.  Strategies to "kill time", which I often tried, are absurd and don't work.' http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2010/08/for-hostage-of-hamas-another-unhappy.html
So I was surprised and disconcerted to read, in journalist Kevin Myers's article on Friday in the Irish Independent, that during a discussion on the Middle East at a recent book festival in the Emerald Isle Mr Keenan had joined the rest of the panel (all except Myers) in putting the boot into Israel.

Wrote Myers, an English-born Irish Catholic critical of left-liberal excesses:
"Not merely was I the only pro-Israeli person in the panel of four, but the chairwoman of the session, [journalist and broadcaster] Olivia O'Leary, also felt obliged to throw in her three-ha'pence worth.
Israeli settlers on the West Bank were on stolen land, she sniffed. Palestinians in their refugee camps had title deeds to the ancient properties. The UN had repeatedly condemned Israel. Brian Keenan, who was held hostage by Arab terrorists for four years, then detailed Israeli human-rights abuses, to loud cheers.
Israel - and its sole defender on the panel ... were then roundly attacked by members of the audience. But what was most striking about the audience's contributions was the raw emotion: they seemed to loathe Israel."
In the latest flotilla is the Motor Vessel Saoirse ("Freedom"), from Ireland:


Ponders Mr Myers, with good reason:
'What is it about Israel that prompts such a widespread departure from common sense, reason and moral reality? As another insane flotilla prepares to butt across the Mediterranean bringing "aid" to the "beleaguered" people of Gaza, in its midst travelling the MV Saoirse, does it never occur to all the hysterical anti-Israeli activists in Ireland that this is like worrying about the steaks being burnt on the barbecue, as a forest fire sweeps towards your back garden?....
But how can anyone possibly think that Gaza is the primary centre of injustice in the Middle East? According to Mathilde Redmatn, deputy director of the International Red Cross in Gaza, there is in fact no humanitarian crisis there at all. But by God, there is one in Syria, where possibly thousands have died in the past month.
However, I notice that none of the Irish do-gooders are sending an aid-ship to Latakia. Why? Is it because they know that the Syrians do not deal with dissenting vessels by lads with truncheons abseiling down from helicopters, but with belt-fed machine guns, right from the start?
What about a humanitarian ship to Libya? Surely no-one on the MV Saoirse could possible maintain that life under Gaddafi qualified it as a civilised state. Not merely did it murder opponents by the bucketload at home and abroad, it kept the IRA campaign going for 20 years, and it also - a minor point, this, I know - brought down the Pan Am flight at Lockerbie. Yet no Irish boat to Libya. Only the other way round.
And then there's Iraq. Throughout the decades of Saddam Hussein, whose regime caused the deaths of well over a million people, there wasn't a breath of liberal protest against him. Gassing the Kurds? Not a whimper. Invading Kuwait? Not one single angry placard-bearing European liberal outside an Iraqi embassy.
Destroying the drainage systems of the Marsh Arabs? Silence. Manipulating UN oil-for-food programme so that thousands died? Nothing.
Next, Saudi Arabia, whose revolting practices cannot be called medieval without doing a grave injustice to the Middle Ages. It is led by savages who have studiously turned their backs on knowledge - even as they sip their Krug and their Bollinger in their €100m apartments in Belgravia. They behead and behand, they torture and they mutilate, and they have spent billions on their foul madrasahs teaching young Muslims right across the world to hate us kaffirs. But what demonstrations are there outside Saudi embassies? What flotillas to defend the human rights of the millions of immigrant serfs, who toil without any rights in Saudi homes and in the oil industry?
There isn't a single Arab country, not one, with the constitutional protection that Israel confers on all its citizens, regardless of religion or ethnicity or sexual orientation....
The last 'aid flotilla' to Gaza carried a large number of Islamists who wanted to provoke: and aided by some quite astounding Israeli stupidity, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
Now another convoy is under way, and again with an utterly disingenuous plan to bring "assistance" to the "beleaguered Gazans", some of who, funnily enough, can now cross into Egypt any time they like, and buy their explosives and their Kalashnikovs in the local arms-bazaar.
And as for human-rights abuses: why, nothing that Israel has done in the 63 years of its existence can possibly compare with the mass-murders of Fatah members by Hamas firing-squads over the past five years.
The colossal western intellectual dissonance between evidence and perception on the subject of Israel at this point in history can perhaps only be explained by anthropologists.
This dissonance is perhaps at its most acute in Ireland, where no empirical proof seems capable of changing people's minds. Israel, just about the only country in the entire region where Arabs are not rising up against their rulers, is also the only country that the Irish chattering classes unite in condemning. Rather pathetic, really.' http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-how-can-dogooders-possibly-think-that-gaza-is-the-primary-centre-of-injustice-in-middle-east-2804748.html 
Sadly and disturbingly, I doubt whether the IDF's Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich will succeed in convincing such fanatics of the error of their ways:

Monday, 27 June 2011

"Get Out So That We Can Get In": How the Arabs (not Israel) caused the refugee problem

According to blogger Richard Millett, reporting on a meeting held at Westminster under the auspices of the London-based Palestine Return Centre, our old friend Lib Dem life peer Baroness Tonge
"finished [her] talk by describing her dream that one day all the Palestinian refugees will unite and march together to claim back their homeland. She said it would be impossible for Israel to kill all of them." http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/jenny-tonge-i-have-a-dream/
Voices, often raised hysterically, at other pro-Palestinian meetings hither and thither can also be heard advocating the return of the "refugees" - an occurrence that would, it goes without saying, destroy Israel by demography.  Just look at the two BBC programme videos on my Thursday post to witness such sentiments, which of course are symptomatic of the widespread - and perhaps in many instances wilfull - ignorance of the history of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs that characterises much of what passes for debate in the West on the issue of "Israel/Palestine".  Take a look, too, at my Saturday evening post, and Sylvia Hale's contention that the refugees were "expelled" from Israel, which must accord them the "right of return".

All this goes to show how brilliantly the anti-Israel propaganda machine has been in hijacking the historical narrative, and, conversely, how abysmal Israel's hasbara efforts have been on the question of the Nakba and the Palestinian Arab refugees.

Moreover, it was reported last week (several anti-Israel blogs have picked this up but I don't want to increase their traffic by linking to them), Hamas, blaming the plight of the refugees on the United Nations for Partition and subsequent inaction, has urged  the "refugees to stick to their demands of return and compensation and organize rallies year-round and not to be content with Nakba and Naksa days only."

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Israelis have colluded in their own nightmare in this regard by acquiescing in the new-fangled label "Palestinians" for those previously known simply as Arabs.

For in so doing the Israelis unwittingly conceded the historical narrative to Arafat and his mates - the Israelis foolishly bolstered the fiction (now believed by so many ordinary men and women around the world) that there was a sovereign Arab people called "Palestinians" whose land was stolen from them.

Here's one of the Mandate-era posters by the oleh Franz Krausz that seems so far to have escaped  being snatched for propaganda purposes by those Israel-bashers who use the others as symbols of the Arab cause.

How correct, surely, is Israeli blogger Michelle Cohen's observation that:

'The biggest mistake Israelis make, is agreeing to call regional Arabs "Palestinians." 
It is exactly the same as supplying Arabs with ammunition with which to delegitimise Israel.  It is exactly like saying, "We agree with you — you were here first, this is your land and we stole it."
This is the Arab narrative anyway and we, as Israelis, are justifying this claim by agreeing to call regional Arabs by the name they have stolen.  If we wish to be taken seriously by the "international community", it is high time and highly recommended that we go back to calling "Palestinians" Arabs and make certain our voices are heard across the land, in Government, in Media and around the world.' http://www.israelifrontline.com/2010/11/when-arabs-became-palestinians.html
The historical reality is, despite Baroness Tonge, Ms Hale, and their ilk, and despite Arab denials, that the vast majority of the Arabs who fled in 1948 did so at the behest of their leaders, and that had those leaders not declared war on Israel with the aim of annihilating the fledgling state, there would have been no refugee problem.  Furthermore, as the pro-Palestinian activist should be well aware, the refugees were urged by the Jews of Eretz Israel to remain, and the fact that only one-fifth of the refugees were resettled in Arab lands was due to the Arabs' deliberate policy of using the refugees as pawns in their conflict with the Zionist Entity.

On 2 October 1947 the Va'ad Leumi, the National Council or Assembly of Palestinian Jewry, stated:
"The Jewish People extends the hand of sincere friendship and brotherhood to the Arab peoples and calls them to cooperate as free and equal allies for the sake of peace and progress, for the benefit of their respective countries."
On 3 December that same year the Va'ad issued an appeal:
"Arabs!  The National Council of Jews in Palestine sends you words of peace and calls on you not to follow those who invite you to riots and bloodshed.  The Jews plan to build their state...with complete cooperation and friendship.  They have no interest in destruction, but in construction.  The Jewish effort developed and enriched all of the country in the past - and it will continue to be in the future a perpetual source of blessing to Jews and Arabs alike.... Remove the inciters from your public forums and take the hand which is stretched out before you in peace."
On 12 April 1948 the Zionist General Council  declared:
"At this hour, when bloodshed and strife have been forced upon us, we turn to the Arabs in the Jewish state, and to nour neighbours on adjacent territories, with an appeal for brotherhood and peace."
Israel's Proclamation of Independence made by Ben-Gurion on 14 May 1948 similarly stated:
"In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the state of Israel to return to the ways of peace, and to play their part in the development of the state with full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions, provisional and permanent."
The Lebanese newspaper Sadar al Janub (16 August 1948) carried information from the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Galilee, Syrian-born George Selim Hakim:
'The refugees had long been confident that their absence from Palestine would not last long, that they would return within a few days, within a week or two.  Their leaders had promised them that the Arab armies would crush the Zionist "gangs" very quickly and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile.'
 And then we have such documentation as the following:
"The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the act of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state.  The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem." (Emile Ghoury, Secretary of the Palestinian Arab Higher Committee, in an interview with the Beirut Telegraph, 6 September 1948)
"[T]he Jewish authorities, who were now in complete control in Haifa (save for limited districts still held by the British troops), urged all Arabs to remain in Haifa and guaranteed them protection and security.  As far as I know, most of the British civilian residents whose advice was asked by Arab friends told the latter that they would be wise to stay. However, of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa, not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained.  Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight.  There is but little doubt that the most potent of these factors were [sic] the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Executive, urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit.... It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades."  (The Economist, London, 2 October 1948)
"The Arab states which had encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the wayof the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help those refugees."  (Jordanian daily Falastin, 19 February 1949)
"The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab people that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade... He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw the Jews into the Mediterranean... Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property and to stay temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading armies mow them down."  (Habib Issa, editor of New York-based Lebanese newspaper Al Hoda, 8 June 1951)
"Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now from the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honour nor conscience?  Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their honour?  The Arab states, and Lebanese amongst them, did it." (Beirut Muslim weekly Kul-Shay, 19 August 1951)
"For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs... By spreading rumours of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children, etc, they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine until they fled leaving their homes and property to the enemy."  (Jordanian daily Al Urdun, 9 April 1953).
 'We were masters in our land, happy with our lot ... but overnight everything changed.  The Arab government told us "Get out so that we can get in" - so we got out but they [the Arab government] did not get in.'  (Jordanian journal Ad-Difaa, 6 September 1954)
"All of a sudden the people of Jaffa began to evacuate their towns, abandoning it in the middle of a fight, even before its climax... I now see that we fought only half-heartedly... Our many quarrels kept us too busy.  We left the country of our own free will believing we were going on a short visit, a trip and soon we would return as if nohing had happened  and as if there had never been a war."  (Mahmoud Seif ed-Din Irani, With The People, Amman, 1956)
"As early as the first months of 1948 the Arab League issued orders exhorting the people to seek temporary refuge in the neighbouring countries, later to return to their abodes in the wake of the victorious Arab armies and obtain their share of abandoned Jewish properties." (Bulletin of the Research Group of European Migration Problems, January 1957, The Hague, pp. 10-11)
'The Arabs' eyes were blinded and their brains clogged.  They were confused by promises and deluded by their leaders.  The Palestinian Arabs were ignorant and easily led astray.  They were short-sighted and unthinking and subjected to  gangster leadership...which herded them like docile sheep... Many left temporarily, they thought, to await the passing of the storm... The leaders rattled their sabres, delivered fiery speeches and wrote stirring articles.  Iraq's Prime Minister had thundered "We shall smash the country with our guns and destroy and obliterate every place the Jews will seek shelter in.  The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." (Nimr Al-Harawi, former commander of the paramilitary al-Najjada youth organisation in Palestine, Sir am Nakba: The Secret Behind The Disaster, Nazareth, 1955)
"The 15th of May 1948 arrived... On that very day the Mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead." (Cairo daily Akhbar el Yom, 12 October 1963)
 (My source for all the quotations in italics is Chapter Three of Isi Leibler's The Case for Israel, a fact-packed paperback published in 1972 by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, of which Mr Leibler was President for many years before making aliya in 1999.)

Bibi Netanyahu Describes His Vision For Israel's Future (videos)

Here's Binyamin Netanyahu speaking on 23 June at the President's Conference in Jerusalem.
Personally, I'd always make time for the charismatic Bibi ... but if you're reluctant to watch them all, I particularly recommend the fourth, in which he outlines what Mahmoud Abbas must do to achieve peace with the Jewish State:




Lebanon's Flotilla Organiser (videos)

Here's Yasser Kashlak, organiser of the Lebanese participation in the flotillas to Gaza, waxing antisemitic last year ... 

 

And here he is enthusing over the latest seafaring escapade:


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Off To Hamastan-On-Sea Aboard The Good Ship "Tahrir"

On one of my Friday posts I linked to a video of pro-Palestinian activist Sylvia Hale, co-founder of a well-known Australian publishing company and a former New South Wales state parliamentarian (Greens, naturellement), telling the Israel-bashing faithful about her forthcoming trip to Gaza along with fellow Aussies bent on breaking the so-called "siege of Gaza". There's a "Free Palestine" poster on the lectern in front of her, and on the wall behind is a big "Boycott Israel" banner.  The video is eleven minutes long, so here's an alternative four-minute quickie, if you'd rather:

Want more?  Here's fifteen minutes' worth - Ms Hale addressing diehards of the Trotskyite organisation known as Socialist Alternative, who lap up the canards (watch those grey heads nod) about "war crimes," "ethnic cleansing," and the "right of return" of the "expelled" (sic!) refugees:


Read more about that meeting here: http://www.sa.org.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=6924:palestine-supporters-meet-in-sydney&Itemid=386

Evidently, the true facts of the "violence" aboard the Mavi Marmara last May, so well captured in the video by that peerless poster boy, the Elder of Ziyon (to which I also link on that Friday post), have made not an iota of an impact on our intrepid lady traveller.  Not to mention other facts, both historical and current.

Here is Ms Hale, who was a Marrickville councillor for several years, attempting to justify the Marrickville Greens' reprehensible adoption of BDS, and condemning the attempt to "silence dissent" by those who campaigned against Marrickville's loathsome and discriminatory policy:


 Also bound for Gaza aboard the flotilla are Sydneysiders Vivienne Porzsolt and Michael Coleman:




In the course of an excellent article (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/gaza-flotilla-blind-to-hamas/story-e6frg6ux-1226080858425 - hat tip: reader Shirlee) about what he aptly terms "this latest anti-Israel provocation," Arsen Ostrovsky of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council notes:

No, Gaza will not be free so long as Hamas continues to control the Gaza Strip. But then again, there was not a single mention of Hamas in their press release. Why?
If they need a reminder as to Hamas's raison d'etre, then look no further than Hamas's charter, which mixes genocidal anti-Semitism against Jews with calls for the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state in its place....
The Australian contingent has also said they are "committed to peace and non-violence", but how do they square that with Hamas's record of violence, including the firing of some 13,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2001? Since the end of the Gaza War in January 2009, there has been on average no less than a rocket a day fired by Hamas from Gaza.
Where were Sylvia Hale and co when Hamas deliberately fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli school bus recently, killing a 16-year-old boy?
They have also been conspicuously silent while Hamas has regularly tortured fellow Palestinians who have sought to exercise their freedom of speech to speak out against Hamas's crimes, while at the same time brutally suppressing the rights of women, gays and Christians.
Of course there is no mention about the plight of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who tomorrow will mark five years held hostage by Hamas without so much as a visit from the Red Cross and in breach of every imaginable Geneva convention.
At the time of the flotilla incident last June, the so-called "peace activists" rejected a request by Shalit's father to bring his son a letter and small care package. Apparently this did not coincide with their "mission".
Will the Australian contingent perhaps call on Hamas to release Gilad? Or do his rights not matter either?
It is noteworthy that in March this year, Israel intercepted the cargo vessel Victoria, transporting 50 tonnes of advanced Iranian weapons bound for Gaza. If Hale and the Greens had their way and the naval blockade was lifted, these weapons, and many more, would end up in the hands of Hamas and be used for acts of terror against Israeli civilians.
Were it not for the incessant rocket and mortar attacks by Hamas against Israel and the need to prevent weapons being smuggled to the terror group, there would of course never have been a blockade in the first instance.
Every responsible world leader has warned their citizens against participating in the upcoming flotilla, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urging those who may wish to provide goods into Gaza to do so through the approved channels.
One such channel, in addition to the already established channels through the Ashdod port in Israel and the UN, is the recently opened Rafah crossing in Egypt, which borders Gaza.
Even Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the flotilla organisers should reconsider their plans in light of the opening of the Rafah crossing.
Other than seeking to provoke Israel into another potentially deadly confrontation, there is no humanitarian or legal rationale for a flotilla, given the ample avenues available for goods and supplies to be delivered into Gaza....
Israel has never blocked the transfer of humanitarian goods into Gaza and today permits almost all goods to be imported into the strip, except only items that may be used for military or terrorist purposes.
 Only a few days ago, Israel approved the transfer of $100 million worth of construction materials for the building of 1200 new houses and 18 schools in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
One place where there is a pressing humanitarian crisis is for example Syria, where the Assad regime has now killed in excess of 1400 pro-democracy protesters since uprisings began in March this year, including the brutal torture and murder of a 13-year-old boy earlier this month. One would be forgiven for asking, where is the flotilla to Syria?
Or what about the wave of violence currently being unleashed against Coptic Christian communities across the Arab Middle East? Or in Saudi Arabia, where the regime has just arrested a woman for daring to defy the government's ban on women driving? And how about Iran, which continues to repress and persecute its local Baha'i minority?
It is a sad reflection on the moral turpitude of those participating in this provocative mission that the only flotilla they deem worthy of joining is one which is destined for Gaza, where they will serve the publicly declared goals of its Hamas rulers: violence, Israel's destruction and the suppression of the human rights of Palestinians.'
I have a question for the flotilla Aussies in addition to those posed by Ostrovsky.  It's simple and straightforward:

"You  have - to use nautical imagery that's not inappropriate here - nailed your colours firmly to the Boycott Israel mast. It's not impossible that you might require medical assistance during your forthcoming odyssey. Now, here's the rub - would you be consistent enough to carry this card?"

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Lie of the Land

Recognise these four maps?


I'm sure you do, for they're all but ubiquitous - they have found their way into the handouts of anti-Israel organisations, decorate many Israel-delegitimising websites, and take pride of place on the stall the local Palestine Solidarity Campaign - a veritable witches' coven if ever there was one - sets up in my town on a regular basis, to demonstrate to passersby, many of whom are university students, just how much "Palestinian" land those big bad Zionists have grabbed over the decades.

Not long ago, the redoubtable Elder of Ziyon, in a characteristically masterly and devastating analysis http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/03/map-that-lies-and-one-that-doesnt.html  showed  how mendacious those maps are, and substituted these accurate maps instead, which illustrate the concessions for peace that Israel has made since 1967:


And now, over at the ever-admirable CiF Watch, the always brilliant Israeli Nurse, setting herself the task of tracking the provenance of the four mendacious maps, has with Holmesian detective skills uncovered a trail that leads to a senior cleric within the Anglican Church.

Her piece is not to be missed! http://cifwatch.com/2011/06/24/beyond-belief-political-propaganda-in-the-anglican-church/#respond

Friday, 24 June 2011

Good On Yer, Cobber! An Aussie's View of the Latest Gaza Flotilla

Reacting to the news that three Sydney pro-Palestinian activists, including a former Green Party politician, Sylvia Hale (see her on the video below), are setting sail for Gaza, broadcaster, columnist, and advertising industry whizz Rowan Dean reckons they have been duped.

"This protest is a scam because it has no logical or intellectual underpinnings," he explains in no-holds-barred fashion.
'It is designed solely for the purpose of attempting to recreate the outrage that occurred when last year's flotilla was intercepted by the Israelis and, in the presence of reporters including Sydney Morning Herald chief correspondent Paul McGeough, a firefight was provoked that resulted in the tragic, awful and pointless death of nine activists. So, hey, let's do it again and see what happens!
But there's one big difference to last year that the scammers have chosen to overlook, which makes the very premise of Flotilla 2 a fraud. Thanks to the Arab Spring, the Egyptian border with Gaza is now wide open. Any and all legal goods can cross freely. In fact, the main organiser of the new flotilla, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation head Bulent Yildirim, admitted recently to the Turkish daily Hurriyet that ''had they told us before our departure last year that they would [have relaxed the embargo] we wouldn't have gone''. And he then went on to explain how the ''martyrdom'' of last year's activists was justification enough for this year's flotilla.
If these activists are genuinely interested in providing goods and services (and comfort) to the beleaguered Palestinians in Gaza, all they need do is fly to Cairo, hire a combi from Hertz, fill it up with whatever goodies they want and drive in unimpeded through the Rafah crossing. As many times as they like. Maybe take in a day trip to the pyramids while they're at it....
The blockade of Gaza by the IDF for the purposes of preventing weapons and munitions being smuggled ashore is, whether we agree with it or not, entirely legitimate under international law. Hamas, who control Gaza, are in a self-declared state of war with their Jewish neighbours, launching 13,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2001. Israel maintains that as soon as there is a credible system of verifying that weapons are not coming in by boat the blockade will be lifted. Pretty straightforward, really....
The awful truth about the Freedom Flotilla 2 is that it's only worthwhile if it makes international headlines, and it will only make headlines if and when people get hurt....'
Read more:http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/fame-not-freedom-is-the-goal-of-the-latest-flotilla-bound-for-gaza-20110621-1gdeo.html#ixzz1QBrJ008n


Sylvia needs to take a look at this:


 And see also: http://idfspokesperson.com/2011/06/24/video-gaza-flotilla-poses-danger-to-israeli-civilians/

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Tale of Two (English) Cites

Two recent articles, one set in the metropolis, the other in the provinces, have caught my eye, for they seem redolent of something very disturbing and distasteful in Britain today.

Last week Israeli historian Professor Benny Morris spoke on the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 at the London School of Economics.  I posted a video of the occasion: http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/06/professor-benny-morris-on-israels.html
In an article in  The National Interest Professor Morris describes what happened before, during, and after his talk.  This is the bit that particularly caught my eye, but do read the entire thing:
'I was invited to lecture on the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948. A few hours earlier, a fire had broken out in a nearby building and Kingsway was sealed off, so the taxi dropped me off a few blocks away. As I walked down Kingsway, a major London thoroughfare, a small mob—I don't think any other word is appropriate—of some dozen Muslims, Arabs and their supporters, both men and women, surrounded me and, walking alongside me for several hundred yards as I advanced towards the building where the lecture was to take place, raucously harangued and bated me with cries of "fascist," "racist," "England should never have allowed you in," "you shouldn't be allowed to speak." Several spoke in broken, obviously newly acquired, English. Violence was thick in the air though none was actually used. Passersby looked on in astonishment, and perhaps shame, but it seemed the sight of angry bearded, caftaned Muslims was sufficient to deter any intervention. To me, it felt like Brownshirts in a street scene in 1920s Berlin—though on Kingsway no one, to the best of my recall, screamed the word "Jew."'  http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/curbing-muslim-intimidation-5496

The other article is by Dr Samuel Lebens, now studying in Israel for the rabbinate, concerning the medium-sized  Midlands city in which he grew up:
'I grew up in a Jewish community that felt safe within this multicultural environment.Leicester has never been home to a large number of Jews. But we've always been proud of our association with it. Indeed, the number of Jewish mayors that have graced Leicester's City Hall is vastly disproportionate to our numbers.Growing up in that community, habituated to the tolerance around me, gave me a confidence in my minority identity. I owe that to the city of Leicester.
But let me describe to you another city. At best, it can be described as a city that tolerates the anti-Semitism in its midst. In the past few years, I have found it is almost impossible to walk down its main streets without having anti-Semitic abuse hurled at me and my family. Cars slow down, with windows opened, in order to unleash a bloodcurdling howl of Jew-hatred. I don't feel comfortable to dress, outwardly, as a Jew in that city. It is a place to which I fear to bring my children; I don't want them to know the face of anti-Semitism.
A young relative of the Rabbi, in that city, had a pellet gun shot at him indiscriminately. The synagogue there has been the target of repeated acts of vandalism.Recently, anti-Semites located the home of its only Orthodox Rabbi. They hurled bricks through its door in the middle of the night.
The fear that such an attack can strike into the hearts of a young family is barely describable.When will the next brick come? Will it still be a brick, or will it, God forbid, be something worse? How are they supposed to explain the attacks to their children? It is the sort of fear that can drive a family, and even a community, out of a city. The city I'm now describing is also Leicester; the Leicester of my adulthood. Not since Simon de Montfort, who was known for his Jew-hatred, has Leicester been so overcast with the shadow of anti-Semitism.
 ....Very few of Leicester's Jews dress outwardly as Jews (in skull caps, and fringes on the corners of their clothes). But, when a Jew does walk around dressed in traditional garb, there's almost bound to be to be a confrontation. Community cohesion might be good, generally, but if even one religious identity cannot flourish there, then it cannot be said to be a city that "does diversity"....
 Many of the anti-Semites who have confronted me in Leicester were of clear religious affiliation, and belonged to ethnic minorities themselves. They should have known better. I haven't a clue who's responsible for this most recent spate of attacks; I certainly won't jump to any assumptions.... Until the rank and file membership of faith groups in Leicester take this lesson to heart, those communities have a duty to do more than issue reassuring quotes, however heartfelt. I appreciate their support but what are they actually going to do?....' http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Leicester-getting-racist/story-12789760-detail/story.html

Is It Time To Free Palestine? (videos)

Brought to you courtesy of Al Beeb, from its Glasgow studio.  Participants Sam Westrop, Raymond Mann, Peter Hitchens and Professor Denis MacEoin get it right.



And see http://www.raymondcook.net/blog/index.php/2011/06/21/bbcs-the-big-question-asks-the-wrong-question/

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

In the Shadow of '67: A Voice From Israel's Past

I've found two interesting items that appeared in the leftwing London weekly New Statesman on 31 July and 14 August 1970.  The earlier of the two was an open letter to the then Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban.  It was written by the prominent Labour MP Richard Crossman, a steady friend of Israel who features in an earlier post of mine: http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2010/11/british-plans-for-resettlement-of.html

In his well-meaning open letter, Crossman, who had just become editor of the New Statesman, a post he left in 1972, urged the Israelis to relinquish the territories as soon as possible:
"....Your military ascendancy is a wasting asset, just as the territories you have occupied become heavier liabilities the longer you hold them.  I know you did not want this military ascendancy.  I know that your occupation of the West Bank was not premeditated, that you recognise that the Suez Canal is not your natural frontier.  I also know that any peace initiative you now take involves a military risk.  But in a year's time the risk will be even greater.  The vision of Arab-Jewish accord which was so fervent in 1948 and which has grown today, will grow dimmer still.
....An Israel which aped the ethos of a Prussian state would be a contradiction in terms...."
Replied Abba Eban, with his customary courtesy yet with incisive firmness:
".... You are clearly anxious about the effects of victory on Israel's character and conduct: and you have a picture of an Israel dominated by formidable 'soldiers' who are hostile to cease-fire and recalcitrants to political initiatives.  Now it is better that the editor of the New Statesman should be agitated than that he should be complacent: but when you get worried about whether we 'ape the ethos of a Prussian state' your agitation carries you much too far.  One of the disadvantages of your status in the last six years is that you could not come to Israel very often.  the public 'media' on which you had to rely are more fascinated by violence than by peaceful action.  For these reasons you, like others, have not seen Israel in a full length mirror. All Israeli life is lived today in the memory of the peril we faced in 1967.  Every one of us had good reason to fear the very worst that can befall a man, his family, his home and his nation.  In our people's history many things are too strange to be believed: but nothing is too terrible to have happened.  We have vigorously survived the danger with consequent injury to our martyr's image.  And if you ask me as you seem to do, 'What have you gained by victory?' I answer simply: 'Everything that we would have lost without it.' [My emphasis]
....[T]his abnormailty [occupation] was not sought: it was created by war, and it can be cured by peace.  Peace would replace cease-fire lines by negotiated and agreed boundaries to which armed forces would be withdrawn: and in any solution which my present Cabinet colleagues would endorse, the majority of the two million Palestinian Arabs on both sides of the river would be the citizens of an Arab state (beginning on our newly negotiated eastern frontier), whose structure, name and regime they would be free to determine.
I do not know how long the attainment of peace will take: but you really need not worry lest we have become Prussian by the time it comes about.  When you come to see us, you will not find us paralysed or obsessed by war.  You will find that 40,000 Arabs from neighbouring lands vistied the West Bank this summer.  You will be astonished in Jerusalem by an unceasing contact of Jews, Arabs, and thousands of all faiths which puts the segregation and fanatical exclusiveness of the Jordanian occupation to shame.  [My emphasis.] You will find a vast flow of visitors from Israel from all over the world.  You will see hundreds of the future leaders of developing countries studying here.  Israel, of course, is a society which has its imperfections: but these are redeemed by the free and lucid criticism of them as well as by the constant quest for improvement.  In short: you will find that you are as far from Prussia as you can get in the modern world.
 The main achievement of Israel since 1967 is to have remained a fighting nation without becoming a warrior stae.  Nor do I think you will find us dominated by 'soldiers'. I put the word in quotation marks because it conjures up a special breed which does not belong to our experience.  We have nothing here but civilians, some of whom are temporarily under arms.  We may show you a pilot who shot down eight aircraft bringing in the fruit from a kibbutz orchard...."
This was a period when the Left had already entered upon that slippery slope into hypocritical tunnel-visioned Israel-bashing that has become such a pit of putridity today.  For Eban went on to observe (and his strictures regarding Nasser surely have a resonance today in view of the threat posed to peace nd stability in the wake of the downfall of Mubarak and the lurking presence in the wings of power of the Muslim Brotherhood):
"If you find that the diversity, turbulence, paradox and indiscipline of our democracy are from Prussia I may suggest that you write your next open letter to President Nasser.  An authoritative socialist voice calling Nasser to the peace table is overdue.  There has been too much indulgence of [George] Habash [founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and mastermind of the trick of hijacking airliners] and Arafat and their exclusivist fantasies about a purely Middle East without a sovereign Israel as part of its memory, reality and hope.  There has been too much docile acceptance by part of the Left of a rampant Israelophobia with its ugly Stuermer-like expression portraying Israel as lying outside the human context.  In your letter, if you feel like writing it, you could remind President Nasser that the idea of an israel-Egyptian treaty as the gateway to a new era of peace and development in the Middle East would evoke his better days.  For Israel respected the progressive ideals of the Egyptian revolution in its early phase.  All this has been corrupted by the senseless war against Israel...."

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Why The United Nations Must Resist Declaring A Palestinian State


This is another of the insightful and important contributions to Middle East political analysis by Sydney lawyer David Singer, a foundation member of the International Analysts Network.  As regular readers will know, I am an admirer of his articles.  This latest one is entitled "Palestine - Unleashing the Self-Determination Genie," and it comes as usual via the antipodean J-Wire service.

Writes David Singer:

'It is hard to believe that the possibility of the Palestinians successfully approaching the UN in September and obtaining "a license to statehood" is even being seriously contemplated.

The Palestinians have never comprised a separate and unique group in recorded history.

Their defining Constitution – the PLO Charter – which only came into operation in 1964 makes this quite clear in Article 1, which states:
"Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation."
Palestinians are Arabs – part of the Arab nation currently comprising 21 independent States. The vast majority of Arabs only came to live in Palestine in the 20th century at the same time as the country was being opened up and developed by the return of the Jews.

Article 5 again confirms the Arab identity of the Palestinians by declaring:
"The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father – whether inside Palestine or outside it – is also a Palestinian."
Jews and non-Arab Christians residing in Palestine in or after 1947 are excluded. This smacks of apartheid and racism at its worst – which the international community accepts without a whimper.

Any approach to the UN in September will seek to have the UN recognize a Palestinian State in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza – which runs counter to the provisions of Article 2 of the PLO Charter which affirms:
"Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit."
British Mandatory Palestine comprised:
Jordan – almost 77% of Palestine
Israel – about 17% of Palestine and
Gaza and the West Bank – the remaining 6% of Palestine
Would the Palestinian Authority be prepared to forgo its claim to Jordan and Israel as a quid pro quo for UN recognition? I doubt it.

The fiction that constitutes the Palestinian identity is revealed in Article 4 of the PLO Charter:
"The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential, and inherent characteristic; it is transmitted from parents to children."
Certainly at the time the Mandate for Palestine was created in 1922 by the 51 nations comprising the League of Nations – no Palestinian identity rated a mention. The Preamble to the Mandate document spoke of :
" … the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine ..."
The censuses undertaken by the Turkish and English authorities in Palestine had always been based on counting the numbers of Jews, Moslems and Christians. The idea of a separate Palestinian identity never arose.

In 1946 Transjordan (now Jordan) was granted its independence by Great Britain. No attempt was made to define its Arab residents as Palestinians. They were called Trans-Jordanians and later Jordanians – even though that territory comprised almost four fifths of Palestine and the entire population comprised Arab nationals residing in Palestine at the time.

In 1947 the UN Partition Plan proposed for Palestine spoke of dividing the remaining 23% of the territory of the Mandate into a Jewish State and an Arab State – not a Palestinian State.

After the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza had been occupied by the invading armies of Jordan and Egypt from 1948-1967 – the Palestinian Arabs chose to unify the West Bank and East Jerusalem with Jordan in 1950. West Bank and East Jerusalem Arabs became Jordanian citizens. Any claim to a separate Palestinian identity was still well and truly hidden from sight. The State they now demand could have been created at any time during those 19 years when not one Jew lived there after all had been driven out during the 1948 War.

1964 really marked the starting point for a claimed Palestinian identity as defined in the PLO Charter. A very successful campaign undertaken during the last 47 years has seen this identity internationally deserving of recognition as a distinct separate and national group.

But what does this say for long standing authentic national and secessionist movements such as the Kurds, the Tibetans, the Chechens, and the Basques?

If the road to self-determination can be successfully pursued through the UN by the Palestinian Arabs on what is at best a contrived and artificial identity - then how can the UN possibly refuse to grant similar recognition to these other far more credentialed and long standing peoples with their own history, culture and language going back centuries and even into antiquity?

If the Palestinian Arabs can have a state recognized by the UN – what arguments can possibly justify the UN refusing to accord the same status and recognition to these other groups ?

In the case of Palestine the legal conditions required for the declaration of a Palestinian State – as laid down in the Montevideo Convention 1933 – are not capable of being met unless first agreed in direct face to face negotiations with Israel.

A similar obstacle impedes the many other nationalist and secessionist movements around the world and makes their independence or breakaway conditional on agreements being successfully negotiated with their host states.

The large number of these movements looking on with keen interest from the sidelines can be gauged from the following survey:
"There are 37 recognized and recognizable secessionist movements in Africa. There are 65 in Asia, including 13 in Burma, five in China (Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians among them). Russia straddles continents and faces five secessionist movements in Asian Russia and 13 more in European Russia, including Chechens. The rest of Europe has more than 50, including 18 in Italy and nine in Spain. France has four irredentist movements, four secessionist movements, five autonomist movements and several movements to change the borders of Departments. There is one each in Poland, the Netherlands, Romania and Switzerland. Parties in Greenland want to secede from Denmark and in Puerto Rico they want to secede from the United States – which also has American Indian, Southern and Texan movements to secede, as well as one in Manhattan and one in New York State. The Miskito Indians want to secede from Nicaragua and Chiapas from Mexico. French and British colonies in the Caribbean and Oceania have separatist movements."
The UN needs to tread carefully to avoid unleashing the genie of self-determination by ignoring the well established principles of international law. This genie will have the capacity to wreak havoc in the conduct of the affairs of a large number of UN member states who will have their flanks exposed to similar demands.

As you sow – so shall you reap.'

The Jewish Queen of Wimbledon


It being near the start of that glorious time of the year, Wimbledon Fortnight, I thought I'd briefly recall the period - not that I have firsthand memories of it, you understand! - when a Jewish girl from France was the queen of the courts at the All England Tennis Club and the toast of the stands.

With the dominance of the Williams Sisters on the famous grass courts of  the All England Tennis Club it's hard to appreciate that there was a time when the game of tennis was as white as the players' outfits.

The first black player to make her mark on the championships was the great Althea Gibson, from the USA, who in 1956 won the doubles crown with Britain's Angela Buxton.  Early in her tennis career Angela, who's Jewish, encountered antisemitic prejudice in some established tennis circles.  However, being Jewish didn't impede Suzanne Lenglen from becoming the darling of the sport - how well-known her Jewishness was I'm unable to say.

Suzanne Lenglen (1899-1938), the daughter of a businessman in Compi√®gne, a city north of Paris, was encouraged to take up the sport in childhood to build up her strength, and won her first tournament in 1915.  Her earliest appearance at Wimbledon was in 1919.  It was the first time she'd played on grass, but she progressed to the final,where, watched by  8000 spectators including King George V and Queen Mary, she defeated seven-times winner Dorothea Lambert Chambers of the UK.  The match, which went to 44 games, was the longest in tennis history up the that time.

In contrast to her opponent, who like other female players of the time, wore garments with long sleeves and ankle-length skirts, Suzanne was clad in sleeveless outfits and  billowing calf-length skirts.  She moved around court with the agility of a gazelle, both feet frequently leaving the ground.

Here's her Wimbledon record:

Singles Champion: 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925.

Doubles Champion: 1919, 1920. 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925.

Mixed Doubles Champion: 1920, 1922, 1925.

She's still a legend among all who, like me, avidly follow tennis.  I believe her final appearance at Wimbledon was rather unfortunate, when having inadvertently been an hour late for the beginning of a match, she was booed by spectators for the perceived slight to Queen Mary, and left the court soon afterwards.

Suzanne Lenglen's style - of dress and of play - is seen in this video of 1926 when she faced the American champion Helen Wills [Moody]: