Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

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

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Iran: Sacerdoti Slays In The War Of Jenkins' Smear (video)

Recently, at the University of Warwick Debating Union on the theme "This House Would Rather a Nuclear-Armed Iran than War" retired Foreign Office diplomat Peter Jenkins (former British representative on the International Atomic Energy Agency) and Dr Christian Emery (Fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economics) spoke in favour of the motion and Jonathan Sacerdoti (Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy) and David Lewin (Political Director at the Henry Jackson Society) against.

Jenkins, who is often consulted by the British media seeking statements about Iran, derided the stance towards Iran of neo-conservatives, think tankers, evangelical Christians,  "AIPAC, a pro-Israeli lobby group with deep pockets, " and "hysterical outbursts" from Bibi Netanyahu.  He declared: "It's an open secret in Washington that the Pentagon doesn't want a war"...

Not long into his opening speech he made the shocking assertion that
"... these days the Israelis don’t practise an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, they practise ten eyes for an eye and ten teeth for a tooth. [Sniggers from some in audience.] The idea that a just war requires a use of force to be proportionate seems to be a Christian notion and not a Jewish notion."  ["Shame!" from Jonathan Sacerdoti].
This seemingly antisemitic remark of Mr Jenkins, who allegedly also spoke elsewhere of the power of the "Jewish lobby, " is discussed here and here

The video is worth looking at all the way through, not only for Jenkins' smear on Israel and on Judaism, but for the justifiably combative, though courteous, way with which Jonathan Sacerdoti dealt with Jenkins' smear, and the brilliant arguments made against the motion by Sacerdoti.  (Lewin made some fine points, but I think, in his allusions to the Iranian regime's irrationality, he might have mentioned the Twelfth Imam ...)

"This is not a Jewish issue, this is not an Israeli issue, this is a worldwide issue," declared Sacerdoti inter alia.  referring later to the "unpalatable elephant in the room, which is that Israel doesn't have a right to defend itself".

Note, too, the way in which Jenkins accuses him of "personalising the debate" ...

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