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)

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Melbourne Zionist Uproots Sherwood's Forest Of Stones

The Age once carried this cartoon ...
Harriet Sherwood, Jerusalem correspondent of the notoriously anti-Israel Guardian, frequently features on the Guardian-monitoring website CiF Watch, and with good reason.  The Melbourne Age, one of the worst offenders in Australia as far as bias against Israel is concerned, recently published an article of hers entitled "No Stone Left Unpunished".

Emily Gian, Israel Advocacy Analyst at the Zionist Council of Victoria and a doctoral candidate in Israeli literature at the University of Melbourne, has issued a riposte, carried in the latest J-Wire:

Writes Emily Gian:

'An article appeared in last Thursday’s Melbourne Age entitled "No stone left unpunished". Penned by Harriet Sherwood of The Guardian, it told the story of Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities for committing crimes such as "throwing stones at soldiers or settlers… flinging petrol bombs… [or] more serious offenses such as links to militant organisations or using weapons".

I couldn’t help but sense from the way Sherwood dismissed such activities as stone throwing and flinging petrol bombs as not being serious, that the writer was preparing to unleash what is now becoming stock standard fare from this publication on matters relating to Israel. Plenty of one-sided accusations without context and a token response from the Israeli side usually derided or sneered at by the author in the next paragraph or somewhere further down the line.

In its original incarnation in the Guardian, it was a termed a “special report” but, to its credit, the Age avoided the embarrassment and described it more correctly as an “opinion piece”. Perhaps “propaganda” might have even been more apt.

Dealing with children involved in conflict is a serious issue that needs to be handled responsibly. So does reporting on their treatment and, in this case, allegations of their mistreatment. Sherwood’s piece is problematic on three levels.

In the first place, there is the matter of the veracity of the claims made against the Israelis. Both Honest Reporting and CiF Watch have comprehensively refuted many of the article’s allegations so I will not repeat too much of what they say. However, what is of interest is how little time Sherwood dedicates to the Israeli response to the claims made and the inadequacy of her fact checking. It seems as though she simply wishes the allegations to be true and leaves it at that hoping that nobody (and certainly not the editors at the Guardian or the Age) will detect or care about the shoddiness of her work.

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) responded directly on the claims to the Guardian before the article went to print but the response was never fully published. The ISA states that “the claims that Palestinian minors were subject to interrogation techniques that include beatings, prolonged periods in handcuffs, threats, kicks, verbal abuse, humiliation, isolation and prevention of sleep are utterly baseless”.

The full ISA statement explains how all employees act within accordance of Israeli law and that those detained receive the full rights for which they are eligible. The statement also provided a categorical denial of “all claims with regard to the interrogation of minors. In fact, the complete opposite is true – the ISA guidelines grant minors special protections needed because of their age”.

Sherwood simply chose to ignore much of this statement, and instead used information provided to her by an organisation called the Defence for Children International. The DCI is a BDS supporter that calls for the full Right of Return of Palestinian refugees and previously lobbied for the now discredited Goldstone Report to be endorsed. Given its commitment to causes aimed at deligitimising the Jewish State and ultimately destroying it (a fact not disclosed in the article), the DCI is hardly an objective observer. Interestingly, one of its board members is Shawan Jabarin, a member of the terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. CiF Watch notes that his position on the board of a group that purports to protect children is strange “for someone involved with an organisation with such obvious disregard for the lives of either terror victims or the brainwashed teenagers sent to perpetrate terror attacks”.

It goes without saying that Sherwood also brushes over the crimes committed by some of the children. Her emotive piece attempts to paint a picture of harmless little pebbles being tossed at Israeli soldiers carrying guns – the old David and Goliath image. Never mind that such attacks have had fatal results such as the instances of Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan, who were killed when a rock hit the car in which they were travelling last September.

We see occasional instances of people throwing rocks at cars on Australian roads which have also caused serious injury but there is no reason to make light of such behaviour (see more) let alone of the throwing of petrol bombs which Sherwood doesn’t apparently consider too seriously when those attacked happen to be Israeli.

The second matter is one of  timing. The initial Guardian piece appeared on Sunday 22 January. Honest Reporting and CiF Watch both published their rebuttals on Tuesday 24 January reprinting the Israeli response, which had already been ignored by the Guardian. The Age decided to republish the Sherwood article on Thursday 26 January, days after all of the information was available.

One expects that Age editor Paul Ramadge, Foreign Editor Carolyn Jones and Foreign Desk News Editor Maher Mughrabi are intelligent, well-read people, who would have seen the ISA response to the Guardian piece, and yet somehow, it appeared in its original form days later. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened (see more here and here).

Thirdly, and to their everlasting shame, it seems that neither the journalist nor any of the agencies mentioned in the article appear to have the slightest interest in coming up with a solution to the problem of children becoming embroiled in the violence of the conflict. That their usefulness is measured only as a propaganda tool for those with more sinister motives leaves a stench far greater than that which offended Sherwood so much when she visited Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel.'

Monday, 30 January 2012

John Bolton On Ron Paul's Isolationist Foreign Policy (video)

Here, in a short clip, is the former American envoy to the UN ...

Yes, Virginia, There Are Jews In Oz (videos)

And here's a brand new video from the Sydney Morning Herald showing an historic event that's just taken place at the East Melbourne shul. (I think the reporter should learn not to talk of a "church" in this context, though, nor to use "temple" as a substitute term for an Orthodox synagogue.)

Jews arrived in Australia on the very first day of European settlement - 26 January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay with between six and fourteen Jews among the convicts being transported from England to the new penal colony on the other side of the world.  One of them, Esther Abrahams, transported for stealing a small quantity of black lace from a London draper's shop, married George Johnstone, a Royal Marine officer she met en voyage.  He ultimately became Governor of New South Wales, and so Esther the convict lass would up as First Lady of the colony.  Although her children with Johnstone were brought up as Christians, her descendents were not entirely lost to Judaism - some years ago, a woman who traced her descent to Esther entirely through the female line, and is thus Jewish according to Halakhah, reconnected with Judaism.

Esther was by no means the only Jewish convict who made good.  Many became successful in both mercantile and public life. During the nineteenth century, especially after "free" (as opposed to convict) immigration began in earnest in the 1820s, there were many Jews in country towns in Australia.  A number of Jews, not only from England but from continental Europe too, kept hotels and acted as storekeepers during the gold rushes of the 1850s.  Unless their descendents moved to one of the big cities, where Jewish communal life was more viable and there were more prospective marriage partners, the rural Jewish families tended to become totally assimilated, with the result that around 250,000 Aussies today can claim a Jewish ancestor.

During the inter-war period, when, incidentally, Australia had a Jewish Governor-General, Sir Isaac Isaacs, as well as an iconic Jewish military hero, Sir John Monash, the Australian Jewish community seemed on the verge of disappearance owing to the inroads of apathy and assimilation.  The arrival of thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe both immediately prior to and after the Second World War changed all that, and today Australian Jewry remains one of the most flourishing in the Diaspora.  It is strongly committed to Israel.


Below is a comparable video of Jews in New Zealand, which, by the way, was never a penal settlement:


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Barghouti Demonising Israel In California & Seattle (video)

Here's Omar Barghouti, who's been in California too, pimping BDS in a long address before a congregation of useful idiots in Seattle Cathedral recently, introduced by a bishop quoting Tutu.


I wouldn't be surprised if the ignorance displayed, in cut-glass British tones, by this BDSer in Sacramento, California, is typical of the infantry of the BDS movement as a whole.  The Palestinians have been there "for hundreds if not thousands of years" she explains to an unseen male interviewer, who replies "That is true.  They are the indigenous people ..."  Such preposterous twaddle! Perhaps that's why the video's been uploaded by "thequeernews"...

And here is an unheavenly choir which performed in Oakland, California, when Barghouti addressed Christian lefties there under the auspices of the so-called Middle East Children's Alliance and those whacky dames from CodePink:

Friday, 27 January 2012

David Still Harping On The UNESCO Giant's Sins

David Singer, the Sydney lawyer and foundation member of the International Analysts Network, is by now no stranger to regular readers of this blog.

His petition (please spread the word!) is still open for signing here 

Meanwhile, he continues to concentrate on the consequences of UNESCO's unconstitutional admittance of Palestine, as in this article entitled 'UNESCO Unmoved To Try To End Humanitarian Crisis,' which comes as usual from the antipodean J-Wire service.

Writes David Singer:

Read on for articleThe Director of the Division of Public Information at UNESCO – Mr Neil Ford – has made it clear that UNESCO still refuses to approach the  Imternational Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on the legality of the admission of Palestine as the 195th Member State of UNESCO…writes David Singer.
'The Director of the Division of Public Information at UNESCO – Mr Neil Ford – has made it clear that UNESCO still refuses to approach the  Imternational Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on the legality of the admission of Palestine as the 195th Member State of UNESCO.

This approach was suggested by me to UNESCO in a detailed submission on 1 December last – following what I considered to be an inadequate response to my concerns first raised with UNESCO on 5 November – five days after Palestine’s admission to UNESCO.

On 31 December – and only after considerable prodding – I was advised by Ms Suzanne Bilello – Senior Public Information and Liaison Officer with the UNESCO Office in New York – that UNESCO had no comment to make on my submission.

I then started a petition to in the hope of persuading UNESCO to review its decision.

I wrote to Ms Bilello on 2 January in the following terms:
“I can only take UNESCO’s refusal to comment further to mean that:
UNESCO cannot legally justify the decision to admit Palestine as a full member of UNESCO since a two thirds majority vote of 130 member states required by Article II (2) of the Constitution was not met – as I claimed in my email to you dated 1 December 2011
UNESCO is not prepared to supply me with a copy of the recommendation of the Executive Board to the General Conference to admit Palestine to membership of UNESCO and any reports that formed part of that recommendation or were considered by the Executive Board prior to making that recommendation
If I am mistaken in drawing the above conclusions – please advise me why within the next seven days.”
Ms Bilello did not respond.

Surprisingly however – Mr Ford sent me an email on 18 January – but it failed to comment on my detailed submission. Instead Mr Ford sought to justify the legal correctness of a statement issued by UNESCO that I had criticised in various articles and blog posts.

Mr Ford was quite peremptory in again letting me know that UNESCO would provide no further comment on the subject.

Undeterred. I asked him to confirm whether he had seen my detailed submission sent to Ms Bilello and asked him two further questions that required simple “Yes” or “No” answers.

True to his word he refused to comment. A three-word email was obviously too hard to draft and send for the UNESCO Director of Public Information.

In all of these ongoing discussions the very large Legal Department of UNESCO has remained silent – apparently hoping that its spin doctors in Public Relations will make the legal issues go away.
UNESCO’s conduct seems very hard to fathom.

UNESCO is sailing into uncharted waters as its decision on Palestine has cost – and will cost it – the loss of 22% of its budget in unpaid American dues totalling about $225 million dollars to 2013. Even worse – loss of funding to the tune of about $85 million per annum is set to continue annually after 2013.

Facing this funding shortfall, UNESCO has halted all new projects, and may be forced to lay off staff.
The Center For Humanitarian Rights and Humanitarian Law (CHRHL) has spelled out the serious consequences of losing that funding:
“UNESCO, which has a budget of $653 million for 2011-2012, works to attain equal education around the world, mobilize support for sustainable development, and encourage intercultural dialogue. As a key player in fulfilling the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG), UNESCO supports and promotes literacy programs across the developing world. The right to education is enshrined in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights. UNESCO’s Education for All initiative, which seeks to meet the second MDG of universal primary education by 2015, has faced large funding gaps since its inception. UNESCO’s own funding shortfall as a result of the Palestinian vote is likely to exacerbate budgetary constraints on this crucial program. Specific programs that may be affected include: literacy training for Afghan police, an Iraqi curriculum development program, and education infrastructure support in South Sudan.”
UNESCO’S response to this developing crisis has been to sail on its merry way – virtually oblivious to the dangers that lurk just beneath the surface that could cause this giant colossus to run aground.

Whilst busy raising the flag of “Palestine” at UNESCO headquarters in Paris – UNESCO has attempted to recoup this staggering shortfall by:
Establishing an Emergency Fund – which has met with little success.
According to CHCRL the Fund is unlikely to cover the initial shortfall of $65 million and UNESCO will be forced to reformulate its future budgetary plans as the US is expected to withold budgeting for the coming years caused by the automatic suspension of the payment of any funds to any UN agency that admitted Palestine to membership of that organization.

Attempting to get America to resume its payments to UNESCO by changing its domestic laws – a forlorn hope according to CHCRL because of a desire in the U.S. to cut government spending.
I believe there is a far more cogent reason this will not happen – especially in an election year.

That reason is US Congressional disapproval of the PLO attempting to unilaterally seek recognition of a Palestinian State outside the negotiations agreed to be conducted between Israel and the PLO under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

Ironically the one lifeline that could possibly end this growing humanitarian crisis – my suggested approach to the International Court of Justice – continues to remain unconsidered by UNESCO .

If my submission is upheld – and UNESCO has yet to dispute its conclusions – Palestine’s admission to UNESCO will be declared null and void – but the budget short fall will be eliminated and a multitude of UNESCO’s global humanitarian programs will be saved from the funding axe.

If my submission is not upheld – then Palestine’s admission to UNESCO will be confirmed, the meaning of the UNESCO Constitution will be clarified and UNESCO can hold its head high in having attempted to take some positive action to reinstate the loss of 22% of its funding.

I estimate the approach to the ICJ to judicially determine whether Palestine’s admission to UNESCO was legal or not – would cost UNESCO $100000 .

Will UNESCO take the plunge – or just keep rearranging the deckchairs whilst the ship sinks?'

Lord Sacks's Message On Holocaust Memorial Day (video)

Here is Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of Britain and the Commonwealth, with eloquent reflections on the Shoah:


Hat tip: reader Shirlee

A Garden of Eden in Hell (video)

It's Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, and here's an uplifting video about a remarkable 108-year-old Shoah survivor and very gifted pianist, Alice Herz Sommer, now resident in London.


Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Pow Wow On BDS At King's College, London (video)

Here's a long video showing Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Omar Barghouti, and other BDS activists speaking at King's College, London, a few days ago. There are interesting insights into BDS tactics, strategy, and general thinking here.

For example, one speaker talks about the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, how the BDS movement is a valuable educational tool, and how a well-known television scientist is being worked upon to try to shun visits to Israel in the future.

The Globe Theatre is also in the BDSers' sights, it seems. So stick with the video, if you can.

You don't have to look, just as long as you listen ...

In the words of the uploader: 
Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist. He is a member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC). He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, and a Master's degree in philosophy (ethics) from Tel Aviv University.
Omar was joined by:
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Chair, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP),
Mehdi Beyati, King's College London student and KCL Action Palestine activist,
The meeting was chaired by Maha Rezeq, an independent Palestinian activist and journalist.
Meeting was supported by: British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), KCL Action Palestine, LSESU Palestine Society, UCL Friends of Palestine, University of London Union (ULU) and Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

Jews, Jizya & Jihad

Dr Andrew Bostom is an American medical specialist who in the wake of 9/11 has emerged as a leading authority on Islamic antisemitism, dhimmitude, and jihad.  During a recent interview with Mark Tapson of FrontPageMagazine, Dr Bostom cogently explained the nature of dhimmitude and the doctrine behind it, and gives a clear exposition of Islamic attitudes to Jews, and by extension to their possession of Eretz Israel.

Not the least interesting and useful aspect of the interview is Dr Bostom's summarised sample of known historical  incidents of Islamic violence towards Jews:

'Here is but a very incomplete sampling of barely known pogroms and mass murderous violence against Jews living under Islamic rule, across space and time, all resulting from the combined effects of jihadism, general anti-dhimmi, and/or specifically Antisemitic motifs in Islam: 6,000 Jews massacred in Fez in 1033; hundreds of Jews slaughtered in Muslim Cordoba between 1010 and 1015; 4,000 Jews killed in Muslim riots in Grenada in 1066, wiping out the entire community; the Berber Muslim Almohad depredations of Jews (and Christians) in Spain and North Africa between 1130 and 1232, which killed tens of thousands, while forcibly converting thousands more, and subjecting the forced Jewish converts to Islam to a Muslim Inquisition; the 1291 pogroms in Baghdad and its environs, which killed (at least) hundreds of Jews; the 1465 pogrom against the Jews of Fez; the late 15th century pogrom against the Jews of the Southern Moroccan oasis town of Touat; the 1679 pogroms against, and then expulsion of 10,000 Jews from Sanaa, Yemen to the unlivable, hot and dry Plain of Tihama, from which only 1,000 returned alive, in 1680, 90% having died from exposure; recurring Muslim anti-Jewish violence—including pogroms and forced conversions—throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which rendered areas of Iran (for example, Tabriz) Judenrein; the 1834 pogrom in Safed where raging Muslim mobs killed and grievously wounded hundreds of Jews; the 1888 massacres of Jews in Isfahan and Shiraz, Iran; the 1910 pogrom in Shiraz; the pillage and destruction of the Casablanca, Morocco ghetto in 1907; the pillage of the ghetto of Fez  Morocco in 1912; the government sanctioned anti-Jewish pogroms by Muslims in Turkish Eastern Thrace during June-July, 1934 which ethnically cleansed at least 3000 Jews; and the series of pogroms, expropriations, and finally mass expulsions of some 900,000 Jews from Arab Muslim nations, beginning in 1941 in Baghdad (the murderous “Farhud,” during which 600 Jews were murdered, and at least 12,000 pillaged)—eventually involving cities and towns in Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Syria, Aden, Bahrain, and culminating in 1967 in Tunisia—that accompanied the planning and creation of a Jewish state, Israel, on a portion of the Jews’ ancestral homeland.'
Read all of Dr Bostom's interview here

Shtum & Shtumer: The moronic mindset motivating much media mischief

"Half The Story, All The Time."  With that phrase the very talented and tenacious team at that wonderful website, Biased BBC, hit the nail on the head of what is so scandalously wrong with Al Beeb's reportage.  Not only on Israel and the Middle East. But on so many other topics too.

"We are all guilty." That was one of those asinine buzz phrases droned by the fanatical Left during the Vietnam War era.  Its legacy can be seen in those present-day institutions (such as the BBC and its Aussie counterpart the ABC)  that the Left has infiltrated and influenced  increasingly ever since, each generation of recruiters evidently taking on newcomers cast in their own image.

The impact of "We are all guilty" can be seen in the way the BBC reports issues of race, according extravagant, breast-beating,sometimes almost fetish-like coverage to white-on-black or white-on-Asian crime, but generally soft-peddling cases in which the miscreants are non-whites and the victims white.

The recent abominable murder of a young Indian postgraduate student at Lancaster University, shot in the head at close range in a seemingly unprovoked attack in Salford by some sick scumbag, has rightly caused widespread grief and outrage.  I'm sure that many people, of all backgrounds, feel like tearing the perpetrator apart with their bare hands.

Similarly, no tears need be shed for feral racists who have just been convicted, after many years at large, of stabbing eighteen-year-old Stephen Lawrence to death, apparently for the sole reason that he was black.

But since the "We Are All Guilty" mindset is embedded in an anti-"Western imperialism" or post-colonial guilt trip, for the BBC and other leftwing media non-whites, in marked contrast to whites, can seldom be innately racist.

Thus, like the legendary three wise monkeys, the BBC and other outlets of its ilk, wise only by the criteria of their own warped Weltenschauung, are wilfully blind, deaf, and dumb regarding such crimes as this and this.

Crimes which, I might add, have earned the most derisory sentences.  (See an interesting take here)

When you have time, take a look at this, and pay special attention to how the media (including the odious BBC) treated two murders that occurred on the same day, miles apart: one of a black teenager by whites in Manchester and one of a young white man by a black youth on a bus in London. 

Effectively, what is being practised here is censorship.  Consequently the public, since facts are deliberately being withheld from them by a press that is voluntarily fettered, is not entirely free.

Just the other week, in the wake of the conviction of the two thugs found guilty of murdering Stephen Lawrence, the BBC sent a reporter out to discover whether attitudes to race (that is, white attitudes to blacks) had improved since that heinous crime was committed in 1993.  It seems racists (white, naturellement) were rather thin on the ground, for when at last the reporter encountered an angry white man, who obliged by cursing with the N word (at least, we were told he did), the reporter looked positively orgasmic, skipping in his gait as he continued to badger the old guy for amplification of his views.

Virtually all the man's bottom teeth were missing.  He's evidently too poor to afford the cosmetic dentistry that the suburban middle classes take for granted, and I suspect he was as angry, if not angrier, at a toff from the BBC coming slumming into his neighbourhood to patronise and probe people like him as he is towards his black neighbours.

There is a racist bee in Al Beeb's bonnet. We had more evidence of it last week with yet another of its features on "Stop and Search".  The BBC, of course, in examining the current status of "Stop and Search" only told one side of the story.  (No prizes for guessing which one.)

The National Union of Journalists' 'guidelines on reporting race' (admirably commonsensical in many respects) contain this decidedly dodgy assertion:

'Black can cover people of Arab, Asian, Chinese and African origin.' 

Arabs black? Chinese black

What a curious figment of a politically correct mindset which has jettisoned all reason, which sows divisiveness in society, and which perhaps, in reportage of the Middle East conflict, encourages the portrayal of Arabs as victims!  (Forgetting, of course, that if Arabs are black, then so is half the Israeli population.)

By such means are whites constructed as a demonic "Other."  

By such woolly thinking, the Black Police Association contains people who are  no more "black" in either physical appearance or ethnic origin than is an olive-skinned Italian.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ha'aretz's Blunder Draws Thunder From Down Under

Been and seen Down Under
The leftwing Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz recently carried this highly tendentious article by Akiva Eldar about Australian Jewry and Israel.  Its headline?  "Israel is shaming Australian Jews"

I know for a fact that online ripostes, even by well-informed and well-respected Middle East analysts, failed to find their way onto the Comments section. Deliberate suppression on the part of a newspaper which prides itself on its own gift of free speech, no matter how critical it is of the policies of its beleaguered nation? It would seem so.

But unfortunately for the newspaper, and for Eldar, the leadership of Australian Jewry is made of sterner stuff than  its lily-livered counterparts in the Mother Country.  There are comparatively few "trembling Israelites" in Australian Jewish circles, perhaps because such a large proportion of the Jewish community Down Under is derived from Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

Peter Wertheim, Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, has written to Ha'aretz as follows:
"My organisation, which is the peak national body representing Australian Jewry, has been besieged with complaints from Australian Jews about the egregious falsehoods and childish oversimplifications contained in the article.  I understand that many complainants have posted comments in response to the article but, so far, you have failed to publish any of them.
I am writing to ask you for two things.
 Publish all the posts (unless they are obscene or abusive), and allow the link to the article to remain on your home page for a few days to give visitors to the site a fair opportunity to read them.
 Publish our 750 word reply to Eldar – to be supplied.
I would appreciate your urgent response.  Kindly note that the Jewish community media in Australia and elsewhere are keenly observing how this matter unfolds."
Been and seen Down Under
And Danny Rod, a young law and international studies student and board member of the State Zionist Council of New South Wales, has written a splendid "Open Letter" to Eldar:
"Dear Akiva Eldar,
It is you who are shaming Australian Jews.
I was outraged to have read your piece in Haaretz on the 23rd of January because you openly slap in the face the thousands of ordinary Australian Jews, who every day seek to support Israel and prevent anti-semitism in Australia.
These people are not the so called lobbyists but everyday people, youth movement members, Jewish Communal leaders and University Campus leaders. You are not here to witness the hate and the vitriol that we experience each and every day on campus and you are not there when ridiculed for your belief in the right of a Jewish State to exist. These things happen each day and as a past Chairperson of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students in NSW I saw it with my own eyes. I saw and still see the passion in the Young Adult Community’s eyes when celebrating Yom Haatzmaut and the dedication of so many young university students to attend our events just to show their support for Israel.
I see ordinary working men and women, who give up their spare time volunteering to ensure that there are events which promote Israel in our community and provide an outlet to express our love even if we are not in Israel physically.
Been and seen Down Under
Your article demonstrated no understanding of our community and shows a great deal of ignorance. Our community is not as affluent as you might think and it is up to organisations that do amazing work such as Jewish Care and Jewish House which provide amazing services to those less fortunate in our community. The ties that bind our community together are strong and the passion and love we show for Israel is unbreakable.
In case you were wondering, Middle Eastern Affairs does feature prominently in the Australian news cycle. You may have heard of the Marrickville BDS campaign and related horrific campaigns by the NSW Greens last year and the public outcry that it received. The so called ‘spineless lobbyists’ were not the ones who were able to effect the changes in the policy of both Marrickville Council and the NSW Greens but rather grassroots campaigning and mainstream media coverage which showed the hypocrisy that BDS promotes. This was by both Jews and Non-Jews, both seeking to show that they supported peace in the Middle East.
Been and seen Down Under
The assertion that Middle Eastern affairs is on the bottom rung of priorities for Australian politicians is simply wrong. We are privileged to have strong bi-partisan support from both of Australia’s political parties on Israel and when issues arise that are of concern to our community, they are the first to help out and lend a hand to the community – not because of lobbyists but a shared belief that Israel and Australia share the same values. You are forgetting that Kevin Rudd, when Prime Minister was prepared to take Iran to the International Criminal Court for it’s actions against Israel or the fact Israel has been the subject of numerous parliamentary motions all of which passed with bi-partisan support for Israel.
Despite your ridiculous article, I am proud to say that Israel is not something we are ashamed of. In face of attacks on our Synagogues and large often anti-Semitic protests on campus we still believe in Israel. We believe that although Israel is not the perfect place we envision it to be, we fight to make it that way. To the thousands of volunteers who work each day to promote Israel and Zionism in Australia, I thank you. Your work is very much under appreciated and thanks is often unspoken but no less valuable. To the politicians on both sides of parliament, thank you for your support – I’m sure a ridiculous article such as this does not put a damper on our appreciation of your support."
 Hat tip: reader Shirlee; text sources J-Wire.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Why Do The Palestinians Want To Divide Jerusalem? (video)

Another one I missed when it debuted (a year ago), consisting of a dialogue between a familiar-looking gentleman and a Palestinian representative:

Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Britain Gets Rid Of The Press Gang, & More Good News, Naturally

"Press TV seems to have disappeared!" came the excited, if incredulous, voice on Friday. "I keep clicking on [Sky digital channel] 515 and there's nothing there!"

Knowing that a serious complaint had been filed with Ofcom about the Iranian satellite propaganda news and current channel, and that last month the channel had been fined £100,00 for multiple transgressions, I googled at once, and saw the announcement of the withdrawal of Press TV's licence to broadcast in Britain, effective immediately.

So it's goodbye to the gang who've graced its airwaves, putting the knife into Israel ... Yvonne Ridley, Lauren Booth (pictured), George Galloway (leaving little to the imagination when attired in a tight girly-pink leotard on TV, needless to say not Press TV) ...

The willingness of the western women, in particular, to act as presenters on a station that is funded by a regime which stones women to death and colludes in the gang-rape of virgin female prisoners prior to execution is especially repulsive and odious...

So, therefore, is the willingness of anti-Israel female activists such as Baroness (Jenny) Tonge to give interviews to Press TV.

And so, of course, is the willingness of so many common-or-garden female Israel-bashers to act as apologists for the Iranian regime.

Launched in 2007, Press TV, broadcasting 24/7, claimed a regular viewing figure of almost 10 million British homes.

Among those regular viewers, evidently, is the all-female coven that constitutes my local Palestine Solidarity Campaign branch.  A trio of these middle-aged/elderly women (whose antics range from harassing shoppers outside supermarkets stocking Israeli produce to initiating an online petition asking David Cameron to apologise for the Balfour Declaration) spent much of Wednesday beside a stall, bedecked with those four infamous maps (you know the ones), they'd set up in the town centre, complete with a huge banner inquiring "Whatever Happened To Palestine".  They were thrusting anti-Israel propaganda at passers by, and one rattled a collection tin.

Some weeks ago, between tweets decrying the United States and Israel and promoting BDS, their leader tweeted "Tell Ofcom that PressTV's the one UK channel reporting what the mainstream don't. And it's virtually trivia-free..."
Last week they carried the message: "....There's no proof Iran has nuclear weapons program!..."
And their latest tweet is: "Please campaign to get Ofcom to put Press TV back on Sky...." 

 I imagine the entire anti-Israel movement in Britain evinces similar indignation at the passing of the Press Gang.

And there was more good news for Israel's supporters in Britain this week.  As reported recently in the Jewish Chronicle,
"Filmmakers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh have condemned the Natural History Museum for collaborating with an Israeli firm on a research project.
They were joined by Liberal Democrat peer Jenny Tonge and a number of other critics of Israel in writing a letter to the Independent newspaper.
The signatories complained that the museum was guilty of breaking international law by working with cosmetics company Ahava on a research project into the possible risks of "nanomaterial" (microscope man-made cells which could be used to treat illness in the future)...."
 To its credit, however, the Natural History Museum has refused to budge.  Israel Matsav , following the Jerusalem Post, has the details.
(Hat tip: reader Shirlee)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

“Israel will exist, and continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it"

Israel swings in Tahrir Square
Robert S. Wistrich, Professor of Modern History and Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has written in this month's issue of The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs a scholarly but highly readable analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimim), which, along with Salafists, has benefited so hugely from the overthrow of the Mubarak regime.


Reminding us that the Brotherhood still cleaves to the motto "Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope" the article laments
"how few professors of Middle East studies at American or European universities seem able or willing to grasp the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, let alone display any interest in its visceral anti-Westernism  or ferocious anti-Semitism. Today, very few academics seek to elucidate its core ideology or long-term goals, let alone acknowledge their incompatibility with liberal democracy, human rights, or a stable world order. Instead, the general consensus was that overthrowing Mubarak would lead to pluralistic democracy with the Muslim Brothers pursuing a benignly constructive role. Typically, fundamentalist attitudes to Egypt’s Jews and Christians, or to the anti-Semitic legacy, were either whitewashed or simply ignored. ...."
Regarding its attitude to Jews and Israel, he observes:
"Anti-Semitism and conspiracy-mongering have, of course, been part of Egypt’s political discourse ever since the military coup that brought Nasir to power almost sixty years ago.... But the anti- Jewish conspiracy theories of the Brotherhood and Egyptian preachers are in a class of their own. In an interview on ‘al-Rahma TV’ (26 October 2011), the virulently anti-Semitic cleric Amin al-Ansari even claimed that Jews manipulate women in order to maintain their control of the world, citing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and adding: “... when Zionism and Judaism benefit, it means the decline not only of Muslim women, but of humanity as a whole.”
Such Muslim concern for women evidently did not extend to the chief correspondent for CBS News, the non-Jewish American reporter Lara Logan. In February 2011, she was beaten and raped in broad daylight by a frenzied throng of Egyptian men in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, who were screaming “Jew! Jew!” even as they assaulted her. This shocking event (studiously ignored by the ‘New York Times’ print edition [and of course by the BBC]) was virtually contemporaneous with the return of Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the most celebrated Muslim Brotherhood cleric in the world) to Egypt after fifty years in exile.
 Having given several examples of Qaradawi's blood-chilling invective against Jews, Professor Wistrich continues:
"If this is not genocidal anti-Semitic incitement, then the term has little meaning. The current supreme leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Budi, undoubtedly shares such views on Israel, Zionism, and the Jews. His advice in 2010 to the Mujahideen in Gaza to continue to “raise the banner of jihad against the Jews, [our] first and foremost enemies” was essentially echoing an undeviating gospel of hatred.
Like Sheikh Qaradawi, the current leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood clearly believe that loathing of Jews and the destruction of Israel is mandated by God himself. Every Jew in the world is thereby designated an enemy within this ideology. Nor is it an accident that Qaradawi, like other Egyptian clerics, should quote an anti-Jewish saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad in a notorious hadith on the preconditions for the Day of Judgment. In his commentary, Qaradawi emphasized that the coming apocalyptic battle will not be “between Arabs and Zionists, or between Jews and Palestinians, or between Jews or anybody else.” His conclusion could not be more explicit. “ This battle will occur between the collective body of Muslims and the collective body of Jews, that is all Muslims and all Jews.”
Such Muslim fundamentalist doctrines on Israel and the Jews are intimately connected to an obsession with purging Muslim countries of all and any Western influences—seen as part of a larger Jewish-Zionist conspiracy against Islam. Since 1928, when Sheikh Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brothers in Ismailiyah, the notion that Jews are by nature evil and can never peacefully co-exist with others has been axiomatic for the fundamentalist organization. An equally self-evident corollary is the denial of any possibility of Jewish self-rule (let alone a Jewish state) or even of civic equality with Muslims.
A  viewpoint expressed in Londonistan
The establishment of Israel in 1948 further reinforced this Islamist doctrine of Zionism as a malevolent force and a permanent enemy. It was given a more systematic expression in the 1950s by Sayyed Qutb, the most important and influential of the Brotherhood’s thinkers, who was repeatedly imprisoned, tortured, and eventually executed by Nasir’s police state in 1966. For Qutb, the term ‘Jews’ became virtually interchangeable with ‘enemies of Islam’. The struggle against the Jews would continue indefinitely because the Jewish enemy would never rest until Islam was destroyed. Qutb was even convinced that Nasir himself was an “agent of Zionism” as were all the secular nationalist westernizing regimes in the Middle East. Qutb also railed against the “army of the learned”—the secularist professors, philosophers, writers, poets, and scientists carrying Muslim names yet undermining the sacred religion of Islam “in the service of Zionism.” Qutb’s heirs in the Brotherhood were especially outraged by President Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977 and his “fallacious peace” with the arch-enemy Israel.
After 1979, their spiritual leader and the chief editor of 'al-Dawah' [The Call to Islam], Umar al-Tilmisani, spared no effort in denouncing the diabolical nature of the Jews and Israel’s malicious intent to destroy the Islamic foundations of Egypt....
For al-Tilmisani and his fellow Muslim brothers thirty years ago, normalization with Israel was the greatest “catastrophe” imaginable — nothing less than “the most dangerous cancer eating away at all the life cells in our bodies.”  Exchanging ambassadors with the Jewish State was equivalent to “opening the gates of evil on Egypt,” a spiritual death in exchange for the bribe of billions of American dollars and final capitulation tothe “world Zionist conspiracy.”
Courtesy: Edgar Davidson
Following Sadat’s assassination (a revolutionary fundamentalist act), the already cold peace with Israel became virtually frozen - not least because of the strength of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. During the next three decades of Hosni Mubarak’s repressive rule, demonization of the Jews continued unchecked in the Egyptian media, despite massive American economic aid to Egypt and a common strategic interest with Israel in containing Islamism. Nonetheless, anti-Semitism remained, as before, the daily bread of Egyptian politics. Mubarak and his government colleagues permitted it as a safety valve and an outlet for popular rage that might otherwise have turned against the corruption of the regime. The fundamentalists, in turn, maintained their long-term goals of one day destroying the peace with Israel, thereby “saving Islam” and establishing an authentic Islamic state ruled by Sharia law.
As recently as 1 January 2012, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood,Rashad Bayoumi, told the Arabic daily al-Hayat that his organization will never “recognize Israel at all,” whatever the circumstances. He emphasized that the Brotherhood regarded Israel as a “criminal enemy” and would initiate legal proceedings toward cancelling the 1979 peace treaty....
With regard to Israel and the Jews, the fundamentalist attitude has never deviated during the past few decades, closely linked as it is to a truly paranoid fear of “Judaization”—often a synonym for secularism, westernization, liberal modernity, or “globalization.” Paradoxically, Brotherhood ideologues, despite their rabid anti-Westernism, have no problem in drawing liberally on non-Muslim sources for their radical anti-Semitism ....  Egypt has long been saturated by this type of semi-pornographic stream of anti-Semitic vitriol directed at the “Satanic Jews,” publicly licensed and frequently legitimized by seemingly respectable journalists, academics, and Egyptian intellectuals. Such libels have been common among Nasirists, a number of Egyptian “liberals,” and even some leftists as well as among Islamists of every shade or coloring. Though the question of Palestine is often present as the trigger for such deep antagonism, much of the hostility also relates to the presumed “cultural assault” on Egypt that derives not only from Israel’s physical existence but from the imagined “essence” of Judaism and Jewry. [My emphasis]
The current unleashing of radical Islamist forces throughout Egypt has hardly improved matters. Thus, at a venomous Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque on November 25, 2011, Islamic activists ominously chanted “Tel Aviv, judgment day has come,” vowing to “one day kill all Jews.” The rally had been  called to promote the “battle against Jerusalem’s Judaization” and was peppered with hate-filled speeches about the “treacherous Jews.” There were explicit calls for jihad and for the liberation of all of Palestine as well as references to the well-known hadith concerning a future Muslim annihilation of the Jews. Ahmed al-Tayeb, head of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University (the most senior clerical authority in Sunni Islam), even claimed that to this day Jews everywhere in the world are seeking to prevent Egyptian and Islamic unity. He added: “The al-Aqsa Mosque is currently under an offensive by the Jews... We shall not allow the Zionists to judaize al-Quds [Jerusalem].” Such threats have been a consistent theme among Egyptian Islamic preachers and spokesmen of the Muslim Brotherhood for the past eighty years.
The theme of the “treacherous Jews” has deep roots indeed in the Quran and hadith. It has also animated the Palestinian Hamas ever since its creation twenty-four years ago—inspiring its visceral Jew-hatred, rabid anti-Westernism, and jihadist ideology. Not surprisingly for an organizational offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s Sacred Covenant of 1988 includes in its preamble an emphatic quote from Sheikh Hassan al-Banna: “Israel will exist, and continue to exist, until Islam abolishes it...” [My emphasis] Hamas’s Islamic credo, its advocacy of jihad, its anti-Semitic world-view, and hatred of Israel are all inextricably linked to the ideology of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood—of which it proudly claims to be the Palestinian wing. Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant underlines, for example, the continuous jihad of the Brotherhood against “the Zionist invasion” in 1936, 1948, and 1968, as the unbreakable chain connected to the founding of Hamas itself in 1988. All of these revolts were driven by the same conviction that Palestine is an inalienable possession “for all generations of Muslims” until the end of time.'
Read all of Robert Wistrich's footnoted article here
And while on the subject of brotherly love:

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Irish Anti-Israel Fanatics Protest Portuguese Singer's Upcoming Visit To Tel Aviv (video)

Portuguese singer Ana Moura is due to perform in Israel on 27th January, and to date hasn't responded to a letter from Raymond Deane, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign's Cultural Boycott Officer, who told her:
"Your Irish fans and the many Irish lovers of Fado music will be eager to give you a warm Irish welcome when you perform in our National Concert Hall on 19th January next.
However, if you persist with your plan to perform in Israel on 27th January, in violation of the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of the Israeli state, that welcome will be balanced by a demonstration against your indifference to the fate ... of the Palestinian people....
Please ensure that your welcome to Ireland will be unconditional by cancelling your planned performance in Tel Aviv."
The ISPC fanatics (you may recognise two of them from the video in which outraged Jewish visitors gave them a well-deserved tongue-lashing not long ago) were therefore outside the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Thursday, 19th January, to make their feelings known.

Hear these anti-Israel fanatics spewing their venom against the "racist" Jewish State, which they want consigned to "the dustbin of history".  It "clearly is not" a "liberal democratic state on the Western model" but "an ethnocracy for Jews first and foremost" in which Ana Moura will be performing for a "segregated audience" and which is setting up "concentration camps" for illegal immigrants. Of course, these Irish fanatics very conveniently don't mention what the illegal immigrants are escaping from, and why they are willing to risk everything by trekking across desert to enter the - ahem! - Apartheid State. Oh, and they invoke Martin Luther King, apparently forgetting that Dr King wrote "When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews" and a whole lot more on that theme in similiar vein

Friday, 20 January 2012

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Slice Of Reilly: A Catholic Thinker On 'Understanding the Palestinians as the "invented" people they are and [why] the invention was made'

Robert R. Reilly is music critic for CrisisMagazine and author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created The Modern Islamist Crisis (2010).

His latest article, "Why "Invent" The Palestinians?', written in the wake of the furore over Newt Gingirch's description of the Palestinians as an "invented" people, constitutes a masterly and most accessible overview of the historical reality to which Gingrich referred.

The peg on which Robert Reilly hangs his analysis is this remark of Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration:
"There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq, either, so perhaps he [Gingrich] would say they are all invented people as well, and also have no right to statehood. Whatever was true then, Palestinian nationalism has grown since 1948, and whether we like it or not, it exists."
Observes Reilly:
"This critique seems to confuse two things. Palestine, of course, has never been a state. In 1920, Palestine was carved out as a territory by the British, against the wishes of the Arabs living there who thought of themselves as inhabitants of Greater Syria. When it was within their power the Arabs never thought to create Palestine as a country, nor did the Ottomans. Were it to become one, it would have to be "invented," just as have been all other states, like Jordan, Syria or Iraq, all of which are 20th-century creations. In this respect, Abrams is correct.However, states are human constructs; peoples are not. Peoples exist according to ethnic and linguistic distinctions. For instance, the Kurds are a distinct people, as are the Berbers. So are the Arabs. They were not "invented"; they simply are. Ignore them at your peril. Their existence, however, does not translate automatically into a right to Kurdish, Berber or Arabic statehood. For that, other things are needed, including viability.Never having possessed a state, do the Palestinians nonetheless exist as a people? Are they distinct linguistically or ethnically from the sea of Arabs in which they live? The answer is no. In this Gingrich is right. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people and to speak of them as such is clearly an "invention." The real question that needs to be asked is why have they been "invented"? The answer to this can be suggested by an analogy that removes us from the immediate passions of the Middle East in order to see this situation more clearly.'
Read the rest of his splendid article here
(Hat tip: B.L.)

Strasbourg Rules Britannia:The "Human Rights" Ruling That Favours A Jihadist Over Britain's Security

“London has traditionally been a place of refuge and tolerance; Marx after all wrote his classic work in the British Library. London was the favourite place of exile of anarchists and revolutionaries. More recently it has been seen as the home of Muslim opposition forces, even leading to the French coining the term Londonistan. This is a heritage that we are proud of, even if it makes us occasional enemies of other governments.”  [My emphasis]
So enthused Britain's then Ambassador to Lebanon, Frances Guy, an avowed admirer of Hezbollah cleric Sheikh Fadlallah, in a speech at Beirut Arab University a couple of years ago.

The name of the speech? "The Legal framework of Human Rights as a necessary protection for individual citizens and for diversity".

Here's another of its gems:
"Today in the UK these rights are enshrined in a Human Rights Act which was agreed in 1998 and which in turn ensures the primacy of the European Human Rights Convention agreed in 1950 over other aspects of English law.   That development in itself: the enshrinement of a Human Rights Act and the acknowledgement of international law as paramount was a very significant step forward in the evolution of English justice."
This seemingly archetypal (save in gender) representative of the FCO Camel Corps (no great friends to Israel, they, and that's a classic British understatement) continued:
"Muslims represent about 3% of the total British population, about 2 million people.  There are now over 1,200 mosques in the UK and more than 110 Muslim schools.  Some of these are state schools.... Muslims in the UK have been able to use human rights legislation successfully to argue that if the state provides other faith schools, in this case, Church of England and Catholic schools, then the state should also provide Muslim schools where demand justified such a provision.  This now happens."
Quite so.  But there's a more negative side to the Human Rights Act, as glimpsed recently in a couple of cases discussed - here and here - in the Daily Express by Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard.

In fact,  the situation (except for so-called Human Rights lawyers, of course) wrought by this piece of legislation is far far darker.  Britain has lost control of its sovereign jurisdiction regarding the fate even of the vilest po;tical extremists who pose a clear and present danger to its citizens.

One of the "Muslim opposition forces" which, to the evident delight of such metropolitan elites asthe Camel Corps and the Human Rights Industry, were offered sanctuary in the UK, was (crazily enough) radical Islamist cleric and al-Qaeda crony Abu Qatada.  And as we saw today the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has thrown a spanner into the British Home Office's works by ruling that he cannot be deported to Jordan.

One of the best commentaries on this abhorrent state of affairs comes from the Henry Jackson Society, and I reproduce it here, with no further input by me:


States the Henry Jackson Society:

"Qatada, a Jordanian national, stands accused of conspiracy to cause explosions in his home country, but has never been charged with any offences in the UK, despite a long and damning record of terrorist activity.  Qatada has served as the spiritual advisor to a host of radical Islamists including 9/11's '20th hijacker' Zacarias Moussaoui and  the 2001 'shoe bomber' Richard Reid.  He was the mentor of Abu Hamza, the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque who was convicted of soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred in 2006.    

Qatada has been linked to the terrorist group Egyptian Islamic Jihad (now merged with al-Qaeda) through Ayman al-Zawahiri and is believed to have known Osama bin Laden since 1989.  

The ECHR judgment found the UK legal system did everything it could in processing Qatada and that the UK's extradition arrangements with Jordan were sound. Further, Qatada is not staying in the UK because he is at risk of torture, but because the evidence against him might have been obtained from others under duress, breaching article six of the ECHR, the right to a fair trial. 

Before his arrest in London in October 2002, Abu Qatada was the most prominent jihadist scholar in the UK. Widely seen as wielding more theological authority than his student Abu Hamza, he issued fatwas on behalf of the GIA (Armed Islamic Group) in Algeria and in the late 1990s and early 2000s played a key role in radicalising several key al-Qaeda individuals.

Eighteen video recordings of Abu Qatada's talks were discovered in the Hamburg flats of Muhammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attacks and when he was arrested in February 2001, police discovered £170,000 in cash in his home, including £805 in an envelope labelled "For the Mujahedin in Chechnya". 

In February 2007, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that "He has given advice to many terrorist groups and individuals, whether formerly a spiritual adviser to them or not. His reach and the depth of his influence in that respect is formidable, even incalculable." 

The 2008 report Virtual Caliphate, by the Centre for Social Cohesion, now part of the Henry Jackson Society, found many Islamist websites hosting audio recordings by Abu Qatada calling for jihad as the way to establish the Islamic caliphate, and demanding the execution of Muslim secularists, whom he describes as "kaffirs" (unbelievers).

In one lecture, 'Wajib al-Muslim' ('The Duty of Muslims') Qatada claims that it is the duty of Muslim to wage jihad against "oppressors" (both Muslim and non-Muslim) who do not fully apply sharia law until the caliphate has been re-established, saying
"The only way to have a khilafa is through jihad."
Qatada also explicitly calls on Muslims to murder non-Muslims, saying that:
"Our countries have been infiltrated by kaffirs [non-Muslims]. It is farid [duty] for us to turn our swords on to them and kill them."
"We must fight the kaffirs. We can't reason with them. We can't reach a compromise and we can't be friends."
In another recording entitled 'Seerah' ('The Path') he launches a tirade against Christians and Jews while outlining his apocalyptic visions of the future, describing Christianity and Judaism as "devil worshipping" and saying:
"There will be a great battle against the wathaniyah [Jews and Christians] where the saviour will come back to this earth, the king with an army in the sky, killing the Jews, wipe them out, and rid of the planet of the Jews. Esa [Jesus] will return and spread peace; the majority that remain are those who believe in Esa."
He then tells his listeners that:
"In Jewish law, when a Jew enters a village in war or peace it is his duty to rape the land, take kill the men and turn the women into slaves. He will take the land and the money and that is what that religion says. This war is for existence, to exist or not exist."
Robin Simcox, Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, said today:
"Abu Qatada has been detained for almost ten years without trial while awaiting extradition to Jordan. This is a man who aspiring terrorists and jihadists from around the world sought out for spiritual advice. His continued presence in the UK poses a grave national security threat.""

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Year Of The Yordim?

The antipodean J-Wire service carries an article by Raffe Gold, himself from Israel, which suggests that 2012 might well be "the year of the foreign passports" as for one reason or another people reluctantly seek a life outside the Jewish State.  I'm sure that many readers will disagree with some of his assertions, including his confidence in the credentials of the New Israel Fund (see this new revelation, by the way).  But his is an interesting, and disturbing, overview that I am taking the liberty of reproducing.

Writes Raffe Gold:


'Left wing Israelis are preparing themselves to leave the nation of their birth, and of their dreams, because the dream for them has turned into a nightmare.  Many are planning on joining their family members, cousins, brothers, sisters or parents, in the West to restart their life. A 2008 Menachem Begin Heritage Centre Poll found that 59% of Israelis surveyed had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to apply for citizenship and a passport. A Bar-Ilan University study found that more than 100,000 Israelis hold a German passport and the number rises by 7,000 every year. The foreign passport was originally acquired as a last resort in case the Arab armies managed to go through with their plans of the annihilation of Israel. Passports were updated in 2001 when the Palestinian terrorists waged their war of bus bombings and massacres and it is being updated again under the threat of the Zionist dream dying.

Those Israelis that are looking for a escape route are leaving for a number of reasons. They leave for a life free of religious and right-wing coercion. They leave for a better economic future. They leave for a life for their children that is not dominated by religion. They leave with a heavy heart. This is not what they wanted. They remain proud Zionists and they know that with the growth of extreme right wing religious extremism, there is nothing here left for them. Israelis who cannot leave warn their friends not to return. This is not a country to start, or restart, a life. It is a country that is on the brink of abandoning liberalism, once a happily celebrated value by Jews and Israelis the world over.

This is not, in any way, to say that modern day Israel has become Saudi Arabia, Iran or Gaza. Only around 10% of Israel’s population identify themselves as ultra-Orthodox and an even smaller number insist on this gender segregation. There remains a vibrant community of thinkers here who are free to say and do what they wish. Haaretz continues with its proud tradition of challenging government authority and all faiths are free to worship as they see fit (unlike Gaza where Hamas, in an almost cliched villainous move, literally outlawed Christmas). Israel remains a strong democracy with a free press and our neighbors look on in envy as their own governments trample their basic rights. Israel remains a beacon of light amongst a sea of totalitarian dictatorships but lately the beacon has been wavering slightly and this is why some are looking for an escape route.

Israelis see the battle in Bet Shemesh as but another nail in the coffin of Israeli liberalism. They see the increased construction within the settlements as a cause for alarm, they see the potential shut down of Channel 10 as a threat to the Fourth Estate and they see ‘loyalty bill’ as curbing the right of freedom of speech. They feel that the right-wing coalition formed under Netanyahu has damaged Israel irrevocably. Ultra-orthodox groups, a minority in terms of the population, are imposing their will on the majority. A recent bill, thankfully defeated, proposed turning electricity "kosher". Essentially electric companies would operate according to Jewish halachic demands and the rabbinate would have the authority to cut off power. Israel is a country that truly appreciates freedom of religion but it seems that it is forgetting that freedom of religion also demands freedom from religion; secular Israelis should not be subject to the will of the faithful.

Right-wing groups and various MKs paint many in left wing NGOs as traitors. The New Israel Fund has been demonized as anti-Israel and has sparred with the Knesset and the right-wing media alike. Many of those who eye foreign passports fear that they do not have an adequate voice at the parliamentary level. Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni is considered a failure in her goal to create a credible opposition. Despite her party holding a majority of seats she is outnumbered by right wing and religious groups and can resort only to name calling against Netanyahu.

It is presumptuous to declare the modern-liberal Israeli State "over". It is, however, teetering on an edge that leads to a very dark and uncertain future. Many centrist Israelis hope that the recent decision of Yair Lapid, a popular television commentator, to enter politics will lead to a resurgence of a strong opposition to take on the right-wing coalition. These Israelis who believe that the darkness is overcoming believe that Israel is in need of a major intervention. They had hoped that the recent protests over the summer would lead to a renewed sense of vigor but many are disappointed in their inability to change anything. These Israelis, who serve in the army with pride and built the State from nothing, will sigh in frustration as they line up at Embassies to collect their foreign passport.'

"Ripples" Into "Whirlpools"? UNESCO's Crisis Following Its Unconstitutional Admittance of Palestine

Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer's petition against UNESCO's unconstitutional act in admitting Palestine to membership now has over 750 signatures. He is hoping for many more ...

Meanwhile, in this article, entitled "UNESCO Commissioner Spells Out Global Fallout From Palestine Decision," originally published by the antipodean J-Wire service at the weekend ago, he provides an update regarding the debacle:

Writes David Singer:
'Global programs in literacy, gender equality and clean water initiatives will be impacted as a result of America suspending its dues to UNESCO totalling about $225 million dollars until 2013 – according to United States National Commissioner to UNESCO – Emilya Cachapero.

Hundreds of millions of people in third world countries stand to suffer as these programs are curtailed or abandoned because of this black hole opening up in UNESCO’s recurrent funding – resulting from the admission of Palestine to membership of UNESCO on 31 October.

Two American domestic laws passed in the early-mid-90s specify that if Palestine becomes a full member in any UN agency, the US would end funds to that agency.

This legislation was designed to ensure that no unilateral action was taken by the Palestinian Authority to declare statehood outside the negotiations prescribed by the Oslo Agreements and the Bush Roadmap.
The global fall out from this loss of American funding – 22% of UNESCO’s annual budget – has been spelled out In a highly revealing article “Ripples from Palestine Membership Into UNESCO” – written by Ms.Cachapero – the Theatre Communication Groups Director of Artistic Programs/International Theatre Institute – US.

Ms Cachapero indicated the fallout was going to be far wider than just UNESCO’s programs:
“However, the withdrawal of funds could also have huge repercussions throughout UN agencies and this is much bigger than just a UNESCO, UN or Palestine issue.”
She points out that:
“The UN meeting calendar is determining which other agencies are approached by Palestine to petition for full membership. The next agency meeting where Palestine is expected to request membership is the World Patents Organization and other meetings on the calendar include the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and later the Atomic Energy Commission.”
Obviously if Palestine is admitted to membership of these organizations – then American funding will automatically cease.

Ms Cachapero disagrees with the politicization of UNESCO – brought home very forcefully by Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Maliki who heralded Palestine’s admission to membership of UNESCO in these terms:  
"Today’s victory at UNESCO is the beginning of a road that is difficult, but will lead to the freedom of our land and people from occupation. Palestine has the right to a place on the map.”
The price the rest of the world is now being asked to pay for this diplomatic assault outside the negotiations agreed on by the Palestinian Authority with Israel seems to have had no place in Mr Maliki’s thinking – nor those 107 states that voted for Palestine’s admission knowing full well that it could lead to the loss of America’s monetary commitment to UNESCO.
Like it or not – politics appears to have been an important factor in relation to Palestine’s admission to UNESCO.

I first raised questions with UNESCO concerning the legality of Palestine’s admission some two months ago.
I sought access to the reports of UNESCO’s Executive Board recommending the admission of Palestine to UNESCO – which has been ignored. Six weeks ago I also prepared and submitted to UNESCO a submission on the majority vote I believed was required to admit Palestine. UNESCO continues to maintain a wall of silence – indicating it will not be commenting on my claims.

I have now instituted a petition seeking public support to demand UNESCO review the decision and if necessary seek an advisory opininion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
700 people from 19 countries have signed the petition in the 10 days it has been on line.

Is there any alternative to this course of action – which could help get American funding restored if the ICJ finds Palestine’s admission was unlawful?

Ms Cachapero offers one alternative suggestion:
“We encourage you to send messages to Members of Congress urging them to amend the laws and allow US funds to flow again to all impacted UN agencies”
She acknowledges that such action is unlikely to have any effect by revealing that:
“US Ambassador to UNESCO David Killion informed the US Commissioners that he is working with other State Department officials to encourage US legislators to amend the laws, which are not likely to be repealed.”
Given this is an election year in America – Mr Killion’s opinion is probably correct.

UNESCO has attempted to replace the lost American funding by establishing an Emergency Fund in November – urging its remaining 194 members to make up the shortfall.

The Emergency Fund has yielded very little in voluntary contributions to date.

Certainly the 87 member states that did not vote for Palestine’s admission, or abstained from voting or simply did not turn up for the vote would not be very sympathetic to such a plea stemming from a decision they did not support.

UNESCO is clearly in a bind.

If the ICJ found UNESCO acted unlawfully, then Palestine’s admission would be declared null and void but American funding would be restored. If the ICJ found UNESCO had acted legally, then the loss of American funding would be continued but Palestine’s admission to UNESCO would be confirmed.
Given the “out” an ICJ opinion could possibly give UNESCO – it would be acting irresponsibly if it did not approach the ICJ.

I believe that UNESCO could have avoided the dilemma in which it now finds itself – had the Executive Board properly dealt with Palestine’s application when it was first presented to the Executive Board.
The action of the Executive Board is to be contrasted with the Committee that dealt with Palestine’s application to become a member of the United Nations – where that application failed to convince such Committee to forward it to the Security Council for a vote.

It would be very interesting to learn how Palestine’s application could have been recommended by UNESCO’S Executive Board but rejected by the UN vetting Committee – since only States can be recommended for membership to both organizations.

Palestine does not satisfy the criteria for statehood under customary international law as recognized in the Montevideo Convention.

Was this a fatal impediment to Palestine’s application to join the UN – but thought to be of no consequence in regard to its application to join UNESCO?

The ICJ might well have something to say on this issue.

Irrespective of what occured at the Executive Board – the vote taken at the UNESCO General Conference has the smell of illegality about it – reinforced by UNESCO refusing to justify the constitutional provision which enabled Palestine to be admitted to membership on the affirmative vote of only 107 member states – rather than the 129 I maintain are required by the Constitution..

In the end some declaratory ruling by the ICJ is necessary to possibly rescue UNESCO from the hole into which it is sinking further every day as its programs are impacted by the sudden withdrawal of American funding.

Ms Cachapero’s description of the problems as “ripples” seems set to turn into ” whirlpools” – unless UNESCO seeks advice from the ICJ instead of hoping the problem will simply disappear if it maintains its present course of inaction and continuing silence.

Should politics take precedence over legality? That is the question UNESCO needs to face – and answer – without delay.

Hundreds of millions of people losing out on the abandonment or curtailment of projects designed to improve their daily lives seem to make the choice a very easy one.'