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)

Friday, 31 August 2012

"See You At Sadler's Wells!": Anti-Israel Demagogue Promises Batsheva "The Welcome They Deserve" (video) (with updates)

In customary demogogic style, Mick Napier, who heads the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, denounces the Balfour Declaration and the resulting Zionist Entity, where, he tells a hugely receptive crowd on Al Quds Day, "the racism, the torture, is deep and long-lasting," and he proclaims "the criminals can be defeated!". "Israel's name is already dark and horrible" he cries, vowing that it will be made "even worse".  To acclaim, he screams that Israel's young people should be encouraged to leave the country, and that when the Batsheva Dance Company visits Edinburgh this week he and his cohorts will give it "the welcome it deserves." (See this report on that "welcome" last evening, and see below for an account by one of the disrupters.)  He foreshadows the same when Batsheva performs in London at the end of November: "See you at Sadler's Wells!"

 
As for the canard that "Israel is for the white man," well, it's not, of course.  Regarding that infamous quotation (wrongly) attributed to the Interior Minister (who was merely quotiing the views of some Sudanese refugees), Napier and friends should read this.


Of the disruptions to last night's Edinburgh performance, Zionist Federation stalwart Jonathan Hoffman says:
"The majority of the Edinburgh audience showed its disgust at these cultural terrorists by loudly applauding Batsheva. Hopefully the protesters were arrested for the offence of aggravated trespass - or whatever is the equivalent in Scottish law. The cultural terrorists are always the same people which shows that the Israel-haters are not persuading anyone. It takes a very special brand of ill-mannered coward to interrupt an arts event for which the audience has paid good money"
Update: Hat tip to reader Shirlee for finding this account of the disruption by Shin Kicker, one of those whom Jonathan Hoffman aptly refers to as "cultural terrorists":
"The 30th August was the opening night for the Israeli state-sponsored Batsheva dance group at the Edinburgh Festival....
Meanwhile outside on Leith Walk friends and allies gathered on the street for Palestine as part of the 'Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid' (DDwIA)campaign.
The 'Friends of Al-Aqsa, The 'SPSC', 'Edinburgh University SJP', Unison, 'Scottish Jews for a Just Peace' 'J-BIG' and the 'Socialist Workers Party' were among those there 250 strong. Placards, flags and banners provided a colourful spectacle.
 Passers-by were given leaflets, car horns were blown in support and the chants of "Free Palestine" echoed in Edinburgh. The wonderful singing of the 'Protest in Harmony' group lent a musical air to the gathering....
"Your ticket is covered in Palestinian blood!" was the chant that greeted patrons ....
Inside the theatre 12 activists had surreptitiously gained entrance to disrupt the show at appointed times. Outside we knew approximately when this would be and the crowd went quieter almost as if in anticipation of events taking place inside which were confirmed when a file of police officers urgently entered the theatre.
And so the first group came out to rousing cheers and a rapturous ovation. They had done their job and as Kate described to the throng “The lights went out, the dancing stopped” and not for the first time this evening. Pete spoke of the “aircraft carrier for the U.S in the Middle-East” that is the Israeli state, part of an "Imperial Alliance" serving western interests at the expense of the Palestinians.
 The chanting hardly stopped for the three hours that the 'DDwIA' protest lasted and was only interrupted by cheers for the activists who were ejected and appeared triumphantly at the front door and welcomed like movie stars in a Leicester Square première...."
Read all of Shin Kicker's account here

Here' a relevant video that predates the disruption; explains the uploader:
'On August 14th the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign picketed the Scottish Parliament's "Culture Summit" in protest against the Israeli suppression of Palestinian culture, and the invitation of the Israeli Batsheva Dance Group to the Edinburgh Festival.
Following its recent tour of the OPT [sic; to judge by the PSC's logo this means all of Israel] the San Ghan'ni group joined us to sing songs of freedom and resistance.'

And another, featuring cameo appearances from Napier:


 If I find any videos of the disruption I'll post them here.
Update:
Go to Richard Millett's blog here to see the ferals in action 

 For more on Batsheva see here and here

These Shoes Were Made For Selling: Sally Socks It To The Brisbane BDSers (with video)

Remember the footage of the the BSD Walking Tour of Brisbane that I posted recently?  The fixated local Israel-haters who call their group Justice for Palestine kicked off a new campaign by trudging around various retail outlets in the central business district that have the temerity to sell "the products of apartheid [sic] Israel" and demanded that they cease to do so.
      
As this new footage shows, one of their targets was a shoe shop called Children of the Revolution, and with a name like that one or two at least of the lefty ferals possibly thought that after a quiet word Naot, the Israeli brand stocked, would soon be booted out.

Just look at the bunch of bullies, in this new footage of the group's antics; if you don't want to sit through the entire eight minutes of manic preaching and screeching you'll be relieved to know that Children of the Revolution is their  first port of call:


But the name of the "amazing" shop, one of a pair (the other is in Sydney) is derived from the health-conscious premise that "We’re committed to providing shoes that are good for your body and look great".

As reported here, American-born owner Sally McGregor, with 25 years as a practising podiatrist under her belt, knows a great footwear product when she sees one; after all, the brand in question is well-known for its orthopaedic sole.

 So when the BDSers marched in she stood her ground and refused to be trampled over.

As a result of her stance they occupied her shop until given their marching orders by the Aussie equivalents of Mr Plod, and spent almost three hours outside.

The Israel-hating ferals have vowed to return to her premises every weekend, but the feisty and principled Ms McGregor is standing firm.

"I am really scared that they will return and damage my business but I will not be told what I should or should not stock," she has declared.

Good on yah, Ms McGregor!  As Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) president Danny Lamm  observes:
"It is outrageous that a gang of Justice for Palestine protesters invaded a shop, tried to dictate to the owner what products she may or may not sell, and then bullied the owner with threats of further harassment. These mafia-style tactics have no place in contemporary Australia. The shop owner deserves our admiration and every support for refusing to be stood over."
Indeed.  When we're next in Brisbane or Sydney we must all hotfoot it straight to Children of the Revolution.  (I just hope Ms McGregor stocks my not-too-dainty size.)

And good on  federal parliamentarian Bernie Ripoll, Labor member for the Queensland seat of Oxley, who once again demonstrated his contempt for the BDS movement by stating that the protesters' latest stunt 
 "offended every fibre in my body .... These people are extremists.... The overwhelming majority of Australians who believe in  tolerance and a fair go will no doubt be dubious about the tactics of these extremists."

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Arise, Sir Ludwig!

As one of my regular readers has emailed me this morning, prompting this short post, it's gratifying to see neurosurgeon Sir Ludwig Guttmann (1899-1980),  "Father of the Paralympics," arise from relative obscurity to all but the cognescenti and be given his due place in the media spotlight this year.  To its credit, the BBC has made a fascinating documentary about this Jewish refugee from Nazism who, like so many of his type, contributed so appreciably to their host societies.  (The video is below; hat tip Ian)

Thanks in large part  to the dedication and expertise of Dr Michael Jolles, a London physician and an historian of Anglo-Jewry, the Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History contains potted biographies of numerous highly distinguished medicos and scientists from Nazi persecution who fled to Britain, much to Britain's enrichment.


Here's the in-a-nutshell entry for Sir Ludwig:
"Born in Tost, Upper Silesia, the son of an innkeeper and distiller, he took refuge in Britain in 1939.  In 1944 he became foundation Director of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.  Convinced that paraplegics would gain physical, therapeutic, and psychological benefits from sport, an idea that was revolutionary at the time, he organised, in 1948 on the hospital lawn, competitive games for the disabled to coincide with the Olympic Games that were being held in London.  In 1952 the so-called Stoke Mandeville Games involved over 130 competitors, and were awarded the Fearnley Cup in 1956 for their promotion of the Olympic spirit.  They developed into the Paralympic Games, first held in Rome in 1960 and held ever since immediately after the Olympics.  In 1960 Guttmann founded the Association of the Disabled.  He retired from Stoke Mandeville in 1966 and in 1976 published his Textbook of Sport for the Disabled.  Appointed OBE (1950) and CBE (1960) he was knighted in 1966."

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Rachel Corrie & The Bulldozer: The Photo That Falsely Fuels A Blood Libel

Shraga Simmons, an ordained rabbi who founded HonestReporting.com, is one of the foremost experts on media bias against Israel.  Of Simmons's book David and Goliath, published earlier this year, another expert, Professor Richard Landes of Boston (who incidentally coined the term "Pallywood") has written:
"Simmons has produced an invaluable book on one of the most serious problems of the 21st century, the almost perverse and pervasively wrong-headed way that our western mainstream news media (MSNM) report the Arab-Israeli conflict. Not only are the problems he so thoroughly details critical as a problem of both epistemology and journalistic ethics, but the implications for the well-being of the civic polities which create and depend on a free press are dire... This book should be required reading in Journalism 101. Alas, I'm not holding my breath."

In the wake of an Israeli court's verdict in the Rachel Corrie case, Simmons tells afresh why this photo, still being widely used in press reports (I saw it used last evening on CNN, for example, when Mark Regev was being grilled) gives the misleading impression that the bulldozer's driver had Ms Corrie in plain view when she was killed.  As Shraga Simmons explains, the photo was taken hours before the tragedy, and when the latter occurred Ms Corrie was hidden.  He also shows, as evidenced in another photo, that a different bulldozer was involved.

Incidentally, during the interview with CNN Mark Regev said that contrary to press reports Ms Corrie was not obstructing a house demolition but the clearance of shrubs and small trees used as "sniper positions".  He also pointed to the extremist nature of the International Solidarity Movement (remember this exposé?) to which she was affiliated, reminding his interviewer that the ISM believes Israel has no right to exist.

In Melbourne, Screaming Ferals Picket Israeli Film Festival (video)

The AICE Israeli Film Festival has got underway Down Under.  To quote the uploader's blurb to the following trailer:
"The AICE Israeli Film Festival is spreading its wings in 2012, taking the best of Israeli cinema across Australia to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Produced by Palace Cinemas and the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange the ninth AICE Israeli Film Festival will screen more films over more days than even before, with an expanded program of some of the best Israeli films from the last twelve months.
The exciting selection of films in this year's program reflects the growing success of the Israeli film industry, which has developed a voice, a character and identity of its own. The 2012 AICE Israeli Film Festival features prizewinners from prestigious festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Jerusalem and San Sebastian, as well as winners from the 2011 Ophirs (Israeli 'Oscars')."

Carrying banners showing the whole of Eretz Israel's map coloured red, white and green, and chanting the all-too-familiar vow that Israel will be eradicated, the Israel-hating ferals who call themselves Students For Palestine have (as shown in this brief Jewish News footage) been giving their usual performance:


Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Protesting A Barbaric Apartheid State (video)

Below is footage of a counter-protest in Toronto against Iran, mastermind of the Al Quds Day demos around the world.  To quote the uploader:
'A group of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Latinos and Iranians for Democracy in Iran came out to counter protest the Al Quds protest in Queen's Park, Toronto, Canada in support of Israel and in support of a Democratic Iran against the hateful "Palestinian", Iranian and Pakistani Islamic groups supporting Terrorism and hate.'
When will the westerners, especially females, who join the Al Quds Day protests and those who feature prominently in the anti-Israel movement, some (when given the chance) venting their spleen in interviews for Press TV, acknowledge that Iran is an apartheid state, recently banning females from over 70 degree courses, and practising a barbaric, misogynistic legal code (administered by judges, all of whom are male) which ensures that judgments are innately weighted against females and holds that the age of criminal responsibility for a girl is nine-years-of-age (it's 15 for a boy)?

Will the westerners, especially females, who so relish demonising Israel join the organisation Safe World for Women's calls upon the international community to put pressure on the odious Iranian regime to abide by international laws and covenants?

Will they support Safe World for Women's calls for worldwide participation in campaigns to stop the export of cranes to Iran (cranes being the favoured means of judicial murder in Iran, for men, women – unless they've been stoned to death, of course – and juveniles alike)?

And if not, why not?


The Balen Report: Wanted – A Whistleblower

Nearly £333,000 of licence-payers' money is now known, thanks to The Commentator, which used the Freedom of Information Act to do some digging, to have been squandered by the institutionally leftist BBC in its determined fight through the courts to keep the Balen Report away from public scrutiny.

As The Commentator observes in an exclusive explosive exposé  issued at the weekend, the total sum spent by the BBC is likely to be even higher.
 
 "The BBC has a special obligation to be accountable. It is publicly funded – in the UK, by the licence fee – and therefore all of its journalists have a responsibility to deal openly and fairly with its audiences."
So opens one of the self-righteous self-congratulatory items in the "Standards" section on the website of the BBC's so-called College of Journalism (CoJo).  The blurb on the introductory page states:
"BBC journalism is built on a number of editorial standards including truth and accuracy, impartiality, accountability, public interest and independence.
In this section, BBC director of news Helen Boaden outlines why the BBC’s ethics and values underpin everything its journalists do."
 The specific item I refer to above and below is headed "Accountability":
 "By far the most important accountability we have is towards the audience, and it’s when we lose sight of that that we get into trouble ....
 .... Accountability isn’t just about responding – or not responding – to complaints. You shouldn’t see complaints as a nuisance. Nor should you believe that it’s a sign of weakness if you’ve got something wrong.
If you receive a complaint it’s important to deal with it according to the complaints procedure that is in place.
As a BBC journalist you should be prepared to listen to your audience, understand why they might want you to explain what you’ve done and, if you have made a mistake, acknowledge it and be willing to learn from it.
Dealing with complaints properly and openly is an important part of building and maintaining trust.
However hard you strive to be accurate, fair and impartial, you will get things wrong from time to time...."
Observes another BBC bigwig on the same site:
"There are many reasons why Wikileaks is a 'Good Thing'. Any force for transparency has to be better than one for secrecy."

 Any force for transparency except releasing the Balen Report, it seems.

Columnist Alex Singleton wrote yesterday:
"It's time for the BBC to give up. We already know that it's biased towards the Left. But the corporation looks ridiculous in its endless attempts to stop the publication of an inquiry into its coverage of Israel....
You probably won't hear this on the BBC, but there is a truth about Israel that the Left has been blinded to. It is that Israel is a virtuous country....
Sadly the debate has been skewed by nutty Left-wing websites who ignore the truth about the Israel and print endless false accusations against the country.....
When the BBC is bombarded by the constant email campaigns of these people who pervert reality, I suspect they really do believe that their coverage is even-handed."
Clearly, unless the BBC has a change of heart in its top echelons, the Balen Report will continue to be suppressed.

Unless somebody at Al Beeb is prepared to be a whistleblower.

(As for that complaints procedure of which Ms Boaden boasts: I was given short shrift when I complained, a decade ago, about two reports by Orla Guerin, the arrogant official in charge of complaints snottily informing me that he refused to investigate my grievances since the fact that I was complaining about two separate reports within a short time of each other suggested that the "problem" lay with me and not with the reporter!  I'm still awaiting a reply to a complaint I made back in 2009 about perceived bias in Jeremy Bowen's online "Diary" during Cast Lead, despite explicitly requesting a response! Little wonder that some frustrated people in the same position have dubbed the BBC "Bin and Bypass Complaints"!)

Monday, 27 August 2012

In Brisbane, Israel-Haters On A "BDS Walking Tour" (video)

Here's the Israel-hating mob of usual suspects, on a so-called BDS walking tour of Brisbane, hectoring shoppers, chanting "Myer Centre you can't hide, you're supporting apartheid" (no wonder a security man was less than polite in giving them their marching orders), and vilifying Israel to the accompaniment of a huge banner bearing a slogan that leaves no doubt that they want Israel eradicated.


Hat tip: reader Shirlee

And while we're on the subject of Aussie Israel-haters, the group Australians For Palestine, those folks duped into believing for propaganda purposes that a modern map (showing nations born in the 20th century as well as the modern name for Persia) dates to 1700, have blundered again.  In adding slides to a video containing the keynote speech at the recent BDS Conference in Byron Bay, they've included this Mizrachi refugee from an Arab land among the "Palestinian Refugees".


 As the old saying goes, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing"...

"America Is Destined For The Dustbin Of History": Tough Talk in Toronto (video)

Guess how the next line from Canadian Islamist Zafar Bangash goes.

If you guessed "And when America goes, Israel goes," you got it in one.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

David Singer On Why The European Union Cannot Ignore Lieberman's Letter

Via the antipodean J-Wire service as usual comes this latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer. It's entitled "Palestine – Where To From Here?".

Writes David Singer:

'Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has written to Her Excellency Baroness Ashton, High Representative  of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, "to demonstrate Israel’s goodwill, desire to build trust and sincere desire to create a positive atmosphere vis-á-vis the PA, with the goal of bringing our neighbors back to the table of direct negotiations".

The PA has refused to resume direct negotiations until Israel agrees to impose a construction freeze in the West Bank for the duration of such resumed negotiations – which Israel refuses to do.

 Mr Lieberman has listed the following "significant gestures" made by Israel to attract the PA to drop its demand for a freeze and return to the negotiating table – which he claims are "not properly represented or reflected in the policy of the European Union or the Quartet on this subject".

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Shteinitz and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad concluded (July 31) arrangements with respect to the transfer of goods between Israel and the PA and related tax procedures as recommended by the International Monetary Fund;
 In light of the PA‘s budget crisis, Israel transferred at the beginning of the month of Ramadan (July 27) an advance of NIS 180 million (approximately USD 45 million) of August tax remittances. The money was intended to help the PA pay salaries in time to celebrate the holiday;
 An agreement was concluded (July 14) to employ an additional 5,000 Palestinian construction workers in Israel;
The number of roadblocks was reduced to 10, most of which are normally open;
The remains of Palestinian terrorists were returned (May 31);
Israel agreed to develop the gas field off the Gaza shoreline;
 Israel is promoting infrastructure projects in Area C, including completion of a master plan. In 2011, 119 infrastructure projects were approved, 58 of them with international financing. Fifteen projects relating to the construction and renovation of infrastructures for schools and clinics have received "fast-track" approval.
Mr Lieberman complains that there has been no willingness or positive attitude on the part of the PA to reciprocate these moves – and has pointed to the following actions undertaken  in the diplomatic and legal arenas against Israel:
Attempts to accelerate illegal construction in Area C of the West Bank where sole  responsibility is vested in Israel (including dragging the EU into this problematic activity);
Encouraging an economic boycott on the Israeli economy in the West Bank;
Generating repeated negative statements against Israel;
 Blaming Israel for the [alleged] murder of Yassir Arafat;
 Ongoing institutionalized incitement in the Palestinian media, attacking Israel and the legitimacy of the State’s existence.
Mr Lieberman has also made a stinging attack on PA President Mahmoud Abbas, claiming:
Mr Abbas is apparently is uninterested or unable – due to his standing in the domestic Palestinian scene vis-á-vis Hamas, and in light of the regional geopolitical situation – to reach an agreement which would bring an end to the conflict, including addressing all the core issues;
Mr Abbas is creating a culture of blaming Israel for delaying the process, while attempting to achieve advantages without negotiation via blackmailing and ongoing attempts to internationalize the conflict – which he says can be confirmed by the Jordanians;
In a calculated manner, Mr. Abbas is focusing his dialogue with the international community on the subject of settlements. Unfortunately – Mr Lieberman further claims – the international community tends to accept this discourse lock, stock and barrel, without criticism or a nuanced approach. This is a damaging attitude, which according to Mr Liberman does not reflect the reality on the ground.
Mr Lieberman is at pains to further point out that:
The entire area of the settlements constitutes approximately one percent of the area of the West Bank;
The last settlement which Israel constructed was in 1991;
In the framework of the peace accord with Egypt (1979), Israel evacuated all the settlements and military bases in Sinai;
In 2005 Israel evacuated all of its settlements from the Gaza Strip, as well as four settlements in the northern West Bank  - and since such withdrawal 14,000 rockets and missiles have been  indiscriminately shot at towns and villages in southern Israel from Gaza.
Mr Lieberman makes the following further points in relation to the vexed issue of settlements:
Facts and history, as opposed to the simplistic stereotypes and political bias, contradict the idea that somehow the settlement enterprise is the main obstacle to renewing the negotiations;
This premise simply does not stand up to the test of reality or the historic precedent of the peace process between Israel and its neighbors. Both peace accords, with Egypt and Jordan, were signed when settlements existed;
The claim that settlements are the obstacle to peace is unfounded.
Mr Leiberman’s  prescription for restarting the stalled negotiations calls for fresh general elections for the PA to enable a new, legitimate, hopefully realistic Palestinian leadership to be elected.  Such elections were due to be held in 2010 and have since been postponed several times. No new date has been set for such elections.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak have since made it very clear that such a proposal does not represent Israel‘s official position. Clearly, the European Union could not in such circumstances be expected to endorse Mr Lieberman’s proposal as a possible circuit breaker to get negotiations started again.

However,  the European Union cannot keep walking the diplomatic tightrope and simply ignore Mr Lieberman‘s letter.

Surely the way forward now requires the European Union to indicate whether it considers that the PA should resume negotiations without preconditions in the light of the "significant gestures" made by Israel.

If the answer is in the affirmative, then  the European Union should indicate whether the PA’s  refusal to do so would result in the PA being isolated from total or partial diplomatic and financial support from the European Union until the PA resumes such negotiations.

If the answer is in the negative, then the European Union should spell out what it considers needs to be further done by Israel to get the parties around the negotiating table – and whether Israel’s refusal to do so would result in Israel being isolated from total or partial diplomatic and financial support from the European Union until Israel meets the European Union’s requirements

A one line throwaway response from the European Union will not suffice. Baroness Ashton needs to pen a detailed reply to Mr Lieberman without delay.

Mr Lieberman has put Israel’s cards on the table. Now it is time for the European Union to do likewise.'

Cross-posted from here

"Thank You For Standing Up Against An Injustice That Was Done To Our People": A Hero To A Heroine

Here's the text of a beautiful letter a serving IDF officer sent to a beautiful girl.  It's doing the rounds of cyberspace, but I can't resist posting it too (hat tip: reader Jean).

Who can forget the American Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman, who to the upbeat strains of Hava Nagila performed this floor exercise routine (captured on camera by blogger Richard Millett) at the London Olympics, and dedicated her tally of medals (two golds and a bronze) to the memory of the Munich martyrs, for whom the International Olympic Committee had cravenly refused one minute's silence?



Wrote Dan Yagudin, described as a member of the University of Haifa Hillel, on her Facebook page:
"Dear Aly,
I want to tell you about how you became the hero of a gym full of Israeli soldiers.
The same Israeli soldiers who have to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat to the Jewish state. The same ones who serve two-to-three years of their lives, because we have to; because there’s no one else that would do it besides us, because our neighborhood sucks, and when the leadership next door in Syria massacres their own people, there’s no way we would let them lay hands on our kids, as foreign dictators have done for thousands of years.
You picked a song for your floor routine in the Olympics that every Jewish kid knows, whether their families came from the shtetls of Eastern Europe, the Asian steppes of Azerbaijan, the mountains of Morocco or the Kibbutzim of northern Israel. It’s that song that drew almost everyone at the Israeli army base gym to the TV as soon as the report about you came on the news this morning. After showing your floor exercise to Hava Nagila, the announcer told about your gold medal with unmasked pride, and of your decision to dedicate it to the Israeli athletes who were killed in the Munich Olympics in 1972.
There were some tough people at that gym, Aly. Men and Women, Battalion Commanders from Intelligence, Captains from the navy, Lieutenants from the Armored Corps and more. You probably understand that words like ‘bravery’ and ‘heroism’ carry a lot of weight coming from them, as does a standing ovation (even from the people doing ab exercises.) There was nothing apologetic about what you did. For so long we’ve had to apologize for who we are: for how we dress, for our beliefs, for the way we look. It seems like the International Olympic Committee wanted to keep that tradition. Quiet, Jews. Keep your tragedy on the sidelines. Don’t disturb our party.
They didn’t count on an 18-year-old girl in a leotard.
There wasn’t one person at the gym who didn’t know what it was like to give back to our people, not one who didn’t know what happened to the good people who died in 1972, not one who didn’t feel personally insulted by their complete neglect in the London Olympics, the 40 year anniversary of their deaths, and not one who didn’t connect with your graceful tribute in their honor.
Thank you for standing up against an injustice that was done to our people. As I was walking back to my machine at the gym, I caught one of the officers give a long salute to your image on television. I think that says it all." 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Llewellyn On The Lobby & Loewenstein On The Laxative: Pushing A One-State Solution At London's Frontline Club

Antony Loewenstein (see my previous post) participated in a session of London's Frontline Club. a fiercely leftist journalistic outfit that frequently bashes Israel, and which in consequence has featured on this blog several times. As Loewenstein enthuses on his blog (which has photos of the event) he found "a refreshingly young audience".

The session, on the subject of a one-state solution, was chaired by an ex-BBC Middle East correspondent, Tim Llewellyn (as I've observed before, certain current Al Beeb employees, notably Jeremy Bowen, have participated in Club events despite their obligation to be neutral).

Llewellyn's antipathy towards Israel is long-established.  To quote a post from CiF Watch earlier this year, for example:
'There was also a letter by Tim Llewellyn, the former BBC Middle East correspondent who has advanced the idea, not least in the Guardian, that the BBC is tainted by pro-Israel bias. He is also an advocate for Hamas and Hizbollah, believes that Zionism is a “calamity”, and has occasionally written obituaries for terrorists in the Guardian.
Here’s the winning passage from his Guardian letter:
What is more sinister than the reactions of Israel’s representatives and placemen to Jenny Tonge is that, in this third intervention against her over her candid remarks in recent years, the leaders of the Lib Dems, encouraged by senior figures in the two other main political parties, have disempowered a British parliamentarian under pressure from the backers of a foreign state – Israel. '
The bias of the Frontline Club can be seen in the fact that, to quote an enthusiastic attendee, Nigel Wilson, who notes on the Club's website that, before a "buzzing sell-out crowd," "the debate opened with a panel-wide wave of support for the single state solution."

Wilson tells us that
'Tim Llewellyn stressed the power of the Israel lobby in the West and argued that this has led to a tame approach from press outlets.
"If you read the best newspapers in the West, we don’t attack the problem in Palestine the way we attack the problem in the Arab world. We should be exposing this."'
Wilson also writes, inter alia: 
"Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein sprinkled a touch of humour to make a serious point, stressing the need for the Jewish community to adapt to modern reality. 
“The Jewish community establishment is so constipated, knowingly constipated about this question. And until there is a laxative used, forcefully… until there is an understanding that the Jewish community in the US, the UK and Australia has allowed the situation to continue. The establishment needs to realise that by backing blindly what they’ve done for 60 years, they have contributed a view that Judaism and Zionism are the same thing. And they’re not.”
Dismissing the long held idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East, journalist Ahmed Moor argued.
“While the idea of Jewish statehood could be somehow workable on the moon, to the extent that it’s got to occur in Palestine and to the exclusion of Palestinians or whomever, well that’s unworkable. There’s no good argument for that.”
Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Loewenstein In London

All Aussie administrations save Whitlam's have been pro-Israel
Certainly untypical of a scion (so to speak) of the robustly pro-Israel Melbourne Jewish community, and of the splendidly pro-Zionist Temple Beth Israel (led in succession by two extraordinary rabbinical greats, the charismatic Drs H. M. Sanger and J. S. Levi, with their deep and infectious love for Eretz Israel and for Medinat Israel), Antony Loewenstein is indeed an anomaly.

His extreme hostility towards Israel, exhibited in his polemic My Israel Question  –  which to the disgust and consternation of many observers was published by a prestigious academic publisher, Melbourne University Press –  is reprised on his blog (see, for instance, this early post of mine) and in articles such as this recent one.

With Ahmed Moor, Mr Loewenstein has co-edited After Zionism: One State For Israel and Palestine, which is being enthusiastically plugged by Stephen Sizer and the usual suspects.

Last week it was launched at a bookshop on Saladin Street in Jerusalem, at which, I'm told, Canadian lawyer and former PLO spokesperson Diana Buttu criticised Abbas for allegedly preventing Palestinians from engaging in (armed) "resistance".

And last night Loewenstein and Moor discussed their book in the Khalili Lecture Theatre at SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies.  Those doughty defenders of Israel Jonathan Hoffman and Richard Millett went along.

Wrote Jonathan Hoffman, convinced  that a one state solution would be achieved only in a bloodbath, after the meeting:
'"How many have to die to achieve "One State"?
That's the question I always ask advocates of 'One State' - meaning the antisemitic act of eliminating Israel as a Jewish State, the one Jewish State alongside 57 Muslim States.
 I ask it because the vast majority of Israelis –  Jews and Arabs –  do not want 'One State' under any circumstances, so it could only be achieved by force.
 I asked it of Antony Loewenstein tonight at SOAS. Loewenstein ("As an atheist non-practising Jew") has co-edited a book advocating "One State".
 Of course the 'One State' antisemites can never answer my question. Loewenstein at first tried to turn the tables on me by asking me a question. But I pressed him. Was it one million? Two million?
 "Six million" came back the answer with a smirk. How utterly despicable –  and from a man who then said –  without a hint of irony - "I have spent my life fighting antisemitism"! (He also said that Iran is no threat to Israel!).
 Thank heaven that Israel haters like Loewenstein have made no headway whatsoever in Australia - where there is strong bipartisan support for Israel.'
That's cross-posted  from the Jewish Chronicle blogs, and another person present has commented there:
"Jonathan was focussing on the appalling comment made by Loewenstein when asked how many dead Jews it would take to satisfy the blood lust of those demanding a one state solution . Without the smirk it could have been regarded as an unfortunate random plucking of a number and given the dubious benefit of the doubt .
 With the smirk it was quite apparent that Loewenstein knew what he was saying .
Following the debate, a Pakistani gentleman introduced himself to us. He mentioned that he was a journalist and that he was very disappointed by the comment as it was overtly antisemitic...."
Richard Millett has much more here
See also my next post, a sequel of sorts.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

John Michael Howson An Antisemite? I Don't Bloody Well Think So!

Excuse the "great Australian adjective" folks, but my hackles are up.

I've just read this on J-Wire:
'Melbourne radio host John Michael Howson, who was suspended for one month for shouting “Sieg Heil” at the mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’s no anti-Semite.
Howson, a talk-back host of 3AW, taunted Christine Assange with the Nazi salute three times after she declined to be interviewed on Sunday morning because of the way Howson had treated a previous caller.
Howson rejected accusations he was anti-Semitic, telling the Herald Sun newspaper his great-grandmother was Jewish and that he had participated at fundraisers for Temple Beth Israel.
“Somebody said that saying ‘Sieg Heil’ meant I was anti-Semitic,” Australian Associated Press reported him as saying. “I have a Jewish great-grandmother, I have a mezuzah hanging on the wall at my front door, I have a yarmulke in the wardrobe … and if you go into my pantry you will see matzo.”
3AW aired an apology by Howson yesterday as the station announced his suspension.'
The lovable John Michael Howson an antisemite?  What tosh! Has everybody forgotten this splendid letter he sent to Aussie Jewish politician Michael Danby in May 2010 at the time of the "Forged Passports Affair"?:
'...I am appalled at the cynical action of the government in expelling an Israeli diplomat,
I know the prime minister has an agenda to get Australia a temporary seat on the Security Council (or maybe get himself elected Secretary-General) and to do so is prepared to jettison our support for Israel to curry favor with its enemies who, in the scheme of things, would also do us harm. However, while a reprimand may have been in order (together with an admission that Australia has agents who also use forged passports) the expelling was an extraordinary action.
...if I knew Israel needed a passport to rid the world of these people I would gladly give them mine. [My emphasis here and below]
In recent years I have been stunned and appalled at the vilification of Israel by people who propagandize for Israel's enemies. When I have defended Israel on radio I get calls usually from people, I'm sorry to say, who come from the Left, who take a virulent anti-Israel line and who often tinge their comments with anti-Semitic remarks.
The number of anti-Israel stories broadcast by the ABC which, sometimes, come from the rigorous critics of Israel at the BBC is shocking because, as with so much with our national broadcaster, they have a line and they will bend the rules of debate and discussion to broadcast their agenda.
It saddens me when prominent Jews with a radical agenda also attack Israel. Perhaps, they think that appeasing the enemy will get them a special status.  ...It's ironic to be a Christian arguing support for Israel against a radical person with a Jewish background supporting Hezbollah! What strange times we live in...'
Strange times indeed.

Hold your head high, Mr Howson.

"The Entire Geostrategic Situation In The Middle East Is Collapsing All Around Us": John Bolton (video)

Here's the USA's former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton assailing Obama's clueless non-response to the real and present danger.  Inter alia, Bolton points out that although Mubarak was no "Jeffersonian democrat" the USA should not have abandoned its ally.  He declares that regarding the Iranian nuclear threat "Israel should have acted years ago".  And he argues that before promising aid to the Syrian rebels the USA should tell the rebels that an "absolute precondition" of such aid will be that the rebels turn over to the USA Assad's biological and chemical weapons that fall into their hands.


Al Quds Day In The New Norway (video)


Hmmm.  So that's what Oslo looks like nowadays ...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Arafat Was Poisoned "And We All Know By Whom": Nobel Laureate (video)

Here's flotilla alumna and Russell Tribunal member Mairead Maguire, addressing a meeting of Irish Israel-bashers at which Haneen Zoabi MK was guest of honour.  "There are so many myths around Palestine and Israel," Ms Maguire says, going on to perpetrate a few of them.

So we hear the usual misconceptions and distortions of historical and political facts: that until the Zionists arrived there was a "Palestinian People" who "had their freedom" ... a wink, wink assertion about the "murdered" Arafat ... and that most of the Palestinians in Israeli gaols are latter day Gandhis ...  We hear a comparison between the Shoah and the Nakhba ... a claim that "Israel controls America's policies" ... the canard that "Israel doesn't want peace" ... and a call for Israel to be thrown out of the United Nations...

As for the comparison between the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the situation in Israel/Palestine (another video shows Haneen Zoabi being taken on a pilgrimage to the grave of Bobby Sands), the reality is that the IRA was not trying to take over the entire United Kingdom, and that, when all is said and done, there is still a Northern Ireland and it's British.


Many people would argue that the Palestinian Arabs do have a state – Jordan, whose whole territory once constituted 70 per cent of the League of Nations British Mandate of Palestine –  and they'd argue that the crux of the conflict is: will the Arabs who dwell in Eretz Israel ever choose peace with the peace-ready Jewish State?

For a video on a different albeit related topic, that of a possible Israeli strike on Iran, featuring an interview with Mark Regev, click here and for Regev's comments on that alleged poisoning see here

Cutting The Khazar Crap

On their website Australians For Palestine make a laughing stock of themselves by putting up that map I blogged about yesterday, describing it (with an accompanying story from Facebook about some pesky "Zionists" who took offence at it) as a map of 1700, but that's not the only lie that Australians For Palestine have swallowed and perpetuated.

Elsewhere on the website the organisation (which incidentally does not baulk at reproducing articles from the antisemitic Redress site) quotes extracts from Encyclopaedia of the Palestine Problem by the late Issa Nakhleh, one of which states:
"The Khazars are a people of Turkish origin who lived in the kingdom of Khazaristan in the south of Russia. They were converted to Judaism in the 9th century A.D. Approximately 90% of the Jews of today are of Khazar origin and have no ethnic or historical relationship with Palestine."
It''s the final sentence in that passage that's the mendacious one (though the impression that Nakhleh gives, that the Khazars in their entirety embraced Judaism, is misleading nonsense too).

That complex intellectual Arthur Koestler sure left a poisoned legacy with his The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), for, as was obvious the moment it appeared, it was manna to Israel's enemies everywhere.

Reportedly, Koestler believed that if it could be shown that European Jewry descends not from Biblical Semites but from the Khazars, antisemitism would disappear.  I wondered at the time, and I still wonder, whether the thesis that he pursued so avidly was rooted in some psychological anxiety regarding his own identity.  Might the man with the magyarised Jewish background be satisfying a personal quest born of some anxiety in boyhood to assure himself that, like the Magyars themselves, he too was of Turkic stock?

More importantly, it was immediately obvious (though of course not to antisemites and anti-Zionists who received it with joy) that there were and are flaws in the thesis, with more recent investigations into the genetics of Jewish populations undermining the thesis still further.

A most impressive succinct rebuttal of the canard of the Khazar origins of Ashkenazi Jewry is this, posted pseudonymously online  by an evidently erudite person with a deceptively girlish avatar in response to a mischievous questioner:
'One of the most bizarre aspects of this "re-racializing" of anti-Semitism is the role played by the Khazar myth.
It would be hard to exaggerate how widespread the misuse of the Khazar myth is among those seeking to delegitimize Israel and Jews today. A recent investigation showed nearly 30,000 websites using the Khazar "theory" as a bludgeon against Israel and Zionism. 
Arab and Islamofascist propagandists have long bandied about the Ashkenazim as Khazars theory and Iran's genocidal leaders adore it. Al-Jazeera has been using the Khazar story to urge a worldwide Christian religious war against the Khazar pseudo-Jewish imperialists. 
As The Encyclopedia of Judaism (1989) emphatically states,
 "The notion that Ashkenazi Jewry is descended from the Khazars has absolutely no basis in fact."
So what are we to make of the Khazar myth concerning Ashkenazi Jews and their supposed lack of legitimate claims to Israel due to their Khazar origins? The greatest irony is that even if the entire Khazar theory of Ashkenazi Jews were correct –  and virtually none of it is correct –  it would be entirely irrelevant. Judaism has never defined Jews on racial grounds. Anyone from any race is welcome as a convert to Judaism as long as he or she is sincere.  [My emphasis here and below]
The biblical Israelites themselves were already a racial hodgepodge. They absorbed the "mixed multitude" that left Egypt together with them at the time of the Exodus. There are biblical references to Jews of different racial features, including the black-skinned Shulamit mentioned in the Song of Songs.
Jews always defined themselves in religious, ethnic-national and at times linguistic terms, but never along racial lines. If all Ashkenazi Jews were indeed converted Khazars, as the racial anti-Zionists claim, they would be no less legitimately Jews –  and, as such, would have the same legitimate claims to the Jewish homeland as any other group of Jews. (Given the traditional Jewish deference to righteous converts, maybe more so.)
The actual details of the Khazar theory concerning European Jewry are simply pseudo-history and crackpot poppycock.
Jews already lived in Europe a thousand years before the Khazar kingdom was formed. There are no genetic markers or indicators at all showing that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Turkic tribes. In fact, there exists considerable genetic evidence showing that European Jews are closer to Levantine and Syrian Arabs than to Central Asians.
After the Mongol invasion most Khazars probably assimilated into the Jewish communities of Iran and Iraq, which of course eventually emerged as important Sephardic centers, formed mainly of Jews with Semitic racial characteristics, descended from migrants and exiled Jews from the Land of Israel. In any case, there are more "Semitic" Sephardic Jews in Israel today than there are European Ashkenazi Jews. And if the Khazars looked Turkic, how on earth could they give Ashkenazi Jews a European complexion?
There are other problems. If all Ashkenazi Jews are descended from converted Khazars, why are there Cohens and Levis among them? One inherits the status of a Cohen (priest) or Levite from one's father. Descendants of converts through the male line can never be a Cohen or a Levite.
And why are there no Khazar surnames among Ashkenazim, or Khazar names for towns in Europe where Jews lived? And why did most Ashkenazi communities speak variations of Yiddish rather than Turkic?
As mentioned, the popularity of the Khazar myth among anti-Semites represents a return of modern anti-Jewish bigotry to the racialism of the 1930's and earlier.
Nearly every anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi website denounces Zionists and Israelis as "Khazars." Web chat lists in which Jews defending Israel are dismissed as "Khazar usurpers" are too numerous to count.
The racialism once again in vogue holds that Jews would only have legitimate claims to the right of self-determination in their homeland if they were appropriately Semitic from a racial point of view. Palestine is part of the Semitic racial lebensraum and those who do not possess the correct pure racial markings have no business being there. Racial purity is suddenly the new basis for national rights.'

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

'When They Said "Three Dead," I Said "Allah Be Praised"...'

From the antipodean J-Wire service comes the following article by bereaved parents Frimet and Arnold Roth, whose young daughter Malki was among fifteen persons killed by a bomb in Jerusalem planted by Hamas terrorists.  It concerns Ahlam Tamimi, one of the terrorists released by Israel in order to procure Gilad Shalit's release :

"Please spend two minutes and 46 seconds in watching the edited extract of a television  interview with the woman who planned and executed a massacre of innocent civilians, most of them children, eleven years ago. Following the killings, she went to her place of work which happens to have been a television studio, and calmly read the evening news bulletin, starting with a report of the massacre that she herself had perpetrated some hours earlier.

After an intense criminal investigation, she was arrested less than two months later and charged with the murders of fifteen people, along with a host of other felonies. She was convicted and sentenced to sixteen terms of life imprisonment. But as a result of cynical political deal, she was freed (not pardoned) and released to the land of her birth where she has become a celebrity. Her recent wedding to her cousin, another unjustly freed murderer, received live television coverage and broad media attention. Not only a celebrity but a hero. [My emphasis here and below]

A still from the video (more on J-Wire)
Watch how the woman’s face radiates the joy that comes from recounting how the death toll grew steadily in the hour or so that she spent fleeing the scene via public transport, unhindered by the police. Absorb the message of how members of the public, unaware the murderer was seated beside them, expressed happiness at the deaths of anonymous children.
Imagine the feelings of the families of the innocents murdered by a person like this as they see her achievements celebrated and honored, as they listen to the prideful boasting of an unrepentant killer whose only regret is that she did not manage to kill more. She has confessed over and again since being allowed out of captivity. There can be absolutely no doubt that her deeds are an inspiration to countless others seeking the glory and vindication that her society has delivered to her.

Ahlam Tamimi, a very happy person, lives in complete and unfettered freedom in the Kingdom of Jordan from where she has traveled several times in the ten months since her release to such places as Tunisia, Lebanon and Qatar to give public speeches. She hosts a television program of her own that is broadcast by satellite throughout the Arabic-speaking world. She married her cousin in June.
Among the fifteen people murdered by her on August 9, 2001 is our daughter Malki who was fifteen years old. A sixteenth victim, the young mother of a two year old child, has remained in a vegetative state since being injured in the attack.

What should a civilized society do in the wake of this woman’s story?'

The video, which went to air in July, has just been translated and edited by MEMRI; see it and more stills here

Hip Hop On Al Quds Day In New York (video)

In Times Square, spreading the love, the hip hop artist Blak Madeen:


For all those "music"-lovers out there ...

Of Maps & Suckers & Warblers

This map, somebody on Facebook writes, is of venerable vintage:

'On July 25th ... owner of Saffron restaurant who happens to be Palestinian posted this world map from the early 1700, showing the state of Palestine. His caption was “We need more world maps that are correct, such as this one!” ...'

"The early 1700[s]"?  Guffaw. Hardly.

 One dead giveaway (apart from that perfect cartography and modern printing, duh!) is the presence of Jordan, like Palestine a province of the Ottoman Empire in 1700 and no more a "state" than were Lilliput or Brobdingnag.  Jordan wasn't created until 1922. Then there's Iran (as reader Rob points out) and Iraq.

All that, however, hasn't deterred a Facebook group of the organisation Australians For Palestine from publicising the map and its accompanying plea:
'If you love Palestine please use this world map as a profile picture or at least post and share it with your friends …'
What suckers! You really would think they'd know better.

But thus is demonisation of the Zionist Entity spawned and spread.

Which reminds me of The Three Little Birds, and their prettily warbled naive and nasty song, "Apartheid":


Says one of the Canadian trio, Angela Schleihauf:
"We do not use the term 'apartheid' lightly.  According to the definition of apartheid under international law, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa Report, Israel is undoubtedly operating as an apartheid state."
Ah, ignorance!  Ah, gullibility! What lies against Israel are uttered (and sung) in your name.

Monday, 20 August 2012

"We Want The Entire Land!": To Wild Cheers, Man Tells Truth in Sydney (video)

On Al Quds Day in Sydney, manic screeching for the destruction of Israel, including some from a woman with a giggle in her voice.


There are still Aussie Jews who want unlimited Islamic immigration into the Lucky Country. O, yes, such cultural enrichment is a wonderful thing.

Misogynistic Violence? "That's Part Of Our [Palestinian] Identity" (video)

Oh dear! I do hope the applicants for this plum job advertised currently by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are aware that they'll be entering a woman-bashing zone.


Perhaps I'd better alert my local PSC coven, consisting as it does of eager old ladies.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: strange, isn't it, how despite the contempt for women in so much of the Middle East, it's liberal Israel that's the hate-target of so many women (feminists included) old and young?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

In Londonistan On Al Quds Day, "Insha’Allāh" Said The Anglican Vicar To Israel's Foes (videos)

Dr Stephen Sizer is the Anglican vicar of Virginia Water in Surrey and an inveterate, seasoned campaigner against Christian Zionism.  And not only against Christian Zionism.  He's against the continuing existence of Israel itself, making common cause with some very dodgy allies, much to the chagrin of Jews and Christians such as this one alike.

A fervent advocate of the dissolution of the Zionist Entity and its replacement with a single state for Jews and Palestinian Arabs (we all know what that would portend, sooner or later, don't we, folks?) he recently escaped prosecution for alleged antisemitism, the Crown Prosecution Service deciding that he had no case to answer.

Dr Sizer's blogposts, and in particular his frequent posts on social media (which attract lots of avid followers, some making the most reprehensible remarks in response and on their own posts that leave little room for doubt regarding their judeophobia), are almost obsessively concerned with what he sees as the evils of Zionism and of Israel, and (this post is an example) he clearly abhors any hint that Israel (threatened though it is by a crazed regime on the brink of achieving nuclear capabability) might attack Iran.

A supercessionist, he seems as warm a friend of Islam as he is an enemy of special Jewish claims to Zion, and is not slow to denounce manifestations of alleged "Islamophobia".  And indeed, although a professing clergyman of the Christian faith, he appears to have "gone native" (so to speak) in ending his "Al Quds Day"speech  ("....[W]what kind of Al Quds do you envision? What kind of Jerusalem are you marching for today? Is it for an open, inclusive city of faith? Or for one as exclusive as the Zionists are trying to create?....") to the assembled crowd of Muslim Israel-haters, Hezbollah-lovers, and their non-Muslim cheerleaders in Londonistan (including the inevitable contingent from Neturei Karta) with the Arabic "Insha’Allāh".

(I hear, incidentally, that an unscheduled highlight of London's "Al Quds Day" this year came when a woman emptied a large bucket of water –  well, we trust it was water and not something, er, more pungent – over some of the demonstrators!)

Below is footage of the marchers (warning: ear plug alert); more about the march, with very telling photos, can be found here:


On his blog, and notwithstanding the latest antisemitic rants of the odious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dr Sizer has posted a video from Press TV, organ of the atrocious Iranian regime, purveyor of antisemitism and terror around the globe, showing footage of "Al Quds Day" in London, and a brief interview that he gave its reporter regarding Israel's "war crime".

 Meanwhile, also courtesy of Press TV here's footage of "Al Quds Day" in Sydney,which was pimped in this promotional video.


"It’s the first time in its 33-year history, that a rally for International Al-Quds Day was held in Australia," the Press TV report proclaims in part.
"The demonstrators accuse Israel of creating a humanitarian disaster in Palestine by denying essential supplies, as well as the Israeli Defence Force killing innocent Palestinians and creating an Apartheid system....
The protesters also slammed the Australian Government for supporting Israel, saying the administration is committing crimes against humanity and should be regarded as a terrorist regime.
They also rejected the U.S backed two-state solution, arguing that innocent Palestinians were forced off their land when Israel was declared in 1948, and they should have the right to return."
 For some reason I saw that and thought of this:

 

But at least the London and Sydney demos, and this one roughly halfway between the two cities, in what used to be called Madras, weren't (quite) as raucous as this one in Bangalore...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

David Singer On Talking About Palestine With Falked Tongue

The focus of the latest article, via the antipodean J-Wire service, by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer, who entitles the article "Palestine – Burying The Past – Faking The Future," is the attitude of the controversial (some would say notorious) Richard Falk.

Writes David Singer:

'Richard Falk – United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967" – provides compelling proof of how successful the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been in its attempt to bury historical fact and international law regarding the former territory of Palestine.

Mr Falk is not on his own among the United Nations coterie of organizations and officials who seem ready to try and wrest the title deeds granted to the Jewish People to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine pursuant to the Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the UN Charter – following the decisions of the San Remo Conference and the signing of the Treaty of Sevres.

Former Secretary General Kofi Annan amazingly failed to include any mention of the Mandate and Article 80 in his brief delivered to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2003 seeking its advisory opinion on the legality of part of Israel’s security fence being erected in the West Bank.

The ICJ’s subsequent failure to consider the effect of the Mandate and Article 80 still needs to be explained – especially as one of the Presiding Judges warned that such an examination was necessary.

UNESCO maintains that Palestine is a state – when it clearly fails to comply with the requirements of the Montevideo Convention 1933.

Now Mr Falk – writing recently on his blog page – adds further fuel to the fire:

“I regard the Balfour Declaration and the mandatory system as classic colonial moves that have lost whatever legitimacy that they possessed at the time of their utterance, and prefer to view the competing claims to land and rights on the basis either of the 1948 partition proposal or the 1967 boundaries, although if there was diplomatic parity, I would respect whatever accommodation the parties reached, but without such parity, it seems necessary to invoke the allocation of rights as per settled international law.”

Mr Falk was parroting what had first appeared in Article 18 of the PLO Charter in 1964:

“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that has been based on them are considered fraud.”

But even the PLO was forced to change that viewpoint just four years later – when it recognized that if the Mandate system was a fraud, then the Mandates for Syria and Lebanon and Mesopotamia – which had delivered self determination to the Arabs in 99.999 per cent of the captured Ottoman territory – could also be subject to challenge.

With some crafty draughtsmanship – Article 18 was replaced in 1968 with the following Article 20 in the redrafted Charter:

“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything that has been based on them is null and void”

In response to Mr Falk’s remarks, I asked him:

“The mandatory system delivered self determination to the Arabs as well as the Jews. When did the League of Nations mandate lose its legitimacy as settled international law?
Are both Jordan and Israel illegitimate?
Is article 80 of the UN Charter not settled international law?
The partition proposal was in 1947 – not 1948. It spoke of a Jewish state and an Arab state – not a Palestinian state. There were no 1967 boundaries. Do you agree? “

Mr Falk’s reply was very troubling:

'Churchill was a notorious advocate of colonialism and possessed a colonial mentality, persisting after World War II. I think it is not in Israel’s current interest to argue the historical case for its original claim of statehood.
A more compelling ground would be to work toward peace and reconciliation premised on the 1967 realities. To keep moving the goal posts, "fact on the ground" after 1967, is equally doomed if a sustainable peace is our shared goal.'

Suddenly everything was to now be forgotten in Mr Falk’s opinion before “the 1967 realities”.  The penny suddenly dropped as I commented:

 'I now am beginning to understand why you don’t want to have anything to do with the Mandate and article 80 of the UN Charter or what happened between 1920-1948.. The inconvenient truth of the Jewish people’s struggle to assert its legal claim to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine during those 28 years totally undercuts and dismisses those who would deny the Jews any legal or moral rights in their ancient and biblical homeland.
Now you even go further in wanting to forget 1948-1967 as well – when you state:
“I think it is not in Israel’s current interest to argue the historical case for its original claim of statehood. A more compelling ground would be to work toward peace and reconciliation premised on the 1967 realities.”
Israel’s case is not only historical – it is legal – sanctioned by the League of Nations and the United Nations. Why do you continually seek to deny the existence of these vested Jewish legal rights?'

Mr Falk then proceeded to change tack yet again in stating:

“Your reliance on the Balfour Declaration, UN partition proposals, etc., is one, but only one, construction of international law. There are competing constructions that do not regard as any longer valid all acts based on colonialist authority. My own view because of these contradictory lines of historical authority is to start from the present reality to sort out the respective claims of both peoples according to the logic of self-determination, an approach that will never satisfy extremists on either side, but has the best chance of achieving a sustainable peace.”

Suddenly the “ realities of 1967” mentioned as a starting point just a few days earlier had disappeared into the blue yonder to be replaced by “the present reality” as the new starting point.

Both puzzled and bemused, I was motivated to ask Mr Falk:

'Which of the “contradictory lines of historical authority” do you  personally accept?
1. the PLO position that regards the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate and everything that resulted from it to be null and void.
OR
2. The Zionist position that accepts the Mandate to have been a proper exercise of the League of Nations sovereign power to confer on Great Britain
With respect this is the third time you have changed your starting date:
1. You originally said 1948 or 1967
2. You then said 1967
3. You now state – “the present reality”
Won’t any of these starting points still involve sorting out the respective claims of both parties to self determination based on what happened between at least 1917-2012 and what happened to the territory once called Palestine during that period?'

I am still waiting for an answer from Mr Falk.

Turning historical facts and established international law on its head in favour of a fake and forged PLO narrative can only exacerbate – not help resolve – the 130 years old conflict between Arabs and Jews.'

Cross-posted from here