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

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

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

Saturday, 7 June 2014

"Occupied Palestinian Territories": Brandis Riles Rhiannon

In this video veteran pro-BDS stalwart Aussie Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, the daughter of Stalinist parents, one of them of Jewish extraction, is deliciously put down and accordingly flummoxed by federal Attorney-General George Brandis when she uses the word "occupied" in relation to East Jerusalem and the "Palestinian Territories".
She: "Why did the Australian Ambassador to Israel attend a meeting in occupied East Jerusalem with the Israeli minister for housing and construction; the same minister who is forecasting a 50 per cent increase in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the next five years?"
 He: 'Well I think I should say, Senator Rhiannon, that the rather tendentious way in which you've put that question and in particular the use of the word "occupied" is not something that the Australian Government of either political persuasion acknowledges or accepts.'
She: 'So you don't use the term "Occupied Palestinian Territories", even though it's a United Nations term used widely by a number of international agencies, European members et cetera…'
He: 'Well it's used by a lot of people. It's used by a lot of communists too. Weren't you a member of the Communist Party once?'
Naturally, Australia's lefties and leftist press are much perturbed at Brandis's stance and what it implies about current Australian government policy, as seen here and here and here

See also here and  here

(Hat tip: readers Ian and Marvin)

The PLO's Dr Hanan Ashwari denounces Brandis's comments thus:
“It is absolutely disgraceful and shocking that on the 47th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Gaza, Australian Attorney-General George Brandis is issuing such inflammatory and irresponsible statements that ‘occupied East Jerusalem’ is ‘a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful.’  Such pronouncements are not only in blatant violation of international law and global consensus, but are also lethal in any pursuit of peace and toxic to any attempt at enacting a global rule of law.
Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem is beyond ‘pejorative’ and ‘inappropriate’; it is a deliberate and egregious violation, not just of international humanitarian law and consensus, but of the basic norms of responsible behavior that governs relations among civilized states.”
Trying to fabricate or distort the law to fit Israel’s lawless behavior is shameful and dangerous.  Attorney-General Brandis, whether out of ignorance or whether out of blind bias, is trying to render Australia complicit in the Israeli occupation, and is forcing it to become an advocate of international criminal behavior”.
From Eli E. Hertz of the Myths and Facts website, a timely item:
'The term “occupied territory,” which appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention, originated as a result of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Though it has become common parlance to describe the West Bank and Gaza as “occupied territories,” there is no legal basis for using this term in connection to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
[University of Sydney] Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, categorically rejected the use of the term “occupied territory” to describe the territories controlled by Israel on the following counts:
(1) Article 49 relates to the invasion of sovereign states and is inapplicable because the West Bank did not and does not belong to any other state.
(2) The drafting history of Article 49 [Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] – that is, preventing “genocidal objectives” must be taken into account. Those conditions do not exist in Israel’s case.
(3) Settlement of Jews in the West Bank is voluntary and does not displace local inhabitants. Moreover, Stone asserted: that “no serious dilution (much less extinction) of native populations” [exists]; rather “a dramatic improvement in the economic situation of the [local Palestinian] inhabitants since 1967 [has occurred].”
 See all of Hertz's article here


  1. They are in a state of shock. All of a sudden their language is not being used.

  2. Hmm has all the puff and bluster gone out of the "pally cause" in Australia.
    I went to "Australians for Palestine" to see if they mention this and there hasn't been any updates since January, has Iran stopped paying them?
    Also with the "nakba day" pallywood video, no mention in the Fairfax press? A story like that should be cat nip to them.
    I wonder if Stuart Rees will have anything to say on Q and A?

    1. Geoff and Ian, I wonder how Peter Beinart is being received at Limmud Oz.
      I intended to go, but have been laid low by flu!

  3. Brian Goldfarb8 June 2014 at 07:47

    Isn't it interesting that so many Green politicos see the way to save the planet as lying through the delegitimisation of Israel? The one Green MP in the UK, Caroline Lucas, does exactly the same. Indeed, she got off a charge of breaking and entering premises as well as criminal damage when, along with others, she broke into a factory which she believed, wrongly, was supplying "war materials" to Israel. Her defence was that it was a "political act". For some ludicrous reason, this was accepted by the Judge.

    It would appear that politicians can get away with breaking the law, outside the Chamber of the House if it's a "political act".

    What rot!

    The Green Party of the UK has also dropped the EUMC working definition of antisemitism, because it doesn't suit them. Puts them on a par with the BNP, National Front and fascist parties everywhere. Hope their spoon (for supping with the devil) is a very long one.

    1. Yes, Brian. The Greens in New South Wales are a Israel-hating pro-BDS bunch. Then there's Pippa Bartolotti, head of the old Wales Greens, who's another of the same ilk.

    2. Excuse me? When it has got to the point where a judge will find an exemption for crimes this severe because the motive was some form of malice then you have a problem. But I guess you knew that.

      What are they worried about? That somebody's grand daughter will get busted running off with a beagle after a night raid on the secret laboratory of The Body Shop?

      I don't think so.

      At what point does sheer malice alone become an exempt political act? A fair question. There are probably many people who have in it for the Greens in the UK. There sure are in Australia. Does this mean they are now allowed to carry out the occasional break and entry on Greens or Greens-connected premises and have a Get Out Of Jail Free card if they get caught?

      Fair is fair.

    3. By dropping the EUMC working definition, the Greens Party of the UK has defined itself.

      I'm not sure where Australian Greens parties stand on the working definition. It must make them uncomfortable. Last year one or two Greens MLC's in the NSW upper house declined to sign the London Declaration on Antisemitism and gave speeches that also defined them.

      This could be a good question to ask the Australian Greens parties at the right moment.. (there's more than one really --- they are a strange and secretive thing)