'.... [T]he BDS agenda is at heart not just pro-Palestinian but anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli, if not actively anti-Semitic. One of the convictions shared by several contributors is that many people sign on to the BDS movement without realizing that it is committed, not to a peaceful two-state solution, but to the end of Israel as a Jewish state. The official BDS movement website (bdsmovement.net) features the unimpeachable slogan “Freedom Justice Equality,” but when you get to its actual demands, they turn out to be as follows:
1. Ending [Israel’s] occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194
Most Americans (and most Israelis) would agree to the second item, and many to the first; but the third, read correctly, means putting an end to Israel as a Jewish state. This is a demand that virtually no Israeli Jews, even the most liberal, would accede to, as the BDS movement knows full well. To include this core demand, then, means that BDS is not about resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but prolonging it, and taking sides in it. It follows that any boycott adopted on these terms can never be withdrawn as long as the Jewish state continues to exist.' (Read more here)To quote Dan Leon, one of the architects who comments below the line here:
"I am very pleased that the RIBA Council came to this conclusion today.
The issues associated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are very important indeed and need to be discuss and debated with a view to forging a true and equitable peace for all parties, based on mutual understanding and mutual respect - but the RIBA is not the correct forum for such a debate. It was confirmed as such, being outside the RIBA's remit, and the RIBA have correctly regularised the matter.
For our Institute to seek the exclusion of another country's professional body would have been wholly wrong and counter productive to this end. It would have been negative, and silence any opportunity for engagement and exchange.
It is not necessary to drag up all the arguments again here, but legal opinion confirmed the March motion on Israel as 'discriminatory'. How could that remain on RIBA policy?"Elder of Ziyon has a most interesting piece on the RIBA fracas here
More welcome news this week are tweets by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, still riding the crest of a wave which seems set to drench Tories in next year's May General Election, has been bold enough to declare on Twitter:
as reported in the Jewish Chronicle, Nigel Farage
'has blamed Muslims for what he called “a sharp rise in antisemitism” in Britain and Europe.
Speaking during his weekly phone-in show on London’s LBC Radio, Mr Farage told a caller from Highgate: “I have detected quite a sharp rise in antisemitism, not just in this country, but across the rest of Europe too.
“What’s fuelling it is that there are many more Muslim voices, and some of those Muslim voices are deeply, deeply critical of Israel. In fact, some of them even question the right of Israel to exist as a nation.” .... [Emphasis added]
Mr Farage also noted: “It’s quite interesting because there aren’t actually that many Jews in the country - there’s only a few hundred thousand.
“It just shows you what an extraordinary group of people they are, the success they’ve achieved....'
For it's also reported in the Jewish Chronicle, the distinguished and forthright Israeli Professor Mordechai Kedar, an expert on Arab culture and on Islam, who will be addressing the Zionist Federation's Israel Advocacy Conference as well as the meeting illustrated at left, is persona non grata in some quarters:
'The Zionist Federation this week cancelled appearances at three Jewish schools by an outspoken Israeli academic following concerns about his links to an anti-Islamist activist banned from Britain.
But ZF chairman Paul Charney said that he had removed the schools from the tour after the intervention of the Board of Deputies.
Dr Kedar, who lectures at Bar-Ilan University, has spoken at events organised by Stop the Islamisation of Nations, founded by the Jewish American Pamela Geller, who was banned from Britain last year in a move supported by the Board of Deputies."Two of the synagogues at which Professor Kedar (including the Spanish and Portuguses Synaggue in Lauderdale Road) was due to speak have also, it seems, disinvited him.
here by Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, who wrote in part:
'.... In 2012 Dr Kedar was announced as a director of "Stop Islamisation of Nations" (SION). Speakers at SION's conference that year included Tommy Robinson, then a leader of the English Defence League. In 2013, SION's founder Pamela Geller was banned from entering Britain. SION advocated the "immediate halt of immigration by Muslims" into Europe as well as legislation to ban foreign funding of mosques and of departments of Islamic Studies departments in our universities along with a range of further legal restrictions.
It isn't? As I wrote, soon after Kedar made that statement, here:
mocked multiculturalism:"… [Muslim immigrants into Europe] are multiplying - - somebody said "rats" … and there is [sic] 18 wives and all that …"
This is typical of Dr Kedar's language. On Aljazeera, he taunted his Arab interviewer saying his ancestors had buried theirs daughters alive. This summer, he said during an Israeli Broadcasting Authority interview "the only thing that deters a suicide bomber. If he knows that when he pulls the trigger, or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s it. "Under attack, he later explained he had been analysing and not advocating. This is not evident from the transcript....'
Take, for instance, what the prominent Israeli scholar Professor Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University's Department of Arabic, said early this month on Israeli radio's Hakol Diburim (“It’s All Talk”) following the news that the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers had been murdered :
“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.
You have to understand the culture in which we live. The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.... Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live...
It is extremely doubtful that the professor was recommending that Israel should resort to such base conduct; as an expert in Arab and Islamic culture he was explaining how Israel's Islamic enemies view the world, and by implication how impotent Israel is given their outlook.'Mr Pinto-Duschinsky is, of course, entitled to his views. But equally Professor Kedar is entitled to his, based on long familiarity with Arab culture and with Islam, and to voice them, for, as the rabbi of Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, at which Kedar won't now be speaking, is quoted as saying:
"We probably would have had him and let him explain his comments."As Paul Charney, chairman of the Zionist Federation, argues:
'What’s worse than a call for a boycott of an Israeli academic?
A call for a boycott of an Israeli academic from within our community.
At the Zionist Federation, we are committed to bringing over expert speakers to educate and enthuse our audiences. We don’t necessarily agree with all their views; we can’t, since our speakers cover the political and religious spectrums, reflecting the diverse backgrounds they come from. But we do think they should all be heard.
Apparently not everyone thinks this way. There has been a concerted effort to smear the reputation of renowned Professor Mordechai (Moti) Kedar prior to his arrival in the UK.
But a few days after Israel commemorated the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the region, and now when Christians commiserate with their co-religionists facing the same fate, we’re not supposed to talk about this.
For all his forthright views, Moti is in high demand as a commentator across global media – including such lion dens as Al Jazeera Arabic. The Arab world, therefore, is apparently more tolerant of dissenting views than some sections of our community. These self-appointed guardians believe Jewish students must be protected from his views – views that Moti’s own Arab students queue up to hear.
In a country where people will happily condemn Israel in the most disgusting terms, but won’t speak out against Isis because it’s “Islamophobic,” we’re suddenly being asked to fight with one hand tied behind our backs - in case we cause offence.
But if there’s one thing we can learn from Moti, it’s that when it comes to the Middle East, you can’t afford to bury your head in the sand.'Update: Unflinching British blogger Edgar Davidson: