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)

Sunday, 20 October 2019

David Singer: Vote Recount Could Possibly End Israel’s Electoral Morass

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Israel’s President Rivlin is due to make a decision on October 24 on whether to extend for another 14 days the mandate he granted to Benjamin Netanyahu to form Israel’s next Government.

Reports that Rivlin will not give Netanyahu that 14 days extension – even if requested by Netanyahu – seems counterproductive to doing everything possible to avoid a third election within 12 months.

The President should also take advantage of that 14 day period to order a recount of votes to answer a query that the September election results have thrown up – which is encapsulated in this email I sent to the Central Elections Committee on 29 September:
“I would be pleased if you could give me an explanation to my following comment relating to the final count in the September 2019 elections:
  •  There was an increase of 127,536 in the number of eligible votes cast from 4,309,270 in April 2019 to 4,436,806 in September. Yet there was an increase of 133,103 alone just in the Joint List vote (470211) over the Hadash-Tal and Ram-Balad vote (337108) in April.
Thank you for helping me to understand how this could occur.”
The April election results were mired in confusion due to a bug in the Central Elections Committee website.  The displayed data indicated for several hours that the New Right party was just above the threshold with 3.26%, but officials said that was a mistake.

The officials said the bug on the site meant that it was not showing accurate numbers for total votes counted, and was thus displaying inaccurate figures for all parties. This was rectified.

Could this same mistake have happened again in September and not have been rectified?

I have not yet received a reply to my request.

The distribution of Knesset seats is very complicated and the summary issued by the Central Committee needs to be amplified and explained.

Allowing Netanyahu another 14 days would, therefore, seem to be in the national interest from everyone’s standpoint – especially if Netanyahu requests it. 

Calling on Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to try and form a Government can wait another 14 days – given that Netanyahu’s bloc has a clear electoral majority over the Ganz bloc – 1,973,246 votes to 1,556,491 votes.

President Trump – like bemused Israeli voters – is frustrated by an electoral system that has failed to produce a new Government following elections in April and September.

After April’s fiasco – Trump opined:
“Well, it’s too bad what happened in Israel. It looked like a total win for Netanyahu, who’s a great guy, he’s a great guy,” said the president. “And now they’re back… in the election stage. That is too bad. Because they don’t need this. I mean they’ve got enough turmoil over there, it’s a tough place.”
That turmoil continued in September and could be repeated following any third election.

Trump’s deal of the century – years in the making and designed to end the 100 years Jewish-Arab conflict – will not be released until a new Israeli Government has been formed. 

Liberman’s failure to sign up his 8 seats with the 55 seats aligned with Netanyahu continues to confound the democratic electoral process – when a party not securing a majority of seats in its own right can usually form a Government with a small party’s support – in return for granting that small party some of its political demands. 

A full recount of the votes cast in the September 17 elections – if still legally available – could be just the miracle Israel needs to get out of its current predicament.

Clutching at straws maybe – but certainly well worth pursuing.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Friday, 18 October 2019

A Doctor Down Under on the Virus of Antisemitism

At an anti-Israel demo in Dusseldorf
Declares  Dr David Adler, chairman of the (politically incorrect, and all the better for that) Australian Jewish Association (AJA):
"It’s the world’s oldest bigotry and it’s on the rise again. Antisemitism is associated with the darkest chapters of human history when humanity abandons civilised moral codes. Societies and ideologies which embrace it typically suffer a major decline if not complete destruction. Examples span the latter years of the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, the suppression and pogroms of the old USSR, to the Nazi implemented Holocaust of the second world war....
Antisemitism in some ways has the characteristics of a virus which morphs. During the Inquisition it was hatred of the Jewish religion with forced conversions by torture. Under the USSR it was Jewish culture such as circumcision or teaching Torah which was banned. The Nazis took a racial approach with the objective to eliminate the Jewish race. In more recent years, it is hatred of the world’s only Jewish state, Israel, which has become the principal focus for antisemites. Yes, anti-Zionism is antisemitism."
And to combat this virulent virus in all its strains, clearly identified by Dr Adler in his diagnosis here, a strong antidote is required:
"All these components need to be vigorously called out and condemned. The most widely accepted definition of antisemitism is that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which includes working examples of what is unacceptable. Australia became a full member on 4 June 2019. At a minimum, all federal and state bodies, including schools and universities, should formally adopt the working definition of the IHRA. The Australian Jewish Association will be proposing that leadership commence with the federal parliament and we are asking the government to pass a resolution to that effect. While this does not solve antisemitism, it would be a powerful signal that Australia stands united against antisemitism".
Meanwhile, AJA director Michael Burd secured an exclusive and special interview/discussion with that supreme realist and staunch friend of Israel Colonel Richard Kemp.

As the AJA states: "Absolutely compelling listening ..." with one of the world's experts on such matters:  On AJA YouTube channel:

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Stop the Torture! (video)

Stop the Torture!

The torture to Londoners' eardrums and the putting truth to the wrack as this obsessive little band of raucous Israel-haters representing the Muslim-run Inminds group takes its anti-Shin Bet fantasies to the London HQ of the Red Cross earlier this month.

A Seymour Alexander/Alex Seymour video (warning: no catchy background music to this footage, just a hopefully non-catching cacophony of hate).

Interesting article on BDS here

Sunday, 13 October 2019

David Singer: Rivlin Must Cook Up a US$220 Million Netanyahu-Liberman Omelette

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

An opening to ending Israel’s election deadlock has come after Yisrael Beiteinu faction chairman Oded Forer sent a formal letter to the head of the Likud’s coalition negotiating team, Yariv Levin, on 11 October, asking for negotiations on the policy guidelines for the next government.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin should exploit this opening to try and save Israel going to a third election in twelve months - by summoning Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beitienu head Avigdor Liberman to the President’s residence for negotiations on forming a Netanyahu-Liberman coalition Government.

Rivlin’s attempt to get Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a Government of National Unity failed quite spectacularly and in a very short time.

Rivlin’s failure was quickly followed by:
· Netanyahu and Gantz failing to reach any agreement in further negotiations
· Netanyahu and Liberman holding a meeting for only one hour that reportedly went nowhere
· Netanyahu and Gantz both rejecting a proposal by Liberman very shortly after he proposed it. A third election at an estimated cost of US$220 million – and the possibility it could also end in deadlock – constitutes political suicide.
President Rivlin would be shirking his responsibility as President if he allowed a third election to take place without having made this last ditch attempt to stop Israel’s descent into another bout of electoral madness.

The best prospects of forming a new Government involve a coalition between the Right Wing parties holding 55 votes and Yisrael Beiteinu holding 8 votes – enough to create the 61 votes needed to form Government for the next four years.

Avoiding a third election has increased exponentially following these recent international developments that have occurred since Israel’s second indecisive election on 17 September:
· Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria
· The Kurds in Syria becoming exposed to being massacred by the invading Turkish forces
· The Kurds in Turkey being caught up in any ensuing conflict
· President Trump showing no inclination to intervene to prevent the Turkish invasion of northern Syria
· The explosion of an Iranian state oil company tanker near the Saudi port city of Jeddah,
· President Trump ordering 3000 troops and weapons to Saudi Arabia in a message of deterrence to Iran
· The further postponement of the release of President Trump’s deal of the century
· The Democrats headlong rush to impeach President Trump
Any deterioration in these potentially disastrous situations could have serious implications for Israel’s safety and security. Israel must have a government in place ready to deal with their consequences.

Liberman's conditions for joining a Netanyahu-led government containing ultra-orthodox religious parties have been publicly announced by Liberman.

Israeli voters have clearly expressed their preference for a right wing coalition Government led by Netanyahu – 1,973,246 votes – over a left wing coalition Government led by Gantz – 1,556,491 votes.

Rivlin – armed with Forer’s letter to Levin and Israeli voters clearly-expressed wishes – has been given sufficient justification to get Netanyahu and Liberman – for whom 310154 Israelis voted – to sit down and negotiate Liberman’s list of demands for forming a new Netanyahu-Liberman Government before Netanyahu’s mandate to do so expires on 24 October.

Neither Netanyahu nor Liberman should have any expectation that they are going to emerge from the President’s residence with a complete victory for the positions they might initially take when they first sit down with the President.

Rivlin’s prestige and canny political skills could just get them to an agreed compromise.

Rivlin will have earned three stars from the Michelin Guide – and the gratitude of Israeli voters – if he succeeds in cooking-up a Netanyahu-Liberman omelette using a recipe whose ingredients are acceptable to both of them.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Cardinal Pell on Jewish-Christian Understanding — & on Islam

Above and below are photos of Cardinal George Pell, then Archbishop of Sydney, when leading a large group of Catholic pilgrims bound for Europe via Egypt and the Holy Land; in the second one he is entering Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, which according to local folklore rests on the site where Pharoah's daughter found the infant Moses. In the years since that pilgrimage, Cardinal Pell has entered a figurative version of what a famous "negro spiritual" of course dubs "Egypt Land", seen as a place of exile and woe.  And, with good reason, for many people in this country and outside it believe Australian "justice" should be in the dock.

He has been long loathed by leftists and secularists, mercilessly targeted by journalists with childish insults aimed at his person and his faith and with obsessive character assassination that has rightly left many people, Catholic and non-Catholic, doubting that he could ever have got a fair trial; indeed, his conviction on the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness has dangerous implications for all Australians.

Here, in order to dispel the impression fostered in some quarters that Cardinal Pell, who has been vilified perhaps more than any other public figure in Australian history, lacks sympathy for the Jewish People, let's remind ourselves of a speech he gave in Sydney on 14 May 2001, on the topic"Christians and Jews: The way ahead":

'Last night Rabbi David quoted the Jewish saying that after the destruction of the 2nd Temple, the gift of prophecy is dead; so that those who claim to prophesy are either babes or fools. Despite this, both of us have been condemned tonight, to talk on "the way ahead", but my ambitions are very limited for a number of good reasons. A bishop has to be planning for tomorrow, although Jesus himself told us not to worry too much. Tomorrow can take care of itself, we have worries enough today! And in the Catholic community there are scattered individuals who are so busy preparing for the future that they ignore and neglect today's responsibilities.

I speak too as one less wise; my normal condition, but in this case without extensive experience of ongoing dialogue, deep theological or sociological discussion on this vexed area of Jewish a Christian relations. 

However I pray the psalms every day, with all other Catholic priests; and I love them. I don't know how many priests, especially those suffering or in trouble, who have told me how much the psalms have helped them.

In Rome 35 or 36 years ago our lecturer on the Psalms told us they were unique in any literature. 

These were the years of Vatican II and all such claims were greeted sceptically by many students.

I reserved my judgement and during the later years I have read something of the other great religions and found nothing to equal the Psalms as a body of prayerful literature.

I have come to know and love much more deeply the writings of the great prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah and especially Ezekiel, the strangest of them all. And I have come lately to study Elijah much more closely. For a long time I didn't understand his top billing among Jews and Christians and with Jesus himself! Now I believe he is particularly important, and for us now, because monotheism was nearly wiped out then by Jezebel and the prophets of Baal.

It was as a seminarian in the early '60s that I first heard a rabbi speak, my friend Rabbi John Levi, and I was upset by his energy and honesty. Then I probably considered him aggressive. I had grown up in a family which was strongly pro-Jewish, especially my father, and I even wondered whether Rabbi Levi's claims about Christian ill treatment were accurate. Further study showed me, only too sadly, that he was basically correct.

Many years ago I wrote a doctorate in history, Christian Church history. I have a respect for the past -  but know how messy and disconcerting and discomforting it can be. I recognise too the difficulty of adequately and accurately presenting the past, but we must face up to what is there, for good or ill. Then we can decide how to deal with it appropriately.

Occasionally people will say to me that the Jews complain too much about their sufferings in the past. Shouldn't we all look more to the future? Usually I reply that if we had lost five or six million of our co-religionists only sixty years ago, after many centuries of intermittent oppression of our minority status, then our sensitivities would be quite different too. I have visited Dachau and Auschwitz; terrible reminders of an unspeakable evil that must never be repeated. It is sobering to think that similar sufferings continued in the Soviet Gulags until fairly recently. In this life evil is never eliminated permanently. 

These different sensitivities were brought home to me recently in trying to develop my views on the proposed anti-discrimination legislation in Victoria. My principal legal adviser was a brilliant young Jewish lawyer, a partner in his firm. While we weren't exactly of one mind when I did take a public position, I was forced to modify my position and certainly came to understand more adequately the attitudes of a smaller minority in a culture which still has a Christian majority and a good deal of Christian instinct, sometimes for ill as well as good, about it. 

I know there are significant differences in the Jewish community too about how effective legislation can be in battling prejudice and discrimination as there are in every section of the community. But I am not opposed to limited, tight legislation outlawing incitement to racial or religious hatred. 

It has been remarked that the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel both changed public opinion in the Western world towards the Jewish People. These were powerful influences on Catholics too; but a particular catalyst for improved relations on the Catholic side came from Pope John Paul XXIII and the Second Vatican Council (1962-5). 

John XXIII unleashed forces that he never dreamed of; he had no developed programme for where he wanted the Council to go; but he had realised, and truly, that the Catholic Church was caught in a suit of defensive armour, which was heavy, and sometimes a hindrance and ineffective in defence as well as attack. The Council provoked a cultural revolution in the Catholic community in the Western world, led by middle order functionaries more than the masses (unlike Mao's cultural revolution), which has sparked great losses in some countries a but there is no doubt that its encouragement of ecumenism among Christians by legitimate Catholic participation, and encouraging inter-faith dialogue and co-operation has been a blessing in every sense.   

As Pope John Paul II said at Assisi in 1986: "Either we learn to walk together in peace and harmony, or we drift apart and ruin ourselves and others". 

I have participated in some of these multi-faith celebrations, as recently as last Monday in the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings for the Centenary of Federation. Afterwards I turned to Rabbi John Levi, who was sitting immediately behind me, and said "Well, the Jewish contribution was the best".  And my communications adviser said to me after: "Yes, and the Christian contribution was probably the weakest". 

For the Jubilee last year we had a memorial service for the victims of the Holocaust in St. Patrick's Cathedral and a number of Jews who were present claimed it was among the most beautiful they had attended.

We need to keep talking together; something that will remain a minority activity. But the attitudes of leaders, official or unofficial, are important in shaping the underlying attitudes of many others, community members and fellow travellers.

We need to keep speaking together, so that we respectfully listen to one another. This is not a ploy to get a message across; nor does it mean that we must agree. Nor does it mean that religious discussion has to abandon claims to truth. We are not condemned to relativism through speaking together; nor are we tacitly recognising that one religion is as good as another; not even claiming that religion is like musical taste, something that is quite difficult to validate!

Recently a man called Ulrich Schoen listed five aims in such a dialogue or conversation:
1) to dissolve [sic; resolve?] misunderstandings;
2) to improve relationships and know we are then better;
3) to lessen fear and suspicion;
4) to deepen faith in one's own religion;
5) to create greater unity and co-operation;
All of these seem to me to be worthwhile for present purposes.

Let me now list a few areas where we might be able to co-operate effectively:
a) to defend and promote belief in the one true God, the unutterable mystery of love. The growth of irreligion in Australia is most significant religious change over the last fifty years, and is part of the modern spread of secularism.
Catholics are not one people like Jews, but a great Church does have a cultural and historical momentum and modern bureaucracies can keep a shell performing efficiently, or seeming to do so. 

The denunciation of prophets bears on this challenge.

Psalm 24 peaks of a "man with clean hands and pure heart standing on the mountain of the Lord". 

In an age devoted to money and sometimes to sexual irresponsibility, the capacity to believe can atrophy. A significant challenge here!
b) Another important area of common effort could be the defence of the family. Patterns of divorce and remarriage; living in partnerships, of children affected by divorce; of increasing numbers of homeless children.
Not difficult to list the challenges, but more difficult to devise effective strategies.

Often not realised is that no country in the Western world is producing a sufficient number of children to keep the population stable. Countries like Russia and Romania, Italy and Spain have started on a process of dramatic population decline.  

Jews and Christians might cooperate together to stress the blessings that children are the continuing importance of motherhood. A bit politically incorrect to do this, but it will be increasingly necessary.
c) Last night Rabbi David mentioned the dialogue between a Rabbi and the King of the Khazars, who pointed out that at that time Jews did not have political power and so were not exposed to the temptations of that power.
That is no longer the case in Israel. I am completely supportive of Israel's right to exist peacefully and regret that the recent initiative for peace has been squandered.

I am not going to comment particularly on developments there; I do not know the scene well enough and my area of responsibility is the Sydney Archdiocese.

But Jewish conduct of that necessary struggle will impinge on the situation of Jews throughout the world; the battle for world opinion is mightily important and racists will try to exploit every ambiguity and especially any explicit injustice.

Christians too regret the steady exodus of fellow Christians from so many parts of the Middle East, forced to migrate because of constant hostile pressures.

During the last 30 or 40 years there has been a significant reduction in the amount of Christian antisemitism.  We thank God for that. To adapt to our circumstances the word of Martin Luther King "we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly". Our fortunes, as brothers, are inextricably linked.

The present Pope, John Paul II, has also contributed significantly to the progress and consolidation of Jewish-Christian relations. His visit to the synagogue in Rome, his successful visit to Israel last year; the 1994 Vatican recognition of the State of Israel. By coincidence I was in Rome and present at Castel Gandolfo when the Israeli ambassador first presented his credentials. All these things have helped.

There is no doubt that his years at Wadowice at school with the local Jewish boys and girls; playing together in the same soccer team; seeing their dispersion and execution played an essential role in his leadership in this area.

A particularly poignant moment was when the Pope prayed at the Temple Wall and I will conclude with the written prayer he left in a crevice in this wall:
"God of our fathers, You chose Abraham and his descendants to bring Your Name to the nations. We are deeply saddened by the behaviour of those, who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the People of the Covenant."
 And what, if anything, has this noted Australian intellectual to say on Islam (a creed, incidentally, which has seen a marked increase in child marriages recently, but which evaded scrutiny by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which spent years probing .
'Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witnesses and obscure cults — along with sporting groups and the entertainment industry'.)

Well, in a talk some years ago entitled “Can Islam and the Western democracies live together peacefully?” (full text here) he
indicated that “Views on this question range from näive optimism to bleakest pessimism,” but that with a far better understanding of Islam and current developments by Christians and world leaders a peaceful co-existence might be achieved.
Pell notes that the optimists “point to the roots Islam has in common with Judaism and Christianity and the worship the three great monotheistic religions offer to the one true God. There is also the common commitment that Muslims and Christians have to the family and to the defence of life, and the record of co-operation in recent decades between Muslim countries, the Holy See, and countries such as the United States in defending life and the family at the international level, particularly at the United Nations.”
However, Pell continues, “On the pessimistic side of the equation, concern begins with the Koran itself. In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages”.
The senior Catholic Cardinal warns that the claims of Muslim tolerance of religious minorities are “largely mythical.” He emphasizes history has clearly shown that, “Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited.” However, Pell adds that the human factor of many Muslims being uncomfortable with the violence and harsh intolerance of traditional Islamic practices provides hope for positive change as has occurred in more moderate Muslim nations.
The secularists in the West, indicates Pell, are the mostly poorly equipped to comprehend and respond to today’s explosion of Islamic violence and power. That is because the issue is predominantly one of religion which the secularists do not understand. Pell says, “one example of the secular incomprehension of religion is the blithe encouragement of large scale Islamic migration into Western nations, particularly in Europe.”
Pell emphasizes that the issue is one of religion and can ultimately only be satisfactorily addressed by religion, rather than politics or material power. The vacuum created by the collapse of religious faith in the West has made it especially vulnerable to conquest by a large, strongly committed religious movement.
“Radicalism,” says Pell, “whether of religious or non-religious inspiration, has always had a way of filling emptiness” and if we are going to help moderate forces within Islam the personal consequences of religious faith need to be taken more seriously. Secularism, and the emptiness and despair that it spawns, is “no match for Islam,” warns the Cardinal.
The “disastrous fall in fertility rates,” adds Pell, is “The most telling sign that Western democracy suffers a crisis of confidence”. He provides startling statistics indicating how Islam is easily taking over the West simply by having more children and the West is dying from its suicidal abortion and contraceptive practices.
Pell warns that the issues must be discussed and that participants in “useful dialogue” must “grapple with the truth and in this issue of Islam and the West the stakes are too high for fundamental misunderstandings.”

Thursday, 10 October 2019

How to Find Favour With Antisemites

Judging by the number of plaudits and shares this sickening propaganda (by Na'amod: British Jews Against Occupation) has attracted from many of the usual suspects on social media, one way appears to be to invent alternate words to the Vidui (Confession) prayer, a key part of the liturgy of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar:

"ASHAMNU: We are guilty – There is a segregated justice system in the West Bank, with Palestinians tried in military courts which have a near-100% conviction rate.
BAGADNU: We have betrayed – The aspirations of freedom, equality and justice held by Palestinians and Israelis have been betrayed by those with the power to end the occupation.
GAZALNU: We have stolen – Land legally owned by Palestinians has been seized for the construction of settlements, and homes legally constructed by Palestinians have been demolished under the false pretense of security.
DIBARNU DOFI: We have slandered – Israelis who have the courage to speak out against the occupation, such as the veterans in Breaking the Silence, are falsely accused of lying by some of the most powerful voices in the land.
HE’EVINU: We have caused others to sin – Every day young Israelis are forced to spend their military service in the occupied territories, upholding a system of violence and discrimination against their neighbours.
VE-HIRSHANU: We have caused wickedness – By sustaining diaspora support for Israeli occupation and the consistent policies of division, dispossession and denial of basic rights.
ZADNU: We have sinned wilfully – The facts and reality of occupation are unequivocal, yet human rights activists like Omar Shakir have faced deportation from Israel instead of being listened to.
CHAMASNU: We have extorted – Those who uphold the occupation have made false promises and engaged in gross corruption in order to retain their positions of power.
TAFALNU SHEKER: We have become attached to lying – Falsely slurring members of our community, failing to address the concerns of countless British Jews, presenting arguments based on fear rather than justice.
YA’ATZNU RA: We have given harmful advice – Hasbara programmes enter schools, universities and synagogues around the world, presenting disingenuous arguments to justify continued military control of Palestinian lives.
KIZAVNU: We have deceived – Palestinians are constantly maligned as terrorists bent on the destruction of Israel, while the violent rhetoric of many Israeli leaders is overlooked.
LATZNU: We have mocked – The aspirations of Palestinians to live in freedom and dignity are heartlessly dismissed by the political leaders who would rather expand the occupation than bring it to an end.

MARADNU: We have rebelled - Against the universal principle of 'B'tselem Elokim' (divine likeness) by prioritising one narrative and rejecting another, yet so similar to our own.
NIATZNU: We have provoked – Israeli politicians outlined plans to annex the Jordan Valley, promising endless occupation to the Palestinians who live there.
SARARNU: We have turned away – Attempts to bring about a resolution to the occupation have been abandoned by Israeli political leaders, who have no concern for the Palestinians and Israelis who are harmed by it.
AVINU: We have been perverse – The romanticisation of military might and the use of the language of security in order to justify injustices has become a feature of dialogue around Israel.
PASHANU: We have been negligent – Children are regularly subjected to harsh and immoral conditions when processed through the military courts, being denied contact with their families and subjected to unnecessary practices such as blindfolding.
TZARARNU: We have caused grief – There have been over 3500 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the past 10 years.
KISHINU OREF: We have been stubborn – Calls for peace and justice fall have been roundly ignored by those in power, and the occupation continues with no end in sight; this year we will let calls for change and transformation ring loud throughout our community.
RASHANU: We have been wicked – The occupation has raised immeasurable hands to strike and has caused division in our own community.
SHICHATNU: We have corrupted – By venerating nationalist passions we compromise our morality for the sake of upholding occupation; this year we will listen to the voices that have too long been trampled; we will hear the stories that must be told of racial profiling, of imprisonment, of nighttime break-ins.
TIAVNU: We have been despondent [literally, loathsome] – Yet we can be courageous and unafraid in the ways we create a movement for Jews who confront support for occupation, in the communal spaces closest to our heart.
TAINU: We have strayed – From our rich tradition of resistance to tyranny; this year we will return to our deepest commitment to freedom (cheirut) from slavery.
TITANU: You have let us go astray – We have grown up in the British Jewish community that is so dear to us. Yet we have not felt able to express ourselves and our commitments fully when it comes to fighting against the occupation."

Meanwhile, my spies tell me that some of our old friends in the anti-Israel movement are advocating the tactic of refuting (or trying to!) the points made in this important report pictured above, released last month.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Antisemitism in Australia (video)

In the wake of the recently revealed antisemitic bullying of Jewish schoolchildren, and the supine response of the schools involved, here's the head of the right-of-centre Australian Jewish Association, Sydney medico Dr David Adler, on that topic:

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Netanyahu and Liberman Must Stop Israel's Third Election This Year

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman have finally met – albeit for just one hour – to discuss the possibility of the 63 votes they controlbeing converted into Israel’s next Government.

It is hard to believe that having made that long-awaited breakthrough – they would be so foolish and obstinate to refuse to compromise their differences to prevent the Israeli electorate going through a third election within twelve months

The direct cost to the Israeli government for new elections, including a budget for the central elections committee and state funding for parties running in the elections, is estimated at NIS 800 million ($220 million).

The greatest loss, however, arises due to the fact that election day is an official vacation day in Israel. The country’s daily GDP is approximately NIS 5 billion ($1.4 billion). Accordingto conservative estimates, election day represents a loss to the Israeli economy of some NIS 1.5 billion ($410 million).

Liberman has publicly laid out his demands for joining the Right-Wing bloc headed by Netanyahu:
• Passage of the ultra-orthodoxmilitary service law, as drafted byLiberman;•civil marriage; [permitting] conversions by local rabbis;
• re-approving egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall;•requiring ultra-orthodox schools to teach secular subjects•public transportation and the opening of mini-marketson the Sabbath.
 These two issues would be left up to local authorities in every municipality, based on who lives in any given town.

 Liberman warned:  
“We won’t accept anything less than this, even if it means sitting in the opposition.”
 Crunch time has arrived.

Liberman has to adopt a more flexible approach and accept less than the ”all or nothing “ stance he has adopted. Netanyahu is now in a much stronger position politically to accept Liberman’s major demand for passage of Liberman’s ultra-orthodox military service draft law – which was the deal-breaker in April.

Liberman voters increased by136684 in September whilst religious parties only increased their votes by 91188 and Likud’s vote decreased by 28835.

Civil marriage and conversions by local rabbis is a curly problem that could be sent to a Committee to consider and come up with recommendations.

Re-approving the Western Wall arrangements should be a formality.

Teaching secular subjects in ultra-orthodox schools could begin with pilot projects in specified schools in particular areas where the ultra-orthodox community do not constitute the majority of the population – perhaps with majority parental approval.

Liberman’s proposals for transport and mini markets on Shabbat happen in many areas now.

There is a pathway t oagreement on these issues that can be achieved with goodwill and a readiness to compromise in recognition of a greater objective – sparing the Israeli electorate anothe relection and the possibility that another deadlock could result.

Israel is surrounded by enemies–especially Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and  Syria and Hamas in Gaza that could be tempted to exploit the fractured nature of Israel’s current political circumstances.

There are pressing political issues awaiting Israel’s next Government –most notably negotiations on President Trump’s deal of the century and Netanyahu’s election promise to annex large parts of the West Bank.

Ending this state of suspended uncertainty has now been thrust on the shoulders of Netanyahu and Liberman – following the failure of Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to achieve a deal they could both live with.

Netanyahu and Liberman would do well to heed the sage advice contained in the Ethics of the Fathers: 
“Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor” 
Achieving greatness and honor togetherby compromising their political expectations will secure Netanyahu and Liberman a special place in the annals of Israel.

Author’s  note:  The  cartoon—commissioned  exclusively  for  this  article—is  by  Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” —one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators—whosecartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Thursday, 3 October 2019

In the Lucky Country, Jewish Schoolkid Forced to Kiss a Muslim Schoolkid's Feet

Back in 2012, I drew attention on this blog to a disturbing trend identified at schools in north-west England.

The repellent state of affairs had been revealed by the noted Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman:
 'Last November, in my capacity as a visiting professor at York St John University, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation by doctoral student Joy Schmack. Mrs Schmack, an extremely experienced teacher and inspector of secondary-school religious education, is researching the use of the word "Jew" in teenage classrooms in the north-west of England. She presented chilling evidence of the unmistakeable revival of the word "Jew" as a common term of abuse amongst teenagers, who apparently habitually use it as a synonym for "cheat" or "swindler", or "snitch". "Don't you dare Jew me", one Merseyside youngster might say to another - perhaps hardly realising the significance of these words.
Scarcely four months after hearing this presentation I received a communication from a retired gentleman whose family escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934 and who now devotes his retirement to talking about antisemitism to youngsters in schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. He had been moved to write to me because of his experience at one such school, where his presentation was discourteously received and where a teacher confessed to him that the word "Jew" had now replaced the word "gay" as a playground term of abuse. The teacher said: "If kids wish to insult each other, they now use (the word) Jew" [Emphasis added]....'
 Now, the Australian Jewish News, in a scoop, reveals the antisemitic targeting that Jewish schoolkids at non-Jewish day schools in Melbourne have been enduring, causing them extreme anxiety and distress, and of the craven, odious response of the school authorities when the abused kids' parents (having tardily learned of the abuse from their persecuted offspring).  That response was basically: "It's not antisemitism, it's bullying, and your kids should learn to toughen up".

They refused one set of parents' request to teach the school body about the realities and consequences of antisemitism.

One of the two kids on whom the Australian Jewish News's spotlight falls is a five-year-old boy who showed every sign of wanting to avoid school, to his parents' puzzlement, until, unable to cope any longer, he collapsed onto the floor one breakfast time telling his mother that she shouldn't love him because
"I'm a worthless Jewish rodent.  I'm vermin."
 The other is a  twelve-year-old keen footballer who was constantly picked on by a pack of bullies who called him such charming things as
 "Jewish ape ... Jewish nigger ... Jewish gimp ... a cooked up Jewish c**t"
They also made his life a misery outside the school grounds, and on one occasion forced him to bow down and kiss a Muslim student's feet, eagerly capturing the incident with their mobile phones (see above).

Jewish daycare education is prohibitively expensive in Melbourne for many Jewish families, but it is heart-warming to learn that this unfortunate young person, who left his school as the result of threats from the principal antisemitic bully's older brother, has with the help of a sympathetic communal leader now found a place at one, as his now-deceased Holocaust survivor grandfather always envisioned.

As for those  despicable school authorities, they might at least have pointed out to their students, assembled together, that Australia's greatest soldier, First World War hero Sir John Monash, was a Jew.

I wonder what the antisemites would have made of that.

Read the schoolkids' sorry saga here 

Monday, 30 September 2019

In London, Noisome Noise Polluters Rant Against Germany and Israel (video)

On Saturday, outside the Goethe Institute in London, a small group of Israel-haters  representing the Islamic-run group Inminds express their hate for both Germany and the Jewish State.

With their ludicrous mind- and ear-assaulting delivery who do these fanatics expect to convert to their repellent cause?

Their warped arguments ate well-glimpsed in Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander's  introduction to his footage:
'Germany has yet again been cowered by intense pressure from Tel-Aviv and Washington into joining the Zionist campaign against BDS and into believing (or pretending to believe)  the lie that it is somehow anti-Jewish to support the Palestinians' demand for freedom and the return of their land and resources, stolen by the fascist State of Israel. Germany's latest contemptible act of submission to the Zionist diktat is to withdraw the 'Nelly Sachs' literary prize, awarded  to the renowned Pakistani/British author Kamila Shamsie, on the grounds that she is a supporter of the BDS movement. Shame on Germany.  By sucking up to an evil Zionist regime in occupied Palestine today, Berlin thinks we will forget about what Germany did to the Jews between 1933 and 1945.'

Thursday, 26 September 2019

The Surging Antisemitism on the American Left

 To my Jewish readers:

A very important and informative long video here, but it need not be watched, just heard.  And heeded.

Chaired by Fred Fleitz, a panel consisting of the following discusses the surging antisemitism on the Left in cahoots with Islam:

Morton Klein - National President of the Zionist Organization of America;
Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz - Founder and CEO of MBLA International;James Carafano - Vice President of Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullo Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and the E.W. Richardson Fellow;Matthew Brodsky - Middle East expert, geopolitical analyst and Senior Fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

David Singer: Netanyahu and Liberman Could Cut Deal if Rivlin Plan Fails

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

 President Rivlin’s decision to bring Bibi Netanyahu and Benny Gantz together to see if a Government of National Unity can be formed makes sense in the extraordinary situation that has followed Israel’s elections on 17 September.

Once again neither the Left nor Right wing blocs have won the 61 seats required to form Government.

Rivlin’s proposal however could well founder on the aspirations of Netanyahu, Gantz and Yair Lapid to be the Prime Minister of any such Government and whether that position should be rotated and in what order. During the April 2019 election campaign – Gantz and Lapid ran under a rotation agreement that would have seen Gantz serve as prime minister for the first two years and eight months whilst Lapid took over for the remainder of the term.

Their agreement was key to the merger of Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party with Lapid’s Yesh Atid Party to form the Blue and White Party. In June 2019 Gantz and Lapid pledged they would keep their deal to rotate the premiership if they formed the next government after the September elections.

Now – after those inconclusive elections – Lapid has made this call at a Blue and White faction meeting:
"One person is preventing the formation of a liberal unity government. One person. When faced with the choice between what’s important for the country and what’s important for one person, the country comes first."
Lapid was obviously referring to Netanyahu.

Is Lapid prepared – in the same spirit – to give up his entitlement to be Prime Minister to enable Gantz and Netanyahu to thrash out an agreement?

After that major problem is settled – agreement on policies and infighting for positions in that Government would be fraught with personal rivalries and ambitions.

Paradoxically the election results have broken the April-deadlock that prevented Netanyahu and Liberman forming a Government with Netanyahu as its Prime Minister. The same problems of allocating portfolios in their 63 member coalition would remain – but would be far easier than dealing with 99 members in a coalition of National Unity. Bridging the Netanyahu-Lieberman antipathy divide wouldn’t be easy either.

Liberman’s party did not form Government with 60 other members of the Right last April after Netanyahu refused to accept a bill drafted by Liberman calling for ultra-orthodox Jews to do military service.  Netanyahu was captive to the ultra-orthodox Jews comprised in the Right bloc who threatened to bolt if he wavered. Liberman’s continuing insistence that his military service bill be legislated was countered by United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Asher declaring this the best possible get-out-the-vote campaign the religious parties could wish for.

The religious parties failed big time.

Netanyahu is now in an easier political position to agree to Liberman’s demand than he was in April  – the latest voting results showing:
1. Liberman’s vote increased from 173004 to 309688 – an increase of 136684.
2. The combined votes of the religious parties – Shas and United Torah Judaism – increased from 507324 to 598522 – an increase of only 91198.
3. Likud’s vote decreased from 1140370 to 1111535 – a drop of 28835
The turnout of ultra-orthodox voters opposing Liberman’s bill did not match the turnout of new voters supporting Liberman’s bill and those Likud voters changing their votes for possibly the same reason. The religious parties are now on far weaker ground to oppose Liberman’s reform as they are locked in to a single negotiating bloc containing 55 members - presumably acting by majority vote.

Cutting a deal between Netanyahu and Liberman remains an option to prevent Israel going through this electoral agony for a third time if Rivlin’s call fails.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” —  one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Mick Gets His Sporran in a Twist & Labour Pains Defame Zionism

See what Humphrys means!
Like retired newsreader Peter Sissons splendidly before him (in 2011, to be precise), BBC broadcaster John Humphrys, whose final presentation of the Today program on Radio 4 was last Thursday, has (in his serialised memoirs in the Daily Mail) slammed the leftwing bias of his longtime employer, likening Corporation bigwigs to "out-of-touch Kremlin commissars". 

Although he denies that a leftwing conspiracy exists, he recalls the sombre disbelieving mood at the BBC when Brexiteers won the 2016 Referendum, and he asserts that the BBC is takes care not to offend "fashionable pressure groups – usually from the liberal Left, the spiritual home of most bosses and staff".

Humphrys' choice of final Today program interviewees has had Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief getting his sporran in a twist:

And some of his camp followers too:

Now, regarding this, at Labour's party conference in Brighton, Chief Mick states:

To this kind of reception from some of his followers:

 And this kind of further comment from himself:

An aside by the estimable British international politics academic Dr James Vaughan:

 Also at the conference, a vile piece of defamation headed "A Racist Endeavour":
'Thousands of Labour members were handed a shocking pamphlet openly comparing Israel to Adolf Hitler's Nazis ahead of a debate on Palestine ...
An article on the front page of the booklet by Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Party official Moshe Machover stated it was a "well established fact" that "Israel is a racist state."
See Gnasher Jew's thread HERE
The same piece - which calls for the "de-Zionisation of Israel" - then makes a clear attempt to link Israel with Nazism by selectively quoting from academic sources.
.... Mr Machover writes that some of the "harshest condemnation of Israel's racism" were "recognised experts on the history of fascism and Nazism."
He then writes of what he calls a "shocking comparison with Nazism" made by Hebrew University Professor Zeev Sternhell of statements made in Israel's Knesset by two right-wing politicians.
Continuing this theme, Mr Machover, who successfully fought expulsion for Labour over his links to the Communist Party of Great Britain, refers to a 2017 article by Professor Daniel Blatman, who wrote that the "deputy speaker Bezalel Smotrich's admirations for the biblical genocidaire Joshua bin Nun leads him to adopt the values that resemble those of the German SS."
Tel Aviv-born Mr Machover has a previous history of using academic quotes, particularly from Israel, to support his extreme anti-Zionist position.
He concludes by writing: "Uprooting colonialist racism requires a change of regime, decolonisation - which in the case of Israel means de-Zionisation."
Labour delegates debated a motion on Palestine during Tuesday afternoon's session at conference.
During the debate, one member of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group was loudly cheered as she claimed she was speaking for Jews who had never experienced antisemitism.
Vanessa Stilwell, of Dulwich and West Norwood CLP, said Jeremy Corbyn was "the most anti-racist leader this party has ever had".
Referring to the situation in Gaza, the Labour activist stumbled as she attempted to detail allegations of Israeli attacks in Gaza.
Ms Stilwell is the wife of Glyn Secker - the Labour activist suspended over his 'Jews in the gutter' speech at a Palestine demo, which was exposed by the J[ewish] C[hronicle] in May.
But despite a few cries of 'Free Palestine' from the stage, the debate was largely overshadowed by the continuing divisions over the party's position on Brexit.
In her keynote speech, Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, accused Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to create an "apartheid state" in Israel.
She also referred to the crisis in Gaza - but appeared to make a deliberate effort to stop too much focus on Israel/Palestine in a more general speech about Labour internationalism.'
 Let's leave tireless Corbynista-watcher Gillian Lazarus with the last word on this odious muck:

But on the Labour Jew-baiting David Collier's latest article is a must-read.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Cacophony on Carnaby Street (video)

Outside the Puma Store in London's Carnaby Street at the weekend, hardcore Israel-haters trying, on behalf of the Muslim-dominated Inmnds organisation, to persuade shoppers to boycott the Puma brand owing to Puma's sponsorship of  "Israeli apartheid" attract hardly a glance as shoppers do their own thing. 

On this Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander footage, only one person of their own volition approached the pedlar of the leaflets, specifically to take one.  Most people dodge and walk on by.

Little wonder that the Israel-haters attract little custom, given their atrocious and in some cases raucous delivery of the kind of script once so theatrically intoned by Ms Sandra Watfa, who used to be imitated to the best of her ability by the woman with the long grey hair (who, with the dude with an Irish brogue whose shtik is calling  for Israel to be expelled from Fifa, had a penchant for boarding Tube trains to recire anti-Israel "poetry").

Neither Sandra nor those particular sidekicks appear to have turned up at these demos for many a moon.

But Sandra, for one, is still very much in business, as recent tweets and re-tweets show:

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Fool's Gold in the Pink

Well might Code Pink founder Medea (real name Susan) Benjamin look askance at co-director Ariel Gold.

But whether she does is extremely unlikely.  After all, making spectacles of themselves and peddling
anti-Israel slogans and repellent sentiments are the kind of things Code Pink members do.

And this image (of Ariel Gold at the Kotel) exhibits one of the most repellent of all:

See and read more here

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

David Singer: Netanyahu and Trump Hatch Plan for a Jordan Exclave in West Bank

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute election pledge to apply Israeli sovereignty in parts of the West Bank could possibly see a large part of the remainder of the West Bank being offered to Jordan as an exclave in direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel.

An exclave is a piece of land that is politically attached to a larger piece but not physically conterminous (having the same borders) with it because of surrounding foreign territory.
Netanyahu’s pledge was clear:
“We will apply sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea as soon as the next government is established in the next Knesset.  Today I have appointed a working team led by the director-general of my ministry, Ronen Peretz, to formulate an outline for applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea”
Netanyahu has now gone even further reportedly saying that if re-elected he plans to annex additional “vital” parts of the West Bank in coordination with the United States.
Trump’s Ambassador in Israel, David Friedman, has already indicated that Trump’s plan will not call for the creation of an additional Arab state between Israel and Jordan based on the 1949 ceasefire lines agreed between those two former enemies.

Friedman declared:
“Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”
Friedman then declined to say how the United States would respond if Netanyahu moved to annex West Bank land unilaterally – stating:
“We really don’t have a view until we understand how much, on what terms, why does it make sense, why is it good for Israel, why is it good for the region, why does it not create more problems than it solves. These are all things that we’d want to understand, and I don’t want to prejudge.”
Trump seemingly has not yet secured an ironclad guarantee from Jordan or any other Arab interlocutor that they stand ready to negotiate with Israel on Trump’s plan. Releasing it without such a guarantee would constitute political suicide for Trump.

Netanyahu’s pledges provide sufficient justification for Trump to further postpone his deal’s release.
One can visualise Trump’s advisers carefully scrutinising Netanyahu’s final map – or any map drawn up by a non-Netanyahu led Government – prior to Trump releasing his deal – to see if common agreement can first be reached on Israel’s demands – and then advancing to the next stage to see if agreement between Trump and Netanyahu – or Israel’s new Prime Minister – can be reached on what should happen in the remainder of the West Bank.

It would then make sense for Trump’s plan to be released only after concluding these discussions.
Trump will not be proposing the creation of any new Jew-free State in all of the West Bank for the first time in recorded history – whilst the PLO has rejected negotiating on Trump’s deal if it does not meet these core demands articulated by Abbas and the PLO.

Two solutions therefore emerge for resolving sovereignty in the remainderof the West Bankterritorythat will notcome under Israeli sovereignty:
  • Israel unilaterally annexes that territory including its existing Arab population
  • Israel and Jordan create a Jordan exclave within that territory as may be agreed in direct negotiations.
A Jordan exclave would materially help end the 100-years-old Arab-Jewish conflict.
Details such as the demilitarization of the exclave and who controls access into and egress from the exclave would be negotiated.

Trump is the driving force to bring Israel and Jordan together to enable these negotiations to be successfully concluded.

 Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” —  one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Sunday, 15 September 2019

"Stop Arming Israel": Serpents on Eden Street (video)

In leafy Kingston upon Thames, a gaggle of elderly bourgeois Israel-haters from the local PSC stand in the September sunshine handing out leaflets demanding that the HSBC (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, one of the UK's Big Four banks since the Midland Bank merged with it), "Stop Arming Israel"

Whatever would these old guys and gals do in their dotage without da Joos' State to pick on!?

As so often, arch-BDSer Alex Seymour/Seymour Alexander provides some pleasant background music to accompany the steady pace of the strollers and shoppers who, very sensibly, give the Israel-hating fanatics hardy a glance.

But of course, there are always exceptions who become ensnared in the trap.

Meanwhile, two politics researchers at the University of Manchester, Andrew Barclay and Maria Sobolewska, show that
" Labour’s consistent electoral underperformance in areas with large numbers of Jewish voters since 2015 suggests that their relationship with Britain’s Jews has significantly deteriorated since this point, regardless of whether a majority of Britain’s Jews opted for the Tories before this juncture. 
These findings not only show the Tories to be the party of choice among an overwhelming majority of Jews, but also show the era of Corbyn as a clear nadir in their relationship with Labour."
Read the entire article (unfortunately it's badly written) here

And, writes "Remainer" Stephen Daisley in The Spectator:
"Those who would put Corbyn in Downing Street point to the depredations Brexit is predicted to inflict, job losses, medicine shortages and trade disruptions, are worth staving off even if it means sacrificing popular democracy. They may be right. There are some of us, probably not many, who lament Brexit but sincerely believe Corbyn would be worse. It’s not that we deny the perils of no-deal for good governance and economic stability (though anyone touting a Corbyn premiership can hardly pray in aid such concerns); it is that we assess the moral fallout of Corbyn to be graver than the financial consequences of no-deal Brexit.
.... MPs ... would be adopting as their figurehead a man arrested at a ‘solidarity’ demo for the killer of Tory MP Anthony Berry. It would be a betrayal of our past and a message to posterity: there is no outrage so great that it cannot be waited out, unrepentantly, with the connivance of your feckless, career-driven colleagues.
The political chaos of Brexit pales against the moral chaos of an antisemite becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in living memory of the Holocaust. The past four years have been among the most distressing and frightening for British Jews since the war. For parliament to give its imprimatur to the man responsible would be to reduce antisemitism to a competition of interests rather than a test of moral fortitude. MPs would be setting the rights of Jews against the political and economic well-being of the nation in a way no Parliament has done since Emancipation. They would be aligning the national interest with the toleration of antisemitism...."

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

David Singer: Trump Seems Set to See Netanyahu as Israel’s Next Prime Minister

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

President Trump seems set to see Bibi Netanyahu re-elected as Israel’s next prime minister in the upcoming elections to be held on 17 September – the second this year following an indecisive vote in April that left no one able to form government.

Early voting by eligible Israeli diplomats and emissaries around the world has seen a drop in their turnout from 76 per cent in April to 69 per cent in September.

If general voters follow the diplomats’ lead next week:
  1. The voter turnout of 67.97 per cent in April 2019 will be further reduced.
  2. Netanyahu’s Likud party will increase its proportion of the vote – 26.46 per cent in April 2019 – up from 23.4 per cent in 2015 – to an even higher figure.
Likud increased its numbers from 985,408 in 2015 to 1,140,370 in April 2019 – whilst Yisrael Beiteinu’s numbers decreased from 214,906 in 2015 to 173,004 in April 2019. Blue and White contested the April elections for the first time.

Likud voters – buoyed by the post-April statements detailed in 1, 2 and 3 below – will most likely vote again – whilst Blue and White and Yisrael Beiteinu voters – unhappy with their leaders’ post-April statements detailed in 4 and 5 below – are more likely to stay home.

Any increase in general voter turnout this time beyond 67.97 per cent would defy the diplomatic downturn – but should still see parties on the Right securing more of those new votes than parties on the Left. Statements made since April by Trump’s Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, President Trump himself, Likud’s Netanyahu, Yisrael Beiteinu’s Lieberman and Blue and White’s Gantz support this conclusion.

      1. Ambassador Friedman indicated that some degree of annexation of the West Bank would be legitimate.
 “Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank”
More new voters – conscious of their own families’ personal safety – would vote Right – than those opposing any annexation – who would vote Left.
  1. Trump endorsed Netanyahu as a great guy”
  2. Netanyahu – speaking in Elkana – located in Samaria – pledged:
“With God’s help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the settlements as part of the (biblical) Land of Israel, as part of the State of Israel. “This is our land…”We will build another Elkana and another Elkana and another Elkana. We will not uproot anyone here”
In a first-ever public address from Hebron by a sitting Israeli prime minister – Netanyahu vowed:
To cite the late Menachem Begin and the late Yigal Allon: ‘Hebron will not be devoid of Jews.’ It will not be Judenrein [ed: i.e. Jew-free]. And I say on the 90th anniversary of the disturbances [ed: when 67 Jews were murdered] – we are not foreigners in Hebron, we will stay here forever.” 
These patriotic declarations should attract more Right-supportive than Left-opposing new voters.
  1. Lieberman promised to amend the law to make ultra-orthodox youths do compulsory military training.
United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Asher has declared this the best possible get-out-the-vote campaign the ultra-Orthodox parties could wish for.

New ultra-orthodox voters turning out to spare children in their ultra-orthodox community undertaking this military obligation would likely exceed new secular voters who think this is a reform long overdue.
  1. Trump’s judgment has been challenged by Gantz stating he would have admitted US Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib into Israel.
Gantz’s decision would not resonate with a majority of new voters – who would consider any disagreement with Trump could jeopardise Trump’s amazing support of Israel during his presidency.

Trump and Netanyahu appear destined to continue their very special relationship after the votes have been counted.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog