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 1 May 2011

How the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation Undermines Israel

During the prelude to the the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation announced last week, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that
 "The Palestinian Authority has to choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. Peace is impossible with both of them. Hamas is trying to destroy Israel, and sends missiles on our cities and our children."

 In response to Netanyahu's statement, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced: "we say that the Palestinian reconciliation and the agreement that was signed today in Cairo are internal Palestinian issues."

Concurring,  Hamas representative Mahmoud Azhar reiterated that his organisation's policy is "no recognition [of Israel] and no negotiations". (

Switzerland is one of the few Western countries to talk openly with Hamas, and a reader of my blog, Roger, who resides in Switzerland, has alerted me to outrageously contentious remarks by Swiss analyst Riccardo Bocco in the course of an interview by Swissinfo, the news platform of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

Explains Roger:
"I have complained again and again about their relentless demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel but to no avail. This interview is a typical example."

Bocco (pictured), a Middle East specialist at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, said, inter alia:

"The negotiations that were going on had been stalled until the beginning of 2011. The events of the Arab Spring have just sped things up, pushing Hamas and Fatah to get together....
We really need to wait and see what the precise contents of the agreement are. It will be interesting to see what position Hamas takes: will it renounce violence and agree to recognise the state of Israel? From a purely strategic point of view, Hamas may be ready to make concessions, as long as there is some reciprocity - they too want to be recognised.Netanyahu has of course no interest in a united Fatah and Hamas. He has no real desire to make peace. He would be happy with a form of economic peace which would not involve the creation of a Palestinian state. As long as there are internal divisions among the Palestinians, Israel can point to the fact that there are no negotiation partners representative of the whole Palestinian people.
I am not trying to defend Hamas here, but we are looking at two kinds of terrorism: Hamas kills Israeli civilians, and Israel carries on its own state terrorism targeting the Palestinian civilian population. Getting out of this dilemma will require political will which only the United States can provide.
If the processes of change presently going on, particularly in Egypt, yield positive results - for example with the adoption of political pluralism - this will continue to give an impulse to processes of democratisation in other countries.
Israel will find itself in difficulty once it is no longer able to claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East. At that point, one might begin to wonder about the kind of "democracy" that really exists in Israel, a country which discriminates against its Palestinian minority and which occupies another state using processes of colonisation.
To the best of my knowledge, there was no direct Swiss involvement in this latest Cairo agreement. I don’t know what role Swiss diplomacy will have in future, but I feel proud of what it has accomplished so far.
When there was that boycott of Hamas in 2006, Switzerland was one of the few to engage in dialogue with the new administration. The Swiss government’s position is an intelligent one. To boycott Hamas, as the Americans and Israelis did, just sends a message to al-Qaida and other extremist groups that following the path of democracy to achieve power gets you nowhere. And what was the result? Many of them have just kept up the armed struggle."


  1. Israel undermines Israel as always.

  2. A great comment, Geoff. That ought to shake 'em up, but if they're anything like the BBC they'll be impervious!
    I'm flattered you look in here regularly.
    If you scroll down on the "Select Profile" option below the Comment box to where it says Name/URL you can comment by name rather than Anonymous, if you so wish.

  3. Anonymous - I do so agree with you. Israel should take Melanie Phillips' advice to heart:

  4. Thanks for posting this Daphne. And thanks Geoff for your comment on swissinfo. I have added something more...if they don't censor it. The more people who comment there the better, as they get away with so much. I find in Switzerland, there is very little support for Israel...there is mostly a brainwashed hostility due to the consistent anti-Israel propaganda in the media, wilful ignorance with very little knowledge of the historical background, or indifference.

  5. Thanks to YOU, Roger, for telling me about it!

  6. Actually, Switzerland was never friendly to Jews, come to think of it.
    They were allowed to reside only in one canton until well into the 19th century, and of course Switzerland allowed shechita well over 100 years ago.

  7. I meant "outlawed" shechita!


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