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)
On Friday evening a vast intimidatory throng of possibly as many as 500 screaming anti-Israel fanatics (the "Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid," spearheaded by Students for Palestine and radical leftists including Socialists, Greens, and some trade unionists), angry as hornets and perhaps four times times the number that the police recently dispersed from the same location http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/07/cops-get-tough-with-anti-israel.html, descended again on the Max Brenner premises in Central Melboune, to screech their grotesque vitriolic lies against what one female speaker called "the vile and repressive state of Israel".
This time, unlike the last, when three police officers were injured, there were no arrests, but there was a heavy police presence, including several mounted officers.
An eye-witness, Michael Burd, told the antipodean J-Wire service:
"My estimate of numbers is between 300-400 protesters and 80-100 police involved between the State Library and the two Max Brenner outlets.
The bulk of protesters displayed banners and balloons and distributed propaganda. Protesting were Socialists, Muslim Arab community members including Palestinians, Sudanese, Somalis, Ethiopians and a group of multicultural activists.
Some of the speakers had been arrested a few weeks ago at the first Max Brenner protest and were out on bail. Some said they were quite proud that they had been in jail and brazenly told reporters how badly they had been treated by the police and how they were being silenced by the Zionists. One of the main instigators, James Crafti, a radical anti- Zionist Jew who works very closely with the Palestinian activists told the audience how evil Israel and Zionism were....
The protest started outside the Victorian State Library at 5 pm in a party atmosphere complete with balloons in Palestinian colours and speeches from the organisers. Maritime Union secretary Kevin Bracken, Sarah Harris, Students for Palestine, James Crafti, and South African activists who compared Israel with apartheid South Africa. Muslim singers and entertainers also spoke about the evil Israelis....
Some of the Pamphlets and posters read "Max Brenner proudly supports the Displacement Torture and genocide of Palestinians".
After about one hour at the Library the protesters marched to the first Max Brenner store where police were waiting. They spent around 30 minutes chanting their slogans before leaving for the second Max Brenner store around the corner where they did the same thing. This caused major disruption to both Melbourne Central and Q[ueen]V[ictoria] shopping centres.
Police handed out pamphlets which warning that would arrest troublemakers. Their pamphlet was titled Boycott Apartheid Israel Rally.
There were no violent incidents
The good news was both Max Brenner stores were full of customers and remained very busy regardless.'
More good news is that in Sydney recently a number of well-known Aussies, including columnist Gerard Henderson, comedian Austen Tayshus, and broadcaster Jana Wendt, joined Michael Danby and members of the Jewish community at Max Brenner to enjoy hot chocolate and show support. Referring to the protest against Max Brenner, Warren Mundine, an Indigenous Australian and formerly president of the Australian Labor Party, described the BDS movement as "anti-Jewish," and trade union official Paul Howes observed:
"The violence outside the Melbourne outlet earlier this month shocked me. The violence I witnessed in our media after the anti-Israel BDS mob targeted a Jewish-owned business was far too reminiscent of Hitler-era mobs targeting Jewish businesses in Berlin.... There is simply no excuse for the Extremist Far Left seemingly mimicking the behaviour of the Nazi thugs...."
Oslo, 2006. Miriam Shomrat, Israel's Ambassador to Norway, was incensed. And with good reason.
In September that year, a month after Oslo's Jewish cemetery was vandalised, and just before Rosh Hashanah, three individuals in a passing car (later identified as two Islamists and an accomplice called Kristiansen), fired a volley of 13 shots at the synagogue. The building's facade was damaged, although luckily no one was hurt.
The attack came shortly after the government of Jens Stoltenberg (who of course has been very much in the public eye this past week, and has visited a mosque to show his solidarity with his country's Muslims) ruled that security cameras monitoring the approaches to the synagogue in Oslo must be removed.
Likening the attack on the synagogue to terrorism (a court verdict disagreed, by the way, finding merely that "serious vandalism" had occurred), Miriam Shomrat observed, before the perpetrators (who had, it would transpire, planned to bomb the Israeli and American embassies and to kidnap and decapitate her) were discovered:
"We don't know who's doing this, whether it's Norwegians or foreigners. But the fact that there's been an increase [in attacks] and that it's happening in Oslo must be taken very seriously by the political community."
Diplomatic or not, in a television interview she made some pointed remarks about the fact that not a single message of sympathy had been forthcoming from the country's Royal Family, and blamed a former prime minister, Kåre Willoch (wrongly identified in the following video as "Kurk Witnak") for contributing to the climate of antisemitism in Norway, and also criticised bestselling author Jostein Gaarder.
Willoch, a Conservative, and a fierce critic of Israeli policy towads the Palestinian Arabs, had in May 2006 invited Hamas official Atef Adwan to a private lucheon; Willoch would subsequently be accused of antisemitism by the Wall Street Journal for observing of President Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel: "It does not look too promising, he has chosen a chief of staff who is Jewish," a remark also condemned by Alan Dershowitz.
Gaarder, during Israel's operations against Hizbollah in southern Lebanon, had in an op-ed in the newspaper Aftenposten entitled "God's Chosen People" described Judaism as "an archaic national and warlike religion" and noted that Christianity promotes "compassion and forgiveness". He claimed that many Israelis rejoiced at the deaths of Lebanese children, just as the biblical Israelites celebrated the plagues a wrathful Deity inflicted upon Egypt.
"We laugh at this people's whims, and cry over its misdeeds. To act as God's chosen people is not only foolish and arrogant, it is a crime against humanity. We call it racism.... We laugh with embarrassment at those who still believe that the god of the flora, fauna and galaxies has chosen one particular people as his favorite, and given them amusing stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill....
We no longer recognize the State of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime of South Africa, nor did we recognize the Afghani Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing. We need to get used to the idea: The State of Israel, in its current form, is history.
Ambassador Shomrat's remarks were denounced the following day by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, of whom we've also been seeing a lot in recent days.
Sniffed Støre, who has shown time and again that he is no friend to Israel:
"In the first place an ambassador from another country ought to know that the Royal Family can never respond to such remarks. And anyway she should also know that it is the government that expresses the view of the Norwegian authorities.
Fast forward a few years. In a BBC News bulletin on Wednesday, an attractive and personable young woman who is a member of the Norwegian parliament was interviewed, obviously in order to drive home the message that Norway is the multicultural paradise that all good leftists say it is. Describing Norway as a "land of opportunity" she pointed out that she, the daughter of Muslim immigrants, had been elected to the legislature at the age of 28.
During the Second World War, Norway was the only one of the four Scandinavian countries which failed to protect its Jews from deportation. Of Norway's 1700 Jews, 736 were deported to their deaths (the others were hidden or managed to escape).
In contrast, the Jews of Denmark were famously rescued by being secretly conveyed by fishing boats to Sweden (which was neutral and unoccupied by the Nazis), while Finland, although an ally of Nazi Germany, pointedly refused to allow its Jews to be deported.
From 1942-45 wartime Norway was ruled by the Nazi stooge Vidkun Quisling, whose name is a synonym for treason, while below him were the usual gang of German and local antisemitic psychopaths. (If you have ten minutes to spare, have a look at this video, in the second half of which an expert is interviewed.)
After the war, although Quisling was hanged, Police Inspector Knut Rod, who had been responsible for rounding up the Jews, was acquitted in what one source has described as a "scandalous" trial, while Jewish survivors who managed to return to Norway found that their apartments and businesses had been taken over by "Aryan" Norwegians. Those Jews fortunate enough to get their property returned to them had to pay a steep "administration fee" for the privilege.
Although 66 years have passed since the end of the war, it appears that little has changed. Norway today is, in fact, one of the most antisemitic countries in Europe, and much of the impetus for this hostility to Jews and to Israel has come not only from Muslim sources but from the ruling Labor Party and its supporters.
An astute pro-Israel Norwegian blogger noted, two-and-a-half years ago:
'Mainstream media in Norway frequently uses cartoons depicting the state of Israel as the quintessential, vicious Jew. More often than not this caricature of a villainous Jew is depicted as violently oppressing a seemingly powerless neighbour. To the right you can see “the seven synonyms of death”, from the Norwegian daily Dagsavisen, on January 7th, 2004. Dagsavisen is still tied to the labor movement, but not as much as it used to. In this caricature we see a bearded, bignosed man writing down synonyms for death on a scroll. He is wearing a cap which looks sort of Jewish....
Last year, a prominent University of Oslo social anthropologist and popular chat show regular, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, wrote, in his book Søppel – avfall i en verden av bivirkninger (“Trash – Garbage in a world of side effects”), while paraphrasing another author:
"The Jews (were considered) unclean because they were both insiders and outsiders: They had contributed disproportionately to Europe’s fine arts and were culturally competent, but at the same time they were not quite insiders due to their religion, their networks and their propensity for endogamy (they mostly married other Jews). They excluded themselves, and were in turn excluded, or vice versa."
The previous year, controversial performer Otto Jespersen offended Jews when he joked with impunity on national television:
"I would like to take the opportunity to remember all the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in German gas chambers, without having done anything wrong other than settling on persons of Jewish background."
And he ended a satirical monologue on antisemitism thus:
"Finally, I would like to wish all Norwegian Jews a Merry Christmas - no, what am I saying! You don't celebrate Christmas, do you!? It was you who crucified Jesus."
In 2010 Labor parliamentarian Anders Mathisen apparently queried the Holocaust, telling the newspaper Finnmarken that Jews “exaggerated their stories” and “there is no evidence the gas chambers and or mass graves existed”. He reportedly accused movies such as Schindler's List for bamboozling the public, and is said to have refused calls to resign. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4046049,00.html
Jens Stoltenberg's immediate predecessor as party leader, Thorbjørn Jagland, currently serving as Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was utterly condemnatory of Israel and its defensive actions on board the Mavi Marmara last year, taking Turkey's part.
Socialist leader Kristin Halvorsen has spearheaded Norway's pervasive "Boikott Israel" campaign. Not long ago, she supported a call for military action against Israel if it attacked Hamas in Gaza. She's pictured here, when serving as minister of finance,at an anti-Israel rally where (in translation) a placard pronounced: "The greatest axis of evil: USA and Israel” and (it's not hard to guess by whom) "Death to the Jews!" was repeatedly shouted.
Halvorsen's twisted logic is that unless punitive action is taken against Israel for air strikes at Hamas positions, the credibility of international attempts to dislodge Gaddafi by force are morally undermined. Similarly, Vibeke Løkkeberg, director of the anti-Israel movie Tears Over Gaza, aired on state-owned television station NRK, compared Operation Cast Lead to "the massacres Gaddafi is conducting against Libyan insurgents".
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who visited the ill-fated Utøya island youth camp the day before the massacre by Breivik, was cheered for his pro-Palestinian rhetoric, despite rejecting youth camp leader Eskil Pedersen's call for a unilateral boycott of Israel by Norway. (Both men are pictured here, side by side.)
Last year,the Norwegian government, which has banned Israel from tendering for Norwegian defence contracts, divested from two Israeli concerns operating in the West Bank, and its sovereign wealth fund divested from an Israeli company that worked on the security fence. The government recently upgraded Palestinian representation in Norway to full ambassadorial status despite the Fatah's accord with Hamas.
Sitting alongside Mahmoud Abbas, Støre told a press conference that " it is perfectly legitimate" for Abbas to seek recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the UN. Støre chairs a group of countries who financially support the Palestinian cause, and stressed that "all donors should make an extra effort to support the Palestinians this summer and autumn”. Ingrid Fiskaa, a Socialist who serves as official in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, declared in 2008 that she occasioanlly wished that the UN would send “precision-guided missiles against selected Israeli targets”. For more on Støre, who's likely to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as Prime Minister in due course, and his woeful attitude towards Israel, see http://www.israelwhat.com/tag/jonas-gahr-st%C3%B8re/
In November 2010, 100 or so members and supporters of a political party called Rødt ("Red") held what police termed "an illegal demonstration" inside a shopping centre in Oslo. The BDSers involved displayed banners proclaiming "Occupation is not nice - Boycott Israel!" and "Shame on you!", and yelled "Boycott Israel" and "Free Palestine" as they surrounded a booth selling mineral products from the Dead Sea, interfered with the goods on display, and harassed the Israeli salesperson. They affixed stickers to the booth and handed out leaflets. The mall was closed for fifteen to twenty minutes while police struggled to restore order.
Last Sunday, BBC television news, always keen to deride legitimate concerns over mass Third World immigration into Europe and to deplore "Islamophobia" whatever the trigger or occasion, trotted out Thorbjorn Jagland to sing the praises of the Norwegian/European commitment to mass immigration and that supposed Utopia wrought by multiculturalism.
Alas, modern Norway is a society in which all minorities may flourish unimpeded (even those whose cultures are inherently misogynistic and treat women as chattels).
All minorities except one, it seems. (Incidentally, Shechita is banned in Norway, but Muslim ritual slaughter is allowed!)
American writer and literary critic Bruce Bawer has described antisemitism in Norway, where he lives, as being de rigeuer amongst much of "the cultural elite – the academics, intellectuals, writers, journalists, politicians, and technocrats".
"Part of the motivation for this anti-Semitism is the influx into Norway in recent decades of masses of Muslims from Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere. Multiculturalism has taught Norway’s cultural elite to take an uncritical, even obsequious, posture toward every aspect of Muslim culture and belief. When Muslim leaders rant against Israel and the Jews, the reflexive response of the multiculturalist elite is to join them in their rantings. This is called solidarity."
David G. Littman, representing the World Union for Progressive Judaism, condemned the oppression of women in the Islamic world in a forceful speech before the United Nations Human Rights Council last month.
The president of the UNHRC, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, from Thailand, was, however, less than impressed:
"Can I remind the speaker that, you know, we're here to discuss human rights issues and when we raise issues of religion I think we have to do so with sensitivity and understanding... sensitivity... I hope that the speaker will be mindful of this when he takes the floor next time."
I wonder what Mr Phuangketkeow would make of this ghastly report from India, about a Pakistani pater familias in the Punjab who has murdered his six daughters in front of their mother. Two of the girls, the father suspected, had been associating with college boys from the neighbourhood, and their four sisters had known about it.
"At Facebook, one of the toughest questions we face is how to handle the sharing of controversial ideas and opinions on the site," an official has explained.
"Recently, there has been a focus on groups created to deny the occurrence of the Holocaust. We find these groups to be repugnant and ignorant, just as we object to some of the other ideas expressed on Facebook.
We have spent considerable time internally discussing the issues of Holocaust denial and have come to the conclusion that the mere statement of denying the Holocaust is not a violation of our terms.
We think that there is a meaningful difference between advocating violence against a group of people and expressing an opinion on a policy, set of beliefs, or historical event — even if that opinion is factually wrong, or is outrageous or offensive to most people. However, if the members of the Holocaust denial groups consistently post hateful or threatening comments, we will take the groups down, and we have done so on many occasions.
Many of us at Facebook have direct personal connection to the Holocaust, through parents who were forced to flee Europe or relatives who could not escape. We believe in Facebook’s mission that giving people tools to make the world more open is a better way to combat ignorance or deception than censorship, though we recognize that others may disagree."
The Reginald Theatre at Sydney’s Seymour Centre is to be transformed next month into a German cabaret for Der Gelbe Stern – “The Yellow Star," a one-woman show performed by its co-writer Alexis Fishman.
But, thanks to the fanatical BDS-mongers among extreme lefties and their unlikely bedfellows, that is not the only reminder of 1933 Berlin to be found in, and of course beyond, Australia's most iconic city.
Prominent Labor Member of the House of Representatives and pro-Israel activist Michael Danby, who represents Melbourne Ports, has their measure:
A few months ago, given the outrage over Greens-led inner Sydney Marrickville Council's repellent BDS antics, Greens Party leader Bob Brown distanced himself from their stance.
But old habits die hard, and Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne, unrepentant, was soon photographed proudly displaying an encouraging letter of endorsement from no less a personage than that old (many would not hesitate to add "antisemitic") rogue Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Similarly, New South Wales Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, a hard-leftist from way back, remains defiantly attached to the BDS cause.
A few days ago Senator Rhiannon spoke at an anti-Israel event in Sydney.
According to an eyewitness she said of the BDS resolution meeting adopted by the NSW Greens State Delegates Council on 8 December 2010:
"It was put forward by the leadership of the Newtown Group and adopted unanimously. It was a well attended meeting… The State Delegates Council is the key decision-making body of the NSW Greens…The proposal, as required under our rules, had been sitting on our notice paper…for a month so that people could consider it. There were about 60 people in the meeting, 29 local groups represented, 9 groups represented as observers, all our State parliamentary MP’s and passed unanimously...
At the national level the Greens have adopted a boycott on military trade and links with Israel. One of the pieces of misinformation was that the NSW Greens were going against the national policy. As a Greens MP I don’t do that...
So the boycott [resolution adopted by the NSW Greens in December 2010] was not in contravention of our [the Greens] national policy and actually we do have a position calling on the Australian government to boycott any military arrangements with Israel.
There is a diversity of opinion only about how we take forward the Greens position."
And despite the fact that the Greens have never attempted to boycott China, for example, just Israel, she declared:
"The other thing that we saw coming from the tactics that played out in this period is this attempt to suggest that we, the Greens, wouldn’t take on other countries, that we were only taking on Israel. Now that is so untrue. We have a very fine track record. I can say that I would hope and would like it if we could be more active if we had more members. But I am proud of our track record on Tibet, on Burma, on Indonesian issues, on East Timor, on West Papua, on peace in the Pacific, on Sudan. it’s a really fine record. But again if you read the News Limited papers and many of the other media commentators, you would think that the only country in the world that we paid attention to was Israel.
“So I am very proud that the Greens adopted our position on the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions."
As another Aussie commentator, Andrew Landeryou, writes:
"The Greens party’s muddle of half-truths, deceptions and bigotry in their divisive policy on the Middle East that has a scandalous double-standard where every failing of Israel democracy is exaggerated and every disgrace of its misogynist, militaristic and maniacal enemies is minimised must be resolved.
As the UK Zionist Federation observes, it would be worth refuting some of these, in complainants' own words. As mentioned in the second of my two posts cited above, blogger Edgar Davidson contacted the company as soon as he became aware of its mischief, and his example is worth following.
For instance, Lush claims: “Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its 1.5 million inhabitants to levels of poverty more commonly associated with sub-Saharan Africa – a humanitarian disaster with no end in sight.”
The Lush website notes:“A third generation of Palestinian children is now being brought up in refugee camps inside and outside Palestine”.
Surely it should be pointed out to the company that the Arab nations have done nothing to help these people, who they have cynically used as pawns for the past 60-odd years. Perhaps Lush could direct its indignation at the Arab governments, and suggest to them that they help the children whose plight they so unfairly lay at Israel's door. Whereas Israel successfully integrated the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees made homeless by Arab states, the far richer Arab regimes made no effort to integrate the Arabs who left Palestine.
And then, trotted out on the Lush website is the familiar trope “All the above actions are illegal under International Law”
They should be informed that (unlike Hamas, which has never permitted the Red Cross access to Gilad Shalit and which terrorises its own people) Israel adheres fully to the tenets of the Geneva Convention.
Perhaps Lush can be asked why it fails to demand that Hamas cease its persecution of gays, its increasing repression of women, and its habit of firing Qassams at civilian targets inside Israel. Needless to say, Lush is unconcerned with the fact that the Hamas Charter that calls for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews wherever they live.
Lush should also be informed that far from being a counterpart to Apartheid South Africa, as insisted by the One World campaign that Lush promotes, Israel’s minorities enjoy more rights than do the mass of citizens elsewhere in the region who are clamouring for democracy, the form of government that has prevailed in Israel since its foundation in 1948. Israel, Lush should be informed, was the first country in the Middle East in which Arab women were able to vote; there are Arab members of the Knesset; an Arab sits on the Israeli Supreme Court, and if they wish Arab citizens of Israel can serve in the IDF.
Moreover, there is complete freedom of worship in Israel, and the Bahai, so terribly maltreated in Iran where the Bahai faith began, have their world headquarters in Haifa.
How to Contact Lush:
Chief Executive and Founder:
18-20 Market Street
Dorset BH15 1NF
Between 20 June and 8 July this year, under the sponsorship of the Israel Project, the American pollster Stanley Greenberg in partnership with the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion carried out a poll of 1,010 adult Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in an ‘intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic’.
As the UK-based research organisation Just Journalism notes, there was mixed support among respondents for a two-state solution:
"Only 15 per cent of Palestinians polled viewed a ‘[t]wo state solution with independent Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel as a Jewish state’ positively, with 73 per cent disapproving of the idea as a solution to the conflict. When asked if they would accept a ‘two-state solution’ but without mentioning Israel’s Jewish character, 52 per cent were in favour and 44 per cent opposed.
In contrast to this, 51 per cent expressed support for a ‘one-state solution’ and only 27 per cent were against the idea.
52 per cent of respondents agreed that the establishment of two states should only be viewed as a first stage, after which it should ‘move to it all being one Palestinian state.’ Only 25 per cent agreed, to varying degrees, that ‘a two-state solution that keeps two states living side by side’ was preferable. [My emphasis]
Only seven per cent of Palestinians polled believed that ‘Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people’. 84 per cent instead agreed with the statement, ‘Over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian state.’
On the topic of Jerusalem, only three per cent agreed it should be split between Israel and any future Palestinian state, whereas 92 per cent answered that it should serve only as the capital of Palestine."
Among other findings, as outlined by Just Journalism, is the following:
"The study highlights the extent to which extremism is deemed acceptable within some aspects of Palestinian society.
On the targeting of Israeli civilians and the glorification of attacks on civilians, more than a quarter, 29 per cent, of those asked fully supported the recent Itamar killings, in which 5 members of the Fogel family were murdered in their sleep, including an 11 year-old, a 4 year-old and a three month-old baby. Only 42 per cent described the attack as ‘wrong.’
61 per cent felt it would be right to ‘Nam[e] streets after Palestinian suicide bombers [...] who killed civilians in Israel.’ 27 per cent were opposed to this. Media elision of the culture of incitement found within the Palestinian territories was reported by Just Journalism earlier this year.
The figures concerning support for inciting hatred towards Jews by indoctrinating children were particularly worrying. 53 per cent felt that ‘Teaching songs and chants in Palestinian schools that talk about hating the Jews’ was legitimate, whilst only 34 per cent expressed opposition to the idea."
Here's something to listen to while doing the ironing. In these videos (sound only, since they're from a radio programme in the United States) host Anton Batey and pro-Israel lawyer and journalist Paul Kujawsky politely go head to head:
One green pepper. That's what Pippa Bartolotti, deputy leader of the Green Party in Wales, was served for breakfast in an Israeli prison cell recently, and it seems to be a phrase that applies to the lady herself.
Like many other Greens (especially of the female variety, it would seem), Ms Bartolotti is a devotee of the Palestinan cause.
She once told Press TV:
“It’s only the people that are going to make a difference because the governments are pathetically weak. They’re in the pockets of Big Money and Big Money supports Israel”.
Ms Bartolotti participated in the "Viva Palestina" convoy that went to Gaza in 2010, and blogged about her experiences.
She was in the "Flytilla" that arrived at Tel Aviv Airport this month, where videos were taken, one showing Ms Bartolotti banging on the doors of the customs hall with her small suitcase.
On her blog she wrote:
"Netanyahu had whipped up a media storm calling us hooligans and provocateurs. The man is mad of course...."
Detained by the Israeli authorities for several days, Ms Bartolotti noted on her blog:
"We try to formulate numbers. The women, as far as we can gather are: 30 French, 2 American, 9 Belgian, 1 Austrian, 8 British, 2 German, 1 Irish. We think there may be up to 40 men, but as we never see them, it is not easy to estimate. There is a rumour that some men have been taken to Be'er Sheba in the Negev. This is the 'army' which Netanyahu thinks is an existential threat to his petty kingdom."
Britain's Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, paid her a visit.
"The Ambassador is young, I thought of Craig Murray, the youngest British Ambassador of his time, framed, banished and defamed for highlighting to Jack extraordinary rendition Straw that the British Government was implicit in torture in Uzbekistan, Except this was no Craig Murray I could see. This was a man of obvious Jewish extraction who had turned up in Givon and was clearly thinking we were a thorn in his otherwise quiet life and was probably there to announce that due to his great efforts, we were going."
In a subsequent blogpost she reflected on a few points concerning Israel, which she dubs "an apartheid state".
One question really seems to bother her, for in the post she poses it twice:
"The British Consul said that Israel was a Sovereign State, and as such could remove any people from its land at any time. Yet Israel has no fixed borders, so how can it be a sovereign state? ...
That - in Arabic - was what an associate of the defendants yelled from the public gallery during their trial for gang-rape in Sydney.
The victim, Anna C., was a highly intelligent 18-year-old on her way by train to a job interview. As she sat reading The Great Gatsby, dressed in her best suit, she was approached by number of youths, Australian-born Muslims of Lebanese parentage, who roamed Sydney in seearch of "Aussie sluts" - their term for non-Muslim teenage girls like Anna, whom they regarded as legitimate sexual prey.
A Sydney newspaper describes what ensued:
'Ms C was ... was raped 25 times by as many as 14 men, including the notorious Skaf brothers Bilal, then 18 and Mohammed, 17 ...
They stole her mobile phone and lured her off the train, raped her in a toilet block and then drove her to a secluded park in Sydney’s southwestern suburbs.
There she was “passed from group to group to be abused, insulted and defiled,” as Justice Michael Finnane described it....
Carloads of youths were summoned by mobile phone: “There’s a slut at Bankstown Trotting Club”.
During her six-hour ordeal, they called her an “Aussie pig”, asked if she liked “Leb c**k” and boasted: “I’m going to f*** you Leb style.”
She suffered every indignity, had a gun held to her head and, at the end, was hosed down like an animal....
Ringleader Bilal Skaf was sentenced to 55 years jail, later reduced to 28 years.
It was the harshest sentence ever handed out for rape, reflecting the racist nature of the hate-crimes and Ms C’s extraordinary courage and credibility as a witness.'
The article revived memories for me of how the identity of the rapists was distorted, in order that the public should not know their background, and the rightwing female journalist who broke ranks to dwell on the truth received condemnation from leftists. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/muslim.htm
In Britain, in Scandinavia, and for all I know in other parts of Europe, certain Islamic elements have been known similarly to prey sexually on young non-Muslim women, and many leftists seem similarly reluctant to confront the problem.
Perhaps nowhere is this reluctance so marked as in tragic Norway:
Because of its commitment to an unfettered multiculturalism based on the warped insistence that all cultures are created equal, are all equally valid, one with another, and deserve equal tolerance by state and society, Norway under its leftist rulers has, bizarrely, turned a blind eye to misogynistic crimes and practices.
Professor Phyllis Chesler, who is an expert in this area, has written an excellent article in the course of which she notes:
"The author strongly condemns the murder, but challenges the grieving Norwegian government and intelligentsia to do something effective about their own failed multi-cultural policies.
.... Will Breivik's dastardly, dreadful action lead to policies which will finally begin to deal with issues such as female genital mutilation, polygamy, forced marriage, and honor killings on Norwegian soil?....
.... the steady penetration of Islamic gender and religious apartheid continues apace in the West, especially in Europe, including in Norway.
The left-leaning multi-culturalists and "progressives" in Norway have refused to help endangered Muslim girls and women in their midst; the Norwegian government has refused to limit forced marriages to illiterate home country cousins, nor have they effectively intervened in matters of domestic violence when the perpetrator was Muslim as was his victims.
The fearless Hege Storhaug, has written an excellent book, now (2011) in English, on this very subject. It is titled "But The Greatest of These is Freedom. The Consequences of Immigration in Europe." Together with Rita Karlsson, Storhaug runs Human Rights Service an online website and think tank.
The kinds of leftists and multi-culturalists whose children Breivik fiendishly chose to massacre, are the kinds of leftists who persuaded the Norwegian government to stop funding this excellent website. They were accused of being…"Islamophobic." Storhaug and Karlsson are feminists, the sane kind. They want to extend the rights of freedom to every citizen of Europe and Norway but their own politically correct government and intelligentsia tried to defeat them by de-funding their efforts.
Storhaug paints a bleak but accurate picture....
Allow me to repeat myself: I condemn the mass murder of innocent and unarmed civilians no matter what the cause.
But I hereby challenge the grieving Norwegian government and intelligentsia to do something effective about their own failed multi-cultural policies and not use the tragic event as yet another opportunity to silence legitimate discourse and dissent."
Professor Chesler cites authoritative studies that demonstrate the extent of this problem in Norway.
Even allowing for the sanctimonious self-congratulatory puffery that all too often characterises the BBC, this statement takes the cake.
For Al Beeb's "values and tradecraft" as they bear upon the Arab-Israeli conflict have never been held "openly to account," since despite many requests the Corporation has fought tooth and nail, even in the highest court in the land and with the expenditure of enormous amounts of money (all money derived from that compulsory anachronistic burden on British television owners called the "licence fee" which finances it) to prevent the BBC-commissioned, licence-payer funded report by employee Malcolm Balen that investigated Al Beeb's coverage reaching the public gaze.
But there's been more evidence in recent days of the sheer hypocrisy that characterises the BBC.
In its coverage of the atrocitities in Norway it has not hesitated to employ the T-word that it is at such pains always to avoid when Arab terrorists carry out atrocities against Israelis.
Indeed, the BBC has no problem with using the T-word in relation to attacks on British soil.
Yet whenever terrorists strike at Israel they are always defined as "militants".
It's all part and parcel of the BBC mindset that conceals the true nature of Hamas and of the Muslim Brotherhood from readers, viewers, and listeners.
Do we really need to see the internal Balen Report to know its findings, or learn why Al Beeb is so hell-bent on refusing to release it for public scrutiny?
I don't think so. Do you?
Still, the accountability that Al Beeb demands of News Corp and others should certainly apply to Al Beeb itself.
Moral pressure should be kept up, Lord Patten and the BBC Trust (which has taken to touting for submissions from the public since Patten became chairman) should be bombarded with requests, until the odious Corporation is shamed into letting us see what Malcom Balen had to say about its reportage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
On that inestimable website Biased BBC, one of the regular bloggers, David Vance, draws attention to the fervour with which Al Beeb has seized on the fact that the perpetrator of the horrific atrocities in Norway yesterday is not an Islamist but a "tall blond man".
Although the motives for the outrage that has left close to 100 people dead, most of them teenagers attending a summer camp run by the ruling socialist party, are not clear, Al Beeb has in evangelical style been saturating us with the information that the man arrested holds extreme rightwing "anti-Muslim" views and seems to be a "fundamentalist Christian". http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2011/07/oslo.html
It seems that on Thursday, Norway's Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Store, visited the Labour Youth League summer camp on the island of Utoya, the scene of most of Friday's tragic carnage, and was met with demands that Norway boycott Israel and recognise a Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.
Eskil Pedersen, leader of the Labour Youth League (who, incidentally, has appeared on television today telling a press conference of the terrible events of yesterday) explained that members of his organisation
"want a unilateral economic embargo of Israel from the Norwegian side.
Labour Youth will have a more activist Middle East policy and we have to recognize Palestine. ... [N]ow we have to get the peace process into a new track, said Pedersen.
The foreign minister admitted that the situation is untenable, but believes that the boycott is the wrong tool..."
Although baulking at a boycott, the Foreign Minister declared to cheers:
"The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now".
Ironic, then, that, during an interview in Oslo today, Jonas Gahr Store - vowing that Friday's atrocity will not undermine Norwegians' commitment to their "open society" - agreed with a suggestion from Al Beeb reporter Jon Sopel that there must be "physical barriers to protect democracy" as well as "symbolic barriers".
I don't pretend to know what Sopel had in mind by this phrase, but Israel's security barrier - the "Wall" excoriated by Norway's Foreign Minister, and commented on adversely by Al Beeb itself - immediaately sprang to mind.
But then, as websites such as Tundra Tabloids and the Vlad Tepes blog demonstrate, Norway is a country increasingly toxic to Israel and to Jews, and indeed is beset by social problems - including a series of sexual assaults on young women - emanating from disaffected and unassimilated immigrant sources.
I don't normally post about militant Islam, unless there's an angle specifically to do with Jews and/or Israel, but this quotation from an extremist organisation which has launched a campaign for the so-called Islamic Emirates Project, in which neighbourhoods in twelve British cities would be turned into Sharia-only zones where British jurisprudence will not operate, made me splutter into my cornflakes:
'In the last 50 years, the United Kingdom has transformed beyond recognition. What was once a predominantly Christian country has now been overwhelmed by a rising Muslim population, which seeks to preserve its Islamic identity, and protect itself from the satanic values of the tyrannical British government.
There are now over 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom – which is a staggering 5% of the population – but in truth, it is more than just numbers, indeed the entire infrastructure of Britain is changing; Mosques, Islamic Schools, Shari'ah Courts and Muslim owned businesses, have now become an integral part of the British landscape.
In light of this glaring fact, Muslims Against Crusades have decided to launch "The Islamic Emirates Project," that will see high profile campaigns launch in Muslim enclaves all over Britain, with the objective to gradually transform Muslim communities into Islamic Emirates operating under Shari'ah law.
With several Islamic emirates already well established across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, we see this as a radical, but very realistic step in the heart of Western Europe, that will inshaa'allah (God willing), pave the way for the worldwide domination of Islam.'
If you have any old Marks and Spencer headscarves in the bottom of the chest of drawers, girls, don't throw 'em out ...
The second (middle) speaker in this video, showing "Welcome To Palestine" Flytilla participants at a press conference in Jerusalem on 18 July, is Vivienne Porzsolt, from Sydney's so-called Jews Against The Occupation.
Meanwhile, chum Sylvia Hale, using the self-same analogy "Keystone Cops," gave an interview that's reproduced on a "Welcome to Palestine" website.
Concluded the former Greens NSW parliamentarian:
"I'm delighted that we took on this challenge. From the larger perspective, we've established a precedent, so that anyone may now go to Israel and then request entry to the West Bank. I anticipate possibly thousands of people availing themselves of the opportunity and wonder just how the Israeli authorities will deal with that! I'm delighted, Vivienne and I could not have asked for a more successful outcome. We now see how unjust Israel is and it's not just a blockade on Gaza but a blockade of all Palestine." http://welcometopalestinenews.blogspot.com/2011/07/interview-with-ms-sylvia-hale.html
The other day, I blogged about Rupert Murdoch's support for Israel, and pointed out that Murdoch appears to be persecuted by leftist elements who are using the certainly outrageous phone-hacking scandal as an excuse for an assault à outrance on Murdoch's media empire (with the odious, hypocritical, repulsively monopolistic BBC in the vanguard of the charge). http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/07/rupert-murdoch-friend-of-israel.html
As one pundit remarked on television a couple of days ago, Murdoch employs twice as many people as does the entire Royal Navy – can Murdoch be expected to know them all or what they are up to? The answer, of course, is obvious.
Isi Leibler, the internationally known Jewish leader who for decades headed the Australian Jewish community and now lives in Israel, where he writes a much-respected regular column for the Jerusalem Post, has written a powerful piece in defence of the embattled Rupert Murdoch that comes via the antipodean J-Wire service. Murdoch is, of course, Australian-born, and Leibler writes from personal knowledge. His article is entitled "Rupert Murdoch – A Genuine Friend of Israel".
This is what he writes (I've put the parts relevant to Israel in bold type):
'For Israel, a major erosion of the Murdoch media would have highly adverse repercussions….
Rupert Murdoch, the man who single-handedly created the most powerful media conglomerate in the world, is currently experiencing a nightmare. Not only is his empire under siege but his competitors are literally baying for his blood, inciting the public and indulging in an unprecedented campaign to demonize him. They are also denying the presumption of innocence before being tried. Moreover, there is enormous hypocrisy from other newspapers who have been engaged in similar transgressions being at the forefront of calling for the dismantling of Murdoch’s media holdings.
That being said, the behaviour of the senior management and journalists employed by News of the World was utterly unconscionable and represents a disgrace to all canons of journalism. Those involved deserve to be punished with the utmost severity.
Despite the proliferating media feeding frenzy, which journalist Melanie Phillips describes as a Robespierrian moment comparable to the death of Princess Diana, there is, as of now, no proof that Murdoch was even aware of the events taking place. True, even in a major conglomerate like the Murdoch media conglomerate, lapses of this nature should have been prevented and even if Murdoch is personally exonerated, it will impact adversely on him and his senior management. However, he has expressed contrition, apologized for what took place and, in fact, closed down the newspaper involved – a weekly tabloid, with the largest circulation in the U.K.
While the News of the World was unquestionably a scurrilous broadsheet, one must not overlook that the Murdoch media empire also includes some of the finest daily newspapers in the world such as the Wall Street Journal, the London Times and The Australian.
The hysteria and hatred directed against Murdoch personally is transparent, primarily motivated by politics. He is repeatedly being accused of distorting the news. Yet, when it comes to media prejudice, it is noteworthy that the BBC, by far the largest and most powerful media outlet in the world, renowned for its bias and selective reporting, has never been subject to anything remotely compared to the witch hunt facing Murdoch. Yet the BBC is at the forefront of the campaign personally attacking him.
Over the years, Murdoch has emerged as a bastion against post modernism. In a world dominated by moral equivalency, he has promoted the values of Western civilization. One could even argue that it is primarily due to him that the delusional far left failed to take virtual control of the British media.
For Israel, a major erosion of the Murdoch media would have highly adverse repercussions. In an era in which the liberal global media has increasingly turned against Israel, most of the Murdoch outlets maintain a fair and evenhanded approach.
Murdoch, whom I met personally on a number of occasions, is himself unquestionably a genuine friend of Israel. In fact, he has frequently been falsely described as Jewish by hostile Muslims and other extremists.
While always sympathetic to Israel as the plucky underdog, the turning point in his relationship was 1982, when Ariel Sharon hosted him with a group of editors on a helicopter tour where he witnessed “the vulnerability of the country“ in terms of defensible borders.
His friendship towards Israel was publicly displayed when he was honored in 2009 by the American Jewish Committee and more recently in 2010 by the ADL. At the ADL meeting he said:
“In the West, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States. I say to you: maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel… In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace… who reject freedom… and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield”.
If Murdoch is found to have been aware of the transgressions, his reputation will be destroyed and he will face major punitive sanctions. But as of now, while his enemies continue baying for his blood, most Israelis will be hoping that despite the criminal nature of the News of the World scandal, Rupert Murdoch and his senior management will be exonerated of direct malfeasance and his media holdings will remain substantially intact.'
As I explained last November, when it sat in London, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine is billed as "an International People’s Tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East."
The first Russell Tribunal was convened in 1966 during the Vietnam War by the distinguished leftwing Nobel Laureate, anti-nuclear campaigner, mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), whose phrase “May this tribunal prevent the crime of silence” has become the watchword of subsequent tribunals.
On its website we're told:
"The Russell Tribunal has no legal status but acts as a court of the people, a Tribunal of conscience, faced with injustices and violations of international law, that are not dealt with by existing international jurisdictions, or that are recognised but continue with complete impunity due to the lack of political will of the international community. Today, and in the same spirit, the Bertrand Russell Foundation supports the setting up of a Russell Tribunal to examine the violations of international law, of which the Palestinians are victims, and that prevent the Palestinian People from exercising its rights to a sovereign State.
This Tribunal has been named the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. It will reaffirm the supremacy of international law as the basis for a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. It will identify all the failings in the implementation of this right and will condemn all the parties responsible for these failings, in full view of international public opinion.
It will thus examine the various responsibilities that lead to the continued occupation of the Palestinian Territories by Israel and the non-application of the United Nations resolutions, from Resolution 181 of the 29th of November 1947, on the partition of Palestine, to Resolution ES-10/15 of the 20th of July 2004, that acknowledges the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – of the 9th of July 2004 – on the construction of the Wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and requests all the UN Member States to acquit themselves of their legal obligations as defined by the ICJ Opinion. The responsibilities of Israel and also of other states, particularly the United States and the Member States of the European Union, the Arab States and the international organisations concerned (United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League) will be scrutinised.
The Tribunal also aims, through this approach, to contribute to the mobilisation and the involvement of civil society in all the states concerned on the question of Palestine.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine is composed of eminent people from all states, including Israel, which will be one of the states investigated. The legitimacy of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine does not come from a government or any political party but from the prestige, professional interests and commitment to fundamental rights of the Members that constitute this Tribunal."http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/
This coming November, this kangaroo court will convene in Cape Town, opened by that inveterate eenemy of Israel Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
It's the third session of the tribunal, and will sit "to determine [whether] the treatment of Palestinian people by Israel meets criteria of the UN convention against the crime of apartheid".
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, that well-known supporter of human rights (you may recall that she's on record as having endorsed the brutal practice of "necklacing" and was sentenced to six years' impisonment, later reduced to a fine, for her alleged involvement in an unsavoury crime) as a star witness.
She , according to a newspaper report, "is expected to testify about the tools the apartheid government used against her, including bannings, detentions and house arrest."
The report continues:
'Two veteran Israeli human rights lawyers, Michael Sfard and Leah Tsemel, will also testify, along with South African international law professor John Dugard, who was until recently the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine.
Kasrils joins Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire, Spanish Supreme Court Judge Jose Antonio Pallin and globally acclaimed author Alice Walker [of recent flotilla infamy] on the jury.
Kasrils said that the ANC government must follow Cosatu's lead and take "stronger measures" against Israel.
"We've applauded governments in Latin America and one in Africa. Those were the governments that actually decided to sever ties with Israel," said Kasrils.'
Last Autumn, to the dismay and disgust of the Union of Jewish Students in Belgium (UEJB), as well as of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), the Free University of Brussels showed a film featuring an incorrigible antisemite of African origin, French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'bala, an admirer of Jean-Marie Le Pen and of Ahmadinejad.
In the film he described Jews as "the biggest swindlers on the planet" and declared "Death will be more comfortable than surrender to these dogs."
The film, 90 minutes in length, was shown during a discussion, open to the public, on freedom of expression focusing on Dieudonne. Only one panellist, a history professor, spoke out against Dieudonne.
Viviane Teitelbaum, a Brussels legislator present, afterwards condemned the event as glorifying the French antisemite's bigotry and racism.
In a joint statement the UEJB and the EUJS denounced the "partiality" of the university's vice-rector, who moderated proceedings, expressed their shock at the "tense atmosphere of intimidation with regard to the Jews and the State of Israel which characterised the interventions of a large part of the public," and urged the university to pay heed to "the alarming deterioration of the climate on our campus and to fight against the consequences of the importation of the Israeli-Arab conflict".
Other incidents on campus, naturally also denounced by the UEJB, have included the staging of an Israeli military checkpoint there, a Nazi-style student feast, and the publication of an article in a university magazine that bore antisemitic stereotypes and assertions reminiscent of that despicable judeophobic forgery The Protocols of Elders of Zion.
Despite all this, in an interview published last month by the Belgian weekly Le Vif-L’Express, the university's rector denied that his university has become antisemitic, and alleged a "smear campaign"against it.
Feeling that the Free University of Brussels has become "the university of free antisemitism" and noting that many worried Jewish parents now prefer their children to study at the local Catholic university, an honorary professor at the former, internationally renowned neurosurgeon Jacques Brochi, a Jew who is also a Liberal member of the Belgian Senate, has resigned from the board of the university foundation that collects funds for research:
"I deeply deplored the absence of a strong and appropriate reaction from the university authorities to a succession of antisemitic incidents.
I don’t feel at home anymore at ULB."
Of the situation on campus, he says:
"It is comparable to what is happening in other universities in Europe and elsewhere with the academic boycott of Israel campaigns where anti-Zionism takes the form of antisemitism.
But this is no reason to stay without reaction."
Last week, in the Belgian Senate, Brotchi and two other members of his party abstained in the vote on a Socialist-initiated resolution calling on the Belgian government to recognise a Palestinian state:
"We abstained because the resolution doesn't condemn the political objective of Hamas which is to destroy the state of Israel."
That frequent commentator on Middle East politics, David Singer, a Sydney lawyer and founder member of the International Analysts Network, has written another of his perspicacious articles. Coming as usual via the antipodean J-Wire service, it's entitled "Palestine: Quartet Misses The Beat".
Writes David Singer:
'The utter futility inherent in pursuing the two-state solution – the creation of a 22nd Arab State between Israel and Jordan – was brought home this week when the most powerful negotiating team ever assembled in history – the Quartet – was unable to come up with a jointly acceptable statement to persuade Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume direct negotiations.
The Quartet comprises America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.
The two day meeting of the Quartet in Washington was attended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Quartet special envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair.
The player out of tune was apparently Sergey Lavrov.
He reportedly prevented the Quartet from issuing a demand that the PA acknowledge Israel as the Jewish State as the basis for negotiations in exchange for Israel’s acceptance of the 1949 Armistice lines.
It is this kind of pussyfooting around that encourages the PA to maintain its rejectionist stance.
Israel is the Jewish State referred to in the United Nations1947 Partition Plan which provided:
“Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below.”
The Soviet Union voted in favor of this resolution. Russia has already seen more than one million Russian Jews or of Jewish origin emigrate from Russia to Israel in the 1980s and 1990s.
Why Mr Lavrov should be reluctant to acknowledge Israel as the Jewish State in these circumstances seems very curious indeed.
Certainly the PA has railed against making any such concession. This has been one of the major stumbling blocks to resolving the conflict that firstly the Oslo Accords and then the Quartet-sponsored Reagan Roadmap were designed to end.
PA resistance to acknowledge the existence of a Jewish State is writ large in the Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization which contains the following racist and Jew-hating provisions:
“Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong. “ (Article 20)
“Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity, and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-à-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.” (Article 22)
It really is time the Quartet took a stance and told the unelected and unconstitutional PA President – Mahmoud Abbas – who also is Chairman of the PLO and head of its largest faction – Fatah – that maintaining these provisions in the PLO Charter pose insurmountable obstacles to peace.
The Quartet had the opportunity to do this in Washington this week and was simply not up to the task.
Tony Blair had explained what the Quartet hoped to achieve when he stated on 26 June:
“I actually think this is a moment where we need to be quite bold, take the initiative and try and set out a framework for revitalising the negotiation. And if you did that and it succeeded, by the way, you completely transform the situation.”
“What we’re working is to see whether it’s possible to get a framework of principles that could guide a negotiation. Because the problem at the moment is that the Palestinians particularly don’t want to go back into a negotiation with an Israeli government they frankly don’t really trust, unless they are assured that the negotiation is going to be steered in a way that produces something. So, the question is, and this is the relevance of President’s Obama’s speech and the various Quartet statements, the question is can we, as a – as a quartet, as an international community get an agreed situation as to – as to what’s the framework within which you then have a negotiation.”
Any such boldness and initiative disappeared down the drain this week.
Israel has already made it perfectly clear it was ready to sit down and negotiate with the PA without preconditions. The PA refuses to do so. That is its perfect right – but it must be made aware there is a price to pay.
The quickest way to get both parties to negotiate is to let the PA know in no uncertain terms that the failure to negotiate unconditionally and immediately will result in the Quartet walking away and leaving the parties to their own devices.
Seven years of failed diplomacy by the Quartet has to come to an end at some time.
The Roadmap is negotiations-based. By failing to get Israel and the PA to resume those negotiations – the two-state solution, Oslo, the Roadmap and the Quartet will continue to founder to their inevitable denouement and irrelevance should the PA unilaterally approach the UN in September.
Only firm and decisive action by the Quartet can have any chance of stopping this happening.
Given its poor performance this week the Quartet has not done its prestige or influence any good. It has only confirmed itself as being out of tune and out of time.'