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 19 February 2012

The Iranian Nuclear Menace: Al Beeb Calls In The Camel Corps

Alas!  It's so typical of the BBC that as soon as Foreign Secretary William Hague warns that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to a Cold War in the Middle East even worse than the one which existed between the USSR and the Western powers, it calls in the nay-sayers to undermine the argument.

True, an alternate viewpoint provides the balanced reportage that Al Beeb is obligated by its Charter to provide yet conspicuously lacks,  especially regarding the Middle East.   But to quote not one but two pundits (in addition to politicians) who contradict Hague weights the scales well away from equilibrium and smacks of deliberate propagandising.

Indeed, Al Beeb has turned for comment to a seemingly archetypal FCO Arabist, former Ambassador to Iran Sir Richard Dalton, who retired from the Diplomatic Service in 2006 and became an associate of Chatham House, specialising in the Middle East and North Africa.

From 1993-97 he was Britain's consul-general in Jerusalem.  In 1994 the then mayor of that city, Ehud Olmert, slammed as "apartheid" his plans, reflecting British policy, to hold separate Jewish and Arab functions in celebration of the Queen's birthday.  Mr Dalton, as he was at the time, was quoted in The Times as saying: "The real problem is the use of Israeli power in Jerusalem." (Jewish Chronicle, 17 July 1994)

Following three years as Britain's ambassador to Libya, Sir Richard became ambassador to Iran, which had refused to accept in that post fluent Farsi-speaker and Iran-expert David Reddaway on the erroneous assumption that he was a Jew (with links to MI6 for good measure).

In November 2009 Sir Richard appeared in Peter Oborne's notorious Dispatches programme on British TV Channel 4, "Inside Britain's Israel Lobby".

Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland – a frequent critic of Israeli policy who hardly merits the term rabid Zionist – noted in the Jewish Chronicle (27 November 2009) that Dalton was
'one of the star turns on this month's Dispatches probe into the pro-Israel lobby.  If that programme played with a few of the most time-honoured tropes – a shadowy group of rich Jews pulling the strings of powerless politicians – than Dalton helpfully played on a few more.'
Freedland quoted Dalton as follows:
"What's unique about the pro-Israel lobbies is that they have good access to politicians, often operate behind the scenes and have primary regard – even though they may come from Britain – not for the interests of the British people but for a mixture of what they see as British interests and the interests of another country."  [My emphasis]
Commented Freedland sarcastically:
'Powerful, secretive, unpatriotic, and with allegiance to a foreign power – all in a single sentence!  Give that man a prize for sheer economy of language.'
Sir Richard, who spoke in the recent debate at the Cambridge Union in support of the motion "This House Would Rather Have A Nuclear Iran Than War", is quoted on the Al Beeb website thus:
"There are many signs, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, that some research and development relevant to the development of nuclear weapons may still be going on.
But it is wrong to say that Iran is rushing towards having a nuclear weapon.
Indeed, the analysis published to the United States Congress by the top intelligence assessors there indicates that Iran has not taken a decision to have a nuclear weapon."
And despite signs that the regime of the mullahs, and Ahmadinejad himself, believes that strife and mayhem is a necessary prelude to the coming of the Twelfth Imam, young Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute has this phlegmatic message, which Al Beeb includes near the beginning of the same report:
"If we could live with nuclear weapons in the hands of totalitarian, genocidal states like Stalin's Russia or Mao's China, Iran in contrast – whatever its repulsive internal policies and adventurism abroad – is far more rational."

Ah, happy daze!


  1. you may want to read/comment on 'Surplus Jews' article:

  2. Thanks, Herb - will have a look.

  3. Yes not convenient to look at facts when rant will do. Iran is a superpower like the USSR has a an empire and can place thousands of war heads in other countries ? Even the heads of Mossad had said Iran poses no basic threat to Israel.

    It will take decades for Iran to match Israel's 200 plus war nuclear warheads and Israel lives under the nuclear umberella of the US with its thousands of warheads.

    1. Explain this:
      Report: Saudi Arabia to buy nukes if Iran tests A-bomb
      Or are Saudi’s Zionists too?


  4. If Israel has a nuclear deterrent, it is just that - a deterrent. Israel, unlike Iran, is an existential threat to no country, and has made no threats to erase another nation from the face of the earth.

    Freedland is what might be called a critical friend of Israel.

  5. Israel has made no threats to erase a nation from the face of the earth, but merely creating facts on the ground. For sixty years it has been massacaring and displacing the Palestinians a process which is still contnuing in the West Bank. Settler outposts are even moving into areas B which are under Palestinian civil and Israeli military control.

  6. There's never been a separate independent nation known as the Palestinians. Second, the Arabs of the region known as Palestine, who now claim nationhood, have been ill-served by their own leaders, and would have had their own state long since if their leaders had not bloody-mindedly rejected Israel's existence time and time again.

    1. Hello

      There was a Nida Filistani and Palestinian National Council before Israel was created. Palestine was a Class A mandate of Britain. The Nation of Palestine existed as a colony of the Ottomans and latter the British - as the Nation of Ireland did-. The Palestinian independence struggle was suppressed through the betrayal of the British and the military collaboration between the imperial rulers and the ZIonists. Orde Charles Windgate was the architect of the military collaboration. His Special Night Squads which terrorised the Palestinian struggle for independence, had an officer from the Jewish Agncy a second in command. Nations need not be independent to be nations - Ireland, Russia's trans-caucasian nations and East European nations in the Austro-Hungarian empire were not independent but were nations which achieved independence, as would have Palestine without Zionist colonisation.

      Happy to bring out more facts.

    2. Ireland was an independent sovereign entity until the Anglo-Norman barons decided to invade it - Palestine was never that. If the Palestinian Arabs - historically indistinguishable from Syrians - had accepted Partition, as the Jews did, they would have had their own state alongside Israel. I'm not without sympathy for their plight, but they have been ill-served by their own rejectionist leaders, who from 1948-67 tried to wipe out the Jewish State. Blame their own intransidence - or, rather, that of their leaders.

    3. Great nitpicking. The Palestinian arabs are indistiguishable from Syrians so did they liv in Syria or in Palestine. The land without people myth again ?
      And why should they accept prtition of their homeland when the Jewish people owned less than 13 per cent of the land were imported there over their protests and used as armed collaborators by an imperial power and the resolution gave the greater part of their land to the colonisers ?

    4. The Sultan owned most of the land ~77%

      “Mulk” title to land was a rarity

      Land tenure policies in the Near East
      Traditionally the same main types of land tenure existed in Palestine as in other countries in the region: privately owned land (mulk), community owned cropland – mainly musha with no written title – and finally state land. This last category could be uncultivated land (mawat) – used mainly for grazing under customary rights, but also for marginal cultivation with frequent fallow – mainly registered in the twentieth century as state land, or it could be miri land. Again, as elsewhere in the region, much cropland was miri, i.e. ultimately state-owned but privately operated and open to inheritance.
      Warriner (1948), referring to the situation before partition, indicated a persisting tradition of musha land whereby arable land in a village was allotted equally to each inhabitant. Each household operated land in different parts of the village, with periodic reallotments of scattered strips and a high level of fragmentation of holdings. Musha land was not recognized under the Ottoman land laws, or in the subsequent legal systems, but it continues to exist today in much of the West Bank. Fully private land (mulk) is said to be a rarity, and is present mainly in or around urban areas. On the other hand, wakfs, mainly religious endowments, are common and continue to exist more or less undisturbed.

      You should read more


  7. Zuheir Mohsen
    “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.
    For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

    The only town west of the Jordan River with an Arabic derived name is Ramallah founded in the 16th century by Christians from what is now Jordan. The rest are derived from Roman or Hebrew sources.

    So apparently we have an "ancient people" with no leaders, no capital, no currency and no historic towns. Who alternate between claiming to be Philistines or Canaanites but are really just the remnants of Arab invaders from 634AD.


  8. So no counter argument, only slurs


  9. hello Mr fraser

    There were no "Germans" before the unification of Germany on Saxons,Prusians, Bavarians etc. There were stable communities with various names who collectively became Germans. Same with Palestinians, they might have called themselves caananites, Philistines, Jebussites etc but have collectively emerged as the Palestinian nation. And all these people have left traces of their existance - Urushalaim for instance was a Jebussite city invaded by the Hebrews and occupied by the Hebrews.

    Mere weasel words and playing with semantics will fool few people.

    1. Hello There sorry you seem to have deliberately missed the history of nation formations. people emerge into a nation so did the Palestinians. That is what they call themselves if they call themselves maritians, the place can be called Mars. A name for a people with a shared territory, language and history i.e an existance in the place.

      The abuse does not contribute to intelligent debate merely betrays moral and intellectual bankruptcy and a certain lack of confidence in ones ability.

      Incidentally, your lecture on land tenure in Palestine shows the existance of long standing community of people there who call themselves Palestinian.

    2. Here are two proofs.

      The Palestinian national Conference which opposed the Balfour Declaration.
      The Balfour Declaration which assures help in the colonisation of Palestine by the Zionists. Needless to say bot were before the date of you so bravely challeneged me about.

    3. “Here are two proofs.
      The Palestinian national Conference which opposed the Balfour Declaration.
      “The Balfour Declaration which assures help in the colonisation of Palestine by the Zionists. Needless to say bot(sic) were before the date of you so bravely challeneged(sic) me about.””

      From an official PNA website
      When the Arab patriots in Palestine held their second conference in Damascus in 27th February 1920 and came up with decisions which reflect that they are convinced by their unity with the Arab National Movement and that share the same destiny:
      - The people of northern and coastal Syria consider the Southern Syrian (Palestine) an extended part of Syria.

      They referred to themselves as Southern Syrians.

      you FAIL again

      got anything else?


    4. Mr Fraser?

      “A name for a people with a shared territory, language and history i.e an existance in the place.”
      Canaanites, Philistines, and Jebusites share none of these things

      BTW this was the initial British mandate, is that all Palestine to?

      “Incidentally, your lecture on land tenure in Palestine shows the existance of long standing community of people there who call themselves Palestinian.”
      Who didn’t own the land in a freehold manner with alienable rights, nice of you to concede that point.

      No one is disputing there are people referred to as Palestinians as an adjective, Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Christians. The “invention of the Palestinian people” is the idea that they’re exclusively and historically Arab Muslims. Quite the opposite, the area has always been inhabited by Jews and Christians, with occasional Bedouin traders.

      A TOUR OF PALESTINE; THE YEAR IS 1695 by Avi Goldreich
      In the Galilee capital, Nazareth, lived approximately 700 Christians and in Jerusalem approximately 5000 people, mostly Jews and some Christians.
      The interesting part was that Relandi mentioned the Muslims as nomad Bedouins who arrived in the area as construction and agriculture labor reinforcement, seasonal workers.
      In Gaza for example, lived approximately 550 people, fifty percent Jews and the rest mostly Christians. The Jews grew and worked in their flourishing vineyards, olive tree orchards and wheat fields (remember Gush Katif?) and the Christians worked in commerce and transportation of produce and goods. Tiberius and Tzfat were mostly Jewish and except of mentioning fishermen fishing in Lake Kinneret -- the Lake of Galilee -- a traditional Tiberius occupation, there is no mention of their occupations. A town like Um el-Phahem was a village where ten families, approximately fifty people in total, all Christian, lived and there was also a small Maronite church in the village (The Shehadah family).

      It’s never been a self governing state.

      Got anything else?


    5. Palestinians are ARabs, Muslims, Druzze and Jews. The PLO does not deny that, nor do I. The Zionists are not Palestinian nor ar the British imperialists.

    6. No Christians?

      Ah yes the PLO, who only claimed the West Bank in 1988 as being part of the “historic palestinian homeland”

      ’64 No
      The Palestinian National Charter 1964 - June 14
      Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.

      ’88 Yes
      Jordan Renounced Claims to West Bank, 1988
      In July 1988, in response to the accumulated pressures and the months of intifada demonstrations by Palestinians in the West Bank, King Hussein of Jordan ceded to the PLO all Jordanian claims to the territory.

      Media Ignore Palestinian Talk of No Jews Allowed in Palestinian State
      And, although the allegedly moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has a history of being even more direct in declaring that not a single Jew would be allowed to live in a Palestinian state - not even Jews from other countries serving as part of a hypothetical NATO peacekeeping force - a small number of the media outlets that bothered to pay attention to the issue at all have naively allowed Areikat to dubiously backtrack and claim that Jews would indeed be welcome in such a Palestinian state.

      If only those damn facts weren’t against you.


  10. No slurs here mr Fraser. A statement of fact. Mr Fredland criticises a few egregious aspects of Israeli occupation and pleads with it to behave more like a liberal democracy. At the same time he refuses to take a closer look at the occupation.

    You can see slur here only if you consider "zionist" to be a slur!

  11. Or if it's used, as it very often is, as an antisemitic euphemismm huh, Anon.
    And I'm sure much of what Freedland has written about Israel would warm the cockles of your heart, Anon (unless, of course, you don't believe in Israel's right to exist).

  12. Pardon my double m!

  13. Anon (the other one),

    “Palestinian National Council before Israel was created” , huh? You must be kidding me – the Palestinian National council was create by the PLO in the 1960’s; as was the term “Palestinians” to described the Arabs of Palestine; prior to the inception of the PLO the Arabs of Palestine were described as just that, “Arabs”.

    I challenge you to produce one genuine pre-1948 document that describes the Arab of Palestine as “Palestinians” – If anything, the term “Palestinians” used to refer to the Jews of Palestinians those days. The Jerusalem Post was called the “Palestine Post” Bank Leumi Le’Israel, was called “Anglo-Palestina Bank”; The Israeli Pound (later renamed to “Shekel”) was called “Palestinian Pond” etc.

    And here is another beauty; you say that “Same with Palestinians, they might have called themselves caananites (sic), Philistines, Jebussites (sic) etc but have collectively emerged as the Palestinian nation.”; you can’t be serious!

    Arabs, including the Arabs of Palestine, claim that they are descendants of Ishmael who was none of the above – as the son of Abraham he was an Hebrew, as the son of Hagar he was an Egyptian, how do you reconcile that little inconsistency?

    The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of the Arabs of Palestine are descendants of Arabs who migrated into Palestine from neighbouring countries AFTER the start of the Jewish settlement of Palestine (the First Aliya), in search of work and to take advantage of a growing economy. Most of the so-called “Palestinians” have their origin outside Palestine.

    Not only that there is no place in Palestine which ihas an Arabic name, there is also no single Arab surname that is unique to Palestine; the names Arabs use in Palestine are no different to names used right across the Arab world – NOT only that ALL Palestinian names indicates persons with non-Palestinian origin BUT there is not ONE Arabic name or surname that denotes a persons with “Palestinian” (or Philistine, Canaanite and Jebusite for that matter) origin.

    But hey, why let pesky facts to spoil a good sob story, more Kleenex?

    1. That should read palestinian National Conference. Which opposed the balfour declaration for Britain aiding the colonisation of Palestine. Apologies for error in typing.


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