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)

Thursday 31 May 2012

To The International Olympic Committee's Shame, No Minute's Silence For The Murdered Israeli Athletes

I'm impressed by this article, entitled "Stolen Lives, Stolen Minute," by Melbourne lawyer and Jewish communal figure Jack Chrapot, which comes courtesy of the antipodean J-Wire service,  and am taking the liberty of reproducing it in full.

Write Jack Chrapot:

'In less than two months, the Games of the XXX Olympiad will take place in London; a sporting pageant featuring athletes from over 200 nations competing in 26 sports and a total of 39 disciplines. The programme will cover nineteen days and hundreds of hours of competition and yet, the International Olympic Committee cannot find a minute to spare during the Games to honour the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists forty years ago at Munich.

The organisers would no doubt insist that their refusal of such a request on behalf of relatives of the athletes has nothing to do with politics or the fact that Arab and Muslim countries make up more than a quarter of the participating nations or to avoid embarrassment to the Palestinian contingent which is competing at the games under its own flag and whose current president, Mahmoud Abbas, was responsible for the financing of the Munich attack.

IOC spokesman Andrew Mitchell says that "the victims are honored on a regular basis by the IOC and the Olympic movement, for instance, on the occasion of IOC sessions," but such sessions are not public and the victims and their relatives deserve more respect.

As a recent editorial in the Jerusalem Post noted:
“a moment of silence does not seem to be too much to ask, especially considering the brutality of the murders and the fact that the victims were killed not on the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but rather inside the Olympic village as participants in the Games" 
It should be remembered that when Baron Pierre de Coubertin established the modern Olympic movement at the end of the 19th century, his goal was to use the Games to build a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sports. He wanted to create opportunities for sport to be practiced without discrimination.

Regrettably, while the IOC’s insensitive stand in not honouring the slain victims of the Munich massacre runs counter to the ideal of the Olympic spirit, this is nothing new when it comes to the Jewish People and the Olympics.

The Games of the XI Olympiad which were held in Berlin in 1936 were a propaganda triumph for the Nazi regime after an IOC edict that "in principle the German Jews would not be excluded from the Games of the XI Olympiad" went unheeded.

For more than three years after his accession to the Chancellorship, Adolph Hitler waged a relentless war against the Jews. Their stores, businesses and professionals were subjected to a State-sponsored boycott and they were systematically purged from the public service and later from the arts, theatre, media and sports.

Julius Streicher wrote in Der Sturmer: "We need waste no words here. Jews are Jews and there is no place for them in German sports".  One young Jewish sportsman, Fritz Rosenfelder, took his life after he was expelled from his Wurtemburg athletics club.

By the summer of 1936 when the Games were held, half of the Jewish workforce was unemployed. It was only a matter of time before Jews would not only be deprived of the amenities of life but also of its necessities. The seeds of the Endlosung ("Final Solution") were being sown.

Still, the propaganda value of the Games was far too valuable for the Nazis who engaged Josef Goebbels to ensure that the facade of German grandeur would overshadow the degradation to which the Jews were being subjected.

Their cause was not helped by an investigation by Avery Brundage, then president of the United States Olympic Committee, into the position of the Jewish athlete in Germany. Brundage interviewed German Jewish leaders (heavily chaperoned by Nazis) and concluded there was no cause for concern. It should be noted that Brundage had a share in Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara, California – a club that admitted no Jews and no blacks to the ranks of its members.

The Berlin Games opened on 1 August, 1936 with the Greek, Spiridon Louis who won the first modern Olympic Marathon race, presenting the Fuehrer with an olive branch from the sacred grove at Olympia – the symbol of peace.

Of course, the boycotts and the oppression led to something far more sinister but the world was more consumed with happier days and with getting itself out of economic depression than with the Nazis and their threats against the Jewish people.

The Berlin Games were the world’s first major sporting tragedy and the irony was not lost when Jewish athletes were massacred again on German soil 36 years later in Munich.

The world has changed again since Munich and there are those who would prefer us to forget the lessons of the two Olympic tragedies. There are those who would revive the boycott in business, the arts, the theatre and in sports but this time they call for a boycott of the Jewish State. Some of them would prefer not to let the world know that their objectives are to deligitimise and ultimately destroy that State while others still, attempt to make light of the nature of the threats posed by those who fire missiles at Israeli citizens or threaten it with nuclear annihilation.

There are those who even seek to downplay the horrors of the past and to airbrush out of existence the murders such as those committed in Munich in 1972 in front of the world and in the eyes of those who gathered at a sporting event convened in the name of peace.

This is a report from the Guardian (whose sports journalists put its political writers to shame these days) and it covers the event well: Stunning Olympic Moments: Munich 1972.

By 1972, Avery Brundage had risen to the presidency of the IOC and I have often wondered what thoughts must have gone through his mind when he sat stone faced as the orchestra played Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony in the Munich Olympic Stadium, a matter of a few kilometres away from the ovens of Dachau.

But even under Brundage’s reign at the IOC, they put the Games on hold for a few hours in memory of athletes whose lives were stolen in Munich. Today, to their everlasting shame, they won’t spare a minute for them.'

(Jack Chrapot is a Melbourne lawyer and a member of the Zionist Council of Victoria's Executive. He is also a Maccabi Hall of Famer and served on the Executive of Maccabi Victoria, the Ajax Football Club, the Ajax Junior Football Club (AJFC) and the Ajax Maccabi Athletics Club and is a life member of the AJFC and the South Metro Junior Football League. The views expressed are his own.) 

Cross-posted from here

Lionising A Trojan Horse

Like the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) views the world, and therefore Israel, through a distorted lens of leftwing Guardian-type bias.  And, as in the case of the BBC, this bias is blatant.

On the ABC current affairs blog The Drum, the latest contribution by a Jewish leftist called Michael Brull is entitled "Israel doesn't deserve unconditional loyalty". Focusing on the recent unrest in south Tel Aviv regarding mass illegal immigration from Africa (and downplaying the crime, including rapes, by immigrants, incidents which helped to fuel anger), this regrettable piece has attracted numerous comments, and I'm impressed with those which have tackled in masterly fashion  the demonisation of Israel therein.

Inter alia, and in support of his argument, Brull quotes 'Liberal American Zionist Peter Beinart': 
'If someone who considers himself a devoted lover of Israel can write, "Was this a government sponsored pogrom? No... But", then something has gone seriously wrong. Beinart also notes the familiarity of the language.'
The lionisation of Peter Beinart in certain Australian Jewish circles is a phenomenon that has emerged over the last eighteen months, or so; it is not, I feel, a development to be welcomed.

Isi Leibler has recently written, regarding Beinart and his ilk:
'When they [Diaspora Jews] call for global boycotts of Israeli settlements, they are effectively promoting delegitimization and paving the way for broader boycotts. Besides, unlike their delusional Israeli counterparts, they are mere observers, physically unaffected by the negative repercussions of their actions....
A Diaspora Jew engaging in a campaign to boycott any sector of Israel society is indulging in a harmful and “pernicious” act. It reflects an indifference to the double standards employed against Israel and will unquestionably be exploited by those seeking to boycott and delegitimize Israel in general.
....However, to legitimize and describe as a Zionist, a Jew calling for a boycott of Israeli settlements, gives credence to activities which have the potential of impacting disastrously on Israel. There must be red lines. Many of us have reservations about diaspora Jews publicly condemning the democratically elected Israeli government on security issues but we recognize that in a democracy they are entitled to their views. But that surely does not apply to those directly calling for boycotts against sectors of Israeli society.'
Middle East analysts Rachel Neuwirth and John Landau are also perplexed and disturbed by the superstar staus of Mr Beinart, whom they liken to a Trojan Horse:
'..... Why are we Jews laying out the red carpet to this man? And why, in general, are we Jews so friendly and deferential to our worst enemies?....
Beinart professes at every opportunity to love Israel and to even be a "Zionist."....His principal tactic is to make so many false or misleading statements all at once that it is impossible to reply to or even to keep track of them all. Inevitably, some of them will sink subliminally into the minds of his audience, if they are the least bit open to suggestion. Also in his arsenal of debating tactics are distortions by omission and false assumptions implied by his tone and the drift of his argument. These methods are especially insidious since they do not require the "lie direct" and make it difficult for the audience to examine the implied assumptions on which they are based....
But as outrageous as Beinart’s outright falsehoods are, his omission-distortions and false implied assumptions are more damaging because the listener may not even be aware of them.
Beinart repeatedly denounces Israel for denying the Palestinians equal rights with Israelis, without mentioning that the Palestinians are waging war on Israel, and have been doing so continuously for the past 65 years. No nation has ever granted equal rights to members of a nation at war with them. Nor can any nation that is being subjected to armed aggression and siege afford to do so. The Palestinians have been waging a relentless war against Israelis for at least 92 years, even before the independent state of Israel was established. The conflict has been an extraordinarily brutal war replete with war crimes such as blowing up civilians on buses, street corners and restaurants, executing children as hostages, and beating infants to death. That war is still very much in progress, as Beinart and everyone who reads the daily newspapers knows full well.
 Beinart’s assumption that a state is undemocratic unless it grants equality of rights to everyone who lives under its jurisdiction is not valid even in relation to peaceful communities. Puerto Ricans living in their own country cannot vote for president or elect voting members of Congress, although they are subjected to the rule of the U.S government and to U.S.military "occupation." .... If Peter Beinart really believes that the right to vote and all other citizenship rights must be extended to every one living under a nation’s jurisdiction, why doesn’t he tour the country demanding these rights for Puerto Ricans, Virgin Islanders, Samoans, and Micronesians subject to American "occupation"?....'
 Read the entire article here

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Disruption To Habima's Performance At The Globe Theatre (updated; videos)

Habima's scheduled performance at The Globe went ahead as scheduled, despite calls from Miriam Margolyes (see my previous post) and other thespians for it to be cancelled.

 Here's footage of the usual suspects demonstrating and of the disruption (the first video is mostly audio only) of the disruption to the debut on Monday night:

Read more here

Update:See the Beeb's Will Gompertz's account here and Richard Millett's account here

Barry Digs For Israel

Celebrated British/Australian actress Miriam Margolyes is seen here in one of her recurrent roles, ardent Israel basher:

Equally celebrated Australian comedian Barry Humphries, long known as a supporter of Jews and Israel, and close friends since their schooldays at Melbourne Grammar with a distinguished rabbi whom I too know and love, has given Miss Margolyes a little piece of his mind on the ABC, when both were panellists on the discussion show Q&A.  A reader of my blog who saw it tells me:
'Miriam Margolyes had early complained about being attacked by Jews for being critical of Israel. Later from 37.20 Barry Humphries has a very subtle dig at her in his sarcastic way. I'm not sure she would have even gotten that he was attacking her.  He says after she brought up Mel Gibson (he had made a point that most actors were lefties);
[About Mel Gibson to her]  "....well you know, he’s a fellow anti-semite, which you should think about Miriam, and you know Miriam – whose wonderful show of Dicken's Women is in Sydney on Thursday night at the Opera House is incredible, it may not be mentioned again so I'm giving it a plug – you’ll find north London Jews will be perfectly happy with what you have to say, there’s a few anti-semites amongst them I can tell you."
To which she replies "and understandably so" ...'
Some time ago, blogger Ray Cook (no rightwing thunderer, by the way), at the end of a memorable piece prompted by Miss Margolyes's remarks on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show which implied support for a single state solution, observed:
'Margolyes and other ashamed Jews need to educate themselves. I am sick of being ashamed of them.
What is she saying now? Oh yes, the Israelis should understand and accept that they owe reparation to the Palestinians just like the Jews expect it from the Germans.
So she, perhaps unwittingly, makes a moral equivalence between the way Jews were treated in the Holocaust and  the way Palestinians (who have been hell-bent on another Holocaust for 100 years, and certainly 60) have been treated by the Israelis.
Who attacked Israel in 1967?
Why was the PLO formed in 1964 before there was any ‘Occupation’?
The Israelis are behaving ”so cruelly’. Yes, sometimes all those with power over others behave cruelly. Maybe she should understand why Israelis might do so to Palestinians who want to kill them, and blow up their children on buses and in their beds. Why can she only see one side to this conflict?....
How often do we see people in the media like Miriam Margolyes, Jews and non-Jews, well-meaning, decent people who just do not understand. They live in their cosy left-wing bubbles dreaming of world peace where all will be luvvies.
Sorry Miriam. You are a very nice woman and a wonderful actress, but you are a deluded Jew.
Go read some history. Go read the PLO charter and the Hamas charter.... [Y]ou need to wake up out of your deluded lefty dreams, you and all the ashamed Jews.'
Update: Habima's appearance at the Globe, which Miss Margolyes wanted cancelled, was disrupted by a  bunch of usual suspects, as this BBC report indicates.  See my next post.

Monday 28 May 2012

The Imported Racism Puncturing The Great Australian Innocence

Fanatical Islamists in Australia's Motherland
Several weeks ago, the great Melanie Phillips (no stranger to audiences in Australia, but who has in the past been excoriated by some opinion-leaders there, including Jewish communal ones, as an alarmist and Islamophobe) wrote in the Jewish Chronicle (30 March) of the foolish denial that elements of the Anglo-Jewish leadership are in regarding "the threat of Muslim antisemitism and jihadism"; the leadership continuously issuing "statements warning of the dangers of Islamophobia which paled beside the violence and threats levelled against Jews....
[M]uch of the leadership ... seems to believe that to identify the threat from Islamic religious extremism is "Islamophobic"' ; she also pointed to the effective "smearing of those who fight Islamic religious fascism [thereby] leading the surrender to the enemies of the Jews – and thus indirectly encouraging them to double their attacks.'

And in Holland
A year or two prior to 9/11 a Jewish academic of my acquaintance remarked, during an interview with the Australian Jewish News, that large-scale Muslim immigration to Australia was a development likely to prove disastrous for Australian Jewry's representations to government on behalf of Israel, since politicians would court the votes of the very much larger Muslim community that would result.

The paper's resident cartoonist depicted the academic as lacking compassion.  (Yes, woe betide any Jew who fails to perceive an exact parallel between every so-called "asylum seeker" of today and his co-religionists seeking sanctuary from the Nazis.)

And a small group of incorrigible hard-left  members of the Jewish community (none of them, as far as I'm aware, of conspicuous pro-Israel principles) maliciously sent air mail letters to the head of the academic's department and to the vice-chancellor of his university  reporting what he had said and suggesting that given his views he was not the type of person with whom their institution would wish to be associated!

Ah, the totalitarian left! What a delightful free speech-muzzling mindset they have!  But the university officials contacted, as surprised and bemused as the academic himself, quite correctly consigned the hard leftists' extraordinarily mischievous letters to what is often jocularly termed the "circular file".

In February 2007, a few months before the atrocities in London indelibly etched into public memory as 7/7, and ahead of a speaking tour in Australia sponsored by the Shalom Institute of the University of New South Wales, Moroccan-born Professor Raphael Israeli, a distinguished academic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem whose specialist area is Islamic and oriental history, warned during an interview by the Australian Jewish News [AJN[ of the possible consequences of unfettered Muslim immigration and advocated its curtailment.

His words unleashed an immediate furore within the Australian Jewish community, as well as outside it.  The AJN thundered its condemnation of what he had said, Jewish communal organisations roundly denounced his viewpoint and dissociated themselves from it, his scheduled appearances were cancelled, and, though Islam does not constitute a race, the inevitable accusations of racism dogged him.

One of his strident Jewish critics fumed (letter, AJN, 23 Feb. 2007):
"Who needs Pauline Hanson [who led the populist anti-immigration allegedly white supremacist One Nation party] when we have Professor Raphael Israel?  It is completely chutzpahdik for  someone from Israel to arrive and start telling Australia how to run its immigration policy."
And added for good measure:

"Yes, some Muslims are fanatics, some are fundamentalists, and a few are terrorists.  This is true for all other peoples, including Jews."
A supporter, on the other hand, noted (letter, AJN, 23 Feb. 2007):
'The visiting Israeli expert on Islam is very well qualified to give his views....
It is unfortunate that some Jewish spokespeople have now demanded that the Jewish organisations that sponsored the professor distance themselves, even if many of them privately agree with his alleged "politically incorrect" statements.  After all, there is no shortage of universities with both local and visiting academics who vilify Israel and Zionism on an almost daily basis and those Jewish spokespeople don't demand that these academics be silenced or that the universities sack them.
It appears that only if the controversial speaker is on the extreme left and Americans or Israelis are the ones being offended or vilified is freedom of speech cited.
From Australia's point of view, there are around 400,000-500.000 Muslims living here, with the majority of refugees and asylum seekers Muslim, and Islam is Australia's fastest-growing religion.  So Professor Israeli and many others are only pointing out the problems in UK/Europe and how Australia is already experiencing similar problems.  It is a clear case of "shooting the messenger".'
A racist message in Melbourne
In The Australian (incidentally, the most robustly and consistently pro-Israel newspaper Down Under) Professor Israeli responded to his critics:
'As an Israeli, one becomes used to the bias of the world's media and the frustrations of being misrepresented in the face of hysteria. But as a visiting academic to the land of the fair go, I didn't expect to find the same thing here....
I came to Australia to speak about Islam and the Middle East and to share the fruits of my books and research. But I've been dragged into an argument on a sensational issue that was not part of my schedule here. The many audiences who were to attend my lectures throughout the land were deprived of hearing them, except that private organisations, Jewish and non-Jewish, picked up the sponsorship of those lectures and I will end up giving more lectures than previously planned.
I am vastly rewarded by the multitude of supporting voices and the outpouring of calls and emails, from Jews and non-Jews, in Australia and abroad, and by the pressing queues of learners who've signed up for my classes. (There have also been a few hostile callers, some of whom identified themselves as Muslims or Muslim converts who typically use abusive language instead of a civilised voice of reason.)
I have been researching Islam in Europe and have come to some disturbing findings about the new third Islamic invasion of Europe: specifically, the Muslim neighbourhoods that breed violence and trouble and the home-grown European Muslims who have sworn to change Europe to their tune, to Islamise it and to use violence, if necessary, to that end.
So much so that erstwhile proponents of immigration such as France, The Netherlands and Britain have had to revise their laws, introduce new restrictions and shelve the marvellous utopia of multiculturalism as simply unfeasible and counterproductive.
There is nothing racist about adopting those policies, much less about describing them in a scholarly fashion. Moreover, it's fair, honest and educative to infer from those data to other parts of the Western world, such as Australia, which face the same issues. 
I do not wish to play the victim and I appreciate that Australia is noted for robust debate. But when a scholar who has no axe to grind honestly describes and analyses what policy-makers in Europe have done, and draws a straightforward conclusion about Australia, to be abused and branded as a racist is extraordinary.
Shouts and abuse are not a policy, nor do they encourage public debate. If someone wishes to dismiss data by providing alternative sets of facts and arguments, that is a debate, but by shooting the messenger instead of addressing the issue, no public cause is served. It is a fact that since 2000, Jewish facilities were attacked by Muslims in Europe and Australia, but never the other way around. To state that is racism?
Some, of course, prefer to hide behind hollow slogans of "inter-communal harmony", "inter-faith co-operation" and "multiculturalism" instead of exposing Muslim violence and inflammatory rhetoric and act, together with Muslim moderates, to uproot these phenomena.
Aware of the European parallel, I am neither surprised by the Muslim leaders' attempts to shut off any debate in Australia and intimidate anyone who raises his voice against such actions, nor by the Australian press complicity in that process. Only yesterday I received threats from a Chechen Islamic website. So much for civilised debate....'
He added:
'People who lack courage and stamina to stand up for principles, who whisper in my ear that they agree with me but then act in public to protect their positions and the illusions they are trying to cultivate in this society, do not act in a Jewish, Australian or even civilised fashion.'
Obviously, not all Muslims are Jew-hating extremists.  But there's a world of difference between, for instance, the Turkish Australians who in Melbourne have featured strongly in Jewish-Muslim dialogue, and certain of their co-religionists who have arrived from the Islamic world.  This notorious photo of a Melbourne child, for example, tells its own tale.

On 6 July 2007 Wassim Dourehi, the Sydney representative of the Islamic organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir was interviewed by Virginia Trioli on the ABC's Lateline.  Here's part of the transcript:
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: All right, then talking about values, in Denmark a few years ago, the Hizb ut Tahrir leader was found guilty of racist propaganda of distributing leaflets including threats against Jews to "kill them wherever you find them". Is that part of your philosophy in Australia?
WASSIM DOUREHI: What we have innuendo, half-truths and significant degree of misinformation. This is a direct quote from a particular verse in the Koran. Are you going to read the rest of the leaflet are we going to extol the virtues of the rest of the Hizb ut Tahrir literature? It is very easy to be selective about statements. We issue leaflets on a daily basis.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Do you stand by that quote in that leaflet, to kill Jews wherever you find them?
WASSIM DOUREHI: That is a verse in the Koran. Our position towards non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic state has been documented from day one. Non-Muslims lived under the banner of the Islamic caliphate, enjoyed the most prosperous period in history. This is a fact that has been established and identified not just by Muslims but by non-Muslims. We advocate the caliphate which will serve all citizens irrespective of their religion or creed. So I don't see any contradiction whatsoever and we very strongly, in the harshest of words, condemn any charge of anti-Semitism or racism or exclusivity. The caliphate is an Islamic state.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You reject this line, kill them wherever you find them?
WASSIM DOUREHI: No, I don't reject this line. The inference is you have taken one quote out of a whole leaflet, and a leaflet which we have been issuing for over 50 years so you can draw inferences and cast aspersions against this particular line...
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: I'm after clarification of a simple line here.
WASSIM DOUREHI: It's not a simple line. We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli state.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: So you would like to get rid of the state of Israel.
WASSIM DOUREHI: Our opposition to the state of Israel has been unfortunately identified as anti-Semitism. That is a charge we strongly reject. We are against the Zionist state. We are not in any ways against Jews.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Let's try and clarify this then. If you're against the state of Israel, is one way of getting rid of the state of Israel to kill Jews where you find them, as this says, in the state of Israel?
WASSIM DOUREHI: Again, this is a verse in the Koran.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: I'm try to be specific about your intention to get rid of the state of Israel.
WASSIM DOUREHI: We completely reject the employing of any violence or aggression from a party perspective. We completely reject that. That has been our position from day one. But the assertion and inference that we in some way would advocate violence towards any individual irrespective of their creed is a charge we strongly reject.
Some mixed messages there, then.  But the  Jew-vilification and threatening cries of "Khaybar, Khaybar, ya-yahood, jaish Mohamed sama’ud" displayed by Nakba Day marchers in Sydney (see here and here)  provide another stark reminder of the extremism that has been imported into Australia by certain elements from overseas.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Countering The Lie Of Wanton Israeli Brutality (video)

The IDF is one of the most civilised armies in the world, yet, as evidenced at Israel-delegitimising demos in the West, the usual suspects scream "genocide!"  This short video sets out the facts.

(Hat tip: reader Shirlee)

Thursday 24 May 2012

David Singer On UNESCO, UNWRA, & The Refugee Issue

In my previous post I linked to Isi Leibler's must-read article on what he reasonably terms the "Nakba Hoax".

I turn now to another Australian voice on a related theme.

Here, courtesy as usual of the antipodean J-Wire service, is Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer's latest article.  It's entitled "Palestine – UNWRA and UNESCO promote a state of confusion".

Writes David Singer:

'A crisis of diplomatic confusion seems to have arisen between two affiliate organizations of the United Nations following the announcement by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNWRA) of its intention to upgrade the dilapidated conditions in some of the refugee camps under its control - rather than taking progressive steps to close them down following recognition of the State of Palestine by UNESCO on 31 October 2011.

The upgrades will take place with the help of German Government funding in improving health clinics, sanitation and advanced education in coordination with local committees in five camps in the West Bank and two in Jordan.

Certainly any improvements to the daily lives of refugees and the abject conditions under which they have lived for the last six decades should be regarded as a welcome initiative.

However the recognition of the State of Palestine by UNESCO – and with it an end to Palestinian homelessness – should have also signalled the beginning of the dismantlement of the refugee camps and a structured program to achieve this humanitarian goal.

The vast resources available to UNWRA should surely now be better employed to assist the permanent resettlement of Palestinian refugees in their newly recognized state. Yet UNWRA has remained silent on implementing any such plans.

One of the camps slated for an upgrade is the Dheishe refugee camp – at present home to 13000 refugees. This camp is situated on the outskirts of Bethlehem in Area A of the West Bank – an area completely under the administrative and military control of the Palestinian Authority.

If there are any areas that can be readily identified as forming part of the newly-recognized state of Palestine – it is those areas that comprise Area A under the Oslo Accords - which currently cover 18% of the West Bank and include 55% of the total Arab population of the West Bank. Not one Jew lives in Area A.

On December 21, 1995, Israeli troops withdrew from Bethlehem and three days later the city came under the complete administration and military control of the Palestinian National Authority in conformance with the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1995.

One could indeed ask why Dheishe refugee camp has not been shut down at any time during the last 17 years of its existence – given that resposibility for the lives of its inhabitants was always under the complete authority and control of the Palestinian Authority.

The reasons profferred till now have been the lack of a Palestinian state to end Palestinian homelessness and a belief that one day the residents would be entitled to return to live in what is now Israel. This latter reason has never been – and will never be – an option that can ever be realised unless the State of Israel itself is dismantled.

The UNESCO decision to recognize the existence of an independent State of Palestine has brought with it an end to claims of Palestinian homelessness. .

Yet Habis al-Aisa - a Dheishe resident – still believes nothing has changed as he laments:
"We’re refugees, and the U.N. should be totally responsible for our needs and our situation, because our status is an international political issue."
Another resident, Othman Abu Omar, comments:
"We hope one day to be done with dependence. Everybody should depend on himself."
Sandi Hilal – the director of UNRWA’s “camp improvement program” in the West Bank – also seems to be under the same misapprehension as to the change in status of those under his charge when adding:
"Improving the daily life of refugees doesn’t jeopardize their right to return back home."
Can the Dheishe occupants still claim the status of “refugees” – now that they have their own State – a goal that has been pursued with international support and diplomacy for the last 19 years?

Does UNWRA’s stated position on the "right to return home" mean "to the UNESCO recognized State of Palestine" – or does it mean "to Israel"?  [Emphasis added]

It would appear that UNWRA is having problems comprehending the enormity of the UNESCO decision and the changes that have occurred to the status of those whom it has looked after for 64 years.

The United Nations has recognized as Palestinian refugees those – Palestinian Arabs  and their descendants – who registered with UNRWA after fleeing their homes from what is now Israel. They are covered by the U.N. resolutions and eligible to receive the agency’s services even if not resident in the camps, but not if they attain citizenship or asylum in another country.

The Palestinian refugees have enjoyed a special status not accorded to any other refugee groups world wide during the past 64 years. That status is – and has always been – privileged and discriminatory and needs to be ended without delay – especially now that a Palestinian state has been internationally recognized and accepted by the 194 member states of UNESCO.

UNWRA now needs to rise to the challenges and the opportunities the UNESCO decision has presented – and implement a program for the closing of the refugee camps.

UNWRA and UNESCO should be meeting to jointly plan such a humanitarian program to bring the long running and festering issue of the Palestinian refugees to an end.

Whilst UNESCO recognizes the existence of a a Palestinian State and UNWRA apparently does not, one can only conclude that the State of Palestine is rapidly acquiring a reputation for being known as "the State of Confusion".

The sooner the refugee camps start being dismantled – the better the prospects for a resolution of the long running Jewish-Arab conflict in former Palestine.'

Isi Leibler On The Noxiousness Of Nakba Propaganda

I often describe Isi Leibler as "a prophet for our time", and it's a description well-merited.  For a cogent, concise article on the Nakba commemoration and its noxious implications, we need look no further than his latest column in the Jerusalem Post, of which I provide a taster below:
'No revisionist or post Zionist spin can plausibly deny that the War of Independence was an attempt by a coalition of Arab states to annihilate us. But as Goebbels used to say “Repeat the same lie again and again and ultimately people will believe it”.
 Recent years have witnessed successful efforts by increasing numbers of radical Israeli-Arabs, in conjunction with their kinsmen beyond Israel, to project into the public discourse a narrative which portrays their antecedents as innocent victims of a conflict which led to their dispossession and expulsion. They mourn the consequences of the War of Independence but suppress the fact it was their fathers who rejected the UN partition plan and embarked on a war of annihilation against Israel. Their approach is akin to Germans mourning the tragedy of their losses during World War ll, implying that it was a byproduct of Allied criminality rather than Nazi aggression.
It is understandable that Israeli-Arabs lament the fleeing and even expulsion of their kinsmen in the course of war. But in lieu of mourning their losses or commemorating humanitarian tragedies, their leaders are promoting hatred of the people amongst whom they live, garnering support for vengeance and delegitimization of the Jewish state....
Describing such activity as treasonable, shocking though it may sound, is justifiable. The Nakba commemoration operates in complete synchronization with the orchestrated global campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel. It is part of the new assault which seeks to suppress the reality that Israel fought in 1948 to defend itself against forces seeking its annihilation. It amounts to an attempt to delegitimize Israel by transforming public discourse about the rights and wrongs of the Arab-Israeli conflict to one in which “the injustice caused to the Palestinians” is defined as the source of the problem. If we fail to challenge and repudiate this false narrative, we do so at our peril and expose ourselves to immeasurably horrendous long term negative repercussions.'

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Jew-Hatred, Swedish-Style (video)

In this video, newly released by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr Shimon Samuels discuss the terrible antisemitism that characterises Sweden's third-largest city, Malmö, despite representations to the mayor and the police chief ...

Incidentally, for essential reading on the subject of Jews in Sweden and related developments this blog  aimed at English-speakers is invaluable and should certainly be better known.

Please Urge A Minute's Silence At The Olympics For Israel's Murdered Athletes (video)

Here is an eloquent plea from Israel's personable deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, calling for a minute's silence at this summer's Olympics in commemoration of the Israeli team so brutally done to death in Munich 40 years ago.

To sign the petition please press on this link:

To go to the JustOneMinute Facebook page press here:

 (Hat tip: reader Ian)

Robin's Song For Israel

I must confess that although I've always been a fan of the Bee Gees, I had no idea until just now, when I followed a link left on my previous post by a much-valued reader, that they composed a song about Israel, and have been warm friends of the embattled little state.

Here's the video, but for much more on the amity that the late lamented Robin Gibb and his group have shown to Israel see Debbie Schlussel's piece here (Hat tip: Herb)

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Kiwis In Keffiyehs Mark The "Nakba" (video)

Apparently to raise funds for New Zealand's very own Gaza activist (read all about her here) some Israel-bashing types in Wellington dressed up in keffiyehs on 20 May to deliver the so-called "Palestinian Monologues". 

Here's a taste:

There are four other newly uploaded videos of this event on YouTube, if you would really like to torture yourself with more of their propaganda.  Personally, I'll pass.

Vale David Littman, Valiant Fighter For Human Rights

The scholar and activist David Littman, about whom I blogged here, passed away on 20 May, as full in years as in achievements.

A doughty champion of the rights of humankind, he was a frank and fearless fighter against the incursion of systems of intolerance into the enlightened Judeo-Christian world, against the unconscionable and deleterious concept of "cultural relativism" that has taken root in leftist circles in the West, against misogyny, Judeophobia, and the persecution of Christians parts of the Islamic world, and against the bizarre and hypocritical stance on human rights issues at the United Nations.

Here he is, a year ago, talking at the UN about the "blood libel" that has been, historically, such a recurrent feature of antisemitism.

For his candid and robust speech at the UN regarding threats to human rights in the West, and about the abuses of human rights (including brutality to women) under certain regimes, see here

Among the many tributes to David Littman and his legacy is this one, by Dr Andrew Bostom  in American Thinker.

Monday 21 May 2012

The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East (video)

If you're disgusted with the canards against Israel that come from certain church groups, and you've 45 minutes to spare, have a listen to Dexter Van Zile, Christian Media Analyst for the CAMERA organisation, talking to a pro-Israel audience in New Hampshire earlier this year about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

 For more on this topic see this article

Why Jerusalem Must Remain Under Israeli Sovereignty (video)

This video argues that, for several reasons, the division of Jerusalem, as under Jordanian rule from 1948-67, is today unfeasible, and that the entire city should remain under Israeli sovereignty:

Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Sunday 20 May 2012

Ferals On Friday In Downtown Melbourne (video)

Friday evening in Melbourne, and the "From the River To The Sea"/"Blood In Your Hot Chocolate"/"Long Live The Intifada" mob were on the streets of Melbourne screeching their hatred...

The Socialist Alternative anti-Israel brigade froth and fume on their website
And the Socialist Alternative's "Free Palestine" banner was on prominent display at Brisbane's "Al Nakba" rally

Hat tip: reader Shirlee

Friday 18 May 2012

Aussie Green Left Anti-Israel Ranter (video) & The Anti-BDS Fightback (video)

Great advertisement for the Israel-demonising Green Left movement in Australia, eh, folks?

 A much more wholesome fella here:

 Let's all show our true colours by shopping Blue & White, supporting the fightback initiative

Superb article here about the Nakba, btw

Thursday 17 May 2012

Ambassador Oren On War Against Israel By Other Means

'[W]hy have anti-Israel libels once consigned to hate groups become media mainstays? How can we explain the assertion that an insidious "Israel Lobby" purchases votes in Congress, or that Israel oppresses Christians? Why is Israel's record on gay rights dismissed as camouflage for discrimination against others?' asks Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, at the end of an article which he introduced with a quotation from Life magazine in 1973 adulatory of Israel.

Having the measure of the subsequent ruthless and accelerating campaign against the plucky little nation that characterises so much of current public discourse, and what the endgame is, he continues justifiably:
'The answer lies in the systematic delegitimization of the Jewish state. Having failed to destroy Israel by conventional arms and terrorism, Israel's enemies alit on a subtler and more sinister tactic that hampers Israel's ability to defend itself, even to justify its existence. [Emphasis added]
It began with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's 1974 speech to the U.N., when he received a standing ovation for equating Zionism with racism—a view the U.N. General Assembly endorsed the following year. It gained credibility on college campuses through anti-Israel courses and "Israel Apartheid Weeks." It burgeoned through the boycott of Israeli scholars, artists and athletes, and the embargo of Israeli products. It was perpetuated by journalists who published doctored photos and false Palestinian accounts of Israeli massacres.
Israel must confront the acute dangers of delegitimization as it did armies and bombers in the past. Along with celebrating our technology, pioneering science and medicine, we need to stand by the facts of our past. "The Spirit of Israel" has not diminished since 1973—on the contrary, it has flourished. The state that Life  once lionized lives even more vibrantly today.'
 Read the entire article here 

And for another good article see here

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Banned! Site That Monitors BBC Bias Needs Your Help

The Biased BBC website (which does a truly amazing job of showing up instances of bias against Israel by the "national broadcaster" and draws attention to related incidents such as this) was, it's discovered, recently blocked on O2 and T-Mobile, and  is classified as a "hate site" by O2’s URL checker.

Writes its chief:
"This is an outrage. Can I ask you to contact these companies and advise them we are a respectable and professional website that focus on the journalistic output of the BBC? Is it a crime to hold the BBC to account?"
Read more here

Recent Mark Regev Interviews (videos)

Here's the Israeli government spokesman late last month talking on Al-Jazeera on West Bank settlements and peace prospects:

And here he is a few days ago talking to CNN about Palestinian prisoners in Israeli gaols:

During Sydney's "Nakba Day" March John Pilger Pimps The Arab Line On Press TV

During the march that forms the subject of my previous post, John Pilger spews out anti-Israel venom on the Ahmadinejad regime's propaganda channel, and pro-BDS NSW state parliamentarian David Shoebridge (Greens) gives his ten cents' worth too.

(Pssst! David, they stone women and string up gays in Iran, you know.  Not very liberal of them, is it? Shouldn't you be boycotting the Iranian regime and all their works, including their satellite TV channel?)

If I spot any videos of the "Nakba Day" march in downtown Sydney, I'll post or link to them them here.

J-Wire has the latest 

More here

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Aussie Judge Compares "Nakba Day" To Christmas Day

"As Australians, we should not be importing overseas conflicts onto the streets of Sydney.  But there is a tragedy today, and it is that when the Jewish world accepted the State of Israel as decreed by the UN 64 years ago, the Arab world did not do the same. If it had, we would be celebrating a state of Palestine today which was 64 years old, just as Israel is. Isn’t it time we all moved on and explored ways to advance peace instead of dwelling on the past?"

So, very sensibly, remarks Vic Alhadeff, chief executive officer of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, of the decision to hold a Nakba Day rally (composed of the usual suspects) in the Sydney central business district.  Police had opposed owing the disruption to traffic, but on appeal by march organiser Patrick Langosch, Justice Christine Adamson ruled that the march should proceed , though from 7 p.m. rather than the 5.30 p.m. proposed, in order to minimise such disruption.

An online poll on the Sydney Daily Telegraph shows that an overwhelming majority of respondents deplore demos taking place in the CBD.

According to Henry Benjamin, reporting for J-Wire, during the hearing Justice Adamson cited "the continuing grievances of the Palestinian people" in understanding the reasons for the protest.

In delivering her ruling she agreed with Langosch's contention that "it is not an option to have it on any other day than May 15" (he added that "the demonstration will go on regardless of the decision of the Court"):
 "I do not regard it as reasonable to expect persons commemorating a particular date to defer or bring forward its commemoration so that it can be commemorated on a weekend.
Nakba Day ought be regarded as a day which, like Anzac Day, Christmas Day or Australia Day, is referable to a particular date which is not movable....
If one's purpose were to disrupt commuter traffic, one could hardly choose a better time or place. But this is not the defendant's purpose. His purpose is to conduct a public assembly to commemorate Nakba Day. The date is the product of history."
Sydney Telegraph blogger Tim Blair, in a post mocking the notion of a Nakba Day as described by the judge, notes sarcastically  that the Sydney march started later than organisers wished
"But there’s no holding back other revellers:
Arab terrorists attacked southern Israel with a Kassam rocket early Tuesday and attacked Jews in the Hevron area with two firebombs overnight as “Nakba Day” began …"
Good on yer, cobber.  As Bibi Netanyahu has said of the latest perpetrators of violence against the little Jewish State:
"Their struggle is not over the 1967 borders, but it questions the very existence of Israel, which they describe as a catastrophe which must be resolved.
We are determined to defend our borders and our sovereignty."
 Update: click here for Ben Fordham's interview with Langosch and here for Ray Hadley's take on events (hat tip: reader Shirlee)  See also my next post, where I'll post or link to any relevant videos that come my way...

The Maiden Tribute Of Modern Britain: Sex Traffickers From Misogynistic Lands

"A gang of nine Jewish males from Golders Green – eight English-born and one Israeli – has been convicted of grooming underage non-Jewish girls for sex, the vulnerable teenagers having been lavished with salt beef sandwiches (on rye) and latkes, and plied with Palwin No. 10, at kosher restaurants across North-West London."

Relax, folks! That didn't really happen.  It's just the introduction to a clever Jewish humourist's satire on how the BBC and the Guardian might have reported a certain recent British sex trafficking case  if the perpetrators had been Jews and not Muslims.

The case referred to is the horrific case of eight Lancashire men of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan who groomed underage white girls (perhaps as many as forty-seven all told) for sex, raping and beating them and passing them around to be used and abused by gang members (some fifty men are reported to have been involved, and further arrests are expected) is merely the latest and arguably the most well-publicised such case in which the gang members are of  "Asian" origin and and the victims white.

And now, in Carlisle, a takeaway restaurant proprietor of Bangladeshi origin has been convicted of luring four girls, one of them as young as twelve, into prostitution. (He's yet to be sentenced, but has been warned he faces imprisonment for his vile conduct.) [Update: he's got fifteen years.]

In sentencing the Lancashire men to prison terms of between four and ten years, Judge Gerald Clifton remarked that the defendants had treated their girl victims "as though they were worthless and beyond respect".

He added:
"One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion.
Some of you, when arrested, said it [the prosecution] was triggered by race. That is nonsense.
What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed."
A woman police officer who interviewed the Bangladeshi sex trafficker following his arrest found him "arrogant":
She added:
"I would say that he showed contempt for the girls, he was dismissive of them.
He was disrespectful to me. If I challenged him in any way then he was across the table with fingers [pointing] in my face.
I think that he thought it was a joke to him."
In contrast to Labour MP Keith Vaz, himself of Asian background (his family derives from Goa), who chairs the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee,and others who cautioned that the issue of race should not be dragged into public discourse about the Rochdale case, Mohammed Shafiq, head of the Manchester-based Ramadhan Foundation, declared (to his credit):
"There is a significant problem for the British Pakistani community, there is an over-representation amongst recent convictions in the crime of on-street grooming, there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals.
They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community.
I urge the police and the councils not to be frightened to address this issue, there is a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over sensitive."
But, strikingly and outrageously, in both the Rochdale and Carlisle cases, when girls who were being victimised told police what was going on, the police, trapped in a culture of political correctness, turned a deaf ear.  Evidently loath to investigate allegations by white girls about non-white men, they quite simply let the victims down.  And thus the perpetrators were able to continue with their wicked acts for several more years with impunity.

Indeed, the fact that the sex traffickers of the white girls are not only non-white but Muslim to boot, has had the BBC and other left-liberal media outlets in a twist, as Telegraph blogs by Ed West and Allison Pearson pungently observe, and as the Biased BBC website amply demonstrates here and here and elsewhere.

Allison Pearson notes, inter alia, of the Rochdale case: 
'You will already have noticed a lot of embarrassed evasiveness about this disgusting case, particularly on the BBC. Turning a blind eye to appalling, illegal practices because “it’s their culture” is what has brought our country to this obscene pass. I have watched it unfolding since I did my teaching practice in 1982 in Southall, west London. I remember being encouraged to “teach the children their own culture” even as I found myself wondering why British Muslim girls couldn’t be taught the enlightened beliefs of the egalitarian land in which they lived.
When it comes to women’s rights, not all cultures are created equal, particularly those whose attitudes are frozen some time in the mid‑14th century. But we weren’t allowed to say that. Actually, we weren’t even allowed to think that. If you inhaled enough toleration of the intolerable, then you were well on your way to the opium of political correctness.
 The layers of denial run so deep that it’s important to try to be clear where we can. First, it is an insult to Hindus, Sikhs and decent, integrated Muslims to classify those brutes under the catch-all title of “Asian males”. All but one are Pakistani Muslims who come from a patriarchal peasant culture that obviously regards young white British girls as easy meat. Those children were considered fair game for degrading sexual acts on an almost industrial scale. The men took a calculated gamble that no one gave a damn about the girls. And you know the worst thing? They were right.
The number of adolescents “passed around” like a congenial hookah pipe by the gang is believed to be more than 50. There were 631 documented cases of abuse over a five-year period, and many will have been too afraid to tell their story. Some may not even be alive to tell it. We will never know the full extent of their pain.
Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England, who at least had the guts to bring the case to court after social workers and the police turned away for fear of being seen as racist, admitted that “imported cultural baggage” played a role in the crimes. That’s the same baggage that brought quaint customs like forced marriages, honour killing and female genital mutilation to these isles.
Crucially, Mr Afzal says that what defined the convicted men was their attitude to the opposite sex. “They think that women are some lesser beings.'
Tragically for girls and women, that is the state of Britain today.

And not only in Britain but in other parts of Europe in which men from backward tribal societies such as Afghanistan and the rural parts of Pakistan (societies so steeped in primitive misogyny that wives are routinely beaten for producing daughters instead of sons and females are gang-raped at the behest of village elders to atone for the misdeeds of male members of their families) have settled.

Some Simple Truths For Nakba Day (video)

Yes, I know this little bear irritates some people, but his heart's in the right place, and he explains things in the concise and simple detail that might be pitched at a level that even some Green/Left Israel bashers might understand.

Monday 14 May 2012

A Little Brain Teaser

Happy Birthday, Israel!
“American Presidents have long been criticized for being too in thrall to the Jewish lobby. The American Jews influence US foreign policy and that explains Washington’s unwavering support for Israel.”

Who made this statement this past week?

(a) A disgruntled fringe neo-Nazi
(b) Some poor soul ranting on their Facebook page
(c) The BBC

To find the answer, see here

Hat tip: the marvellous David Vance on the equally marvellous website

Sunday 13 May 2012

"If Kids Wish To Insult Each Other, They Now Use [The Word] Jew": Par For The Course At Parrs Wood?

Marcus Shloimovitz (1899-1986) began life in what was arguably the most antisemitic country in the whole of Europe, its institutionalised Jew-hatred seemingly outstripping even that of Tsarist Russia: Roumania.  But he spent most of his life in the great north-western city of Manchester, where he became a textile merchant.

A member of the Board of Deputies for 30 years, Mr Shloimovitz is still remembered for his long- and hard-fought campaign to have such definitions of the noun Jew as "extortionate moneylender ... miser" and of the obnoxious verb "to jew" as "to cheat, swindle or defraud" from English dictionaries.

In his struggle he was opposed, even mocked, by many of the lily-livered, don't-rock-the-boat types that have all too often bedeviled the "leadership" circles of the Anglo-Jewish community.

But he was supported by many non-Jewish public figures (including household names from Parliament and the judiciary), and his efforts were endorsed by successive Israeli prime ministers.

As a result of Mr Shloimovitz's tenacity and determination,  most dictionaries at last either removed the definitions objected to, or qualified their continuing presence with apologetic explanations.

Although such pejorative usages were in the dictionary, the Holocaust had already made utterance of them infinitely more shocking than they had been before, and they were accordingly shunned by all decent people, appalled at the depraved and murderous depths to which Judeophobia can lead.

Even so, the terms obviously continued in some households, for, shamefully, they have sprung into renewed life among schoolchildren.  

Notes the historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman in his latest column in the Jewish Chronicle:
'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].
The school in question is the notorious educational establishment located in the Manchester suburb of Didsbury and known as Parrs Wood. Readers of this column will recall that it was this very school that was the subject of my column on February 3, when I drew attention to the hostility to Israel and to the contempt for Jews displayed by its students, abetted by certain of its staff. Now we are told that its pupils routinely use the word "Jew" as a term of abuse and that this usage is (once again) becoming commonplace.'
This state school, which, as is obvious from its online videos, has an ethnically diverse student body, produced in its magazine a highly disturbing, in places downright mendacious, timeline of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the tone of which is indicated by the following outrageous inaccuracy in the introduction:
"The problem started with Palestine being an Arab, Muslim state [sic!]; however, over the years, more and more Jewish migrants have been settling there and creating their own state named ‘Israel’" 
Parrs Wood has also hit the headlines for other unfortunate reasons connected with the Middle East, being obliged in February to cancel a scheduled women-only event by Human Appeal International, a charity with reported links to Hamas. And in 2009 the same charity held at the school a "Day for Gaza" fundraising event.

In his earlier previously-mentioned column, written before the cancellation of the women-only event, Professor Alderman had some harsh things to say about the school and its headmaster:

'...Shakos has now brought himself to confess that, "it was perhaps a mistake to allow such an over-simplification of a complex issue to be addressed by one of our junior contributors and we certainly apologise for any upset caused by its publication".
But I'm afraid however many apologies are now issued as the complaints roll in, the matter cannot be permitted to rest there.
I am, for example, led to wonder just what sort of racialised rubbish is taught in the name of history at this school. I am led to ask why this school permits itself (as it will again, this month) to be used for the dubious fund-raising objectives of HAI. Above all, I am led to wonder whether, in showing such poor judgment and leadership, Andrew Shakos is really fit to be the school's head-teacher.'
Hadar Sela is one of the most perceptive and trenchant Middle East commentators in cyberspace: read her incisive piece regarding Parrs Wood, including her exchange with Parrs Wood headmaster Andrew Shakos,  here

As Ms Sela observed in relation to the timeline published in the school magazine:
'The problem of course is that almost 2,500 pupils have by now read and absorbed the politically-charged inaccuracies served up by the institution upon which they rely for knowledge. An apology will not remedy that disinformation.'
It seems reasonable to conclude that the "disinformation" in question will have confirmed many a pupil in the antisemitic attitudes inherent in the "Jew" slur that is apparently so widespread at Parrs Wood (and apparently at schools elsewhere).

Surely, headmaster Shakos should launch an investigation into the apparent Judeophobia, suggested by the racist use of "Jew" and "to jew" as insults at his school, and surely the official leadership of the Anglo-Jewish community should liaise with both him and the relevant educational authorities to ensure that he does so.

In tolerating such insults, the school may well be in violation of legislation regarding racial hatred and incitement to racial hatred.  It is certainly in violation of its moral and ethical obligations if it allows such repellent slurs to persist among the student body unchallenged.

Note: On 27 January 2014 Manchester Jewish community leader Joy Wolfe drew to my attention in a comment (qv) information unavailable to me at the time of writing the blog that puts a different perspective on matters. Please view that comment.

Friday 11 May 2012

Israel's National Unity Government & The Peace Process

Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer has a new article that comes via the antipodean J-Wire service.  It's entitled "Palestine – Israel has had enough".

Writes David Singer:

'The Palestinian Authority’s decision to unilaterally seek Palestinian statehood at the United Nations and UNESCO – in breach of its obligations under the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap – has propelled Benjamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz into forming Israel’s government of national unity this week.

This was made abundantly clear when one of the four priorities announced by both leaders was "to move forward responsibly in the peace process".

With the new Government now controlling 78% of the votes in the Knesset, a new offer is set to be made by Israel to the Palestinian Authority in a final endeavour to resolve the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza between Jews and Arabs.

Israel has endured the machinations of the Palestinian Authority for the last 19 years. Its continuing obduracy in demanding – as a minimum – a Palestinian State equal in size to 100% of the West Bank and Gaza – with its capital in Jerusalem – has been a major stumbling block in ending the conflict.

Successive Israeli Prime Ministers of differing political persuasions have laboured in vain to try and achieve an equitable division of these territories between Israel and the Palestinian Authority within the context of a negotiated peace treaty.

Refusing to budge from 100% is hardly a basis on which anyone can ever hope to successfully negotiate.

The Palestinian Authority will now pay dearly for its mistake in breaking away from the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap to unilaterally seek recognition of statehood at the United Nations and UNESCO in September and October 2011.

These disastrous diplomatic forays were made outside – and in breach of – the negotiating framework established by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap – which provided in Clause XXXI (7) of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip:
"Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations."
President Obama’s attempt to counsel the Palestinian Authority against taking such action was made very clear when addressing world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly: 
"Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. If it were that  easy, it would have been accomplished by now."
Notwithstanding the threat by America to veto any such move for statehood – the application was pressed – only to find it ignominiously rejected before it was even voted on by the Security Council.

Undeterred  - the Palestinian Authority then sought international recognition of Palestinian statehood at UNESCO – where it succeeded – despite Israel and America’s strong opposition.

America immediately suspended the payment its membership dues to UNESCO under a domestic 1994 law on its statute books  - which prohibited payments to

"any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood."
Palestine’s application did not comply with the internationally recognized attributes of statehood laid down in the Montevideo Convention 1933 – yet UNESCO had recognized Palestinian statehood in breach of such well established international law.
None of  the 194 member states of UNESCO – including Israel and America – has taken any steps since to try and reverse UNESCO’s unlawful decision or withdraw its delegates from UNESCO in protest – even though 87 of them did not affirmatively vote for Palestine‘s admission as a member state of UNESCO.

Their inaction amounts to recognition of Palestinian statehood and an end to Palestinian homelessness – resulting in the achievement of the two state solution outside the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap.

This state of  Palestine  is not required to be demilitarized nor recognize Israel as the Jewish State – as Israel had been demanding as conditions for its recognition of a Palestinian State.
[Emphasis added]

So where is Israel going to go from here in "moving forward responsibly in the peace process"?

A clue can be found in the following views expressed by Mofaz in November 2009 – which remain equally relevant in 2012:
"Today in Gaza, 100% of the territory and 100% of the population is under Hamas control.
 In the West Bank, there are three types of areas; Area A, B, and C.
 Palestinians have security and civilian responsibility in Area A.
 In Area B, Israel has security responsibility, the Palestinians have civilian sovereignty.
 Security and civilian issues are controlled by Israel in Area C
 Today, Areas A and B represent 40% of the West Bank territory and 99.2% of the Palestinian population. But there is no continuity between the Palestinians in Areas A and B.
 I am suggesting adding 20% of Area C to give full continuity to the Palestinian state, with 60% of the territory in the West Bank and 99% of the population."
On Jerusalem,Mofaz was very definite:
"The issue of Jerusalem should be discussed in a very sensitive way. There is no chance to divide Jerusalem. It will remain united as the capital of the state of Israel and we have to find a way to handle the daily life of the Jewish and Palestinian people in Jerusalem."
 On the vexed issue of building in Jewish settlements in the West Bank during negotiations, Mofaz was clear: 
"We will not freeze the life or building in Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Efrat, Ariel and some others, all of which are known as the settlement blocs.
 Regarding the areas that will be the future Palestinian state, I believe that we should consider the continuation of the life of the people, but we should not build in this area because it will be under the sovereignty and responsibility of the Palestinian state.
 This makes it very clear which areas we will continue to build in and which we should allow daily life to continue but without any building."
Mofaz’s views – if accepted by Netanyahu – will form the basis for a final offer that Israel will be making to the Palestinian Authority. [Emphasis added]

No doubt such offer will be rejected – because it would mean a substantial diminution in territory from the last offer made by Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert in 2008 – and several even more attractive offers made and rejected in 1937, 1947 and 2000.

Israel would be totally justified in this decision – since it is now facing a militarized Palestinian State that does not recognize Israel as the Jewish State.

For Israel – the refusal of such an offer  would signal that it is time to annex Area C, retain security control in Area B – and  let the state of Palestine exercise its new found sovereignty in Areas A, B and Gaza.

Israel’s national unity government clearly signals  that it is not in a mood to play the Palestinian Authority’s game any more.'