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)

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Oh, What A State To Be In! The New Roast Beef of Old England & Other Unpalatables

It's All Over Now: How Jewish artist Arthur Szyk (d.1951) depicted Britain
On Sunday I dragged my jetlagged self to a book launch in the Shtetl-on-the-Yarra.  The book in question is an anthology of translated-into-English articles by a noted Melbourne Yiddishist and Bundist who migrated to Australia in 1928.  One of the speakers at the launch, a passionate Yiddishist whose political outlook does not, I'm sure, coincide with my own, spoke in glowing terms of the great multicultural city that Melbourne has become, seeing the subject of the book and the latter's fellow Polish-Jewish Yiddishists who arrived in the first half of the twentieth as the pioneers of this development.  And certainly, in the decade and a half that I've lived away from Australia's shores, there are more "ethnic" communities than ever before in this, one of the most liveable cities anywhere in the world.

But there are drawbacks to the multiculturalism at whose shrine we are all expected to worship (or woe betide us with the inhibition-inducing designation "racist").  This very week (hat tip: reader Ian) the Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt drew attention to one such drawback: the subordination of women in the Islamic community and the corresponding failure of the feminist sisterhood and the rest of the Left (with one or two honourable exceptions) to condemn it.  Specifically, Bolt highlighted the fact that on the campus of one of Australia's most venerable and venerated seats of learning, the University of Melbourne, women attending lectures held under Islamic auspices have been shunted to the back of the room, with scarcely a pip of outrage of one of the Leftist honourable exceptions, Professor Shelia Jeffreys being an honourable exception among Leftists and feminists:
'University of Melbourne gender politics professor Sheila Jeffreys said she was shocked to learn that this “form of subordinating women” was taking place on an Australian university campus.
“There needs to be great outrage about this,” Professor Jeffreys said. “It is a Rosa Parks moment . . . Making women sit at the back in lecture theatres is sexual apartheid…
“Religious ideas that so blatantly make women into second-class citizens are not worthy of respect...”
Professor Jeffreys said the events at the University of Melbourne were part of a “wider trend” that was seeing women’s equality rights eroded under the mantra of religion and culture, even at the level of the UN.'
The university itself has been silent. To quote Bolt again:
'Interesting. [Federal Opposition Leader] Tony Abbott buys in:
Tony Abbott has condemned Melbourne University for allowing gender segregation at on-campus Islamic events, branding the practice “a leap back into the dark ages”.
“I just think it’s un-Australian what’s happened here and I can’t understand for a second why Melbourne University would tolerate it,” the Opposition Leader said.
No word yet from [Prime Minister] Julia Gillard who last year boasted:
"When I see sexism and misogyny, I’m gonna call ‘em for what they are."
So Gillard falsely slimes Tony Abbott as a woman-hater, but says nothing when she sees real sexism?'
It's not politically correct to say so, and indeed to do so is to invite the "racist" trope, but Australia has perhaps still time to learn from the sad and sorry state of Britain.  Below are a few sad and sorry aspects of life in the Sceptr'd (some now dub it Septic) Isle.

During the1970s, the controversial anti-immigration right-wing Tory MP (and writer on Jewish history and affairs) Harold Soref was invited to Magdalene College, Cambridge, to participate in a forum on "Race Relations".

On sitting down to dinner with his hosts, Soref found that despite his Jewishness they had arranged a menu consisting of shrimps as a starter with pork chops to follow.

Struck immediately by the irony, given the forum's focus, and refusing the repast, he was at length given a piece of rather tired cod that the kitchen staff had somehow managed to conjure up.

Sensitivities towards "diversity" in Britain have come a long way since then, in the matter of cuisine sometimes much too far.

Take, for example, the roast beef of Old England.  Chances are that nowadays that cow on the plate was slaughtered according to sharia methods, and the average consume is none the wiser: nor will they be, if craven MPs have their way.  Halal  meat is already served up at school dinners in some state schools, and if non-Muslim parents don't want such meat for their children, well, hard cheese old chum.

The favoured place accorded to Islam (alone, needless to say, of Britain's immigrant religions) is reflected by the now ubiquitous and probably mandatory use by BBC presenters and newsreaders to "the prophet Mohammed" rather than, for example, "Islam's prophet Mohammed".  (Just imagine the outcry were the phrase "Our Lord Jesus" to be used!  But of course, it never would be.)

Then there's this, which I excerpt from an excellent article by British columnist James Delingpole:
"My brilliant [11-year-old] niece Freya was talking to my brother the other day about the religious education curriculum at her predominately white, middle-class state school in a pretty English cathedral city. She happened to mention ‘Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him.’ ‘Eh?’ said my brother. ‘It’s what we’re taught at school. After we mention “Mohammed” we have to say “Peace be upon him”.’
Now I know what you’re thinking: that Freya must surely have got the wrong end of the stick. ‘If this were a madrassa in Bradford, well maybe,’ you’ll be thinking. ‘But at a white, middle-class state school in a pretty English cathedral city? No way. Things aren’t that bad. At least not yet, anyway…’
But Freya is not stupid. That’s why, at the beginning, I referred to her as my ‘brilliant’ niece as opposed to my ‘incredibly thick’ one. Apparently, she assures me, they’ve been taught to use the ‘peace be upon him’ formula since Year 7 and though they’re allowed to shorten it to PBUH, they’re definitely not supposed to call him just Mohammed. ‘There’s sometimes the odd snigger when the phrase comes up but we’ve been conditioned pretty much to accept it as normal,’ says Freya. ‘It’s a bit weird, given that there’s only two Muslim kids in my year of 100.’ [My emphasis]
I find this scary for at least two reasons. The first is what it says about the death of our national identity....
But our failure to defend our culture is only the second scariest part of the PBUH story. The scariest, of course, is what it tells us not just about the growing dominance of Islamism but about our cowardice, fear and ignorance in so easily surrendering to it....'
Quite so.

Cultural enrichment in England's capital city
And then there's a troubling governmental briefing which reveals the promulgation of extremism in Islamic faith schools.  To quote the Daily Telegraph:
'.... Among “schools of interest” are three run by the Islamic Shaksiyah Foundation in Haringey, North London and Slough, Berks. Reports have claimed the foundation is run by senior members and activists of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist political group that campaigns for an Islamic state.... Another school, the Alif Academy in Forest Gate, East London, is also on the list. The local council has raised concerns about links with Hizb ut-Tahrir....
Another causing concern is the Darul Uloom school in Birmingham, associated with the missionary group Tablighi Jamaat, where an undercover documentary recorded children being taught a hardline version of Islam that criticised Hindus and Jews.... The document also mentions a proposal to set up a school attached to the Central Mosque in Rochdale, called Darul Ilm, which is also associated with Tablighi Jamaat.... The briefing document also highlights an application to set up a private school at the Green Lanes Mosque in Birmingham, which has links to fundamentalist “salafi” Muslims in Pakistan, and where another undercover documentary filmed preachers speaking out against homosexuals and non-Muslims.'
With the sentencing recently of fraudulentwork-shy layabout philanderer Mike Philpot, a singularly unattractive and unsavoury specimen of manhood who fathered 17 children by several women while sponging off state benefits and enjoying the favours of a live-in wife and mistress, the Cameron government has started talking tough  about those who misuse the welfare system.  Will that tough talk translate into action, and will it apply to the extra wives of the immigrants from polygamous Third World cultures who use state benefits to enjoy polygamous lifestyles in Britain, adding many offspring to the burgeoning population? (Read about the little matter of polygamy and welfare payments here

Such payments include the handouts enjoyed by scroungers who preach Jihad against the very nation whose largess they take: see here!)  Don't miss this (lucky for some. eh?) or this or this either!

Potty rulings by judges allow criminals to escape deportation: see here and here , and the European Court of Human Rights has the effect of placing the rights of dangerous Islamist extremists above those of the rest of the population, time and time again thwarting the Government's attempts to deport such men.

Anti-social foreign mendicants are blighting areas of London with makeshift camps that are eyesores, unhygeinic, and utterly illegal, Marble Arch, and along Britain's waterways swans, all the property of the Crown and as such a protected species, are being cruelly trapped and butchered for food by East European immigrants who don't know or don't want to know that their actions are unlawful  (with that, and the seemingly inexorable pattern of wage-undercutting economic immigration to a small already densely populated island whose ethnic British inhabitants are predicted to become a minority in their own land by 2066, it's no wonder people are turning to the one non-racist political party that is willing to address such problems, Nigel Farage's United Kingdom Independence Party, known as UKIP, which wants to hand back that poisoned chalice known as membership of the European Union).

The European dimension to the British tragedy was splendidly articulated last year, following the bread-and-circuses Queen's Jubilee celebrations, by Christopher Booker:
'....As we watched those little rowing boats processing down the Thames, I suspect that some may have contrasted this with the spectacle at Spithead in 1953 when the Queen was able to review 300 ships and what was still one of the greatest navies in the world. In all the accounts of how Britain has changed in 60 years, one or two commentators did mention the incredible shrinking of our Armed Forces, and how many of the famous companies that Britain could boast in 1953 are either now in foreign hands or have vanished altogether.
But, amid the endless repetitions of how the celebrations made us "proud to be British", and how "we still do pageantry better than anyone else", and how much we admire everything the Queen has stood for, almost entirely omitted was any reference to the most far-reaching of all the changes to the UK’s status in the world during her reign – everything that has followed from that day in 1973 when we became part of the new political entity then taking shape in Europe.....
The reality of that great spectacle last weekend is that it was just an outward show, a Potemkin village, giving us the illusion that we are still a proud and historic nation, still able to hold our heads up high with an unqualified sense of patriotism, still able to govern ourselves under a splendid and dignified monarch. Indeed, the Queen may deserve admiration for the way she has carried herself for 60 years. But under the Treaty of Maastricht, she became, like the rest of her subjects, just another “citizen of the European Union”.'
The killing of foetuses of the despised gender (no identification necessary) is rife in certain ethnic communities.  Sharia Courts, as numerous now as mushrooms after a heavy rain, undermine the law of the land and undermine, too, the rights of women.  Girls and women have been victims of "honour" killings, promping this fine article in The Commentator regarding multiculturalism.

Courtesy: Edgar Davidson blog
As The Commentator notes here, fear of the "Islamophobia" tag hindered police enquiries into the Muslim sex gang activity that has plagued Britain.

A Birmingham Muslim who travelled to Nottingham to have sex with a 13-year-old girl whom he'd met on Facebook was spared gaol on the premise that he hadn't known the legal age of consent in England and Wales! (A rum excuse if ever there was one.) To quote the Daily Mail:

"Rashid had little experience of women’ due to his education at an Islamic school in the UK, which cannot be named for legal reasons.

After his arrest, he told a psychologist that he did not know having sex with a 13-year-old was against the law. The court heard he found it was illegal only when he was informed by a family member. 
In other interviews with psychologists, Rashid claimed he had been taught in his school that women are no more worthy than a lollipop that has been dropped on the ground’." [My emphasis.]
Such ingrained contempt for the female of the human species finds expression in the disproportionate number of "Asian" sex gangs that groom underage girls, usually white, for sexual abuse including gang rape: in at least one case, a young victim aged eleven, whom it seems not inappropriate to characterise as a "sex slave," was branded on the buttock with the initial of her "owner".

As Edgar Davidson (who highlights the curious case of convict Conway, who criticised Islam) points out here, the term "Asian," the closest the mainstream media  usually gets to identifying the Islamic background of the men involved, unjustly slurs Indians, Chinese, and Koreans, who are not noted for these crimes.

Hardeep Singh, a prominent member of the Sikh community,  has written:
'Obviously Sikhs and Hindus and other "Asian" non-Muslims, including Jains, Zoroastrians, Christians and Buddhists, don’t want to be associated with sexual grooming of vulnerable white girls. The vast majority of Muslims don’t want to either.
 The girls targeted in Rochdale, Derby and now in Luton are all non-Muslim. This is nothing new for British Hindus and Sikhs, who have complained about targeting of their girls for decades; Indians refer to the practice as "love-jihad"....
It is for the Muslim community and its leaders to decide what is behind the trend, and what to do about it; but it is time for politicians and the press to bear in mind that in the context of these sex crimes, as with violent extremism, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour killings, the vague term "Asian" serves no purpose. Worse, it besmirches entire swathes of Britons with roots in the Indian subcontinent.
 It’s encouraging to hear some brave voices filtering through the political minefield: Baroness Warsi [a Muslim Conservative life peer]recently hit out at the “small minority” of Pakistani men who see white girls as “fair game”; last year, Jack Straw [a Labour former Home Secretary]braved criticism for his claim that some Pakistani men see white girls as “easy meat.” But the problem continues: commentators are unwilling to label the perpetrators "Muslim", opting instead to hide behind the fudge of "Asian".
Lessons can be learned from Britain's own colonial history. The Empire's attitudes towards natives may have been problematic from a modern perspective, but it was careful to distinguish between the different inhabitants of the subcontinent....'
 As Melanie Phillips has observed of such cases:
"Of course, many Muslims will be aghast and revolted by the behaviour of these men. But the fact that Muslims are disproportionately represented among the perpetrators of this particular crime means inescapably that a cultural Muslim issue is involved. If this is not acknowledged, this terrible pattern of abuse will simply continue.  And those who shriek ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobe’ at all who point this out in order to stifle proper debate thus make themselves also complicit in these outrages.
A Muslim community disproportionately involved in criminal behaviour targeted at non-Islamic people but which refuses to acknowledge any communal responsibility and claims instead to be the victim of a conspiracy; a society that refuses to acknowledge the religious and cultural wellspring of that behaviour and which condemns instead those who express concern about its consequences; where have we heard all this before? Whether in response to threats to life and liberty from within or without, Britain is still sleepwalking off the edge of a cliff."  
Entire neighbourhoods have been transformed, through the unforgivable policy of Open Door immigration instituted by the Blair Government, into zones that are unrecognisible, if not actually unwelcoming, to the original inhabitants (see, for instance, this article and this). But you don't have to be white to feel threatened.  I know personally a young Indian man who, walking along a quiet street in a quiet town minding his own business, was physically assaulted by two Muslim strangers who decided to punish him for being a Hindu! He is well aware of which streets in his own bustling Midlands city are virtual no-go zones not only to whites but to people like him. In Bradford, people selling Remembrance Day poppies have been attacked by the usual suspects, and of course,  in a certain London area the Islamic vigilantes interfering with the freedoms of citizens by attempting to force their cultural norms upon them.

Here is footage from a car ride through what the video makers call "The Occupied Territory".  Not Gaza and the West Bank but the English city of Birmingham, where one of the two guys grew up.  The guys are from a rightly stigmatised political party, but I suspect that these two were driven to membership not from an inherent nasty racist mindset but out of sorrow for their vanishing heritage and because the mainstream parties have failed to address the issue of mass Third World immigration in any meaningful way.

Here, from the capital of England's once green and pleasant land, is as vicious and hysterical a rabble-rousing speech against the Zionist Entity as ever there was - by a BBC favourite, "moderate" Muslim, Dr Azzam Tamimi, who calls Israel "a cancer in the body of humanity" that must be eradicated; note the frequent cries of Allahu Akbar.

Well might Netanyahu express misgivings about the British.  Well might Melanie Phillips warn about the price of financial aid from Saudi Arabia.
Regarding the exponential rise in the number of foreign-born in the 2011 Census, and consequent demographic revolution, the fearless young public  intellectual Douglas Murray excoriates recent governments and says
'.... The Labour government, like the Conservative governments before them, and the coalition government since, did everything it could to ignore the real concerns expressed by the majority of the public. But with no decent mainstream party to vote for, the public kept voting for the same parties as usual. Fooled by the occasional speech saying that there was going to be some"'tough" new approach, the country got stuck in a debate that has been played on repeat. Yet all the time that debate-loop was going, the ground beneath us was changing unrecognizably.
.... There are those who wanted this change to happen, and there are those who did not. The former now occasionally notice that their plan has caused troubles of which they were barely aware when they set out. The latter are reviled as backwards, racist, bigoted and out-of-touch with their new country. In reality they are simply people who once had a country and have seen it changed irrevocably, and simply hold on to a feeling of sadness that nobody thought about where this would take us, or whether we the people should ever be listened to in the little matter of our own future."
On the funeral route of the great Margaret Thatcher (photo: Jason Taitz)
Last summer New York journalist Kyle Smith wrote:
'Don’t be fooled by the pomp and dazzle of the Queen’s royal Diamond Jubilee flotilla easing past the tourists, celebrity-spotters, and pickpockets on the Thames. Britain is a country rotting from the inside, the first nation on earth that elected to destroy its culture with political correctness.
Asks British columnist Rod Liddle, “Who are the people who have made Britain what it is today, the ones who ensured that we became a limp-wristed and decrepit, post-imperial satrapy of incompetence, sanctimony, self-obsession and self-loathing?”
Who indeed? (By limp-wristed, Liddle means lacking in conviction, not gay). The short answer is the new aristocracy, the bien pensant, well-shod, culturally aloof types who watch the BBC, read The Guardian, and vote to nudge the country ever farther along its current trajectory, which has not even slightly been altered by the return of a Conservative to the premiership. Against the wishes of the average citizen, Britain has a government that is simultaneously abdicating its core functions and pretending to take responsibility for other duties for which it is spectacularly ill-suited. It has abandoned a proud, concrete culture in pursuit of a hazy dream of a transnational ideal....
....What Hitler and Napoleon couldn’t do, the dull Eurocrats and their silky-voiced, terribly respectable media cheerleaders are intent on doing. But then again, Britain is already dead, it just hasn’t been buried yet.'

Sunday 28 April 2013

"Completely Disgusting & Disrespectful Of The Murdered": Leftist Reverse Racism Down Under

Well, here I am, safely back in Australia, but so much the worse for jet lag and not yet being settled with personal internet access that I can do little more than note the fury that greeted the remarks of an ABC presenter called Virginia Trioli regarding the recent atrocities in Boston, prompting numerous complaints from outraged viewers.

Trioli, whose employer, the ABC, is Australia's answer to the BBC and just as leftist in mentality, has since cast herself as a victim, blogging:
'On the morning of the Boston bombings, after almost four hours of rolling coverage on ABC News Breakfast, many viewers were becoming increasingly agitated that a series of bombings overnight in Iraq, in which 50 died and more than 200 were injured, had not received anywhere near the attention of the American attack. It was a perfectly valid point – an obvious one, even. It’s a dilemma we always confront when attacks in the West inevitably get more coverage than those elsewhere.
After reading all the critical emails, I could see their point and I said,“That’s the contrast that we always have on a day like today when it seems to many we’re overly focusing on what happens to rich, white people in the West versus what happens on a daily basis in those countries”. [Emphasis added]
As a result of quoting our audience disquiet, the online world exploded in rage. I’ve been accused of racism; racial profiling; absolving the bomber/s; failing to care about dead children; and being a danger to the country. I am apparently a “fascist, socialist pig” (both!).
I’ve also been abused in the most disgusting and personal terms, but that just goes with the territory these days.
Those shouting me down failed to see that Australia now consists of many who come originally from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere and they will be as desperately interested in news from there as some of us might be for news from England. The country has changed – our reporting needs to reflect that....'
Perhaps it does, but that is no justification for the reverse racism involved in her characterisation of the Boston victims.

Nor her assumption that because they are "white" they are "rich".

(How, indeed, could Ms Trioli presume know the ethnicity of every one of the dead and injured apart from her own stereotypes of what a Bostonian looks like?)

A friend of mine who saw Ms Trioli's broadcast registered (in an email aptly headed "Utter Leftwing Rubbish") his disapproval of the totally unnecessary, outrageously partisan, classist, white self-flagellating  manner in which the presenter framed her on-air remarks:
'Female co-host just said about the Boston bombing that they don't want to focus too much on it because it only affects "rich white people," as opposed to bombs in Iraq.
If she said that about a bomb attack in an African-American area and said "rich black people" she would be sacked.
This also ignores the fact the Boston Marathon is an international event in a multi-racial city and that Iraqis are also Caucasians. It also ignores, in typically culturally-relativist, manner Australia's greater links to the USA.
Completely disgusting and disrespectful of the murdered.'
Yesterday he sent me the reply he'd just received from the ABC, signed by a functionary called Adam Doyle:
'Your concerns have been noted and Virginia Trioli addressed the points you raised during News Breakfast on the morning of  April 17, explaining her view on the media coverage of events in first world countries and how that compares to the media's coverage of events in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.  Ms Trioli addressed concerns that she had been insensitive - saying that was not her intention,  and she didn't want to offend anyone.
The matter was also referred to ABC News Management. We are satisfied that there was no malice in the comment.'
 To which my friend emailed this response:
"I don't accept her apology. I think she meant it and I think you have double standards and if she said it about an African country she'd be reprimanded."
Yep, too right, mate.

Monday 22 April 2013

Palestine – Singing From The Same Hymn Book, By David Singer

(As I explained in the preceding post, this blog is taking a holiday of about a week.
I'm glad, though, to be able to post the following article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer before I shut my laptop and begin the long trek from my rural hermitage in the UK to Australia.
Any comments on this and other posts will appear tardily, so please accept my apologies.)

Writes David Singer:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has now claimed that a "country" exists in that area of the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority's complete administrative and security control prior to the Authority's demise in January 2013.

Speaking at the re-opening of the Palestinian embassy in Kuwait, Abbas was reportedly quoted in Gulf as stating it was: 
“a historic moment in the deep-rooted relations between the two countries.”
Granted Abbas spoke in Arabic and his words may have been misunderstood or mistranslated –  international acceptance of this region as a country called "Palestine" could be a significant step forward in progressing an end to the long running Jewish-Arab conflict.

Abbas's claim was further strengthened with a report in Turkish that Turkey has become the first country to appoint an ambassador to "Palestine" after its envoy in Ramallah –  Sakir Ozkan Torunlar –  presented his Letter of Credence to President Mahmoud Abbas - being officially titled as the first ambassador to "Palestine"

Yet –  according to Yahoo 7 News – the Palestinian Authority is still slowly progressing to statehood despite the admission of "Palestine" as a member state of UNESCO and an observer at the United Nations.
"Prime minister Salam Fayyad's resignation is likely to raise questions over donor support for the Palestinian Authority and may slow its steps towards statehood, experts warn."
However – confirming the demise of the Palestinian Authority –  Shir Hever, an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Centre (an Israeli-Palestinian Organization) told Real News:
"The State of Palestine, formerly known as the Palestinian Authority, has placed a single condition to resume talks that Israel will freeze the construction in the illegal colonies."
John V Whitbeck –  an international lawyer who served as an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel –  declared the Palestinian Authority dead and buried four months ago.

In an article in the Cyprus Mail on 13 January headlined "Finally the State of Palestine exists" Whitbeck revealed that the Palestinian Authority “had been absorbed and replaced by the State of Palestine” in a decree issued by Mahmoud Abbas on 3 January and signed by him acting in his capacities as president of the State of Palestine and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Making sure his message was fully understood by those willing to listen, Whitbeck stated unequivocally:
'The Trojan horse called the “Palestinian Authority” in accordance with the Oslo interim agreements and the “Palestinian National Authority” by Palestinians, having served its purpose by introducing the institutions of the State of Palestine on the soil of Palestine, has now ceased to exist.'
Abbas's Kuwait declaration as existing head of this "country" is a welcome development - but must not to be confused with the two-state solution that was to have resulted from negotiations between Israel and the PLO under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

The United Nations seems to have underscored this differentiation with a statement to Wafa Press this past week by United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process –  Robert Serry: 
“the United Nations remains committed to working with its Palestinian partners, under the leadership of President Abbas, towards development, state-building and to achieve the long-overdue negotiated two-state solution.”
The problem for the UN is that the framework for that long overdue negotiated two-state solution has been abandoned by the PLO unilaterally approaching UNESCO and the United Nations whilst engaging in its own brand of state-building to the point where Abbas can now proclaim to be head of a "country" without any need for such further negotiations.

The UN - a principal supporter and sponsor of Oslo and the Roadmap - has seen these negotiating processes subverted by large numbers of its own member states actively endorsing and encouraging the above unilateral actions by Abbas when he headed the now defunct Palestinian Authority.

Whitbeck's following assessment made in January now makes more sense after this week's interesting developments: 
“Perhaps due, at least in part, to the low-key manner in which this change has been effected (the end of the Palestinian Authority - Ed), it has attracted remarkably little attention from the international media or reaction from other governments, even the Israeli and American governments. This is not necessarily disappointing, since passive acceptance is clearly preferable to furious rejection.
The relatively few and brief media reports of the change have tended to characterise it as “symbolic”. It could - and should - be much more than that. If the Palestinian leadership plays its cards wisely, it could – and should –  represent a turning point toward a better future.”
Playing their cards wisely now involves Abbas and the Palestinian leadership
* putting an end to continuing claims of statelessness, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and occupation
* urging the winding up of UNRWA, the dismantling of its refugee camps and using UNRWA's budget to repatriate and re-settle the hitherto stateless refugees in their new country
* calling on Palestinian Arabs world wide to return to their fledgling country to join in the challenge of nation building
* Encouraging other countries to follow the examples of Turkey and Kuwait by appointing ambassadors and establishing full diplomatic relations
* seeking a new negotiating framework with Israel to resolve what has now become a border dispute between two existing countries.
There is still a long way to go before everyone is singing from the same hymn book - but actions such as these will certainly help.

Brief Interlude: Daphne Is Leaving Tonight On A Plane ...

Not  Daniel, as in the song, but Daphne.

After a long sojourn in the dear old Mother Country, I'm about to begin my journey back to Australia, and this blog will be taking a week or so's holiday while I'm in transit, etc.

So apologies for the tardy appearance of any comments on the posts, including one by David Singer that I'm shortly putting up.

Please stick around!

I'll be back blogging soon, and will continue with the usual themes, including the British ones.

As for Daniel. well,  here is Daniel – British-born Daniel Taub, Israel's ambassador in the UK, delivering a fine speech last week on Israeli Independence Day.

How & Why I Became A Committed Christian Zionist: A British Israel-Supporter Recollects

The following, by reader Ian G,  is cross-posted from his blog The Almond Rod.  (It first appeared there here and here and here, and he tells me there's more to follow in the series, and that some of it will be controversial.  Nor, incidentally, does the series comprise the only posts on his blog of interest to Jews and Zionists, which is why I'm adding The Almond Rod to my blogroll.) 

Writes Ian G:

First steps in Zionism – a personal journey.

This is the first post in a series that will examine how and why I became a committed Christian Zionist. It is my  journey and my understanding.

Like many other brought up in the 50s and 60s, I went to Sunday School. This is different in the UK to what is found in the USA.

At my home church we had a Lay Reader (non-ordained minister licensed to preach in the Anglican Church). He had the enormous privilege of going to Israel for a holiday. Back then foreign holidays were for the rich alone. We were just beginning to get used to the idea that working people might holiday abroad.

He came back with a slide show of places in Israel. He told us that here was where Jesus did this, or there was where David did that etc. etc.  Thus was born a desire, still unfulfilled, to go to Israel and see for myself. I was about eight years old. Many others were taught what I was taught, but they are neither Christian or Zionist.

Back then, I hadn't encountered the idea that scripture was unreliable. I never swallowed that lie.

In course of time (1966), I was confirmed into the CofE and stayed with the Church. It was through the writings of C.S. Lewis that I was shown the work of Satan and the saving power of Jesus the Christ. About this time, God was working in the lives of millions of young people (1967/8). This Revival was sometimes called the Jesus Movement, but I knew none of that. All I knew was the God  that I had personally encountered was the Jesus I read about in the Scriptures. 

I soon came to realise that if I believed the Gospels, I had to believe the Old Testament/Tenach. I didn't know it at the time, but I was now an 'evangelical' Christian.

For me, Jesus and Israel were inseparably intertwined – and I wanted to go to Israel all the more.

First Steps in Zionism Part 2 – some reflections.

Of course, I've missed out a lot of what happened in the 40s, 50s and early 60s. I had only just become a 'teenager' in '66. How I hated that word! Teenagers this; teenagers that. Judge a whole generation because they had reached 13.

In the UK, I could just remember the orange juice ration for babies and my sister being weighed in at the 'clinic', which actually was the Methodist Church Hall. It would feature again in my early life.

Being a voracious reader, and my parents having subscribed for me to a part-work encyclopedia called 'Knowledge', I had some idea of the possible consequences if the USA/USSR confrontation had gone wrong in '62. I can still recall the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. I was aware of the Suez crisis but I couldn't have told you much about it.

Growing up in an English Market Town in the Durham Dales had a great many blessings and privileges; not least our very own Museum/French Chateau and a Public School, Grammar School and Secondary School.

It wasn't idyllic, by any means, but it was a much better life than many, even in the UK, enjoyed.

We didn't hear much about Israel. As far as my generation was concerned, it was where it was supposed to be, where the Bible said it was, more or less. We knew nothing of the Balfour Declaration or the machinations of T.E. Lawrence and the Foreign Office. My father's generation, having done National Service, couldn't comprehend why Irgun and other groups attacked the King David Hotel and hanged National Servicemen, just young men trying to serve King and Country.

Now, at a distance, I can only wish that we had kept our word. I think that there are apologies due on both sides.

I don't know that I really 'became' a Zionist. I think it is the word that best describes what I believe and how those beliefs developed. For me, and for many, Israel had every right to exist in its homeland. After all, a war had just been fought for the right of all of us to live freely and in our own countries. At least, that's what the people fought for.

First steps in Zionism – Part 3: 1967 and all that!

These are my memories of what it was like to be 14, at school, discovering a personal faith, discovering the Bible and being confronted with the amazing feat of arms that was the Six-Day War. It's my history as I remember it. I will try to be accurate but it's not journalism or general historical analysis. It's about how I became/discovered I was a Christian Zionist.

It's worth remembering that in 1967 many people still had personal memories of WW2. Grandparents and some parents had served in the Forces. Most had done National Service and nearly all had lived through the War. We knew what the Germans had done. Back then we were less fussy about German /Nazi distinctions. We knew that the Jews deserved a homeland and we knew, to some extent, the Bible.

The Four 'Rs were reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic', and religious instruction. This latter meant Christianity and, because Christians revere the Old Testament/Tenach, there was some familiarity with Judaism and with the Geography etc. of the Holy Land. We knew things that these days some people actually question, such as the reality of the Temple in Jerusalem until AD 70. I'll post later on the change in terminology and the undermining of Christian Education in the latter half of the 20century. (Not a thesis, just a blog-post!)

For those who want a timeline and a history of the build-up to the war, I suggest that you go here . It's quite amazing how different political attitudes were then.

I vaguely remember Nasser taking the straits of Tiran (Gulf of Aqaba). Everyone knew that a regional war was was imminent. What no-one expected was a different kind of Jew.

The school I attended had a Combined Cadet Force. The best in the North-East, then and now. US reader, please do not make the mistake of interpreting this as being the same as your ROTC. It's very part-time, more fun, more relaxed, less intense, in short, more British. It's not full-volume, buzz cuts, calling sergeants 'sir' (good grief!!!) etc. Voice of command, yes on parade, hair - just above the collar, and our lot were so arrogant ( I'm sorry to say) that we never saluted anyone under the rank of Major. I'm not sure how we got away with it. The point being we appreciated the feat of arms that was the Six-Day War.

Instead of Saul cowering in his tent, or the dreadful images of the Holocaust, we had an army of Davids, young, fit and victorious.

Some of us thrilled to see this, and when we saw those same soldiers reunite Jerusalem and praying at the Western Wall, it felt like we were watching the Bible come to life.

And then, as part of my growth as a Christian, I discovered Obadiah. to be precise 1:20 . Zarephath, half-way between Tyre and Sidon. I wondered if we might see conflict in the Lebanon in that area? Obadiah got that one right, but possession is yet to come. Given the persecution of non-muslim Arabs, I still expect to see them look to Israel for protection.

To summarise, at this point I believed that:

The Jews had a right to live in their historic homeland;
They had a right to self-determination rule themselves;
And they had a right to self-defence.
This made me a Zionist, if I but knew it.
It also made me a patriot as every nation has these rights.

I also believed that I was seeing the fulfillment of prophecy .
This made me a religious Zionist.

Finally, it seemed to me that this heralded the return of the Messiah.
And this made me a Christian Zionist.

Nothing, that I have learned since, has changed these basic convictions.
There is much more to come, but these are still my first steps in Zionism.

Learn more about these pictures here.

Sunday 21 April 2013

A Voice From "Apartheid Israel": Lina Sings "Hallelujah"

Onthe  final of "The Voice" in Israel recently, Lina Makhoul, an Israeli Christian Arab from Akko, enthralled the audience and judges with her beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," and won, leaving Ben Shitrit, who sang Ishfiut Zmanit's "Hakaitz Haakharon" ("The Last Summer") in runner-up position. Ms Makhoul, who's 19, thereby got a record contract and a music scholarship.

(Hat tip for video: reader Shirlee)

Walk On By: Demo Outside G4S London HQ (video)

The most notable feature of this protest outside the London HQ of G4S by a hardcore of Israel-haters (the video-maker and uploader to YouTube, a stalwart of the BDS movement, writes of the "fascist Zionist regime in Tel Aviv") on Friday 19 April (designated Palestinian Prisoners Day), is the brisk pace and apathetic attitude of most pedestrians.  Watch them hurry past as protesters attempt to hand out flyers...

But in cyberspace the usual suspects and their cheerleaders are up to their usual tricks, highlighting this abhorrent blood libel of a claim.

Saturday 20 April 2013

The Wisdom Of Solomon: A Sydneysider On Terrorism's Dream Enemy

For all I know, some people might feel that their author gilds the lily, but these are surely essentially wise words from Australian Gil Solomon, which appear under the title "A Terrorist's Dream – To Have Jews As The Enemy".  Convinced they're worth sharing beyond the Antipodes, I've taken the liberty of reproducing them here from the invaluable antipodean source J-Wire.

Writes Gil Solomon: 

'It must be any Arab terrorist’s dream come true that they have Jews as their enemy.

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you can fire rockets by the thousands and finally receive a response you know will end prematurely and inconclusively. You face an Israeli enemy which, during a war, gives advance notice by flyers and phone calls to apartment residents that a specific building is being targeted, giving so called “innocent” civilians and yourselves enough time to escape with your life.

Recently a US drone targeted a known terrorist in Pakistan and according to media reports even after confirming the man’s wife and extended family were present, the missile launch went ahead killing the terrorist and nine of those present with him and not a peep from anyone. This should serve as an example of the blatant experiences Israel should highlight the next time she faces her accusers. No country on the face of the earth goes to the extent Israel does in trying to avoid civilian casualties but one must ask, what benefit has it gained?

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you can fabricate stories of a supposed massacre (e.g. Jenin), knowing full well that nothing occurred but that it will cast dispersions on an enemy which foolishly states that it will investigate the claim and thereby, to the rest of the world, implies there may be something to the story. In this regard, if you are a terrorist you know that in respect to your Israeli enemy, that they have not a clue how to counter the Hasbara war you are waging against them and wouldn’t even know that Hasbara is a war.

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you will certainly know that her enemies can make the most outrageous and heinous statements, such as, according to media reports that “Jews are the offspring of pigs and apes”, knowing full well that the Israelis will still offer to sit down with you in talks with no preconditions! Not even the demand that the indoctrination of children in hate must stop.
If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you will know that if captured, as in the case of case of Barghouti, a terrorist “with blood on his hands” sitting in an Israeli prison, you can still be given access to the world media!

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you will rejoice in that country’s decision of allowing the Muslim Waqf to take control of the Temple Mount after the 1967 war, all for a dubious halachic ruling which is not universally accepted today. This will allow you to go on excavating under the Temple Mount with a bulldozer, destroying any remaining Jewish artefacts in order to rid the place of any trace of the first and second Temple periods and in the process build a mosque there for future proof of claim to the land.

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you will know that so successful is your propaganda, that your enemy will still be held responsible by the world media for so called settlement “expansion” even though it is clearly only building a new house or an extension to an existing home but within the boundaries of the existing settlement.

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you will know that no nation in the Western world will call you to account for your ongoing perpetrated myths and lies.

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you know that your enemy will indulge your ludicrous and incessant claims and still be willing to sit down with you in good faith.

If you are a terrorist facing Israel, you should pray that your enemy will continue treating you as they do now, that is, not as any “normal” country would do. If your enemy was a “normal” country like Russia, China or the USA facing barrage after deadly barrage of missiles, you could rest assured that parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank would have been reduced to rubble long ago.

Finally and most disgusting of all, if you are a terrorist facing Israel you will know that within the Jewish Diaspora, you will have countless numbers who have fallen for your propaganda, fallen for your attempts to rewrite history, who will flock to your side and denounce Israel for every step it takes in its defence. In short, you will be able to count on many of those who you call the “offspring of pigs and apes” who will defend your every move and pronouncement. If this is not obscene enough, these same “offspring of pigs and apes” will devise ways of bring economic hardship to Israel by such devious campaigns as a BDS.'

Friday 19 April 2013

Alleged Disrespect For Jews & Israel At the Lycée Français de Jérusalem

Hat tip to reader Rita for alerting me to allegations of conduct unbecoming at the Lycée Français de Jérusalem.

According to the French blog which broke the story, the principal of the school, whose student body is 80 per cent Jewish and which of course includes the children of olim from the increasingly antisemitic land of France, sent (with the approval of the French Consulate General in Jerusalem) written instructions that there should be no minute's silence for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January) nor for Yom HaZikaron (the Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen, which occurred on Sunday, 14 April).

According to the second link (below) this is the text of the principal's letter regarding the former:
Demain à 10h00 résonnera une sonnerie qui remémore la Shoah et qui demande une minute de silence. Vous pouvez marquer cette minute à titre personnel si vous le souhaitez et permettre aux élèves qui en manifesterai le souhait de s’y associer. Mais évitez à tout prix de solliciter les élèves ou de leur imposer et évitez les débats sur le sujet : la situation est suffisamment tendue en ce moment (mort cette semaine de deux jeunes en Cisjordanie) pour déclencher des réactions violentes (je pense aux 4ème notamment) et des polémiques qui ne peuvent que blesser les uns et les autres inutilement.
Merci de votre compréhension
Reportedly, as the sirens sounded outside to mark Yom HaShoah, two non-Jewish students gave the Nazi salute.

Read the original account, in French, here and a fuller French-language account here

Thursday 18 April 2013

One Who Got Away From Most History Books: An Assassinated Aussie-born Friend To The Yishuv

See my note in parantheses below for relevance
Hat tip to reader Ian for alerting me to a most absorbing article by Nadav Shragai concerning Sydney-born Lewis Yelland Andrews (1896-1937), a British official in Mandate Palestine targeted for death by the Mufti of Jerusalem and murdered in 1937:
 'Lewis Yelland Andrews, the British district commissioner for the Galilee, was assassinated on his way to prayer services at the Anglican Christ Church in Nazareth on Sunday evening, Sept. 26, 1937. Four small handguns were fired at him simultaneously, killing him instantly. He was clearly a friend of the Jews, and after his death they eulogized him as though he had been one of them. The Arabs, on the other hand, had a hard time mourning for him. Although the Arab Higher Committee published an official mourning notice, residents of Acre danced on the rooftops, and Judge Anwar Nusseibeh felt that Andrews had been an Arab-hater. He remarked sarcastically that "Andrews found his God when he had gone looking for him." 
Andrews' assassins were several students of Sheikh Izzedine al-Qassam, the national hero of the Palestinians, who to this day provides inspiration to Hamas murder cells. From their perspective, the assassination of Andrews was no accident. Andrews was a high-quality target, and his murder was a kind of targeted killing directed against a man who had given actual assistance to the state in the making, "a fitting end" to a man who had become a friend to the Jews, many years before the better-known friend from that same period, Charles Orde Wingate, known to the Jewish men he commanded as "Hayadid" (the friend), was given the title.....
 In their memoirs, the heads of the Yishuv describe the day of Andrews' assassination as a dark day for them. Some admit that they wept. They did not hold back in describing Andrews' contribution to the Zionist idea, but 76 years after his murder, Andrews and his work on behalf of the Yishuv were forgotten.
Unlike Wingate, his more famous and charismatic countryman, who helped the Yishuv establish its military force and founded the well-known Special Night Squads, Andrews became nothing more than a line in the history books, and then hardly even that.
The man who offered simple yet vital assistance to the Yishuv is no longer remembered or commemorated. Andrews helped establish dozens of communities, including tower and stockade settlements. He transferred tens of thousands of dunams of land to Jewish ownership, and dozens of communities that were established in the Hula Valley region, the Beit She'an Valley and the Hefer Valley owe him their very existence.
Andrews also provided a vital umbrella of protection to the Yishuv during the Peel Commission hearings and was largely responsible for the commission's decision in 1937 to partition the western portion of the Land of Israel into a Jewish state and an Arab state — a decision that displeased the Arabs a great deal.
The Arabs made two attempts on his life: one in Acre in 1922, and another in Jerusalem during the 1930s. Both attempts failed....'
Read the fascinating story of Lewis Yelland Andrews here

(The agricultural settlement outside Melbourne referred to in the article is evidently the one established at Shepparton in the early 20th century:
'Believing that he must communicate with the Yishuv's leaders in their own language, Andrews learned both Hebrew and Arabic. He also took the Balfour Declaration, which supported "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," seriously. Once, he told agronomist Akiva Ettinger that unlike several of his colleagues, who doubted that city-bred Jews would be able to work their land and guard it, his experience in Australia — where merchants and clerks living near Melbourne had transformed into farmers — had taught him that it was entirely possible.')

More McMalevolence

More BDS huffery and puffery north of Hadrian's Wall, this time on 15 April with the passing of this motion by the Scottish Trades Union Congress:

'That this Congress notes that the ‘World Social Forum – Free Palestine’ agreed to make the next annual Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, April 17th 2013, a worldwide day of action against security company G4S. In Occupied Palestine, G4S is involved in human rights abuses and violations of international law through the services it provides to the Israeli Occupation Forces, including providing or operating:
equipment for Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza;
    security system of Ktziot prison, central control room of Megido prison, central control room for Ofer prison compound and security services to Damon prison, which are all facilities detaining Palestinian political prisoners;
    equipment for West Bank Israeli Police headquarters in the highly contested E1 area; and
    security services to businesses, including banks and supermarkets, in illegal West Bank settlements and in East Jerusalem.
Congress believes G4S’s activities in the Israeli Prison Service constitute a breach of international law, including Articles 49 and 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and that they are complicit in violations of the human rights of Palestinian prisoners, including children.

Congress notes that G4S in Norway was petitioned by trade unions and others, calling for it to cease activities complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and mistreatment of Palestinians.

Congress therefore:

demands that G4S withdraws forthwith from all activities that contribute to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and to its denial of human rights to Palestinians;
calls on the General Council and the trade union movement in Scotland to raise these points, through every possible channel, with G4S;
  resolves that until G4S concedes to these demands, it will be a target of the STUC’s policy of Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions;
 calls on the Scottish Government to cancel G4S’s new contract for tagging of offenders; and
 endorses the UK StopG4S Campaign.”'
 (From here)

Wednesday 17 April 2013

65 Years Of Medinat Israel

"For a Jew, Israel is an existential part of life, and to be unsympathetic to Israel is to be indifferent to the continued existence of the Jewish People."

The above words are those of a well-known Australian rabbi.

And so, the miracle nation reaches its 65th birthday, and as well as giving thanks for its creation and for its safe deliverance we who love and admire that country congratulate it and celebrate its achievements.

Some of the most significant of those achievements are itemised (in a list that's long and impressive) here
(Hat tip: reader Jean)

In the words of the State's foundation document:
The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish People. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.  Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish People remained faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom.Impelled by this historic association, Jews strove throughout the centuries to go back to the land of their fathers and regain their statehood. In recent decades they returned in masses. They reclaimed the wilderness, revived their language,  built cities and villages and established a vigorous and ever-growing community with its  own economic and cultural life. They sought peace yet
were ever prepared to defend  themselves. They brought the blessing of progress to all inhabitants of the country. In the year 1897 the First Zionist Congress, inspired by Theodor Herzl's vision of the Jewish State, proclaimed the right of the Jewish People to national revival in their own country. This right was acknowledged by the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, and re-affirmed by the Mandate of the League of Nations, which gave explicit international recognition to the historic connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and their right to reconstitute their National Home."
In the course of one of his regular columns in the Jerusalem Post, international Jewish leader Isi Leibler reflects that
"Our spectacular success far exceeded the expectations of our idealistic founders. By any rational benchmark it would be deemed a modern day miracle.
And yet despite this, there are those in our midst who constantly whine about our failings and transform self-criticism into masochism. Instead of celebrating they predict doom and gloom.
There is also a tiny, but highly vocal minority who disparages our achievements and complains about the sacrifices required to ensure our security and existence, some of whom even mock Zionism and challenge the merits of Jewish statehood.
Also there are some young Jews, never having experienced the dehumanizing impact of powerlessness on the Jewish psyche, who take the State of Israel for granted.  They never underwent the chilling experience of their European antecedents in Europe who in the 1930s sought desperately sought – mostly unsuccessfully – to obtain entry visas to countries to escape the impending Nazi genocidal onslaught. And nor do they appreciate the soul destroying impact of living in an environment of anti-Semitic incitement where Jews are considered pariahs and the mainstream media shamelessly promotes frenzied anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic stereotypes.
However, despite the prevailing belief that after the revelation of the horrors of the Shoa, anti-Semites would become an extinct species, the world’s oldest hatred has returned with full vengeance, particularly in Europe whose soil had been drenched in Jewish blood only a few years before Israel’s independence.
The extent of the current European malaise is exemplified by youngsters in some public schools seeking to hide their Jewishness in order to avert torment or face social exclusion. In many European cities there is also a growing reluctance to outwardly wear Jewish symbols like a kipah to avoid random violence from hooligans in the street.
In Europe, especially in France, the UK, Scandinavia, Hungary, Greece, Ukraine, and throughout South America there are daily reports of increasing anti-Semitic violence, of incitement and even murder. Whereas, in North America, public opinion is strongly pro-Israeli, the campuses have been transformed into launching pads for visceral anti-Israelism anti-Semitism.
But even in these dark areas, Jews are comforted in the knowledge that today there is a State of Israel which will defend the Jewish people. A Jewish state which will always provide a haven for them if their world collapses.
Of course we face challenges and genuine threats. The dream of peace for which we all yearn remains a distant vision and future generations of youngsters will continue to carry the burden of defending the nation against its adversaries....
But today, almost half the Jewish people are happily domiciled in Israel. The word happily should be stressed because despite our masochistic self-criticism and endless complaints, all polls show that Israelis are numbered amongst the happiest and most satisfied people in the world...." (Read the rest here)
As for the heinous, hypocritical forces that seek to delegitimise Israel, Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor, writing in the Jewish Chronicle, notes a belated yet not ineffective fightback on the part of Israel's friends:
"....[T]he emphasis has gradually shifted from defensive to offensive, particularly by unmasking the unethical activities of those who claim a moral mandate. On campus, Israeli academics and top diplomats are active in challenging the crude propaganda. At the UN, the blatant double standards of the Human Rights Council stand exposed, in the contrast between automatic condemnations of Israel and minimal responses on Syria.
Officials of groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are belatedly being held to account, and displays of bias that were once overlooked now draw negative publicity, tarnishing their impact....
Recently, the funders of Miftah, a Palestinian NGO headed by PLO spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi, were forced on the defensive following the publication of an article invoking the blood libel. Such negative publicity could help end funding for demonisers.
The Anglican church has needed to repeatedly justify the Synod vote to endorse the anti-Israel group, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, while the new Archbishop of Canterbury has distanced himself from that decision. And, while an employment tribunal ruled against Ronnie Fraser in his lawsuit charging the UCU with discrimination triggered by opposition to its anti-Israel agenda, the judgment's absurdity in the face of the evidence and critiques of the decision are significant. Each example shows that involvement in the political war against Israel is no longer cost-free...."
See his entire article here

Tuesday 16 April 2013

David Singer On The Mischievous Impact Of Palestinian Myth-Making

"Palestine – Two New Arab Myths," is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

Writes David Singer:

'Two new Arab myths have surfaced in the past week to complicate attempts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to procure the resumption of the long stalled negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

The first myth can be directly attributed to Mustafa Barghouti –  a presidential candidate for the now defunct Palestinian National Authority –  who was roundly defeated by Mahmoud Abbas when elections were last held in January 2005.

Interviewed by Arab American News (AAN), Mr Barghouti was asked the following question:
AAN: "What about the United Nations situation with Palestine being granted Non-Member Observer State status this past fall, any new developments?"

Mr Barghouti gave this remarkable answer:
"Not new, but this achievement was very important from a symbolic standpoint, it also eliminated any Israeli claim that the West Bank and Jerusalem are disputed territory. Now they are part of an occupied Palestinian state ... "
 This is arrant nonsense.

According to Mr Barghouti there is apparently no need for further negotiations to determine the sovereignty of these areas –  only a timetable for Israel to hand them over to the State of Palestine and to arrange for the uprooting of all 500000 Jews presently living there.

If you believe this myth, then you accept that
1. United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 are no longer of any relevance.
2. The 1948 armistice line is wiped off the map and negotiations to establish secure and recognised boundaries for the State of Israel can be shredded.
3. Article 80 of the United Nations Charter has become a footnote in history.
4. The Jewish claim to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine – including the West Bank and Jerusalem - as conferred by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine –  is an anachronism.
5. The claimed right of return for millions of Arabs into the State of Israel remains unresolved.
6. The United Nations decision has unreservedly endorsed the PLO's stated policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in denying Jews any rights of residency or citizenship in the State of Palestine.
7. General Assembly Resolutions of the United Nations create binding obligations in international law. 
Kerry's planned fortnightly shuttle from America to Jerusalem and Ramallah appears to be a waste of time unless this latest myth is quickly nipped in the bud.

President Abbas needs to immediately repudiate Mr Barghouti's statement.

If Abbas refuses, Kerry should start to shuttle between world capitals seeking declarations unequivocally disavowing any support for the Barghouti myth.

Simultaneously with the Barghouti myth comes the news that the cornerstone for yet another myth – a new museum of “Palestinian culture, history and society” –  has been laid in Bir Zeit near Ramallah.

This will be no ordinary museum – as project manager Omar al-Qattan reportedly explained:
"It will be more than a traditional building with archaeological relics. We are looking at an institution that will transcend all boundaries – geographical and political"
Palestinian culture minister Siham Barghouti told AFP that the initiative was:
“A great achievement for the Palestinian people...The link between memory and everything related to it, to Palestinian history, and to having digital contact with Palestinians everywhere constitutes an important step"
The "museum" seems set to become the new repository for perpetuating the fiction of the existence of an indigenous "Palestinian people" or the "Palestinians" going back at least 3000 years to the Canaanites.

Featured exhibits in the museum will certainly not include:
* The Mandate for Palestine 1922 –  that made no mention of the "Palestinians" or the "Palestinian people" –  but pointedly only included the then Arab population of Palestine among the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" and called for "safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion"
* The report of the Peel Commission 1937 –  which again omitted any mention of a Palestinian people – but contained this statement which was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs:
 "The problem cannot be solved by giving either the Arabs or the Jews all they want. The answer to the question which of them in the end will govern Palestine must be Neither. No fair-minded statesman can think it right either that 400,000 Jews, whose entry into Palestine has been facilitated by he British Government and approved by the League of Nations, should be handed over to Arab rule, or that, if the Jews should become a majority, a million Arabs should be handed over to their rule. But while neither race can fairly rule all Palestine, each race might justly rule part of it."
* Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly dated 29 November 1947 which was also silent in acknowledging the existence of a Palestinian people – but proposed the following recommendation that was again rejected by the Arab population of Palestine:
"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."
Jesus the Jew will no doubt be prominently featured as Jesus the Palestinian. Archeological relics will be conspicuously absent.

Until fact replaces Arab fiction and self-delusion – the conflict between Jews and Arabs will assuredly continue.'

(And talking of myths and lies, see these articles regarding Deir Yassin; this [hat tip: reader Shirlee] and this)

Daphne In Bondage: Stephen Sizer's Call To Prayer

On Saturday the Reverend Stephen Sizer attended the Palestine Solidarity Campaign's conference on Gaza, which took place at the University of London (his happy snaps of the occasion are here).

Before heading off, our intrepid campaigner against Christian Zionism and (retrospectively) the Balfour Declaration, called on his followers to remember Yours Truly in their prayers!
Hat tip: reader P

This call to his faithful was evidently in response to my post here