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)

Monday 30 September 2013

"Christian Palestinianism ... The Inverted Mirror Image Of Christian Zionism" (videos)

Below is a very disturbing insight into the malicious phenomenon dubbed "Christian Palestinianism" as exposed by  Dr Paul Wilkinson, of Hazel Grove Gospel Church in Stockport, Cheshire and author of For Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby.  In this talk a couple of years ago (but no less valuable for that) he demonstrates the political revisionism, replacement theology, and repugnant teachings of organisations like Sabeel that promote a movement in which "The Holocaust is resented, not remembered," that ignores the violence to which Israel is subject, and that aims to portray Jesus not as what he was, a Jew from Judea, but as a "Palestinian born under occupation".

His lecture on this topic opens with the song "Freedom for Palestine"that's become the backtrack to many an Israel-demonising presentation, and among the teaching aids used in his lecture is a cameo appearance by that obsessive crusader against Christian Zionism, Stephen Sizer.

Hat tip: P.H.

And in this lecture, entitled "A Biblical Response To Stephen Sizer," Dr Wilkinson does a superb job of tracing and countering the anti-Israel Anglican vicar's noxious views:

Sunday 29 September 2013

Israel Invited To Help Destroy Chemical Weapons In Syria: David Singer reflects

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It's entitled "Israel Invited to Help Destroy Chemical Weapons in Syria,"

Writes David Singer:

'The passage of Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) on 27 September calling for the collection and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons is a welcome breakthrough in ending the deadlock that has paralysed the Security Council's ability to act constructively to end the civil war in Syria for the past thirty months.

It also signifies that diplomacy United Nations style is indeed the art of the possible –  aimed at finding the lowest common denominators shared by the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Whilst a protocol has been put in place to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, the Resolution also offers something of substance to prevent anti-Assad forces using chemical weapons in Syria and to committing the United Nations to search for and locate any such chemical weapons.

Russia has maintained anti-Assad forces used the sarin gas that resulted in the deaths of 1429 civilians on 21 August – but has been unable to conclusively substantiate that claim.

America has made it clear that it considers Syria responsible for the atrocity – as President Obama again made abundantly clear in his address to the General Assembly on 24 September:
"The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods.
It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack."
President Obama has certainly not done his own credibility any good by continuing to publicly castigate Syria –  asserting it is an insult to human reason and the legitimacy of the United Nations for anyone to think otherwise –  but then immediately agreeing to Resolution 2118 three days later without any mention of Syria's culpability.

Yet Russia and America have managed to agree on inserting the following mechanism in Resolution 2118 to try and find out whether the anti-Assad forces were indeed the culprits.
"Decides that Member States shall inform immediately the Security Council of any violation of resolution 1540 (2004), including acquisition by non-State actors of chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials in order to take necessary measures therefore; "
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540 (2004) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter on 28 April 2004 –  which affirmed that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constituted a threat to international peace and security. The resolution obliged States to refrain from supporting by any means non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems.

The idea that any member state violating Resolution 1540 would now immediately notify the Security Council and incriminate itself is laughable.

However Resolution 2118 contains three further obligations:

(1) In underscoring:
" that no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons";
(2) In reaffirming:
“that all Member States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and calls upon all Member States, in particular Member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic, to report any violations of this paragraph to the Security Council immediately";
(3) Demanding that:
“non-State actors not develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and calls upon all Member States, in particular Member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic, to report any actions inconsistent with this paragraph to the Security Council immediately";
Singling out all member States neighbouring the Syrian Arab Republic to report any such activities by non-State actors in Syria is particularly intriguing.

There are eleven UN member states –  known as the London Eleven –  providing military and financial aid to the Syrian Free Army. Six of these States are Syria's neighbours – Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UIA Emirates.

Are any of them aware that the Syrian Free Army has acquired chemical weapons? If so – they are unlikely to disclose their information and consequently be forced to withhold further aid - besides explaining why they continued supporting the Syrian Free Army knowing they held chemical weapons.

However, one of Syria's most immediate neighbours – Israel – is not a member of the London Eleven and is vitally interested in the Security Council taking steps to collect and destroy such weapons.

Resolution 2118 requires Israel to disclose to the Security Council any information it holds on chemical weapons acquired by any anti-Assad forces in Syria. Israel is widely assumed to have extensive knowledge of the existence of such chemical weapons in Syria.

Israel can deny it has any information – but risks being in breach of Resolution 2118 if information in its possession is subsequently revealed.

Russia has cleverly forced the Security Council to determine the truth of Russia's claim – whilst any evidence supplied by Russia and Israel will be critical in collecting and destroying those chemical weapons.

The impotence of the Security Council in ending non-State actors using chemical weapons in Syria has been brilliantly circumvented by this latest Resolution.

Such is the way convenient marriages are made in the Security Council.'

"BDS, Go Away, EcoStream Is Here To Stay!": In Brighton, Sussex Friends of Israel Take on the BDSers

Yesterday, BDSers held demos in London and in Brighton against EcoStream.

In Brighton, where the BDS movement musters strong and nasty (see here for example) supporters of Israel were in no mood for keeping calm.

Have a look at this video, showing a big counter-demo by Sussex Friends of Israel against the BDS rabble protesting outside the EcoStream shop in Brighton.  Roars of "BDS, Go Away, EcoStream is here to stay!" compete with the cries of "Free Palestine!" from the Israel-hating mob.

"Boycott the Boycotters!" and "Racist scum!" are heard from the good side, where Israeli flags abound.

(It's stuff to warms the cockles  of many a pro-Israel heart!)

Meanwhile, John Lewis, arguably the best of the big department stores in London, and certainly the one that reports the best trading figures year after year, was the target of one of the anti-EcoStream demos: this video showing the action, but with no conversation recorded, has been uploaded by an anti-Israel activist of Jewish background, whose frequent comments on social media against Zionism and Zionists are often breathtakingly shameful in their intemperate, antisemitism-inducing nature.

Note how most passers-by on the video are literally that, shunning the anti-Israel propaganda on offer (which inevitably includes that ubiquitous, mendacious four-map set on a large placard).

Business for the Israel-haters is so slow that one female Israel-hater, a pashmina draped over ger hair in what is presumably a nod to Londonistan, looks at her watch, presumably out of boredom...

In the background can be seen a group of about half a dozen Israel-supporters, holding two Israeli flags.

They do appear to be keeping calm.

Friday 27 September 2013

"The Hands Of Freemasonry Have Shaken The Filthy Hands Of The Hypocrites" (video)

Ever since the odious apostate from Judaism Jacob Brafman introduced it in an appalling antisemitic work published in the Tsarist Empire in 1859 the supposed nexus between da Joos and the Freemasons has been a staple of conspiracy theorists and judeophobes everywhere.  It turns up in this Hamas TV drama dating to 2010, which I haven't seen previously.  Subtitled in English by the invaluable, the drama revolves around Theodor Herzl's negotiations with the Sultan of Turkey ("They'll get it [Palestine] over our dead bodies").  It comes with a dastardly plot by Zionists to have the Sultan assassinated, with the line "You Jews, your greed knows no bounds" from Kaiser Wilhelm, with an anachronistic reference by the Sultan to Chaim Weizmann, with a trio of Chasidic rabbis (well, nobody, except possibly the makers, claim this to be an accurate rendition of events!) accompanying Herzl in his endeavours, and features a sidekick called Lewinsky who possesses a taste for mid-twentieth century trilbies and for gesticulating Lower East Side style.

Enjoy, if you haven't already!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

The Muslim Anti-Israel Blame Game: A Turk Who Gets It & A Palestinian Who Sort Of Does

From Turkish broadcaster Sinem Tezyapar,  an enlightened view of the Muslim anti-Israel blame game:
"Whenever calamities befall Muslim-majority nations, there is always a country to blame: Israel. Is there a revolution against a tyrant? Zionists are responsible. Who else could be at fault if there is a clash between Sunni and Shia groups? The Jews. Did a bomb explode on the other side of the world, or is there a problem with the economy? No need look any further than Israel. And where else would the control center for destabilizing the Arab world be? In Tel Aviv, of course!
 The late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi blamed Israel for the violence and unrest in Africa. Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that the turmoil in the Arab world is a pro-Zionist conspiracy. Saudi cleric Sheikh Ismae’il al-Hafoufi blamed Israel for the desecration of Islamic holy sites in Syria. Sheik Abd al-Jalil al-Karouri, a Sudanese cleric, pointed to Israel for the Boston and Texas bombings. And then there’s the belief that Zionists planned the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, to demonize Arabs and Muslims in the eyes of the world.
This madness of putting the blame on Zionists — and Israel in general — is a knee-jerk reaction with no basis in logic. The most surprising part is that so many people believe this without question and continue to disseminate such rumors far and wide.
Syria, Egypt, Iran and Lebanon all aggressively hold the “Zionist regime” responsible for their woes. While Bashar Assad accuses Israel of trying to destabilize Syria, the Syrian opposition blames Israel for assisting the Assad regime by giving them diplomatic cover. Both sides see Israel as responsible for all the bloodshed and unrest going on in Syria. Now with the possibility of an international intervention in Syria, Iranian legislators and commanders are issuing blunt warnings, saying any military strike from the United States on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel. Israel’s staying out of the equation, it seems, is simply not possible. Even though Israeli politicians refrain from taking sides in the regional conflicts, all sides point toward Israel anyhow....
It must sound like a bizarre joke for some, but this tragicomic situation is quite serious for many in the Middle East. We are no longer surprised to hear Israel’s being the scapegoat for every single evil in the world, but Iran’s blaming the Zionist entity for the deadly earthquake in Iran was pushing the limits of credulity. This, despite the fact that Jews are a handful of people, a tiny population when compared to the overall population of the world.
Now let’s look at what is really going on in the Islamic-Arab world. There is a continuous and unending stream of hate — hate of the Shia, hate of the Wahabbi, hate of the Sunni, hate of the Alawi, hate of the Christians, hate of the Jews and so on. We also see slogans such as: “May God Destroy Israel,” “Down With the United States,” “Damn the West.” Hatred is deeply ingrained in their tradition, in their culture and in their own education. This fierce, venomous style is what is tearing the Islamic world apart; this is exactly what is happening in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and others — Muslims killing Muslims.
This outcome is the result of intense efforts by some Muslim clerics who encourage hatred of the “other.” Muslims kill each other and then both sides blame the Jews. Wahabbi scholars say that all Sunnis are unbelievers and should be destroyed. Sunni scholars say Shias are unbelievers and their death is obligatory. Shias say that it is obligatory to kill Sunnis, as they are enemies. These are Muslim clerics who are promoting the most violent brand of sectarianism, preaching hatred and calling upon their followers to commit massacres. How do Jews make Muslims kill other Muslims? ...."
(Read the entire article here) Hat tip: StandWithUs

Her article reminds me of something written in the Comment section of this Palestinian website recently by Khalid Amayreh, resident in the West Bank, and no fan of Israel, since, he tells his readers, he "lost three uncles to Zionist bullets":

"As a Palestinian, I am really shocked and ashamed by the brazenly unethical support  and cheap  opportunism the Palestinian Authority (PA) is displaying vis-à-vis the murderous regimes in Damascus and Cairo.
Indeed, despite the manifestly genocidal crimes of the Nazi-like regime in Syria against its own people, including the latest chemical massacre at the Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, the PA refused to utter a single word in condemnation of the carnage....
This is more than just political blindness and moral duplicity. This is no less than crossing all moral and ethical red lines. Keeping silent about the ongoing genocide in Syria at the hands of the murderer of Damascus, let alone violently dispersing peaceful demonstrators protesting Assad's Nazi-like behavior, will be an indelible stigma of shame on the forehead of the PA leadership....
.... The evil backing by the PA regime of the murderous juntas in Damascus and Cairo is really a colossal moral insult to the glorious Palestinian struggle.
This is because it is starkly hypocritical and morally duplicitous to cheer the murderous killings of Syrian and Egyptian civilians at the hands of sub-human thugs in both Arab countries while daring to criticize the Zionist state of Israel for markedly lesser crimes against us Palestinians.
Yes, Israel killed untold numbers of Palestinians, civilians and freedom fighters alike. But Israel is unlikely to have reached this level of barbarianism and depravity. This may be politically incorrect to say, however the pornographic massacres by the  Sisi and Assad gangs have left us no margin for  prevarication or juggling with words....
 Israelis and Jews didn't celebrate these massacres [he lists the usual litany in the anti-Israel arsenal] as some hopelessly pathetic Arabs are now celebrating "the victories" of the Egyptian and Syrian armies against women and children in Rabaa and Ghouta...."

Monday 23 September 2013

"As A Black South African, I Know What Apartheid Is..."

Don't just take Dennis Prager's word that Israel is emphatically not an apartheid state, as he so ably explains in this video:

Takes Kenneth Meshoe's word for it as well.

The black South African parliamentarian speaks eloquently about "the lie that Israel is an apartheid state" and asks those who spread that lie to visit Israel and see for themselves that the analogy drawn between Israel and South Africa not only defames Israel, it belittles the suffering of black people in Apartheid South Africa.

See also here

Perhaps the lefties in Britain who rant and rave against Israel's so-called apartheid can now transfer their opposition to segregation closer to home, and call for the closure of the Muslim school in Derby which not only makes female pupils sit at the back of the classroom but apparently also requires girls to yield their places in queues to boys!!!

Sunday 22 September 2013

"Dear Bishop Christopher": Stephen Sizer Bags A Big 'Un

Reverend Stephen Sizer, who's the subject of an official complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to his ecclesiastic superior, the Bishop of Guildford, and has for some time been busily soliciting testimonials, has posted on his blog a letter from ex-MP and Cabinet minister Clare Short. 

Beginning her endorsement of the Anglican vicar with  "Dear Bishop Christopher," a form of address common to all the testimonials,  Ms Short, who's described on Wikipedia as an atheist and has described herself as "an ethnic [i.e. lapsed of Irish descent] Catholic" continues:
"I have read with great sadness the complaint which came to you through the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Stephen’s response.  I am afraid there is a pattern across many sectors of society of mobilising such complaints against people who criticise Israeli policy. ...
I have met Stephen at a variety of meetings and conferences and have read his most important work on Christian Zionism.  I hope that you have read it.  This movement is very powerful in the US and is I think gaining ground in the UK.  It is a complete distortion of the teachings of Christianity and is used to justify persecution, oppression and grave breaches of international law inflicted on the Palestinian people, including the Palestinian Christians who have been practising their religion in the Holy Land since Jesus moved amongst the places in which they live. ...
Stephen is not in the least way anti Semitic.  This is a disgraceful and completely false allegation and those who have made it should be held to account for their wickedness. ..."
Ms Short, who as an MP  represented the constituency of Birmingham Ladywood, where Muslims of Pakistani background form a not insignificant part of the electorate, is of course renowned for her sure and certain judgments of men and affairs.

To quote Wikipedia:
'Short has condemned Israel as being guilty of "bloody, brutal and systematic annexation of land, destruction of homes and the deliberate creation of an apartheid system." She has also stated that "the EU and Britain are colluding in this operation and the building of a new apartheid regime" because they give Israel privileged trade access. Short has expressed support for a boycott of Israel, stating at the 2007 United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace that "The boycott worked for South Africa, it is time to do it again". She also told the conference that Israel is "much worse than the original apartheid state" and that Israel "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming".
Regarding the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Short stated that "Israel is out of control and our Government and the US is giving them a green light to continue" and that "Britain clearly now just backs President (George W.) Bush in whatever he does, in automatically backing Israel in breaching international law, in disproportionate attacks on Lebanon and attacks on Gaza"....'
 Reported The Guardian in 2011:
'Former international development secretary Clare Short accepted £1,580 worth of flights, hotel accommodation, food and travel expenses from al-Manar television in Lebanon in 2008. Al-Manar is described by the US government as "the media arm of the Hezbollah terrorist network", and was classed as a specially designated terrorist entity by the US in 2006.
Short said her trip had been registered with Commons authorities and that the visit allowed her to see how reconstruction in southern Lebanon was proceeding after the country's conflict with Israel in 2006.
"I did an interview for the TV programme and was free to express my views without censure, and I also met with senior Hezbollah officials," she said. "I do not accept US advice on who I should speak to. UK diplomats also talk with Hezbollah. I have also met with Hamas leaders on a number of occasions as well as Fatah leaders, and the Syrian and Lebanese governments."'
Ms Short seen in this video uploaded by Sizer  busily traducing Israel by making comparisons between it and Apartheid South Africa, famously campaigned (unsuccesfully) against the notorious "Page Three" in The Sun newspaper on the grounds that the daily dose of a topless model displayed there demeaned women.  So it's no surprise that she hosted at the House of Commons in 2006 representatives of an impeccably feminist organisation, the Islamic supremacist Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

Wrote gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell in an open letter to her:

"I read with alarm that you are facilitating a meeting of the misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic Muslim fundamentalist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, at the House of Commons today, Wednesday 1 March, in Committee Room 17.
If this is true, I am very surprised. Perhaps you are not aware of the true nature of this group and its anti-democratic, anti-humanitarian goals, as enshrined in its constitution?
Please allow me to illuminate you concerning my own personal experiences with Hizb ut-Tahrir:
During the early to mid-1990s, Hizb ut-Tahrir distributed leaflets explicitly inciting the murder of homosexuals. Their members subjected me to repeated death threats because I spoke out in defence of gay and women Muslims who were being abused by members of their organisation.
Since this thuggery was exposed, Hizb ut-Tahrir has sought to project a less extreme public image. But I have no doubt that many of its members continue to hold, in private, violent homophobic and misogynistic views.
Hizb ut-Tahrir still endorses Sharia law, which stipulates the death penalty for gay and lesbian Muslims, apostates and unchaste women...."
The meeting was described in detail by Migsug on Harry's Place:
'On Wednesday at 5 pm, Clare Short hosted Hizb ut-Tahrir for a meeting in the Houses of Parliament. The meeting was supposed to give Parliamentarians an opportunity to quiz Hizb ut-Tahrir before the attempt by the Prime Minister to have the organization proscribed.  The meeting began rather tellingly with Clare Short refusing impolitely the request by the Jewish Chronicle to take photos of herself with either of the two representatives of HuT[Emphasis added here and below] At the meeting were around a dozen parliamentarians from both houses, including some heavyweight figures such as Lord Lawson and Lord Avebury. ...
 The two representatives of HuT, Imran Waheed and Jamal Harwood (a white, middle-class ‘city accountant’ – poor sod) sat facing their would-be interrogators. Imran Waheed dressed in a sharp suit with an open collar and proceeded to give a well-rehearsed autobiographical outline of his life that made Richard Curtis seem like a working-class rebel. Waheed went to the top grammar school in the country (where, rather surprisingly he found HuT), after university he joined the NHS to become a psychiatrist....
....The polite manner in which Waheed delivered his propaganda meant criticisms from our democratic representatives had to be delivered respectfully and with equal grace – it was only just, but deeply depressing. Often parliamentarians would interject to refute HuT’s lies (such as they wanted a peaceful co-existence with Israeli Jews under a Caliphate: not war), but Clare Short would consistently interject telling parliamentarians they ‘shouldn’t interupt’. One MP, Ian Austin, got visibly agitated by Short’s kid-gloves approach. Short’s body language was outwardly warm towards Imran Waheed and her outburst at the beginning against the Jewish Chronicle was matched by another startling observation that, ‘many orthodox Jews are against the Israeli state’. This rattled the increasingly vocal audience with an angry refutation from Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Falkner....
....HuT avoided, prevaricated and soundbited their way out of some difficult issues, such as anti-Semitism. Lord Avebury did manage to force them to admit their ‘false choice’ over Israel – that is, Israel being given the choice whether it would join the Caliphate before force was used. Clare Short didn’t bat an eyelid at the threat to a sovereign state, instead continuing to use her position as Chair to allow the HuTistas to explain their position in ever-increasing length (thus reducing the time for MPs and Peers’ questions).
As HuT proselytized in the comfort of the Palace of Westminster – their liberties secured - I became increasingly irate. After passing Ian Austin MP a copy of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Constitution with a pen-starred Article 184 (‘[with] belligerent states, like Israel, a state of war must be taken’), Clare Short barked, ‘Young man, I think the MPs can manage without your help.’ Soon afterwards I was warned I would be asked to leave; MPs looked at Short like she had left leave of her senses.
At the end, I handed out copies of the HuT constitution to the parliamentarians. A dour looking HuT member (again suited) walked over to me and in a not-very polite tone asked me my name and if he could have a copy. I obliged (and gave him my name – well, they are peaceful after-all).'
 See also my posts here and here 

Friday 20 September 2013

"Disappearing Palestine": A graphic guide to the lies of the anti-Israel set

We've all seen them, that set of four maps regularly trotted out by the BDS movement and other enemies of Israel.

Well, to counter the lies and distortions, see this great graphic below, by StandWithUs:

Read more here, here and here

Wednesday 18 September 2013

More Anti-Israel Propaganda On Campus: The case of the University of Adelaide

Note the participation of an ABC (Australia's answer to the BBC) personality
The Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA), we learn from its website,
"is a South Australian not-for-profit organisation, which has as its main aim the promotion of peace and justice in Palestine based on International Law and the relevant UN resolutions.
AFOPA also aims to provide Australians with information about Palestine, its people, its land, its history and culture.
AFOPA raises money for a variety of humanitarian projects in Palestine, including sending medical teams and allied health professionals to work in Palestinian refugee camps, donating medical equipment for clinics and hospitals and providing playground equipment and toys for children.
AFOPA organizes local, national and international speakers to inform Australians about the current issues concerning Palestine. Our flagship annual public event is the Edward Said Memorial Lecture, which is held every year in conjunction with the University of Adelaide, featuring an international speaker of note [Emphasis added].
AFOPA regularly distributes information about human rights abuses in Palestine and provides speakers on Palestinian issues to interested politicians, community groups and others.
AFOPA has been an incorporated Association since 2004 and has many members from all walks of life. We are concerned about human rights for Palestinians and work together to obtain a just peace in the Middle-East."
All rather innocuous, some might think.  If so, think again.

Julie Nathan, research officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, has detected a darker side to AFOPA than might be suggested by such material.  She writes:
"Many supporters of the Palestinian cause claim their support is based on a social justice and antiracism platform. Anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian individuals and organizations often make the claim that they are simply anti-Israel and not anti-Jewish.
However, many of these people and organizations cross the line from legitimate criticism of the State of Israel into outright anti-Semitism....
Videos are another means of propagating anti-Jewish sentiment, conspiracy theories, or similar sinister insinuations about Jews. Such videos, posted on the facebook [sic] site of the Australians Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA), based in Adelaide, include videos entitled “Zionists are a Satan worshiping Cult!,” “Dangers Of A ‘Jewish’ State,” and “The Hitler Speech They Don’t Want You To Hear.”
The first two titles sound anti-Israel, yet the synopsis of the first states: “To help you understand the difference between the “true Israel” and the Synagogue of Satan.” This is the familiar terminology of far-right religious anti- Semitism.
The second video repeats this theme, as it states: “Jewish elitism has permeated every aspect of our nation’s infrastructure....
If this trend continues then a Judaic tyranny never before experienced in American life will dismantle all that Christianity has bequeathed to our once free and prosperous nation.”
The third video claims to be the English translation of a speech by Hitler which blames Roosevelt for WWII and portrays Hitler and the Nazis as innocent and peaceful, which is a standard neo-Nazi theme.
When, for example, AFOPA allows anti-Semitic videos which demonize Jews and sell Hitler as a hero to be posted and kept on their facebook [sic] page, this belies the claim that they are only anti-Israel. It shows, at best, an unacceptable tolerance for those who are deeply and overtly hostile to Jews.
When pro-Palestinian websites, like Australians For Palestine (AFP) and AFOPA, republish articles from overseas which use anti-Semitic language, this only reinforces the negative portrayal of Jews. An example is an article which uses the term “Talmudic rituals.”
This term, a coded expression for attacking Judaism, is used on many Islamic websites such as IslamOnline, and by Arab journalists such as Khalid Amayreh. [Emphasis added]
As one study of anti-Semitism has noted, “The term ‘Talmudic rituals’ used by Amayreh (2009c) and Islam- Online (2009a) in reference to Jews near Al-Aqsa is a coded allusion to some sort of ‘sinister’ Jewish rituals, given that historically the Christian authorities condemned and burned the Talmud as an allegedly sinister Jewish text in an effort to convert the Jews to Christianity” (ADL 2003).In comparison, a less active website, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Melbourne, has the same story but from the Maan News website, where the article contains nothing inflammatory or anti-Semitic. This shows that there are various ways to choose to tell a story and that anti-Israel organizations like AFP and AFOPA have chosen to use and republish articles with anti-Jewish language and content rather than articles that are not anti-Semitic...."

AFOPA, whose members appear to overlap to some extent with the BDS movement in South Australia that regularly stages protests in Adelaide against Seacret cosmetics, mounted, a few months ago, an exhibition entitled "Keys of Hope," symbolised by a photo of a hand holding a key indicating the so-called Right of Return, at the Migration Museum in Adelaide:
"Keys of Hope is a metaphorical symbol of longing for peace, justice and reconciliation to end the conflict in Palestine....
This exhibition, presented by AFOPA, traces the history, the culture, the people, and the beliefs of Palestinians, from earliest times to the present day.  It outlines the displacements of 1948 and the later wars, conflicts and the continuing occupation, finishing with a note on Palestinians in South Australia."
 "The ESML," we read again  here,  "is AFOPA's showpiece event."

This "showpiece event" (held in memory of the Columbia University professor described in a Guardian article quoted on the University of Adelaide's website regarding the lecture as "a Christian humanist with a healthy respect for Islam") has been taking place since 2005,  hosted by the University of Adelaide, with Professor Bassam Dally the secretary of the Lecture's Steering Committee.
 We read here:
"The Edward Said Memorial Lecture, ESML, is a University of Adelaide annual public lecture to honour the memory of a path-breaking scholar, courageous advocate, passionate critic and an unfailing humanist, the late Edward Said. The lecture was proposed by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) who are proud sponsors of this lecture....
The lecture is organized by a steering committee made of academics from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, public figures and representatives of AFOPA. The lecture is held every year close to the beginning of October and is delivered by high profile intellectuals who transcend the gap of academia and public discourse."
The first of these annual lectures was given by Robert Fisk of Britain's Independent newspaper (see more here).

Fisk was followed by:

Chomsky in full flood

In 2006, Professor Tanya Reinhart (see more here)

In 2007, by Dr Ghada Karmi (see more here)

In 2008 by Dr Sara Roy (see more here)

In 2009 by Said's nephew Professor Saree Makdisi (see more here) who is quoted as thus:
"A one-state solution, in which Israeli Jews and Palestinians would share and live as equals in a single, democratic and secular state is the way to go, I believe. This solution was also championed by Edward Said....
The two-state solution would preclude the possibility of finding justice for those Palestinians and their descendants who were ethnically cleansed from their homes during the creation of Israel in 1948.
"By contrast, a one-state solution would allow those Palestinians who were expelled in 1948 to exercise their moral and legal right to return. It would also grant full and equal citizenship to Palestinians living inside what is today Israel; and it would end the misery of life under military occupation."
 In 2010 by Tariq Ali (see more here)

In 2011, "to a capacity crowd at Adelaide Town Hall [seating capacity 1100]," by Professor Noam Chomsky (see more here, where there's a video of Chomsky's talk.

 In 2012 by Professor Ilan Pappe (see more here); note that the University of Adelaide's website quotes John Pilger's description of Pappe as "'Israel bravest, most principles and most incisive historian".

It will be seen that this roll call of speakers includes notorious, incorrigible Israel-bashers.

This year, the lecture will be held not, as is more usual, in September or October, but (can this be mere coincidence?) on 2 November, the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that is being assailed so vehemently at present by Stephen Sizer and friends in the evident hope of persuading the British government to issue an apology on its centenary in 2017.

The speaker on that occasion will be Dr Mustafa Barghouti (see announcements here and here).

Like sponsoring organisation AFOPA, he might be described as "a wolf in sheep's clothing".  As one Middle East-watcher put it privately to me, Barghouti
" gets Brownie points from some people because he opposed corruption in the PA and talks laudably about creating Palestinian civil society etc. To the extent that he seems to advocate a peaceful two-state solution, he is very attractive to many western commentators. But I have heard him speak and watched him in interviews: he blames everything on Israel and THE OCCUPATION, at a drop of a hat invokes insidious apartheid and Nazi analogies such as the Warsaw Ghetto, etc. etc."
This cautionary attitude towards Barghouti, who was involved in the "Global March to Jerusalem" stunt, is borne out by this article here, which begins:
'Mustafa Barghouti is well known in Palestinian circles as a physician, parliamentarian, and reformer who has campaigned for a robust civil society and the elimination of corruption in the Palestinian Authority. He gained wider attention when he ran in the campaign to succeed Yasser Arafat as PA President and is still spoken of as a likely candidate for that office. Lately, he has been in the news again, making the media rounds as a commentator on the Gaza conflict--most recently, today in two interviews on CNN.
 Unfortunately, what he said--above and beyond the usual platitudes about regret for loss of all human life and the ultimate need for a political settlement--was as callous and disingenuous as it was preposterous:
 • Israeli politicians have staged this "bloodbath" in order to bolster their chances in the February elections
 • as the world's fourth-largest arms exporter, Israel is using Gaza as a "field for experimenting [sic] their military equipment"
 • the ground incursion was “first step of full re-occupation”
 • Israel's government "seems not to consider Palestinians equal human beings," for "Israel is conducting this terrible war not on[sic] Hamas, but on Palestinian children"
 • therefore, "it's like Warsaw Ghetto" [sic]As if this were not enough, he attributed this bloodlust to Judaism itself, accusing Israel of hypocrisy for attacking on the Sabbath:
"The Jewish religion says you cannot fix your car on Saturday--but you can kill people."
His anger rises, the façade falls: Yes, those nasty Jews. Not Israel or Zionism (often a euphemism anyway), but "the Jewish religion." The Jews. '
Do read it all.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Key To The Conflict

In a must-read article here Jonathan Marks writes of "the depravity of the anti-Israeli left" and of its "nihilism":
"....To stand with the anti-Israeli left is instead to hope for an open conflict that will result in the end of Israel. It is not just friends of Israel who should be disgusted with academics who hope to foment such a conflict, knowing, unless they are complete fools, that in making a poorly thought out, long-odds bet on a one-state solution, they gamble with the lives of Palestinians and Israelis."
"Depravity" and "nihilism" are apt words to describe the mindset of the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which later this month will hold an ominous conference, "Truth and Redress," in, of all places, the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv.  The conference, explains Zochrot:
"....will discuss the key question of whether there is a single path to realizing Return.

The hundreds of thousands of Palestinians deported or otherwise forced out of their homeland ever since 1947 have become refugees as a direct or indirect result of violence perpetrated by Zionist organizations followed by the State of Israel against civilian populations. From as early as 1948, the Israeli government has made it its official policy to prevent the Return of these refugees.
Now that sixty-five years have gone by since the Nakba and the establishment of the State of Israel, it is all the more urgent to promote the Jewish-Israeli public's acknowledgement and accountability for its part in the injustices of the ongoing Nakba, and to realize the Return of Palestinian refugees as the necessary redress of the Nakba and a chance for better life for all people living in this country....
The objective of this conference is not to argue whether the Palestinian refugees have a right to return, but to see how this right can be realized...."  (See also here)
As the excellent Lyn Julius writes regarding the conference:
"To most right-thinking Israelis, the ‘right of return’ of millions of Arab ‘refugees’ is a euphemism for the demise of Israel by demographic means. ...
"The speakers are a roll-call of the most hard-core of hard-core pro-Palestinian activists from Britain, the US and Israel itself. They are lawyers, human rights activists and academics in the forefront of the BDS (boycott) and Israel Apartheid movements. One speaker, Dr Salman Abu Sitta, is a founder of the Palestine Return Centre – a Hamas front [see him in 2011 here, on the eve of another conference - D.A.].
It is no accident that the organisers, the Israeli NGO Zochrot, have deliberately chosen to hold their conference in Ramat Aviv: the supposed site of “Al-Shaykh Muwannis” (Sheikh Munis), an Arab village abandoned by its 2,000 inhabitants in 1948. To drive home the delicious irony, Zochrot chose as the conference venue the Eretz Israel Museum. What could be more provocative than a Nakba conference calling for the demise of Israel, at its Zionist heart ?...."  (Read her entire article, which notes Zochrot's eloquent disregard of the "Jewish Nakba," here)
This excellent video, uploaded to YouTube last month, gives the lie to the assumption of Israeli and non-Israeli leftists that if Israel evacuated the West Bank all would be sweetness and light.  And let's not forget the lesson that Palestinian children imbibe at this UNRWA-run  school:

Monday 16 September 2013

Noxious Visitor Richard Falk Provokes Protests From Jewish Melburnians

Australia's multicultural public broadcasting channel SBS has covered Richard Falk's controversial visit Down Under.

This evening Israel-demonising Falk, who as I've already noted, had on Erev Yom Kippur  addressed the International Law Association's Australia branch at the Melbourne University Law School, gave a free talk entitled "Human Rights in Occupied Palestinian Territories" in a theatrette at the State Library of Victoria in central Melbourne,.

Melbourne's infamous weather ("four seasons in one day") was not kind to those arriving for the event, nor to the demonstrators who gathered outside to protest the talk,sponsored by the Swinburne University of Technology in addition to the Australian University, for rain pelted down.

See also:
Here is a video report of the event by SBS (hat tip: reader Ian) in which the odious Falk claims to the reporter  that his infamous remarks regarding the Boston bombing were "taken out of context". 

If I obtain anymore information I'll post or link to it here.

Sunday 15 September 2013

The Leftists Who Facilitate The March Of Radical Islam (includes video)

"Extermination is on its way" proclaims one of the placards
In May an item about Sister Teresa Forcades appeared in the BBC's terrible twin, The Guardian, and currently Al Beeb itself carries a feature about her that seems almost to be paying homage to the Catalan who, it enthusuastically informs us, is "Europe's most radical nun".

An adherent of "liberation theology," she is, the BBC and other leftwing media cheerfully stress, a sharp critic of what she sees as the deep-seated misogyny of the Catholic Church.

(This is the same leftist media which customarily soft-peddles the grotesque and frequently gruesome misogyny that's manifest in Islam, of course.)

"Followers of her movement, Proces Constituent, which has signed up around 50,000 Catalans this year, are mainly non-believing leftists," we are informed by the BBC. "She won't run for office, and says she won't create a political party, but she's undeniably a political figure on a mission - to tear down international capitalism, and change the map of Spain."

Her ten-point programme incudes "An end to xenophobia and repeal of immigration laws" and  'International "solidarity", leaving Nato, and the abolition of armed forces in a future free Catalonia.'

We can hazard a guess about what this Far Left radical in nun's habit thinks of Israel.  I'd wager her views don't reflect those of her fellow-Spaniard Jose Maria Aznar.

We can  but wonder why this woman and others of her political persuasion seek to flood Catalonia (and for that matter other European lands) with immigrants of the non-assimilating kind; is it some kind of death wish on their part?  I guess so.

Around the same time that the BBC was reporting about Forcades and her belief that Catalonia should throw open its doors to all comers, a writer in a publication emphatically determined to expose the dangers facing Western civilisation was reporting:

'A jihadist group affiliated with Al Qaeda has threatened to carry out terrorist attacks in Catalonia, an autonomous region in northeastern Spain that is home to the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe.
The threats were issued by a group called "Africamuslima" in response to efforts by Catalonian lawmakers to increase surveillance of radical Salafists seeking to impose Islamic Sharia law in Spain and other parts of Europe.
Catalonia -- a region of 7.5 million people centered on the Mediterranean city of Barcelona -- is home to the largest Muslim population in Spain. Most of the estimated 450,000 Muslims in Catalonia are from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
Many of the Muslims living in Catalonia are shiftless single males who are unemployed and "susceptible to jihadist recruitment," according to diplomatic cables obtained by Wikileaks and published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper.
Spanish authorities are especially concerned about the threat posed by Salafism, a radical strain of Islam that seeks to re-establish an Islamic empire [Caliphate] across the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, which Salafists view as a Muslim state that must be reconquered for Islam.
Spain's National Intelligence Center [CNI] says Catalonia is home to hundreds and possibly thousands of Salafists who, according to intelligence experts, pose the greatest threat to Spain's national security.
Catalan officials recently have redoubled efforts to improve surveillance of Salafist groups in the region....'
From Spain to Scandinavia, and in the United States, through the connivance of supine governments and perverse leftists, radical Islamists have been making alarming headway since 9/11, suggests this Christian-made video (hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog):

Syria: An Aussie Shahid, The Endangered Christian Minority, & David Singer On Putin

I understand from an expert in these matters that some 80 per cent of Syrian rebels are Jihadists, about 60 per cent of them affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood.  (See, incidentally, Edgar Davidson's salutary post here.) It's reported that about 100 Australians are in Syria fighting with the rebels, and there are unconfirmed reports that one of them, Queensland man Abu Asma al-Australi, had the distinction a few days ago of becoming Australia's first ever suicide bomber, when he blew himself up in a car bombing attack on a school housing government troops carried out on behalf of the proscribed Al Quaeda-linked al-Nusrah Front.  The ABC reported last week that ASIO believes that 100 Australians are in Syria espousing the rebel cause ...

The alleged Aussie suicide bomber; Photo: The Age & The Sydney Morning Herald

Over at the Almond Rod blog, a Christian blog that supports Israel, Anglican Ian G in recent posts has drawn attention to the pitiful plight of Syrian Christians, and in his current post here he brings his readers' attention to a petition the Barnabas Fund has initiated urging Western governments to take action on their behalf.

Meanwhile, in an article entitled "Putin Puts International Law Before War," Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer writes:

'Russia’s President – Vladimir Putin – has trumped America’s President – Barack Obama – in urging the American nation to put international law before war to prevent any armed attack on Syria threatened by President Obama as a result of the chemical weapons atrocity perpetrated on 21 August that killed 1429 people.

Putin’s message had already been clearly heard by President Obama when he  called on the Congress to postpone a vote approving any such military offensive – choosing instead to now pursue the collection and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria with the backing of a Security Council resolution – which will  undoubtedly be finalised on such terms as are acceptable to Russia.

Putin sought to reinforce this end game in spectacular fashion by publishing an op-ed – (or should it have been called a ” victory speech”?) – in the New York Times under the heading – “A Plea for Caution From Russia – What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria”

Putin’s concentration on stressing the importance of the UN Security Council as the sole legal authority to declare war – and conversely to help end war – was particularly revealing.

On the role of the Security Council – Putin declared:
“The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.”
The inability of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council to agree on the terms of a resolution to collect and destroy all chemical weapons in Syria – certainly could signal a lack of “real leverage” – threatening the future of the Security Council.

America’s objective in preventing the future use of chemical weapons in Syria or elsewhere will now be met – perhaps not entirely to America’s complete satisfaction – by accepting the terms of any Security Council resolution proposed by Russia.

However Putin now certainly needs to explain the lack of “real leverage” demonstrated by the failure of those same five Permanent Members to agree on the terms of a resolution to end the 30 month civil war in Syria that has already claimed over 100,000 lives, created two million refugees and displaced 5 million Syrians in their own country.

Russia needs to do its own soul searching as it continues to exercise its veto vote to paralyse all efforts by the majority of the other Permanent Members to obtain a Security Council Resolution to try and end this humanitarian outrage.

Russia cannot continue to be the impediment frustrating a resolution to try and end this conflict – if Putin wants to be taken seriously.

Putin has pointedly omitted mentioning the United Nations General Assembly – and for very good reason. The voting bloc comprised by the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and third world nations ensures that the most fanciful resolutions can be passed with impunity to demonise and denigrate other member States.

The fact that resolutions of the General Assembly have no legal effect is not understood by most people – who continually quote those General Assembly resolutions to justify their own viewpoints.

The classic example is the large number of General Assembly resolutions declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank as being illegal in international law – when there are contradictory legal opinions asserting they are legal.

Repeated mantra like – these non-binding resolutions take on a life and misleading legal status of their own – when indeed nothing could be further from the truth.

On the need to be bound by the rule of law – Putin stated:
“From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.”
Putin’s words – whilst very noble in their import – suffer from the old adage “two lawyers – three opinions”

Regrettably the International Court of Justice remains the only tribunal within the UN framework with jurisdiction to deal with disputes between States – but only if those States agree to accept its jurisdiction.

The Court has the power to issue advisory opinions – but they are also non-binding.

Calling in the lawyers to clarify the law is a worthwhile objective Putin and Obama should certainly pursue.

The Security Council can play an important role in the formation of a new Court system with teeth – possessing the ability to have its judgements respected and enforced.

Yes – the law is the law, is imperfect and is often reversed on appeal.

Yet it still remains the most effective way of settling disputes between States if those States themselves are incapable of doing so.'

Friday 13 September 2013

Conduct Unbecoming? Two Historical Figures Visit A Synagogue

In honour of the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, which starts very shortly, I thought I'd give a glimpse into synagogue decorum as it struck Margaret Calderwood, the wife of an eighteenth century Scottish lawyer and laird.  No run-of-the-mill woman of her time, she had as a girl privately studied mathematics under a famous University of Edinburgh professor, along with her sister.

She ran her husband's landed estate and saved it from financial ruin, and wrote a romantic novel as well as a little children's story that exists in manuscript form.  In the mid-1750s she travelled to the Low Countries to visit to her exiled Jacobite brother, Sir James Steuart, and to take in the sights.  Her letters and journals written at that time were published late in the nineteenth century, and are considered one of the best surviving examples of the old Scots dialect that was rapidly fading in her time among her class in favour of "politer" English.

In this excerpt from a letter to her stay-at-home married daughter Anne, Margaret gives her impressions of a service at the (Sephardi) synagogue in Amsterdam:
"This puts me in mind of the Jews, who are the drollest set I ever saw.  We call them, by way of reproach, smouce, but that is only a name for a certain sort of them.
They wear their bairds, and the women you will know by a sort of mutch [a cotton cap] they wear with a double row of plaits, so that you see none of their hair, and close battered [plastered] to their faces, so that you see none of their hair, and some has a curl of wool round their faces by way of a wigg, some black and some white.
I went into their synagogue one morning, and they were in service, but what kind I could not find out, but I suppose it was a fast-day, for there were two men standing on the altar [bimah], I suppose, for it was raised higher than the rest, in the midst of the room; there was a lamp burning, though the sun was shining.  They were both reading aloud with harn clouts [lit. brain-cloths, a cloth around the head; obviously prayer shawls, tallesim,  are meant] on their heads, and some of the congregation had harn-clouts likeways.  Some were sitting with books in their hands, some standing, reading, or looking on a book, some walking about, snuffing [taking snuff] and cracking [conversing, gossiping]as loud as they had been in the street; in short, you never saw such a congregation; some were going in, some were going out, and those who went out had their harn clouts in their pockets.
In Amsterdam, they have a quarter of the town to themselves, and they say it is the oddest, nasty, raggamuffin-like place ever was seen, and people go to see the Jews' quarter for a curiosity."
Incidentally, one of Margaret's grandsons was a distinguished British admiral, whose squadron in 1813 captured the ship on which the celebrated American writer and advocate of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel (his Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews appeared in 1845) Mordecai Manuel Noah, who was at that time bound for Tunis to take up the post of American consul there, was a passenger, and consequently found himself a prisoner of war instead.

Margaret's remark that "you never saw such a congregation" was incorrect.  In 1663, on Simchat Torah, almost a century before she described what she'd seen in Amsterdam, the diarist Samuel Pepys, his wife, and a male friend. paid a visit to the London Synagogue in Creechurch Lane, where they saw
"the men and boys in their vayles, and the women behind a lattice out of sight; and some things stand up, which I believe is their Law, in a press to which all coming in do bow; and at the putting on their vayles do say something, to which others that hear him do cry Amen, and the party do kiss his vayle. Their service all in a singing way, and in Hebrew.
And anon their Laws that they take out of the press are carried by several men, four or five several burthens in all, and they do relieve one another; and whether it is that every one desires to have the carrying of it, I cannot tell, thus they carried it round about the room while such a service is singing. And in the end they had a prayer for the King, which they pronounced his name in Portugall; but the prayer, like the rest, in Hebrew.
But, Lord! to see the disorder, laughing, sporting, and no attention, but confusion in all their service, more like brutes than people knowing the true God, would make a man forswear ever seeing them more and indeed I never did see so much, or could have imagined there had been any religion in the whole world so absurdly performed as this. Away thence with my mind strongly disturbed with them, by coach and set down my wife in Westminster Hall, and I to White Hall... "
As similar historic accounts show, Margaret Calderwood and Samuel Pepys reflected the astonishment that Christians whose curiosity drew them to shuls felt.

 Being accustomed to the sedate behaviour prevailing at church services, they were typically shocked at witnessing the contrasting conduct of Jewish worshippers.

It was no accident that the Reform movement, in its response to modernity and quest for Jewish emancipation, made decorous services one of its hallmarks.

But the issue, as this book cover illustrates, rages still ...

Thursday 12 September 2013

How One Not So Nice Jewish Boy Will Spend Erev Yom Kippur

A question on many minds
Fresh from his Israel-bashing appearances in Sydney, Professor Richard Falk  will be in Australia's "Shtetl On The Yarra, " where the holiest day in the Jewish calendar commences at around 5.50 p.m.

Between 5.30 and 6.30 p.m. the UN Special Rapporteur (who's due to give a free talk on Monday evening co-sponsored by the Australian National University and the Swinburne University of Technology entitled "Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories") will be not in shul for Kol Nidrei but in school, on the premises of the prestigious Melbourne University Law School to be precise.

And what will he be doing there?

Why, giving a talk to the Australian Branch of the International Law Association on the subject "Failures of US Self Scrutiny for War Crimes under Obama".

See more here

The BBC's Pal Bari: "Chemical Weapons ... Are The Poor Man's Nuclear Bomb" (video)

Here's the recently resigned editor of the London-based Al Quds Al-Arabi, the BBC's old mate (see my post here) Abdel Bari Atwan, one of the BBC's most frequent and honoured studio guests despite having declared that were Israel to be struck by Iranian missiles he'd dance for joy in Trafalgar Square, making some frank comments about Syrian chemical weapons: "a loss to the entire Arab nation"...

( video)

I hear on the grapevine that  Bari, as his BBC hosts call him, might soon find a berth at The Guardian.

There's now, incidentally, a version Down Under of that odious rag.  How it must hate the fact that one of the first international phone calls placed by new Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been to Bibi Netanyahu declaring his (genuine and long-standing) support for Israel.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

"A Conference That Features Fringe Conspiracy Theorists & Ideologues": Australian National University Slammed For Hosting Anti-Israel Event

As I noted here, the British Academy has already copped flak for co-hosting a conference in Canberra, due to take place today and tomorrow, featuring Richard Falk as a keynote speaker.

It's reported  in The Australian newspaper that the conference's co-sponsor the Australian National University (ANU), is facing a backlash, one that in my view (I'm an alumna of the that particular seat of learning, by the way) is richly deserved.

The Australian's Christian Kerr reports:
"[ANU] officials have gone to ground in the face of Jewish community outrage for hosting Middle East hardliners at a Human Rights in Palestine conference this week [which] has led to questions being asked about the university's academic credibility.
Keynote speakers at the conference, which begins today, include Richard Falk, the UN's special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, who was publicly rebuked by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2011 for "preposterous" remarks questioning whether the September 11 terror attacks were orchestrated by the US government.
Another is Hanan Ashrawi, who was among a few Palestine Liberation Organisation members who in 1996 voted not to remove clauses in the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction.
A third, Jeff Halper, claimed in 2011 that Israel has developed a "spectral dust" it could spray over wide areas of land, every grain of which was a sensor programmed with a person's DNA to track, locate and kill that individual...."
The report quotes Peter Wertheim, executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, thus:
"A conference that features fringe conspiracy theorists and ideologues and omits recognised scholars in the field has no academic credibility.
It is appalling that one of our top universities, the ANU, seems no longer to understand the difference between genuine scholarship and political advocacy."
And it also quotes Dean Sherr, director of political affairs for the Australian Union of Jewish Students:

 "It is highly concerning to see someone with such a history of anti-Semitic slurs invited on to Australian university campuses.
 We repeatedly come up against extreme anti-Israel groups on campus that blur the line between attacking Israel and attacking Jews. Our fear is Falk will only inflame this. It would belittle the importance of student welfare to ignore his history of offensive conduct and links to anti-Semitism to welcome him with open arms."'
Read more here

As one Jewish Aussie academic (no rightwinger, by the way) has observed in response to the report:
"It is concerning that an Australian university is hosting a conference on Palestine which may promote the racial or ethnic stereotying of all Israeli Jews as an alleged oppressor people.
Any serious academic analysis would have to acknowledge that the Palestinians are not solely defenceless and innocent victims, and that there are moderates and extremists on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.
Conflict resolution requires both sides to make fundamental concessions. Attempts to label all Israelis as a guilty people only serve to remind many people of the Fascistic ideologies that dominated Germany and Italy in the 1930s."
More joy is on the way: Richard Falk is heading to Melbourne to work his black magic there in a talk co-sponsored by the ANU and the Swinburne University of Technology.
Update:  And see this too for his activities in Melbourne.

Equal Opportunity, Fatah-Style: What Say You To This, Israel-Bashing Women?

I trust they had fun, the attendees at last evening's Palestine Solidarity Campaign fringe meeting in the English south coast resort of Bournemouth, doing what they do best.  Bit rich that the National Union of Teachers was represented there, surely? Shouldn't that union be exclusively concerned with the pay and conditions of Britain's schoolteachers and related issues, rather than with the doings of the Jewish State?

Oh, but I forget. Bashing the one true democracy in the Middle East has become de rigueur for the British Labour Movement these days, as the line-up on this poster illustrates.

No doubt the usual demonics flew fast and furious, but what (if anything) did and do those who so enthusiastically denounce little Israel make of the following?

We learn from the splendid Daniel Greenfield (see his entire article here): 
'Fatah is for all intents and purposes the Palestinian Authority. After the number of honor killings of women in its territory increased by 50 percent this year, some women from the Forum to Combat Violence against Women began protesting daily against President Abbas’ Muqata palace daily until something was done.
So Abbas’ Fatah Party responded in a way that once again clarifies the moral abyss in which the bottom dwellers of the Palestinian State live.
 The following is the text on Fatah’s Facebook page, posted the day after Palestinians demonstrated against renewed peace talks between Israel and the PA:
“Where are you, Dalal [Mughrabi]? Swear in Allah’s name that you will return, if only for a moment. On your way, bring Ayyat Al-Akhras, Andalib Takatka and Wafa Idris with you. Bring the Martyrs with you.
 Come back here, my sisters, in Allah’s name. Teach yesterday’s whores [at the demonstration] how the struggle is carried out, how to sacrifice for Palestine. Teach them how the Palestinian woman acts like Al-Khansa and not like some young whore standing in the streets in the ugliest way, [using] the dirtiest words.
Come back, oh you modest [women], and teach these whores that the homeland needs sacrifice and blood and not a modeling show and vulgar words and obscenities that [even] men are ashamed to utter. Rest in peace, [you] Al-Khansas of Palestine, our female Martyrs, our female fighters and Dalal [Mughrabi]‘s sisters. Shame on the whores who led the demonstration yesterday and this morning I find no way to describe them but as whores on the sidewalks of the Muqata’a’ (i.e., the PA’s Presidential Headquarters).” [Facebook, “Fatah – The Main Page,” Aug. 29, 2013
 .....  This is the demented misogynist homicidal terror state that our governments seem obsessed with bringing into being as the only way to bring peace to the middle east."
I've mentioned "honour killings" among the Palestinians before, and I've posted this disturbing video before.

As Professor Phyllis Chesler (no stranger to Islamic misogyny as she most recently relates here) once observed, any Western feminist (and as leftwing progressives I'm sure Sarah Colbourne and the rest of the PSC gang consider themselves such) worth their salt would
"actually address real apartheid, namely that which is practiced by Islam in terms of both gender and religious apartheid; and indeed, in Gaza and on the West Bank, where honor-related violence, including honor killings, normalized domestic violence, forced veiling, polygamy, arranged child marriage and Arab female illiteracy, is rife and rampant."
So what say you, Israel-bashing women?  What say you, Israel-bashing lefties of either gender?