Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday 31 July 2014

Hitting The Fairfax Press Where It Hurts: For the love of Israel, Australians should support this boycott!

That's a spiteful tweet from journo (as we say in Oz) Mike Carlton, who penned the despicable article that appeared last weekend  in two newspapers in the left-liberal Fairfax stable,  the (Melbourne) Age (long dubbed "The Spencer Street Soviet") and the Sydney Morning Herald accompanied by an odious antisemitic cartoon by Glen Le Lievre.

Judging by their reactions on Twitter, neither man seems remorseful at the amount of anguish to the Jewish community their handiwork has caused, with Le Lievre maintaining in separate tweets:
Drawing's a comment about these folks turning human suffering into a spectator sport. -As if they're in their living rooms taking in a show.
As for the size of his sodding, goddamn nose, that's how I tend to draw genial old men in recliners watching TV.
 Carlton in particular appears to revel in his notoriety, and in the furore his article has sparked.

For instance, on the day of publication he tweeted to Le Lievre regarding the cartoon:
Scorching, as ever. Brace yourself for the accusations that you're a Nazi, anti-Semite, Jew-hater, Holocaust denier etc.
Subsequently he tweeted of those to whom his article has cause deep offence and who have told him so:
I think the abuse will die down when these little Likudnik trolls head off to join the IDF and take up the fight, as they must be keen to do
And, more recently still, he's tweeted:
Planning Saturday's column on the responses to last week. So if you'd like to call me a piece of Nazi slime, best make it quick.
To Austen Tayshus (And only Mike. He is a failed Radio Host and failed Comedian. Nobody really cares about him. One sure strategy to get noticed. Antisemitism):
 I've smelt the burnt corpse of a child killed in war. When you have, Austen Tayshus, you ridiculous turd, get back to me.
As reported here the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) wrote as follows to Sydney Morning Herald editor Darren Goodsir:
'No matter how much we may disagree with Mike Carlton’s article entitled “Israel mocks laws of war and norms of civilization”, which appeared in the July 26, 2014 edition of the Weekend Herald, the publication of the clearly antisemitic  Le Lievre cartoon, which accompanied the article, was completely unacceptable.
The cartoon unambiguously portrays an ugly stereotype of a Jew.  He is identified with hook nose, kippah (religious head covering) and Magen David (Star of David), sitting in an arm chair and using a remote control device to blow up houses and people, presumably in Gaza in the context of the current fighting. The cartoon thus portrays Jews as a group as collectively guilty of acting outside the norms of civilization and the laws of war, intentionally causing civilian deaths in Gaza.
In our view this is racial vilification not only in the sense of offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating Jews as a group but also in the sense of inciting third parties to hatred of Jews
Holocaust survivors in our community have compared the cartoon to those which they saw regularly appear in the 1930′s and 1940′s in the Nazi newspapers, 'Der Stürmer' and 'Völkischer Beobachter'.  Whether or not one accepts that analogy, the cartoon is, on any measure, crudely antisemitic
We are extremely disappointed at this significant and gratuitous lapse in the Herald’s editorial standards. Its publication demands an unreserved apology.'
 To which Goodsir's response, echoing in places Le Lievre's "excuses" on social media, was:

Dissatisfied, the ECAJ wrote back:
'We acknowledge receipt of your reply dated 28 July 2014. In our view it fails to address the substance of our complaint.
The figure in the cartoon is not simply identified as an elderly man, as you emphasise in your letter, or even as an elderly Israeli.  He is unambiguously identified as a Jew.  The symbols are unmistakeable.  He is depicted with a hook nose (which is a traditional antisemitic stereotype), and is further ‘branded’ with a kippah (religious head covering, which is not an Israeli national symbol) and Magen David (Star of David, which appears on the Israeli flag but is shown in the cartoon in its generic Jewish form).  Indeed the combination of these three symbols is almost certainly intended to ensure that the reader identifies the figure not simply as an elderly man, or even as an Israeli, but as a Jew.
As is often the case with racial stereotypes about Jews, the identification of the figure as a Jew in the cartoon is a device for conveying a message about Jews generally. The message is a deeply derogatory one.  It is no answer for you to rely on Mr Le Lievre’s direct modelling based on a number of photographs of men seated in armchairs “observing the shelling of Gaza from the hills of Sderot”.  The figure in the cartoon is not merely a passive observer of the fighting, as is the case in the photos to which you refer.  He is shown activating a remote control device which is blowing up people and buildings.
Whether the cartoonist intended it or not, or is even conscious of it, the cartoon thus attributes to Jews generally a collective blood guilt for the deaths and suffering in Gaza.   This is the calumny of Jewish people which your letter simply fails to address.
We therefore cannot accept your explanation, nor your failure to publish our letter, or to publicly apologise for what has clearly been a descent into racism in your newspaper.
In the circumstances, we feel we have no alternative but to seek redress by legal means.  You will be hearing from us or one of our constituent organisations in this regard shortly.' [Emphasis added]
Under the banner front-page headline "Media Disgrace" subtitled "Shame on those Australian journalists who are fanning the flames of hatred against Jews and Israel", the current issue of the Australian Jewish News (AJN; it hit the newsstands today), castigates the unconscionable anti-Israel bias observed in Channel Nine's 60 Minutes report by Allison Langdon last Sunday and Carlton's article in the Fairfax press.

Both Langdon and Carlton, the AJN notes,
'showed how out of focus and blurred our media's coverage of Operation Protective Edge can become.
To highlight their case, the pundits posit what is widely portrayed as the IDF's disproportionate response to the meagre rockets fired by Hamas.  Ironically, in so doing they ignore the media's disproportionate focus on Israel – remember the almost 2000 Syrians killed in just 10 days – and their on disproportionate allocation of blame on Israel....
For its part, 60 Minutes was textbook, Israel-baiting by numbers ....
As for Carlton's column, that was altogether more insidious.  Not only were we treated to baseless accusations of "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" on Israel's part, but then there was a subtle shift. These were crimes being committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead at the centre of their race memory".
This column was no longer about a country. This was about a people and a race – a people and a race who should know better because of what they themselves went through.  In short, you Jews are the same as the Nazis, worse perhaps because you choose to ignore the lessons of your own history.
How long can a columnist in a mainstream newspaper sink?
How low can a mainstream newspaper sink? ....
In these troubled times, it behoves our media to act both responsibly and with integrity. not to stir the pot.
If you haven't done so already, consider cancelling your Fairfax subscriptions today.' [Emphasis added]
Such a boycott of the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald would hit those Fairfax newpapers where it hurts.  From February 2013 to February this year both experienced a decline of 17 per cent in circulation figures.  These slumps in readership have been widely attributed to the left-wing bias of the newspapers concerned, and were far greater than the declines experienced by Rupert Murdoch's two leading morning papers, the Melbourne Herald-Sun and the Sydney Daily Telegraph, which experienced falling circulation figures of 12 per cent during the same period.

The two latter papers are, of course, home to the columnist regarded as the most influential in Australia, the admirable Andrew Bolt, about whom, incidentally, the execrable Mike Carlton tweeted disparagingly a couple of days ago:
 "I hear that Blot [sic] gave me a mention today...."
That was a reference to this article by Bolt, who has written other pro-Israel pieces between that day and this, his latest, of today's date, being a typically hard-hitting article:
'A putrid Jew-hatred has returned to the West, fed by mass immigration and stoked by the Left. 
 Do not mistake this anti-Semitism for mere anger at Israel over the war in Gaza. That war is just the calculated pretext for a month of menace that has terrified many Jews — as well as those of us who prize civilisation over barbaric tribalism. 
France now has more than six million Muslims and two weeks ago Arab protesters — some chanting “death to Jews” — attacked synagogues, torched cars and burned Jewish shops in Sarcelles, a suburb of Paris dubbed “Little Jerusalem”. 
Germany now has four million Muslims.  Arab and Turkish protesters were this month filmed shouting “Gas the Jews” and other Jew-hating slogans and a Berlin imam, Sheik Abu Bilal Ismail, was filmed at his mosque preaching: “Oh Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews ... Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them.” Two Jews wearing yarmulkes were attacked in Berlin....'
Read Bolt's entire article here

Wednesday 30 July 2014

"These Rallies & Their Online Conduits Have Become Platforms For Expressing & Promoting Antisemitism"

Writes Julie Nathan, research officer of the Executive Council of Australia Jewry, following the third  Sydney rally against Israel in as many weeks:
'....The protesters no longer bother to hide the fact that they are calling for Israel’s destruction.
Some of the antisemitic slogans from previous weeks were gone, but these were replaced with others. A particularly nasty placard had the Star of David equaling a swastika, with the words “Stop the Holocaust in Palestine”. Another placard also had the Star of David equaling the swastika and the words “Shame shame shame Israel, Zionism = Nazism, Nazism = Zionism”.
Most disturbing were the placards that claimed that Israel deliberately kills children. In large red writing were painted the words “Babies Blood on your hands Israel” and “Israel murders babies”, with red spatters over each placard....
After the march from Town Hall to Hyde Park, street theatre was utilized to reiterate the erroneous claim that Israel targets and murders children.  Around the fountain, young people made-up with fake blood and ash played dead, next to various signs insinuating that Israel had killed them. On a ‘stage’ area, several groups of children were playing, with girls dancing and boys playing soccer, then the sound of bombs dropping, and the children all collapsing dead by the hand of Israel. Various signs were held up, some with the words “Stop the Genocide” and “Never Again”, both with implied references to Jews.
Ophelia Haragli, the MC, stated before the march that “We are not against Jews or Judaism, we are only against the illegal Jewish state.” This statement is as bizarre and disingenuous as saying “We are not against Italians and Italian laws, culture and traditions, we are only against the illegal Italian state.” Despite their attempted claim to be not against Jews, the fact that anti-Jewish themes, classical and modern, were expressed in abundance shows that the protesters’ protestations that they are not antisemitic to be nothing but empty rhetoric....
Antisemitism was present not only at the Sydney rally, but also on the Sydney protest event Facebook page, set up Palestine Action Group (PAG), the organizers of the rally. On this page antisemitic comments, images and links were posted. This has been the standard scene on PAG’s Facebook event pages for each of the three rallies....
 For an organization and campaign that claims to have nothing against Jews (apart from a Jewish state), a disinterested observer could easily conclude that Jews are seen as fair game, and that there is free and frequent denigration and demonisation of Jews and denial of rights to Jews. These rallies and their online conduits have become platforms for expressing and promoting antisemitism.'
 See all of Julie Nathan's article, with images that back up her assertions, here

Meanwhile, with his mind on the situation in Europe, Benjamin Weinthal shows in a new article "Why-Zionism is Modern Anti-Semitism":
'Israel’s defensive Operation Protective Edge against Hamas rocket fire revealed that it took a military conflict to show that anti-Zionism cannot be decoupled from anti-Semitism.
As veteran observers of contemporary anti-Semitism are aware, the rejection of Jewish state sovereignty in Israel (i.e., anti-Zionism) has always been an inherent part of Jew-hatred....
The calls for the dismantling of Israel and shouts to kill Jews on the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, and Frankfurt, to name some of the major European cities where they’ve occurred, are indicative of a lethal anti-Semitic mass movement. What unifies many European elites, large numbers of Muslims, motley crews of leftists and neo-Nazis is a loathing of the Jewishness of Israel....
Continental Europe has tolerated enormous amounts of anti-Semitism over the last few decades. Critics correctly point out that there is a market demand for demonstrations of it in Europe. The pressing question remains: Why is there such tolerance for and such a great demand for hatred of Israel? The Israeli psychoanalyst Zvi Rex famously said, with biting sarcasm and irony,” The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” The line can now be updated to: “Europe will never forgive the Israelis for the Holocaust.”....'
Read Benjamin Weinthal's entire article here

Below: by anti-Israel stalwart Alex Seymour (aka Seymour Alexander), a video of the 29 July demonstration outside Downing Street against Israel's right to defend itself against a genocidal foe:

Tuesday 29 July 2014

A Blue and White Flag To A Crowd of Bull[er]s (video)

In a video at the end of my previous blog we saw what happened to a brave woman in Montreal who raised the Israeli flag in a tricky spot.

Here's Iraqi-born pro-Israel hero Orim Shimshon's lucky escape in Londonistan on Al Quds Day:

And here, by the way, is footage  of a demo by Muslims in London, angry at both Israel and the Nigerian government. The footage takes a dramatic turn at about 6:02 when a backpack-toting guy in a cream jacket enters the frame. He appears at first glance to be one of the protesters.  But then he opens his mouth...

British Broadcasting's Mr Pompous Diagnoses "Humankind's Most Grievous Cancer"

Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow (for more on the 2013 event shown in the video see here), he of the  repellently pompous manner and the noisome habit of addressing the ever-courteous Mark Regev as if the latter is a prisoner in the dock of a criminal court, has been pontificating about the current situation in Gaza, to which he paid a visit.  (See here and here)

Among the inevitable and numerous Israel-demonising comments his Snowblog here has garnered, such as
Israel is officially indefensible, regardless of the history of the Jewish people.

The suggestion that the abused often become the abusers has never been more obvious than it is right now.
there are very occasional voices of reason:
Dear Readers,
 Have any of you taken a tour of Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Egypt lately? Because the anarchy in those Countries is what you advocate that we accept in Israel. Could Jon have taken his comfortable BA flight out of Syria, Iraq, Sudan, or Libya? No, because ISRAEL is the ONLY Country in this locale, that is NOT in total Chaos.
 Hamas has sworn to annihilate Israel. Instead of helping the people of Gaza, for 9 years they have amassed rockets to shoot at Israel, diverting all available funds for that purpose. You hold Hamas out as a viable partner in peace? No, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and ISIS have all vowed to wipe Israel off the map. Living is a better option than peace after annihilation.
‘Two peoples living in an area far smaller than England, one of which besieges the other, both of which target each other’s civilians.’
Ah! Who besieges whom, Jon, in this one-way street (of your making)? Jon Snow over a barrel (head buried in a sand tunnel?). A most mysteriously evasive and uneven-handed statement, but one thing’s for sure: it wouldn’t cut it with the author of C4′s beloved Masters of War, who also wrote Neighborhood Bully:
Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
 His enemies say he’s on their land
 They got him outnumbered about a million to one
 He got no place to escape to, no place to run
 He’s the neighborhood bully
 A Tweet (Pat Condell) says you are virtually Hamas’s new spokesman. But you gotta love Yigal Palmor’s Tweet about you, which whips your game-of-drones (and hectoring-and- lecturing) butt 7-1: ‘You don’t know anything Jon Snow’
 Except how to panda to Hamas propaganda, media manipulation, international emotional blackmail and (your own) bad spelling, bad logic and poor grasp of the nature of Islamist extremism.
Most of the people raving about your wonderful journalism have Arabic names, but a good journalist actually LISTENS and is able to do two-way conversation. But you are a one-way tunnel. Palmor had very clearly already admitted the school hit could have been Israeli ‘response fire’ when you sanctimoniously accused him of having left that out of the possibilities. Now did anyone with an Arabic name point that out to you? Ironically, Al Jazeera had already suggested the hit could have been from Hamas. Perhaps Al Jazeera is more biased than C4?
'I find you also have to see the conflict in a far bigger, historically and politically, picture – in the picture of the beginning under the British mandate, the following first years of the lonely Israeli state who tried to defend its existence and the growing radicalism of islamic groups in various countries and their leaders who all have their own interests to have this soup simmering endlessly.
 To avoid inner conflicts like democratization of their own societies, to avoid moving in the end and instead fueling on and on antijudaism.'
In the blog Snow pontificates that the Israel-Palestinian conflict
“is humankind’s most grievous cancer, for its cells infect conflicts in every corner of the world".
This fallacious claim reminds me of some rather good points author and US State Department adviser Jared Cohen made during Operation Cast Lead:
'At times, I have remarked to friends that the further one goes from the epicenter of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the angrier people seem to be about it....Why are Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants living in the UK angrier about the Arab-Israeli conflict than events in their home countries or the integration and inclusion challenges that more directly affect them? ....
How does one account for the double standards, inconsistencies, and lack of similar activism around local issues that are illustrated by these questions? There is no single answer, but perhaps certain trends and contexts that help explain the phenomenon. The media is an obvious starting point. Al-Jazeera, Al-Manar, and other Arab media outlets are flooding the airwaves throughout Muslim communities with images from Gaza and the West Bank. The media plays on identity presenting these images to touch the hearts and minds of Muslims and non-Muslims throughout the world. ...
The barrage of images in the media, particularly during a period of fighting, ensures that the Arab-Israeli conflict is at the forefront of people's minds. There is no shortage of entities that seek to exploit this. Governments like Syria and Iran face serious economic, political, and social challenges at home. Fearing that any of these vulnerabilities could catalyze rebellion, insurrection, or protest, these regimes employ corrupt, autocratic, and repressive tactics to deprive their populations of rights and opportunities to mount any serious challenge, including a viciously controlled media. It is not surprising that these regimes view the Arab-Israeli conflict as an opportune issue that can divert attention away from their domestic shortcomings. The repressive leadership of these countries actively distract from their domestic deficiencies by pushing their population to focus anger, frustration and rage externally....
Where States do not stoke the organically felt sentiments in Muslim communities, non-state entities play the role of flame-thrower, agitator, and mobilizer on what they view as a winning issue. In places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia, groups like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Jamaa Islamiyya use the global outcry in ungoverned spaces, urban slums, and impoverished rural areas to piggy-back on the emotion and recruit new members. They care not for the Palestinian people, nor do they advocate a peaceful solution; their sole interest is in seizing an opportunity for exploitative recruitment.
An amplified global outcry has led to a misperception that all the world's problems will be solved if the Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved. While this would be a tremendous achievement that would allow the world to move forward beyond a conflict that has perpetuated for decades, it is not the silver bullet solution. A Palestinian state will not create jobs in North Africa, it will not reduce poverty in South Asia, and it will not help Muslims in Europe integrate. By making the Arab-Israeli conflict a lynchpin for all the world's problems, we only fuel an inclination to use Israel and Palestine as the scapegoat for unrelated and local challenges across the developing world.'


Regarding the possible impact on Al Beeb of protests see here 

Click here for Israel's ambassor to the USA, Ron Dermer, reminding CNN of its responsibility to report on Hamas's seminal role in the agony of Gaza.

Monday 28 July 2014

Sydney Leftists Spew Their Poison (video)

In Sydney, lefties and their improbable bosom pals rallied yesterday against Israel:

 (hat tip: Shirlee)

And, sadly,  despite his initial show of defiance, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies leader Vic Alhadeff has been coerced into resigning as chair of the Community Relations Council owing to his overt support of Israel, as described here and here

Sunday 27 July 2014

On Al Quds Day, A Familiar Figure Hoves Into View (video)

The final Friday of Ramadan: Al Quds Day around the world.

Here's footage of that day this year in the place where it all began, Teheran:

And here it is in Old London Town, where at around 1:12 a familiar figure hoves into view. 

Yes, it's one of the Zionist cause's favourite poster boys, Iraqi-born Muslim "Orim Shimshon", stepping where angels fear to tread, and giving protesters a piece of his mind.

Keep safe, Orim!

Saturday 26 July 2014

"Risking Death For The Sake Of Martyrdom ... Has Become A Religious Obligation For Many Gazans"

Notwithstanding the hideous culpability of Hamas for the heart-wrenching plight of the population under its control, Israel is self-evidently bearing the brunt of the blame, and (as my last post – please look at it – shows all too clearly), the kind of antisemitic images once restricted to the Arab and Soviet press in the decades following the Shoah, and in grubby gutter publications elsewhere, has now entered sections of the mainstream press, even here in Australia.  And as seen on various sites around the Web, antisemitic incidents, some violent, have occurred in many parts of the world in recent weeks.

This situation is of course exacerbated by the large and growing Muslim populations that now inhabit major and indeed not so major western cities in both the Old and New Worlds (regarding this photo of a shop sign in Belgium welcoming dogs but barring "Zionists" see here; and see what happened in Preston, Lancashire; incidentally, "Children of the Ghetto"? Is that a take-off of Israel Zangwill's work by the same name?), and by the distortions inherent in the reportage and commentary of leftist news channels such as the BBC (see my last post but one, regarding the odious Jeremy Bowen), CNN, and (in Australia) the ABC and SBS (both of which were particularly biased this evening, Aussie time, with barely a nod towards balanced reporting, and for the most part not even that.

Here's Mark Regev, doing his best to present the Israeli case regarding civilian casualties in Gaza on Al Beeb, but being hectored judge-and-jury style by an all-too-obviously emotional Emily Maitlis (the granddaughter, incidentally, of Jacob Maitlis, a well-known Polish-born Yiddishist cultural figure who from 1958-67 was director of the UK Zionist Federation's Educational Trust):

Hamas's reponsibility for the terrible suffering befalling the population under its control is the focus of the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer; it's entitled "Gaza – Hamas Exploits Death Over Life".

Writes David Singer:

The failure of many Gazans to leave their homes and seek safer shelter after ignoring Israeli leaflet drops, mobile phone calls and even the firing of harmless warning shots as a last resort has been a major contributor to the increasing number of civilian deaths and casualties in Gaza.

This phenomenon has presented a perplexing problem for Israel as it continues its determined drive to destroy the Hamas arsenal of rockets, rocket launchers, weapons caches and extensive network of tunnels located in, under or in the vicinity of densely populated housing areas of Gaza.

Former US President Bill Clinton hit the nail squarely on the head with this prescient statement on 17 July:
"Hamas was perfectly well aware what would happen if they started raining rockets on Israel. They fired a thousand of them, and they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them…
… In the short to medium term, Hamas can inflict terrible public relations damage on Israel by forcing it to kill Palestinian civilians to counter Hamas."
The strategy was given expression by Hamas MP Fathi Hammad in 2008:

“[The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: "We desire death like you desire life."
The execution of the strategy rests on two platforms – the religious and the psychological.

The religious platform has been articulated by Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs - Mahmoud Al-Habbash – who declared in his televised Friday sermon from the Al-Yarmouk Mosque in Ramallah on 20 December 2013:
“Pay attention, it is Allah who says: ‘They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance’ (Quran, Sura 3:111, translation Sahih International) – it is possible that they will harm you. I say to you, it is possible that they will kill us, it is possible that Allah will sentence us to Martyrdom. It is possible that we will be wounded, it is possible that terrorism will be laid on us – ‘They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance’ – but in the end, ‘and if they fight you, they will show you their backs’ and the conclusion – ‘then they will not be aided’ (Quran, Sura, 3:111, translation, Sahih International). We ask for victory more than we ask for life. We ask for the strengthening of our people in this good and blessed land.”
 Shlomi Eldar summarises this exhortation to martyrdom:
“The entire Hamas system worked to promote and advance the theme of martyrdom. It emerged as its greatest weapon and, unfortunately, the most effective and destructive weapon that the movement had, too. Preachers in mosques used their sermons to speak about the importance of martyrdom (fi sabil Allah, “in accordance with Allah’s will”), until many people throughout the West Bank and Gaza sincerely believed that Allah wanted to be sanctified through the sacrifice of believers’ lives, and that only through martyrdom could they prove their loyalty and their faith.”
Risking death for the sake of martyrdom – rather than leaving a declared danger zone for safer waters – has become a religious obligation for many Gazans.

The psychological platform is evidenced by Hamas's Ministry of Interior spokesman Iyad Al-Buzum calling on its civilian population on 12 July to ignore Israel's warnings and remain in their homes in spite of the danger:

 “The [Hamas] Ministry of the Interior and National Security calls on our honorable people in all parts of the [Gaza] Strip to ignore the warnings [to vacate areas near rocket launching sites before Israel bombs them] that are being disseminated by the Israeli occupation through manifestos and phone messages, as these are part of a psychological war meant to sow confusion on the [Palestinian] home front, in light of the [Israeli] enemy's security failure and its confusion and bewilderment." 
 One day later the same spokesman issued another similar warning:

"Answering the occupation's calls will merely aid it in carrying out its plans to weaken the [Palestinian] home front and to destroy property and homes as soon as you leave them. We call on all our people who have left their homes to return to them immediately."
 Kim Sengupta concludes:
“Hamas can, however, be accused of making people complacent, repeatedly stating in the media that the Israeli warnings were psychological games and asking the population to ignore them. Some mentioned this as a reason for staying behind; returning home having initially left.”
The counter-argument to that was the need to prevent panic spreading. The discovery of the extensive network of cement-strengthened tunnels throughout Gaza (video here) – with many already located snaking into Israel and in and under thousands of residential dwellings – has posed a major problem for Israel in completing its military objectives.

Staying in their homes risking possible death to achieve martyrdom or alternatively succumbing to propaganda falsely promoting a fools paradise on earth has been spectacularly exploited by Hamas.

Respect for life has become the real victim.

Antisemitism in Australia's left-liberal Fairfax press: Mike Carlton and Glen Le Lievre cross the line

By veteran Aussie journalist Mike Carlton in today's [Melbourne] Age and Sydney Morning Herald, newpapers in the left-liberal Fairfax stable, accompanied by an unmistakably antisemitic cartoon by Glen Le Lievre for good measure:
"....Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation's Iron Dome defence system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict. The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self defence.
It is a breathtaking irony that these atrocities can be committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory...."
Carlton's is a false analogy.  He should remember that in the Second World War the United States dropped more bombs on Germany (millions oftons) than Germany dropped on the United States (zero).

Does Carlton think that this was a disproportionate use of American power?

He should also reflect that Hamas denies Israel's right to exist, and is indeed sworn in its covenant to the genocide not only of Jews in Israel but in the Diaspora as well.  It is impossible to negotiate with extremists like that.

Friday 25 July 2014

The Ongoing Disgrace That Is The BBC's Jeremy Bowen

As this blog has not infrequently noted, the BBC's utterly pedestrian and sometimes frankly absurd "Middle East editor" Jeremy Bowen has made many reports from the Middle East over the years in which his own opinions intrude and which make a mockery of the BBC's obligations, under the terms its Charter, to maintain objectivity in reporting.

Particularly since the unfortunate car explosion in which his Arab driver/stringer was killed a number of years ago at the hands of what Bowen once described in a subsequent interview with the London Daily Telegraph as "trigger-happy Israeli soldiers", Bowen's prejudice against Israel has been all too apparent.

The death of his Arab colleague in an explosion that took place berfore his eyes, shortly after he himself had left the vehicle, was an event that evidently traumatised Bowen, who has referred to the incident bitterly countless times since (as in this video).

In those circumstances, as soon as his emotional involvement became clear, the BBC should have transferred Bowen to some other part of the world.

But it did not, and to add salt to the wounds of aggrieved pro-Israel complainants it inexplicably went on to reward him, despite the banal nature of his "analysis" of regional politics and despite the fact that a complaint against him had been partially upheld, with the post of Middle East editor!

Hadar Sela of BBCWatch (who's certainly having her work cut out for her during the present crisis) has drawn attention here to the fact that Bowen "tries to persuade TV audiences that Hamas does not use human shields".

And now Bowen, in a further thumbing of his nose to the objectivity incumbent upon him and his employer by the terms of the BBC's Charter, has written in that uncompromisingly leftwing journal of opinion, the New Statesman:
"I saw Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, giving an interview to the BBC after Israel had killed more than 60 people in the Gaza district of Shejaiya. He said he regretted the civilian casualties in Gaza but they were the fault of Hamas. Netanyahu said Israel had warned people to get out. Some had taken the advice; others had been prevented from leaving by Hamas.
 I was back in London for my son’s 11th birthday party by the time all those people were killed in Shejaiya. But my impression of Hamas is different from Netanyahu’s. I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields...."
To quote Craig, of the IstheBBCbiased? blog:
'This comes despite Hamas publicly advocating the use of civilians as human shields (something Jeremy Bowen fails to acknowledge). The Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, was caught (by MEMRI) speaking on a local station recently, saying: 
This attests to the character of our noble, jihad-loving people – who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood.
The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation… we in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy in order to protect the Palestinian homes.
And yet Jeremy Bowen dismisses it all, even after UNRWA found Hamas rockets in two of its Gazan schools, and despite credible reports that some civilians are deliberating ignoring Israel's warnings and that groups of civilians have actually gathered at targeted buildings in order to serve as human shields [see Channel 4's FactCheck blog].
A week in Gaza, and yet Jeremy Bowen "saw no evidence...of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields".
Presumably, the blinkers he was wearing at the time didn't help.'
 And as Hadar Sela has observed (link above):
"BBC licence fee payers pay a lot of money in order to be informed of facts. Hamas’ use of human shields is one of many important facts audiences need to know about in order to be able to reach an understanding of this particular international issue as they are promised in the BBC’s constitutional document. It is bad enough that in over a week of reporting from the Gaza Strip, not one BBC journalist has explained the human shields issue properly to BBC audiences. It is beyond grave when the man in charge of Middle East reporting – not some junior journalist – not only fails to inform, but actively seeks to deny and refute the issue.
Bowen’s inaccurate and partial reports – which increasingly give the impression that he has self-conscripted to the Hamas media campaign – are coming in thick and fast. As long as the BBC continues to allow that, it breaches the public purpose remit which obliges it to “[b]uild a global understanding of international issues” and that is a problem which BBC management should not be allowed to ignore."

Thursday 24 July 2014

Why Jews Must Choose Their Interfaith Partners Wisely: A cautionary tale from Down Under

It used to be (I don't know whether it still is) the case that anyone who had a letter printed in Anglo-Jewry's newspaper of record, the Jewish Chronicle, would receive a few days later a missive through the post from a certain Anglican missionising organisation urging the recipient to pluck the blinkers from his/her eyes and embrace Christianity.  I can't recall which organisation sent these annoying missives, which were swiftly consigned to the wastepaper basket, but I suspect that it was the so-called London Jews' Society (or, to give it its full title, the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews), founded in the early nineteenth century and headquartered at a complex in the East End  named Palestine Place (pictured), where it conducted sundry initiatives for ensnaring Jewish souls, albeit without much success.  In time, following the substantial immigration to Britain of Jews from Eastern Europe after 1880, it was joined in its missionising efforts by the Bishop of Stepney's Fund, which gave similar offence to a people whose only desire was to be free of both persecution and harassment to worship the Deity in their own way.

For their part, Jews do not seek proselytes, and it's been in fact notoriously difficult, although plainly not impossible, to convert to Judaism in Britain and the Commonwealth, at any rate through the auspices of Batei Din (religious courts) having allegiance to the British Chief Rabbi.

In our own day we in Britain, Australia,  and other English-speaking lands have, of course, seen a plethora of ecumenical initiatives consequent upon the emergence of multi-faith societies, and an example of ecumenicism in action occurred in Australia today, when people and religious leaders of several faiths, including Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism, crowded into St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne for a service to commemorate the victims if the Malaysian airliner so tragically and needlessly lost over the eastern Ukraine.

All participants were united, of course, in grief and outrage: they shared a common purpose.

Interfaith initatives of the type that saw in the 1940s and subsequent period the establishment in English-speaking lands of Councils of Christians and Jews, rested on mutual respect between the practitioners of the various religions, with no ulterior motive on the part of any.  This is for many people, and for many reasons, more easily said than done, especially in the case of creeds that defy modern notions of the just and the ethical.

Rabbi Chaim Ingram, of Sydney, a columnist in the Australian Jewish News, observes in a letter in the latest issue responding to a critic: 'if to live in 214" means vaunting politically correct dogma over human consideration and menschlikeit then I assure him I am quite happy living in biblical times'.  It is a statement unlikely to win him friends in the Progressive (i.e. Liberal or Reform) Jewish community, since Progressive Judaism holds that the Torah was revealed to man humankind not once and forever at Sinai, but gradually, over time, and that what was deemed appropriate in ancient times is not necessarily appropriate for our own.  Hence its commitment to the equality of women with men and its recent embrace of same-sex marriage.

And yet, what it deplores in what Rabbi Ingram terms "Torah-observant" Judaism it seemed to tolerate recently at an event in Melbourne, for the sake of "interfaith", apparently foolishly unaware that the Islamic group that it invited to a grand interfaith event is a proselytising organisation par excellence which (see here) exults at the conversion of each non-Muslim to Islam.

In other words, the Islamic group in question played the Progressive Jews for mugs, and the latter fell for it!

This "Open Letter To Interfaith Jews: Choose Your Partners Wisely" newly released by the team from Jews Down Under explains the situation and demands answers:

'Temple Beth Israel recently held a concert, billed as a “Sacred Music Concert”, “bringing together performers and communities from Melbourne’s Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Indigenous traditions”.

What the audience wasn’t told was that the second half of the concert would feature the Muslim call to prayer, and a recital of the 55th Surah of the Koran (describing how Muslim men will enjoy deflowering virgins in paradise) by Abdul Aziz al Mathkour and Brother Waseem Razvi of the Islamic research Education Academy (IREA)

The Australian Jewish News featured an article about the concert on page 8 of their 20 June edition – Music Bridges Faith Tradition – praising the concert and reporting the recitation of the Koranic verse with apparent approval. In addition, the concert was given extra prominence by a full page of colour pictures on page 12.

One would expect that at least some members of the community would feel strongly enough to write in to the Australian Jewish News expressing disquiet at this event. Yet it seems that Temple Beth’s presentation of a ‘Sacred’ concert, without forewarning that it would feature the Islamic Call to Prayer, plus an offensive Koranic verse, has elicited not a single response from the readers of the Australian Jewish News.Read more HERE including a video:

Maybe Jews have imbibed the message of the now retired Rabbi Fred Morgan, who, in an address to the Council of Christians and Jews (Vic) in 2009, recommended applying a non-judgmental approach to interfaith, 
“starting from the assumption that, when people say they believe something, as peculiar and uncongenial as I personally may find their belief, it is meaningful to them.” He berated the mainstream Jewish community for retaining “a ghetto mentality”, concerned only “about anti-Semitism, the integrity of the land of Israel and the inviolability of the State of Israel – all matters bearing on security and safety for Jews in Australia, Israel and world-wide.” and “never having moved beyond seeking security through interfaith engagement…” He cited the Gaza conflict, where “because some from the Christian and Muslim communities who are active in interfaith work were one-sidedly critical of Israel, the AJN published letters and articles questioning the value of interfaith dialogue”. Morgan concluded that this attitude revealed “the insularity of the Jewish world”.
Progressive Judaism Australia. If, according to the Progressive Jewish view, caring about Israel and innocent Jews being killed makes us insular, then many Jews are guilty as charged. Indeed, all who believe in human rights should care about the security of a sovereign state and the vicious assault on a vulnerable minority.

It’s hard to get a handle on this bizarre Progressive mindset. Is it now the case that to be left-of-centre in religious matters automatically means that Progressive Jews must be left-of-centre on issues involving the welfare and survival of Israel?

Surely not all Progressive Jews believe that?

Or have those of robust Zionist principles voted with their feet and left the movement?

Indeed, in the Australian Jewish News of 4 July, amid a slew of messages from local Jewish figures deploring the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenage boys, the one by the Executive Director of the Union for Progressive Judaism, Steve Denenberg, stood out for its mealy-mouthed politically-charged even-handedness; he even included a gratuitous reference to Muslims (though Christians were not similarly honoured), and in contrast to other message-writers, he studiously avoided condemning Islamic terrorism or Hamas by name, using instead the amorphous expression, “victims of blind hatred.”

We understand that TBI has received communications from individuals unhappy with the inclusion of the unannounced Muslim component of the concert, yet has, so far as we are aware, lacked the courtesy of replying to them to address their concerns.

During a recent Friday evening service, TBI’s current senior rabbi read out one email that criticised the participation in forthright terms, condemning it as an example of the “hate mail” received.

It is unfortunate that TBI has taken this dismissive, seemingly contemptuous, attitude: it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth of those who are genuinely distressed at TBI’s naïvety in inviting to the concert the representatives of a group actively involved in the conversion of non-Muslims (more on that below) and who uttered a Surah expressing Islamic supremacy and which is insulting to the gender equality that TBI (which after all was founded by a woman!) has – at least until now – upheld.

We doubt that TBI, in a spirit of ecumenism, would tolerate an Orthodox Jewish leader reciting in its sanctuary the traditional prayer, viewed as abhorrent by Progressive Jews, thanking G-d “for not making me a woman”. Yet paradoxically, they have no qualms about allowing Muslims to recite an obscenely sexist Surah.

What is TBI’s explanation for the latter?

Were they aware or were they ignorant of what the man was going to recite?

In either case, surely they are not too proud to admit to making, in this instance, an error of judgment, and to acknowledge that there should be no repeat?

The Muslim group, IREA – part of an international dawah (converting non-Muslims to Islam) organization – was triumphant about its successful incursion into a Jewish sacred space. On its Facebook page there is a photo of Waseem Razvi and three colleagues en route to TBI for the concert; the photo is captioned “Dae’es [i.e. missionaries] from IREA heading for interfaith event at a SYNAGOGUE”

That caption implies that the quartet was not appearing at TBI in a spirit of honest interfaith dialogue, which emphasises there must be no attempt to convert,but for the purpose of proselytisation. Furthermore, there is this boast on the IREA’s Facebook page:

'Firstly we thank Allah swt for giving us the opportunity to represent Islam in a country like Australia where there are only 2% muslims. Secondly we thank and appreciate the invitation from Cantor Michael Laloum and his initiative to work with Muslim Community. We also would like to thank Rabbi Gersh [Lazarow] and the Jewish Temple Beth Israel for their warm welcome. We hope & pray the doors of communication and mutual understanding are always open in order to achieve & fulfil the purpose of our lives i.e. to be obedient to the One & Only Lord Allah swt. As Allah swt says in the Quran ‘Say: O people of the Book (Jews & Christians)! Let us come to Common Terms as between us & you…..’ {AL Quran 3:64}
Several things are perturbing about these words. Firstly, it would seem the Jews are being asked to agree to a mutual understanding that we both worship Allah, who of course is different from the G-d of the bible. In addition the words “Common Terms” are capitalised, implying that they have a particular meaning in Islamic dawah. Dr Mark Durie, an expert on Islam, gave a critique of this meaning.

The key points are summarised below:
A 2007 letter, “A Common Word Between Us and You” addressed to the Pope, and other Christian leaders throughout the world by 138 Muslim scholars, is an attempt to Islamicise Christian-Muslim dialogue: the ‘common word’ theme is associated with a declaration of war against the Byzantines, and is part of an anti-Christian polemic in the Qur’an.

The introductory summary to the letter concludes with the words ‘…in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us…’
This formal opening to the letter declares that A Common Word is a call (ada‘wa) for Christians to come to Allah’s way, i.e. to Islam.
The authors of A Common Word take pains to cite this verse, and point out that, according to this teaching, Muhammad’s message must be the same as the message of the Bible. So from the Islamic point of view, it is entirely legitimate to regard Muhammad’s message of monotheism as the foundational message of both Jesus Christ and Moses. To call Christians (and Jews) to accept Islamic monotheism is in fact to invite them back to their own religion, and to the faith of their own prophets.

This is the orthodox Islamic position on Christianity and Judaism, that they are derivatives of the Islam of Christ and Moses. The Qur’an presents it as the duty of Muslims to call Christians and Jews back to their original faith. Thus the ‘common ground’ shared by Islam and Christianity is Islam itself.
The theme verse for the whole letter, Sura 3:64 is most problematic.

Say: ‘O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.’ If then they turn back, say ye: ‘Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will).’
This hadith is included in the Book of Jihad because it illustrates Muhammad’s principle that, before attacking non-Muslims, it was necessary first to invite them to embrace Islam.

Durie concludes
“Although A Common Word is presented as an invitation, it contains a warning of devastating conflict if the invitation is rejected. This is reminiscent of Muhammad’s approach to da‘wa, and should be evaluated in the light of his example”.
In the light of this explanation by an acknowledged expert on Islam, it is clear Temple Beth Israel made a grave error in inviting representatives of an overt conversionist group to TBI to exemplify Islam to an audience which could hardly have expected that the billed event would have such sting in the tail”

We call on the organizers of the concert to find the courage to acknowledge their error, which has the potential to compromise not only them, but the wider Jewish community. Such acknowledgment could act as a salutary lesson to all of us not to rush into inviting conversionist, supremacist Islamic groups to appear on our premises, under the false guise of interfaith, whereby they are enabled to recite passages starkly at odds with Jewish ethics.

Incidentally, in a recent Press Release, the Islamic Council of Victoria (with whom IREA are affiliated) condemns Israel as the aggressors, failing to even mention the Hamas terrorist group’s constant attacks on Israeli citizens. Here are just some of the calumnies, which amount to a blood libel:
"The Islamic Council of Victoria is appalled and horrified at the wanton attack on the Palestinian people, homes and civil institutions. The loss of life, particularly those of children and unarmed civilians, is an indictment on the state of Israel and all nations that remain silent in the face of such abhorrent actions.
 The ICV draws attention to the fact that Israel is an illegal occupier of Palestinian land… that in recent days has been indiscriminately murdering Palestinians without any reasonable excuse or justification."
 In the light of this revelatory press release, can TBI in all conscience continue an interfaith "dialogue" with ICV and invite into their sanctuary those who harbour such hatred towards the Jewish State?'

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Twisted Opinions

"Israel has been responsible for catastrophe after catastrophe – from the invasion of Egypt in 1956, the seven [sic!!!] day war in 1967, the bombardment of Lebanon in 1982 and again in 2006, operation cast lead in 2008 and now Operation Protective Edge.... 
As a member of Jews against Israeli Apartheid and Socialist Alternative, thanks to everyone for coming out today and showing solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. We won’t stop fighting until Palestine is free!" 

So declared a young Aussie bloke at a raucous anti-Israel demo in Melbourne a few days ago, a young bloke whose egregious, risible error regarding the duration of the June 1967 War alone suggests that he's by no means au fait with the realities of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, a young bloke who had rather less than fifteen minutes of fame today when he was featured on at least one Aussie news channel ranting on behalf of the so-called Students for Palestine.  They had burnt a (stolen) Aussie flag together with an Israeli one in the foyer of a government building in Melbourne, and had smeared both flags and the premises with red dye.
"Brilliant that Palestinian resistance fighters have captured an invading Israeli soldier. May they secure the release of many hostages held in IsraelI dungeons. May they capture more. The fighters in Gaza, in terms of resisting overwhelming odds, are in the tradition of the Jewish fighters who resisted extermination in the Warsaw ghetto and became am inspiration to the whole of humanity."

Twisted slogan, "Auschwitz ..."; photo: Richard Millett blog
That's how Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief Mick Napier reacted on Facebook to Hamas's claim that it's taken one of the IDF's troops involved in Operation Protective Edge, a young man since identified as 21-year-old  whom Israel surmises has already met his death. 
The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes
Thus tweeted David Ward, Lib Dem MP for Bradford East (who's notoriously anti-Israel) yesterday, earning the condemnation of his party's leader, Nick Clegg.
'In my opinion which may not be worth much I believe the article in the "TimesofIsrael" admitting that the Jew's are in fact Khazar's and a planned reverse migration to the Ukraine as well as the LP Gas find off the coast of Gaza and the Ukraine LP Gazprov and the US deal with the EU that some how all these are related as reason why the Government's are not saying a thing.'
So comments one Keith Rodgers beneath a YouTube video here,  proving that his opinion is indeed of little worth, yet also proving that satire, however well-meant by those friends of Israel who resort to it, is lethal if clumsy or obtuse.

The lesson that Rodgers's comment, and the many on the internet like it, teaches us is that the intelligence of Israel's and Jewry's enemies is not to be overestimated, and that satire badly done is liable to be taken at face value and therefore twisted into a weapon against those it was intended to aid.

Even the vicar of Virginia Water, our old mate Stephen Sizer, who holds a doctorate and must therefore be credited with an above-average amount of grey matter, was not entirely sure that the above-mentioned article in the Times of Israel, which he linked to on Facebook for the benefit of his followers, was tongue-in-cheek.

But of course twisting the truth comes second-nature to those who hate Israel and seek its destruction.

Take, for instance, what the prominent Israeli scholar Professor Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University's Department of Arabic, said early this month on Israeli radio's Hakol Diburim (“It’s All Talk”) following the news that the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers had been murdered :
“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.
You have to understand the culture in which we live.  The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.... Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live...
 I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”
It is extremely doubtful that the professor was recommending that Israel should resort to such base conduct; as an expert in Arab and Islamic culture he was explaining how Israel's Islamic enemies view the world, and by implication how impotent Israel is given their outlook.

Yet he was widely condemned for his remarks by many, including Jews and Israelis, as if he was actually endorsing rape as a weapon of war.

If his observations could be so readily misinterpreted by many of his own co-religionists and compatriots, how unsurprising it is that they have been twisted with gusto by those (see, for example, the comments here) who are the inveterate foes of both.

As for the current  climate of widespread denunciation of Israel's actions,  Professor Efraim Karsh nails it when he writes, inter alia:

'Why do citizens of democratic societies enthusiastically embrace one of the world’s most murderous Islamist terror organizations, overtly committed not only to the destruction of a sovereign democracy but also to the subordination of Western values and ways of life to a worldwide Islamic caliphate (or umma)? Not out of a genuine concern for Palestinian wellbeing. For although the “Palestine question” has received extraordinary media coverage for decades to the exclusion of far worse humanitarian and political problems, the truth is that no one really cares about the fate of the Palestinians: not their leaders, who have immersed their hapless constituents in disastrous conflicts rather than seize the numerous opportunities for statehood since the Peel Commission report of 1937; not the Arab states, which have brazenly manipulated the Palestinian cause to their self-serving ends; and not Western politicians, the media, NGOs, human rights activists, and church leaders enticed into self-righteous indignation by any Israeli act of self-defense.
Had the Palestinians’ dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other non-Jewish adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does....
For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn’t follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world’s media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute detail of Israel’s “disproportionate” response, but none of the suffering and devastation on the Israeli side....
[S]o long as the Palestinians continue to serve as the latest lightning rod against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself without incurring the charge of “disproportionate force” – never directed against any other besieged democracy but evocative of the classic anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as both domineering and wretched, both helpless and bloodthirsty. In the words of the renowned American writer David Mamet, “The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground.'

Tuesday 22 July 2014

A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale of Two Pictures

From the Northern Hemisphere

London, July 2014

to the Southern

Sydney, July 2014

snapshots of antisemitism in action over the past few days.

The top photograph was sent to me by reader Michelle (who explains that she is not the photographer); the other was sent to me by reader P (who spotted it on Facebook).

I don't think any further comment from me is necessary; readers can draw their own conclusions.

It is, of course, heartening to see that despite the multiple intimidatory hate-filled rallies against Israel that have been occurring in their city since the start of Operation Protective Edge, rallies in which antisemitism has been unashamedly displayed, London Jews have come out to fly the flag for Israel.

As described here and here, an enthusiastic crowd demonstrated its support for Israel outside the Israeli Embassy in the borough of Kensington on Sunday.

Footage here and here

By the way, the "pro-Palestinian protester detained by London police during Israel rally" pictured in this report of the pro-Israel demo is none other than our old publicity-inducing friend Dee Murphy (see here and here).

Monday 21 July 2014

"Only The Khalifah Will Liberate Palestine"

Western Europe's "cultural enrichment"! What joy inevitably follows in its wake ...

In London yesterday, a big crowd of Islamists with signs proclaiming "Only The Khalifah Will Liberate Palestine" scream their blood-curdling hatred outside the Egyptian Embassy.

They were there in response to this deceptively mild-mannered call by Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the extremist group which is banned in many countries but not, curiously, in Britain and Australia. 

In Paris ...

And again ...

An Islamic cleric of Berlin:
"Oh Allah, Destroy the Zionist Jews .... Count them and kill them to the very last one .... They behave tytannically all over the world and spread corruption":

Obscene signs at a protest in The Hague:

Photo © AD/Jos van Leeuwen

Sunday 20 July 2014

Alone She Faced Them, One Brave Woman & Her Israeli Flag

Watch this video of the anti-Israel rally in Melbourne yesterday, and see how the ferals reacted when they spotted a woman bearing an Israeli flag running between the tramlines.

Meanwhile, the usual screeching was taking place:

More footage of the rally (note the heavy leftist involvement) here

Londonistan rallies again

So do the usual suspects in Auckland, New Zealand (ever noticed that it's very often a hysterical-sounding lefty female who leads the raucous chanting at these sorts of anti-Israel parades?)

A feral mob strikes in Calgary, Canada (hat tip: reader Shirlee)

Saturday 19 July 2014

David Singer Ponders A Question: What Will Happen When The Present Hostilities Cease?

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer, entitled "Palestine – Israel Takes Off The Gloves".

Writes David Singer:

Israel’s disastrous unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005 faces possible reversal with the Israeli army’s re-entry into Gaza in July 2014.

Israel’s decision to take the gloves off came after 1381 rockets had been indiscriminately fired from Gaza into Israeli population centres over a period of ten days with Hamas then rejecting a ceasefire proposed by Egypt – but accepted by Israel.

An attempted Hamas raid from the sea – caught on video  during this criminal rocket bombardment – had reached Israel's Zikim Beach, culminating in five Hamas terrorists being killed and one Israeli soldier wounded.

However Israel’s military spokesman described  the final tipping point – again captured on video
 “Earlier today, the IDF identified around 13 Palestinians who had infiltrated Israel through a tunnel dug from Gaza. The tunnel began in the southern Gaza Strip and its exit was near Kibbutz Sufa in Israel. The terrorists were heavily armed with RPGs and assault rifles and were prepared to carry out a massacre. The IDF foiled their attack, saving countless Israeli lives.”
Until a cease fire is inevitably declared – Israel is now proceeding to destroy the network of tunnels running under Gaza – capturing or immobilizing the large number of rockets and armaments stored in Gaza - and killing any terrorists attacking them from the myriad number of terrorist groups operating in Gaza.

What will happen when the hostilities cease?

Israel cannot possibly return to the situation that has prevailed since Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza – that has seen 11,000 rockets and missiles indiscriminately fired into Israeli civilian areas and triggered two Israeli incursions into Gaza in 2008 and 2012.

Amid the current turmoil enveloping Gaza, one pertinent question from the 2005 disengagement remains unanswered:
Were the 8000 Jews “expelled” or were they “evacuated” from Gaza and Northern Samaria as a result of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal?
The answer has a vital bearing on determining who gets sovereignty of those areas.

The language used by Israel's government in 2004/2005 spoke of "evacuation" and “disengagement” – whilst an outraged opposition spoke of "expulsion".

"Evacuation" and “disengagement” indicate a temporary uprooting with the intention of returning when the emergency giving rise to the evacuation has subsided.

"Expulsion" on the other hand indicates a situation of permanent and irreversible departure.
Prime Minister Sharon addressing the nation said on 15 August 2005:
“The day has arrived. We are beginning the most difficult and painful step of all – evacuating our communities from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria.”
But he also said in the same breath:
“Gaza cannot be held onto forever. Over one million Palestinians live there, and they double their numbers with every generation. They live in incredibly cramped refugee camps, in poverty and squalor, in hotbeds of ever-increasing hatred, with no hope whatsoever on the horizon.
It is out of strength and not weakness that we are taking this step. We tried to reach agreements with the Palestinians which would move the two peoples towards the path of peace.  These were crushed against a wall of hatred and fanaticism.
The unilateral Disengagement Plan, which I announced approximately two years ago, is the Israeli answer to this reality.  This Plan is good for Israel in any future scenario. We are reducing the day-to-day friction and its victims on both sides. The IDF will redeploy on defensive lines behind the Security Fence. Those who continue to fight us will meet the full force of the IDF and the security forces.
Now the Palestinians bear the burden of proof. They must fight terror organizations, dismantle its infrastructure and show sincere intentions of peace in order to sit with us at the negotiating table.
The world awaits the Palestinian response – a hand offered in peace or continued terrorist fire. To a hand offered in peace, we will respond with an olive branch. But if they choose fire, we will respond with fire, more severe than ever.”
Sharon never expressly articulated whether Israel still maintained its claim to sovereignty in those areas from which it was withdrawing Jewish communities.

Based on the use of the words "evacuation" and “Disengagement Plan” – it would appear that Sharon was not ceding Israel’s claims to sovereignty in international law under the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

As I wrote in August 2005:
“One can envisage an Israeli return to Gaza and northern Samaria, should the Palestinians carry out their threats to continue the armed struggle all the way to Jerusalem. Israel's response could be disastrous for the Palestinians and wipe out whatever political or territorial gains they may make as a result of Israel's initial withdrawal…
By continuing to use the word "evacuation" to describe its actions, Israel seems to be making it very clear that if the Palestinians don't embark on the Road Map, and instead continue to use violence and incitement to achieve their goal of an independent state, the removal of the Jewish communities will be only temporary. Israel will return in force and claim sovereignty of such parts of the areas vacated as it deems in its national interest.”
Jews expelled from the West Bank in 1948 by six invading Arab armies returned there in 1967. Jews withdrawn from Gaza in 2005 may well seek to return there in 2014.

The current war of rockets and tunnels seems set to be replaced with an equally confrontational labyrinthine war of words.