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)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The D[h]im & The Dutiful: "Tragic" says Marvellous Melanie

Recently, in this land Down Under, the Uniting Church (which, incidentally, is not renowned for love and affection towards Israel) held an interfaith meeting on the illustrated theme, coined in response to the "We'll fight radical Islam for 100 years, says ex-Army lead Peter Leahy" headline that which appeared in The Australian on 9 August.

That headline appeared above this report, in which Professor Leahy, a retired lieutenant-general who is director of Canberra University’s National Security Institute and part of the Abbott government’s team carrying out a comprehensive review of Australia's defence,  maintained:
"Australia is involved in the early stages of a war which is likely to last for the rest of the century. We must be ready to protect ourselves and, where necessary, act pre-emptively to neutralise the evident threat. Get ready for a long war....
They [the government] should advance a narrative that explains that radical Islam­ism and the terrorism it breeds at home and abroad will remain a significant threat for the long term, it will require considerable effort, the expenditure of blood and treasure and it will, of necessity, restrict our rights and liberties"....
He said radical Islamists intent on a new world order were already a threat to the survival of nations in the Middle East and Africa.
If the declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq survived, bases would be established there for attacks on the West and that would embolden “home grown” radicals to attempt attacks in Australia. Military action would be needed to eliminate the threat.
Radicals saw the West as “the far enemy” and they were undoubtedly planning more attacks in Australia. Senior intelligence believes the view that the threat posed by radical Islam would pass was “optimistic”....'
All pretty sensible stuff, we may think, particularly in view of the number of Islamic fighters from Australia known to be fighting abroad, including the father of the seven-year-old pictured recently holding a severed head.

But smacking of "media vilification" in the minds of the above-mentioned conference (at which a rabbi, the not widely known Zalman Kastel of Sydney was present) and its supporters, apparently.

For they issued the the following statement, all motherhood and apple pie and good up to a point, though arguably a reckless over-generalisation, which some "as-a-Jews" as well as some of the more naive (or indifferent to Israel, rationality, and to women's rights) among the Jewish community have hastened to append their names:
'As people committed to building a healthy, cohesive and diverse communities in Australia, we have observed with dismay and empathy the way our Muslim friends have been affected by the language and tone of recent political statements and media coverage. We agree with the concerns of Muslim community leaders that the language and policies of our leaders should not marginalise or vilify people of Muslim faith, and that rhetoric used in relation to Australian security and conflicts around the world should not cause further division in our society, or make anyone feel alienated from the nation they call home.
We believe people of Muslim faith are being unfairly smeared in the eyes of the Australian public by both subtle and overt links to violent extremism in political and media discourse.
This month in Sydney; Herald-Sun photo
We know and understand the deep concern and hurt this is causing to our Muslim friends and the risks this kind of generalisation has for social harmony and cohesion.
The violence and values of extremists like ISIS are not representative of the vast majority of Muslim people in Australia, who are characterised better by their commitment to peace, community and mutual respect.
We stand in solidarity with all people who are suffering the results of war, violence and terror around the world, recognising the dignity of all people and their right to enjoy freedom from persecution and oppression.
We celebrate the diversity of the Australian community and recognise the valuable contribution of people of Muslim faith to our culture and community.
We know that vilification and alienation are not the way to peace or social harmony, but that authentic relationships, solidarity, listening, learning and mutual respect go along way to building the kind of community we’d like to live in.'
And now, worse, far worse, we read in the UK Jewish Chronicle, that the d[h]imwitted British Board of Deputies has dutifully undertaken to make common cause with the Muslim Council of Britain:
'Muslim and Jewish leaders have united in calling for stronger collaboration between their communities in the wake of the Gaza conflict.
In an unprecedented joint statement, the Board of Deputies and the Muslim Council of Britain condemned civilian deaths as tragic and called for efforts to avoid them.
They also condemned any expression of antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism generally, calling on both communities to “redouble efforts to work together and get to know one another”.
But the statement was not without controversy, with both sides unable to agree the exact meaning behind one key line.
The line reads: “The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions.” ....'  (See more here)
Rightly comments the great and incomparable Melanie Phillips, who puts what passes for the Anglo-Jewish leadership to shame:
'It is hard to exaggerate the stupidity of the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in what it has just done. It has signed a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain condemning antisemitism and Islamophobia and urging that the Middle East conflict should not prevent good community relations in Britain. Apart from the false equivalence between antisemitism and Islamophobia, which equates a metaphysical global derangement – the cause of centuries of pogroms and genocide against the Jews – with a spurious thought-crime invented to silence legitimate criticism of Islam, these were unexceptionable pieties.
However, the statement also contains this passage:
"The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions."
Daily Mail, 25 March 2009
The MCB is an umbrella organisation, a number of whose member groups are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and support Hamas. The Board of Deputies may have assumed the second sentence above could only refer to Hamas, since the IDF does not target civilians and goes to great lengths to avoid hurting them wherever possible. But there is no way the MCB would ever suggest that Israel behaves honourably while Hamas does not. It should therefore have been blindingly obvious that the MCB would do what it has immediately done – claim that the Board had agreed with it that both Israel and Hamas had targeted civilians. The Board has thus now enabled the MCB to claim that the UK's Jewish community leadership has condemned Israel for targeting civilians.
Unbelievable. But that's not the full extent of it. The Board seems to be proud that this joint statement is an "unprecedented" achievement. But just look at its new friend.
MCB leaders have in the past strongly supported Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of Hamas who supports suicide bombings against Israelis (and previously, British forces in Iraq) and who has also asserted that the Torah permits Jews to spill the blood of others and seize their money and land.
The MCB boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day, for which it was shunned by the British government until it ended its boycott. In 2009, its then deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, signed the Istanbul Declaration which threatened violence against Israel supporters and British troops.
In 2005, it offered its condolences to the family of the leading Hamas terrorist Abdul Aziz al Rantissi after he was killed by the Israelis. Its former Secretary-General, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, branded Israel a "Nazi" state, accused it of "murderous leadership", "Zionist brutality" and "the ethnic cleansing of Palestine", and compared Hamas suicide bombers to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. Also that year, the BBC TV Panorama programme exposed the influence on the MCB of the Islamist thinker Sayed Maududi, who preached the need for jihad to bring abut the "universal revolution" of Islamic state rule.
In short, it is beyond astounding that the Board of Deputies should have had anything to do with the MCB at all. Its action has also dealt a blow to all who are struggling to deal with Islamic extremism in the UK. For at a stroke the MCB, which in any sane universe should be shunned as a threat not just to Jews but to Britain, has been awarded a kite-mark of respectability and decency by – of all people – the Jews.
The Board of Deputies is not fit for purpose. It has shown that it does not have a clue about the true nature of the threat posed to Jews and to Britain by Islamic extremism. Britain's Jewish community is leaderless at a time when strong, brave and wise leadership has never been more urgently and desperately needed. Tragic.'
As for the often-heard analogy between antisemitism and "Islamophobia", and more specifically that in Europe Muslims are "the new Jews", James Kirchick has a rather splendid refutation here

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