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 28 February 2015

London's SOAS Votes For Academic BDS

It was predictable really, given the fact that the School of Oriental and Asian Studies at London University has the reputation as the most toxic of all British campuses for Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel.

Yes, it was announced late on Friday that SOAS has voted in favour of the academic boycott of Israel.

The photo at left shows a number of the Israel-haters whooping it up earlier in the week, and as we saw earlier this month, a sophisticated video was part of the propaganda against Israel that formed part of the campaign that ended in "triumph" yesterday.

A recent SOAS stunt for "Israel Apartheid Week"
To quote an anti-Israel source:
"SOAS students and staff have endorsed an academic boycott of Israel, after the results of a week-long referendum were released Friday evening.
The vote, open to students, academics, and all other staff and management, finished with 73% for the 'Yes' campaign and 27% for the 'No' campaign.
The referendum asked members whether they think SOAS should fully join the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and implement academic boycott following the guidelines of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).
Earlier this week, PACBI and Palestinian student and academic unions expressed their support for the 'Yes' campaign, and applauded efforts of pro-boycott campaigners.
The SOAS Students' Union has supported the BDS campaign since 2005. In October 2014, the Students' Union passed a motion that called on the Union "to take the BDS campaign to the University", through a school-wide referendum.
Along with Palestinians at SOAS, the boycott campaign received support from "the Justice for Cleaners campaign, the LGBTQIA+ Society, the Kashmir Solidarity Movement, Tamil Society, and the SOAS Student Union itself."
(Hat tip for bottom photograph: Seymour Alexander)

Friday 27 February 2015

"Moral Condescension By The Self-Righteous & Self-Regarding Over A Foreign State They Have Decided They Have The Right To Pass Judgement On"

'.... On many, too, too obvious levels, it's possible to take issue with the cultural boycott of Israel for its muddled thinking and double standards. After all, if UK artists should refuse invitations to take Israel's cultural funding “blood money," then, I really have to ask myself, what's different between this an accepting state support from, say, the UK Film Council (stand up Mike Leigh and Ken Loach), or the Arts Council? For some reason, these artists are so sophisticated in their political thinking that they can take money from the government that has spent the last two decades bombing Serbs, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, and Syrians, and make no moral connection between one and the other, while turning their noses up at Israeli cultural funding. How doesn't the actions of one's own government not connect with you when having to make the tricky decision to accept or decline funding for your latest art exhibition/theatre production/film project?'

So writes J.J. Charlesworth, associate editor of ArtsReview magazine, regarding the recent notorious  boycott statement by 100 "Artists for Palestine" (AFP) and 600 spear carriers.

He continues, inter alia:
'To claim to be acting in solidarity with the Palestinians against their oppressors sounds grandly left-wing, but this is where, in my mind, the politics of Artists for Palestine get muddled. AFP declares that Israel has never faced “sanction, or any threat of sanction, from Western governments." What does that statement imply? AFP seems to be saying that Israel should be punished by the West, with economic isolation, with sanctions, maybe even with military intervention (who knows where it would draw the line?) if Israel doesn't conform to the standards of behavior acceptable to liberal and left-leaning Western artists.
What AFP is really saying is that it treats Israel as no more than any other pariah state that needs to be dealt with sternly by the well-meaning, paternalistic Western powers, in just the same way that they deal with all those other misbehaving rogue states out there. AFP writes approvingly of the “many countries around the world that face retribution by some or all of the ‘international community' for breaching international norms." And while that term “international community" is put in weirdly embarrassed scare-quotes, AFP seems happy for the international community (meaning, I guess, the big Western powers) to get stuck in, only disappointed that it has not done so in Israel. “We" bomb and sanction Syria, Iran, Russia, Zimbabwe etc., etc., so the logic goes, why not Israel too?
AFP's position, then, while sounding like an old-fashioned left-wing declaration of solidarity with those oppressed by the puppet states of Western powers, turns out to be something more like a chorus of liberal cheerleading in favour of yet more Western intervention. As if that hadn't already caused enough chaos and bloodshed in the world. AFP would like Israel to bow down to the “international community's" own proper regard for those other convenient constructs of Western power, “human rights" and “international law"─principles which never seem to apply to our governments when they intervene in the affairs of other, less morally pure states (and always for “humanitarian" reasons, of course).
This isn't really solidarity with the Palestinians, it's moral condescension by the self-righteous and self-regarding over a foreign state they have decided they have the right to pass judgement on. But the tragedy is that the relationship of subservience to Western interests that AFP seeks to impose with regards to Israel, is the same one that will eventually be applied to Palestinians. Any settlement based on bringing Israel “to heel" won't mean the liberation and self-determination of the Palestinian people; it'll mean forcing them, and Israelis, to accept whatever arrangement Western governments will decide is best for them. Whatever AFP may think, the cultural boycott of Israel is an instrument, unwitting or otherwise, for the moral vilification of Israel whose consequence can only be greater interference by Western governments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....
[T]o mount grandiose displays of your own moral rectitude, while refusing to think through what power relationship you are actually lending support to, is not something the rest of us should feel obliged to support. Luckily, another group of artists and art world people have mounted their own criticism of the UK boycott, gathering hundreds of signatories to their more critical questioning of the logic of the cultural boycott....'
Read more here

As Charlesworth reminds us, there's an alternative statement from arty types online, roundly condemning the boycott of Israel.  Dating to last October, it's long, and observes in part:
'.... Over the past months topics including the occupation of the West Bank, Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, Palestinian resistance and its struggles, international solidarity and boycott movements, and criticism of Israeli policies, have been taken up in the arts arena with heightened intensity. We are deeply concerned by several aspects of how such issues are approached.
....We see dialogue as a critical part of any conceivable peace resolution between Palestine and Israel, and are troubled by the tendency among international boycott movements—particularly cultural boycott movements supported by individuals in the arts—which make dialogue impossible. Such dialogue inside Palestine and Israel is difficult, and is only made more precarious by unilateral international boycott. Underlying these movements, we fear there is an upswing of anti-Semitic attitudes and attacks, which seem to convey varying degrees of intentionality. Neglecting or simplifying significant historical legacies, Israel is treated as a paradigmatic colonial power, and is boycotted in a way that no other country is. Such discrimination and double standards, whether explicitly stated or implied, demand to be addressed.
....All [recent]calls and open letters were signed by a large number of individuals and groups affiliated with the arts fields; respected friends and colleagues among them. All these events took place in a climate where the Gaza war alongside its many atrocities provoked numerous anti-Semitic incidents, including physical attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions—none of which was reflected or even mentioned by the groups and contexts appealing for boycott. None of these groups condemned Hamas, an organization with an openly anti-Semitic agenda, which seeks the destruction of Israel. We are worried by this silence, which could either imply that the BDS Arts Coalition and similar initiatives are not equipped to discern anti-Semitic discrimination, or that such discrimination is ignored for tactical reasons. So we decided to share some critical reflections, mostly related to the BDS agenda.
.... Boycott is not necessarily an emancipatory act of solidarity with the oppressed and in opposition to the oppressor. The Jewish experience especially in Europe reflects a contrasting effect: anti-Jewish boycotts were once organized against the Jews to exclude them from social, economic, and political life. In these cases, boycott had no anti-colonial implication. Instead, it functioned as a means of oppression by the dominant societies toward Jewish minorities. We are concerned that the language used and political strategies advocated by international boycott movements—among other Left-identified political groups—take the conflict between Israel and Palestine to epitomize neo-colonial evil as such. This view frames the conflict as part of a non-specific eternal battle between good and evil, between “oppressed” and “oppressors.” We ask for a critical approach to dichotomous narratives: Within the tendency to reduce the conflict between Israel and Palestine to that between good and evil, boycott is often romanticized as a political strategy and there is a great danger that the nature of colonial oppression, or of evil, is simplified. Particularly in the case of internationally-staged cultural or academic boycott movements, we fear the tendency to support polarized views.
....If boycott, divestment, and sanctions are considered as appropriate strategies to contest injustice through international solidarity movements, why are they not applied to the other uncountable countries committing injustices? Why didn’t anybody boycott cultural workers from Serbia and Croatia because of the genocidal war crimes committed by their respective countries? Why not boycott Spain for occupying the Basque country, Great Britain for oppressing Northern-Ireland, India for occupying Kashmir or Angola for occupying Cabinda? Shouldn’t we divest from Germany for waging war on Afghanistan, from Russia for invading Chechnya and Crimea or from Turkey for occupying Kurdistan? Why not lobbying for sanctions against China and Myanmar for suppressing freedom of speech, against Brazil and Canada for denying the First Nations’ rights, and against the US for maintaining and deploying the world’s largest military complex? Is it because “someone” decided that Israel ranks as the most unjust country in the world? And if yes: why is that the case?
Could it be that we feel too comfortable in our privileged lives, our civic rights, or our consumerist culture enabled by some of the above-mentioned states and their institutions—but still want to oppose oppression on ideological grounds? We believe that the collective desire for a “signifier of oppression” is exactly what makes Israel the only target of current international boycott movements.
It is important to not ignore the history of anti-Jewish discourse. Anti-Jewish boycott has often accompanied anti-Semitism as one of its dangerous manifestations. Contacts with Jews have been historically avoided; Jews were not accepted in merchants’ guilds, trade associations, and similar organizations. In many European countries toward the end of the nineteenth century, the anti-Jewish boycott became one of the basic weapons used for victimizing the Jewish population. After the Nazi rise to power in Germany the government publicly announced a general anti-Jewish boycott.
....The BDS movement has been criticized by various actors across the political spectrum for applying the double standards we hereby mention. The conflict is emotionally highly charged, especially for most Palestinians and Israelis and for a lot of other Jews, Arabs, and others related to it. It is also understandable that activists are attracted to the subject. But when the emotional and political engagement in this conflict grows out of proportion to the extent that it becomes virtually and publicly a mass phenomenon, it may be time to ask: why Israel?
....In our view, BDS’s simplifying narratives, together with its biased demands, foster an atmosphere that enables and even provokes attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions. We are concerned by the under-representation of positions in support of both the Palestinian cause and Israel’s right to exist—and by the tendency to dismiss any questioning of the international Palestinian solidarity movement as right wing pro-Israeli propaganda....'
Read it all here

Meanwhile, what impact is BDS having?
A deleterious one for the Palestinian economy, according to this recent article.

Thursday 26 February 2015

"Right Now, The Main Threat Is From The Islamists .... I Think Sweden is Slowly Waking Up"

The quoted words in the header are those of Swedish Jewish community leader Lena Posner-Körösi, against the background of increased fears for the safety of her country's Jews following the recent violence in Paris and Copenhagen.


Meanwhile, writes veteran international Jewish leader and Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Leibler:
'Successive Israeli governments have failed miserably to meet the challenge of global anti-Semitism, not providing the leadership demanded of a Jewish state in these turbulent times and leaving Diaspora Jews to their own devices.
The global anti-Semitic tsunami, an unprecedented surge of feral hostility compounded by the Internet, emanates from a combination of factors: rabid Muslim anti-Semitism and violence, demonical anti-Israelism of the Left, and traditional cultural and radical Jew-hatred of the Right. It has impacted on Jewish communities everywhere but ironically is most acute in Europe, the continent drenched with Jewish blood during the Holocaust....
In the United States, the Goldene Medina, despite the strong public and congressional support for Israel, many Jews are stunned by the anti-Israeli hysteria generated by the Left and some liberal media and shocked by the toxic levels of anti-Semitism displayed on many college campuses.....
.Overall, Diaspora Jews are under enormous stress, confused and frequently divided as how to respond to the upsurge of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic onslaughts.
The global Jewish bodies purporting to combat these vicious trends all have limitations and have proven unable to provide the necessary direction on a global basis....
It is now crucial to create an umbrella organization to serve as an ongoing forum to exchange views, provide direction, and determine and coordinate global strategies against anti-Semitism....
But this project should not merely be perceived as a support for Diaspora Jewry. Israel itself has a major vested interest in creating such a global consultative body. We are currently being overwhelmed in the war of ideas and it is incumbent upon us to identify the anti-Semitic elements in the campaigns that seek to demonize us.
As severe as it is, anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism in Europe and most countries is more rampant at the grass-roots level than is currently reflected in government policies. Should we fail to reverse the tide, governments pressured by their Muslim communities and other constituents increasingly radicalized against Israel will inevitably lead to a further downgrading of relations with Israel...."
Read Isi Leibler's entire article here

(Incidentally, I've moved my "blog archive" from towards the bottom to towards the top of my sidebar. 

I've done this because I occasionally write more than one blogpost per day, and sometimes the earlier post of the day tends to get overlooked in favour of the later one.

 So please take a look at the "menu"!


Wednesday 25 February 2015

"America & Russia Must Be Brain Dead in Ignoring IS’s Increasing Threat To Their Vital Interests in the ME" Warns David Singer

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It is entitled  "Islamic State: Egypt wakes up – when will America and Russia?"

Writes David Singer:

Whilst the American-led coalition continues its largely ineffectual air strikes in Iraq and Syria, Islamic State has spread its barbaric tentacles into Libya with alarming rapidity.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for:
1. Attacking Tripoli’s downtown luxury hotel in January  – the Corinthian  – which left 11 dead
2. The brutal mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Christian Copts
3. A multi-pronged suicide attack that killed at least 45 people in the town al Qubbah in Libya’s east.
 4. Seizing the university in Sirte – deposed dictator Muammar Gadaffi’s hometown.
 Egypt’s President – Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi – has called for intervention by the United Nations:
“What is going on in Libya could change this country into a breeding ground that could threaten the whole region, not only Egypt. Egypt, the Mediterranean Basin and Europe have to deal with this problem because the mission was unaccomplished, was unfinished by our European friends. We abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias.” 
An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was told this week by Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri:
"Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build our national army's capacity and this would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons ... so as to deal with this rampant terrorism"
The Security Council ignored his plea – and with good reason.

Libya currently has two Governments – one located in Bayda and the other in Tripoli. In November 2014 Libya’s Supreme Court held the Bayda Government to be illegal and unconstitutional – a decision ignored by its two principal backers – the United States and the European Union.

Removing the arms embargo – in force since 2011– would mean new shipments of arms could risk ending up under Islamic State’s control.

The UN special envoy to Libya – Bernardino Leon – has said that Islamic State and other militants can only be defeated with a united Libyan government in place that has strong international support.
Any expectation that the United Nations can mediate between these rival Governments to forge a unity government to end ongoing hostilities and divisions in Libya is fanciful. Leon himself has frankly admitted the immediate threat Libya faces from Islamic State:
"In Libya, Islamic State has found fertile ground in the growing post revolution political instability, capitalizing also on the weakness of state institutions and state security sector"
EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has also acknowledged Libya’s parlous situation.
"What we are seeing today in Libya is a double threat: it is a threat of a country that is breaking apart and of a country where Daesh (Islamic State) is taking power and infiltrating"
President Obama’s urgently needs to rethink his September 2014 assessment that Islamic State:
1. Is not Islamic
2. Is not a state but only a terrorist organisation with no other vision
3. Can be degraded and destroyed by an American-led coalition 
Professor Deborah Lipstadt has succinctly summed up President Obama’s continuing political blindness:
“He has bent over backwards to try to separate [Islamic State] from Islam. Sometimes people try to keep an open mind. And when you have too open a mind, your brains can fall out.”
Islamic State continues to morph as groups such as “Province of Sinai “ – creating mayhem and havoc in the Egyptian desert area neighbouring Israel and Gaza –  swear allegiance to it

Islamic State will continue acquiring territory whilst military action remains unauthorised by a United Nations Security Council resolution.

America and Russia must both be brain dead in ignoring Islamic State’s increasing threat to their vital respective interests in the Middle East.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

A Jury's Award: Spot The Difference

A significant story, with far-reaching implications, breaks.

First, as reported in the New York Times:

More here

Secondly, as reported by the BBC:

 More here

Can you spot the missing word and its derivatives?

But it's not just an issue of semantics: by refusing to use the T word, the BBC fails to convey the essence of the case and import of the judgment.

Shame, shame, shame on them.

Iran: The End of the Game

As explained by
A domino show held in the city of Gonabad, in the Razavi Korasan Province of Iran on February 16 focused on Iran's nuclear project. During the show, domino structures depicting obstacles to the progress of Iran's nuclear project - such as the assassination of scientists, sanctions, the Stuxnet virus, and various phases in the negotiations - were collapsed and were replaced by messages affirming Iran's nuclear achievements. The show featured US-related models, such as the word "CIA," the RQ-170 drone, and the US flag, some of which were collapsed. In addition, the word "ISIS" was set ablaze. The show ended with a missile destroying a domino structure of an Israeli flag. A short video and many images were posted on various Iranian websites.

As also explained by
In an Iranian TV interview, IRGC [Iranian Revolutionaryy Guard Corps]Deputy Commander Hossein Salami said that after years of research, they had tested the use of a ballistic missile against a ship when he was IRGC airforce commander. "This missile demonstrated that we were one step closer to destroying an aircraft carrier," he said in the interview, which aired on IRINN [Islamic Republic of Iran News Network] on February 9, 2015.
(Video here)
Meanwhile, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is doing all it can to downplay the nuclear threat to Israel and undermine Netanyahu.

Monday 23 February 2015

Taken For A Ride: Balls & A Chain

All aboard! One of the recent sights of London
It seems that in common with other news outlets even the BBC has been taken for a ride by a news agency's error, and in the process has taken the public for a ride.

"More than 1,000 people in 'ring of peace' outside Oslo synagogue" headlined a BBC report yesterday, for instance:
'A group of young Muslims has gathered more than 1,000 people to form a "ring of peace" around Oslo's main synagogue....
"We want to demonstrate that Jews and Muslims do not hate each other," co-organiser Zeeshan Abdullah told crowds in front of the synagogue on Saturday.
"We do not want individuals to define what Islam is for the rest of us. There are many more peace-mongers than warmongers."
Norway's Chief Rabbi Michael Melchior sang the traditional Jewish end of Sabbath song outside the synagogue.
It was the first time co-organiser Hassan Raja had heard the song, he said.
Ervin Kohn, head of Oslo's Jewish community, described the event as "unique".
Hajrah Arshad, another of the eight organisers of the event, said it showed "that Islam is about love and unity'.
Alas, as reported with photographs here, as well as (don't miss it either) here, it was all exaggeration, hyperbole, misrepresentation, and wishful thinking.

Far from being a warm and fuzzy judeophile, an organiser of the supposed love-in is on record as saying that da Joos did 9/11:
",,,,Chishti confirmed on Saturday in an interview with Verdens Gang, a Norwegian tabloid, that he delivered a speech in Oslo on March 22, 2009 on the alleged involvement of Jews in planning the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings in New York. The speech’s title was “Therefore I Hate Jews and Gays,” the newspaper reported, though Chishti said he was not the one who came up with the title.
“There were several thousand Jews away from work in the World Trade Center, and why there were more Jews in Mumbai when Pakistani terrorists attacked than usual?” he said then, repeating the conspiracy theory that Jews knew in advance of the 2001 Twin Towers attack that killed thousands. “Jews are a small group, but everyone knows that they have a lot of power.”
And the 1000-strong human chain consisted of around twenty people, who far from forming a ring around the synagogue formed a line out front instead.

Very nice of that score or so of individuals and all that, but unfortunately the gesture is hardly going to dent the Islamic antisemitism which bedevils much of Europe.

Sunday 22 February 2015

"There Is An Ill-wind of Hatred Blowing In The House of Islam & It Has Been Blowing For A Very Long Time Indeed"

The Rev Dr Mark Durie is one of Australia's foremost academic scholars of Islam and is also an Anglican priest.

He has written a two-part article on ISIS and its war on Christianity which is not of import to Christians alone.  In it  he states, inter alia:
'.... I ... wish to record, as a Christian and a pastor, my intense protest at the White House official statement of February 15 2015 concerning this event [the cold-blooded murder of twenty-one Copts in Libya].  This makes no mention of the reason the twenty one were killed: their Christian faith.  This culpable denial dishonours them, as it dishonours me and Christians everywhere.  
The White House statement claimed that “ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect or ethnicity.”  Not true.  The Islamic State’s actions are constrained by its theology, and in this case its targets are also determined on religious grounds; they were Christians.  It is not an endorsement of the killers’ Islamic beliefs to acknowledge that these jihadis follow a form of Islam, and that their sect and faith does constrain their behaviour accordingly. 
President Obama has defended his administration’s misrepresentations on the grounds that the radicals are “desperate for legitimacy” so “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam.” But these are not desperate people.  They are shockingly confident in their beliefs. They do not “try to portray themselves” as Islamic: they sincerely believe they are. Christopher Hitchens got it right over a decade ago when he suggested of Al Qa’ida recruits that “they believe their own propaganda,” and “absolutely subscribe to the tenets of their version … of their religion, Islam.”
Obama also stated that “we must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie.”  This too is nonsense.  A lie is a deliberate intention to deceive, and these self-described jihadis are – at least by their own understanding – speaking the absolute truth when they claim to speak for Islam.....
As Graeme Wood comments in an important recent Atlantic Monthly article, the Islamic State adherents are constantly referencing Islam’s sacred texts. In their everyday speech, “Koranic quotations are ubiquitous”.  This film [the video of the Copts' executions]  is no exception.  For anyone who knows anything about Islam it is impossible to view this film without being aware of the heavy constraining influence of the Qur’an and the Hadiths on the script.  These references are essential for understanding the true context, meaning and intent of the film.

.... There is a double standard in the house of Islam.  Examples are legion. The Jordanian royal house has been prominent in speaking up against attacks against Christians in Iraq and Syria, yet at the time when the Common Word letter was being released to the Christian world in 2008 under Jordanian royal sponsorship, its own Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought had posted on its website fatwas by its Chief Scholar – the former Mufti of Jordan – which declared death for Christians for the crime of leaving Islam, and even identified one person by name ...
King Abdullah has on the one hand been a champion of the rights of displaced Christians in the Middle East, and God knows they surely need one.  On the other hand he has held up the notorious Pact of Umar as evidence of Jordan’s history of religious tolerance:
“Jerusalem, which is, regrettably, subject to the worst forms of Judaisation today, stands witness to fourteen centuries of  deep, solid and fraternal relations between Muslims and Christians, enhanced by the Pact of Omar [ibn al-Khattab], and promoted by my grandfather, Sharif Hussein bin Ali, may God bless his soul.”
In contrast to this historical revisionism, the renowned Muslim jurist Ibn Kathir, accurately described the intent and effect of the conditions of the Pact of Umar as guaranteeing the continued degradation of Christians under Islamic rule:
“This is why the Leader of the faithful ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, these conditions that ensured their continued humiliation, degradation and disgrace.”
.... The problem is that as long as Muslims allow derogatory words like mushrik ‘associator, polytheist’ and kafir ‘infidel’ to be applied to Christians, while also preaching Qur’anic verses which denigrate non-Muslims, the hostility and hatred can only continue.
As long as the highest legal authorities of the Islamic mainstream continue to assert the right of Muslims to kill those who leave Islam, bursts of extreme religious hatred such as we have just seen in Libya can only continue.
As long as Muslims claim that the well-documented brutal slaughters of Islamic conquest and the ensuing oppression of nations under the Islamic system of dhimmitude were a mercy to the world, the ‘opening’ up (al-futuh) of dark nations to light and truth, hatred towards non-Muslims will continue to arise in the house of Islam.
The fundamental problem is not peculiar variants of extreme religious worldviews, it is a deeply engrained religious worldview that is not acknowledged by many who hold it.  Those who, like King Abdullah, allow it room to breathe by claiming that it is something other than what it really is are as much a part of the problem as the violent jihadis who are proud to own the worldview.
In the house of Islam, hatred has deep roots stretching back through time.  In 1836 Edward Lane reported in The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians that it was standard practice in many Cairo schools to require Muslim school boys to invoke daily curses on the heads of Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims.  In essence these curses called for the looting, killing and enslavement of non-Muslims.   It is only against the backdrop of inter-generational hatred that a television series on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion could have become mainstream viewing in Egyptian society, and continuing kidnapping, rape and killings of Copts are perpetrated without justice for the victims.
There is an ill-wind of hatred blowing in the house of Islam and it has been blowing for a very long time indeed.  When this wind is whipped up into a tornado, the world is appalled, but it is the constant steady breeze of hatred that is the root of the problem....' [Emphasis added]
Read Marh Durie's entire sobering article here and here

Saturday 21 February 2015

"One Hundred Per Cent Of Middle Eastern Background": Notes from a noisome north

Both the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and the southern Swedish city of Malmö, are situated in an area that's the most populous in Scandinavia.  Both cities have significant Muslim populations.  The following video shows a seemingly adulatory crowd surrounding the hearse containing the body of the man said to have carried out the recent murders of a participant at a free speech seminar in Copenhagen and of a security guard at a synagogue:


 The video below is far longer, but worth watching all the way through.  Carrying English subtitles (which adequately convey the core of what is being said even though they hardly suggest fluency on the part of the translator) it takes a searching look at Jew-hatred in Sweden, focusing on Malmö.

What's described is a litany of harassment, vilification, intimidation, and physical threats.

The general consensus of the Jewish population is summed up by one of the interviewees, who says: "You feel insecure and would prefer not to stay".

We meet the local rabbi, who voices his concerns, a woman who tells of the risk Jews take if they appear on the streets wearing identifying symbols, a man who tests the public mood by walking around the hotspots wearing a Magen David and a kippah, an Israeli Jew who was told by a Swedish Muslim "One day we'll slaughter you all" and is consequently very fearful when out and about,  a young Jew who pulls no punches in explaining that his online tormenters, spewing heavy-duty antisemitism at him, are not neo-Nazis but "one hundred per cent of Middle Eastern background".

Then, at roughly two-thirds of the way through the video, are the schoolteachers (one male, two female) who tell of the antisemitism, insults, and bullying they have faced from pupils, including taunting references to Auschwitz and, in the case of the male, the vow "We will kill all Jews you also eventually".

We learn that the perpetrators of the antisemitism are rarely if ever prosecuted, let alone punished.
Right at the end of the video two municipal officials, both women, are interviewed regarding civic responses to the problem; the M word is not uttered, although the interviewer hints at it, and watch the younger of the two women avoid placing the blame on the principal culprits, preferring to emphasise antisemitism on the part of the far right.

 Hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog

Friday 20 February 2015

Interfaith Dialogue? "A Trap of Satan ... There Should Be An Ideological Conflict To Present Islam As Alternative To Their Bogus Culture "

In London, a number of people supportive of the notion of "interfaith dialogue" come together:

Not everyone is convinced of the efficacy of such dialogue, however: for example, in this recent post, blogger Edgar Davidson, for example, pours scorn on the Board of Deputies' huge expenditure on interfaith initiatives.

Sceptics and cynics, who warn that Islam is a supremacist ideology that aims to replace not only existing faiths but the existing order, can point with a "told you so!" to Copenhagen imam Hajj Saeed, who in the following speech made the day before the terror attacks in that city,  rejects the concept of "interfaith dialogue".  Its aim, he warns, is to draw Muslims away from their faith. Muslims should aim instead, he rants, to promote "Islam as an alternative to their [the western infidels'] bogus culture" which (wait for it!) reduces people to the level of beasts.
"The people responsible for interfaith dialogue want to make all religion equal. They want to equate truth and falsehood, between heresy and deception [sic], between the religion of the Prophet Mohammed and man-made laws, legislated by these criminals in order to rule the world....
The notion of interfaith dialogue is nothing new. This is a malignant idea of which we must be aware, in order to avoid falling into the traps of Satan and his followers, who advocate such dialogue....
Our Prophet Mohammad had Jewish neighbours in Al-Medina. Did he call for closer relations, harmony, and dialogue with them, in the manner of the UN and of those who call to reconciliation truth and falsehood? Or did he call upon them to worship Allah? When they violated their pledge and did not accept this call – well, you know what he did to them. It appears in his Sira. He waged war against the Jews....
Do you know what interfaith dialogue means? Simply put, it is the creation of a new religion and of new concepts that will be shared by religions considered to be monotheistic. The purpose is to draw the Muslims away from their true religion....
All people are called to convert to Islam, and anyone who refrains from doing so, after having been presented with evidence, is an infidel, without a doubt.
Allah has made laws that regulate our relations with them, if we live in their countries. The so-called interfaith dialogue is not part of these laws. Things are entirely different. There should be an ideological conflict to refute their argument of falsehood, and to present Islam as alternative to their bogus culture, which has hurled them into the abyss of depravity and corruption, and which has reduced them from humanity to the level of beasts." (Transcript here)

Yep, #BibiSpeaks4Me

The pro-Israel Dr Ashraf Ramelah is founder and president of Voice of the Copts, which represents the largest Christian community in the Middle East.  Founded in 2007 his non-profit organisation, in its own words,
 "fights the spread of Islamic supremacy and Sharia throughout the Western world through education, advocacy and action .... By drawing attention to the suffering of Coptic Christians in Egypt, it endeavors to educate the Western world as to the chilling effect of Sharia .... [It] focuses on three key issues: freedom of religion, cultural identity and women’s rights".

Recently, Dr Ramelah, on behalf of his organisation, and Michael Mendelson,founder and president of Israel's Voice, jointly sent a letter of support to Binyamin Netanyahu concerning his controversial forthcoming (3 March) address to Congress:

Both sites explain:
 'Netanyahu’s invitation from U.S. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner to speak before Congress was intended to be for bipartisan purposes — to raise international awareness about the threats posed by global jihad and a nuclear-armed Iran. Yet, his visit has come under attack by the White House administration. Some U.S. members of Congress have already announced they will not attend, and President Obama and Vice President Biden are among those who declined to attend. Several Jewish and so-called “pro-Israel” organizations like J Street, which has started the Twitter hashtag “BibiDoesntSpeakForMe,” have urged Netanyahu to cancel his speech. Opponents have argued his March 3 address has become too politically charged — that it is too close to Israeli elections and U.S.-Iran negotiations — and it is not the appropriate time.
 Israel’s Voice and Voice of the Copts vehemently disagree. The threats posed by Iran’s nuclear program are the most detrimental security risks we could possibly face in our day. As the Washington, D.C., Center for Security Policy analysis clearly confirms, the centrifuges continue to spin, and we have no more time to waste.
 If you agree with our following letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, share it and make it viral through email and any and all other social media platforms you use with the hashtag, #BibiSpeaks4Me.” ....'

Dr Ramelah now writes as follows in the wake of the unspeakable cruelty meted out to members of his religion by ISIS in Libya:
'Once again, tragedy strikes the Coptic community with the brutal murders of twenty-one Christian Copts in Libya. Living under constant threat of a hate-driven and blood-thirsty Islam, Copts of Egypt have learned to expect anything at any time, and mourners go about the streets. A few days ago a young Coptic man was burned alive in the province of Al-Minya. Muslims harassed and targeted this youth in the heart of a peaceful village hoping to spark the retaliation of Copts in order to trigger destabilization of the region. But Copts have not reacted, waiting instead for law enforcement to take its course. 
For more than 1,430 years, Copts have suffered the brutality and aggression of Islamic doctrine along with Jews and other non-Muslims. History shows how Islamic doctrine played an important role during World War One and in World War Two with the massacre of more than six million Jews in Europe.  As well, Muslims become victims of their own system. A video showing a Jordanian pilot hostage set ablaze recently caused Jordan’s leader to respond with military action.
However, one leader who has truly taken the lead against terrorism in the moment is Egyptian president Al-Sisi as the Egyptian military strikes at ISIS in Libya. Al-Sisi’s war against Islamic terrorism began during his presidential election campaign when he asked for the renewal of Islamic discourse and implied that the status of religious minorities should be one of equality as he declared that “there are no religious minorities in Egypt.” 
Voice of the Copts supports Egypt’s President Al-Sisi in his war against Islamic terrorism and hopes that other leaders will follow in his footsteps in order to protect the world from further atrocities. The question that arises now concerns world leaders who listen and take their lead from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian terror organization banned from Egypt, to actually aid its branches of terror in the Middle East rather than oppose them. Will Egypt’s current strike against Libya be countered by unlikely sources behind ISIS on the ground?
We offer our condolences to the grieving families of those who suffered barbaric acts most recently in Libya and Syria. Also, our sympathy goes out to the family and community members of the young Copt burned alive in Egypt’s Al-Minya Province.'
 Meanwhile, "Is Italy the next breeding ground for Isis?" asks Howard Koplowitz, while, of course, The Man in the White House and his minions duck and weave...

Thursday 19 February 2015

In London, Jewish Human Rights Watch Launches With A Demo Against War On Want

These posters can be downloaded via JHRW's website
The UK-based charity War On Want, founded in the 1950s to fight poverty and deprivation in the developing world, has developed into a particularly vicious politically-motivated anti-Israel organisation, as itemised by NGO Monitor here.

Needless to say, the charity is in the forefront of the BDS movement,  and given that, and War on Want's overall Israel-demonising nastiness, it's not inappropriate that one of the first tasks of a new anti-BDS group has been to demonstrate outside War on Want's headquarters.

The new group is called the Jewish Human Rights Watch, and this is what it's had to say in an initial press release:
'Today we announce the arrival of Jewish Human Rights Watch, a new organisation dedicated to exposing the anti-Semitic and racist BDS Boycott Divestment Sanctions.
We are at 0830 this morning [Monday] gathered outside War On Want Headquarters (44-48 Shepherdess Walk, London N17JP) to protest against War On Want’s “War on Jews”.
For several years now War On Want has lead BDS actions against the Jewish community with their boycotting of Jewish goods, businesses, artists and academics.
Having just marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we find it both shocking and distressing that War On Want should be complicit in organising boycotts of Jews, akin to those the Jews suffered in Nazi Germany.
At a time of rising attacks on Jews across Europe, War On Want must understand that their actions are contributing to the incitement of hatred of the British Jewish community.
We therefore call upon War On Want to end its discriminatory policies and dissociate itself from BDS.' 
JHRW's Yochy Davis
Moreover, notes its website here:
'As the Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) movement hit the streets of London this morning with its first Protest, they came face to face with the Head of the target organisation War On Want.
“At a time of rising attacks on Jews across Europe, War On Want must understand that their actions are contributing to the incitement of hatred of the British Jewish community” it was put to Mr Hilary....
A peaceful but passionate exchange of views and opinions were delivered between the Jewish Human Rights protesters and Mr Hilary. When questioned about the BDS drive for boycotting Jewish goods, academia, arts and more, Mr Hilary failed to give direct or convincing responses.
War on Want proudly leads the anti-Semitic BDS here in the UK.  Jewish Human Rights Watch calls on them to dissociate themselves from BDS and its indiscriminatory policies.'
For more on this new group see here

And be sure to look at blogger Richard Millett's post this week on War and Want and blogger Edgar Davidson's current exposé of War On Want

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Reporter Marcus's Small Beer

The ("organ of Anglo-Jewry") Jewish Chronicle's political correspondent Marcus Dysch (whom I've always  regarded as one of the few reporters on the Jewish Chronicle these days with a nose for genuine and important news) has been swift to report a relatively minor transgression by the Students' Union of a university in Wales.

 As Marcus tells us,complete with screenshot to prove it,
'Officials at a students’ union have claimed the use of a Nazi logo in advertising material for a German-themed social event was “a genuine mistake”.
Students at Aberystwyth University in Wales complained after the advert appeared on Facebook featuring an SS emblem.
The Bierkeller event is due to take place later this month featuring German-themed attractions including a lederhosen band.'The online publicity material showed an SS logo between English and Welsh translations on the poster.
In a statement issued on Monday evening the students’ union apologised “for any offence caused”....'
In a paper that is meant to be "the newspaper of record" for the Jewish community of the UK even such small beer has its place.

Yet when Marcus was tipped off by e-mail (complete with screenshot to prove it) about an offence far more significant  namely the "9/11 Israel Did It" link by Stephen Sizer, a public figure with numerous followers and the potential to influence many minds his reply was inexplicable.

For the man who had earlier reported on Sizer's transgressions and tussles with the Board of Deputies in effect said "Thanks but No Thanks".

The upshot?  No report.  No tweet.  Not the slightest hint of Sizer's egregious post.

Marcus prefers small beer to a scoop of the hard stuff?!

Go figure.  For I can't work it out.

European Antisemitism: "The Watchword is Toulouse"

It's propoganda [sic], that's what it is', is the dismissive remark on social media by one of Australian Jewry's little clique of leftist Israel-bashers, referring to an excellent brief overview that the Executive Council of Australian Jewry's research officer, Julie Nathan has written regarding antisemitism in contemporary Europe.

In common with so many of his ilk (I'm not going to bother supplying him with oxygen by mentioning his name) this bloke seems much more interested in items that talk up "Islamophobia" in Europe, and indeed in rapping over the knuckles those who maintain that mass Muslim immigration to the West is not good for the Jews.

In her article, Julie Nathan reminds readers of the antipodean J-Wire site of the kinds of events that have made Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu remind the Jews of Europe that Israel offers them refuge.

As many Jews have been quick to point out, on social media and elsewhere, headlines such as that pictured in the London newspaper Metro (see right), which is given away free outside Tube stations,ironically place more emphasis on the furore Netanyahu's remarks have fomented than to the vicious,growing Jew-hatred which prompted his remarks.

Articles such as this one in the Financial Times, which argues that Bibi's call is alarmist, and that there is a false analogy between the situation in Europe today and Europe in the "Devil's Decade" might well be right, but they err if they take too complacent and sanguine a view, whether towards the extent of antisemitism in certain countries or towards the will and the capability of certain countries to protect their Jewish citizens.

The man who made the video below did not choose to make aliya.  He and his family headed across the Herring Pond instead. But his words, combined with the accompanying images, convey so very graphically the circumstances which have convinced a Jewish lover of the land of his birth to leave it, despite a heavy heart, for the sake of his family:

Observes Julie Nathan:
'Seventy years after the Holocaust, the antisemitic virus has re-emerged from the extreme margins of society to which it had been banished after the Holocaust. Not only is antisemitism out in the open, it is brazenly public and proud. The main difference between 1930s antisemitism and the 21st century strain is that in the 1930s it was governments and politicians which incited the hatred and perpetrated the murder. Today, the perpetrators are a combination of the far Right, the anti-Zionist Left, and major segments of Europe’s Muslim population....
Having been predominantly either bystanders or perpetrators during the Nazi attempt to murder every Jew in Europe, Europeans are again in a situation where their Jewish citizens are on the edge of another great abyss. The question remains: How will they respond this time? Will they acquire the backbone to defend and protect their Jewish citizens against murderous anti-Jewish ideologies? Or will they take the easy, but self-destructive, route and excuse the antisemites, appease the murderous ideology at work in Europe and elsewhere, and watch silently as the Jews are driven from Europe’s shores over the coming decade? '
 She writes, inter alia:
'The Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, has condemned the attack on Jews as an attack on democracy. The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, last month expressed concern at the growing numbers of Jews emigrating from France as they flee antisemitic violence. Even the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, expressed concern that Jews, no longer feeling safe in Britain, are preparing to leave. Other countries in Europe are also facing growing antisemitic violence and are having difficulty protecting their Jewish citizens against harassment, assault, bombings and murder.
In Belgium, the Jewish Museum in Brussels was attacked and four people murdered in May 2014. In 2013, the last remaining Jewish school in Brussels instructed its students to remove their kippot (Jewish religious head covering) on their way to and from school, and only wear it safely within the confines of the fortress-like school building, due to the threat of physical attack.
In Holland, in late 2010, Frits Bolkestein, a prominent Dutch politician, advised Jews to leave Holland as it is no longer safe for Jews to live there. Earlier that year, the police in Holland had instituted a system of décoy police, where Dutch policeman dressed up as Orthodox Jews and walked the streets, in a bid to arrest or deter those who would assault Jews.
In Denmark in 2009, a school refused to enrol Jewish students as it could not protect them from harassment and assault. Other Danish school principals supported the move. In Norway, a survey by the Oslo Municipality in 2011 found that 33% of Jewish students in the town were physically threatened or abused by other high school teens at least two to three times a month. The groups that suffered the next highest amount of bullying were Buddhists at 10%, “Others” at 7%, and Muslims at 5%.
In Sweden, the Mayor of Malmo, where many Swedish Jews live, blamed the Jews themselves for assaults on Jews and firebombings of synagogues. Last year, a planned city walk by Jews and non-Jews to protest antisemitism in Sweden had to be cancelled due to security threats and the inability of police to ensure their safety.
France has experienced the most egregious acts of antisemitic violence in Europe since World War Two. In 2006, a young French Jew, Ilan Halimi, of North African background was kidnapped and tortured for three weeks for being a Jew. He died of his injuries. His attackers were French Muslims, also of North African background. In Toulouse in 2012, a rabbi and three Jewish children, aged under nine, were shot dead at a Jewish school by Mohammed Merah, a French Muslim of North African background. Jews comprise only 1% of the French population, yet 50% of racist attacks in France are against Jews....
A study in Europe in 2013 found that “26% of Jews have suffered from antisemitic harassment at least once in the past year, 34% experienced such harassment in the past five years, 5% reported that their property was intentionally vandalized because they are Jewish, about 7% were physically hurt or threatened in the past five years.” These figures do not include the acts of violence and vandalism of synagogues and other Jewish communal institutions.
Despite the focus on Islamophobia by the media and in political discourse over the last fifteen years, the reality is that attacks against Muslims are significantly less frequent than attacks against Jews. The evidence produced through studies by anti-hate organizations, police reports on hate crimes, and monitors of internet hate, show that the major targets of abuse and violence in Europe are Jews....
In Britain, the Scottish government compiles extensive reports on hate crimes from police records. Hate crime statistics in the Religion category shows high levels of attacks on Catholics (57-58%) and Protestants (36-40%), and much lower levels against Muslims (2-2%) and Jews (1-2%) over the 2011 and 2012 periods. However, these overall percentages, in the 2012 statistics for example, translate into quite a different picture when the population numbers of each religious category in Scotland is taken into account.
 These figures show that there is one anti-Jewish hate incident for every 461 Jews, one anti-Muslim hate incident per 2,240 Muslims, one per 1,579 Catholics, and one for every 6,080 Protestants. Thus, Jews are subject to a much higher rate of attack. Jews are several times more likely than Muslims to suffer hate incidents, and are twenty times more likely than Christians to suffer hate incidents.
The International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH) conducts a country by country review and report on racist and religious bigotry on the European internet. According to INACH’s studies, prior to 2002, antisemitism had been the largest single type of hate on the European internet. After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, there was an increase in anti-Muslim content; but there was a much larger increase in anti-Jewish content. From 2002, antisemitism became the absolute largest category of hate on the European internet. Incidents of anti-Jewish hate outweighed the combined aggregate of every other form of hate.
INACH’s study showed that up until the second half of 2000 virtually all antisemitism reported online was from ‘classical’ sources of antisemites and/or racists (eg neo-Nazis). By 2002, most antisemitism and Holocaust denial no longer came from ‘classic’ antisemites but from Muslim and left-wing web forums....'
And she maintains:
'The watchword is Toulouse. When three French soldiers (two of North African background and one of Caribbean background) and four Jews (three of them young children) were murdered in March 2012, the French people came out in their thousands to protest the murders. A massive anti-racist banner read: “In France, we kill Blacks, Jews, and Arabs”. However, when the murderer was found to be Mohammed Merah, a French Muslim of North African background, the protests and anti-racism banners disappeared. While ever the murderer was believed to be an indigenous French person, of Right-wing racist politics, the masses of France were eager to protest against murderous racism in France. However, once the murderer was identified as a Muslim jihadist, the protesting masses melted away unable or unwilling to condemn murder when committed by a Muslim jihadist.
In a perverse response to Merah’s murders, there was an exponential increase in physical assaults on French Jews, with several being hospitalized. Bashings with iron bars and other assaults were perpetrated against Jews. The initial shock and horror of the murder of little Jewish children were transformed into a mania by Islamist extremists to emulate Merah, to give him hero status and to glorify his murderous deeds.
After this latest murder in Copenhagen, and the murders in Paris only last month, it remains to be seen whether Europe makes a decision to defend and protect its Jewish citizens. Many Jews fear that European governments will instead cave in to threats and appeasement and watch their Jews pack their bags and leave.'
 Julie Nathan's entire article is here

Tuesday 17 February 2015

David Singer Assails The EU's Egregious & Duplicitous West Bank Blunder

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It is entitled "European Union Causes Peace Process and Quartet Meltdown".

Writes David Singer:

Revelations that the European Union (EU) has been acting illegally in funding and facilitating the construction of more than 400 unauthorised buildings in areas in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) under exclusive Israeli control signals the end of:
* negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation under the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap and
* the role of the Quartet - America, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - as mediator in those negotiations
The Daily Mail in exposing the EU’s bizarre behaviour reported on 6 February that: 
“Official EU documentation reveals that the building project is intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C (the Israeli area)’, which some experts say is an attempt to unilaterally affect facts on the ground. Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the West Bank. They proudly fly the EU flag, and display hundreds of EU stickers and signs. Some also bear the logos of Oxfam and other NGOs, which have assisted in the projects.” 
The EU through its spokesman, Shadi Othman, attempted to justify such conduct by reiterating the EU’s unilateral opinion as to the final outcome of the currently stalled negotiations:
"We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited Areas A and B. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land.”
Why Israel's approval was not first sought before the EU surreptitiously undertook such activity remains unexplained.

Representatives of the Quartet – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov , United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson (representing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon)  met in Munich on February 8 – two days after the European Union's illegal actions were exposed – but no mention was made of the EU’s devious conduct nor was there any call for it to be immediately halted.

The remaining three Quartet members have by their silence clearly signalled they condone such illegal conduct by the EU and support its continuation.

Hypocritically, the Quartet Representatives declared: 
“Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.” 
It is hard to conceive any action more likely to undermine trust or prejudge final status issues than the Quartet’s failure to condemn the EU’s own aberrant behaviour and call for an immediate halt to its illegal activities in the West Bank.

The Quartet Representatives repeated their mantra: 
“A sustainable peace requires the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security to be fulfilled through negotiations based on the two-state solution.”
 The parameters under which those negotiations were being held between Israel and the PLO have now been well and truly consigned to the dustbin of history as a result of the EU’s disgraceful conduct – joining so many other failed proposals made since 1920 aimed at ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.

The Quartet has been found sadly wanting and is clearly out of tune – abandoning any sense of impartiality or propriety in aligning itself with one party to the dispute.

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has now directed that action be commenced to demolish these illegal EU structures.

The Quartet has been totally compromised the peace process and its intricate negotiating structure irretrievably ended.

Back to the drawing board for yet another new proposal...

Sunday 15 February 2015

'She Also Exposed The Big Lie Which Tells Of A "Zionist Invasion" Of A Supposedly Arab Country': A seminal author remembered

 "My goal is to shed light on those same facts and relationships that were hidden from me, and to give this book to others who made the same mistakes that I did."

So explained Joan Peters (pictured), author of From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine, who died recently.

You have to be over a certain age to remember Joan Peters' book, published by Harper & Row, and the sensational reception it had.  The year was 1984, and it debunked the received wisdom regarding the history and demography of the land called Palestine, which led, inevitably, to controversy and attempts to discredit her conclusions.

The fruit of her researches surprised Joan Peters herself, for although Jewish herself (she was born Joan Friedman in Chicago in 1936) she really only became interested in the subject while covering the Yom Kippur War for CBS and was, it seems, inclined towards the Palestinian Arab cause when she started on her book.

Discussing her work, the prominent scholar Dr Daniel Pipes has observed, inter alia:
'Although the Jews alone moved to Palestine for ideological reasons, they were not alone in emigrating there. Arabs joined them in large numbers, from the first aliyah in 1882 to the creation of Israel in 1948. "The Arabs were moving into the very areas where Jewish settlement had preceded them and was luring them." Arab immigration received much less attention because both the Turkish and British administrators (before and after 1917, respectively) took little interest in them....
As a result, officials in Palestine counted only a small percentage of the Arab immigrants. British records for 1934 show only 1,734 non-Jews as legal immigrants and about 3,000 as illegals. Yet, according to a newspaper interview in August 1934 with the governor of the Hauran district in Syria, "In the last few months from 30,000 to 36,000 Hauranese had entered Palestine and settled there." In 1947, British officials had counted only 37,000 Arabs as the aggregate of non-Jewish immigrants in Palestine since 1917—hardly more than had come from one district of Syria in less than one year alone.
Non-Jewish immigrants came from all parts of the Middle East, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Transjordan (as Jordan was once known), Saudi Arabia, the Yemens, Egypt, Sudan, and Libya. Thanks to British unconcern, Arab immigrants were generally left alone and allowed to settle in Mandatory Palestine. So many Arabs came, Miss Peters estimates, that "if all those Jews and all those Arabs who arrived in ... Palestine between 1893 and 1948 had remained, and if they were forced to leave now, a dual exodus of at least equal proportion would in all probability take place. Palestine would be depopulated once again." ....
What took hundreds of thousands of Arabs to Palestine? Economic opportunity. The Zionists brought the skills and resources of Europe. Like other Europeans settling scarcely populated areas in recent times—in Australia, Southern Africa, or the American West—the Jews in Palestine initiated economic activities that created jobs and wealth on a level far beyond that of the indigenous peoples. In response, large numbers of Arabs moved toward the settlers to find employment.
The conventional picture has it that Jewish immigrants bought up Arab properties, forcing the former owners into unemployment. Miss Peters argues exactly the contrary, that the Jews created new opportunities, which attracted emigrants from distant places. To the extent that there was unemployment among the Arabs, it was mostly among the recent arrivals....
The data unearthed by Joan Peters indicate that Arabs benefited economically so much by the presence of Jewish settlers from Europe that they traveled hundreds of miles to get closer to them.
In turn, this explains why the definition of a refugee from Palestine in 1948 is a person who lived there for just two years: because many Arab residents in 1948 had immigrated so recently. The usual definition would have cut out a substantial portion of the persons who later claimed to be refugees from Palestine.
Thus, the "Palestinian problem" lacks firm grounding. Many of those who now consider themselves Palestinian refugees were either immigrants themselves before 1948 or the children of immigrants. This historical fact reduces their claim to the land of Israel; it also reinforces the point that the real problem in the Middle East has little to do with Palestinian-Arab rights.'  [Emphasis added, here and below]
Nadav Shragai now notes:
'....[Joan Peters] slaughtered the sacred cow known as "the Palestinian refugee problem" by revealing just how the United Nations altered the criteria for gaining refugee status in order to exacerbate the problem well beyond its proper dimensions. Peters discovered that the U.N.'s changing requirements for being listed as a Palestinian refugee essentially turned them into something else, something far different from other refugees in distant crises.
Peters even offered proof that many of the Palestinian refugees that earned special status in the eyes of the U.N. were never even residents of prestate Israel "from time immemorial," contradicting a long-standing Palestinian claim. Instead, these were immigrants who had only arrived quite recently.
There were many who followed in Peters' footsteps. They backed up her facts, but she was the first to bring them to light. Peters was the first to challenge the underlying assumptions of Palestinian wretchedness and refugee status. ...
The debate that was sparked by Peters' book has never been more relevant since it laid the foundations for later works of research on the subject of refugee status. Prior to the "birth" of the Palestinian matter, the customary definition of refugee was an individual who was forced to leave their residence from time immemorial due to war, hostile actions, or expulsion.
The U.N.'s alternate definition of refugee, which was applied solely to the Palestinians, states that a refugee is anyone who lived in the area that currently encompasses the State of Israel for a period of two years prior to the founding of the state in 1948. The Arab League, which was the driving force behind the newly reconfigured definition, managed to significantly inflate the number of refugees. Indeed, many of the refugees who fled or were expelled from the country did immigrant to prestate Israel during the British Mandate period.
Ze'ev Galili, a veteran Israeli journalist, often used his newspaper column to cite Peters' work. He even had a hand in the reissuance of her book in the early part of the previous decade.
"Not only did Peters expose the bluff of the criteria for refugee status," he said, "but she also exposed the big lie which tells of a 'Zionist invasion' of a supposedly Arab country, even though it is known that the First Aliyah consisted of Jews coming to an empty country, while a very significant percentage of the Arab population in 1948 were immigrants who came here after the advent of Zionism."...
Peters found that the Arab population grew in proportion to the rising Jewish presence in the country. Indeed, the economic prosperity generated by the budding Zionist enterprise, particularly in the latter stages of the 19th century, spurred internal Arab migration from Transjordan and the highlands (the traditional areas of Arab settlement in Palestine). It also invited illegal Arab immigration from all over the Middle East. Arabs settled along the coastal plain and the Shfela region, both areas that were inhabited primarily by Jews.
Peters' conclusion was clear: Most of the Palestinian refugees of 1948 who fled the coastal area were not, as the Palestinians claim, inhabitants of the land "from time immemorial," but instead were recent newcomers. They were not refugees. Instead, they were economic migrants who eventually would return to their original homes after the founding of the state....
The number of documents that Peters unearthed was tremendous. Her prolific research was also a source of confusion. Some disagreed with the numbers she cited in her research, but even her critics had a difficult time contradicting what was painfully obvious -- hundreds of thousands of Arabs had settled in the heart of Jewish-populated areas. When they were expelled, they were given the status of refugees, even though they had not been here "from time immemorial.".... 
Read  the entire article here