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)

Sunday 31 May 2015

Vox Populi (video)

Oh, well, might as well show a little taste of Aussie mateship on this last day of the merry month of May.

Here's an hour's worth of raw footage of "an anti-political correct" rally in the Melbourne inner suburb of Richmond this weekend and their leftwing opponents.

"Racist scum" and "socialist scum" trade insults.

 Gruesome, eh?

Friday 29 May 2015

David Singer: Netanyahu Goes For Gold In Shoot-Off With Obama

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's appointment of former United Nations ambassador Dore Gold [pictured] to head up Israel's Foreign Ministry ensures that Israel will be confronting President Obama as he continues attempting to deviate from the commitments made to Israel by his predecessor President Bush in a letter dated 14 April 2004 to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Bush Commitments).

The Bush Commitments acknowledged the risks involved in Israel unilaterally disengaging from Gaza and evacuating the 8000 Jews who had established twenty-one settlements there over the preceding 35 years whilst additionally agreeing to remove another four settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

President Bush assured Israel of the following:

1. the United States remained committed to President Bush's vision and to its implementation as described in the Roadmap.
2. The United States would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan.
3. Palestinians would have to undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that included a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.
4. The United States reiterated its steadfast commitment to Israel's security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.
5. The United States was strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.
6. It seemed clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
7. As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
8. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It was realistic to expect that any final status agreement would only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.

President Obama has attempted to subvert the Bush Commitments by proposing Israel withdraw from part of the West Bank and cede part of its own sovereign territory to the Palestine Liberation Organisation in exchange for the area of the West Bank to be retained by Israel as announced by President Obama in May 2011:

"... the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps - so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states."

President Obama seems to have given up on the strong parliamentary democracy demanded by President Bush being established in the West Bank and Gaza - having failed to back up a recent
call by another former American President - Jimmy Carter - for such elections to be held in the West Bank and Gaza - which would be the first held there since 2005.

Until such a democracy is established America should not expect any negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation to lead to anywhere but the dustbin of history.

Dore Gold well appreciates the significance of these Bush Commitments and the obligation of Obama to remain bound by them - stating in on 9 June 2009 -

"For example, it still needs to be clarified whether the Obama administration feels bound by the April 14, 2004, Bush letter to Sharon on defensible borders and settlement blocs, which was subsequently ratified by large bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. Senate (95:3) and the House of Representatives (407:9) on June 23-24, 2004. Disturbingly, on June 1, 2009, the State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, refused to answer repeated questions about whether the Obama administration viewed itself as legally bound by the Bush letter. It would be better to obtain earlier clarification of that point, rather than having both countries expend their energies over an issue that may not be the real underlying source of their dispute."

Writing in Jewish Current Issues on 3 June 2009 Rick Richman noted that the State Department had refused to confirm the Bush Commitments on twenty-one occasions during the previous week.

Richman then asserted:

"Since Israel met its obligations under the disengagement deal, the U.S. can no more rescind its agreement and commitment than it can restore the lost world of Gush Katif, or the lost security of southern Israel, or the lives that thousands of rockets traumatized, or the property that was destroyed.

Israel ended up having to fight a war in Gaza because of the disengagement. The least the United States can do is meet its own obligations."

Michael Oren former Israeli Ambassador in Washington and now a newly elected member of Israel's governing coalition called for the resuscitation of these Bush Commitments during his election campaign in January.

The Obama administration needs to clear the air and remove any doubts or concerns that it is trying to surreptitiously vary the Bush Commitments.

Let the shoot-off with the reluctant and recalcitrant Obama administration begin.

Thursday 28 May 2015

"The Israelis Are Far More Like The Sioux, Cheyenne, & Arapaho At Little Bighorn Than They Are Like Us"

In the current issue of Vanity Fair magazine, there's a long and searching article by Sebastian Junger on the high incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among returned American servicemen.  It's entitled "How PTSD became a problem far beyond the battlefield".

Writes Junger:
"The majority of traumatized vets are not faking their symptoms...  They return from wars that are safer than those their fathers and grandfathers fought, and yet far greater numbers of them wind up alienated and depressed. This is true even for people who didn’t experience combat. In other words, the problem doesn’t seem to be trauma on the battlefield so much as re-entry into society....
 If we weed out the malingerers on the one hand and the deeply traumatized on the other, we are still left with enormous numbers of veterans who had utterly ordinary wartime experiences and yet feel dangerously alienated back home. Clinically speaking, such alienation is not the same thing as PTSD, but both seem to result from military service abroad, so it’s understandable that vets and even clinicians are prone to conflating them. Either way, it makes one wonder exactly what it is about modern society that is so mortally dispiriting to come home to."
By contrast,
"Even the Israeli military – with mandatory national service and two generations of intermittent warfare as by some measures a PTSD rate as low as 1 percent....
Israel is arguably the only modern country that retains a sufficient sense of community to mitigate the effects of combat on a mass scale. Despite decades of intermittent war, the Israel Defense Forces have a PTSD rate as low as 1 percent. Two of the foremost reasons have to do with national military service and the proximity of the combat – the war is virtually on their doorstep. “Being in the military is something that most people have done,” I was told by Dr. Arieh Shalev, who has devoted the last 20 years to studying PTSD. “Those who come back from combat are re-integrated into a society where those experiences are very well understood. We did a study of 17-year-olds who had lost their father in the military, compared to those who had lost their fathers to accidents. The ones whose fathers died in combat did much better than those whose fathers hadn’t.”
According to Shalev, the closer the public is to the actual combat, the better the war will be understood and the less difficulty soldiers will have when they come home. The Israelis are benefiting from what could be called the shared public meaning of a war. Such public meaning—which would often occur in more communal, tribal societies—seems to help soldiers even in a fully modern society such as Israel. It is probably not generated by empty, reflexive phrases—such as “Thank you for your service”—that many Americans feel compelled to offer soldiers and vets. If anything, those comments only serve to underline the enormous chasm between military and civilian society in this country.
Another Israeli researcher, Reuven Gal, found that the perceived legitimacy of a war was more important to soldiers’ general morale than was the combat readiness of the unit they were in. And that legitimacy, in turn, was a function of the war’s physical distance from the homeland: “The Israeli soldiers who were abruptly mobilized and thrown into dreadful battles in the middle of Yom Kippur Day in 1973 had no doubts about the legitimacy of the war,” Gal wrote in the Journal of Applied Psychology in 1986. “Many of those soldiers who were fighting in the Golan Heights against the flood of Syrian tanks needed only to look behind their shoulders to see their homes and remind themselves that they were fighting for their very survival.”
In that sense, the Israelis are far more like the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho at Little Bighorn than they are like us. America’s distance from her enemies means that her wars have generally been fought far away from her population centers, and as a result those wars have been harder to explain and justify than Israel’s have been. The people who will bear the psychic cost of that ambiguity will, of course, be the soldiers....'
.Read the entire article here

Wednesday 27 May 2015

When Rogues Fall Out: Weir's warfare with Jewish Voice for Peace

The lady and the tome she loves to plug
It seems that relations between Alison Weir, of the vicious US Israel-demonising campaign group If Americans Knew, and the vicious US Israel-demonising campaign group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), have ruptured.

Apparently,  some of Weir's shenanegans have proved too hard to take, even for JVP.

What's upset them, exactly? Her constant harping on the USS Liberty conspiracy theory?  Her allegations of racism directed at the late Lubavitcher Rebbe?  Her promotion of that infamous set of mendacious maps? And how do her obsessions differ from theirs? Blowed if I can work it out, but there are clues below.

That they're broiges with her is no inevitable outcome, one would have thought, given the scumbags with which JVP is riddled, of the kind who deny all suggestions that anti-Israel activity and calls for BDS is antisemitic.  See here, ar right,for instance, how JVP so facilely links to propaganda by notorious British anti-Israel activist Ben White, who as I remarked in a very recent post is on record as saying that he can understand why antisemitism exists.

Oh, and here's the JVP trying to look all spick and span.  The carbolic soap's been cleared away here, and the warts are obvious.

On social media, Ms Weir has  issued a long screed, of which I quote part:
My Reply to JVP Leaders' McCarthy-like Attacks Against Me
I have long been hearing that some JVP leaders have initiated whispering campaigns against me. This began many years ago (and long before the latest accusations, which are in a letter from JVP, below). In fact, I first heard of the director of JVP accusing me of anti-Semitism, behind my back, during the first year of my public statements about Palestine. Such actions seemed related to my political positions on Palestine, which were different from JVP's:
I endorsed Palestinian refugees' right of return, favored ending US aid to Israel, was aware of pro-Israel neocons' role in pushing the US into the Iraq war, and did not deny the significance of the Israel lobby.
The whispered attacks against me were troubling, but I tried to ignore them and continue my work.
Then, with the publication of my book last year, "Against our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the US was used to create Israel" the attacks seemed to escalate. It appeared that some JVP leaders were attempting to thwart my talks and prevent people from learning the facts that my book and my talks contain.
(It is very important to note this is not representative of all JVP members – many of whom are colleagues and supporters. Some have put on excellent speaking events for me.)
I finally decided to write an article about this situation – "Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew," but did not name JVP, in the hope of preventing damaging division and distraction in the movement for justice in Palestine.
Before publishing this piece, I tried to clarify the situation with JVP, and emailed the national leaders asking about their statements about me. I hoped that by communicating with JVP directly the situation could be resolved. In reply I received a letter from a law firm on JVP's behalf (a partner in the firm is the JVP board chair and was the signatory on the letter).
I was surprised at the McCarthyist, guilt-through-association attacks this letter contained, and I was amazed at the great effort someone had made to monitor my every move over the past 14 years of hundreds of speeches, articles, and interviews.
JVP sent their accusatory dossier on me to about 50 chapters around the country, and has been disseminating this and other accusations widely. I've just finished an extremely busy three-week speaking tour. In several locations I learned that JVP had tried to block my talks. Fortunately, they failed in almost all locations and my presentations were received extremely well; one audience even gave me a standing ovation.
By the way, although JVP is a membership organization, there is no indication that the general JVP membership was informed or involved in these actions.
Below is JVP leaders' dossier on me, with my rebuttals below each section.
It is interesting to note that despite what seems to be a long and surprisingly intent focus on ferreting out supposedly negative information about me or potential mistakes I may have made, none of their accusations include anything about my own articles or speeches.
Instead, all their charges are based on alleged "guilt by association." Even this McCarthyist tactic, however, is based on falsehoods, as I am not even associated with those they try to claim. Please see below:
--> JVP: "Jewish Voice for Peace has chosen not to work with you because our central tenet is opposition to racism in all its forms,"
This is not true. Among other things, JVP works with Zionists, an ideology that people throughout the world feel is profoundly racist. Many people find JVP's action objectionable and will not work with JVP for that reason. At If Americans Knew, however, we believe in a broad tent, and have published JVP articles on our website, posted a link to the organization from the very beginning, and have occasionally worked with JVP members and several JVP chapters.
--> JVP: "and you have chosen repeatedly to associate yourself with people who advocate for racism."
We have not done so.
--> JVP: "You have been a repeat guest of white supremacist Clay Douglas on his hate radio show, the Free American. Clay Douglas is concerned primarily with the survival of the White race and sees malign Jewish influence everywhere. His racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay rhetoric can be found across the front pages of his multiple websites. In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews. Your repeated appearance on this show (April 23 and August 25, 2010; February 9 and May 18, 2011) show that you knew his extremist views and chose to continue the association."
New York City, folks
Over the past 14 years I have given probably hundreds of interviews to diverse people of all ages and backgrounds from across the political spectrum, as do most writers and analysts. I try to focus on the information I feel audiences need to hear, speak as intentionally as possible, and stay on target – surprisingly difficult during interviews, as others have no doubt also experienced.
I do not vet who may or may not listen to my information and have even gone on Israeli right-wing radio. We wish our important facts to reach every possible person, and I endeavor to be polite to all my hosts, even when they are hard-core Zionists.
I always use this airtime to the best of my ability to give important facts about Palestine to listeners of all backgrounds and beliefs in an effort to counter the media misinformation about the region and about Muslims. [Emphasis added; and see here]
Some sectors of US society are specifically being targeted by misinformation that is causing an alarming growth of Islamophobia in this country, some of it taking violent turns.
I feel it is critical that our facts, which counter this Islamophobia campaign, reach every portion of our diverse population, particularly those that are most vulnerable to this anti-Muslim propaganda....
.... I believe that ending the long-standing injustice and horror in Palestine is the best way to protect human rights, security and peace for all parties and, indeed, the world. I believe the issue is too urgent to become distracted.
My goal is to try to reach everyone with the fundamental principle that all racism is wrong and to provide facts that will counter the falsehoods being given to them about Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Iranians, and others. [Emphasis added]
I don't pretend that I am perfect and that all my responses will be flawless; all I can do is try my hardest. I apologize if there were cases where I should have done better....
--> JVP: "Your troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group"
See my answer above discussing the critical importance of giving facts on Palestine to all sectors of U.S. society.
Once again JVP is searching through my multitude of interviews for something negative to use against me and again must resort to alleged guilt through alleged (but false) association. JVP fails to mention that many diverse people have been interviewed by the American Free Press, including Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel Corrie's parents.....
--> JVP: "and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof. One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions."
JVP's attempt to tar me by claiming that a group once promoted an anthology that contains a piece by me is a truly bizarre way to attack me! My articles have been included in at least four, perhaps more, anthologies, and every anthology has included highly respected authors, including Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and many others.
It is revealing that JVP's accusation against me fails to mention that Rev. Dankof has also interviewed peace activists Ray McGovern and Jennifer Lowenstein, Israeli professor and author Ilan Pappe, and journalist and commentator Dilip Hiro, among many others....
--> JVP: "It should not and cannot win by fueling or endorsing any form of hate, whether against People of Color, gays, Jews, Muslims or anyone else."
I certainly agree. It also should not include hatred of Christians, conservatives, or people whose views or facts we, or one, may dislike. I truly hope JVP believes in this important principle, and that it is not like the ADL, whose definition of "hate" is often based on political stances it dislikes on Israel....
--> JVP: "At Jewish Voice for Peace, we are particularly sensitive to the long history of anti-Jewish oppression" ....
I have always opposed all forms of bigotry, and one of my very first essays was "Choosing to Act: Anti-Semitism Is Wrong."
--> JVP: "as well as the ways that Palestinian liberation work is frequently tarred with false charges of anti-Semitism."
Exactly like JVP's false charges against me.....'
Meanwhile, regarding that alleged distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, British blogger Edgar Davidson has a great post here, along with the rest of this grand chart of his.

Just a taster of the full chart at

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Still Laid Up On The Beam Ends

Well, here I am, still laid up on my beam ends, thanks to the flu (yes, it's that time of the year Down Under.)  I'm afraid that I couldn't manage a Tuesday column this week for Elder of Ziyon, though readers who are interested in the quite remarkable degree of goodwill towards Israel that pertained during the Yom Kippur War may enjoy my last week's column.

As the column notes, even Gerald Kauffman was on Israel's side.

But then, as a commenter noted wryly, MP Gerald wasn't confronted by the reality of a significant Muslim presence in his electorate back then.

Talking of Islam, here's (hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog)  an interview with the Christian scholar Raymond Ibrahim that deserves attention.

It certainly deserves the attention of the naive teachers at this Yorkshire state school.

Another lovable crusty old fella:

 Meanwhile, among the anti-Israel Christian and Muslim forces on social media, united by their antisemitism, a new set of cartographic crapology is doing the rounds:

Saturday 23 May 2015

In Australia, BDSers Find It Ain't Easy Being Green

I've been down with flu, and have hardly felt like blogging or anything else, but now I've finally looked at the following video that Ian told me about a few days ago, I can only regret not having been able to do so before.  By now most readers will perhaps have seen this delicious take-down by a familiar pro-Israel young Londoner of Iraqi background of anti-Israel lefties' sheer hypocrisy in demonising the only true democracy in the Middle East.

The sourpuss look on the faces of the female anti-Israel UK Greens as he starts to speak is a tonic in itself, although the sound of female cackling is certainly not funny, given the point he's making.

These females should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

 And now, from the anti-Israel foot soldiers of the Australian Greens' Party, the sound of much fury on social media regarding the pro-Israel stance, reiterated in an  an interview with the Australian Jewish News, of the party's new leader, Richard Di Natale [pictured]:
'.... Di Natale reiterated his support for a two-state solution.
“That’s my view, it’s the party’s position, it’s a view I’ve always held,” he said.
“Most people who have followed this issue and care about it would acknowledge that there really isn’t any other alternative.”
Asked whether Abbas should recognise Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, Di Natale replied: “Of course. How can you have a two-state solution when you refuse to acknowledge the right of one state to exist? It’s patently nonsense.”
He also reaffirmed the Australian Greens’ rejection of the anti-Israel Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in spite of the fact that Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon supports it.
“It’s just not the party’s position,” he said. “Some time ago we made a very clear statement that we didn’t believe that this was a pathway to peace.” ....'
And that's not all that's put the haters' noses out of joint.  For example, there's this:
'Di Natale also expressed admiration for Israel’s advances in environmental technology, particularly in the field of water-saving.
“Israelis are at the forefront of innovative technologies around that. Why wouldn’t we be learning from some of the new technologies that the Israelis have developed?” he asked. “If only Australia took a leaf out of their book.” ....'
 As for anti-Israel Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, during Britain's recent general election, she was willing the safe return at the polls in Brighton of Caroline Lucas, the former leader of the UK Greens and the party's first MP, with a similar record of fierce hostility to Israel, phoning Lucas's campaign office with encouraging messages.  She got her wish, but fellow Sydneysider, the singularly inept and uncharismatic present leader Natalie Bennett, was of course soundly trounced at the UK polls.

One more item that surface during my flu-induced stupor, None too cogent comments regarding Western pro-Palestinian feeling by the egregious Jon Snow of Britain's Channel 4.   He claims that people in the West are anti-Israel because Israel because Israelis are seen as fellow white men behaving badly.

 But he of course too readily dismisses the antisemitic factor, fails to acknowledge the bad behaviour on the Palestinian side, forgets that at least half the Israel Jewish population are of non-Ashkenazi background, and does not take into consideration the fact that many Western supporters of Israel rest that support on the fact that the Israelis' values are European values.  What we should surely be asking is why so many Western Israel-haters (including the warped women in the above video) are dedicated to the weakening if not the destruction of a nation whose values are Western ones.

And, fresh off the smorgasbord, the latest piece of Israel-bashing by British anti-Israel campaigner (or should that be "anti-Israel professional?") Ben White:

 What's Ben's obsession with Israel about? it might be asked.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Pope Francis Has Joined The Evil-Doers, Argues David Singer

Here, entitled "Palestine: Pope Forfeits Spiritual And Moral Authority," is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Pope Francis has suffered a serious blow to his spiritual and moral authority following the Vatican's recognition of the "State of Palestine" in a new treaty announced on 13 May.

The Vatican's latest slippery slide into political and legal chaos represents a clear breach of clause 11(2) of the 1993 Fundamental Agreement Between The Holy See And The State Of Israel which provides:

"The Holy See, while maintaining in every case the right to exercise its moral and spiritual teaching-office, deems it opportune to recall that owing to its own character, it is solemnly committed to remaining a stranger to all merely temporal conflicts, which principle applies specifically to disputed territories and unsettled borders."

Vatican officials openly admitted that this new treaty did not constitute the Holy See's first breach of the Fundamental Agreement Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi pointing out:

"We have recognized the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook"

This latest challenge to the Pope's spiritual and moral authority first transgressed by his predecessor Pope Benedict  arises from the fact that the United Nations recognition of the State of Palestine on 29 November 2012 affirmed:

...the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967...

600000 Jews presently live in this designated territory. PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warmly welcomed by Pope Francis this week as a potential "angel of peace" has insisted upon their total displacement and removal as a condition of any peace agreement.

Abbas made his racist views very clear in Cairo on 28 July 2010 when he told Wafa - the official Palestinian news agency:

"I'm willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the agreement, such as Nato forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the Nato forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land."

Abbas Israel's putative "partner for peace" leads an Organisation that claims the entire territory of former Palestine as another exclusive Arab fiefdom denying the Jews any political rights in their biblical, ancestral and internationally sanctioned homeland.

Abbas's continuing refusal to recognise Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people has been a major roadblock to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Pope Francis like his predecessor Pope Benedict is apparently prepared to ignore that Abbas and the PLO remain sworn enemies of the Jewish people - pursuing the total elimination of the Jewish State by armed struggle as documented in the 1968 PLO Charter.

The Pope has strayed from the eternal message of the Psalms - the key to the spirituality of the Old Testament and an essential and permanent part of Christian prayer.

Psalm 28 in the New Jerusalem Bible declares:

Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.

Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.

They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!

Pope Francis like Pope Benedict has joined the evil-doers to the chagrin of the Jewish people.

Pope Benedict's desert the birth of Islamic State in 2014 has seen the willful killing, forced conversion and wholesale destruction of ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria.

Pope Francis's desert remains unrevealed.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Two New Olde Tyme Pieces

 Feeling really crook today, to use an Aussie expression. and can only manage these.

An Egyptian cleric on Isis:

 A Turkish cleric on Jerusalem:

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Mercy For The Merciless?

An Aussie kid's fun in the sun
Will the Australian government have mercy on the merciless

It seems that prime minister Tony Abbott is standing firm on this one, despite calls from certain "progressive voices" and of Australian imams for the repatriation of those who, having gone off to fight against the interests of the nation to which they owe allegiance, and whose ways they so obviously despise, now want to return here.

Here's the transcript of an ABC (Oz's equivalent of the BBC) radio broadcast I heard earlier today (emphasis added):
'ELEANOR HALL: The lawyer for an Australian man who wants to come home after joining Islamic State in Syria says the trained medic would be a valuable resource for authorities as they try to steer young Australians away from radical ideas.

That view is backed by an Islamic group and criminologists.

But the Prime Minister has warned that foreign fighters face prosecution and jail if they return to Australia.

Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: The Australian Government says more than 30 Australians have been killed in fighting in Syria and Iraq for what the Government says is a terrorist cause.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is still trying to confirm reports that the latest is a Melbourne teenager who died while fighting for Islamic State.

Not everyone who joins the fight dies for it. Some, like this man who was interviewed by CBS in February, have seen enough and they want to come home.

ABU IBRAHIM: A lot of people when they come, they've a lot of enthusiasm about what they've seen online, what they've seen on YouTube.

They see it as something a lot grander than what the reality is. It's not all military praise or victories, you know.

SIMON LAUDER: The man in that interview was known as Abu Ibrahim.

ABU IBRAHIM: I know friends remained in the brotherhood, but ISIS itself, no.

SIMON LAUDER: He's believed to be one of a small number of Australians who are negotiating with authorities to be allowed to return home after fighting with Islamic State and having their travel documents cancelled.

Lawyer Rob Stary says he can't confirm it's the same man, but he's assisting a Victorian man who wants to return to Australia from Syria but has had his passport revoked.

ROB STARY: My client is a person who's trained as a medic, as a nurse.

SIMON LAUDER: Mr Stary says many weeks of negotiations with Australian Federal Police have stalled.

He wants them to consider that the man could be a valuable tool in any anti-radicalisation programs.

ROB STARY: Young men for instance here who've been radicalised, primarily through social media, governments really taking to them, or the authorities, with a sledgehammer, the opportunity to engage those people have largely been lost.

SIMON LAUDER: What assurances would you like from Australian authorities before this man should step back on Australian soil?

ROB STARY: I don't expect any assurances. What we would like though is the opportunity to have some dialogue about de-radicalisation and about how this person can be used to the benefit of the broader Australian community.

SIMON LAUDER: And obviously that would mitigate against any prosecution or penalty.

ROB STARY: Sure but we do that in every context, we do that in every other context of the criminal law.

We need to have some good faith shown by the authorities that they want to engage with our client.
So we do it in every other context of the criminal world.

SIMON LAUDER: Spokesman for the Australian National Imams Council, Sheikh Mohamadu Saleem, told ABC Local Radio in Melbourne Australian former Islamic State fighters should be allowed to face prosecution and reform themselves.

MOHAMADU NAWAS SALEEM: As long as there are not going to be a threat to the security of this country and they are prepared to participate in de-radicalisation programs.
SIMON LAUDER: But there's no sign of that being allowed, at least not from the Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

TONY ABBOTT: A crime is a crime is a crime is a crime, and if you go abroad to break Australian law, if you go abroad to kill innocent people in the name of misguided fundamentalism and extremism, if you go abroad to become an Islamist killer, well we're hardly going to welcome you back into this country.

Dr Clarke Jones from the Australian National University is an expert on radicalisation and terrorism.

He says Australian authorities should be making the most of returning fighters who are willing to change.

CLARKE JONES: The Government needs to be very careful in the narrative it uses and the Prime Minister, that sort of narrative from the very top of Australian Government will prevent people coming home and will prevent us using people that have had this sort of conflict experience in intervention programs and trying to help others or steer others away from joining the Islamic State.

SIMON LAUDER: Despite that, callers to ABC Local Radio this morning show support for the Prime Minister's view.

ABC RADIO CALLER: I'm really really furious about the possibility of letting these criminal back into the country.

I wouldn't be surprised if they come and recruit more teenagers and they're going to boast about the number of people they have killed.

Who is going to guarantee they are not going to pop up in my neighbourhood and try to recruit my children?

SIMON LAUDER: In a written statement, the Australian Federal Police says it's aware of a small number of Australians who've made approaches to return from the Syria-Iraq conflict zone.

The AFP won't be commenting further.'
Here, by the way, is the Wikipedia entry on the National Imams' Council.

What's not to love, eh?


Monday 18 May 2015

From Hage Docker To Hage Soccer

"It was always going to be a sensitive topic, but a proposal by two university lecturers   –  one a Jew,* the other a Lebanese-born Christian  –  that Australian academics boycott their Israeli counterparts has unleashed a storm of protest," went a report under the byline Geoff Strong in the Melbourne Age on 6 June 2002.
"Angered at Israel's treatment of Palestinians, the pair last month launched an online petition calling for the boycott. They have collected about 100 signatures but have also provoked a counter-petition that attacks the pair for singling out Israel and failing to request similar boycotts of academic contacts with totalitarian regimes such as China and the Arab states.
John Docker, a fellow of the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, and Sydney University anthropology lecturer Ghassan Hage, launched their petition after similar petitions were published in Europe and the US...."
 [* Read this, from Strong's report:
'Dr Docker said yesterday that he was offended by Israel's actions against the Palestinians. "I was brought up in a left-wing Jewish family and part of that upbringing was a concern for human rights, but Australian Jews seem absorbed by Zionism."
 And compare it with this, by Paul Bogdanor:
'Docker grew up in the Sydney suburb of Bondi. His parents were both active in the Communist Party, his father Irish and his mother of East End Jewish background....
Docker was brought up without any religious beliefs, and didn't think of himself as Jewish during his childhood....' ]
I well remember the online Hage/Docker petition: pro-Zionists had sport with it, adding such signatories as "Adolf Hitler" and "Yasser Arafat" and even, if I'm not mistaken,  "Ariel Sharon".  Thus bestrewn with signatures each more preposterous than the last, and choc-a-bloc with  pro-Israel comments, the petition became a laughing stock, a notable floparoo, and if I recall correctly its originators ultimately hid the "add signature" facility from public view so that no further sport could be had.

 Now, I see, Ghassan Hage has tried to make sport of his own with that by now rather famous video of the Palestinian the Yishuv soccer team playing in Australia in 1939.

Rather more on the ball that those poor deluded anti-Israel propagandists who have triumphantly posted the video in the conviction that it showed a team of Arabs playing for their nation "Palestine" (see here and here), Hage has nevertheless made some strange, unfathomable comments:

 Meanwhile, in Sydney, from Lynch, Riemer and assorted academic buddies, more BDS nonsense.

From Dr Philip Mendes of Monash University, a  new article in which, inter alia, Hage is mentioned.

And from Dr Dvir Abramovich, of Melbourne University, some recent pertinent words relating to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions/demonisation of Israel mania mania:
'There is a well-funded and powerful cottage industry of NGOs, journalists, academics and activists who are crystal clear about their unabashed anti-Israel ideology. The goal of their openly declared war is to damage Israel’s standing in the court of world opinion and to bring about its collapse.
This fire-hot, unbridled hatred is obsessive and irrational, based on a methodical marshalling of lies that paint Israel as immoral and genocidal....
Facts and truth-telling are out.
This relentless, pernicious global crusade makes Israel’s existence the source of all troubles in the Mid-east and an ever-present threat to lasting peace, much more than Iran or ISIS.
Forget the dictatorships. Israel is the embodiment of evil, just like Nazi Germany. By that warped logic, fascist Israel is not just worthy of punishment and isolation through the BDS and UN censure, it is a country guilty of ethnic cleansing and oppression, that has no right to exist....
A world without Israel is the new anti-Semitism....'
Read all of Dvir Abramovich's article here

Saturday 16 May 2015

"The Greatest Tragedy Under The Sun ... We Will Return ... That Is A Promise" (updated)

In London, outside the entrance to Downing Street, a band of anti-Israel fanatics preach their hatred of Israel to a gaggle of the converted.

We have only to look at the logo behind the speakers, a map of Israel and the disputed territories which is coloured entirely in green, white and red, to know what the aim of these people is.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the bloke at the beginning has the "Nakba" occurring in 1938, a date that he mentions twice (have a listen).

And here's another video from the same cameraman.  The photos at the beginning could easily be matched by Israel, depicting photos of the expulsion of Jews from their Jerusalem homes by Arab troops during the War of Independence that the Arabs started, to say nothing of the "Jewish Nakba".

Among the numerous Muslims in this video are, inevitably, a posse of Neturei Karta nutjobs:

Inevitably, protests against the "Nakba" have been occurring around the globe.
Here's one in Pakistan, from whence most British Muslims derive:

 There was "street theatre" in Melbourne's central business district, but as somebody has said to me, "Audience estimated at zero".

Certainly, most of the pedestrians striding by seem totally oblivious to this little exercise in Israel-demonisation:

Needless to say, there has also been a turnout of Israel-haters in Sydney.  Here are some of the types who participated in its "Nakba protest".

Jake Lynch and academic friends:

The Israel-demonising Far Left:

Those who should be protesting about the Arab nations' using Palestinian Arab refugees as pawns for the past sixty-seven years:

The Iranian regime's satellite mouthpiece Press TV reports on the Sydney rally here (but I find the video slow if not altogether reluctant to load).

Friday 15 May 2015

Something For The Weekend, Sir? A T-shirt, a soul uplift, & a harangue

First, an unmissable post from Edgar Davidson.

Next, a stalwart stance (with numerous likes and shares and approving comments) against an incidence of  dry and rueful British humour "Islamophobia" by British perpetual anti-Israel campaigner Ben White, the chap who is on record as saying that he can understand why some people are antisemitic and who seems to have a problem with Jewish physiognomy:

Like White, British anti-Israel propagandist broadcast journalist Harry Fear seems inordinately fond of Islam and of peppering his posts with Islamic phrases:

Meanwhile, reading between the lines of his latest screed, which reminds Dionne Warwick of the fight against Apartheid South Africa and of Jim Crow in the American South, it would seem that the eradication of Israel as a sovereign state is what aged rocker and veteran Israel hater Roger Waters hopes for:
'[W]e, in the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, will win this one against the similarly racist and colonialist policies of the Israeli government of occupation.  We will continue to press forward in favor of equal rights for all the peoples of the Holy Land.... There is no place today in this world for another racist, apartheid regime.
.... I remember the road to Montgomery, I remember Selma, I remember the struggles against the Jim Crow laws here. Sadly, we are still fighting those battles, whether here in the USA in Ferguson or Baltimore, or in Gaza or the Negev, wherever the oppressed need us to raise our voices unafraid.  We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with them, our brothers and sisters, until true equality and justice are won....
... When global pressure finally forces Israel to end its occupation, when the apartheid wall comes down, when justice is served to Palestinian refugees and all people there are free and equal, I will gladly join you in concert in the Holy Land, cross all the boundaries and share our music with all the people.'
 But I guess we've had grounds for suspecting that all along.

"Let Down" By The Anglo-Jewish Leadership (video)

Here's a video of the three candidates for the presidency of Britain's Board of Deputies giving spiels and answering questions from the floor.

One of the questioners, referring to last summer's ugly manifestations of  Israel-demonisation and Jew-hatred, remarks that much of the Anglo-Jewish community felt "let down" by the leadership at the time.

I find Jonathan Arkush's remarks regarding the sources of antisemitism and the limits to which certain of them can be fought particularly cogent and valuable. 

Thursday 14 May 2015

Via Asylum Boats, Islamic State Has the Potential to Thrust Itself Into The Heart of Europe, warns David Singer

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It's entitled "Europe Rapidly Becoming Fertile Recruiting Field For Islamic State" and sounds an urgent warning bell that the "politically correct" would muffle.

Writes David Singer:

Islamic State now has the potential to break out of Syria and Iraq and into the heart of Europe without a shot being fired in anger by the Europeans to repel Islamic State’s stated aims of re-establishing the Caliphate and with it the supremacy of Islam world-wide.

This previously dismissed possibility has become an emerging reality with the record flow of hundreds of thousands of Muslims into Europe by boat in 2014 – seeking asylum as their homes and lives in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan,Yemen and Lebanon have been reduced to rubble by ongoing and continuing conflict over the past four years.

Ironically – and alarmingly – the possibility of some of these asylum seekers already being Islamic State believers – whilst others become potential recruits in pursuing these Islamic State goals – comes at the same time as Europe is actively seeking to restrain its own already radicalised Muslim citizens from leaving its shores to join Islamic State forces in its ongoing campaign of territorial conquest throughout much of the Arab world.

What was thought to be fantasy just twelve months ago has been turned on its head with the recent publication of the following statistics by Eurostat – the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg – whose task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions within the European Union (EU):
1. Asylum seekers from Syria seeking refuge in the 28 EU countries rose from 49,980 in 2013 to 122,115 in 2014 – which equated to 20% of the total of asylum seekers from all non-member EU countries.
2. In the same period asylum seekers from Iraq jumped from 10,740 to 21,310 whilst Afghani asylum seekers rose sharply from 26125 to 41370.
3. Of the 68400 Syrians actually granted protection status in the EU – more than 60% were recorded in two Member States: Germany (25,700) and Sweden (16,800).
Many of these desperate asylum seekers become possible candidates for being persuaded that their lives have been turned upside down by Europe’s failed policies in Syria and Iraq and that their hopes for real salvation rest in actively supporting the objectives of Islamic State.

Europe’s failure to prevent more than 200,000 deaths that have occurred in Syria and Iraq alone in the past four years with the destruction of many towns and villages into heaps of rubble and the consequent displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis – both internally and externally – is an easily told story that will gain much sympathy with many of these asylum seekers – even as they are being welcomed and absorbed into their European host countries.

France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are part of a group called the London 11 – whose other members are Egypt, Jordan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, Turkey,United Arab Emirates and America.

The London 11 has since 2012 expressed its support for the Syrian opposition in its attempt to rid Syria of President Assad. Supplying arms and financial support has clearly proved insufficient to halt the carnage

On 10 November 2014 Senior Officials of the London 11 met with Syrian National Coalition Leader Hadi al-Bahra.

The best the London 11 could do was:
“demonstrate collective and united support for the moderate opposition led by the National Coalition, as they fight a two-front war resisting the brutality of the Assad regime and fighting extremists including Daesh (Islamic State)”
Many European countries form part of the American-led coalition which has also failed to effectively halt the progress of Islamic State.

Europe remains a sitting duck whilst it passively sits on the sidelines uttering pious platitudes.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

On A Westminster Walkway, Windy Weather & Wild Windbaggery (video)

What the heck? Let's have a look at the hardcore anti-Israel fanatics (all baker's dozen of 'em at a generous estimate) who came out onto the pavement outside the Park Plaza Hotel on 12 May to harangue delegates to a Hewlett Packet Conference regarding the company's "support" for da Zionist Entity.

Much of Alex Seymour's video consists of the trials and tribulations of trying to hoist Israel-demonising placards on a squally day, with hotel security personnel interfering in the grand design.

(No wonder Alex resorts to a musical soundtrack for much of the video, but of course it's not Bach or Beethoven or the Dionne Warwick or the Rolling Stones which fills the void.)

I guess the true amusement in watching this footage is to be had by guesstimating just how many Israel-haters showed up.  There's the ubiquitous ranter-in-chief, of course, chomping at the bit to get started (which she eventually dies at approximately 10:15), there's that ever-present spear carrier, or rather placard carrier, the plummy-voiced woman with long grey hair who's prone to hop onto Tube trains to spew anti-Israel venom in the form of "poetry", there's the bloke who accompanies her on such capers, there's an Irish bloke (Sean Clinton, I think), and there's Alex behind the camera. How many's that, then?  Did they get a quorum?

Of course, those being ranted at are ensconced inside the hotel, and, very wisely, most people on the tape besides the hardcore anti-Israel fanatics are cops, security personnel, or bemused passers-by giving the rally a wide berth.

Monday 11 May 2015

Typecast Villains

Samuel (Sam) West is a British actor and director.  Unlike John Altman (aka "Nasty" Nick Cotton, whom we see slandering Israel on my previous post but one) he specialises in polished, posh-talking parts, befitting a member of theatrical royalty (his parents are the well-known thespians Prunella ("Sybil Fawlty") Scales and Timothy West, and his paternal grandfather was the actor Lockwood West, a distant cousin of film star Margaret ("The Lady Vanishes") Lockwood.

Despite his rather privileged background, the undeniably talented Mr West (as a naval history buff I enjoyed his billing, years ago, as a supercilious young military officer on horseback in the "Hornblower" miniseries) is a far leftist. 

While at Oxford University, he was, we're told, "a member of the Socialist Workers Party and later briefly the Socialist Alliance".  Moreover,  he "has been a left-wing activist for many years; he was a critic of Tony Blair's New Labour government.  On 26 March 2011 he spoke at the TUC March for the Alternative."

As far leftists tend to be, Mr West is also a vociferous critic of the only true democracy in the Middle East.  Here's footage of him some years ago rocking the anti-Israel crowd with a star turn:

Much more recently, he (and his parents) were among the stars and spear carriers who announced their intention to deprive Israel of the honour of their presence (well, words to that effect, anyway).

Now, a number of the theatre world's finest (super-finest in the Israel baiting stakes) have rounded upon the "Israel lobby" in the UK.

A couple of press release from Artists for Palestine UK,both dated 10 May, tell the story:
'(NB this original text differs slightly from the version published by the Daily Mail on May 8)
As theatre practitioners in Britain, we are alarmed that the Daily Mail is attacking the Arts Council and the British Council for supporting a UK tour by a Palestinian theatre company.
A scene from the play; photo credit Jewish Chronicle
Your piece, with its inflammatory title UK taxpayers fund ‘pro-terrorist’ play, cites “concerns” from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, an organisation with a shocking record of acting to suppress both cultural and academic events which explore the bitter reality of Palestinian existence. Only last month the University of Southampton succumbed to demonisation and threats and banned an academic conference on the legal status of Israel. [Emphasis added here and below]
Neither the Daily Mail nor the Board of Deputies has seen Freedom Theatre’s play The Siege, yet both somehow feel qualified to suggest that it is “promoting terrorism”. Not for the first time, Palestinian voices are in danger of being drowned out by a vociferous pro-Israel lobby that smears all Palestinians as terrorists and antisemites. This lobby wants us to believe that theatre-goers in the UK cannot be trusted to hear these voices and make their own judgements.
The Palestinian West Bank, where the Freedom Theatre is based, has been under illegal Israeli military occupation since 1967. We endorse the words of British playwright Howard Brenton, an honorary director of the Freedom Theatre, who writes of the forthcoming tour:
“This is real political theatre, performed out of the both terrible and inspiring experience of a struggle for freedom and justice. [The Freedom Theatre] are living proof that telling stories and entertaining audiences are powerful acts of resistance to oppression. Do go and see them, they have news for us.”
[signed] Caryl Churchill, Dominic Cooke, April De Angelis, David Edgar, Lucy Kirkwood, David Lan, Miriam Margolyes, Paul Mayersberg, Maxine Peake, Mark RylanceJennie Stoller, Mark Thomas, Samuel West
The other press release says in part:
'.... Leading theatre practitioners have leapt to the defence of the Palestinian Freedom Theatre, about to start its first tour of the UK, after an article in the Mail on Sunday accused supporting arts organisations of funding “a pro-terrorist play”.
The Mail on Sunday piece, written by Nick Craven, charged Arts Council England with giving £15,000 of taxpayers’ money “to producers of an unashamedly one-sided drama based on accounts from the gunmen and bombers of Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.”
It cited “extreme concerns” from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and quoted the Israeli Foreign Ministry saying the play used testimony from “men with blood on their hands.”
Neither Craven nor the critics he quotes have seen the play – The Siege – based on dramatic events in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity in 2002. Its tour opens in Manchester on May 13.....'
It refers to the letter quoted above, and quotes one of the signatories, Mark Thomas, thus:
“Free speech for Palestinian artists is increasingly threatened, more often than not by supporters of Israel’s apartheid occupation. Palestinian voices not only have a right to be heard, we have duty to listen to them.”
And it gives the dates and ten locations of the performances of the play, which opens in Manchester and winds up in Glasgow in mid-June.

See more here and here

And note also that more likely demonisation of Israel is bound for the London stage:
"A Land Without People charts London’s political wrangling in the lead-up to the United Nations proposal to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab territories.
 Through meticulous research of contemporary documents, it tells the story behind the overthrow of British rule in Palestine at the hands of Zionist terrorists and the violent clearing of its Arab inhabitants that was to follow."