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)

Friday 30 November 2018

David Singer: Jordan-Israel Peace Agenda Trumps PLO-UN War Agenda

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

He writes:

Jordan and Israel are becoming enmeshed in a bi-national agenda requiring urgent direct negotiations – which if successfully concluded – could end the 100-years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

That agenda includes:
  1. Redrawing the existing Jordan-Israel international boundary after allocating sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) between their two respective States.
  2. Clarifying the right of Jews to enter and pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – currently controlled by Jordan as Custodian of the Islamic holy sites
  3. Renewing 25-year leases of two areas leased by Jordan to Israel for agricultural use that expire next year.
  4. Increasing the amount of water currently being supplied by Israel to Jordan
  5. Progressing the feasibility of constructing the Mediterranean-Dead Sea Canal
  6. Financing the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance – a planned pipeline that runs from the coastal city of Aqaba to the Lisan area in the Dead Sea.
Jordan and Israel’s Peace Treaty – signed in 1994 – has successfully withstood serious pressures that could have seen its revocation in:
  • September 1997 – when an Israeli attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshall was botched
  • May 2014 – when Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel “in protest at the increasing and unprecedented Israeli escalation in the Noble Sanctuary, and the repeated Israeli violations of Jerusalem,”
  • July 2017 – when an armed guard at the Israeli embassy in Amman opened fire after being attacked with a screwdriver by a teenager who was delivering furniture to a home within the embassy compound – killing his attacker and the owner of the property.
However cool heads and common-sense prevailed on both sides on those occasions to prevent the Peace Treaty being trashed.

In contrast – the lack of any peace agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has caused negotiations between Israel and the PLO to be conducted over the last 25 years under an atmosphere of confrontation and mutual distrust.

Jerusalem-based journalist Khaled Abu Toameh has pointed out that PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has vowed at least 15 times in recent months to thwart President Trump’s upcoming plan to end the Jewish-Arab conflict – even though Abbas hasn’t yet seen its contents.

Toameh continues:
“Abbas and his representatives in Ramallah have radicalized their people against the Israeli government to a point where meeting or doing business with any Israeli official is tantamount to treason. That is why Abbas does not and cannot return to the negotiating table with Israel and also why Abbas cannot change his position toward the Trump administration.”
Abbas has instead sought to advance the PLO’s stated aim to destroy both Israel and Jordan by using the United Nations as the Trojan horse to initially try to impose the creation of a second Arab state in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – over Israel’s objections.

The UN General Assembly recognition of the fictitious and non-existent “State of Palestine” as Chair of the 144 nation G77 bloc at the United Nations for 2019 indicates the lack of credibility and integrity to which an acquiescent and fawning United Nations is prepared to sink in supporting the PLO’s agenda.

Trump’s plan could represent the last chance to resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict peacefully. Should Jordan and Israel simultaneously agree to negotiate on its final terms – then the prospect of Trump actually pulling off “the deal of the century” becomes realistically achievable.

Redefining the boundary between two countries sharing a signed peace treaty is infinitely easier to achieve than creating a potentially-hostile third state between them that seeks both their destruction.
Jordan-Israel negotiations offer hope for an enduring peace.

The PLO-UN flight into fantasy promises war, chaos and upheaval.

(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

Thursday 29 November 2018

Jerusalem, Jihad: Views from Sydney

In the wake of his party's poor showing in last Saturday's Victoria state election, one of the best prime ministers Australia has ever had, the Liberal John Howard, tells the left-leaning national broadcaster the ABC, inter alia, why the Australian embassy should be relocated to Jerusalem, a step mooted recently by current prime minister Scott Morrison:

    LEIGH SALES: The former Liberal prime Minister, John Howard, joined me in the studio earlier.

    Mr Howard, good to see you. Thank you for coming in.

    JOHN HOWARD, FORMER PRIME MINISTER (1996-2007): Thank you.

    LEIGH SALES: Is the Liberal Party in danger of splitting into two parties?

    JOHN HOWARD: No, that is absolutely not going to happen.

    The Liberal Party is obviously going through a difficult time at the moment, but I am still convinced that we can win the next federal election and I think one of the things people have got to understand is that there is a long history in Australian politics of a disconnect between a heavy defeat at a state level and victory at a federal level....

    LEIGH SALES: When you look at the Liberal Party broadly, though, the Victorian state election result is just one of a number of things that has gone on.

    We've had centrist independence elected in a number of formally Coalition seats; Indi, Wentworth, Mayo among them. We've had today a federal Liberal MP defect to sit on the crossbench as an independent. We have had numerous Liberal MPs publicly share their concerns about the direction of party.

    You have got ageing and declining membership, there were money troubles. Malcolm Turnbull had to chip in at the last election.

    Why do all of those things, when you take them together, not signal a crisis in the state of the Liberal Party?

    JOHN HOWARD: Well, one of the reasons why it doesn't suggest a crisis is that on all the fundamentals, the federal Liberal Government is doing well....

     Sure, we are disappointed about what happened in Victoria, but one of the things that we have to do is not automatically extrapolate that into the federal scene. There are separately challenges federally, I accept that and they have to be addressed, but the last thing that we should do is to allow our political opponents to define us ideologically.

    LEIGH SALES: Well, on the point of how the Liberal Party should be defined ideologically, we know that Australian society has changed quite a bit since you left politics 11 years ago.

    It has changed an enormous amount since you became prime minister. Would you agree that the Liberal Party has to adapt to stay relevant and, if so, how should the party present itself in 2018?

    JOHN HOWARD: Well, I think all political parties have got to remain relevant and they can't live in the past, of course but when I described the Liberal Party as a broad church, what I say is that it is the custodian of two liberal traditions.

    One of them is the classical liberal one and the other is the conservative one.

    It doesn't mean that the Liberal Party is made up of half of classical liberals and half of conservatives. I mean I am a mixture of the two. I am a classical liberal on economic issues. That is why I believed in labour market deregulation, that's why I believe in lower taxes and smaller government. That is why I am against tariff protection.

    Adam Smith, if he were alive today, would agree with all of those positions but on other issues such as the monarchy and the attitude I took on same-sex marriage, which the public disagreed with, anyway that is behind us now, I am more conservative and that applies to most of us.

    But the one thing we mustn't do is to allow our political enemies and commentators to start describing people specifically as a classical liberal or a conservative.

    LEIGH SALES: But it is not, sorry to interrupt, Mr Howard, but it is not in this case your political enemies - it is people from within the parties.

    JOHN HOWARD: My warning is for those people not to allow people who are not friendly to us, as a liberal collective, to define us.

    I hear expressions like "hard right". What is meant by hard right? Someone who has got a conservative social position? That is not hard right. That is just being an ordinary conservative who sees value in preserving things from the past that are working well.

    There is nothing hard right about that. That is just common sense.

    LEIGH SALES: Let me put to you what the Senate President, Scott Ryan, said yesterday about his view that he wanted, like you say, the Liberal Party to be a broad church.

    He said, "We don't want litmus tests that you've somehow got to adopt this position particularly on social issues and if you don't you are not a real Liberal."

    Haven't we seen evidence of that taking hold? That people in one side of the party say that the other side, they are not real Liberals?

    JOHN HOWARD: I think some people have fallen for that on both sides. I mean, some people are running around saying the only real Liberal is someone who agrees with this and this and you don't want any of that and people who foolishly say, "Oh, what Bob Menzies would have said..."

    Now you talk about moving on, I mean, I admire, all Liberals do, Bob Menzies. He founded our party and governed for 16 brilliant years but the world in the 1950s and '60s was quite different from the world that I was prime minister in and the world that now operates.

    But in the end the Liberal Party is a broad church. It is a broad church of people who hold classical liberal views and conservative views and most of us, my experience has been, that we are each a mixture of the two.

    I certainly was and remain and I am sure that is the case with Scott Morrison and I am sure it was the case with his two predecessors as Liberal leaders....

      I mean, I would never have achieved anything in politics without the Liberal Party. I owe the Liberal Party so much and I think it is always important for people who are elected to Parliament, whether it is on the Labor side or our side, to remember that they are overwhelmingly there because of their patronage from their own party and they should never forget that....

    LEIGH SALES: On the point of loyalty to the party, what do you think of the way that Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have behaved post-leadership?

    JOHN HOWARD: Look, I am not going to give a commentary on that. That doesn't help anybody.

    When Tony Abbott was the prime minister, I supported him 100 per cent. When Malcolm Turnbull was the prime minister, I supported him and I believe I retain the friendship of both men, but now Scott Morrison is there, I am going the give him total support because I want him to win.

    I believe it would be better for Australia if he does and I want all of the members of the Liberal Party to bear in mind the importance of working together.

    Don't get too despairing about what happened in Victoria....

    LEIGH SALES: Do you think the Australian embassy in Israel should be moved to Jerusalem?

    JOHN HOWARD: Look, I am personally in favour and I have said this before, of our embassy being in Jerusalem because Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

    LEIGH SALES: You don't worry about the cost of the relationship say with Indonesia?

    JOHN HOWARD: No, hang on, in the end, this is a matter between Australia and Israel and the idea that other countries should micromanage our foreign policy, I don't think people would find that acceptable.

    Now, as to the priority or otherwise of when it should happen, that is another matter. That is a matter for the government to determine.

    If you ask me as an issue of principle, I have said before on the public record, that I support it because I think it is logical to have it in the capital and also because I have enormous respect of the fact of what Israel has achieved and also the fact that it is the one true great democracy in the Middle East.
[Emphasis added]

    LEIGH SALES: Mr Howard, thanks for your time.

    JOHN HOWARD: Pleasure.  (Video here)

 Meanwhile, Sydney medico Dr David Adler, president of the Australian Jewish Association, an undeservedly maligned (in certain Jewish circles) conservative organisation formed last year, talks frankly to a Sydney radio host about the Islamic terror threat in this country:

Wednesday 28 November 2018

A Hate Crime in California

If only more leftists, including Jewish leftists, would be as vocal in condemning Islamic antisemitism as they are in condemning the far right kind.

Monday 26 November 2018

For Friends of Israel, a Frosty Swarthmore February

Ah, those earnest left-leaning bastions of a "liberal" education.  Don't you just love 'em?

I've written before (see here and here) of the zeal for the anti-Israel pro-Palestinian cause that seems to have taken hold at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States.

And now here's a look at Swarthmore College's 2019 calendar, where alumni and others turning to the February page will be confronted by this image:

Was it really necessary to depict a student wearing a keffiyeh, that universal symbol of Israel-hate among wearers in the West, in a publication that should surely be non-political and inclusive?

Presumably the keffiyeh reflects the "change, and impact on the world" that the college is fostering, according to the accompanying blurb.

Shame, Swatties, shame.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

David Singer: Australia's Jerusalem Embassy move sinks in a sea of Islamic threats

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

He writes:

Forget about Australia moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Indonesian threats to not sign a free trade agreement with Australia – coupled with veiled Malaysian suggestions of terrorist attacks on Australian targets if the Embassy is moved – will suffice to burst Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s thought-bubble.

Australia gave Indonesia $360 million in aid in 2016 and was the world’s 16thlargest donor in giving $15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Indonesia gave UNRWA $5000.

Malaysia gave nothing to UNRWA in 2016.
Read on for artiForget about Australia moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Indonesian threats to not sign a free trade agreement with Australia – coupled with veiled Malaysian suggestions of terrorist attacks on Australian targets if the Embassy is moved – will suffice to burst Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s thought-bubbleAustralia gave Indonesia $360 million in aid in 2016 and was the world’s 16thlargest donor in giving $15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Indonesia gave UNRWA $5000.
Indonesia and Malaysia – two Islamic states – flex their muscles on Islamic claims to Jerusalem – yet do not financially support their Islamic brethren.
Morrison first flagged the Embassy move on 16 October at a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne:
“Now, in relation to our diplomatic presence in Israel. What I have simply said is this – we’re committed to a two-state solution. Australia’s position on this issue has to date assumed that it is not possible to consider the question of the recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem and that be consistent with pursuing a two-state solution.
Now, Dave Sharma, who was the Ambassador to Israel, has proposed some months ago a way forward that challenges that thinking and it says that you can achieve both and indeed by pursuing both, you are actually aiding the cause for a two-state solution. Now, when people say sensible things, I think it is important to listen to them” 
Australia’s commitment to the two-state solution– the creation of a second Arab state – in addition to Jordan – in the territory that comprised the 1922 Mandate for Palestine –  is based on:
  • The 1993 Oslo Accords and
  • The 2002 President Bush Roadmap:
Intensive negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation spanning the last 25 years have failed to achieve this two-state solution– being unable to agree on whether the new State should:
  • Be demilitarised
  • Include all the territory of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) with East Jerusalem as its capital
  • Exclude all Jews currently living there necessitating their resettlement in Israel.
Australia is not alone in clinging to this outdated two-state solution. Countless UN Resolutions calling for this two-state solution continue to consume reams of paper and dominate meetings of UN committees, the General Assembly and Security Council – rather than considering alternative solutions to ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Morrison probably did not realise how close he was to committing Australia to a very different two-state solution when he told the press conference:
“The whole point of a two-state solution is two nations recognised living side by side. And so, opening up that discussion does provide us with the opportunity, I think, to do what Australians have always done and that is to apply a practical and common-sense and innovative role in trying to work with partners around the world to aid our broader objectives, in this case a two-state solution.”
That alternative two-state solution involves Jordan and Israel – the two successor states to the Mandate for Palestine – currently exercising sovereignty in 95% of the territory comprised in the Mandate – negotiating the allocation of sovereignty in the last remaining 5% between their two respective States.

This solution was first suggested by the League of Nations in 1922: one Jewish State and one Arab state living side by side in former Palestine in peace with each other. Redrawing the international border between Jordan and Israel in direct negotiations would complete this two-state solution.
Moving Australia’s Embassy to Jerusalem would be a no-brainer under the 1922 two-state solution.

(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

Sunday 18 November 2018

Milady's Cobber Down Under Pontificates on Antisemitism

Peter Garcia-Webb has apparently been a friend of Baroness Tonge since their respective medical training at Guy's Hospital.

Now living in Perth, Western Australia, the distinguished research scientist, London-born of Jewish parentage, is a derider of Israel, posting this on Facebook, for example, at the time of Bibi's highly successful visit to Australia early last year, when the recently deposed Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister:

 Nor does he like President Trump's Middle East policy.  For instance:

Or the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)'s working definition of antisemitism:

In fact, he dislikes the latter so much that he's now written a long screed of his own about the definition of antisemitism:

Which is very much liked by Baroness Tonge:

As I showed here, the talented Garcia-Webb's forays into "social fiction" make no secret of his antipathy to Zionism.

But that aside, some of his tweets have been eyebrow-raising:

Not as grossly startling, granted, as these social media sentiments (brought to public attention by Aussie Dave in his post here), by one of Tonge's Facebook friends, anti-Israel activist and "human rights"lawyer Simone O'Broin (aka Simone Burns).  The same woman whose drunken racist and sexist abuse of Air India cabin staff has gone viral on the internet (interesting take by David Collier here):

As has been widely observed, O'Broin's rant provides a stark reminder of the slime that lurks within the anti-Israel movement:

Here's the ghastly Pamela Hardiment aka Pam Arnold, for instance:

I wonder how Milady and her cobber Down Under would define that!

Thursday 15 November 2018

David Singer: Will President Trump Say "West Bank" or "Judea and Samaria"?

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

He writes:

President Trump – having rejected a barrage of criticism since describing himself as a “nationalist” – faces a further torrent of invective should he choose to say “Judea and Samaria” rather than “West Bank” in his soon to-be-released peace proposals.

Arab propaganda has used “West Bank” since 1949 to obliterate any Jewish connection to one of the two remaining pieces of land under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine where sovereignty still remains undetermined between Jews and Arabs. Even worse, the United Nations and the US State Department have continued using this deceptive and misleading terminology since 1967.

The media and countless political commentators have sought to relegate the historical-geographical term “Judea and Samaria” to some ancient biblical anachronism that fell into disuse centuries ago – yet that term appears in the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica and the UN 1947 Partition Plan resolution.

Incontrovertible Jewish claims to this hotly-disputed territory – about the size of Delaware – were eloquently summarised in the Forward on 12 July 1991:
'As for “Judea” and “Samaria”, they are indeed ancient names, but the notion that they had become “archaic” prior to 1967 is totally false for both English and Hebrew. Indeed, unlike their Moslem counterparts, not only Jewish, but Christian geographers too, from Roman times onward, always considered the mountainous regions north and south of Jerusalem to be discrete entities, since this is how the Old and New Testaments speak of them because of the separate Judean and Israelite kingdoms that existed there. As late as many 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century atlases, it is possible to find accurate maps of Palestine with the major Arab towns and villages appearing beside the words “Judea” and “Samaria” in large print.
The Hebrew terms, yehuda and shomron have had a slightly more complex history – rather, shomron has had, since yehuda, “Judah” which was originally the name of the tribe that occupied the southern hill country of the Land of Israel, has been in uninterrupted use as a geographical term since the Book of Deuteronomy. We find it and it alone in the Mishnah and the Talmud; in the account of the famous 12th-century Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela; in Kaftor u-Ferach, a 16th-century halakhic geography of Palestine composed by the Italian Rabbi Ishtori Haparhi; in all the 19t- and 20th-century literature of Zionist settlement in Palestine; and in thousands of other Hebrew sources from every period of Jewish history as well.
The case of “shomron”, “Samaria”, is somewhat different. The oldest Hebrew name for the mountains north of Jerusalem is not shomron but efrayim, after the tribe whose territory it was. Shomron was originally a site in Efrayim that, in the reign of King Omri, became the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel, which eventually began to bear its name. Thus, in the Hebrew Bible we find shomron, efrayim, and yisra’el used interchangeably, while in rabbinic literature they are joined by a fourth term: eretz ha-kutim, “the Land of the Cuthites” – a reference to the Samaritans, a population originally transferred from the Babylonian region of Kutu to take the place of the “ten lost” tribes of Israel deported by the Assyrians in 721 B.C.E.
Subsequently, all four of these terms were used by Jewish sources, although the last two dropped out in the Middle Ages; it was not however, until the conquest of the area in 1967 that “Shomron” was finally recognized instead of “Efrayim”.'
President Trump should use “Judea and Samaria” to end 70 years of fraudulent Arab propaganda – aided and abetted by the United Nations, the US State Department and the President’s oft designated “fake news’’.

(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

"Palestinians are the Chosen People of the European Parliament ... Enough! Enough!"

"Our interest is Israel's interest... You have been very destructive to my people without knowing it... Enough! Enough!"

The brave and forthright leader of the Jordanian-Palestinian Coalition, Mudar Zahran, in a passionate address to the Parliament last month, in which he delivers a scathing condemnation of BDS.

Here he is more recently, condemning Hamas and the latest rocket onslaught from Gaza:

Monday 12 November 2018

In London, Israel-Haters Target a Literal Joo (video)

Outside the Jinjuu restaurant in London's Soho on 9 November, Israel-haters from the Islamic-founded BDS-pushing Inminds group target the head chief, Judy Joo, demanding that she join other chefs invited to take part in a culinary show in Tel Aviv by turning down the invitation.

(Video by Alex Seymour, aka Seymour Alexander)

A hop over the North Sea to Copenhagen. This video shows about 150 to 200 totalitarian Leftists, rabid haters of Israel and champions of Islamofascism that they are, yelling "Nazi Pigs!" at a group of people (with an Israeli flag) mournfully commemorating the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

 More, by way of background, here.  Who, one is moved to ask, are the true "Nazi pigs"?

Saturday 10 November 2018

In 1938, a Tory MP's account of post-Anschluss Vienna

(Sir) Beverley Baxter (1891-1964) was a Canadian-born journalist who spent most of his career in Britain, where he became a Conservative MP.  His account of the persecution of Jews in post-Anschluss Vienna appeared shortly after the Kristallnacht pogrom, the 80th anniversary of which is being marked now.

Appearing in an Australian newspaper (Shepparton Advertiser, 25 November 1938), Baxter's article was entitled "Jew-Baiting In Vienna: How the pogroms are organised".  Here is what he wrote (I've changed his original spelling of Brownshirts as two words):

What is the truth about the persecution of Jews in Germany and Austria? How far are tales of
atrocities figments of the imagination or inventions of propagandists? It was partly to answer these questions that I went recently to Vienna, where the Nazis are now in supreme control, and where purification of the Germanic race is proceeding according to plan.

It is difficult to describe the Nazi movement one way or another. To condemn it out of hand would be foolish and would show a lack of understanding. We who extol democracy must be willing to learn where this political and economic creed has succeeded against difficulties that would discourage the methods of democracy.

There is a tremendous and genuine idealism in the movement. It is written in the faces of the young men who have donned the uniform of the cause. One cannot look upon the clear eyes and fine physique of these boys without admitting that Hitler has accomplished miracles. Out of a defeated and disillusioned nation he has created a magnificent new generation — if we are to judge humanity by the welfare of the body and the purposefulness of the spirit.

Unfortunately, in the launching of this movement of "national regeneration," and I do not mock the phrase — there were also let loose forces of national degradation which are now out of control. And the most vile of these is the persecution of the Jews.

In what I write here I have purposely refused to credit the stories of atrocities which cannot be proved. They may be in time. I only mention, however, those which I know to be true.

Herr Rudolf Bear was a director of the Vienna Opera. He was sitting in his box one night when three Austrian Brownshirts entered and drove him in a car to the outskirts of Vienna, where they beat him with truncheons.

When the director reached home, a bleeding pulp of a human being, he took poison. His servants discovered it in time, however, and he was rush ed to the hospital, where the best doctors in Vienna fought for his life — and won.

At last he was discharged, a cured man, and warned about his future conduct By the authorities.
That night he shot himself.  [Emphasis added here and below.]  Search the literature of tragedy if you like and tell me where fiction can outdistance that story of established fact.

One of the pranks of the Austrian Brownshirts that followed the invasion of the German army, was to make Jews scrub the pavements; and the favorite victims of this sadistic exploitation were young Jewesses.

But not always. A Jewish violinist was given a pail of water and told to scrub the pavement outside a Christian shop. To add point to the jest, acid was poured into the water. The violinist performed his task, to find that the acid had burned the skin from his fingers and that he could never again — or so he thought — play his violin. He went home and took poison.

Those are two of countless stories that can be proved to the hilt. I need not torture you with any more, but I shall come to an incident that is not without a grim comedy but has a bearing on the argument.

On Whit-Saturday, I drove, in company with a young British woman, out to the Vienna woods, and saw thousands of boyish peasants and their girls in their attractive national costumes bicycling or hiking to their favorite resorts. Nothing could have been cleaner or more wholesome than that unselfconscious companionship of the sexes. The paradox of Europeis that while the political shadows deepen, youth has discovered the common citizenship of the sun and the heritage of the out of doors!

Coming back to Vienna, we drove to the Jewish section. Here and there was a shop proudly proclaiming that it was "Aryan," some even going so far as to boast that they were "German Aryan."
Most of the little shops, however, had nothing but the Jewish names of the owners — and a large
number of signs. "To Let," or "This Business for Sale."

At the doors, as if it were the ghetto, the proprietors stood in silent misery. The hand of fate was
closing about their throats and there was no escape. .

Coming to the fashionable shopping district we saw two Brownshirts picketing the famous shop of Neumann’s that has done business in Vienna for a century.

This was too much for my companion, who insisted on running the blockade. Stopping the car, she made for the interior of the shop, and was stopped by the young Brownshirts. 
"Not Aryan," he said abruptly in.German.
 "What do I care," said my countrywoman, "I am going in just the same."
The Brownshirt shrugged his shoulders, made way for us, and we found ourselves in the interior of

Ten or 12 assistants, not all Jewish, stood about like ghosts in some horrible comedy. 

Not one would-be purchaser was in the large shop. It was Saturday before Whitsun, when normally the assistants would be struggling to meet the, demands of their customers.

A pretty little Jewess asked us what we wanted, and I decided on a tie. The rest of the assistants looked on with blank expressionless faces,as if the whole process were vaguely reminiscent to them but their brains were incapable of understanding. 

I had no German money and proffered a pound. This necessitated the personal attention of the manager. He looked, at the pound, sighed, scratched his head and was quite helpless. He was in that state of mind which we have all known at some stage in our lives, when the most trivial problem is simply too much to bear. The little Jewess relieved him by taking back the pound and giving us the change.

As we left the shop the ghosts all came to life. "Good day, sir, good day, madam," they chanted in English. Then they were silent and stood again in awful, motionless misery.

Outside, my companion, who is really a gentle soul, walked up to the Brownshirts. 
"Do either of you speak English?" she asked. 
"Yes," said one, a. young man of the student type, wearing glasses,"I speak English." "Then aren’t you ashamed of yourself?" she demanded. 
"Bullying helpless people 1 who have done you no harm!”
"No, I am not ashamed," he said. "I am obeying orders and doing my duty." 
"You are a coward," said my companion, "or you would not obey such orders."
 The crowd from the pavement gathered around us. I felt exquisitely uncomfortable and tried to pull her arm, but some Scottish ancestor from the fierce and distant past had taken command of her spirit.
"I don’t like doing this," said the Nazi with the utmost courtesy, “but it is necessary. You will be doing exactly the same thing 15 years from now in England." 
"No we won't," cried my friend, "In Britain we raise men, not contemptible bullies. I tell you ..."
 At last I got hold of her arm and pulled her to the car. I did not applaud the lady’s behavior. We were guests in the country and the Brown Shirts were carrying out their orders. The fact that she is my wife [Canadian-born Edith Letson] does not alter my official opinion of her conduct. At the same time . . .

That afternoon I decided to find out what the official attitude was toward the Jewish persecution. The man to see was not the famous Herr [Arthur] Seyss-Inquart, who died politically in giving birth to the Anschluss. He was used as a pawn to get Dr [Kurt] Schuschnigg out, and now looks on while Reich
Commissioner [Josef ]Bürckel, the strong man from Germany, directs the assimilation of the State into the Reich.

But the man I wanted to see was the Burgomeister, Doctor [Hermann] Neubacher, who was the original leader of the "one German people" party in Austria, who had spent eighteen months in prison without trial at the insistence of Schuschnigg, and who had been appointed mayor of Vienna to carry out the Nazi programme.

I telephoned for an appointment, which was almost immediately granted. From the beginning of this trip I received nothing but courtesy from German State officials. The city hall of Vienna was filled with young Brownshirts who sprang to attention on every side and shot their arms out in the Fascist salute. Their keenness was almost pathetic. The whole business was like a new military toy to them, and they were playing soldiers for all they were worth.

The approach to the Burgomeister's innermost sanctum is through a series of rooms, in each of which the visitor is detained for a few moments. Uniformed men went swiftly in and out, saluting, bowing, barking, "Heil Hitler!" to each other. Every now and then an older Brownshirt would emerge with a coarse, sullen face, and make his way out quietly. One felt that there was dirty work afloat, and that he had no time for the military trimmings of heel clicking and saluting.  I was wondering what it all reminded me of when suddenly I remembered. It was like Scarpia's anteroom in the opera of "Tosca" when the dictator’s gangsters are waiting for their orders.

The more surprise, therefore to be introduced at last to the Burgomeister and to find a kindly personality in ordinary business dress with humorous, twinkling eyes that inspired complete confidence at once. He expressed his pleasure that a member of the British House of Commons
should call to see him, and .then ask ed me to discuss quite frankly anything I desired. There then began a dialogue on these lines:
"Will you tell me where Dr. Schuschnigg is?"
"Certainly. He is in Vienna. He is no longer at Belvedere Palace."
"Is it true that he,, is at the hotel occupied by the secret police?"
"Possibly — but he is in a private room. ”
"He is not married yet?"
"No. He would like to marry the Baroness Fugger von Babenhausen, but it has not happened."
"Will Dr. Schuschnigg be put on trial?"
"That is not for me to say. Berlin will decide."
"How long, will it take before Austria and Germany become one in spirit ? It seems to many of us a very strange mixture."
"Germany has always been a strange mixture. The Saxons and Prussians and Bavarians are very dissimilar, but they are all part of the Reich. Austria will come in just as naturally, and perhaps we shall be of great help to the German nation. The people who live in central Germany seldom meet any other nationalities, and they perhaps do nob understand the outside world too well. In Austria we have always dealt with all the nations — sometimes to our disadvantage — but .to the increase of our knowledge of the world."
 His telephone rang. Excusing himself he took off the receiver."Heil Hitler!" he said and then spoke in rapid German.  At the end he repeated "Heil Hitler!" and came back with apologies to where I was sitting.
"There is one question, Herr Burgomeisler that I want to ask you, but perhaps you will not care to answer it. Have there been serious outrages and violence against the Jews since the Anschluss?"
He hesitated for a moment or two and then looked straight at me.
"Yes," he said. "We cannot deny it."
"I am sure you will forgive my frankness," I said, "but in Britain we look upon the persecution of the Jews with horror. It stands against hopes of an understanding between our two countries."
"That is too bad” he answered. "I must tell you that I do not like the outrages against the Jews. But it is not right to say that they were committed by the real German or Austrian Nazis. It is not the best element that rushes into the streets at the outbreak of a revolution. It was so in the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution. So it was with our revolution here of a few weeks past.. Many people became Nazis only on the day when the German troops marched in to Austria. Now we severly punish any outrages against the Jews."
It seemed discourteous to press the subject further, but there was one question I wanted to ask.
"Is it your intention," I enquired, "to enforce the Nuremberg decree that any Aryan in Austria married to a Jewess must divorce her?"
"That is not quite accurate," he answered.  "Any German working for the State must do so. But of course he can give up working for the State and no divorce is necessary."
 It seems incredible that such words could come from a man of such obvious humanity. To dissemble the point as to whether or not one worked for the State was simply an attempt to cloak the savagery of the whole thing. What other employer is there in Germany but the State?
"Supposing," I said, "that a young German comes to you and tells you that his Jewish wife whom he dearly loves is going to have a baby. Would you order him to divorce her?"
The smile left his eyes, and one could feel the struggle between human decency and political policy.
"We do not believe” he said, "that the mixture of Jew and German will make a good race. It may seem hard, but that is what we think. Therefore I would advise the divorce."
I walked back to my hotel more sick at heart than at any time since my arrival in the new Germany. National Socialism had turned back the calendar to the Dark Ages and let loose over Europe once more the elemental brutality of Jew-baiting.

As I passed the splendid entrance to the Parliament Buildings, I saw two sentries with steel helmets and bayonets on guard. It was no longer a Parliament, but headquarters for the German military governor. On the streets hundreds of young soldiers
strolled along orderly and tactful.
Now and then a dispatch rider on a motor-cycle tore through the traffic.

The Viennese drank their beer, indifferent to the scene. The placard pictures of Hitler were looking
shabby, as if the rain and the wind had, failed to show a proper respect. In thousands of Jewish homes families were cowering, waiting for .the dreaded footsteps of their persecutors. There had been over 2000 arrests the day before. Doctors, musicians, journalists were being rounded up to be sent to Germany to work with unemployed gangs.

I stopped at a bookstall to get something to read. Two publications were given pride of place — the. first a record of Herr Hitler’s triumphant entry into Austria, .the other a present-day history of the curse of Jewry upon civilisation. Nothing of the photographer’s art was spared to make the Hitler, volume impressive. Nothing of photographic crudity was spared to show the Jew as a bestial
contemptible animal.
In the hotel I found a young British foreign correspondent waiting to see me. In the empty lounge a dreary orchestra was playing the "Blue Danube." I asked the journalist if he was sending any news.
"Things have rather dried up," he said. “There are a lot more Jewish suicides, but, none of them are well-known people, and I don’t think London wants that kind of news very much."
The violinist reached the end of .the "Blue Danube." attempt at sentiment he began, "Wien, Wien, mein liebes Wien."

Friday 9 November 2018

Simon's Workwear: Shameless BBC

Earlier this week BBC Watch, that wonderfully expert and indefatigable recorder of the BBC's inaccuracies and sins of omission and commission in its reportage and "analysis" of Israel-related topics, turned its attention to "The Mediterranean", a four-part series presented by Simon Reeve.

From the post we learn that Reeve said, for example:
“I crossed one of the world’s most heavily fortified borders. So this is a long walk through a cage – a caged passageway that takes us from the very modern, pretty wealthy state of Israel to the much poorer and densely packed Gaza Strip. I’ve never been through a border quite like this. It is extraordinary in every possible sense and – my God – you look across here…look at the barrier that encircles Gaza. It’s a very forbidding, foreboding place to walk towards, quite frankly. There’s a…there’s a dehumanisation of the people who live here. The whole process makes you feel like you’re entering the cage of the wild animals.”
Furthermore, for instance:
'Simon Reeve ended his visit to the Gaza Strip by telling viewers of this film – categorised in the credits as a “current affairs production” – that:
Reeve: “The situation here is utterly shocking and maddening.”
Significantly, BBC Two audiences heard nothing whatsoever about Hamas’ agenda of destroying the Jewish state – or whether or not Reeve finds that and the terrorism against Israeli civilians which aims to bring that agenda about “utterly shocking and maddening”.
Clearly impartiality and accuracy were not at the forefront of priorities for the makers of this context-lite (especially in comparison to Reeve’s previous efforts to explain the Cyprus conflict) segment of Simon Reeve’s film.'
See the entire post here

Reeve is one of those easy-mannered and visually appealing 30/40-something presenters nowadays ubiquitous on television documentaries.

He sports just enough stubble to appear cool, and not enough to seem slovenly. 

Oh, and his favourite item of neckwear is the keffiyeh.  Which is leftist Israel-hating circles makes him very cool indeed.

Here he is, presenting "The Greeks", broadcast a couple of years ago on BBC2.

 More recent examples:

The Left, needless to say, since the garment suits its own purpose, does not accuse westerners wearing the keffiyeh of "cultural appropriation", one of its newish buzz phrases. 

Nor, it seems, does the BBC feel anything is amiss when one of their presenters wears this, the propagandistic uniform of the anti-Israel movement, on assignment and on camera.

Shameless Simon.

Shameless BBC.

Wednesday 7 November 2018

David Singer: Trump Triumphs as Oman and Brazil Step Up and PLO Bows Out

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

He writes:

Oman has broken ranks with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) by endorsing President Trump’s efforts to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict.

The PLO has made it crystal-clear on many occasions that it wanted nothing to do with Trump’s upcoming proposals.

The PLO Central Council also threatened on 30 October to suspend its recognition of the State of Israel and halt security coordination with Israel.

Addressing the 14th Middle East Security Summit in Manama, Bahrein, Yousef Bin Alawi – Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs  – declared:
“I would like to tell you very clearly that we call, we request and we affirm and confirm that the main role is mainly relying on the role of the US and what the US president will be doing regarding the deal of the century, because we want this effort to be very successful and to lead to getting rid of all the problems that we have faced recently or during the last 40/50 years.”
Oman had in the previous week hosted separate visits within days of each other by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Alawi still continued to utter the following Arab mantra to the Summit – which would not have impressed Trump:
“We consider that the Palestinian issue is the core of all the problems that we have seen during the second half of the last century and the 18 years of the 21st Century. We have to see how we can solve this problem and find a future for a new generation of young persons in this area who can really live with the other generations of this world into the future.”
Conflicts in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Kuwait and the rampage by Islamic State – all having nothing to do with the Palestinian issue – strangely seem to have escaped Alawi’s purview.

The Palestinian issue had not even been referred to once in an earlier keynote address to the Summit by US Secretary for Defense, James Mattis.

Alawi returned to reality when answering a question posed to him:
“How can we involve Israel and prompt it to contribute to the affairs of the region? I am going to say something that I say for the first time. Israel is a state that is present in this region. We all understand this, we know this; the world is also aware of this fact. But despite that, Israel is not being treated by the other countries as it is treating the other countries. Maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and it should also bear the same obligations as other countries. Why? Those are really facts. History says that the Torah saw the light in the Middle East, that the prophets of Israel were born in the Middle East, and that the Jews also used to live in this area of the world.”
Building on this reality is key to ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s President-Elect – Jair Bolsonaro – announced that Brazil was moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, tweeting:
“Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that.”
Balsonaro – echoing the Trump administration’s stance – also announced he will close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia stating:
“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here”
The 22 member Arab League includes Oman, the “State of Palestine” and Brazil as an observer state – whilst the 134 members of the G77 include all three.  Some soul-searching by fellow-members is urgently required.

Trump’s focus on reality – not fantasy – is bearing fruit.

(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”   one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Jewish Voice for Peace and Other Obnoxios: A cagebird tells

Yes, well might CodePink founder Medea Benjamin look askance.

Currently, the estimable  Canary Mission is exposing some particularly noisome facts about CodePink and other Israel-bashing organisations.

See their Facebook page, for instance.

Don't miss the revelations!

Meanwhile, regarding brand Palestine, an oldie but a goody uploaded by The Truth About the Middle East:

Sunday 4 November 2018

Stinkers From the Swamp: Stephen Sizer's "Sad Day"

"A sad day."  

That's the so-called Peacemaker Trust's CEO Stephen Sizer's reaction to the loathsome life peer Jenny Tonge's news of the parting of the ways between her and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign over her reprehensible assertion regarding last week's synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

David Collier observes in his latest analytical post ("In the antisemitic swamp with Jenny Tonge")  here,
"As someone who spends time researching antisemitism within anti-Israel activism, I [Collier] frequently come across Jenny Tonge’s activity online. What I have known for a long time, is that many of the supporters she regularly interacts with are hard-core antisemites. I pointed this out in my report on Palestine Live, and even to this day, Tonge has remained a member of the group....
 63% of posters were found to have shared antisemitic material. When we include those who are responsible for putting antisemitism onto the streets, or helping to spread it, then we reach 72%. These are her Facebook friends. Even for me, with years of research behind me, these concentration levels are as high, if not higher than I have experienced before. This on the social media account of a member of the House of Lords.
These levels reinforce the underlying issue with antisemitism in anti-Israel activity. Whether Jenny Tonge is an antisemite herself is an irrelevance. What is certain is that she is surrounded by it. Antisemites are attracted to her presence and form the main basis of her visible support.
How can Jenny Tonge not be aware, after all this time, that so many of these people swarming around her social media pages have deep issues with Jewish people? Far too many of these posters are attracted to Holocaust Denial, and a support for ideologies of the hard-right. In the images above we have support for David Duke, Trevor Labonte, Gilad Atzmon and there is even a link to the white nationalist, neo-Nazi website Renegade Tribune. How many Holocaust deniers, how many people sharing white supremacist material, do we need on ONE THREAD, before we can call them ‘far-right racists’? More to the point, how can Jenny Tonge swim in this antisemitic swamp every day and not realise that there is a problem she needs to address?
Perhaps the time has come for other members of the House of Lords to force her hand."
Among the individuals Collier mentions in his post are our old mate the ex-vicar of Virginia Water, and, at length, the latter's Facebook chum Tony Gratrex (a founder of Reading PSC and an inveterate 9/11 truther).

As I've remarked many times, Sizer really needs to defriend Gratrex and other incorrigibles on his social media posts, if he is in earnest about his own denials of antisemitism. 

But he carries on regardless.  The pseudonymous Christian Israel-hater Harriet S. Place, who happens to be featured in the above example of Gratrex's posts posted by Collier (there are others) is a repeat offender in the conspiracy stakes.  Witness these posts, for instance.

(The self-inflicted scars incurred by that infamous 9/11 Facebook post of yours, eh, vicar?)

 The reference immediately below is to blogger and Anglican vicar's husband Robert Cohen,

 Stinkers from the swamp, indeed.