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)

Friday, 18 April 2014

"Had Israel Cared To Listen To Me ... Would Kerry Be Pushing Israel To Give Up All of Judea and Samaria Today?"

"Jordan has always been the homeland for the Palestinians ....The only thing that is not Palestinian in Jordan is the King!"

Here's Jordanian intellectual and dissident Muhdar Zahran, a political exile in London, in conversation with Canadian broadcaster Michael Coren back in 2012.

Muses Muhdar Zahran (whom we've met before on this blog) on Facebook now:
"Had Israel cared to listen to me three [sic] years ago, would Kerry be pushing Israel to give up all of Judea and Samaria today?"

Pamela's Easter Message

That slippery chap, British prime minister David Cameron, has been addressing a gathering of practising Christians in Britain.

The Church Times gives his speech verbatim; here's part of it:
 "....Some people feel that in this ever more secular age we shouldn't talk about these things. I completely disagree. I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives.
First, being more confident about our status as a Christian country does not somehow involve doing down other faiths or passing judgement on those with no faith at all. Many people tell me it is easier to be Jewish or Muslim in Britain than in a secular country precisely because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths, too.
Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none - and we should be confident in standing up to defend them.
People who, instead, advocate some sort of secular neutrality fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality, or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code. Of course, faith is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality.
Many atheists and agnostics live by a moral code - and there are Christians who don't. But for people who do have a faith, that faith can be a guide or a helpful prod in the right direction - and, whether inspired by faith or not, that direction or moral code matters...."
The Jewish Chronicle  has duly extracted the part of the speech that it considers relevant to Anglo-Jewry, and a hardcore Israel-hater has called attention to it on his Facebook page.

 A keen follower of his, who is also a Facebook friend of Stephen Sizer, has responded:


Other Facebook posts over recent weeks from the same lady (is she, by any chance, the Pamela Hardyment whose intemperate letter to an arm of the Board of Deputies in 2007 features here?) include:

 

Not posts that reflect Christian love and mercy, are they?

Does Stephen Sizer (who as I've observed before really ought to be more discerning regarding the company he keeps on Facebook) really want such a lady as a Friend?

A Coptic Activist on a Manufactured Excuse to Vilify Israel in Egypt

From Dr Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of the non-profit human rights organisation The Voice of the Copts, comes the following not uninteresting piece, entitled "Holy Pascha visits to Jerusalem cause Copts to lose Holy Sacrament":
 'While Jews around the world celebrate Passover, Christians from Egypt visit the Holy Land for their week of Holy Pascha (the Passion of Christ). For this pilgrimage, Egyptian Christians (Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelic) leave Cairo by the thousands on daily flights to Jerusalem. Egypt’s airlines have increased departures to 12 flights per week from the normal four, delivering triple the visitors to Israel for the occasion – an expected annual spike in travelers. In spite of the regularity of this normal event, rumors vilifying Israel propagate throughout the Egyptian press.
On Sunday, April 13, one Arab news website, Elaph, alluded to an Israeli government ploy by reporting [that] sources in Egypt’s travel industry [are] worried that Israeli visas issued for Easter travel are really intended for another “mass” immigration of Copts to Israel. These fears stem from earlier waves of Christian emigration which increased during the Morsi era. However, now their cause for concern is based upon an approximate total of 10,000 Christian travelers – hardly a number to alarm the Islamic establishment.
It is doubtful that Egypt’s ruling class views as disagreeable a potential exodus of Copts. It is more likely to be encouraged if not fostered as in the evacuation of Jews from Egypt during the Nasser era. Currently, focusing on such “news” creates an opportunity to criticize and condemn imaginary offences by Jews and the Israeli government.
Meanwhile, Orthodox Copts will deal with negative consequences upon return from Jerusalem. Church hierarchy is irritated by the pilgrimages to Israel and stresses that Orthodox Christians are in violation of a 1978 edict issued by the late Pope Shenuda III forbidding visits to the Holy Land until Jerusalem is “liberated.”
In a political alignment with Arab-Muslims, the anti-Semitic edict disregards Christian doctrine connecting the history of today’s New Testament Church to the prophecies and promises of the Hebrew texts. The former Pope, departing from his true spiritual role to mix in politics, attached severe religious penalties for disobeying his edict which has not yet been rescinded by the current Pope. The legacy of Pope Shenuda III derived from his famous refusal to accompany President Sadat in November of 1977 on the President’s historic visit to Jerusalem. Subsequent to this incident, the Pope issued a church edict prohibiting the Orthodox to visit the Holy Land and threatened travelers with a loss of blessings.
Whereas Pope Tawadrous II, current head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has not reversed Pope Shenuda’s edict for the more than 80 percent of the 23 million Christians living in Egypt, Egyptian Copts of the Evangelical and Catholic denominations do not face this problem. Their leaders regard travel to Israel with approval of the normalization process between Egypt and Israel following the 1977 Camp David Peace Treaty.
As Islamist regimes of the Middle East slaughter Christians such matters have never prompted punitive edicts from the Pope, which in fact, could save lives. Instead, Christian forgiveness is applied along with “turn the other cheek” toward those who harm you – your enemy. In terms of the 1980 Egyptian Orthodox Holy Synod decree still maintained by Orthodox leaders, Israel is the enemy occupier of Jerusalem, “the Palestinian people are still suffering from the ravages of the Israeli occupation and oppression,” and accordingly, their “Arab brothers” are innocent in this regard. If such is the vision, then logic begs the question, why not forgive the “enemy,” Israel, retract the edict and decree and allow Christians to visit in the spirit of the other cheek turned.'

Thursday, 17 April 2014

They Hang Women, Don't They?

Is there any sight more despicably hypocritical than a left-liberal paying obeisance to Islamo-fascism and betraying Western liberal values as a result?

Consider this extract from a letter that 87 faculty members at Brandeis University sent to president Frederick Lawrence, successfully imploring him to overturn the university's commitment to honour one of the most courageous female public figures in the world?
"Please know that, like Ms. Hirsi Ali, we fully recognize the harm of forced marriages; of female genital cutting, which can cause, among other public health problems, increased maternal and infant mortality; and of honor killings. These phenomena are not, however, exclusive to Islam.
The selection of Ms. Hirsi Ali further suggests to the public that violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam or the Two-Thirds World, thereby obscuring such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus.... We cannot accept Ms. Hirsi Ali's triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples."
Note, if you will, the neglect in the first quoted sentence to acknowledge the fact that female genital mutilation is a crime against the person of the female herself: note the fact that the signatories, to their shame, consider only the effects of the practice on "public health" in the form of its possible deleterious effects on the mutilated female in childbirth, and upon her infant.

It is almost as if the signatories do not consider a female at risk of that barbaric Third World procedure an individual in her own right, as if by some strange osmosis they are projecting primitive misogynistic Third World attitudes towards women onto the females of such "cultures".

Note, too, the dismissive attitude to "honor" killings (yes, inverted commas around that word "honor" should be de rigueur in all politically correct circles, since malecentric femicide is what these killings represent, based on the concept of women as infantile and inferior chattels of their male relatives.

Ah, but what is that document if not an example of the cultural relativist's sophistry, an insistence that all cultures are as good, or perhaps I should say as bad, as each other? 

In my previous post I mentioned, inter alia, the plight of an Iranian woman who is due to be hanged in that hellhole for the female of the species (see this article on the execution of Iranian women), and now comes word that another women is in danger of the Iranian noose:
'Roya Nobakht, 47, presently being detained as a political prisoner in Iran, may face execution for insulting Islam. She has lived in Stockport, England with her husband for the last six years and holds dual British-Iranian citizenship.
Her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, has stated that his wife was arrested while visiting a friend at Iran's Shiraz airport last October for comments she had made on a Facebook group calling the government of Iran "too Islamic." According to a copy of her charge sheet seen by the UK's Independent [newspaper]; she was transferred to Tehran and charged with "gathering and participation with intent to commit crimes against national security and insulting Islamic sanctities"-- crimes punishable by death.
In an interview, Mr. Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News that "his wife is not well at all...she has lost three stones [42 lbs]… and is scared that the government will kill her." He also said that a confession had been extracted from his wife "under duress." As is well documented, torture is systematically used by Iranian authorities to obtain confessions from political dissidents and even from some common prisoners....'
 The report continues:
'Ms. Nobakht's fears are not unfounded. Iran's persecution of expatriates is nothing new. The first known case was that of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who died under torture in 2003 while in custody. Ms. Zahara Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian, was hanged in 2011....
 Ms Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who had left Iran in 1974, returned in 2003 to cover a story about Iran. She was soon arrested and detained in Evin prison on charges of espionage. As Iran does not recognize dual citizenships, Ms. Kazemi was not allowed representation by Canadian authorities. She later died in custody. The Iranian officials claimed she had died as a result of a stroke but refused to return her body to Canada. In 2005, however, Dr. Shahram Azam, a doctor with the Iranian security forces who had examined Ms. Kazemi's half-dead body, fled Iran. He testified that the victim's body showed extensive signs of torture administered over a few days. The notes from his medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing finger nails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet, extensive damage to the genitals and peculiar deep scratches on her neck. She was 52 years old and the first victim of the Islamic regime's war of terror on Iranians holding dual citizenship.... '
 Read more here

The last woman to be hanged in Britain went to the gallows in 1956; she was a criminal's moll and had been involved in a murder.  Her name was Ruth Ellis, and the left-liberals of the day were up in arms; their campaign against capital punishment, spearheaded by the Labour MP Sydney Silverman, succeeded in 1965.

I wonder how many of the left-liberal brigade will be up in arms over the fate that in all likelihood  awaits Roya Nobakht.

In the United States opponents of the death penalty (abolished in some states, but not in others) like to say that it is "cruel and unusual punishment".

What, I wonder, do the Brandeis University cultural relativists who signed that despicable faculty letter make of Iran's penchant for sending people to the gallows, including women?

Will they, and others of their ilk, consider it "cruel and unusual punishment"?

Or, seeing as it's based on Islamic injustice justice, will they merely shrug and say:
"We cannot accept [a]triumphalist narrative of western civilization, rooted in a core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples"

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Sign the petition

From Washington Free Beacon (see below)
"I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women's and girls' basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.
The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.
So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy—punishable by death—to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era? Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform. I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.
Is such an argument inadmissible? It surely should not be at a university that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust, at a time when many American universities still imposed quotas on Jews.
The motto of Brandeis University is "Truth even unto its innermost parts." That is my motto too. For it is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and equality of the sexes."
That, inter alia, is what Ayaan Hirsi Ali intended to say at Brandeis University had not president Fred Lawrence's made the unconscionably decision to rescind the planned honorary degree to give a woman who, in the blunt words of Canadian columnist Mark Steyn, campaigns against "the barbarous practice by which Muslim men deny women sexual pleasure by having their clitorises cut off. 

(The procedure, in all its ghastly primitive barbarism, is graphically displayed in the following video from Ethiopia, which readers would probably be wise to skip, although it should perhaps be compulsory viewing for the Fred Lawrences of this world):


Steyn continued, justifiably enough: 
"Lawrence and the other fellows who run Brandeis are in no danger of any equivalent procedure since it seems clear they've nothing down there to chop off anyway. The eunuchs of the American academy are the beneficiaries of western liberty, of the spirit of openness and inquiry that is the principal difference between us and the intellectually stagnant Muslim world. But they will not lift a finger to defend that tradition." 
It was, of course, in response to pressure from CAIR and following receipt of this petition that Dr Lawrence made his disgraceful, dishonourable, dhimmitudinous climbdown.

Now, another petition has been instituted, requesting Lawrence to do the decent thing:
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born women's activist whose work focused on the abuse of women in Islamic societies. Hirsi Ali was supposed to be the commencement speaker at the 2014 Brandeis University commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. She was also to be given an honorary degree in social justice for her human rights work. However, with little notice she was told by university officials that she would not be getting the degree nor would she be speaking at the ceremony. She didn't ask to be given an honorary degree, and now, the Brandeis' administration has used the honor to dishonor her. We, the people signed below, want it reinstated." [Emphasis added]
As the petition's organiser notes:
"It took more than 6,800 signatures to get Brandeis University to rescind its honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It's going to take that and much more to let the university know Hirsi Ali had many more supporters than the marginal group who wanted her honors stripped. Please share on social media to get the word out."
To sign the petition click here


Incidentally, among the many condemnations of Brandeis president Fred Lawrence's recent cowardly decision are messages on Lawrence's Facebook page.  This one's a corker:
"Dear Dr. Lawrence:
.... I can’t help but think that there’s something desperately pathetic about an institution that advertises itself as a bastion of liberal thinking turning tail and running when a handful of academics squeal about the unbearable intellectual threat posed by a woman who has been on the receiving end of Islam’s generosity (female genital mutilation, a future as a child bride, and an unending barrage of death threats akin to those that her colleague Theo Van Gogh received before his brutal murder), and who is then brave enough to speak out loudly about Islam’s sordid, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-Western element.
Interestingly, you were entirely comfortable inviting (and then not rescinding invitations to) Tony Kushner and Desmond Tutu, both of whom have gone on record repeatedly mouthing grotesquely anti-Semitic statements when they took a break from attacking Israel – which, I might add, is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, one that gives fully rights to people of all races, colors, creeds, sexes, and gender orientations. (Should I also add that Louis Brandeis, the school's namesake, was an ardent Zionist?)
Could it be that you were confident that Israelis and Jews would disparage, but not kill, you for inviting to your campus two such divisive, unpleasant human beings? And could it be that, when you belatedly enlightened yourself about the reality of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s dangerous life as a crusader against the extreme elements of Islam, you suddenly realized that your comfortable little mantra that Islam is a “a religion of peace” is certainly right as to the vast majority of the world’s Muslim, but quite wrong as to a small but deadly cadre that expands its reach by threatening to kill “liberal arts” cowards like yourself, your administration, and your faculty?
Reality bites, doesn’t it? I believe it was Winston Churchill who said “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” You pretended that there was no crocodile or that, if there was, it had no teeth.
The crocodile has teeth, you and your colleagues are fools...."
I think Fred needs tickling up a bit, don't you?

Let's hope that the new petition, whether or not it succeeds in changing his mind, receives all the signatures it can muster, in order to demonstrate a moral truth and achieve at least a moral victory.

Meanwhile, yet another sickening case of Islamic injustice against women is occurring in Iran, the land certain Israel-bashers of this blog's acquaintance seem to love:

Reports the Washington Free Beacon:
"The Iranian regime is slated to hang on Tuesday a 26-year-old woman charged with fatally stabbing her accused rapist ....
Rayhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old former interior designer, is scheduled to be hanged this week after serving the last seven years in prison for stabbing a doctor who she claims drugged her and attempted to rape her.
The case has drawn international outrage from human rights activists, who are fighting to stay the execution. These activists have cast a spotlight on Iran’s flawed judicial system, which executed more than 500 people in 2013 and is on pace to kill even more this year.
A petition aimed at pressuring Iran to stop the hanging has already drawn more than 126,700 signatures online, but has not appeared to sway the Iranian judiciary, the head of which recently upheld the execution order and insisted that it be carried out on Tuesday...."

To view that petition, click here

As for the treatment of (Australian) animals in Gaza, here's a report that I can't bear to read (h/t JW)

Monday, 14 April 2014

"Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) Is A Magic Word For The Jew"

To Jewish readers: Chag Pesach Sameach.

Tomorrow is the first day of Passover, and consequently this blog will take a brief rest.

In view of the time-honoured Seder wish "Next Year in Jerusalem!" and to give non-Jewish readers a glimpse of the seminal, visceral importance of Jerusalem to Jews and Judaism, I'm posting below an address given by the late Rabbi Dr Israel Porush of Sydney one year after the Six Day War, which saw Arab-occupied Jerusalem liberated by Israeli troops, and which ensured Jews access  to that supreme holy site, the Kotel (Western Wall), which had been off-limits to them since 1948.

Rabbi Dr Porush (1907-91)  represented the Religious, Mizrachi, stream within the Zionist movement.  He was born in Jerusalem into an Ashkenazi family that had resided there for a number of generations, and he combined Jewish scholarship with secular learning: as well as possessing a rabbinical diploma from the famous Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin he had a university PhD in mathematics.  Before taking up his post as minister of Sydney's venerable Great Synagogue (served 1940-75) he was minister of the Finchley Synagogue in London.  In Australia he was active in many communal institutions and in 1943 founded the New South Wales Council of Christians and Jews.

This is what he had to say in that address, entitled "Golden Jerusalem":
'.... Israel stood alone in that hour of crisis, surrounded by a ring of modern armour of terrible deadliness, and beleaguered by the armies of seven nations who were united in the hate of Israel and in their sinister plot to destroy it.  The rest of the world played cynically a waiting game.  Is it surprising that we view with a measure of cynicism the advice given us by our friends now?
And what of Churches?  Not a word of comfort in the hour of danger, not a sound of condemnation of the threats to our existence.  The so-called ecumenic spirit, or the so-called dialogue between Church and Synagogue, which was promoted in some quarters, especially in the United States, has suffered a setback from which it will not so easily recover.
Did I say Israel stood alone? Israel never stands alone: “The Guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps”; and the people of Israel in all their dispersion were roused as never before in prayer and in action and stood united by the side of Medinat [the State of] Israel.
....The Jewish citizen-soldier knew what the stakes were, and he was ready for every sacrifice.  And many hundreds of the cream of Israeli youth paid the supreme sacrifice upon the altar of Jewish survival ….
….[We] offer thanksgiving to the Almighty for the wonderful delivery of Israel from danger and fear, for the retreat of the enemy beyond wider and safer frontiers, and for the transformation that has taken place in the whole security situation of Medinat Israel ….
But who can be unaware that our deepest emotions and our profoundest sensitivity revolve around the liberation of Jerusalem, which has been restored to its rightful owners after nineteen centuries of dispossession?  ….
Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) is a magic word for the Jew.  It is pronounced in awe.  It conjures up associations and feelings in our ears that no other word does, and that no other nation or religion can remotely experience.  To us, Yerushalayim personifies the presence of God in our midst, the Schechinah.  It is the soul of our people.  It is the national and religious centre of all Israel, whether in its glory or in its ruin.  Jerusalem is eternal; it can never die or be destroyed.  Wherever the Jew settles in the four corners of the earth, Jerusalem is alive in his heart and near to his life.
 Jerusalem is mentioned 630 times in the Bible, as the city of God, the Capital of the Nation, the seat of the Temple, the centre of piety and learning, and also as the emblem of the Kingdom of God that will ultimately rule on earth.
When the captives of Judea sat by the rivers of Babylon weeping over their humiliation, and their captors invited them to sing one of the songs of Zion, they repliued: "How can we sing the song of the Lord in a profane land?” and they swore, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.”
Throughout the 1,900 years of exile there was never a time, with the possible exception of two brief periods, when Jews did not live in Jerusalem, at times facing great peril, at times massacred by fanatics.
 Our prayers were always directed towards Jerusalem.  Already Daniel, we are told, recited his three daily services with his face towards Jerusalem, and so have done all Jews in the Synagogue to this day.  There is not a service, there is not a Simchah [celebration], there is not a meal, when we do not remember Jerusalem and pray for its restoration.  And when we sit in mourning over its destruction, we mingle sorrow with hope, and grief with glorification, and lament with pledges of eternal loyalty to Zion, as is reflected in the moving Ode of Judah Halevi:
Though art the house of royalty, thou art the throne of the Lord …. O, who will make me wings, that I may fly afar and lay the ruins of my cleft heart among thy broken cliffs … Happy is he that waiteth, that cometh nigh and seeth the rising of the light, when on him thy dawn shall break – that he may see the welfare of thy chosen, and rejoice in the rejoicing when thou turnest back unto thine olden youth.
…. Jerusalem is the physical capital of the nation and at the same time the spiritual centre of all Israel wherever they live.
…. Yerushalayim is the emblem of the eternity of Israel as the people of God.  We would
indeed betray our raison d’ĂȘtre and our mission among men if we were to think of Yerushalayim in secular or political terms only.
 Jerusalem must return to its old destiny as “Ir Shalem”, which means on the one hand “The City of Peace”, but also on the other “The City of Completion, or Unity”.  It is unthinkable that the unity between the people of Israel and its spiritual cradle will ever be allowed to be severed again.
 The attachment of a people for 3,000 years as intense as that as the Jews to Yerushalayim cannot be set aside by international decree.  None need be afraid that the Jews would deal ungenerously or restrictively with the Holy Places and legitimate interests of other religions and communities.  We have proved that already.
…. Our Rabbis also speak of Yerushalayim as the “metropolis of the world”.  There is undoubtedly also a universal facet in the image of Jerusalem, embracing the whole of humanity, and that goes back 2,500 years, to the days of our prophets who prophesied in the name of God that the messianic order on earth would begin with the restoration of Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem would become then the fountainhead of a new mode of living which would lead the world out of the morass of strife, hate and division towards brotherhood, righteousness and peace:
And many people shall go and say: "Come ye, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.  For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the Law from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Jerusalem is more relevant to the ultimate salvation of humanity than Athens and Rome, because it taught the world the supremacy of righteousness, brotherhood, and charity.  And even if the complete fulfillment of this ideal state of affairs would have to wait for the fullness of time, the inspiration of this vision could stimulate now the troubled peoples of the earth towards a more just and peaceful order of life. 
In our immediate context we could in our imagination envisage a Middle East in which goodwill, mutual respect and harmony would prevail between the Jews and the Arab nations, initiating an era of peace and prosperity that would be a blessing to all.  We know that this is the constant aspiration and the constant yearning of the Yishuv, and that Israel’s search for peace comes not only from practical considerations, but also from deep-seated convictions – the emblem of the Israeli Army is characteristically a sword wreathed in an olive branch – and from the unshaken trust in the teachings of our prophets and the ideals of our tradition….'

David Singer On Why Kerry Must Heed America's Five Crucial Commitments To Israel

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.  It is entitled
"Palestine Historical Amnesia Causes Kerry's Downfall".

Writes David Singer:

John Kerry was well on the way to becoming another impotent and failed Secretary of State in November last year as predicted in my article "Palestine Kerry Destined For Political Scrapheap":
"Historical amnesia Kerry-style has been and apparently still is - a potent factor in failed American attempts to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict.Such ignorance has clouded the thinking of many former well-intentioned Secretaries of State who became ticking time bombs destined to end up on the political scrap heap because they tried to undo what was internationally guaranteed in former Palestine ninety years ago." 
Kerry like previous Secretaries of State before him made the same fatal error of ignoring the PLO's refusal to accept decisions taken in the international arena between 1920 and 1922 and since then believing the PLO could be appeased into changing its mind.

Since its inception in 1964 the PLO has never been prepared to recognise the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country as laid down in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

The current Kerry negotiations were being conducted pursuant to the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap as amplified at Annapolis in 2007.

However the Roadmap itself was fatally flawed in its objective of seeking to create a second Arab state in former Palestine in addition to Jordan for two basic reasons:
1. Such a State had already been rejected in 1937, 1947 and 2000/2001 by the Arabs - and Kerry's hope there might be a change of heart in 2014 was clearly dispelled by the terms of the PLO Charter.
2. A 19-year window of opportunity had been available to create such a state with the simple stroke of an Arab League pen in the entire West Bank and Gaza at any time between 1948 and 1967 yet no attempt had been made to do so.
Kerry was no doubt sincere in his desire to end the 130-years-old conflict but so were those other Secretaries of State who preceded him and got nowhere because they pandered to the PLO, which has continued to maintain that every international decision since 1920 to the present is null and void.

Kerry's mission impossible not unsurprisingly turned out to be an ignominious diplomatic failure.

Kerry's political redemption will now depend on the release of his long awaited draft framework agreement for peace - promised by Kerry but postponed on at least three occasions due to Kerry's inability to procure agreement to its terms from Israel and the PLO.

Did Kerry's draft framework agreement encompass the following conditions enunciated by President Bush in his letter to Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004 as overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress:
1. The United States reiterates 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.
2. The United States is strongly committed to Israel's security and well-being as a Jewish state.
3. It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
4. 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.
5. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will 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 is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.

Kerry's imposed code of silence on anyone but Kerry making announcements on the progress of the negotiations can only lead one to speculate on whether these five crucial commitments were included in Kerry's framework agreement

Reports that Netanyahu was prepared to reluctantly sign the framework agreement indicate that some but not all of the above conditions were incorporated in Kerry's framework agreement, as would Abbas's reported refusal to sign the last draft under any circumstances.


Trying to tip toe around these American commitments to Israel would certainly have complicated the negotiations and Israel's probable insistence that they all be included would surely have created insurmountable problems for Kerry in persuading the PLO to sign.


Kerry needs to come clean and put all the drafts of his framework agreement and the objections raised by Israel and the PLO into the public arena.


Failure to do so will leave Kerry under a diplomatic cloud and open to the claim that he failed to honour written commitments made by President Bush and Congress to Israel in exchange for Israel agreeing to unilaterally disengage from Gaza.


If Kerry has indeed not followed the terms of the Bush 2004 letter in pursuing these current negotiations then irreparable damage to his diplomatic reputation will become a lasting legacy from which he will find it difficult to recover.


Another repeat of historical amnesia will surely consign Kerry to diplomatic oblivion.