Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Kol Hakavod!

JFK, LBJ and Clinton were "unqualified" by the same criteria!
'As we enter 2017, the legacy of the year gone by gives us little room the be comforted. In the so-called "Brexit" referendum, in the rise and strengthening of fascist parties in France and Italy, and in the electuon of Donald Trump as president of the United States, we have witnessed events that should generate within any student of history - let alone a Jewish student of history - a sense of foreboding.
While I believe we should be careful not to make exaggerated comparisons with 1930s Europe, the return of white supremacy and minority scapegoating should rightly concern us all.'

Thus wrote a senior Australian rabbi in an op-ed piece in the Australian Jewish News a fortnight ago that made Trump and support for Trump the main focus of his ire, and attributed a dark racist motive to ordinary men and women who are thoroughly fed up with the duplicity and stupidity of the political elites whose enactments and attitudes are eroding traditional freedoms and putting in jeopardy the Western way of life.

I can only suppose that the above-quoted rabbi, along with certain rabbis in the United States who  expressed similar views, and decried the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier's agreement  to recite a prayer at the presidential inauguration, are ignorant of the external and internal dangers Western societies face and view the world not as it actually is but how they would like it to be.

They seem unwilling or unable to grasp the fact that today's fascists and antisemites are drawn largely from sources other than the far right.  (Indeed, we see Leftist fascism in action, with the outbreaks of violence and hooliganism in America that greeted Trump's swearing in.)

How very heartwarming it was that Rabbi Marvin Hier not only spurned calls for him by certain wet liberal co-religionists to boycott the ceremony but based his prayer upon Psalm 137, with its overt references to Zion and Jerusalem. 

 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nxAi9WEf5g)

Kol Hakavod!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

David Singer: UN Security Council Members Trash Quartet Roadmap and Two-State Solution

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

He writes:

Twelve of the fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council have apparently had a major rethink on the terms of Resolution 2334 which they approved 14:0 on 23 December 2016 with only America abstaining.

They were among those who issued the Joint Declaration following the Paris Conference held on 15 January – attended by delegations from 70 countries, the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Union, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Thirteen of the fifteen Security Council member States were in Paris including its five Permanent Members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

Absent were New Zealand and Malaysia – two of the four sponsors of Resolution 2334.

The Joint Declaration differs substantially from Resolution 2334 in three fundamental respects:
1. Resolution 2334 envisages a region where:
“two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders”
The Joint Declaration shredded this objective by affirming:
“that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace”
The “two democratic states solution” in Resolution 2334 was replaced by a vague and nebulous “two state solution” in the Joint Declaration. Gone were secure and recognised boundaries.
2. Resolution 2334 aims to achieve:
“without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967”
The Joint Declaration more specifically calls for the resolution of:
“all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973)”
The Quartet Roadmap – so painstakingly put together in 2003 by President Bush calling for negotiations to create a democratic Palestinian State – and under which negotiations had been conducted since then – was unceremoniously dumped in Paris.
This leaves no agreed negotiating framework under which to conduct any resumed negotiations.
3. Resolution 2234 underscored:
“the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative”
The Joint Declaration underscored:
“the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.”
Israel had agreed to negotiate under the Quartet Roadmap but listed 14 reservations – one of which required:
“The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based upon the road map will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.”
Replacing the Quartet Roadmap with the Arab Peace Initiative guarantees no hope for the stalled negotiations to be resumed.
The United Kingdom refused to endorse the Joint Declaration.

It is incredible that the other twelve Security Council member States present – especially the five permanent members – could approve the terms of the Joint Declaration that so materially changes what they voted for or abstained on just three weeks earlier.

They obviously engaged in cherry picking bits and pieces of Resolution 2334 that they had rushed through with unseemly haste and now have second thoughts on.

A new agreed negotiating framework for any two-State solution now needs to be constructed to replace the trashed Quartet Roadmap.

The Security Council looks decidedly stupid and increasingly irrelevant.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Outrageous Obama (videos)

Not directly related to the main focus of this blog, but sufficiently relevant to include.  What a terrible president, in many ways, Barack Obama has been.

 
  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvnZm4KbcTA)

 
 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx8hMGKYqWs)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

UnAbel to Attend, UnAbel to Comprehend, Abel to (Try to) Claim an Alibi

Photo: Tom Koprowski
Dr Peter Abelson (pictured left at a Polish communal event) is the Mayor of Mosman, on Sydney's North Shore.

As reported here, this elected functionary has refused a personal invitation to attend the annual Law Service at Sydney's Great Synagogue that marks the beginning of the legal year, informing Rabbi Benjamin Elton that the reason for this boycott is ascribable to Israel.
 "Thank you for your invitation to the Great Synagogue Law Service for 2017. I will not be attending.
I should express my deep personal concern about the gross and illegal occupation of the West Bank which creates intense international division and bitterness and, unresolved, will cause endless terrorism across the globe, including here." [Emphasis added.]
The reply has left the rabbi a trifle shaken:
"Sometimes people decline with thanks, but to receive a reply with a stark message that attacked Israel’s policies ... I’m astonished, really.
The policies of the state of Israel is another discussion. To boycott a Jewish event in Sydney because of the actions of Israel, that’s a form of antisemitism."
 "A form of antisemitism".  That view is reflected in the following from Mr Vic Aldaheff, president of the New South Wales Board of Deputies:
"We are appalled that you would refuse to represent the Jewish constituents of your ward because of your views on the Israel-Palestine conflict.”
He cited the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, a section of which defines antisemitism as “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel”.

But Dr Abelson is having none of that.  
"To say someone who is critical of the West Bank is anti-Jewish is just nonsense." 
 After all,
"My father’s family was wholly Jewish."
And

"There is no discrimination against Jewish or any other race in Mosman."
I wonder whether the Mayor would boycott a Muslim function on the grounds that most terrorism around the world is being perpetrated by, er, well, by Muslims.

 I reckon we know his answer to that.

Would he boycott a Muslim event in protest at the appalling misogyny that exists in some Muslim communities, including here in Australia, where the sexual-apartheid practising Hizb-ut-Tahrir calls openly for a Caliphate, where an imam has just been convicted of facilitating the forced marriage of a minor, and where female genital mutilation (on girls as young as five months old) has been found to be occurring.  And where books such as this are found for sale, yep, right in Sydney:
'Mansoor Abdul Hakim’s charming 2009 text, “Women Who Deserve to go to Hell.” Turns out there are quite a lot of them.“Some people keep asking about the denizens of Hell and the reason why women will go to hell in large numbers,” writes Hakim in the book’s foreword before listing various types of hell-bound females, including the grumbler, the quarrelsome woman, women with tattoos and women who refuse to have sex during menstruation.  “Men’s perfection is because of various reasons: intelligence, religion, etc,” Hakim explains. “At most, four women have this perfection.”.'
 Maybe we should ask him.  It would surely be difficult to pin the blame for those excrescences on the Zionist Project (as rabid Israel-haters seem to be terming Israel nowadays).

 A commenter on J-Wire here observes:
'Mr Alhadeff and Rabbi Elton’s response should have been to point out to this person that Judea and Samaria are an integral part of the Jewish National Home, and were recognised as such in secular international law in 1922 in the Act of Law known as the Mandate for Palestine. UN Security Council Resolution 242 endorsed that ruling by clear implication. Mr Alhadeff and Rabbi Elton should have pointed out to this person that in the 1947-49 War of Arab Aggression the Arab princedom of Transjordan (now called Jordan) ethnically cleansed all the Jews out of Judea and Samaria, including the old part of Jerusalem.
Mr Alhadeff and Rabbi Elton should have pointed out to this person that Jordan’s illegal occupation between 1948-1967 does not diminish Israel’s national territorial rights nor impart any collective territorial rights to the Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians.” Mr Alhadeff and Rabbi Elton should have pointed out to this person that the Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria and the rest of Eretz Yisrael enjoy more civil rights than any Arab in any Arab state.
 Instead, Mr Alhadeff and Rabbi Elton chose to respond in an entirely inappropriate apologetic manner that will merely reinforce the kind of atavistic predisposition of people like this mayor.
 None of the above facts would have influenced the mayor’s animus, but my suggested response would at least have demonstrated some Jewish dignity.'
Perhaps the mayor might consider boycotting his own functions in future, since many Australians would argue that Mosman occupies "stolen land".

Monday, 16 January 2017

David Singer: Paris Buries Palestine and UN Security Council Resolution 2334

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

He writes:

72 States and Organizations meeting in Paris on 15 January have repudiated Security Council Resolution 2334 (“UNSCR 2334”)  just – three weeks after it was passed on 23 December 2016.

UNSCR 2334 had reiterated the Security Council’s
“vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders”
The final Paris communique dumped this “two democratic states solution” by reaffirming:
“that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace”.
The word “democratic” was in fact omitted in the Paris communique in nine places – signalling that Paris did not accept the definitive terms of the “two-state solution” proposed by the Security Council.

The Paris communique deliberately sought to mislead and deceive what UNSCR 2334 had actually stated – declaring the participants:
“welcomed international efforts to advance Middle East peace, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 which … called on both sides to take steps to advance the two state solution on the ground;"
– blatantly failing to identify that it was the “two democratic states solution” that was envisioned in UNSCR 2334.

Paris went even further in attempting to gloss over the obligation for any Palestinian State to be democratic – the communique noting:
“the importance of addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation”.
No mention about addressing the absence of democracy in Gaza – where Hamas has denied the Arab population any elections for the last 10 years.

Paris omitted any reference to the only framework within which Israel and the PLO have been negotiating during the last 13 years – the 2003 Bush Roadmap – which clearly states:
“A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors.”
The Paris communique:
“called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground ; the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016; and the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution on 28 December 2016”.
However one Quartet recommendation states:
“Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles and the rule of law, including control over all armed personnel and weapons in accordance with existing agreements.”
Kerry mentioned “two-state solution” 29 times but never once uttered the word “democratic”.

Israel should now not fall into the trap of negotiating with any entity less than one already democratically elected and functioning in Areas “A” and “B” of the West Bank and Gaza – nor rely on any promises of democracy emerging there in the future.

Paris has managed to bury the “two democratic states solution” in just 24 hours.

The Roadmap and UNSCR 2334 have received the last rites.

Perhaps the Security Council and the Paris participants should now consider the “two-state solution” first envisaged in 1922:
One Jewish State – Israel – and one Arab State – Jordan – in the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine.
This territorial subdivision has already happened in 95 per cent of the Mandate territory. It can happen very quickly in the remaining 5 per cent.

In fact it only involves redrawing the existing international boundary between Israel and Jordan – two states already living side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

Simple and achievable.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Un-Ley-ashed?

Remember the British MPs' great expenses scandal some years ago?

Well, here in Australia federal health minister Sussan (born Susan) Ley (pronounced lee) has quit her Cabinet portfolio in a similar scandal involving claimed travel expenses.

A punk afficionado who as "a high school student in Canberra in the 1970s ... walked around with no shoes, black lipstick, spiky purple hair, a dog collar, and a nose piercing connected to the razor blade in her ear,"  Ms Ley's addition of a superfluous consonant to her given name (invoking for most Aussies the name of a ubiquitous chain of women's wear stores) was apparently a numerology thing.

Before being given ministerial office by former prime minister Tony Abbott, she was one of the most outspoken pro-Palestinian politicians in Canberra, chair, no less, of Parliamentary Friends of Palestine.  (Hence the reaction of anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists, seen in these images, to her recent downfall!)
"When she was just a baby, her family moved [from Nigeria] to the United Arab Emirates where her father was attached to British intelligence. She attended school there until she was 10 and was then sent to boarding school in England while her parents remained in the UAE."
 On 25 June 2003 she informed the House of Representatives (Aussie Hansard, Wednesday, 25 June 2003, page 17560):
"I wish to let the House know that I have this week taken on the task of chairing this parliament's Friends of Palestine group. I pay tribute to the previous chair, the member for Parramatta [Ross Cameron, who established it in 1999 with former National Party leader Tim Fischer as then chairman], for his leadership of the group and the way he has consistently promoted friendship from us, as parliamentarians, towards the Palestinian people.
My involvement in this issue comes from my upbringing in the Middle East and the keen interest in its history and future I acquired then and still have today. As a child I lived in Qatar and the Emirates and grew up knowing the Arabs as open, friendly and generous..."
 In 2011 she was one of four female federal parliamentarians who went on a "study tour" of "Palestine" (the others were Jill Hall, Melissa Parke, and Maria Vamvakinou).
'Palestinians and their President Mahmoud Abbas have reaffirmed their commitment to peace and their readiness for statehood.... As articulated in UN Resolutions, the vision of a peaceful settlement to the Palestine question  is met with the reality that “it has been more than sixty years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 1947, and more than forty years since the occupation of Palestinian [sic] territories, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.”....'
 As federal MP Michael Danby observed the day after a speech Ms Ley made in the House following that visit, she described her visit to Israel as “ten days in the occupied West Bank.”
'Ms Ley met with leaders of the Palestinian Authority, but did not meet any representatives of Israel, leaders, members of the Knesset or diplomats.
She did meet critics of Israeli society - the Israeli Soldiers group-Breaking the silence, and paid tribute to another group of Palestine supporters she described as,“the amazing Rabbi’s for Human Rights....
A bright future for the two peoples will not come through a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State with an automatic majority of Muslim and Arab supporters at the United Nations General Assembly.'
In 2014 the splendidly clear-sighted and courageous columnist Andrew Bolt drew attention to the naive remarks Ms Ley had made on the ABC's Q and A program (Australia's equivalent to the BBC's Question Time):
'As I said yesterday, no more sweet untruths:
I mean well-meaning deceptions like this, from federal frontbencher Sussan Ley:
".... Islam is a religion of peace. It absolutely is."
Really? [Journalist] Tim Blair checks into the Lakemba Hotel to visit the Islamic heartland of Australia:
 A few weeks ago a large crowd of mostly young men assembled outside the Lakemba Hotel. Waving black flags, the men chanted: "Palestine is Muslim land The solution is Jihad ... You can never stop Islam From Australia to al Sham...
 ... Across the road from the hotel is the Islamic Bookstore... Three books caught my eye. Here’s an extract from Muhammad bin Jamil Zino’s What a Muslim Should Believe, a handy 64-page Q & A guide to the Koran’s instructions:
Question 43: Is it allowed to support and love disbelievers? Answer: No, it is not allowed.
...The History of the Jews seems a bland enough title, but the back cover quotes lines from Martin Luther that were used by Nazi propagandists: “The sun never did shine on a more bloodthirsty and revengeful people as they.” The book offers this view, on page 16: No one can deny the fact that the Jews are the worst kind of barbarian killers the world has ever known!!! The decent great Adolf Hitler of Germany never killed in the manner of the Jews!!! Surely only mad people or those who love killing infants, pregnant women and the infirm will think differently....'
[The third book that caught his eye was as anti-woman as books get.] 
 Now that Ms Ley is no longer bound by the restraints of ministerial office, the unanimity required of Cabinet members on policy issues, it will be interesting to see whether  further "well-meaning deceptions" will come from her lips regarding Israel and the Middle East.

 (Meanwhile, for that "Israeli diplomat" issue in Britain that is exciting the anti-Zionists and antisemites see David Collier's brilliant analysis here)

Thursday, 12 January 2017

"There is No Other Example in the World Today of a State Targeted for Extinction" (video)

Still sharply relevant, as this video extract by Moshe Borisoff (with Hebrew subtitles) recognises..

"There were no settlements prior to 1967.  Why wasn't there peace?"

Dennis Prager's brilliant speech at the Oxford Union in 2014 on the "facile moral thinking that pervades our world":

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsBR2nomfwc)

Oxford Union longer version here