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, 27 May 2017

Jeremy Bowen's "Get Out of Jail" Card

The BBC's woeful "Middle East editor" Jeremy Bowen, he of the shoddy reportage ("BBC’s ME editor advances his own partisan narrative in summing up of Trump visit") who offers "analysis" so pedestrian as to be already bleedingly obvious to anyone with an IQ above room temperature, is marking 25 years reporting from the Middle East for Al Beeb.

To mark this milestone, BBC Radio 4 has been broadcasting a series of talks of his regarding his reminiscences, under the encompassing title "Our Man in the Middle East".  It's in ten parts, and I must admit that, when I saw the title of Part Nine, "A Blunt Instrument," the thought occurred to me that it might be referring to Jezza's brain.

Predictably, the series is being hyped on Twitter, where BBC reporters just love to spin their personal prejudices and big-note on Twitter and elsewhere the (subjective) books they have written arising out of their already nicely-paid employment (nice work if you can get it, eh?)

How different from the now far-off days when the BBC was a byword for integrity and for objective reportage, when reporters realised that they were not news in themselves and did not behave like stars or prima donnas, and when, in consequence, the Corporation was deservedly respected and admired.
"Conflicts in the Middle East have deep roots and a lot of history.  Fighters in every war on every side de-humanise their enemies.  They regard them as something less than living and breathing people who can feel love and fear and happiness.  That way it's much easier to kill."
So intones Jezza at the conclusion to this instalment in his series, Part 10, entitled "The Nearness of Death".

In so doing he's implied that the IDF (about which the heroic Colonel Richard Kemp, with his characterisation of it as an eminently moral and humane force, is far more trustworthy than the pathetic Bowen's malevolent take) is on a par with the bloodthirsty warped Islamic fighters who maim, torture and slaughter for the thrill of it.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnRV2RPct1c

In the instalment Jezza, with a softly softly approach as far as Hezbollah is concerned ("a highly effective gueriila force") laments that Lebanese "civilians have suffered disproportionately at the hands of Israel" and warms to that theme for some time.

The instalment, you see, concerns the sad and unfortunate accidental killing by an Israeli tank crew on 23 May 2000 of Bowen's Lebanese driver and fixer, of whom he was very fond.  The driver was in the car when it was shelled, Bowen having got out to do some filming: "I'll feel guilty until my last day that we stopped to film ..."

For Jezza's ignorance see HERE
Bowen has spoken and written of this episode many times.  It undoubtedly traumatised him and for that he merits pity, as, of course, does the blameless driver who lost his life.

But, as I've pointed out before, when the BBC found that the incident had had such a devastating emotional impact on Bowen, leading in consequence to an obvious contempt and loathing of Israeli policy, it should have plucked him out of the Middle East into another zone for reportage.

The incident has left Bowen with an unshakeable residue of bitterness and prejudice towards Israel, and the fact that the BBC allowed him to continue in the region, let alone (given all the controversy that his biased reporting has engendered, not to mention his very weak analytical powers) appoint him "Middle East editor" defies commonsense and compromises journalistic standards.

From that standpoint the culpability for Bowen's evinced prejudice is as much that of the higher echelons of the Corporation as it is his.

But as we know only too well, the BBC habitually falls back on a mantra-like answer to those who protest its unbalanced reportage, its sins of omission and commission, as far as Israel is concerned: namely, that as the pro-Palestinian side also accuses them of bias (towards, in the sense of in favouring, Israel) the BBC is satisfied that it gets things "just about right".

That is, so to speak, Al Beeb's (and Jezza's and Jon Donnison's and Yolande Knell's and the rest of the agenda-driven pack's) "get out of jail" card.

Here's an example of that card, one of a number of messages beamed onto BBC headquarters in London recently as part of an initiative by Israel-demonising activists.

But, as that message, like others, shows, the difference between the pro-Israel and the anti-Israel sides in their respective protestations to the BBC is that we want Al Beeb always to be scrupulously fair in its reportage and commentary, favouring neither one side nor the other, as its Charter and Producers' Guidelines mandate, whereas the protesting Israel-haters want it adopt an editorial line that invariably undermines and de-legitimises Israel.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

David Singer: Trump Signals Abbas Must End Indiscriminate Slaughter of Jews

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

He writes:

The horrific carnage perpetrated in Manchester on 22 May presented an emotion-charged backdrop to two meetings the next day between President Trump and President Abbas in Bethlehem and President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Trump pointedly told Abbas:
“Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded. We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice. Peace is a choice we must make each day and the United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christian and Muslim children all across the region.” 
Netanyahu did not mince his words, telling Trump:
“Terrorism, the deliberate slaughter of innocents, must be equally condemned and equally fought, whether it strikes in Europe, in America or in Israel – or for that matter, anywhere else. And as you said this morning, Mr. President, funding and rewarding terrorism must end.
Standing next to you, President Abbas condemned the horrific attack in Manchester. Well, I hope this heralds a real change, because if the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber’s family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. That’s Palestinian law. That law must be changed.” 
Abbas presides over the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) whose Charter openly promotes a culture of violence and incitement urging Palestinian Arabs to kill Jews.

Article 7 of the Charter provides: 
“It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner … He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation.” 
Article 9 prescribes: 
“Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it”
Article 10 declares: 
“Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution.” 
Every time a Jew is stabbed, run over, murdered in his bed or whilst praying in a Synagogue, blown up dining in a restaurant or attending a nightclub, killed by stones thrown at his car or targeted in drive by shootings, Palestinian Arabs radicalised and encouraged by the PLO Charter to perpetrate such heinous crimes – are treated as heroes, many having schools named after them. Their families are rewarded by Abbas paying them monthly pensions which totalled $300 million in 2016.

Abbas declared on 16 September 2015: 
"We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah."  
Trump told the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh on 21 May: 
“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.” 
Trashing the hate-filled PLO Charter and ending incitement to indiscriminately slaughter Jews are necessary steps in this process.

Abbas will end up in the diplomatic wilderness if he ignores the messages delivered by both Trump and Netanyahu. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

"This is Not Criminal Action; This is War" (video)

In the wake of the Manchester atrocity, a politically incorrect look by an FBI anti-terrorism expert at why political correctness is leading the West to destruction:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZXX2L9s8b4

Donald Trump's take on things

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Muslim Intellectual on Trump's Impact on Saudi Arabia (videos)

Here's pro-Israel British-born US-based Muslim physician and intellectual Dr Qanta Ahmed discussing the impact President Trump has made on the Saudi-aligned Muslim world with his speech in Riyadh:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxaiAjD4sSU

Her take on the term "Islamist":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlAllRa8puE

Meanwhile, the extremist Caliphate-seeking organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, banned in much of the Middle East but tolerated in Britain and Australia, has held a conference in Sydney.
'During a ... question and answer session, fellow leader Uthman Badar invoked the Holocaust, which saw six million Jews killed during the 1940s, and declared Muslims could not separate religion and politic
"The idea that it's so inconceivable is always the case. If you asked someone in the 1920s whether something like the Holocaust was possible you’d be laughed at,'"Mr Badar said.
"Things can, they may not, but they can go south very, very quickly. It’s something to keep in the back of your mind."
He added that Muslims could not separate religion from politics.
"For us, the political, the activism is necessarily and inextricably grounded in the spiritual. If you separate the two, that's not Islam," Mr Badar said.'
 Badar declared at a Hizb forum earlier this year:
"The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we don't shy away from that" ...
 Misogynist imam in Canada talking in French (subtitled) about the subordinate place of wives (vile stuff).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Red & White & Black & Green: Moodey Hues of an English Summer

"Here we go gathering nuts in May ..."


Above: The Richmond Palestine Solidarity Group takes to the streets in their leafy part of outer London.  Look closely.  Recognise anyone? (No? Never mind. Clue below. Read on.)

Now that our old friend the ex-vicar of Virginia Water has cut loose from a rural setting and the censorious eye of the Bishop of Guildford, it's presumably full steam ahead for the Israel-ramming vehicle he skippers, Peacemaker Mediators, moored, so to speak, at the edge of Southampton Water.

And so Skipper Sizer has wasted little time after cutting loose in posting this nasty Michael Leunig cartoon to social media.

Employed by the Israel-bashing Aussie newspaper The Age (aka, from way back, "The Spencer Street Soviet"), Leunig, like Sizer himself, has often been accused of harbouring antisemitic views.

The above cartoon (first) appeared in The Age on 11 December 2012, prompting the following response (quoted inter alia) from academic Dr Dvir Abramovich ,head of of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission [emphasis added]:
'.... Leunig's cartoon takes the noble words of anti-Nazi cleric Martin Niemoller decrying the passivity of bystanders in the face of Nazi evil and substitutes the Nazis referred to in the original poem with Israelis: "First they came for the Palestinians and I did not speak out".
Leunig obscenely equates the actions of Israel in Gaza to those of the Nazis and asserts the people who were once the objects of Hitler's extermination and their descendants are now committing genocide against the Palestinians and are thus the present world's Nazis. I wonder if Leunig paused to consider how a survivor of the Holocaust would react when they came upon his cartoon? Understandably shocked, they would ask, "How is it possible for anyone to compare the organised, industrial murder of six million Jews in gas chambers, in death camps, in ghettos and in open fields to what is happening in Gaza? Why would any person liken Israel's protection of its citizens from rockets to the genocidal and bestial liquidation of the Jews?"
Equating Israeli policies to those of the Nazis has been identified as anti-Semitic by the EU, the US State Department, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, since it calls for Israel's destruction.
.... Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of the Holocaust will know that by any measure comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is a kind of deliberate amnesia of the monstrous policies of the Nazis that minimises their genocidal extent and intent, and instead maligns Israel....
I wonder, did Leunig's "duty and conscience" compel him to sound the alarm all those years while thousands of rockets systematically fell on Israelis, attacks that Israeli author and peace activist Amos Oz called "a war crime and a crime against humanity"?
Did Leunig ever express the "unspoken grief" of Israeli families who lost loved ones to terrorism? Did he liken the actions of state genocides, brutal executions and large-scale massacres of civilians in Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Nigeria, Syria, Myanmar, Somalia and Ethiopia to those of the Nazis? Did he call Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "excessively homicidal" for wanting to wipe Israel off the map?
 Or is this epitaph reserved only for Israel? Why does Leunig absolve Palestinians of all responsibility for their situation and ignore their behaviour against Israel?
....In his cartoon, Leunig also descends into parroting another anti-Jewish screed, that of the nefarious, all-powerful Jewish lobby that is lurking behind the scenes, ready to pounce and stifle critics of Israel....
Criticism of Israeli policies is entirely acceptable and Leunig is entitled to his views. But such cartoons not only poison public debate, they close it. After all, how do you discuss the conflict with someone who compares Israelis to Nazis?....'
(Read Abramovich's entire article here)

If my memory serves me correctly, Sizer has linked to that cartoon before.  The fact that he's trotted it out again, not long after the launch on 6 May of Peacemaker Mediators (whose skipper is warmly commended by a nice but apparently naive clerical gentleman called Richard Bewes here) must surely be interpreted as signaling the overriding direction and thrust of Sizer's new vehicle and into what seas it intends to sail.

Directly above (in the quoted text of Abramovich's piece) is  another of the ex-vicar's very recent postings, this time regarding the definition of antisemitism.  It too acts as a signal.  Tomlinson, by the way, was retained for his legal opinion by, to quote the senior barrister himself,
 'Free Speech on Israel, Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to provide an Opinion on the effect of the Government’s decision to “adopt” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (“IHRA”) non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism (“the IHRA Definition”). I am also asked to consider the meaning and effect of the IHRA Definition and its compatibility with the obligations of public authorities under the Human Rights Act 1998 (“the HRA”).'
Indeed, here's a member of that vehicle's "International Board of Reference," Jenny Tonge, always eager to bash Israel, showing by that keffiyeh how she celebrated the month of May, in Richmond, Surrey, her constituency when she was a Lib Dem MP.

Like Sizer, she too has posted the link to Tomlinson's article (and so, with a suggestion that he. himself, is accordingly exculpated, has the disgraceful and disgraced Lib Dem politician David Ward, not, as far as I know, connected with Peacemaker Mediators, but for whose despicable remarks regarding Jews see here and here

With its course charted and steered by dyed-in-the-wool anti-Israel bigots, Peacemaker Mediators is flying false colours!

For most of the principal names associated with it so far see my blog here
 
Also preparing for an Israel-demonising occasion this northern hemisphere summer is another serial Israel-hater, the Reverend Lucy Winkett, incumbent of St James's Church, Piccadilly, notorious for its anti-Israel carol service  ('Among the guests were [sic] Baroness Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer who was sacked from the party's front bench in 2004 after saying she "understood" why Palestinians became suicide bombers and that she would consider becoming one if she were Palestinian') and its replica "Wall" (see Douglas Murray here and Palestinian terror victim Kay Wilson's open letter here and my open letter to Lucy Winkett here):
"Join us this June for a challenging and thought-provoking lecture that explores Britain's historical and current relationship with Palestine.
We are privileged to welcome as our speaker Professor Avi Shlaim [pictured], Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College and Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. [Emphasis added here and below.]
2017 marks some significant and momentous anniversaries: 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which committed Britain to support a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine; 70 years since the ill-fated UN Partition Plan for Palestine; 50 years since the Six Day War and the start of Israel’s occupation; and ten years since the start of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Professor Shlaim will explore this topic in his lecture titled ‘Britain and Palestine: From Balfour to Blair and Beyond’.
We hope you can join us for this event."
We are told:
"Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. There will be a retiring collection for the work of Embrace. http://www.embraceme.org/events/annual-lecture-2017"
No attempt at balance on Lucy Winkett's part, evidently.  Just a diet of anti-Israel propaganda from a master chef at dishing it up.

I mean, where to begin on Shlaim? Here, perhaps. Or, better still, here, where the psychological origins of his hatred of Israel are apparently laid bare.


But what can we expect of Lucy Winkett, who following part of an all-women clerics' visit to "Israel/Palestine" under the auspices of Christian Aid way back in 2002 took a (premeditated?) swipe at Israel in the unhallowed pages of The Guardian and who chairs Israel-bashing NGO the Amos Trust, which, to quote NGO Monitor here,
 'Supports projects in India, Nicaragua, South Africa, Palestine-Israel, Uganda and the Philippines.
 Promotes a one-sided, politicized view of the conflict. Describes the “devastating impact of: the wall, settlements blocks and travel restrictions upon Palestinian life,” with no mention of terrorism or Palestinian corruption.
Uses “apartheid” rhetoric.
 In December 2008, the group marketed “poignant, ironic” nativity scenes depicting the Security Barrier, claiming that  “this year the wise men won’t get to the stable.” This project has been criticized for its anti-Semitic undertones. This theme is also evident in Amos Trust’s 2008 Christmas Cards, and similar cards in 2006.
 A trip to “Israel/Palestine,” “The Gospel Under Occupation“, scheduled for 2009, is designed for church leaders, and will work with radical anti-Israel groups such as Sabeel and ICAHD.
Joined 2006 anti-Israel divestment campaign along with Friends of Sabeel UK, ICAHD, and War on Want; listed as a member of the Joint Committee for Palestine which sponsored the 2004 event, “Remembering President Arafat.”
Partners in “Palestine-Israel”: The Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, Wi’am Conflict Resolution Centre in Bethlehem, Al Ahli Hospital, Gaza, and the Open House Community Reconciliation Centre in Ramle, Israel'.
And as my header indicates this survey of a forthcoming summer of Israel-bashing is not complete without mention of our old mate Jeremy Moodey.

This former investment banker (Rothschilds, no less), former would-be Conservative candidate and former head honcho of Embrace the Middle East is now CEO of an outfit called Sons and Friends of the Clergy; established in 1655, it provides financial grants and other support to needy Anglican clergy, ordinands and their families.

But the baleful legacy of his time at Embrace the Middle East, formerly BibleLands  (see my post here) endures, as seen in the involvement of that body with the Shlaim event, and he's cock-a-hoop over the forthcoming (25-28 August) Greenbelt festival.

"Great to see Embrace the Middle East and Amos Trust team up with the Greenbelt Festival to focus on Palestine this year," he tells his Facebook faithful.  "Wonderful line-up!"


With the exception of Qaisy, the persons Moodey specifically mentions in that short encomium are listed in the "Ideas"section on the festival's website.  Below are a few of the people listed in that section, in the order given online.

I have linked only to those who appear to have form on Israel and will be in all likelihood focusing on Israel at Greenbelt.  (The list includes  activists in Guardianista-type causes, some calculated to have the average guest at an average vicar's average tea party calling for a tot of brandy, but not all will be focusing on "Israel/Palestine".  These I have omitted.)

 Baroness Sayeeda Warsi Baroness Warsi is an obvious darling of the organisers, for her criticism of Israel and especially her recent demand that Britons who serve in the IDF be prosecuted.  Here's part of a report co-written by none other than Israel-hater Peter Oborne (q.v.) of whom Moodey writes so warmly in the above post:
'Sayeeda Warsi, who resigned her cabinet post over the UK government’s failure to condemn Israel’s assault on Gaza, has called for British volunteers for the Israeli army to be treated as foreign fighters and prosecuted on their return to the UK.
The former foreign office minister, who now holds the title of baroness in the House of Lords, seeks to close a loophole she says is designed to protect Israel. It distinguishes between Britons who fight for state armies like Israel and Pakistan, and those who fight for non-state groups like Kurdish and militant organisations.
In an interview with the Middle East Eye, Warsi said: “One of the questions I asked the Foreign Office was that we have a distinction between state actors and non-state actors.
“If you go out there and fight for any group, you will be subject to prosecution when you get back. If you go out and fight for Assad, I presume, under our law, that is okay. That can't be right.”
“The only reason we allow the loophole to exist is because of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces], because we are not brave enough to say if you hold British citizenship, you make a choice. You fight for our state only. That has to go out strong.”
Warsi, the UK's first female Muslim cabinet minister, said that while public debate focused exclusively on demanding loyalty from British Muslims, the same rule should apply to all.
“You have to belong to something and belonging to Britain for Muslims is a thing we talk about a lot,” she said. “We don't talk about it in relation to other communities. We accept that other communities hold multiple identities. Let's just shut down this loophole. If you don't fight for Britain, you do not fight."....'
Peter Oborne Yes, he has form.  Plenty of it.  To quote Honest Reporting:
'Back in 2009, Oborne presented an episode of the Channel 4 investigative program Dispatches. The broadcast examined “one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel”, directly attacking and smearing HonestReporting in the process.
Oborne and his cameraman even burst into HonestReporting’s Jerusalem office, with the camera rolling, looking for evidence of HonestReporting’s involvement in a shadowy “Israel lobby” operating in UK politics and media. Needless to say, Oborne’s conspiracy theories did not lead anywhere.
Oborne, however, continues his fixation with pro-Israel “lobby” organizations. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he goes after the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) group, affiliated with the UK’s ruling Conservative Party.
In it, he refers to briefing packs on the Iran deal given to Conservative MPs at a CFI luncheon as “propaganda.” Throughout his piece, Oborne portrays the efforts of legitimate organizations advocating for Israel as being of a malign and sinister nature...'
And to quote Tom Gross:
"If only.
Whereas there is a pro-Israel lobby with some influence in the U.S. (though not the kind of influence ascribed to it by anti-Semites), contrary to what Channel 4 and others think, there is no effective pro-Israel lobby in Britain.
The complete lack of any effective pro-Israel lobby in Britain (as opposed to well organized anti-Israel groups) goes a long way to explaining why some of the coverage of Israel in the British media is among the worst in the world, and sometimes rivals the Iranian and Egyptian media for its sheer nastiness.
It also explains why Britain failed to back Israel last week at the U.N. General Assembly vote on the Goldstone report into Israeli war crimes, while other democracies – including the U.S., Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Macedonia and the Czech Republic – did vote with Israel."
See also here

Natalie Bennett  This Australian-born leader (2012-16) of the Green Party of England and Wales is like the rest of the Greens mob a BDS supporter.  The Jewish Chronicle reported in 2015:
'....The Green Party manifesto [has] called for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which is worth more than £1 billion a year.
Ms Bennett, who has never been to Israel or the West Bank, said: “That agreement should be contingent on respecting human rights and international law. Until Israel is in compliance with international law, I don’t think we should have that trade deal.
“I believe we should stop arms sale to Israel. I believe that we should be using diplomatic pressure to push Israel to respect international law and UN resolutions.
“I believe we should also stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.”
The Green Party has come under fire after Twickenham candidate Tanya Williams called Israel “a racist and apartheid state” on Tuesday and deputy leader Sharer Ali was filmed at an anti-Israel rally saying: “Just because you observe the niceties of Holocaust Memorial Day it does not mean you have learned the lessons of history.”
Ms Bennett said she would not make comparisons between the Holocaust and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but added: “When I am talking about the situation between Palestine and Israel, I focus on the behaviour of the Israeli government.
“Britain’s place in the world should be as a champion of human rights and democracy.”...'
Teresa Forcades i Vila Predictably, this radical Benedictine nun from Catalonia (how the BBC appears to love her!) has anti-Israel activism in her repertoire:
"...Teresa Forcades was deported from Israel on Saturday January 23, 2016 as she tried to enter the country. The reason for her trip was a two week teaching commitment she had at the Faculty of Teology at the Dormition Abby in East Jerusalem about the Holy Trinity. Montserrat Viñas, the emerita abbess of the Sant Benet de Montserrat monestery, Forcades travel companion, was allowed to enter Israel after being interogated. Forcades was sent back to Spain after her registration and interogation, but not before passing the night of Friday January 22 at the Tel Aviv airport detention facility.
In a statement given to the press, close contacts of Teresa's said that she was not given an explanation neither by immigration officers nor by security personnal as to the reasons she was not allowed to enter Israel, but informed that her presence there was considered 'dangerous'...."
Read the rest here

Robert Cohen A former BBC employee, he'a a trustee of the Amos Trust and runs the blog Micah's Paradigm Shift. The blog is dearly beloved of Sizer, Moodey and their ilk, and given its content it's not difficult to fathom why.
To quote the man himself:
"Robert Cohen lives in North Yorkshire in Britain and began writing on Israel-Palestine in 2011. His work has been regulary published at Mondoweiss, Tikkun Daily and Jews for Justice for Palestinians. Writing from the Edge broadens Robert’s remit to wider issues of Jewish interest from a British perspective. Expect some radically dissseting [sic] views on Isreal [sic!], commentary on Jewish-Christian interfaith issues and life as the Jewish husband of a Church of England vicar."
Better fix those misspellings, Robert.  And being published by the extremist antisemitic site Mondoweiss is nothing to boast about outside antisemitic circles.

Salma Yaqoob This political activist of Pakistani parentage is a former leader of the Respect Party, founded by George Galloway, and represented the party on Birmingham City Council, where her failure to stand to honour Britain's most decorated war veteran was widely criticised. She heads the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition.  Her rabble-rousing cries against Israel following the Mavi Marmara affair are no doubt sufficient to endear her to the Greenbelt crowd ("We are here to say this .... the days of this racist apartheid Israeli regime are numbered ... We want sanctions on Israel" which she characterised as "a terrorist state ... a rogue state").

Sahar Vardia She is a young radical Israeli who refuses to serve in the IDF.  It is of course significant that Greenbelt is evidently not interested in the viewpoints of mainstream Israelis, but only in those of dissident extremists, making no attempt at balance.

For more on Greenbelt see here 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

David Singer: Trump Must Honour Bush-Congress Deal with Israel

A flag burns in Gaza; For link click here
Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

President Trump’s historic visit to Israel on 22 May presents the perfect opportunity for him to deliver on the promises he made to Israel during last year’s presidential election campaign.

Trump’s broad-ranging foreign policy speech on 27 April 2016 highlighted the disgraceful way Israel had been treated by the Obama Administration:
"Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity.
President Obama has not been a friend to Israel."
Trump’s claim was certainly justified.

Obama – aided and abetted by his two Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry – had deliberately undermined the written commitments made to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by President Bush on 14 April 2004 and subsequently endorsed overwhelmingly by the Congress by 502 votes to 12 (“Bush/Congress Commitments”).

Trump promised:
“To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”
The shared interests of Israel and America became inextricably entwined after the Bush/Congress Commitments had:
1. secured Israel’s total disengagement from Gaza and a part of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) in 2005
2. promised President Bush’s stalled 2003 Roadmap proposing the two-state solution a real chance of coming to fruition.
The Bush/Congress Commitments were also crucial to Israel’s agreement to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as publicly declared by Israel’s then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the international conference called by President Bush in Annapolis in 2007: 
“In the course of the negotiations, we will use previous agreements as a point of departure. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the road map, and the letter of President Bush to the prime minister of Israel dated April 14, 2004.”
Obama’s treachery in derogating from the Bush/Congress Commitments was compounded when he refused to veto Security Council Resolution 2334 passed during the dying days of Obama’s Presidency on 23 December 2016.

Trump needs to repeat this part of his 2016 message loudly and clearly in Israel: 
“… your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place."
Sticking by the Bush/Congress commitments will sound a clear warning to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Arab League that PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas will become irrelevant if he continues to:
1. press for a complete withdrawal by Israel from Judea and Samaria (West Bank)
2. refuse to accept Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people
3. maintain a claimed right of return to Israel for millions of refugees and their descendants contradicting the unequivocal terms of the Bush/Congress Commitments.
Trump – as only he can – has put Abbas on notice this could well happen:
“We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in The New York Times or being watched on television.”
Bipartisan Congressional support will welcome Trump honouring the Bush/Congress Commitments  – confirming Trump’s bold vision:
“We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties – Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies.” 
Integrity always trumps betrayal.

Tack så mycket, Asaf

So that strange conglomeration of Israel-hating lefty female politicians and their stooges in a once envied and enviable land called Sweden have been up to their weird tricks again.  As widely reported, their agency the Swedish Institute, on the hunt for political incorrectness and "hate speech"on Twitter, included Israel's ambassador to Stockholm in their dragnet.

To quote one well-known media outlet:
"In addition to the private Twitter account of Isaac Bachman, the Israeli ambassador, and his embassy’s official account, blocked accounts included that of the award-winning journalist Magda Gad of the liberal Expressen daily, the lawmaker Jimmie Åkesson of the nationalist Sweden Democrats party, and the well-known novelist Jonas Gardell, who is a well-known activist for gay and transsexual rights in Sweden.
Bachman, who has used harsh language in criticizing of Sweden’s policies on Israel, took to Twitter to protest the block, which he noted was not extended to Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have laws discriminating homosexuals and women, and which fund purveyors of anti-Semitic hate speech. Now, that #Israel 's MFA and ambassador are blocked - #Sweden is much safer in reading Iran and others, that were not blocked.@SweInstitute https://t.co/C87XzwTikb  — Isaac Bachman (@isaacbachman) May 16, 2017
The blocks prompted criticism in local media on the Swedish Institute, which was accused of silencing critical debate about Sweden and imposing unnecessary limitations on free speech to preserve a far-reaching definition of political correctness. The Swedish Institute neither published a full list of those blocked nor offer those affected recourse to challenge the decision.
While it apologized for any wrongful block, the Swedish Institute in its statement defended the use of the tool to achieve what it called an improved atmosphere online.
“The Swedish Institute in the past has given its moderators permission to block users but last week it happened on a larger scale” with the intention not only of stopping alleged hate speech but also preventing it, the statement read. “The blocks contributed to increased security on the account and to a significant improvement in dialog,” the statement continued. “But the institute also sees the need to examine the question of freedom of expression and the use of authority” in this context. (See more here)
As the above comments indicate, not all Swedes are affected by the anti-Israel/antisemitic virus so prevalent in their governing circles and on social media. 


And a special thank you to the author of the following tweet:


Meanwhile, in this account of Swedish duplicity concerning a Malmö mosque Judith Bergman asks "When did the Swedish population vote to become a Qatari protectorate?"