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)

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

"Hating Israel Was a Badge of Honour" (video)

But then this British Muslim, brought up to hate Jews, travelled to Israel (in order to augment his hatred of that country) and found out that what he had been taught was not true at all.

All praise to the urbane, articulate Kasim Hafeez for his candid, courageous commentary, made available by Prager University, maker of many excellent, thought-provoking videos.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Jews Against Islamofascism Brew a Brouhaha in the Aussie Shtetl

To read article click here
In the Shtetl on the Yarra (aka Melbourne, specifically the district known as Caulfield, within the jurisdiction of Glen Eira City Council) there has been a brouhaha regarding Jewish gym owner Avi Yemini's invitation to controversial One Nation party leader Senator Pauline Hanson and party member Senator Malcolm Roberts, to address interested members of the Jewish community.  When the Glen Eira Council advised that it could not provide premises for the proposed  meeting, Mr Yemini changed the location to his gym.  (Its name? "IDF Training".  Its speciality?  An Israeli martial art, Krav Maga.)

Later, the Caulfield Park Bowling Club undertook to host the event, which would be taking place now, Sunday evening, 4 December, had it not been called off owing to security concerns, those ever-tolerant types from the left having vowed to cause a rumpus outside the venue, with Jews Against Fascism (but not, apparently, Islamofascism) calling on protesters to bring
"your noisemakers: your graggers, your pots and pans, your shofars, your musical instruments"
and declaring 
“Australia’s premier fascist parliamentary party is coming to the matzah belt.”
 The curiously-named Australian Jewish Democratic Society, a body known for its anti-Israel views and for inveighing against Jews expressing "Islamophobia," was also among the protesters.
"We protested One Nation because they’re racist and fascist and their Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism and anti-immigrant attitudes are destructive and hateful...." 
 So said one of the Jewish leftists opposed to the meeting.

The charge of antisemitism is highly dubious, with both senators expressing their support for Jews and Israel.

It is, of course, to be wondered why these leftist Jews give a free pass to the antisemites on the political left: could it be because Zionists and Zionism are the target of that antisemitism, as in the case of the appalling Greens?

These  Jewish and as-a-Jew "anti-fascists" are anti-racist but forget that Islam is not a race.

During her first incarnation as a federal politician, in the 1990s, Senator Hanson's focus was on opposing mass immigration from South-East Asia into Australia.  Now, she and her party focus, inter alia, on opposing Islamic immigration and fretting about how it might impact upon Australia's security and society in the years to come.

There is no doubt that Senator Hanson is a bit of a ratbag, and that her views are typically crudely expressed, and some unfortunate.  But, like Senator Roberts, she is an elected representative of the Australian parliament, and if people wish to go to hear the two speak, than that is their right. 

It is also Mr Yemini's right to invite the senators, though obviously Jewish communal officialdom's feathers were ruffled when he issued the invitation through the "Independent Council of Australian Jewry," a body hitherto unknown.

Needless to say, Mr Yemini is not the only Australian Jew who worries about radical Islam, and it goes without saying that Jews have as much reason to worry about it as anyone else, without jibes of racism being hurled at them by the totalitarian left.

How many members of the Jewish community intended to attend the meeting is unknown.  But Senator Hanson certainly has her Jewish fans, and several of them have been articulate in her support in letters to the Australian Jewish News and on J-Wire.  For instance:
"Please be assured Senators Hanson and Roberts that not all Jewish people are so opposed to free speech, and can be intimidated into silence by hard-left bullies. I may not agree with much of your political views but you have been elected to one of the world’s most robust, democratic parliamentary systems, and so deserve to be heard peacefully in any public forum. It’s such a pity that people who want to hear what you have to say, are now just going to hear from the haters, about what you may or may not have actually said, regarding current issues facing Australia today...."
 and, from an evident non-Jew, 
"Our wonderful nation is being manipulated by leftist propaganda. The ABC is the chosen weapon. The ALP and the Greens are the perpetrators.... The media are causing total polarisation and hatred, just as they have done in the USA with the absolutely biased and manipulative coverage of the recent election. Though I do not subscribe to everything of the Hanson view point, I respect her more than ever for having the courage to stand up to a hateful, blasphemous, manipulative and corrupted media.... It is a fact that the Islamists hate Israel. They bring this hatred to our beautiful nation. They should integrate or leave. Simple as that. It would be good if they took their ABC, ALP and Green buddies with them."
But as so often (see here and here), one of the best commentaries comes from Australian Jewish News publisher Robert Magid.  He writes in the paper's latest issue, inter alia:
'To compare One Nation to Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists [as one commentator in the paper did] is totally inappropriate.  The essential element of fascism is violence and intimidation.  Mosley's troops wore uniforms, worshipped Hitler and provoked street battles with Jews and communists.  There is no resemblance to Senator Hanson of One Nation.  
As in the case of those who voted for Donald Trump, there would be some "deplorables" who support One Nation, while many others of its its followers are reacting to the perceived failure of the "establishment" and its surrender to the politically correct mindset.
If we are so broad-minded that an avowed critic of Israel, [World Vision Australia's] Tim Costello, is invited to address a Jewish organisation [Hadassah,  at Glen Eira Town Hall last month], why should we refuse to listen to someone who is sympathetic to the Jewish community but whose views we oppose?"

Friday, 2 December 2016

How the News We Watch Can Shape The Way We Think: BDSer Jake's BBC Take (video)

The London Times of 25 July 1994 carried an article by the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson entitled "When reporters act on their consciences".  Unfortunately, I don't have a copy in front of me now, but from memory the springboard for the article was a recent broadcast in which BBC television reporter (later newsreader) George Alagiah abandoned objectivity to advocate for a particular cause, so outraged was he at what he was seeing around him.

Simpson evidently understood and approved, and foreshadowed more instances of the kind.

Nowadays, of course, the intrusion of BBC reporters' own sympathies and prejudices into their reportage has become, if not commonplace, then certainly a matter for concern, as indeed is the case regarding certain broadcasters on the ABC, Australia's answer to the BBC, its Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill having before her controversial appointment made no secret of the fact that she considers herself an activist as well as a journalist. 

The following 12-minute video dates to 2014.  It features Jake Lynch, the BDS-happy associate professor who heads the so-called Peace and Conflict Centre at the University of Sydney.  In his discussion of his background as a BBC presenter he refers to how "peace journalism" informed his broadcasts, how he steered interviews in order to incorporate it, how the BBC effectively allowed him to take the line he chose, and how useful a tool it is in shaping audience responses to international conflicts.

The video provides an insight into former anti-Apartheid (the real apartheid, in South Africa) activist Lynch's anti-Israel bias and is an indicator of the BBC's leftist bias, and lack of concern for the objectivity incumbent upon it by its Charter and Producers' Guidelines.  (The academic Boycott of Israel, incidentally, raises its ugly head at 9:23).


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

David Singer: Carter Threatens Chaos for Obama, Trump and US Foreign Policy

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

He writes:

Former US President Jimmy Carter has urged current President Barack Obama to:
* betray another former President – George Bush,
* destroy America's reputation for integrity and trustworthiness and
* thwart President-elect Donald Trump in attempting to resolve the 100 years old conflict between Arabs and Jews

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times Carter has proffered the following advice to Obama as his eight year term of office is ending:
"The simple but vital step this administration must take before its term expires on Jan. 20 is to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership."
 The following calamitous consequences for American foreign policy would ensue should Obama accept Carter's irresponsible advice:

1. President Bush's 2003 Roadmap and 13 years of American diplomacy would be trashed.
Endorsed by the United Nations, European Union and Russia and accepted by Israel (with14 reservations) and the then Palestinian Authority (since disbanded on 3 January 2013) – the Roadmap provides for:
 "A settlement, negotiated between the parties," that "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"
 2. Obama would break Bush's following written commitment made to Israel on 14 April 2004:
"The United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan."
3. Any such State would not be "democratic" – its current "President" now being in the 11th year of a four year term – whilst two separate claimants – the PLO and Hamas – engage in a bitter internecine struggle to become the recognised Government of the Palestinian Arabs despite elections not having been held to legitimise the authority of either since 2007.

4. Carter's following call in May 2015 will remain unimplemented and a distant pipe dream:
"We hope that sometime we'll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank"
5. Obama will break his pledge to Israel to require any such State to first recognise Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

6. Obama would be recognising a State which has no legal basis for existence in international law since it fails to comply with the provisions of customary international law as expressed in the Montevideo Convention 1934.

7. Full United Nations membership under Article 4 of the UN Charter is only open to peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter.

No such State is "peace loving" nor would it ever accept the obligations contained in article 80 of the Charter preserving the rights vested in the Jewish people under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine

Ironically Carter hit upon the clue to finally resolving the conflict when addressing Jordan and Jordan's late monarch King Hussein in another op-ed in Time magazine on 11 October 1982:

“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”

Jordan  – 78 per cent of former Palestine – originally designated as part of the location for the Jewish National Home – still remains the key to resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Obama should reject Carter's latest disastrous advice and leave Trump to try and end the long conflict which has eluded all American presidents.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Brothers Grim, Marching as to War (video)

To the delight of the leftist media, including the BBC, a Holocaust survivor approaching 90 years of age has made an impassioned plea for tolerance of migrants pouring into Europe and a condemnation of its rightwing opponents.  Her focus was on Austria, birthplace of a certain genocidal monster, and her message is to that extent understandable.  But that doesn't, of course, mean that her message is valid or relevant in general to what is occurring in Europe.

The many worried Europeans, Jew and non-Jew, who fear that today's mass Muslim migration into Europe, made up as it largely is of men of military age unaccompanied by women and children, is less a resettlement of peaceable refugee families than an invasion force resistant to assimilation, contemptuous of Western freedoms, and aiming for the islamification of Europe, with all that portends for future generations, will not take reassurance from this footage.

It was apparently taken in Hanau, a town east of Frankfurt-am-Main perhaps best known as the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm.

It purports to show a contemporary group of brothers grim, a bunch of Muslims in camouflage gear, looking like a fledgling military unit in training as they stride through the town.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

With Funds from Screen Australia, an anti-Israel Narrative

Australia's publicly-funded national broadcaster, the ABC, Australia's answer to the BBC, is like Al Beeb itself, obligated to be objective in its presentation of news and current events.  Again like the BBC, it is dominated by leftists and a leftist mindset prevails in the dissemination and discussion of news items, with virtual impunity.  Where the BBC has openly biased-against-Israel correspondents like Jeremy Bowen and Jon Donnison the ABC has the egregiously brazen journalist-activist Sophie McNeill.

One of the latest examples of the ABC's bias can be seen in a very recent News 24 interview with the American-educated Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri, who's in Australia in connection with the Palestine Film Festival.  What's troubling about the interview is the partisan ambience of the news presenters (one in particular) in conducting the interview with Ms Masri, to the delight of anti-Israel groups like this one:

But it's not the ABC's anti-Israel bias with which this present post is primarily concerned, but rather a fresh source of on-screen activity.

It's greatly to be hoped that the leaders of relevant Australian Jewish communal organisations are watching closely the development of an initiative that, if it goes ahead as planned, seems set to demonise Israel on screens in this country and elsewhere.

The initiative in question is a doco (that's Aussie speak for documentary) to be called From Under the Rubble, written and directed by Anne Tsoulis, who, like cinematographer Fadi Hossam Hanona, is co-producer.

Blurbs tell us that the doco
"is a powerful story that puts a human face to war and gives voice to the civilian perspective.
The overwhelming majority of collateral damage in conflict zones are dead and wounded women and children who far outnumber the casualties incurred on the combatants.
We live in a time when women and children have limited protection under international law. Zeinat Samouni and her seven children live with the shocking memory of what happened to their family during Operation Cast Lead that saw the father and four year old brother, along with forty-eight other Samouni family members killed and many more injured.
The psychological damage and trauma does not end. It continues on with each ensuing conflict. Zeinat's six year old daughter, Ansam, and her siblings have now lived through three wars. When the bombings begin, Zeinat blocks the windows and tells her children it is only a storm and what they hear is thunder and lightning.
From Under the Rubble is Zeinat and her childrens' personal experience of what happened in the week that the IDF came to their farming region to set up their base during Operation Cast Lead from January 2nd - 7th 2009. Their story will be told through the use of archival footage, footage shot in present Gaza and an animation that the Samouni children created as party of their trauma recovery therapy. The documentary will juxtapose the innocent perspective of children with the harsh realities of war. Through their personal story we as filmmakers want to give an insight of the plight of women and children, not just in Gaza, but in conflict zones throughout the world. This story belongs to them all."
 The film's editor, Ken Sallow, has stated that the intention "is not to make a political diatribe, but a humanist film about survival".

The producer, John Moore, has averred:
"I am delighted to have recently come on board to work with Anne and Fadi on seeing this important documentary come to fruition.  From Under The Rubble takes a very personal POV [point of view], looking at the conflict through the experiences of one Palestinian family. It is a big responsibility telling such an emotive story in the context of such a highly contested conflict.  There is however a lot of material to inform our work as the war has been critiqued by an independent UN team in the Goldstone Report and several books have been written about it including by Australian philosopher Raymond Gaita.  I hope we can do justice to both sides of the conflict"
A UN team?  The Goldstone Report?  Don't they realise that the UN is deeply, probably irredeemably, hostile to Israel?  Don't they know that the Goldstone Report is flawed and largely discredited, repudiatd by Richard Goldstone himself?  Er, they probably do.  (If Mr Moore is sincere in hoping to do justice to both sides of the conflict he will surely insist on these facts being made clear in the documentary.)

I've seen the trailer, and there's nothing in it that suggests that the documentary will be anything other than a showcase for the anti-Israel narrative.

It features the Israel-vilifying Dr Mads Gilbert.

It features  children's drawings from Gaza, expertly animated.  (The pictures in question remind me of those that British activist Rod Cox has exhibited to appreciative anti-Israel audiences up and down the UK; I've seen those, and they bear a degree of sophistication, if you take my meaning.)

It features a quote on Cast Lead by Amnesty International.

There are in existence  drawings by Israeli children traumatised by Hamas rockets.  There's no indication that they will be shown.

 There's no indication that reference will be made to Israeli victims of Hamas terror.

There's also no indication that mention will be made of Hamas's evil policy of situating its weapons and fighters in civilian areas.

A further hint that the documentary is likely to be a prime piece of anti-Israel propaganda is the fact that it's being spruiked on social media by delighted anti-Israel activists in Australia.

Among its funders are Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Screen Australia is the federal government's principal funding agency for this country's screen production industry and, since it's an official body and has generously contributed towards the making of this documentary (which apparently costs $A250,000 to make), it is surely incumbent upon pro-Israel organisations and politicians in Australia to insist on a fair representation of Israel's case.  At the very least, the Israeli ambassador to Australia should be given the chance to appear.

Anne Tsoulis has written:
'....For me, part of the process of making this documentary is also to work with filmmakers in Gaza to help them build up their skills and to assist them to have a voice on an international platform.
I went to Gaza and was overcome by the warmth and resilience of its people.  Zeinat Samouni is a lioness, and the mother of all mothers.  What she and her children have had to endure defies the imagination.   Every day is a struggle for her to feed her children.  Evey day is a struggle for her to deal with their emotional trauma, let alone her own that she has suffered.  Being a widowed single mother makes it even more difficult for her with the stigma attached.  Her last words to me when I left Gaza were, "Anne, don't forget us."  The words are etched into my brain and makes me determined to make this documentary.  Her children stole my heart - they are my children now too.'
And Fadi Hossam Hanona has observed that the documentary
"must show the world what is happening here ... Every day here is a struggle for us."
If so, Hamas can be largely blamed for that.

As we read in the producer's comments quoted above, the documentary "takes a very personal POV".

But as he also states "I hope we can do justice to both sides of the conflict". 

That should be honoured in the observance, not in the breach.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

David Singer: Trump Triumph Requires Direct Negotiations Between Jordan and Israel

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

He writes:

President-elect Donald Trump has used his greatest media critic – the New York Times – to reiterate his determination to broker a deal to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict – suggesting his son-in law Jared Kushner might be just the person to advance Trump's declared mission.

Trump's legendary deal-making prowess sets him apart from all preceding American presidents – from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives alike – who have tried to end this intractable conflict and earn themselves an honoured place in the annals of history.

Instead, their legacy of failure remains a silent reminder that presidential power and prestige is of little value in moving Jews and Arabs to achieve a historic reconciliation.

Kushner possesses the firepower to advance Trump's agenda following this ground-breaking message from Trump's advisor Jason Greenblatt – co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee: 
“It is certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activities should be condemned and that it is an obstacle for peace, because it is not an obstacle for peace.”
Trump's position runs counter to the view expressed by the international community that Jews have no legal right to live in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) – an area comprising some 4 per cent of
have no legal right to live in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) – an area comprising some 4 per cent of the former territory of Palestine - a claim that remains untested in any court of law.

Such conclusion ignores the rights vested in the Jewish People to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea and Samaria under Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

To call the international community's position "a travesty of justice" is an understatement.
The harm such flawed viewpoint has caused in prolonging this long-running conflict is inestimable.

Kushner will also be fortified by the following commitment made by President Bush to Israel in his letter dated 14 April 2004  – overwhelmingly endorsed at the time by the Congress by 502 votes to 12:
"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."
Israel's current negotiating partner, the Palestine Liberation Organisation, has consistently refused to accept the inevitability of any territorial subdivision of Judea and Samaria since the Bush-Congress pronouncement. There appears to be no chance of any change of heart by the PLO to please a Trump administration.

Trump will therefore need to find another Arab interlocutor to replace the PLO to negotiate with Israel on the allocation of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Sovereignty there has remained unresolved since Brexit 1948 - the year Great Britain pulled out of Palestine and left the United Nations to deal with the consequences of the invasion of Western Palestine the very next day by the armies of six neighbouring Arab States.

Jordan was the last Arab State to occupy Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967.

Jordan and Israel – at peace since 1994 – both enjoy longstanding American financial and diplomatic support – which can be leveraged by a deal-driven Trump to induce Jordan joining Israel as its negotiating partner on the territorial carve up of Judea and Samaria.

Without this diplomatic breakthrough Trump's dream of pulling off the deal of the century will remain just a dream.