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)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Obama Spokesman On Avoiding The Term "Radical Islam"

".... Today we bow our heads in memory of the victims in Paris. However, as representatives of an ancient and proud people, we stand tall against evil because we can overcome it. "The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread" – because truth and justice are on our side. And here is the truth: Our shared enemy is Radical Islam, not Islam and not just radicals – Radical Islam. This form of Islam has many names: ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, al-Shabab, Hezbollah; but they are all branches from the same poison tree.

Although the various factions of Radical Islam are given to local bloody conflicts, including amongst themselves, they all share the same aspiration: To impose a dark tyranny on the world, to return humanity one thousand years to the past. They trample anyone who does not share their path, first and foremost their Muslim brothers, but their greatest hatred is saved for Western culture, that same culture that respects freedom and equal rights – all the things they so despise.

For this reason it is not a coincidence that Radical Islam has sought to destroy Israel from the very day it declared its independence: Because Israel is the only Western democracy in the Middle East, because Israel is the only place that is truly safe for Christians, women, minorities, that respects all human rights.
Well, here is another truth: Radical Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West. It rightly views Israel as an island of Western democracy and tolerance in an ocean of fanaticism and violence that it wishes to impose on the Middle East, Europe and the entire world.

Israel is not under attack because of this or that detail of its policies, but rather because of its very existence and nature. But we are not the only ones under attack. Look around you: The entire world is under attack, the entire world – the Twin Towers in New York, the subways in London and Madrid, tourists in Bali, students at schools in Russia and Pakistan, a hotel in Mumbai, the mall in Nairobi."


So said Bibi Netanyahu during his stirring speech at the Grand Synagogue, Paris, following the .Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher killing spree.

On "Meet The Press" on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough explains why the phrase "Radical Islam", which of course Bibi uses several times there, is best avoided:


 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjP7DQPbFkQ)

Meanwhile, as reported here:
'The head of BBC Arabic has instructed editors not to use the word "terrorist" to describe the Islamist gunmen who murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.
Tarik Kafala told the UK's Independent newspaper that the term "terrorist" is too "loaded," and said the decision was in-line with the BBC's overall policy on reporting such attacks.
"We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that 'two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine'. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is," said Kafala.
"Terrorism is such a loaded word," he added. "The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That’s much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden." .... 
Although Kafala's statement came as a surprise to some, the refusal by the BBC to use the word "terrorist" has long been a point of contention, particularly in its coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict....
However, while consistently reticent about referring to individuals as "terrorists," some have noted that while some attacks - including those against Charlie Hebdo - are often referred to as "terror attacks" or "terrorist attacks", equally brutal attacks against Israeli targets are simply referred to using the the more "neutral" term "militant attacks."'
 See reactions to Kafala's directive here

Monday, 26 January 2015

Are You Sitting Down? Iran Issues Report On Human Rights Violations

Glory, glory, Hallelujah!!!

The Farsi News Agency reports today that Iran has published a report on human rights violations during 2013 and 2014.

Let's give credit where it's due: this is a most noble and long overdue gesture on the part of a country in which human rights violations are frequent and monstrous.

A country that  punishes homosexuals with the noose and is not averse to hanging women, stones women for adultery, persecutes apostates, dissidents, and members of religious minorities even to the death.

And so on.

A country that has now bitten the bullet and exposed such horrific and unconscionable occurrences.

See for yourself:


More here

Sunday, 25 January 2015

David Singer: Yemen Crumbles, Iraq Stumbles, America Fumbles ...

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


He writes:

There are some 60 States in the American-led coalition pledged to degrading and destroying Islamic State – but only 21 – regarded as “key members” were at the Conference in London on 22 January – which UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond described in these terms:
“Today, 21 key members of the global coalition met in London to review and discuss our efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL not just through military force, but by addressing the underlying narrative of the organization, its financing, its flow of foreign fighters, and by reasserting our commitment to Iraq. In total, over 60 countries have signed up to the global coalition, showing the international will and commitment to combat this threat.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry was at pains to clarify why the other 39 States had not joined the talk-fest:
 “And all the coalition partners are continuing to make vital contributions .., and we mean all 60. Whether it’s sheltering refugees, training, advising Iraqi troops on the front lines, or speaking out against Daesh’s [Islamic State – Ed.] hateful, false ideology, we appreciate the contribution of every single member, each of whom has chosen one line of effort or another.
 But we also recognize the need to, as effectively as possible, be able to coordinate all of these contributions. And that’s what the small group that came here today set out to do. The small group will continue to meet on a regular basis and continue, obviously, to consult with the full 60 members of the coalition, who will meet again as a full membership.”
The non-participation of the world’s remaining 133 States in the American-led coalition did not escape Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi’s attention – as he wryly noted:
 “Daesh is a terrorist organization. It knows no race, no religion, no region. It spares nobody, so everybody must be facing Daesh.”
Al-Abadi was therefore being more than a little cynical when he stated:
 “that Iraq is not alone, the Iraqi people are not alone, but the entire world stands with Iraq”
One can only ask: why then are these 133 reluctant States not members of the American-led coalition? Are they prepared to let the other 60 States do the heavy lifting for them whilst they just sit by and watch? Will they only be motivated to join the American-led coalition when Islamic State comes knocking at their door?


Pointedly, the Joint Press Availability with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond and Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi – issued by the US State Department following the London Conference – made no mention of any discussion having taken place at the Conference concerning Yemen’s dramatic cave-in this week – resulting in the resignation of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after having being held captive following a concerted assault waged by Houthi rebels.

Yemen had been allowing the United States to wage counter-terror drone strike operations targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen’s sovereign territory.

Membership of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State was respectively claimed by the perpetrators of two horrific massacres in Paris last week at the offices of publisher Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket – resulting in the murder of seventeen people whilst putting France on a state of highest alert to counter any further possible terrorist attacks in their wake.

The events in Yemen represent a spectacular collapse of President Obama’s policy for similarly countering Islamic State in Iraq – by training supplying and using Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State on the ground whilst the coalition counters Islamic State from the air.

President Obama laid out this policy on 10 September 2014 – citing Yemen as an example of how that policy was working:
 “Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL.  And any time we take military action, there are risks involved –- especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions.  But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.  This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.  This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.  And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year:  to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.”
Could Yemen’s fate herald the Iraqi Government’s possible collapse?

Al-Abadi ominously told the London Conference:
 “Another issue, which is being discussed today, is the fiscal problem for Iraq. You know oil prices have dropped to about 40 percent of their level last year. Iraqi economy and budget relies 85 percent on oil, and this has been disastrous for us…
… We don’t want to see a reverse of our military victory because of our budget and fiscal problems and we have been assured that every member of this coalition will stand with Iraq in its fight against Da’esh “
How long will it take Obama to understand that Islamic State can only be comprehensively defeated by military action undertaken on the ground by a properly equipped and authorised United Nations international force?

Saturday, 24 January 2015

On A Dundee Bus, & In A Bradford Supermarket

The Scottish city of Dundee has the distinction of being Gorgeous George's birthplace and cradle, and it was under Gorgeous George's influence that, getting on for 40 years ago, its council chamber became the first in all of (post-)Christendom to fly the Palestinian flag.  And not long afterwards the city twinned with Nablus.

Innovative folk up there, it seems:


But to judge from certain of the comments, some people suspect an ulterior motive.

Anyway, remember Gorgeous George's bombastic declaration last August that the Yorkshire city of Bradford is and must be an Israel-free zone, sans Israeli goods, sans Israeli academics, sans Israeli tourists, sans Israeli everything?

Well, how pleasing to learn on the grapevine (hat tip: reader P) that Israeli peppers are doing a brisk trade in Bradford, as, it seems, elsewhere.

Yep, this is a pack of three one red, one orange, and one green at Morrison's:


And not surprisingly the usual suspects are getting all well   peppery over it.

Morrison's, they're moaning to each other, is (shock, horror) selling Israeli avocados as well!

Sainsburys, they're complaining between themselves, is stocking lots of Israeli goods, and so is bargain-price supermarket chain Lidl.

Waitrose, too, is not to be trusted.  A veteran Israel-hater from London declares:
"I am tired of turning over the boxes to find out where stuff is from, it should be clearly labelled, I am not popular in my local Waitrose .. but I will not stop"
 Notes another veteran Israel-hater, darkly:
"Our supermarkets like to con us into buying what they want to sell rather than what we want to buy. Managers know that if it is good for Israel it is good for their career prospects."
Grumbles another:
 "Those long red peppers nearly always come from Israel and I have plenty Muslim friends who buy them without a care."
(And why not, indeed?  For very nice indeed those peppers taste.  Too bad that, as a result of the Coop caving in to the BDSers some time ago, its customers can no longer enjoy them too.)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Harassment & Intimidation Of Pro-Israel Students On American Campuses (video)

A very sobering view of a truly unconscionable outrageous situation:


Many readers will already have seen the video.  Hat tip: Leah Kupfer for bringing it to my attention.

A Prominent Arab Journalist On Arab Support For Israel Against Hezbollah & Iran (post includes video)

Dubai-based Mr Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television, former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and a leading Arabic weekly magazine, as well as a well-known columnist on two Arabic dailies, has written the following article in Asarq al-Awsat entitled "How Did We End Up Cheering For Israel?":

Many have welcomed with cheers the sudden Israeli strike on Sunday that killed six Hezbollah members and a general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps who, for some reason, were secretly present in Syria’s Quneitra region.

The cheering for this act on social networking platforms is an expression of anger and indignation, and we’ve even sensed these feelings expressed by sympathizers with Islamist groups.

This represents a huge change of feelings about Hezbollah, due to its heinous actions in targeting its rivals in Lebanon and its involvement in the killing of thousands in Syria. Many of those who have shifted from admiring Hezbollah to hating the group did so in less than a decade.

These people used to support Hezbollah in Lebanon in the past and they used to adopt the Shi’ite group’s political and military agenda. Anger began to surface when Hezbollah’s militias occupied west Beirut during the events of May 7, 2008, three years after the party’s involvement in the assassination of Sunni leader Rafik Hariri.

Hezbollah, and also Iran, have lost the respect and status they’ve always enjoyed in the name of Islam, Lebanon and Palestine. Hezbollah’s biggest fall came after its clear sectarian bias in Syria emerged when its members joined the terrible war there, which has killed more than 250,000 people in what is surely the most shameful crime in the history of the region. Iranian involvement in Syria will also have further repercussions.

In my opinion there’s no doubt that if a confrontation occurs between Israel and Hezbollah, or between Israel and Iran, many Arabs will pray for the defeat of Hezbollah’s militias and the generals of its Iranian ally. This strange feeling, even if temporary, reflects the change in the region’s alliances and political stances.

The hatred held by many Arabs towards Iran and Hezbollah does not necessarily mean they have suddenly developed affection for Israel—that’s another story. Perhaps this would happen in the event of the brokering of a Palestinian–Israeli peace accord that garners more popular acceptance than before.

In case a regional struggle happens, like an Arab struggle with Iran, and Israel is an apparent party in the Arab camp, people will, I believe, turn a blind eye to a temporary alliance under the principle of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” Once again, this does not mean that Israel will be accepted by Arabs on the popular level—unless there is a peace deal with the Palestinians.

We are in a now in a phase where the map and alliances drawn of after 1948 are in transition, and the struggles and hostilities in the region may be shifted in a totally different direction. Iran and Hezbollah may be on the side of the Jewish state if a nuclear agreement is signed with the West that satisfies Israel, which is now considered an obstacle due to its strict stance against American concessions to the Iranians.

In case of a US insistence on reaching an agreement with Iran that angers Israel, the latter could realign itself towards Arab countries to achieve the necessary regional balance. Israel is currently participating, from a distance, alongside an alliance that’s publicly pressuring the administration of Barack Obama against offering any concessions in negotiations with Tehran; however, we can’t count on the formation of an Israeli–Gulf alliance because Israeli disputes with the Arabs of the Gulf regarding Palestine and Syria are not only serious and numerous, but will also be difficult to overcome.


For current developments regarding Israel, Hezbollah and Iran see here

Somewhat off-topic: I admit I haven't had time to look at all of this video regarding Palestinian terror and American campus hate against Israel.  But in view of yesterday's outrage in Tel Aviv I've decided to put it on:

"People Who Deny The Holocaust Are Those Who Want To Repeat It": A Pro-Israel Muslim on Muslim antisemitism

Here's the admirable London-based Mr Shimshon:


As always, keep safe, Orim!