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)

Thursday, 23 March 2017

David Singer: Trump Can Broker Israel-Jordan Deal but No Israel-PLO Agreement

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

He writes:

President Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations – Jason Greenblatt – has returned from his wide-ranging meetings in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Amman and Jericho with zero prospects of Trump brokering a deal between Israel and the PLO.

However Greenblatt’s belief in the pivotal role Jordan can play in resolving the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict was apparent in his tweet after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah II:
“We agree on the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Jordan an important ally in this effort.”
According to the Jordan Times:
"During the meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty stressed the US role in ending the stalemate in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and reviving negotiations that should lead to a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict, based on the two-state formula.He asserted that reaching a just deal of a comprehensive peace that includes establishing a Palestinian state will reflect on efforts to achieve peace, security and stability in the region.” 
King Abdullah is whistling in the wind in believing another Arab state could still be established – in addition to Jordan – in the territory comprised in the Mandate for Palestine where Israel presently exercises sovereignty in 17 per cent and Jordan 77 per cent – whilst sovereignty remains undetermined in the last 6 per cent – the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO to create that second Arab State have extended over the last 24 years and been dormant since April 2014.

Those negotiations have failed because Israel and the PLO have been unable to resolve core demands despite two offers having been made by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to cede its claims in over 90 per cent of the West Bank. Israel’s unmet demands are that:
1. The PLO recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people
2. The major Jewish settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria be incorporated into the boundaries of Israel
3. Israel retains security control over the Jordan Valley
4. Jerusalem remains the eternal undivided capital of Israel
5. Any such State be demilitarized
The PLO’s unmet demands are that:
1. The Palestinian State be granted sovereignty over all of the territory of the West Bank with its capital being located in East Jerusalem.
2. All Jewish settlements located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem be dismantled and their inhabitants be removed.
3. Palestinian Arab refugees who fled the 1948 Arab invasion of Western Palestine be allowed to return and settle in Israel.
Trumps’s ability to cut a deal in the face of these irreconcilable differences is severely hampered by the written commitments made to Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon by President Bush on 14 April 2004 and overwhelmingly endorsed by the US House of Representatives by 407:9 and Senate 95:3.

Those commitments – given to Israel to secure Israel’s total withdrawal from Gaza and four Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria – back Israel’s above demands in any negotiations with the PLO.It seems inconceivable that Trump – the master deal-maker – would consider reneging on the Bush- Congress-Sharon deal.

If he did, Israel would not resume negotiations with the PLO.

If he doesn’t, the PLO would not resume negotiations with Israel.

If Trump wants to do a deal, he needs Jordan to come to the party and enter into direct negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty in the West Bank between Jordan and Israel – virtually completing the original two-state formula envisaged in 1922 by Article 25 of the League of Nations Mandate.

Greenblatt’s meeting with King Abdullah is a possible pointer to getting such negotiations underway.

Trump’s undoubted brokering skills can ensure such negotiations happen.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ...

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

So observed the French wit Alphonse Karr in 1849.

Looking through a newspaper collection recently for something entirely unrelated to the Middle East, I spotted the following, and thought of that phrase, though on second thoughts maybe it's not so apt, given that certain trends in history roll on and gain momentum.

Edinburgh Evening News, 22 March 1902:

Wanatah [Indiana] Mirror, 25 January 1912:

Ibid.  Opening paragraphs in close-up:

Bedford [UK] Daily Mail, 4 June 1912 (is this what drives Viktor Orban?):

The Globe [UK], 28 November 1913):

Daily Mirror [UK], 2 June 1914

Cambridge [UK] Independent Press, 10 December 1915:

I'm sure there are a lot more where those came from.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East some things have stayed the same since the 7th century, as this fine article observes:
True peace requires addressing the deep sources of the conflict. Those lay with the Arab and Muslim reaction to the return of the Jewish people to powerful sovereignty in their ancient homeland. As far as Muslim theology and Arab practice were concerned, the Jews were non-believers, only to be tolerated, never as equals. They should have never been allowed to undermine Muslim rule over the lands, which the Jews claimed as their homeland, but the Arabs viewed as exclusively theirs since conquering them in the seventh century.
The return of the Jewish people to restored sovereignty in their ancient homeland, required Arabs and Muslims to accept that a people, whom they have for centuries treated as inferiors, worthy of contempt, were now claiming equality and exercising power in their midst.
This historical “Chutzpah” is what drove the Arab League to violently reject any kind of plan that would grant the Jewish people equal sovereignty over any part of “Muslim land”​, free from their control. This unnatural historical development, in Arab eyes, led Arab governments to take revenge and forcefully expel hundreds of thousands of Jews, living in their midst, often in communities predating the birth of Islam, just after the establishment of the State of Israel.
It is also the reason why Arab states kept the Arabs who were displaced during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and their millions of descendants, ​ as perpetual “refugees” – to deprive the Jewish state of legitimacy and peace.  It is the reason that even after losing repeated military wars against the State of Israel, Arab countries have continued their diplomatic and economic war against it to this day. Even Jordan and Egypt, that have signed nominal peace agreements with Israel, have more of a ‘mutual non-attack’ agreements, rather than genuine peace.
The animosity to the concept of the Jewish sovereignty in the Arab Middle East is simply too big. This attitude towards the Jewish state is an Arab – and Muslim – issue, and not only a Palestinian one. The Palestinians have been at the forefront of this Arab and Muslim intolerance, but they are not its creators. They are the thin end of the wedge by which the Arab and Muslim world wages its war against a sovereign Jewish people.
If the word peace is ever to truly describe the situation between Israel and its neighbors, it requires the Arab and Muslim world to address the roots of their intolerance. It requires them to accept the Jews as their equals and as an indigenous people who have come home. This was always too large a task to be undertaken by the Palestinians. Only Arabs and Muslims together can legitimize a different theological interpretation of the Jewish presence in their midst: no longer inferiors and no longer foreigners. In doing so, they can enable and legitimize practical solutions in Jerusalem that accept the centrality of the city to the Jewish people, and to the manufactured problem of the “refugees”, by finally rehabilitating them and absorbing them as fellow Arabs...."
And as the Palestinian envoy to Iran, Salah Zawawi, reminds us in a recent interview on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV:
"Our war is not only with this Zionist enemy. We are fighting a 100-year-old Western enterprise, which is ongoing. This enterprise does not target a part of Palestine, or even Palestine in its entirety. Its goal is to establish the Greater Israel, which would control disintegrated Arab and Islamic countries, and indeed, this is happening today in our Islamic world. ...This way, our enemy along with its defenders and masters, would complete their plan to turn us into servants, if not slaves, in this region, and to plunder our resources.
When they talk about the signing of the nuclear agreement and whatever, they are truly terrified. If Iran produces a nuclear bomb - and I pray to Allah that Iran will produce 1,000 nuclear bombs - it will not be directed against any Arab or Islamic country. It will be used to defend, at the very least, the Islamic republic and its principles."
Moreover, to quote a commenter on this article

"I have degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. I've spent more time than I care to recall studying Islam and its adherents. I've lectured Army and DIA personnel on Salafist terrorism.
Islam has never, ever been a 'byword for benign enlightenment.' It has always, from its triumph at Yathrib, been a religion of oppression, slavery, and war. That reformers occasionally exist does not rescue the faith from the weight of its history. And note that the reformers always fail.
Reason #1: Reform is bid'a (innovation), and bid'a is heresy, and willing heresy is apostasy, and Muslim apostates are put to death."
A commenter in response:
'Excellent post but, "And note that the reformers always fail." is not true. I think what you mean is that the peaceful ones always fail, which is true. When Islam was pacified by the influence and strength of Western culture it was denatured and mutated into something quite different. Now the reformists are trying to purge the Munafiqun (the hypocrites) from their community and purify the faith into one strong, tight fist with which to smash the infidels into submission... just as Abu Bakr (The Sword of Allah) did during the Apostasy Wars. Islam goes through these undulating waves of dilution (under the influence of kaffir civilisations) and then purification, by reformists trying to return to the original source material found in the Hadith and Quran; the terrorist organisations are simply the peak of the iceberg in a much larger movement in the Islamic world.
Sadly, the reformists are winning.'
Original Commenter:
"I don't disagree, but Khālid ibn al-Walīd was called Sword of Allah, not Abu Bakr."

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Milady's Cobber Down Under

I saw this observation by David Collier

and (although not directly related to the subject of the Beyond the Great Divide Post  to which David links) I thought of this, by a friend, from their mutual student days, of Baroness Tonge.

From London, retired, and resident in Western Australia, this son of Jewish parents writes:

Mr Garcia-Webb is good at a phrase, and in retirement he authors "social fiction," fiction as a vehicle for social commentary, which often in his  case constitutes propaganda against Israel, sometimes narrated by imaginary Palestinians.  Not surprisingly,  the baroness has left comments appreciative of his work.

Examples of his oeuvre:

Here (written in 2015):
No one aged less than 67 years has lived in peace in Gaza
“What does it mean, to live in peace?” Jala had asked that question innumerable times, starting when she was only only three. “Perhaps you will understand when you are older,” her loving parents had explained....
 Here (written the same year):
 "....It is essential, I have decided, to allow them to think they are winning. To be cocky, or to spit in their eye leads to even worse torture. If they are annoyed, they torture prisoners to death. You may have read of them. They hang themselves. Or die from a mysterious illness despite the very best Israeli medical care....
 Here (likewise):
"Had I ever thought, really thought, considered in depth, agonized, sat on dilemma’s piercing horns, what single thing I wanted most of all in life? Health, wealth, better eyesight or hearing, less pain, to be young again, happiness, improved memory. Or more broadly, an end to world hunger, climate change, war, famine. More narrow the overthrow of the 1%, an end to occupation of Palestine, the collapse of US hegemony, a world without politicians exploiting pseudo-terrorism controlling every day to day thought and action. Democracy. Peace. Death"
Here, 2015 again (the narrator is female):
 '....In January 2012, the national Union of Israeli Students became a full time partner in the government controlled spread of Israeli propaganda. Student were to be paid $2,000 to spend five hours a week spreading pro-Israeli propaganda online. Propaganda is rather an elastic term. They were also paid to be internet trolls. I had been labelled an anti-Semite many times by then. Initially my response was to laugh. Did they not realise that deliberately and falsely labelling a person as an anti-Semite actually denigrated what it was to be Jewish? Sometimes the attacks were simply name calling. On other occasions they threatened bodily harm. It got worse whenever Israel’s attacks on Palestinians got worse, since that would normally be an occasion for me to write an article on the subject. Hate mail really poured in during the atrocities of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza summer of 2014. For the first time I began to take the hate mail seriously. Sometimes I found myself using reflections in shop windows to check if anyone was following me. Sometimes I awoke suddenly at night trembling at a sound I thought I had heard.
 Then came the elections in Israel. Netanyahu was returned but with a diminished power base. As he manoeuvered to make a government he descended further into what I had for some time labelled as a psychopathic state. The key to what happened next lay in the revelations to the ordinary public that the US, the UK and Israel has worked together to turn the initial student uprising in Syria into a war that would kill over 200,000, injure over a million and displace 7.6 million people. Even worse, if that were possible, Israel funded ISIS at the same time as the US and others claimed to be attacking it. I wrote a number of articles on this theme.
 The shifting levels of darkness jolted and a clear patch opened to revel a conversation between two men. One I somehow knew was from the Mossad. The other was unidentifiable, but spoke with an Australian accent....
 The first time they detained me a car pulled up, two men jumped out, put a sack over my head and manhandled me into the back of the car. I felt a needle in my thigh and woke up in a dark cell. The interrogation that followed was so low key that it should have been laughable. They wanted me to confess to being a terrorist but obviously had no evidence at all. They released me in the backstreets of Perth in the small hours of the morning. When I got back to my flat, I found it trashed. My clothes were everywhere, milk and broken eggs covered the kitchen floor, plates and glasses had been thrown against the walls. Written across the bathroom mirror in red lipstick were the words. “Remember bitch, you can’t tell anyone or it’s 5 years jail”.
 It happened again about a week later. This time the interrogation was tougher. When I got home I found that the flat had been trashed again. The fourth time it happened was two days before I died. I woke up in the small hours again wondering what the noise had been. I reached for the bedside light an turned it on. There were two men in the room. “Come on bitch, it’s time for another car ride.” I screamed and felt the familiar needle in the thigh....
 After a while the door opened. A hand reached in and grabbed my hair and pulled me out of the room, the floor smeared with blood as the rough concrete did its job. A hand reached between my thighs. I looked him in the eye. “Later.” He smiled and frogmarched my down the corridor to another room.
 This was the same room they always used for interrogations. But there was no desk. I was strapped down onto a slab and the torture began in earnest. In the darkness the pain returned in crippling waves. I tried to scream but there was no sound. Just pain, waves and waves of pain....'
 Here, written in 2016 but set sometime in the near future:
"....Overseas, things were a little more complex. Israel now belonged to the right wing Zionists. There were precious few Palestinians alive in the West Bank. Most had been forcibly transferred to the Gaza ghetto where they hovered on the brink of starvation if not extinction. Sufficient food and electricity was allowed for them to stay alive, but not for them to prosper let alone mount a serious revolt. Any spark of resistance was met with Lockheed F-35 fighter jets dropping DIME weapons and cluster bombs. Both the jets and the weapons were paid for by US tax payers; Israel had long since become the major recipient of US overseas aid.
The US propaganda media, which was most of the media, described it as the successful implementation of a two state policy and praised the Administration for helping Israel solve the Palestinian problem..."
The leftwing Mr Garcia-Webb is also a  presence on social media.
Here's just a sample of his what he's posted on Twitter:

Thursday, 16 March 2017

David Singer: Netanyahu Sends Clear Message to Trump, Putin, May and UN

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

He writes:

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has had a busy week meeting with UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson in Jerusalem, President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and then back to Jerusalem for a five hour meeting with President Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations – Jason Greenblatt.

The framework for these meetings was set by Netanyahu – who told Johnson:
“It’s evident that we agree on most things, but not on all things. And one of the things, I think the source of it when you analyze a problem, get to its roots and reason that we haven’t had peace for a hundred years is not the settlements, but the persistent refusal to recognize a nation-state for the Jewish people in any boundary. I think if you want to solve a problem, go to the core of the problem, and that is something I look forward to discussing with you further.”
Netanyahu’s claim is substantiated by the following facts:
1. Settlements were not the problem when the first two-state solution was proposed by article 25 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922.
That solution – which envisaged allocating the Arabs 78 per cent of Mandatory Palestine [Transjordan] and the Jews the remaining 22 per cent – was rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.
Iran – one of the 51 States then unanimously endorsing the Jewish people’s legal right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine – now seeks to destroy the Jewish State in 2017.
2. Settlements were not the problem in 1937 when the Peel Commission recommended partition of the territory of the Mandate into one Jewish State and one Arab State – again rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.
3. Transjordan remained part of the Mandate for Palestine until Great Britain granted it independence on 22 March 1946. 78 per cent of the Mandate territory was thus irrevocably transformed into an exclusive Arabs-only State contrary to Article 5 of the Mandate.
4. The United Nations recommendation to partition the remaining 22 per cent of the Mandate territory into one Arab State and one Jewish State in November 1947 was again rejected by the Arabs and accepted by the Jews – culminating in Western Palestine being invaded in May 1948 by six Arab armies and the forcible eviction of all Jews living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. 
5. Settlements were not the problem between 1948 and 1967 when another Arab State could have been created with the stroke of an Arab League pen in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza whilst not one Jew lived there.
6. Offers by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to another Arab State being created in Gaza and the West Bank were rejected by the Arabs.
7. In December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 declared that the Jewish Quarter and Kotel in East Jerusalem, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem were “occupied Palestinian territory”.
UK and Russia shamefully failed to veto this Resolution.
8. Gaza is ruled by Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization governs Areas A and B of the West Bank. Both have held onto power without holding elections since 2006. Both refuse to recognize a Jewish nation-state in any boundaries.
Johnson told Netanyahu:
“I first visited [Israel] when I was – as I never tire of telling you – when I was 18.”
Netanyahu should never tire of telling world leaders that the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict will not be resolved until the Arabs recognise the right of the Jewish People to their own independent State.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Moodey Views: Bile behind the smile

It seems our old friend, the smiley Jeremy Moodey, is stepping down as head honcho of the NGO Embrace the Middle East (formerly BibleLands) for pastures new.

He  leaves the NGO a nasty legacy of Israel-demonisation:
'While Embrace the Middle East runs schools, and organizes educational programming and other community development initiatives, it promotes an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization and Israeli aggression.
Endorsed the Kairos Palestine document, which promotes BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) and denies Jewish historical connections to Israel. 
CEO Jeremy Moody [sic] has called Zionism “an incoherent and racist theology.”
Moody posted a July 9, 2015 tweet endorsing BDS, stating: “Ten years of #BDS against Israel’s occupation of #Palestine. Major achievements for a movement that is now mainstream.”Moody sent an October 2013 letter to The Methodist Observer “explaining why Embrace the Middle East is encouraging Christians to consider BDS as a non-violent tool to end the occupation.”
Posted an August 17, 2015 tweet alleging, “The reality of Israeli settler- colonialism in #Palestine: bulldozers demolish ancient olive trees nr Bethlehem today.”
Embrace the Middle East published an “Advent Services Resource Pack,” which links “the familiar Christmas story to the stories of those living in the lands of the Bible TODAY,” in an attempt to exploit religious symbols and narratives to demonize Israel.
Publishes lesson plans for teachers to use in schools. One, on the theme of “Walls,” attempts to explain “the difficulties some Palestinian children have in getting to school” due to the security barrier. The lesson plan promotes the Palestinian narrative of victimization and Israeli aggression, while ignoring that the security barrier was constructed in response to a prolonged and brutal suicide bombing campaign by Palestinians groups against Israeli civilians.
Co-signed an August 2015 campaign, calling on world leaders “to press the Israeli government to lift the blockade on Gaza,” while altogether omitting that the blockade was implemented in an effort to stop Palestinian terrorists from smuggling of weapons and rockets into Gaza that would later be used to target Israeli civilians. Co-signatories include a number of other highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict: Broederlijk Delen, Christian Aid, CCFD, Diakonia, French Platform of NGOs for Palestine, Heinrich Boll Foundation Palestine, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Medico International, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian People’s Aid, Oxfam, Pax Christi, Physicians for Human Rights, Trocaire, Lutheran World Federation, World Vision, and others.'
See more, with links, here

The most cursory glance at Mr Moodey's Twitter page indicates just how one tiny sliver of a country in the Middle East, that belonging to da Joos, tends to occupy his thoughts, and not in a pleasant way.

He's also got his boxer shorts in a twist over definitions of antisemitism, ventilating his views in a letter to a Church of England newspaper  (image on Twitter: the letter, that is, not the boxer shorts).

I wonder whether he would question Muslim definitions of Islamophobia.  (Nah, I don't think so!)

The most recent (at the time I type this) tweet of his relates to Stephen Sizer, whom he's always prone to defend.

That tweet's similar to what Mr Moodey's posted on Facebook (at left, above).

Only the tweet lacks the readers' comments which, though not without challenge from fair-minded folk, trivialise and at least on the part of one Sizer fan, actually deny that the vicar ever linked to that notorious "Israel did 9/11" article in the first place!

Former Foreign Office diplomat Mr Moodey, in his "valedictory despatch" to his NGO, can't resist a parting shot at Israel, heaping upon it most if not all  of the blame for the plight of Christians suffering under the jackboot of Hamas:
"The last seven years have been tumultuous for the region. The so-called Arab Spring, which began in 2011 brought about the downfall of regimes in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia; The terrible war in Syria, the most violent and catastrophic conflict for at least a generation; Another brutal, unnecessary war in Yemen.
A succession of wars in Gaza and the effective collapse of any meaningful peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The apparent abandonment by President Donald Trump of the ‘two-state solution’ in Israel/Palestine, without any obvious plan for what alternative solution to put in its place. The ongoing violence in Iraq and the emergence, seemingly from nowhere, of extreme Islamism in the form of ISIS, or Da’esh as many prefer to call it.
Meanwhile the historic Christian communities of the region have suffered: Persecuted by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, subjected to attacks on their churches and cathedrals in Egypt, humiliated and oppressed by occupation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The situation in Gaza is perhaps a microcosm of the wider region. When I arrived as CEO of what was then BibleLands in 2009, the tiny Christian community in Gaza totalled around 1,500. Today that community numbers barely 1,000, as Palestinian Christian families emigrate to escape the blockade and violence, and possibly also Islamist rule in the form of Hamas. At this rate of attrition, the last Palestinian Christian will leave Gaza in just over a decade."
Now let's hear from a specialist in tracing the plight of Christians in the Middle East, a man, writing last year, who knows exactly where the blame for their persecution in Gaza belongs:
'The plight of Christians living in Gaza under the Palestinian authority continues to worsen. According to a new Arabic language report, recent years have “witnessed a critical upsurge against the Christians,” who only amount to approximately 2,500 people—surrounded by approximately 1.5 million Muslims. Local authorities have abandoned the tiny minority to Islamist elements who have “placed great and continuous pressure” on the Christians.
“At times we hear of the bombing of a Christian bookshop and assaults on churches and other Christian institutions; other times we hear of the kidnapping of Christians and the coercion of them to embrace the religion of Muhammad,” says the report.
In mid October, Christians in Gaza led a protest, calling for the return of their kidnapped children and loved ones. They held up signs saying “I am a Christian and boast of my cross.” Bishop Alexios of the region “confirmed that the Christians who converted to Islam did so under threats, coercion, compulsion, and force.” His church also submitted a formal petition to the governor of the region, Ismail Haniyeh, calling on him to investigate matters, but received no response.
Palestinian Muslim leaders say that such Christians convert of their own free will and without pressure; however, these same Muslim leaders refuse to let their Christian families meet with or even learn the whereabouts of these recent converts, so they can confirm if their conversions were committed freely or under duress.
The report adds that Gaza’s Christians are calling on the Christian world to intervene. The bishop said that he is trying to communicate all of this to the Vatican, the United Nations, and the United States.'
Active directors of Embrace the Middle East:

Mariam Tadros .
Tanas Emill Tanas Alqassis
Dr Madeleine Davies
Dr Kathryn Ann Kraft
Revd Brian Stephen Jolly
Stephen Philip Dengate
Christine Anne Clayton
John Philip Greville Neate
Anthony James Ball
Richard Brian Mcgucken
Lisa Jane Toner
Hugh Rowland Bradley

(hat  tip: E. Crabtree)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

At Their Wits' End: Israeli Arab speaks up for Israel (video)

On the campus of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, a brave and articulate young Israeli Arab, Yahya of StandWithUs, speaks up for Israel, to the obvious ire of Wits Uni's BDS brigade:

(Video: South African Union of Jewish Students)

Monday, 13 March 2017

Faith in Israel (video)

Non-Jewish Canadian journalist Faith Goldy has been visiting Israel for The

There are several videos online relating to her trip.  In this one she airs her conclusions concerning that "little sliver of land":

Sunday, 12 March 2017

A Two-Fingered Salute to the Bishop & the Board, Vicar?

A sequel, in pictures, to my previous post. 


By one of Sizer's Facebook friends, who runs a scurrilous anti-Israel/anti-Zionist blog (admittance long since by invitation only!):

It would be remiss of me not to link to John Bevan's post here which provides the answer
Do read the comments beneath the post too!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A Parson Without Honour: Stephen Sizer Suspended

It seems that our old friend the Vicar of Virginia Water has been prescribed a rest cure by his diocesan overlord prior to taking leave of his pulpit and his parishioners on Easter Sunday.

Readers will recall that following Sizer's infamous Facebook post regarding Israel and the 9/11 atrocities he undertook, in the words of his superior Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford:
"to refrain, with no exceptions, from attendance at or participation in any conferences which promote or are linked to this agenda; from all writing, tweeting, blogging, emailing, preaching and teaching on these themes, whether formally or informally – a prohibition which of course includes posting links to other sites; and from all background work in this area which may resource others to act as spokespeople in Stephen’s stead.
"Should Stephen be deemed by the Diocese to have broken this agreement, in letter or in spirit, he has pledged to offer me his immediate resignation, which I will duly accept. He has also agreed to desist from the use of social media entirely for the next six months, after which he and I will review that prohibition.
It is fair to say that Stephen seems relieved to be working within this clear new framework, and would now like to redirect his energies into his work as a parish priest...."
By the president of the Board of Deputies
As we now know, Sizer has been redirecting his energies into "Peacemaker Mediators" as I revealed here.

To quote John Bevan on the well-known British blog Harry's Place:
'....[B]etween 28 February and 6 March 2017, Rev Sizer  in four separate ways – broke his February 2015 undertaking not to write or speak “on any theme that relates, either directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop”. He did this by linking to two other sites; by preaching on a theme directly related to the current situation in the Middle East; and by then linking to that sermon.
It would seem that Rev Sizer is trying to get away with breaching his February 2015 undertaking. He appears to have calculated that his Bishop won’t now go to the fuss of requiring him to resign, since he will be retiring on 16 April anyway. Yet the Bishop of Guildford’s November 2016 statement was (and remains) clear and unequivocal: the undertaking is to run until the end of Rev Sizer’s tenure of office; and any further breaches will result in that tenure ending with immediate effect.What happens next could be very significant.
No decent person – and certainly no Christian – should want anything to do with “Peacemaker Mediators”, a charity whose CEO will be Stephen Sizer and whose International Board of Reference will include Jenny Tonge. Yet if his Bishop now takes no action, Rev Sizer will retire after Easter, like the soldier who is discharged with honour. He will then, no doubt, trade on that relentlessly in his fundraising and future work. Yet if the Bishop upholds the twice-stated agreement, Dr Sizer will be forced to resign his parish ministry prematurely and with dishonour. This would have well-deserved negative effects on his future activities.
And so Bishop Andrew Watson once again faces a challenge. Will he now act on his strong and unequivocal warning of last November? Or will he meekly retract it, now the time has come for enforcement? Let’s hope he has the courage to do the right thing.' [Emphasis added]
And to quote a new statement (10 March) by the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson:
“I have become aware that Dr Stephen Sizer has again contravened the agreement he made in February 2015 just five weeks before his planned retirement on Easter Sunday, 16 April 2017. Needless to say I am very disappointed by Dr Sizer’s actions.
Dr Sizer admits that material shared on his Facebook page in the past two weeks has breached our agreement, and so I have required him to cease all preaching, teaching and leading of services with immediate effect. He will also desist from all use of social media until his retirement takes effect. 
“To allow the parish of Virginia Water to say a proper goodbye, I have conceded that Dr Sizer leads ministry over the Easter weekend.”  [Emphasis added]
(I notice, incidentally, that Sizer's sermon concerning the Temple, which I mentioned here and which was one of the factors in the bishop's decision to suspend Sizer, is present in video format on the Christ Church Virginia Water website.)

As a commenter on John Bevan's article remarks, "Sacking Church of England ministers is really very difficult. I wouldn't envy the Bishop trying to get him dismissed in the few weeks he (Sizer) has got left in post."

But as Mr Bevan observes, "No decent person – and certainly no Christian – should want anything to do with “Peacemaker Mediators”, a charity whose CEO will be Stephen Sizer and whose International Board of Reference will include Jenny Tonge."

To read click here
Will the launch of "Peacemaker Mediators" take place at Christ Church as planned, I wonder, or in view of Sizer's latest breach of faith will the bishop order him to find another venue?

Sadly, Sizer, in breaking his agreement, has given Bishop Watson the proverbial "two-fingered salute".   More sadly still, this latest suspension, though morally justified, is only likely to make Sizer more popular in the eyes of the Israel-haters who have jumped on his bandwagon.

I can just imagine the grin on the turbulent priest's face.

Sequel here

Friday, 10 March 2017

From Horned Helmets to Pussy Hats

If you thought Sweden's men have become mice think again.

They are yet worthy of their warrior ancestors!

They are still a fighting breed whom Sweden's great seventeenth century soldier-king Gustavus Adolphus would recognise with pride!

Be not deceived!  Those horned helmets we associate with the Vikings, those fearsome raiders who struck terror into all hearts, have not been abandoned.

They have merely been given a makeover, in keeping with the Wallstrom/Soros era.


These stalwarts, members of the Construction Workers' Union in Sweden, have been marking International Women's Day.

You could read the original here  On the other hand, you may wish to read a translation: the Vlad Tepes blog has one here

Too bad these guys couldn't do something really constructive (no pun intended!) for the cause of Swedish women by breaking ranks with the rape capital of Europe's crazy leftist-feminista-Islamophile government and identifying exactly where the clear and present danger to women's rights and women's safety really lies in the country Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist so rightly terms Absurdistan!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

David Singer: PLO Humiliated for Denying Free Speech and Elections

Photo credit: Al Jazeera
Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Frustration with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has surfaced at a Conference in Istanbul on 25 and 26 February attended by 6000 Palestinian Arabs living abroad in more than 50 countries.

The organisers established a new political entity to represent Palestinian Arab diaspora communities.

The new organisation – as yet unnamed and to be based in Beirut – called for:
1. the end of the Oslo agreement signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993,
2. the restructuring of the PLO on a more representative basis for all Palestinians, and
3. the formation of a democratically elected Palestinian National Council - the PLO's legislative body in exile.
Photo Credit: Ma'an
The conference established a General Commission headed by Palestinian historian Salman abu Sitta and Majed al-Zeer, a Britain-based activist, Naela al-Waari, a scholar and women's rights activist, and Saif Abu Kishah, a youth activist, as his three deputies.

The new organisation does not aim to replace the PLO – which has been representing the Palestinian Arabs since 1964 and been their sole spokesman since 1974. Ribhi Halloum – a former PLO Ambassador stressed:
"We are trying here to create a supporting structure to be an asset to the PLO, not against it"
Fatah – the main faction in the PLO did not agree – issuing a statement attacking the conference and accusing it of being an:
“attempt to divide the Palestinian people.” 
 PLO member Ahmad al-Majdalani said that the motives behind the conference were “suspicious” – echoing accusations that the event was organized to export internal Palestinian political divisions abroad.

A member of Hamas’s politburo, Izzat al-Rashq, expressed support for the conference on behalf of Hamas – adding that:
“those who claim that Hamas is behind the conference are mistaken.”
No matter whose viewpoint one believes – the Conference is surely evidence that the Palestinian Arabs living abroad want to have a say in their own future and have formed an organisation that will allow them to do so – because they consider that the PLO as presently structured is not meeting their aspirations.

Conference spokesman Said Ziyad al Aloul supports this conclusion:
“We as Palestinian diaspora have the right to organise and tell the traditional Palestinian leaders what we think is the best way forward"
Anees Fawzi Kassem – the head of the conference – said the Oslo Accords were the worst deal possible and had resulted in Palestinians being unable to represent Palestinians.
"We are gathered here today to demand that we the people of Palestine be given our voice back,"
 Khalid Turaani, another spokesperson for the conference reportedly claimed:
"It is high time that Palestinians come together to ensure that a weak donor-bondaged [PLO] doesn't give away any more of our legal historic and moral rights in Palestine"
Kassem’s and Turanni’s sentiments will resonate with those Palestinian Arabs living under PLO rule whose voices have been silenced whilst being denied free, fair and transparent elections since 2006.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO under the Oslo Accords were always destined to founder since the PLO Charter states that:
1. Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan are:
(i) An indivisible territorial unit and
(ii) An indivisible part of the Arab homeland
2. The 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1922 Mandate for Palestine and everything based on them since then are null and void.
3. Jews do not constitute a single nation with an identity of its own
Jordan and Israel’s 1994 Peace Treaty rejected these PLO deal-breakers.

Oslo’s demise opens the possibility of Jordan and Israel redrawing their existing international boundary to mutually divide the West Bank between their respective States.

President Trump should jump to seal the deal.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Al Beeb's Savage Look at Malmö

See Tundra Tabloids here
Yesterday's BBC article about the Swedish city of Malmö, written by Maddy Savage,  is a model example of dishonest reporting.

In saying "Swedish city" I of course use that term loosely, since  the place in question is the archetypical example of the slow suicide Abbaland committed in 1975 when it decided to reinvent itself as a satellite of the Third World.

But being a Beeboid (as the "Biased BBC" website would term her) Maddy Savage is not politically incorrect, and so her article begins:
'Malmö’s international image is in need of a makeover — one that matches the genuine experience of its resident expats and citizens alike.
Saddled with a reputation for crime, the grittier neighbourhoods within Sweden’s third-largest urban hub have gained notoriety in recent years after appearing in global smash-hit Nordic Noir drama The Bridge, while more recent international debates have questioned safety amid large-scale immigration. US President Donald Trump has suggested that media and the authorities have hushed up how bad tensions are in the city, while UK politician Nigel Farage claimed it was the rape capital of Europe....'
With no attempt to discuss why Trump and Farage harbour such jaundiced views of Malmö, and to examine whether they may just have a point, Ms Savage warms to her appointed task: to present Malmö as a marvellous multicultural melting pot where everything in the garden's lovely.

The genuine experience of its citizens?

How about the genuine experience  female victims of sexual assault by, er, savages?

Not only in Malmö but in other parts of Sweden.

Look, for instance, at the post a visitor to Sweden put under this recent video of high jinks in Malmo:
 I was lucky enough to spend New Year's in Stockholm with my girlfriend and I must say it is a fantastic city everyone should visit! The the Swedes are real friendly  and we really enjoyed it but what let it down for me was New Year's Eve travelling to the fireworks going through central station and the hordes of young North African/Arabic men hanging around staring disgustingly at every blonde girl that walked past including my girlfriend and when we took the the underground to return to our hotel after the fireworks we saw a different Stockholm, not a single Swede was on the tube, just Arabic-looking men all crowded in and wanting to stand as close to my girlfriend as possible  and staring disgustingly at her and when we arrived at our stop (Solna Strand) and we got off some of them started shouting in their language at my girlfriend and harassing her as we walked off the tube. It really opens my eyes to these primates that Europe is allowing in.  So thanks Sweden for your hospitality but f*ck you for allowing this scum into Europe and allowing them to reign free.  I feel real sorry for your wives and daughters that have to put up with that kind of sh*t everyday." [Emphasis added]
Here's Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist.  She could teach Maddy Savage a thing or three:

How about the genuine experience Jewish victims of seventh-century antisemitism imported into twentieth and twenty-first century Malmö?

See my post about the plight of Malmö's Jews here
Here too (video)
Breitbart here with video
Ingrid Carlqvist here

It seems the experiences of Malmö's Jews don't count in Beeboid Maddy Savage's view.

She mentioned the drama series The Bridge but avoided telling of the disquiet a Jewish actor in that series felt about antisemitism in the city it was made in, leading him to quit.  She made no attempt to interview people who have had bad experiences in that city owing to their gender or their Jewishness.

Needless to say, there's no doubt, no doubt at all, that the reverse would apply if the perpetrators of those rapes and those antisemitic crimes had been white men and right-wingers respectively.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Itching for the Itchen, Vicar?

Image: media_camera
Our old friend the Vicar of Virginia Water's new outfit, Peacemaker Mediators, has apparently changed its registration address.

No longer, it seems, is it headquartered in Windsor but in a part of Southampton that fronts the River Itchen.

Woolston, to be precise.

That our old friend is itching to swap his pulpit for the new venture by the Itchen is suggested in a sermon of his that he has linked to on Facebook.

Although by agreement with his diocesan overlord, the Bishop of Guildford, he's supposed to desist from referring to the Middle East until he relinquishes his pulpit (on Easter Sunday) or immediately resign, there's a reference there to the contemporary situation, as well as an overt plug for Peacemaker Mediators (which the vicar is plugging separately on social media now):
"[T]he most valuable piece of real estate in the world, is the Haram al Sharif, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The site on which Abraham offered Isaac, on which Solomon and Herod built their temples. The Temple Mount is sacred to 16 million Jews as well as 1.6 billion Muslims, and of interest to 2.2 billion Christians.... Were it for sale, there would be no problem getting a deposit Orthodox Jews pray 3 times a day that the Temple will be rebuilt in their life time.
More ME. The vicar shares a video.
Many Fundamentalists are dedicated to destroying the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock to achieve it. And millions of Bible-believing Christians are convinced it must happen for Jesus to return....  [T]hose who advocate the rebuilding of the Temple are regressing into a pre-Christian sacrificial system, superseded, made redundant and annulled by the finished work of Jesus Christ....
What are the implications? What was the Temple intended for? What is the Church intended to be? Open or closed? Inclusive or exclusive? The Temple was the place of mediation. It still is! And what are we called to be? Mediators. What is our primary ministry as a church? Peacemaking. That is why we are launching a new charity, Peacemaker Mediators, on Saturday 6th May here at Christ Church. This is your invitation...."
 Wouldst that the likes of David Collier might be there, to report the details of the launch!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Balfour, Beasts and Bartolotti

They've been gearing up for quite a time now, the Israel haters behind the Balfour Project (it has been claimed, rightly or wrongly, that the person who registered the domain name was a certain soon-to-be-ex-vicar).

Here's a photograph of two members of the Scottish Parliament, posing gleefully outside Holyrood with  anti-Balfour propaganda.  Both are in favour of a unilaterally recognised state of  Palestine.

On the left of the picture as we face it stands Sandra White MSP, of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).

Got into a beastly spot of bother a while back did short and and perhaps not so sweet Sandra, co-convenor of the cross-party group on Palestine at Holyrood. 

She retweeted an antisemitic cartoon showing a porcine beastie with wee porcine beasties representing Israel, Isis, Al Qaeda and so on suckling at its teats and the word "Rothschild" written across its belly.

This caused outrage in many quarters, including calls for her prosecution, but with the SNP's backing Sandra weathered the storm.  The retweet had been made "accidentally".  Apparently.

Standing on the right of the above photo is Benenden-educated Labour MSP Claudia Beamish, who's prone to call the Arabs the indigenous people of Israel.  Her Jewish great-grandma knew better.

Claudia's father, you see, was one of the Big Beasts of the Israel-hating movement, and a Tory backbencher at that.  He was  none other than Colonel Sir Tufton Beamish (l917-89), made a life peer as Lord Chelwood in 1974.  Outspokenly hostile to Israel's creation, he was a member of CAABU's general council (I blogged about that particular nest of vipers here) and later formed a pro-Arab pressure group within the Tory Party.

Sir Tufton was halachically a Jew, though he seems to have concealed the fact. His mother was the sister of Sir Ernest Simon and his maternal grandmother was an active shul member in Manchester and a Zionist, no less!

At least he didn't call himself an as-a-Jew!

Now that the centennial year of the Balfour Declaration has arrived a number of anti-Balfour initiatives besides the Balfour Project are in existence.

We read here that former Lib Dem (now independent) life peer Jenny Tonge, former Lib Dem MP David Ward, and Labour life peer Lord Ahmed
'are fronting the Balfour Apology Campaign, led by the London-based Palestinian Return Centre, which is seeking an official apology from the British government for issuing the Declaration “which has caused so much damage”....'
We all know what would happen to Israel if the Return Centre had its wicked way.  And all members of that trio have form when it comes to Jews and Israel: all, as that article reminds us, have made antisemitic remarks. It adds:
'Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said it was “a ridiculous argument” and “a futile and hate-filled campaign”.
He added: “What they are doing is asking for an apology for issuing a non-binding statement of commitment that was the first step towards the establishment of a Jewish homeland. That is as close to denying the right of Israel to exist as I can think of, and should be called out as anti-Semitic.”'
And here's someone who should be called out as antisemitic, Pippa Bartolotti, formerly leader of the Welsh Greens and now, to quote her official Facebook page, their "deputy spokesperson".

 She has displayed her antisemitic credentials before, as I have shown, with references to the "Roth[s]childs".  (Google Daphne Anson Pippa Bartolotti for my previous posts on this lady).

Pippa Bartolotti has given her ten pence worth on the Balfour Declaration.

Here she is on 2 March this year:

 A conspiracy theorist gets into the act:

And who hastened to "Like" that 9/11 Israel did it conspiracy theory? Step forward the lady herself:

Friday, 3 March 2017

David Singer: Trump and Putin Must Co-operate to Defeat Islamic State

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

He writes:

President Trump made his intention to destroy Islamic State crystal clear in his stirring address to the Congress on 28 February:
"As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS -- a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”
The Department of Defense plan had already been delivered to members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee – and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was due to brief the committee on 27 February.

Whether this plan recommends co-operation with Russia still remains under wraps.

Certainly President Obama’s decision in September 2014 to degrade and destroy Islamic State by forming a broad international coalition of 68 States without:
1. Including Russia and
2. first securing a Security Council resolution endorsing such action
has proved both catastrophic and very expensive.

The State Department trumpeted that the breadth and diversity of America’s coalition partners demonstrated the global and unified nature of Obama’s endeavour.

Yet Islamic State today remains undefeated in Syria and Iraq. Support for – and pledges of allegiance to – Islamic State by over 30 radical Islamic terrorist groups world-wide are creating horrific humanitarian problems – some far removed from the Middle East.

Defeating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will see these “lawless savages” joining such disparate groups in their drive to establish the restoration of the Caliphate and the implementation of Sharia law world-wide.

Members of the US-led Coalition have not been contributing their fair share towards dealing with Islamic State – leaving the burden to fall squarely on America. Australian Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull – declared last week that Australia was in fact the second largest international contributor to the US led coalition after the United States – shaming NATO countries like Germany, France and the United Kingdom and Middle East members Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

The remaining 125 UN member States have escaped sharing the cost and responsibility of confronting and defeating Islamic State.

Trump’s reprimand of NATO would indicate he considers the Obama-led coalition has been a very bad deal for America.

Trump can rectify this situation by jointly co-sponsoring with Putin a United Nations Security Council resolution authorising the use of force against Islamic State under Chapter V11 of the UN Charter.

Russia and America have previously expressed their willingness to involve the Security Council. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made this clear on 18 November 2015:
“The Security Council needs to give preferential attention to the task of creating a solid legal foundation for the fight against this evil [Islamic State] and for the mobilization of an actual global coalition in response to this common uncompromising challenge for us all.”
President Obama preached a similar mantra in St Petersburg on 6 September 2013:
“And I respect those who are concerned about setting precedents of action outside of a U.N. Security Council resolution. I would greatly prefer working through multilateral channels and through the United Nations to get this done.”
Mentioning any relationship with Russia is a very sensitive issue in American politics today. However Trump may well have had Russia in mind when he told Congress:
“America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict.”
Defeating Islamic State is a shared interest of Trump and Putin.

Co-operation in the United Nations Security Council will materially advance that objective.