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)

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Ongoing Disgrace That Is The BBC's Jeremy Bowen

As this blog has not infrequently noted, the BBC's utterly pedestrian and sometimes frankly absurd "Middle East editor" Jeremy Bowen has made many reports from the Middle East over the years in which his own opinions intrude and which make a mockery of the BBC's obligations, under the terms its Charter, to maintain objectivity in reporting.

Particularly since the unfortunate car explosion in which his Arab driver/stringer was killed a number of years ago at the hands of what Bowen once described in a subsequent interview with the London Daily Telegraph as "trigger-happy Israeli soldiers", Bowen's prejudice against Israel has been all too apparent.

The death of his Arab colleague in an explosion that took place berfore his eyes, shortly after he himself had left the vehicle, was an event that evidently traumatised Bowen, who has referred to the incident bitterly countless times since (as in this video).

In those circumstances, as soon as his emotional involvement became clear, the BBC should have transferred Bowen to some other part of the world.

But it did not, and to add salt to the wounds of aggrieved pro-Israel complainants it inexplicably went on to reward him, despite the banal nature of his "analysis" of regional politics and despite the fact that a complaint against him had been partially upheld, with the post of Middle East editor!

Hadar Sela of BBCWatch (who's certainly having her work cut out for her during the present crisis) has drawn attention here to the fact that Bowen "tries to persuade TV audiences that Hamas does not use human shields".

And now Bowen, in a further thumbing of his nose to the objectivity incumbent upon him and his employer by the terms of the BBC's Charter, has written in that uncompromisingly leftwing journal of opinion, the New Statesman:
"I saw Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, giving an interview to the BBC after Israel had killed more than 60 people in the Gaza district of Shejaiya. He said he regretted the civilian casualties in Gaza but they were the fault of Hamas. Netanyahu said Israel had warned people to get out. Some had taken the advice; others had been prevented from leaving by Hamas.
 I was back in London for my son’s 11th birthday party by the time all those people were killed in Shejaiya. But my impression of Hamas is different from Netanyahu’s. I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields...."
To quote Craig, of the IstheBBCbiased? blog:
'This comes despite Hamas publicly advocating the use of civilians as human shields (something Jeremy Bowen fails to acknowledge). The Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, was caught (by MEMRI) speaking on a local station recently, saying: 
This attests to the character of our noble, jihad-loving people – who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and their blood.
The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation… we in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy in order to protect the Palestinian homes.
And yet Jeremy Bowen dismisses it all, even after UNRWA found Hamas rockets in two of its Gazan schools, and despite credible reports that some civilians are deliberating ignoring Israel's warnings and that groups of civilians have actually gathered at targeted buildings in order to serve as human shields [see Channel 4's FactCheck blog].
A week in Gaza, and yet Jeremy Bowen "saw no evidence...of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields".
Presumably, the blinkers he was wearing at the time didn't help.'
 And as Hadar Sela has observed (link above):
"BBC licence fee payers pay a lot of money in order to be informed of facts. Hamas’ use of human shields is one of many important facts audiences need to know about in order to be able to reach an understanding of this particular international issue as they are promised in the BBC’s constitutional document. It is bad enough that in over a week of reporting from the Gaza Strip, not one BBC journalist has explained the human shields issue properly to BBC audiences. It is beyond grave when the man in charge of Middle East reporting – not some junior journalist – not only fails to inform, but actively seeks to deny and refute the issue.
Bowen’s inaccurate and partial reports – which increasingly give the impression that he has self-conscripted to the Hamas media campaign – are coming in thick and fast. As long as the BBC continues to allow that, it breaches the public purpose remit which obliges it to “[b]uild a global understanding of international issues” and that is a problem which BBC management should not be allowed to ignore."

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Why Jews Must Choose Their Interfaith Partners Wisely: A cautionary tale from Down Under

It used to be (I don't know whether it still is) the case that anyone who had a letter printed in Anglo-Jewry's newspaper of record, the Jewish Chronicle, would receive a few days later a missive through the post from a certain Anglican missionising organisation urging the recipient to pluck the blinkers from his/her eyes and embrace Christianity.  I can't recall which organisation sent these annoying missives, which were swiftly consigned to the wastepaper basket, but I suspect that it was the so-called London Jews' Society (or, to give it its full title, the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews), founded in the early nineteenth century and headquartered at a complex in the East End  named Palestine Place (pictured), where it conducted sundry initiatives for ensnaring Jewish souls, albeit without much success.  In time, following the substantial immigration to Britain of Jews from Eastern Europe after 1880, it was joined in its missionising efforts by the Bishop of Stepney's Fund, which gave similar offence to a people whose only desire was to be free of both persecution and harassment to worship the Deity in their own way.

For their part, Jews do not seek proselytes, and it's been in fact notoriously difficult, although plainly not impossible, to convert to Judaism in Britain and the Commonwealth, at any rate through the auspices of Batei Din (religious courts) having allegiance to the British Chief Rabbi.

In our own day we in Britain, Australia,  and other English-speaking lands have, of course, seen a plethora of ecumenical initiatives consequent upon the emergence of multi-faith societies, and an example of ecumenicism in action occurred in Australia today, when people and religious leaders of several faiths, including Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism, crowded into St Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne for a service to commemorate the victims if the Malaysian airliner so tragically and needlessly lost over the eastern Ukraine.

All participants were united, of course, in grief and outrage: they shared a common purpose.

Interfaith initatives of the type that saw in the 1940s and subsequent period the establishment in English-speaking lands of Councils of Christians and Jews, rested on mutual respect between the practitioners of the various religions, with no ulterior motive on the part of any.  This is for many people, and for many reasons, more easily said than done, especially in the case of creeds that defy modern notions of the just and the ethical.

Rabbi Chaim Ingram, of Sydney, a columnist in the Australian Jewish News, observes in a letter in the latest issue responding to a critic: 'if to live in 214" means vaunting politically correct dogma over human consideration and menschlikeit then I assure him I am quite happy living in biblical times'.  It is a statement unlikely to win him friends in the Progressive (i.e. Liberal or Reform) Jewish community, since Progressive Judaism holds that the Torah was revealed to man humankind not once and forever at Sinai, but gradually, over time, and that what was deemed appropriate in ancient times is not necessarily appropriate for our own.  Hence its commitment to the equality of women with men and its recent embrace of same-sex marriage.

And yet, what it deplores in what Rabbi Ingram terms "Torah-observant" Judaism it seemed to tolerate recently at an event in Melbourne, for the sake of "interfaith", apparently foolishly unaware that the Islamic group that it invited to a grand interfaith event is a proselytising organisation par excellence which (see here) exults at the conversion of each non-Muslim to Islam.

In other words, the Islamic group in question played the Progressive Jews for mugs, and the latter fell for it!

This "Open Letter To Interfaith Jews: Choose Your Partners Wisely" newly released by the team from Jews Down Under explains the situation and demands answers:

'Temple Beth Israel recently held a concert, billed as a “Sacred Music Concert”, “bringing together performers and communities from Melbourne’s Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Indigenous traditions”.

What the audience wasn’t told was that the second half of the concert would feature the Muslim call to prayer, and a recital of the 55th Surah of the Koran (describing how Muslim men will enjoy deflowering virgins in paradise) by Abdul Aziz al Mathkour and Brother Waseem Razvi of the Islamic research Education Academy (IREA)

The Australian Jewish News featured an article about the concert on page 8 of their 20 June edition – Music Bridges Faith Tradition – praising the concert and reporting the recitation of the Koranic verse with apparent approval. In addition, the concert was given extra prominence by a full page of colour pictures on page 12.

One would expect that at least some members of the community would feel strongly enough to write in to the Australian Jewish News expressing disquiet at this event. Yet it seems that Temple Beth’s presentation of a ‘Sacred’ concert, without forewarning that it would feature the Islamic Call to Prayer, plus an offensive Koranic verse, has elicited not a single response from the readers of the Australian Jewish News.Read more HERE including a video:

Maybe Jews have imbibed the message of the now retired Rabbi Fred Morgan, who, in an address to the Council of Christians and Jews (Vic) in 2009, recommended applying a non-judgmental approach to interfaith, 
“starting from the assumption that, when people say they believe something, as peculiar and uncongenial as I personally may find their belief, it is meaningful to them.” He berated the mainstream Jewish community for retaining “a ghetto mentality”, concerned only “about anti-Semitism, the integrity of the land of Israel and the inviolability of the State of Israel – all matters bearing on security and safety for Jews in Australia, Israel and world-wide.” and “never having moved beyond seeking security through interfaith engagement…” He cited the Gaza conflict, where “because some from the Christian and Muslim communities who are active in interfaith work were one-sidedly critical of Israel, the AJN published letters and articles questioning the value of interfaith dialogue”. Morgan concluded that this attitude revealed “the insularity of the Jewish world”.
Progressive Judaism Australia. If, according to the Progressive Jewish view, caring about Israel and innocent Jews being killed makes us insular, then many Jews are guilty as charged. Indeed, all who believe in human rights should care about the security of a sovereign state and the vicious assault on a vulnerable minority.

It’s hard to get a handle on this bizarre Progressive mindset. Is it now the case that to be left-of-centre in religious matters automatically means that Progressive Jews must be left-of-centre on issues involving the welfare and survival of Israel?

Surely not all Progressive Jews believe that?

Or have those of robust Zionist principles voted with their feet and left the movement?

Indeed, in the Australian Jewish News of 4 July, amid a slew of messages from local Jewish figures deploring the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenage boys, the one by the Executive Director of the Union for Progressive Judaism, Steve Denenberg, stood out for its mealy-mouthed politically-charged even-handedness; he even included a gratuitous reference to Muslims (though Christians were not similarly honoured), and in contrast to other message-writers, he studiously avoided condemning Islamic terrorism or Hamas by name, using instead the amorphous expression, “victims of blind hatred.”

We understand that TBI has received communications from individuals unhappy with the inclusion of the unannounced Muslim component of the concert, yet has, so far as we are aware, lacked the courtesy of replying to them to address their concerns.

During a recent Friday evening service, TBI’s current senior rabbi read out one email that criticised the participation in forthright terms, condemning it as an example of the “hate mail” received.

It is unfortunate that TBI has taken this dismissive, seemingly contemptuous, attitude: it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth of those who are genuinely distressed at TBI’s naïvety in inviting to the concert the representatives of a group actively involved in the conversion of non-Muslims (more on that below) and who uttered a Surah expressing Islamic supremacy and which is insulting to the gender equality that TBI (which after all was founded by a woman!) has – at least until now – upheld.

We doubt that TBI, in a spirit of ecumenism, would tolerate an Orthodox Jewish leader reciting in its sanctuary the traditional prayer, viewed as abhorrent by Progressive Jews, thanking G-d “for not making me a woman”. Yet paradoxically, they have no qualms about allowing Muslims to recite an obscenely sexist Surah.

What is TBI’s explanation for the latter?

Were they aware or were they ignorant of what the man was going to recite?

In either case, surely they are not too proud to admit to making, in this instance, an error of judgment, and to acknowledge that there should be no repeat?

The Muslim group, IREA – part of an international dawah (converting non-Muslims to Islam) organization – was triumphant about its successful incursion into a Jewish sacred space. On its Facebook page there is a photo of Waseem Razvi and three colleagues en route to TBI for the concert; the photo is captioned “Dae’es [i.e. missionaries] from IREA heading for interfaith event at a SYNAGOGUE”

That caption implies that the quartet was not appearing at TBI in a spirit of honest interfaith dialogue, which emphasises there must be no attempt to convert,but for the purpose of proselytisation. Furthermore, there is this boast on the IREA’s Facebook page:

'Firstly we thank Allah swt for giving us the opportunity to represent Islam in a country like Australia where there are only 2% muslims. Secondly we thank and appreciate the invitation from Cantor Michael Laloum and his initiative to work with Muslim Community. We also would like to thank Rabbi Gersh [Lazarow] and the Jewish Temple Beth Israel for their warm welcome. We hope & pray the doors of communication and mutual understanding are always open in order to achieve & fulfil the purpose of our lives i.e. to be obedient to the One & Only Lord Allah swt. As Allah swt says in the Quran ‘Say: O people of the Book (Jews & Christians)! Let us come to Common Terms as between us & you…..’ {AL Quran 3:64}
Several things are perturbing about these words. Firstly, it would seem the Jews are being asked to agree to a mutual understanding that we both worship Allah, who of course is different from the G-d of the bible. In addition the words “Common Terms” are capitalised, implying that they have a particular meaning in Islamic dawah. Dr Mark Durie, an expert on Islam, gave a critique of this meaning.

The key points are summarised below:
A 2007 letter, “A Common Word Between Us and You” addressed to the Pope, and other Christian leaders throughout the world by 138 Muslim scholars, is an attempt to Islamicise Christian-Muslim dialogue: the ‘common word’ theme is associated with a declaration of war against the Byzantines, and is part of an anti-Christian polemic in the Qur’an.

The introductory summary to the letter concludes with the words ‘…in obedience to the Holy Qur’an, we as Muslims invite Christians to come together with us…’
This formal opening to the letter declares that A Common Word is a call (ada‘wa) for Christians to come to Allah’s way, i.e. to Islam.
The authors of A Common Word take pains to cite this verse, and point out that, according to this teaching, Muhammad’s message must be the same as the message of the Bible. So from the Islamic point of view, it is entirely legitimate to regard Muhammad’s message of monotheism as the foundational message of both Jesus Christ and Moses. To call Christians (and Jews) to accept Islamic monotheism is in fact to invite them back to their own religion, and to the faith of their own prophets.

This is the orthodox Islamic position on Christianity and Judaism, that they are derivatives of the Islam of Christ and Moses. The Qur’an presents it as the duty of Muslims to call Christians and Jews back to their original faith. Thus the ‘common ground’ shared by Islam and Christianity is Islam itself.
The theme verse for the whole letter, Sura 3:64 is most problematic.

Say: ‘O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.’ If then they turn back, say ye: ‘Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will).’
This hadith is included in the Book of Jihad because it illustrates Muhammad’s principle that, before attacking non-Muslims, it was necessary first to invite them to embrace Islam.

Durie concludes
“Although A Common Word is presented as an invitation, it contains a warning of devastating conflict if the invitation is rejected. This is reminiscent of Muhammad’s approach to da‘wa, and should be evaluated in the light of his example”.
In the light of this explanation by an acknowledged expert on Islam, it is clear Temple Beth Israel made a grave error in inviting representatives of an overt conversionist group to TBI to exemplify Islam to an audience which could hardly have expected that the billed event would have such sting in the tail”

We call on the organizers of the concert to find the courage to acknowledge their error, which has the potential to compromise not only them, but the wider Jewish community. Such acknowledgment could act as a salutary lesson to all of us not to rush into inviting conversionist, supremacist Islamic groups to appear on our premises, under the false guise of interfaith, whereby they are enabled to recite passages starkly at odds with Jewish ethics.

Incidentally, in a recent Press Release, the Islamic Council of Victoria (with whom IREA are affiliated) condemns Israel as the aggressors, failing to even mention the Hamas terrorist group’s constant attacks on Israeli citizens. Here are just some of the calumnies, which amount to a blood libel:
"The Islamic Council of Victoria is appalled and horrified at the wanton attack on the Palestinian people, homes and civil institutions. The loss of life, particularly those of children and unarmed civilians, is an indictment on the state of Israel and all nations that remain silent in the face of such abhorrent actions.
 The ICV draws attention to the fact that Israel is an illegal occupier of Palestinian land… that in recent days has been indiscriminately murdering Palestinians without any reasonable excuse or justification."
 In the light of this revelatory press release, can TBI in all conscience continue an interfaith "dialogue" with ICV and invite into their sanctuary those who harbour such hatred towards the Jewish State?'

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Twisted Opinions

"Israel has been responsible for catastrophe after catastrophe – from the invasion of Egypt in 1956, the seven [sic!!!] day war in 1967, the bombardment of Lebanon in 1982 and again in 2006, operation cast lead in 2008 and now Operation Protective Edge.... 
As a member of Jews against Israeli Apartheid and Socialist Alternative, thanks to everyone for coming out today and showing solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. We won’t stop fighting until Palestine is free!" 

So declared a young Aussie bloke at a raucous anti-Israel demo in Melbourne a few days ago, a young bloke whose egregious, risible error regarding the duration of the June 1967 War alone suggests that he's by no means au fait with the realities of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, a young bloke who had rather less than fifteen minutes of fame today when he was featured on at least one Aussie news channel ranting on behalf of the so-called Students for Palestine.  They had burnt a (stolen) Aussie flag together with an Israeli one in the foyer of a government building in Melbourne, and had smeared both flags and the premises with red dye.
"Brilliant that Palestinian resistance fighters have captured an invading Israeli soldier. May they secure the release of many hostages held in IsraelI dungeons. May they capture more. The fighters in Gaza, in terms of resisting overwhelming odds, are in the tradition of the Jewish fighters who resisted extermination in the Warsaw ghetto and became am inspiration to the whole of humanity."

Twisted slogan, "Auschwitz ..."; photo: Richard Millett blog
That's how Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief Mick Napier reacted on Facebook to Hamas's claim that it's taken one of the IDF's troops involved in Operation Protective Edge, a young man since identified as 21-year-old  whom Israel surmises has already met his death. 
The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes
Thus tweeted David Ward, Lib Dem MP for Bradford East (who's notoriously anti-Israel) yesterday, earning the condemnation of his party's leader, Nick Clegg.
'In my opinion which may not be worth much I believe the article in the "TimesofIsrael" admitting that the Jew's are in fact Khazar's and a planned reverse migration to the Ukraine as well as the LP Gas find off the coast of Gaza and the Ukraine LP Gazprov and the US deal with the EU that some how all these are related as reason why the Government's are not saying a thing.'
So comments one Keith Rodgers beneath a YouTube video here,  proving that his opinion is indeed of little worth, yet also proving that satire, however well-meant by those friends of Israel who resort to it, is lethal if clumsy or obtuse.

The lesson that Rodgers's comment, and the many on the internet like it, teaches us is that the intelligence of Israel's and Jewry's enemies is not to be overestimated, and that satire badly done is liable to be taken at face value and therefore twisted into a weapon against those it was intended to aid.

Even the vicar of Virginia Water, our old mate Stephen Sizer, who holds a doctorate and must therefore be credited with an above-average amount of grey matter, was not entirely sure that the above-mentioned article in the Times of Israel, which he linked to on Facebook for the benefit of his followers, was tongue-in-cheek.

But of course twisting the truth comes second-nature to those who hate Israel and seek its destruction.

Take, for instance, what the prominent Israeli scholar Professor Mordechai Kedar, of Bar-Ilan University's Department of Arabic, said early this month on Israeli radio's Hakol Diburim (“It’s All Talk”) following the news that the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers had been murdered :
“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.
You have to understand the culture in which we live.  The only thing that deters [Hamas leaders] is a threat to the connection between their heads and their shoulders.... Terrorists like those who kidnapped the children and killed them — the only thing that deters them is if they know that their sister or their mother will be raped in the event that they are caught. What can you do, that’s the culture in which we live...
 I’m not talking about what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m talking about the facts. The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s all. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, in order to preserve his sister’s honor.”
It is extremely doubtful that the professor was recommending that Israel should resort to such base conduct; as an expert in Arab and Islamic culture he was explaining how Israel's Islamic enemies view the world, and by implication how impotent Israel is given their outlook.

Yet he was widely condemned for his remarks by many, including Jews and Israelis, as if he was actually endorsing rape as a weapon of war.

If his observations could be so readily misinterpreted by many of his own co-religionists and compatriots, how unsurprising it is that they have been twisted with gusto by those (see, for example, the comments here) who are the inveterate foes of both.

As for the current  climate of widespread denunciation of Israel's actions,  Professor Efraim Karsh nails it when he writes, inter alia:

'Why do citizens of democratic societies enthusiastically embrace one of the world’s most murderous Islamist terror organizations, overtly committed not only to the destruction of a sovereign democracy but also to the subordination of Western values and ways of life to a worldwide Islamic caliphate (or umma)? Not out of a genuine concern for Palestinian wellbeing. For although the “Palestine question” has received extraordinary media coverage for decades to the exclusion of far worse humanitarian and political problems, the truth is that no one really cares about the fate of the Palestinians: not their leaders, who have immersed their hapless constituents in disastrous conflicts rather than seize the numerous opportunities for statehood since the Peel Commission report of 1937; not the Arab states, which have brazenly manipulated the Palestinian cause to their self-serving ends; and not Western politicians, the media, NGOs, human rights activists, and church leaders enticed into self-righteous indignation by any Israeli act of self-defense.
Had the Palestinians’ dispute been with an Arab, Muslim, or any other non-Jewish adversary, it would have attracted a fraction of the interest that it presently does....
For millennia Jewish blood has been cheap, if not costless, throughout the Christian and Muslim worlds where the Jew became the epitome of powerlessness, a perpetual punching bag and a scapegoat for whatever ills befell society. There is no reason, therefore, why Israel shouldn’t follow in the footsteps of these past generations, avoid antagonizing its Arab neighbors and exercise restraint whenever attacked. But no, instead of knowing its place, the insolent Jewish state has forfeited this historic role by exacting a price for Jewish blood and beating the bullies who had hitherto been able to torment the Jews with impunity. This dramatic reversal of history cannot but be immoral and unacceptable. Hence the global community outrage and hence the world’s media provision of unlimited resources to cover every minute detail of Israel’s “disproportionate” response, but none of the suffering and devastation on the Israeli side....
[S]o long as the Palestinians continue to serve as the latest lightning rod against the Jews, their supposed victimization reaffirming the latter’s millenarian demonization, Israel will never be allowed to defend itself without incurring the charge of “disproportionate force” – never directed against any other besieged democracy but evocative of the classic anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as both domineering and wretched, both helpless and bloodthirsty. In the words of the renowned American writer David Mamet, “The world was told Jews used this blood in the performance of religious ceremonies. Now, it seems, Jews do not require the blood for baking purposes, they merely delight to spill it on the ground.'

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Tale of Two Cities, A Tale of Two Pictures

From the Northern Hemisphere

London, July 2014

to the Southern

Sydney, July 2014

snapshots of antisemitism in action over the past few days.

The top photograph was sent to me by reader Michelle (who explains that she is not the photographer); the other was sent to me by reader P (who spotted it on Facebook).

I don't think any further comment from me is necessary; readers can draw their own conclusions.

It is, of course, heartening to see that despite the multiple intimidatory hate-filled rallies against Israel that have been occurring in their city since the start of Operation Protective Edge, rallies in which antisemitism has been unashamedly displayed, London Jews have come out to fly the flag for Israel.

As described here and here, an enthusiastic crowd demonstrated its support for Israel outside the Israeli Embassy in the borough of Kensington on Sunday.

Footage here and here

By the way, the "pro-Palestinian protester detained by London police during Israel rally" pictured in this report of the pro-Israel demo is none other than our old publicity-inducing friend Dee Murphy (see here and here).

Monday, 21 July 2014

"Only The Khalifah Will Liberate Palestine"

Western Europe's "cultural enrichment"! What joy inevitably follows in its wake ...

In London yesterday, a big crowd of Islamists with signs proclaiming "Only The Khalifah Will Liberate Palestine" scream their blood-curdling hatred outside the Egyptian Embassy.

They were there in response to this deceptively mild-mannered call by Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the extremist group which is banned in many countries but not, curiously, in Britain and Australia. 

In Paris ...

And again ...

An Islamic cleric of Berlin:
"Oh Allah, Destroy the Zionist Jews .... Count them and kill them to the very last one .... They behave tytannically all over the world and spread corruption":

Obscene signs at a protest in The Hague:

Photo © AD/Jos van Leeuwen

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Alone She Faced Them, One Brave Woman & Her Israeli Flag

Watch this video of the anti-Israel rally in Melbourne yesterday, and see how the ferals reacted when they spotted a woman bearing an Israeli flag running between the tramlines.

Meanwhile, the usual screeching was taking place:

More footage of the rally (note the heavy leftist involvement) here

Londonistan rallies again

So do the usual suspects in Auckland, New Zealand (ever noticed that it's very often a hysterical-sounding lefty female who leads the raucous chanting at these sorts of anti-Israel parades?)

A feral mob strikes in Calgary, Canada (hat tip: reader Shirlee)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

David Singer Ponders A Question: What Will Happen When The Present Hostilities Cease?

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer, entitled "Palestine – Israel Takes Off The Gloves".

Writes David Singer:

Israel’s disastrous unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005 faces possible reversal with the Israeli army’s re-entry into Gaza in July 2014.

Israel’s decision to take the gloves off came after 1381 rockets had been indiscriminately fired from Gaza into Israeli population centres over a period of ten days with Hamas then rejecting a ceasefire proposed by Egypt – but accepted by Israel.

An attempted Hamas raid from the sea – caught on video  during this criminal rocket bombardment – had reached Israel's Zikim Beach, culminating in five Hamas terrorists being killed and one Israeli soldier wounded.

However Israel’s military spokesman described  the final tipping point – again captured on video
 “Earlier today, the IDF identified around 13 Palestinians who had infiltrated Israel through a tunnel dug from Gaza. The tunnel began in the southern Gaza Strip and its exit was near Kibbutz Sufa in Israel. The terrorists were heavily armed with RPGs and assault rifles and were prepared to carry out a massacre. The IDF foiled their attack, saving countless Israeli lives.”
Until a cease fire is inevitably declared – Israel is now proceeding to destroy the network of tunnels running under Gaza – capturing or immobilizing the large number of rockets and armaments stored in Gaza - and killing any terrorists attacking them from the myriad number of terrorist groups operating in Gaza.

What will happen when the hostilities cease?

Israel cannot possibly return to the situation that has prevailed since Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza – that has seen 11,000 rockets and missiles indiscriminately fired into Israeli civilian areas and triggered two Israeli incursions into Gaza in 2008 and 2012.

Amid the current turmoil enveloping Gaza, one pertinent question from the 2005 disengagement remains unanswered:
Were the 8000 Jews “expelled” or were they “evacuated” from Gaza and Northern Samaria as a result of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal?
The answer has a vital bearing on determining who gets sovereignty of those areas.

The language used by Israel's government in 2004/2005 spoke of "evacuation" and “disengagement” – whilst an outraged opposition spoke of "expulsion".

"Evacuation" and “disengagement” indicate a temporary uprooting with the intention of returning when the emergency giving rise to the evacuation has subsided.

"Expulsion" on the other hand indicates a situation of permanent and irreversible departure.
Prime Minister Sharon addressing the nation said on 15 August 2005:
“The day has arrived. We are beginning the most difficult and painful step of all – evacuating our communities from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria.”
But he also said in the same breath:
“Gaza cannot be held onto forever. Over one million Palestinians live there, and they double their numbers with every generation. They live in incredibly cramped refugee camps, in poverty and squalor, in hotbeds of ever-increasing hatred, with no hope whatsoever on the horizon.
It is out of strength and not weakness that we are taking this step. We tried to reach agreements with the Palestinians which would move the two peoples towards the path of peace.  These were crushed against a wall of hatred and fanaticism.
The unilateral Disengagement Plan, which I announced approximately two years ago, is the Israeli answer to this reality.  This Plan is good for Israel in any future scenario. We are reducing the day-to-day friction and its victims on both sides. The IDF will redeploy on defensive lines behind the Security Fence. Those who continue to fight us will meet the full force of the IDF and the security forces.
Now the Palestinians bear the burden of proof. They must fight terror organizations, dismantle its infrastructure and show sincere intentions of peace in order to sit with us at the negotiating table.
The world awaits the Palestinian response – a hand offered in peace or continued terrorist fire. To a hand offered in peace, we will respond with an olive branch. But if they choose fire, we will respond with fire, more severe than ever.”
Sharon never expressly articulated whether Israel still maintained its claim to sovereignty in those areas from which it was withdrawing Jewish communities.

Based on the use of the words "evacuation" and “Disengagement Plan” – it would appear that Sharon was not ceding Israel’s claims to sovereignty in international law under the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

As I wrote in August 2005:
“One can envisage an Israeli return to Gaza and northern Samaria, should the Palestinians carry out their threats to continue the armed struggle all the way to Jerusalem. Israel's response could be disastrous for the Palestinians and wipe out whatever political or territorial gains they may make as a result of Israel's initial withdrawal…
By continuing to use the word "evacuation" to describe its actions, Israel seems to be making it very clear that if the Palestinians don't embark on the Road Map, and instead continue to use violence and incitement to achieve their goal of an independent state, the removal of the Jewish communities will be only temporary. Israel will return in force and claim sovereignty of such parts of the areas vacated as it deems in its national interest.”
Jews expelled from the West Bank in 1948 by six invading Arab armies returned there in 1967. Jews withdrawn from Gaza in 2005 may well seek to return there in 2014.

The current war of rockets and tunnels seems set to be replaced with an equally confrontational labyrinthine war of words.