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, 19 October 2017

Bonjour Sagesse! "These Lands Are Our Home; We Have No Other"

From the British philosopher Sir Roger Scruton and other European intellectuals, the so-called Paris Statement regarding the current malaise of Europe and what must be done to overset it.  ( "We ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders")

Inter alia (emphasis added), from a long and heartfelt document which deserves to be read and pondered in its entirety:
"Europe belongs to us, and we belong to Europe. These lands are our home; we have no other. The reasons we hold Europe dear exceed our ability to explain or justify our loyalty. It is a matter of shared histories, hopes and loves. It is a matter of accustomed ways, of moments of pathos and pain. It is a matter of inspiring experiences of reconciliation and the promise of a shared future. Ordinary landscapes and events are charged with special meaning—for us, but not for others. Home is a place where things are familiar, and where we are recognized, however far we have wandered. This is the real Europe, our precious and irreplaceable civilization....
The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing. Moreover, they are ignorant of the true sources of the humane decencies they themselves hold dear—as do we. They ignore, even repudiate the Christian roots of Europe. At the same time they take great care not to offend Muslims, who they imagine will cheerfully adopt their secular, multicultural outlook. Sunk in prejudice, superstition and ignorance, and blinded by vain, self-congratulating visions of a utopian future, the false Europe reflexively stifles dissent. This is done, of course, in the name of freedom and tolerance....
 The true Europe is at risk because of the suffocating grip that the false Europe has over our imaginations. Our nations and shared culture are being hollowed out by illusions and self-deceptions about what Europe is and should be. We pledge to resist this threat to our future. We will defend, sustain and champion the real Europe, the Europe to which we all in truth belong....
As the nation states of Europe became more established and distinct, a shared European identity became stronger. In the aftermath of the terrible bloodshed of the world wars in the first half of the twentieth century, we emerged with an even greater resolve to honor our shared heritage. This testifies to the depth and power of Europe as a civilization that is cosmopolitan in a proper sense. We do not seek the imposed, enforced unity of empire. Instead, European cosmopolitanism recognizes that patriotic love and civic loyalty open out to a wider world....
 The true Europe has been marked by Christianity.... The autonomy of what we call civil society became a characteristic feature of European life. Moreover, the Christian Gospel does not deliver a comprehensive divine law, and thus the diversity of the secular laws of the nations may be affirmed and honoured without threat to our European unity. It is no accident that the decline of Christian faith in Europe has been accompanied by renewed efforts to establish political unity—an empire of money and regulations, covered with sentiments of pseudo-religious universalism, that is being constructed by the European Union....
The true Europe has never been perfect. The proponents of the false Europe are not wrong to seek development and reform, and there is much that has been accomplished since 1945 and 1989 that we should cherish and honor. Our shared life is an ongoing project, not an ossified inheritance. But the future of Europe rests in renewed loyalty to our best traditions, not a spurious universalism demanding forgetfulness and self-repudiation. Europe did not begin with the Enlightenment. Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union. The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, share—and love....The true Europe is in jeopardy. The achievements of popular sovereignty, resistance to empire, cosmopolitanism capable of civic love, the Christian legacy of humane and dignified life, a living engagement with our Classical inheritance—all this is slipping away. As the patrons of the false Europe construct their faux Christendom of universal human rights, we are losing our home....
 The false Europe also boasts of an unprecedented commitment to equality. It claims to promote non-discrimination and the inclusion of all races, religions and identities. Here, genuine progress has been made, but a utopian detachment from reality has taken hold. Over the past generation, Europe has pursued a grand project of multiculturalism. To demand or even promote the assimilation of Muslim newcomers to our manners and mores, much less to our religion, has been thought a gross injustice. A commitment to equality, we have been told, demands that we abjure any hint that we believe our culture superior. Paradoxically, Europe’s multicultural enterprise, which denies the Christian roots of Europe, trades on the Christian ideal of universal charity in an exaggerated and unsustainable form. It requires from the European peoples a saintly degree of self-abnegation. We are to affirm the very colonization of our homelands and the demise of our culture as Europe’s great twenty-first century glory—a collective act of self-sacrifice for the sake of some new global community of peace and prosperity that is being born.
 There is a great deal of bad faith in this thinking. Most in our governing classes doubtless presume the superiority of European culture—which must not be affirmed in public in ways that might offend immigrants. Given that superiority, they think that assimilation will happen naturally, and quickly. In an ironic echo of the imperialist thinking of old, Europe’s governing classes presume that, somehow, by the laws of nature or of history, ‘they’ will necessarily become like ‘us’—and it is inconceivable that the reverse might be true. In the meantime, official multiculturalism has been deployed as a therapeutic tool for managing the unfortunate but ‘temporary’ cultural tensions....
Today, Europe is dominated by an aimless materialism that seems unable to motivate men and women to have children and form families. A culture of repudiation deprives the next generation of a sense of identity. Some of our countries have regions in which Muslims live with an informal autonomy from local laws, as if they were colonialists rather than fellow members of our nations. Individualism isolates us one from another. Globalization transforms the life prospects of millions. When challenged, our governing classes say that they are merely working to accommodate the inevitable, adjusting to implacable necessities. No other course is possible, and it is irrational to resist. Things cannot be otherwise. Those who object are said to suffer nostalgia—for which they deserve moral condemnation as racists or fascists. As social divisions and civic distrust become more apparent, European public life grows angrier, more rancourous, and no one can say where it will end. We must not continue down this path. We need to throw off the tyranny of the false Europe. There is an alternative....
In this moment, we ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders. We rightly love our homelands, and we seek to hand on to our children every noble thing that we have ourselves received as our patrimony. As Europeans, we also share a common heritage, and this heritage asks us to live together in peace as a Europe of nations. Let us renew national sovereignty, and recover the dignity of a shared political responsibility for Europe’s future."
Philippe Bénéton (France); Rémi Brague (France); Chantal Delsol (France); Roman Joch (Česko); Lánczi András (Magyarország); Ryszard Legutko (Polska); Roger Scruton (United Kingdom); Robert Spaemann (Deutschland); Bart Jan Spruyt (Nederland); Matthias Storme (België)
Read the entire statement here

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

"This is a Conflict About ...an Exterminatory Attempt to Destroy the Jewish Homeland" (video)

From Jerusalem, on 27 September, Marvellous Melanie talks to Australian journalists Rowan Dean (read his recent pro-Israel remarks here) and Ross Cameron on Sky TV.

The conversation runs from her take on the morally compromised Left through the destructive foolishness of American Jewry's universalistic outlook and thrust ("Jewish values are not universalistic, they are particularist ... they have universalist applications") to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

I wish this 20-minute interview with a wise and courageous woman, a Jewish heroine of our time, could be mandatory viewing for the current crop of leaders of Progressive Judaism in Australia, who seem have hitched their wagon  to every leftist political position going, regardless of the end result. 

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=GuTQc9WrAkc

(The sound quality improves after the first few minutes.)

Monday, 16 October 2017

David Singer: America and Israel Quit UNESCO Over “Palestine” Fiasco

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

He writes:

UNESCO’s decision to admit “Palestine” as a member state in 2011 in apparent breach of UNESCO’s own Constitution has come back to bite UNESCO with a vengeance – as America and Israel now give formal notice of their intention to quit UNESCO on 31 December 2018.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert asserted America’s decision was not taken lightly and reflected US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

American arrears owing for UNESCO dues now total US$550 million.

UNESCO anti-Israel decisions since “Palestine” was admitted to UNESCO membership have included:
1. January 2014 – the cancellation of an exhibition at its Paris headquarters on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel
2. October 2016 – disregarding any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount - only referring to it by its Muslim names – then several weeks later - passing a softer version of the resolution that referred to the Western Wall by its Jewish name - though still ignoring Judaism's ties to the site.
3. May 2017 – UNESCO’s executive committee passing a resolution critical of Israeli conduct in Jerusalem and Gaza.
4. July 2017 – designating Hebron and the two adjoined – shrines at its heart – the Jewish Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Muslim Ibrahimi Mosque  as a "Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger".
UNESCO appears to have acted outside the terms of its own Constitution in admitting “Palestine” to membership.

That decision was open to possible legal challenge for two reasons:
1. Only states can be admitted to UNESCO under Article II (2) of UNESCO’s Constitution - and “Palestine” was not a state,
2. 129 votes from 193 members were required to admit “Palestine” – not the 107 votes received from those “present and voting”. 14 had voted against, 52 abstained and another 21 were absent from the vote.
UNESCO’s questionable and highly controversial decision should have been referred to the International Court of Justice under Article XIV (2) of UNESCO’s Constitution to determine whether:
1. “Palestine” was a “State” entitled to membership of UNESCO.
2. 129 votes or 107 votes were required for “Palestine’s” admission to UNESCO
UNESCO did not seek this judicial interpretation – which would have cost it US$100000 – even though I presented it with detailed reasons why it should.

Had the International Court ruled “Palestine’s” admission to UNESCO was unlawful – then the American funding tap would have been turned on again five years ago.


Instead UNESCO lobbied the Americans to cough up what amounted to 22 per cent of UNESCO’s annual budget. That lobbying was never going to succeed – since the chances of Congress backing away from America’s domestic law mandating the suspension of funds to any United Nations Agency that accepted the PLO as a full member – outside of negotiations with Israel – was doomed to failure

Australia’s Head of Mission – Ms Gita Kamath – gave Australia’s reasons for its negative vote at the time:
“Our decision to vote against reflects Australia’s strong concern that consideration of Palestinian membership in UNESCO is premature. The matter of Palestinian membership of the UN has recently been placed before the UN Security Council for its consideration. We should allow the United Nations Security Council process to run its course rather than seek first to address this question in different UN fora.
Our decision also reflects our concerns with the possible implications of a successful vote on UNESCO funding.”
UNESCO would not be in the parlous financial straits and ignominious position it finds itself today had its member States heeded Australia’s sage advice.

UNESCO’s foray into the Arab-Jewish conflict has been an unmitigated disaster.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Evil Empire

Not to mention proxy Hezbollah's activity in Venezuela and Nicaragua ...


































https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jLayftxAGU 

Writes  Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the United States Treasury, and a senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, inter alia:
'... Decertification ... will plunge Iran and the other parties involved in the nuclear deal into a state of limbo. It will prompt all sides to consider what the deal is worth to them, and what further compromises they may be willing to make to satisfy the national interests of the United States, as laid out by the Trump administration....
...Tehran’s broader efforts to dominate the Middle East are also intensifying. From the deployment of its Revolutionary Guard Corps to far-flung corners of the region to the conscripting of Shiite irregular proxies to fight or hold territory in Syria and Iraq, Iran’s footprint continues to grow.
For American policymakers, Iran’s bid for regional hegemony is just as troubling as its nuclear ambitions. Together, they represent a dual Iranian strategy that cannot be separated, despite the P5+1’s efforts to do so back in 2015. This is why Trump should build on his decertification announcement with the rollout of a new Iran policy that actively counters these activities.
[T]he timing is fortuitous. The administration is slated to complete and roll out its Iran Policy Review by October 31st. If the policy lives up to the hints dropped by senior officials, the United States will once again push back on Iran’s malign behavior. If done right, it will do so wherever possible, and by using every pressure point available....
From there, Washington is also expected to actively target Hezbollah, Iran’s most powerful and active proxy. The Trump administration and Congress have already signaled they will take aim at Hezbollah’s economic interests, while also weakening their positions across the Middle East.
Beyond that, Washington can take further steps to strengthen America’s allies, such as the Sunni Arab states and Israel, who are also willing to challenge Iranian aggression. This could mean greater intelligence-sharing and bilateral cooperation, but could also include new hardware and military capabilities. More broadly, the United States must signal that Iranian threats to its allies will be seen as threats to the United States itself...'
 (Read Schanzer's entire article here)

Yair Lapid (inter alia) exposing lies made in this article by Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif :

'President Trump’s argument that Iran is violating “the spirit of the deal” was met with ridicule and contempt in Iran, but it’s accurate. The goal of the agreement was not to give Iran legitimacy and the ability to increase its involvement in terror and the development of advanced weapons. The agreement was also not intended to allow Iran to threaten America’s allies, principally Saudi Arabia and Israel. If that’s the result of the deal, then cancelling or at least dramatically strengthening the JCPOA must be the right path.Zarif’s article should remind us of the central problem with the Iranian regime—it hasn’t forgone, even for a moment, the desire to turn into a dominant nuclear power and to sow chaos in the Middle East. Its members are sophisticated players and so they understand that the path to achieving their ambitions doesn’t just go through underground reactors but also through the realms of media and diplomacy. That’s their way of buying time and strengthening their position, and they won’t stop until they are stopped.'
Entire article here
See also Hollie McKay's analysis here 
Graphic at top and video: hat tip Vlad Tepes blog

Thursday, 12 October 2017

"When the Discussion Opened to the Floor, a pro-Israeli Commentator Spoke ..."

As I noted last week, anti-Israel events are sprouting thick and fast in the countdown to 2 November and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, with Israel-denouncing Christians doing their share of the participating.

One such event that caught my eye was that held on 7 October  at the British Library.  Sponsored by the anti-Israel Middle East Monitor, it was entitled "Palestine, Britain and the Balfour Declaration 100 Years on".


Professor Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, was the keynote speaker, and you can read about the rest of the panelists, and their highly biased offerings, here, where there is also a video and several photos of the event. Begins the account:
 "The grey weather did not deter the hundreds of attendees who arrived early on Saturday morning at the British Library in London to attend MEMO’s conference to commemorate 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. A heavily subscribed event, the conference took a detailed look at Britain’s role in the creation of Israel, past and present, showcasing an alternative narrative to the celebrations promised by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Attendees were able to purchase books on the Palestinian issue, including those shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2017 and indulge in refreshments before being ushered into the auditorium. They were welcomed by Dr Daud Abdullah, the Director of MEMO, who expressed the importance of recognising the Balfour Declaration for what is was."
Professor Penny Green of Queen Mary’s University of London, chaired the first session, journalist Peter Oborne (notorious for his obsession with Britain's so-called "Israel Lobby") the second, and Corbynista ex-Labour cabinet minister Clare Short [read me here] the third.
"Zionism was a settler colonial movement and the state of Israel its progeny, is a settler colonial state," 
declares that account, inter alia,in effect summarising the conference's thrust.

Note this paragraph:
"Journalist David Cronin [associate editor of the Electronic Intifada, folks], looked at strategies used to oppose the Israeli occupation, namely the use of boycotts. He pointed out that Balfour had an aversion to boycotts, namely because of the powerful symbolic nature that withholding payment presented. He advocated that the international community and Palestinians should harness the power of boycotts to bring about a change in Israel."
And these (emphasis added):
"Dr Jacob Cohen [praised by no less an antisemite than Gilad Atzmon here], who joined the Zionist movement at the age of 16 before leaving it four years later, also praised how the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement had expanded its international influence and hoped that the global community would continue such long-term campaigns. He was heckled during his speech when he accused of Israel of perpetuating conflict in order to receive foreign aid and weapons investment, an argument the majority of the audience applauded.
When the discussion opened to the floor, a pro-Israeli commentator spoke in defence of Israel, alleging that it had made peace with Arab countries, retreated from Gaza and was prepared to sacrifice it’s land for peace. Other questioners spoke positively of the support for the Palestine movement and encouraged all listeners to transform their attendance into activism.
As the attendees filed out of the auditorium, many expressed their gratitude to MEMO for hosting such a comprehensive event that had invited speakers from all over the world, to discuss the origins of an enduring conflict that has affected millions of people."
There he sits, if I'm not mistaken, in the centre of this photo of the audience, that same "pro-Israel commentator", I'll wager, namely the intrepid Jonathan Hoffman (good onya, sir!):


A shot of the event by a certain clerical anti-Israel activist:


 A shot of Mr Hoffman at the conference by Sizer here

(Plenty of antisemitic posts below the line on the account I've linked to show some of the supporters of the event for what they are.)

Incidentally, just when I thought that theological Christian antisemitism was sooooooo last millennium:


Our old friend makes a despicable analogy:


Meanwhile, more mischief here

Oh dear! I do hope that next guest didn't catch our old friend's, um, anti-Zionism!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

David Singer: PLO-Hamas Referendum Could Boost Trump Peace Plan

Have you seen this video (English subtitles) from Israelly Cool?  If not, have a look and spread its fame.

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=RRpDGA_ZAtM

Meanwhile, here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

There is little hope that reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah will end a decade of bitter internecine feuding which has seen a parallel entrenchment of territorial divisions between them in Gaza and the West Bank.

Gazan and West Bank Arab populations will continue to be the victims of this ongoing power play as both groups remain bitterly opposed to recognising Israel as the Jewish National Home.

Elections have not been held since January 2006 when Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian parliament trouncing the governing Fatah party.

Since then, conflict between Hamas and Fatah has seen any prospect of the peaceful creation of a second Arab State – in addition to Jordan – in the territory encompassed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – consigned to the diplomatic scrapheap.

Now it seems that Hamas and Fatah are seeking yet again to come to some form of reconciliation  – which will only be about preserving their own organisations and retaining their current powers and privileges and have nothing to do with giving their long-suffering populations any say in their own future.

Clearly whatever game of musical chairs they intend to play – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made Israel’s position very clear – reportedly stating that as part of any reconciliation Hamas must:
1. recognise Israel
2. dismantle Hamas’s military wing and
3. Break off ties with Iran.
Any hope of these conditions being met is a pipe dream. Netanyahu also declared:
“We expect everyone who talks about a peace process to recognize the State of Israel and, of course, the Jewish state. We cannot accept fake reconciliation on the Palestinian side that comes at the expense of our existence.”
Again this is simply not going to happen.

Whatever window dressing occurs between Hamas and Fatah will therefore be of no consequence in resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict or in influencing President Trump to believe that such steps are capable of contributing to the President successfully brokering an end to that 100 years old conflict.

The absence of elections for eleven years has created a void that has had disastrous consequences for the Gazan and West Bank Arab populations – impacting the lives of every single Gazan and West Bank Arab.

The likelihood of free and fair elections continues to be a distant dream.

PLO leader Yasser Arafat – perhaps in an unguarded moment – made the following promise back in May 1983 when interviewed in Middle East Review:
“When the occupied territories are liberated, we will move towards a referendum that will set up constitutionally a framework for special relations between Jordan and liberated Palestine.”
That referendum has failed to materialise despite the fact that since 2007:
1. Hamas has controlled 100% of Gaza and its entire population
2. The PLO – of which Fatah is the major member – has controlled 40% of the West Bank within which 95% of the total West Bank Arab population currently reside.
Arafat’s referendum proposal should be implemented – if elections are once again denied.
Holding this referendum would indicate a willingness by both Hamas and Fatah to work towards a peaceful resolution of the Jewish-Arab conflict - working arm in arm with Jordan – rather than continuing their belligerent confrontation with Israel – both militarily and diplomatically – that has marked the last 10 years.

Such a referendum would send a clear signal to President Trump that there could indeed be some possible light at the end of the Gazan terrorist-tunnels – that a framework involving Jordan represents the best possible way forward out of the current impasse.

Seeing the referendum realised remains the challenge for Trump to pursue.

John Bolton on Iran & (UPDATE) South Korea

The USA's former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has an important new article here

Unrelated video on that topic below:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V61k-RPkDnw

This too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr4b3Wp1Nfw