Tag Archives: bigotry

Israel, Ha’aretz and the ICC – lest we forget.

Mohammed Wattad’s Jan 2015 impassioned appeal to Ha’aretz readers states that: “In principle, nothing is wrong about {PA} joining the ICC. If they are serious about their commitment to international law, all countries must sign and also ratify the Rome Statute, [emphasis mine] which paves the way in that process. International law is not an open buffet of “pick and choose.” The ICC is the direct outcome of World War II and the Nuremberg trials.” Very laudable.

What Wattad omits to remind the reader is that the ICC is an outcome of the 1998 UNITED NATIONS “Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court”, where the UN ADOPTED the Rome Statute, blessing the operations of the International Criminal Court.

The issue at hand, of course, is not Israel’s refusal to be a signatory to the staute, but the reasons behind it.

Those reasons are demonstrated, documented and increasingly biased UN behaviour over the past 50 years; 1965 to 2015.

Specifically, Wattad does not mention the UN Arab and African anti-Israel ethnoracist bloc of “automatic majority third world member states” and their ongoing sabotage of the UN itself, thru organisations like the ICC,HRW and UNHCR. By funding and endorsing groups like those and through adopting/adapting that same international law Wattad champions, what concerns Israel regarding the Rome Statute is that that same UN has never seen fit to bring to trial leaders of murderous racist ethnoreligious states like North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Cuba, Nigeria or any other of the world’s great tyrannies.

As a sample of why Israel is leery of the ICC and other UN organistaion, we need merely look at Special Raporteur to the UN from 2001 -2007, South African John Dugard. Dugrad’s brief (unbelievably) was to investigate only violations by Israel. This one-sided duty John Dugard has zealously embraced since his appointment to the post and he was followed with equal zeal by Richard Falk. Dugard’s reports in particular stand out, even by UN standards, for their virulently anti-Israel prejudice because Dugard systematically ignored Palestinian acts of terror, their breaches of international human rights law and international law itself in its pursuit of destroying the Jewish state.

On another tack, UNHCR High Commisioner for Human Rights,Navi Pillay, another South African, has a long track record of demonizing Israel. High Commissioner between 2008-2014, in 2014, Pillay accused Israel of committing war crimes by not doing enough to protect civilians in the Hamas initiated Gaza war. And it was UNHCR’s Pillay who was behind the infamous and totally discredited Goldstone Report of 2009, which accused Israel of deliberately targeting Gazan civilians — a finding that the report’s author, Richard Goldstone, later retracted, although Pillay did not.

For UN employees like Dugard, Falk and Pillay, the 20th century job description of the United Nations “to maintain international peace and security” based on “the sovereign equality of all its members,” and to do “nothing [to] impair the inherent right of self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the UN” does not seem to apply.

This because, under pressure from MENA and OIC, the UN of the 21st century has an exception clause. Every time Israel is attacked, not only does the UN fail to maintain peace and security – it attempts to gut Israel’s inherent right of self-defense.

In an article for the Gatestone Institute in 2014, Anne Bayefsky makes the point that “In accordance with this pathology, UN actors manufacture a cycle of violence that begins with Israeli aggression; assert a moral equivalence between Arab terrorists and their Israeli victims; and concoct a litany of Israeli human rights abuses. They conclude that Israeli actions in self-defense are crimes, and Israel’s enemies are understandably…protecting [their] human rights.”

Wattad, apart from failing to acknowledge documented general UN anti-israel bias, also fails to acknowledge that the UN itself is a changed organisation. When it was founded in 1945, it had 51 members, and was created to prevent the sort of mass horrors Jews and other minorities had faced in 1930s Europe. The United Nations was created precisely to “…take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace…for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, to… [ensure] conformity with the principles of justice and international law and to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples…”

Thus, the United Nations legally created the state of Israel in 1947 to implement the purposes of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in accordance with their 1945 San Francisco Charter and their legal stated purposes and principles.

In 1945, only ten UN members were non-Western states, and the UN was driven by Western values. Today, there are 193 member states. Seventy two of those are (in rough terms) non-Western, and 56 of those are member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). All of the OIC states are vehemently anti-Israel, and more than one has, at some point, actually engaged in wars with Israel, or supplied money and arms to Israel’s terrorist enemies, or advanced media lies against Israel and the West, or taught its populations hatred for Jews and Israel, or opposed democratic rights for its citizens.

Wattad does not mention that the purposeful introduction of so many Muslim states from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East has warped the manner in which the United Nations today reaches its decisions and conducts its affairs. There is now a broad swathe of states that push an agenda of “post-colonialism,” “anti-Western-‘imperialism,'” and hostility to liberal democracies and the original human rights agenda of the UN.

Many of these states are dictatorships like Iran, Syria, China, or Sudan, and many that are far from being democracies in any sense of the word.

The Islamic OIC organised bloc of fifty-six states has waged a steady campaign in key UN bodies to gut anti-Semitism of its meaning, by making the absurd argument that the term also refers to hatred against Arabs and Muslims. This is glib and misleading distortion of language and meaning designed to prevent the UN from coherently expressing sympathy for Jews as victims, and to create a form of immunity for Arab and Islamic states accused of fostering anti-Semitism.

Additionally, Wattad ignores the annual onslaught of one-sided UN resolutions in the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council that contribute—whether by intent or in their effect—to an atmosphere that demonizes the Jewish state and promotes hostility toward Jews as a whole. In the past year at the General Assembly, only a handful of countries were criticized, in no case by more than one resolution.

Israel, by contrast, was targeted in no less than twenty-two resolutions, all of them one-sided. Worse, in 2006-07, the Human Rights Council passed one hundred percent of its condemnatory resolutions against Israel, ignoring the other 191 UN member states, including the world’s worst abusers.

As further proof of the increasing biased dysfunction of another UN supported body, the UNHRC, is controlled by African and Middle Eastern countries, and is supported by China, Russia and Cuba.
Currently, members include (each with a three-year term) 13 African states, 13 Asia-Pacific states, 8 Latin American and Caribbean states, and 8 Western European and other states (the “other” being the United States). Of the thirteen African states, two (Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone) have large majority Muslim populations, and two (Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia) have large Muslim minorities.
Of the thirteen Asia-Pacific states, seven are fully Muslim entities. It has condemned Israel a total of 50 times between the time it was formed in 2006 and end 2014.

The OIC has even made efforts in the UN to have the Cairo Declaration (and, through it, sharia law) be officially adopted by the UNHRC.

Beginning in the late 1960’s, the full weight of the UN was gradually but deliberately turned against the country it had conceived, by General Assembly resolution, a mere two decades earlier. The campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel in every UN and international forum was initiated by the Arab states together with the Soviet Union which was nervous of American influence in the warm water ports it cherished for itself, and supported by what has become known as an “automatic majority” of Third World member states.

Wattad omits the backstory of the UN endorsed ICC, which thru its committees, annual UN resolutions, an entire UN bureaucratic division, permanent UN exhibits in New York and Geneva headquarters – are all dedicated to a relentless and virulent propaganda war against the Jewish state.

Together, they have made the UN into Ground Zero for today’s new anti-Semitism, which is the irrational scapegoating of Israel with the true intended target being Jews.

The Arab backed campaign of scapegoating Jews and Israel reached new strength in wake of the Arab oil embargo of 1973. Many African states were pressured into severing relations with Israel. In 1975, following a steady drumbeat of UN-endorsed anti-Israel Muslim-bloc instigated declarations were pushed through. This included organisations like the International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico, the Organization of African Unity, and the majority of the General Assembly itself which, influenced by OIC manoeuvrings actually adopted the “Zionism is Racism” resolution, later repealed for the blatant racist resolution it was.

The virulent anti-Israel apparatus within the UN, therefore, is of considerable magnitude, and cripples the even-handed functioning of the organization.

Currently, no fewer than three UN entities exist that are dedicated to furtherance of the Palestinian cause (which is, in its simplest form, dedicated to destroying Israel). There are no UN entities to advance the Israeli cause, which has always been eager to make peace with its neighbours and to help its citizens – Jews, Christians and Muslims — build good lives for themselves.

So, in response to the brief above, one can now say that never in history has a human institution for goodwill and peace among men been so betrayed by those who seek to use it for their own ethnoreligious hatreds.

It is true that Israel is not signatory to the Rome Statute of 1998. The discerning reader will begin to see why…..

Mohammed Wattad cheerfully states in his opening paragraph that “…International law is not an open buffet of “pick and choose.”…”. He doesn’t realise how right he is, and how the UN, corrupted by the MENA OIC bloc today does exactly that in its peremptory, biased ways.

Mohammed Wattad and Ha’aretz have either forgotten about the value of true journalism or are writing for sheeple.

When teachers can’t add 2+2

The recent vote taken by the student union body of Goldsmiths College in London to refrain from commemorating Holocaust Observance Day because it is “Eurocentric” and “colonialist” is as brazen in its audacity as it is anti-semitic in its intent.

The Egyptian-Muslim student leader, Sarah al-alfy, who implored the student body to reject the motion no doubt feels she has put in one for the brothers and sisters.

It would appear that, as a British Muslim, while Sarah al-alfy is keen that (mainly) Christian Britons accept her as Muslim and British, she sees no moral or intellectual dissonance in denying the right of others to grieve man’s inhumanity to man simply because they are not Muslim; or simply because they are European.

Moreover, Sarah al-alfy would also be hard pressed to explain why the Goldsmiths decision precludes the commemoration of other genocides in Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Japan (in Manchuria), Cambodia or Rwanda. Is it merely because they are not European or because it does not involve 6 million Jews???

Even if we disregard Sarah al-alfy’s enthusiasm as a lack of maturity or ‘romantic’ over-exuberance fueled by European media spin, the fact that the vote was taken and passed at a teachers training college is of more significance. Goldsmiths College, University of London, is a premier teacher education facility in England.

That this college was targeted by Muslim activists and sympathisers to influence young non-muslim teachers in training who will soon go out and teach all over Britain and Europe, is significant because of the influence teachers have over their charges. Mutliply that by around 45 to 47 years  in a teaching career in various metropolitan or country teaching authorities in and around the United Kingdom per Goldsmiths student, and the true significance of the vote and the efforts to reach the result becomes much clearer.

Intending teachers do not start of their college life as particularly intelligent or well-read members of society. Student teachers are students first and teachers only later. That most develop sooner rather than later as custodians of culturally situated valued knowledge in a cultural tradition which still mainly values the written word is, in most instances, true.

However, deliberately targeting impressionable young teachers who are unfamiliar with the minutae and nuances of the Israeli-Arab conflict to take a decision which deliberately ignores one of the greatest crimes (numbers wise..) ever committed because they are Jews or Armenians is brazen, deliberate, well-thought out and one more stepping stone in the eyes of a vocal, violent few to the inevitable establishment of a Caliphate in Europe.

It is brazen because London is in Europe and is led by a monarch who is sworn to be an upholder of the values and mores of a Protestant Church of England.

The Sarah al-alfy led decision for the students’ union to disassociate itself from the observance of Holocaust Memorial Day, European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, Holodomor [Ukrainian] Memorial Day Act and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day is as short-sighted, cynical and puerile in its inception as it is insulting in its intent. It is racist.

It is a cocky declaration of non-acceptance of other if you are Jewish or Armenian or Ukranian and a disturbing display of the inability to empathise with human suffering so typical of the non-thinking “me-too” group think which typified the rise and rule of European fascism in Germany, Spain, France and Italy a generation ago.

Sarah al-alfy’s exhortations to the student union to reject observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Goldsmiths College because it is “Eurocentric” and “colonialist” can now be contextualised for what it is: one more attempt to delegitimize targeted ethno-religious groups with yet another rejection of other.

The Goldsmiths decision, yet again, turns the original aims of political correctness on its head. The Goldsmiths decision mainstreams bigotry, so long as it is directed at Europeans and not against Muslims. The Goldsmiths decision makes it fashionable/attractive for uni students to turn against the cultures, learning and personal freedoms it offers people like Sarah al-alfy who is happy to take the best it can offer while at the same time exhorting others to delegitimize it. More worryingly, the Goldsmiths decision frames a lack of empathy as OK as long as it is directed at Armenians and Jews.

Sarah al-alfy herself will soon fade into obscurity. She is not the issue. She was merely a willing pawn in a wider, well thought out gambit aimed at delegitimizing others on ethno-religious grounds. What she on the other hand stands for, as an Egyptian Muslim in Britain, certainly IS the issue.

This disturbs and angers me particularly because I am a long, long lapsed alumnus of the College.

Is Londonistan (cf. Melanie Philips) finally a reality in the British Isles???

Shalom Dublin?? – viewing Irish anti-Israeli sentiment through the lens of the IRA’s former Nazi collaboration

I write this blog to layout for myself, the antecedents to what many puzzled Israelis and Jews see as an uncalled-for Irish antipathy to the Jewish state, and to say again that peace will only come when the current pro-Palestinian orthodoxy and exhortation to violence and martyrdom is challenged everywhere and always. I hope you find it of interest.                   (h/t: @clairefinn54)

Israel has been demonized by an Irish media slavishly dancing to the Palestinian drumbeat for decades… – [yet] Israel has a far better and more progressive record on human rights than any of its neighbors…The truth must be told.” Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan., 2014.

In his article “Why Are the Irish Increasingly Siding With Palestine Over Israel?” written for the New Republic in May 2014, Jason Walsh recounts the time he wrote a feature article for the Irish Times on Ireland’s Jewry. He interviewed retired Belfast businessman Adrian Levey, who is Jewish. Levey was “…keen to point out that anti-Semitism as such is not a problem, even on the divided streets of Belfast.
“Northern Protestants support Israel and Catholics support Palestine, it doesn’t really play out on the streets,” he said.
When you understand that Protestant and Catholic are not actually religious terms, but stand-ins for pro-British unionists and pro-Irish republicans the statement makes perfect sense. For Irish republicans have long felt they were, as much as Palestinians, living in occupied territory. Hearing Northern Ireland described as the “Occupied Six Counties” was not uncommon in my youth during the 1990s. “

What Walsh is saying is embedded in an Irish take on the colonial antecedents of Ireland, Israel, and a would-be “Palestinian” Muslim state.

He explains that Israel’s struggle against the British during the Mandate years resonated with an Irish (Roman Catholic) public subjugated for centuries by brutal British domination of their national aspirations and what they called “colonisation” and “occupation” of the six Counties which make up (Protestant) Northern Ireland today.

But as Israel became more successful, the Irish psyche projected its experience of (essentially Protestant) Britain onto Israel’s failure to decide the “Palestinian” question definitively, and the narrative of a “dispossessed” and “disenfranchised” “Palestinian” struggle for “freedom” blossomed. Israel thus began to function as a surrogate for Britain because it was too “imperial, imperious and, above all, modern.” This view, together with Brian Hanley’s exploration of the IRA’s collaboration with Nazi Germany in the Republic’s struggles against Britain form the core of this piece.

The ongoing support and collaboration between Hamas and Sinn Fein, Irish Republic politicians and the Palestinian Authority, and historical ideological and notional links between the PLO, Arafat and the Republic of Ireland are well documented, if not always in the public eye.

Certainly the links between the IRA and Arafat’s PLO have been well documented. This connection is due to historic circumstance, where the British were wrongly perceived as pro-Jewish. And this affinity went north of the border with Northern Ireland and infused the culture and politics of both the Republic of Ireland and the positions held by the IRA in Northern Ireland and its political wing Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political wing, which has elected representatives in the Irish and British parliaments and shares power in Northern Ireland, has continued to be a virulent critic of Israel. In 2006, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, then the party’s international affairs and human rights spokesperson in the Dublin parliament, described Israel as “one of the most abhorrent and despicable regimes on the planet.” In May 2014, he was one of three Irish politicians prevented by authorities from leaving Cyprus to join the Gaza-bound flotilla headed by the Mavi Marmara….

Arthur Griffith, who founded the original Sinn Fein movement in 1905, used the pages of his newspaper to rail against “Jew Swindledom” (9/10ths of all Jews were, he proclaimed, “usurers and parasites“) and the Dreyfusards.

There were similar prejudices commonplace in all the political parties which broke off from his organization, but only the eponymous rump which remained after the splits of 1921 and 1926 habitually preached Jew-hatred, culminating in a demand for an Irish-German alliance in 1939.

The newly formed “new” IRA, itself soaked in anti-Semitism, took a similar view and attempted to forge, as we will see, a working relationship with the Germans.

As noted in the republican newspaper The United Irishman of October 1951, Seán Russell, the then IRA chief of staff and a registered representative of the Irish Republic, spent the summer of 1940 in a ‘very large’ villa in the leafy Grunewald, near Berlin, surrounded by extensive grounds and parks, enjoying all the privileges of a diplomat with regard to access to food, petrol and other rationed goods.

Russell met leading Nazis such as Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop. Following the fall of France, Russell urged that the German high command make use of the IRA to strike at British forces in Northern Ireland as part of a general attack on Britain. His plans were accepted and incorporated into Operation Sealion (the plan for the invasion of Britain) as a mark of the ‘respect and esteem’ in which Russell was held by the German military leadership.

The IRA’s main publication, War News, became increasingly pro-Nazi in tone, but more worryingly, it began to ape anti-Semitic arguments. The paper expressed satisfaction that the ‘cleansing fire’ of the German armies was driving the Jews from Europe. British war minister Hore Belisha was described as a ‘wealthy Jew’ only interested in ‘profits’. War News condemned the arrival in Ireland of ‘so-called Jewish refugees’.

Even though pre-war Ireland was united in its dislike of the British, there were at least four discernible factions in the IRA.

The majority leadership grouping was sympathetic to social radicalism but primarily concerned with developing the IRA as a military force. An important section of the leadership was socialist, while a third section—of which Russell was probably the best example—were committed entirely to armed force and uninterested in political debate.

A fourth smaller group was attracted to Sinn Féin’s espousal of right-wing ‘Christian social’ policies even as further differences existed over the relationship between the IRA in Northern Ireland and its much larger and more influential southern counterpart.

Much of the northern IRA together with Sinn Fein, their political arm, were attracted to Russell’s position, because they felt marginalised and ignored by their southern comrades, even as Russell’s own isolation in, and disillusionment with, the Republic led him to forge now-embarrassing ties with the Nazis.

Putting the efforts of IRA leaders like Russell into context, Brian Hanley notes that “…the IRA in 1940 was under severe pressure and in decline. Hundreds of its members were jailed or interned in the Curragh camp. Undoubtedly a measure of desperation contributed to its thinking. Similarly, …much of what was written in the [War News] was fantasy, especially the claims that the IRA was playing a major role in the German war effort….Furthermore, War News was illegal and therefore written and distributed surreptitiously. [Only a] small number of people were responsible for its content and only a few IRA members could have had any input into it. Despite the violence of some of the anti-Jewish rhetoric in War News the IRA did not attempt to physically attack Irish Jews.”

Even so, with the partition of Ireland by the British into the (Catholic) Republic of Ireland and (largely Protestant Ulster ‘Loyalist’) Northern Ireland in 1921, the Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland imported a deep hostility towards partition as a solution to territorial conflict.

This in turn led to consistent support for the Palestinian cause some fifty years later. The “Provos” received weapons and training from Arafat’s PLO around the early 1970s; today, the IRA allegedly provides sophisticated bomb-making materials and know-how to terror group Hamas in war-ravaged Gaza.

And so, because the Irish Republican Army and Sinn Fein made common anti-colonialist cause with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, with the PLO allegedly providing arms and training for the IRA as early as the 1970s, Irish Protestant leaders, for their part, allied themselves with the Israelis and their struggle against a genocidal Muslim enemy.

Ironically, in March 1945, a correspondent for The Bell, a leading Irish magazine, raged about current events in Mandated Palestine: “Never let it be forgotten that the Irish people … have experienced all that the Jewish people in Palestine are suffering from the trained ‘thugs’ ‘gunning tarzans’ and British ‘terrorists’ that the Mandatory power have imposed upon the country.

But once the Zionist movement accepted the partition of Palestine, the Irish began to draw unflattering parallels between Israeli policies and their own divided existence.

To many, the Jewish state now looked less like a besieged religious-national community struggling valiantly for its natural rights and more like a colony illegitimately established by British force of arms and intent on imposing itself on an “indigenous” population.

As a result, Ireland only extended de jure recognition to Israel in 1963, 15 years after its declaration of independence.

After Ireland joined the European Union in 1973, successive governments in Dublin took the lead in championing the Palestinian cause within Europe.

In February 1980, Ireland was the first EU member to call for the establishment of a Palestinian state. It was also the last to allow Israel to open a residential embassy, in December 1993.

Throughout the Oslo Accords era and the post-Oslo era a decade later, Irish governments continued to provide the Palestinian cause with valuable, if not unlimited, support.

Thus, in June 2003, Brian Cowen, then Ireland’s foreign minister, visited Yasir Arafat during the height of the Second Intifada.

It was during the Second Intifada that 887 (78%) of the 1,137 Israelis killed in Arab terrorist attacks from September 2000 – 2005 were civilian casualties. Another 8,341 Israelis were wounded during this period, of which 5,676 were civilians while 2,665 were security forces.

The majority of Jewish casualties during Cowen’s visit and lauding of Arafat were caused by suicide bombings, bombs, shootings, stonings, stabbings, lynchings, rockets on civilian population centres, and other methods of attack.

And, inexplicably, Cowen spoke for many in Ireland when he described Arafat as “the symbol of the hope of self-determination of the Palestinian people” and praised him for his “outstanding work … tenacity, and persistence.”

This feting and legitimising of terror and destruction still continues in an unbroken line and the words of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams who, in 1983, laid down a blueprint which remains the playbook for the PA and Hamas in the international arena.

Back in a May 1983 interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Adams’ stated aim was “…to confront the British with an ongoing armed struggle which is enjoying popular support and a principled political party which refuses to compromise on the basic issue of British involvement in Northern Ireland.”

The aim of such a policy of confrontation, he added, was so that the British “…would be unable to govern.”

Thus, as Adams put it, the political role of Sinn Fein was merely to “broaden and popularise the struggle. For in the end the movement will have to depend on whatever armed pressure the IRA can bring.

If that sounds eerily familiar today, it is only because, if Hamas/PA is substituted for IRA, we have a copybook re-enactment of Sinn Fein strategy being perniciously played out by Hamas against Israel forty years later.

The parallels with the actions of Hamas are too striking to be ignored: continued confrontation, no negotiations, active endangering of civilian populations, an internationally supported political wing in Ramallah and no compromise on borders or choice of capital.

This ongoing tacit Irish apologism for Palestinian wrongdoing, together with a disdainful disregard of the Jews’ unbroken connection with the country going back to one thousand years before the Arab conquest of an indigenous Jewish peoples and land, is an inversion of Orwellian proportions, the scale of which the British author himself did not envision.

It is, therefore, this peculiar Irish post-colonialist pathology which continues to nurture to a recurrent Arab psychology of intransigence, intolerance and a refusal to take responsibility for actions, which lethally endanger a new generation of Jew and Arab alike.

And, as with all dictatorships of the mind, distrust and fear of other feed periodic outbursts of pointless, near gratuitous, violence.

In Belfast in 2014, upon his arrest for alleged involvement in the grisly 1972 IRA murder of widowed mother of ten, Jean McConville, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said “….I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will…”

In Israel in 2014, Jews today continue to pay the price, through murder and wanton destruction, for a frightening foreign ideology of hate and segregation whose time we thought had long passed.

Muslim anti-semitism – mammon versus allah?

This core of this blog is the intellectual property of Salim Mansur, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. His full article, Arab and Muslim Antisemitism: a Muslim Perspective, together with a full reference list, may be found here. This opinion piece, together with information I have added, represents my interpretation and rendering of his article.

“Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews,” – Third Intifada Facebook page, 2013.

“Among the Jews, there have always been those who killed God’s prophets. … it was said that they were the source for such deadly diseases as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time, people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to the Christians and thus killed them.” – former Ahmadinejad’s media advisor, Mohammad Ali Ramin, June 9, 2006.

“One should fight the Jews and vanquish them so that the conditions for the advent of the Hidden Imam will be met.” – Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani, April, 2005.

“[Muslim]Palestine is under occupation; the basic rights of the Palestinian {Muslims] are tragically violated, and they are deprived of the right of return and access to their homes, birthplace and homeland.” currrent Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, 25 September, 2013.

While those most forceful in spewing their bigotry against Jews are Palestinian Arabs and their religious, political and intellectual leaders, much of the modern antecedents to this olden hatred can be sheeted home to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, as Hitler’s collaborator in importing European anti-Semitism into the Middle East.

The Mufti’s ideology of hate-mongering against the Jews and the Zionist project has been emulated by an array of other leading Arab and Muslim intellectuals, activists, and religious leaders. These include Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; Syed Qutb, the intellectual heavyweight of the Muslim Brothers; Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the late founder of Hamas; the rulers and imams of Saudi Arabia; Abul A’la Mawdudi, the Indo-Pakistani founder of the Jamaat-i-Islami; Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and, notably, the current Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

Virulent European-style anti-semitism is also emulated by the leaders of Hizbullah in Lebanon, the leadership and ranks of other “jihadi” (holy war) organizations, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and non-clerical or secular Muslim leaders like Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia. Clearly, the front of Muslim anti-Semitism is wide and deep. But is this genocidally inspired hate sanctioned by Islam? For this we need to turn to the source.

All texts are open to many readings.

Reading the Bible was one of the triggers of the struggle Martin Luther initiated as he declared defiantly, “Here I stand.” In other words, the stand he took was in reading and interpreting the Bible according to his intelligence and conscience – contrary to that of the Vatican.

Reading the Quran, it quickly becomes clear that the hate-speech of Muslim clerics and the on-going Muslim vilification of Jews has its roots in the theology of Islam.

Mohammad’s relationship with Jews was always a quarrelsome one. Born in approximately 517 C.E. in Mecca, then the leading religious centre of pagan Arabia, Mohammad was approximately forty years old when he became convinced that God had spoken to him through the angel Gabriel.

Jews, with their monotheistic beliefs, had lived in and around Mecca, which was located on a route that linked Yemen in the south of the Arab peninsula, to Egypt and Damascus in the North, for centuries. While some historians say that Jews lived in the region even before the destruction of the first Temple, others say that Jews only settled the peninsula after the destruction of the second Temple. In any event, all agree that the Jews were the majority of the population in that area at the time of Mohammad and were organized into three tribes: Banu el nadir, Banu Kurayza and Banu Kaynuqa; the first two mentioned being descendants of the priests.

Ostracised and persecuted by his Arab brethren in Mecca for his monotheistic beliefs, Mohammad fled to Medina, a city which had been settled by Jews centuries before his arrival.

When the Jewish leaders of Medina first heard of the coming of a prophet preaching belief in one God in the Arabian peninsula, they were intrigued. They did not immediately accept or reject Mohammad, but they wanted to know more. Relations began to deteriorate as the Jews discovered Muhammad was not very familiar with their scriptures and traditions. The rabbis would taunt him with questions he could not answer, and in the end, they rejected his message that he was a Jewish prophet.

The Jews’ rejection of Muhammad’s message must have disappointed him greatly. He saw himself preaching the same monotheism to which the Jews subscribed – why then wouldn’t they accept him as a prophet?

To establish his affinity with the Jews, he even borrowed some Jewish practices and prescribed them to his followers. Thus, Muslims were to meet for prayer on Friday afternoon as Jews prepare for the Sabbath, they were to face Jerusalem in prayer as Jews do, they were to observe some of the Jewish dietary laws, as well as the fast on the Day of Atonement. Muslims called this the fast of Ashura, meaning “tenth,” (Asara in Hebrew) since the Day of Atonement falls on the tenth of the Jewish month of Tishri. When the Jews rejected his prophecy in spite of these practices, Muhammad changed them, and fixed the qibla (direction of prayer) to Mecca in place of Jerusalem.

According to the Quran, Muhammad is then said to have received the following revelation:
Say to those who disbelieve: “You will be vanquished and gathered to Hell, an evil resting place. You have already had a sign in the two forces which met”; i.e. the apostle’s companions at Badr and the Quraysh. “One force fought in the way of God; the other, disbelievers, thought they saw double their own force with their very eyes. God strengthens with His help whom He will. Verily in that is an example for the discerning.” (Qur’an, 3:12-13)

Thus, after settling in Medina, about five hundred kilometres further north of Mecca, and after his revelations by the angel Gabriel in a cave, his rejection by the Jews of Medina as a Jewish prophet, meant that as his influence in the region grew, he meted out harsh punishment for two of the three Jewish tribes of Medina whom he “subdued” and exiled.

For the destruction of the third Jewish tribe in Medina, Mohammad now received a further angelic revelation directing him to attack the Jewish Bnei Quraiza tribe of Medina:
When the Prophet returned from Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench) and laid down his arms and took a bath, Gabriel came and said (to the Prophet ), “You have laid down your arms? By Allah, we angels have not laid them down yet. So set out for them.” The Prophet said, “Where to go?” Gabriel said, “Towards this side,” pointing towards Banu Quraiza. So the Prophet went out towards them.

After their defeat and capture for the transgression of not physically supporting him against the pagan Arab Meccans who were attacking him, Muhammad went to the market in Medina and dug trenches. Then the men of the Jewish Quraiza tribe were brought out in batches, and Muhammad and his followers cut off their heads. According to Ibn Ishaq (690), the number of dead ranged between 600 and 900. Afterwards Muhammad divided their property, their women, and their children among his followers.

And it is now that the following hadith (report of the teachings, deeds and sayings of Mohammad), one of the most widely quoted today to justify anti-Semitic hatred, was attributed to the man:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (Sahih Muslim, 41:6985; see also 41:6981-84 and Sahih Bukhari, 4:52:176,177 and 4:56:791)

Mohammad next marched on the rich Jewish settlement of Khaybar defeating them, taking their wealth and forcing them to pay jizya (tax) so that “… they might feel themselves subdued”.

In today’s parlance, Mohammad engaged in the practice of beheading his enemies, as well as forcing large-scale exile. That same Muslim tradition is verifiably evident today by some of today’s Arab/Muslim terrorists who claim to follow the prophet. Today, however, there is a name for forced large-scale exile. It is called ethnic cleansing. And there is a name for the extermination of an entire tribe. Civilised societies call it genocide, not a revelation from “god”.

This tradition of violence against, and vilification of, Jews is, arguably, continued from the days of Mohammad through to today.

Sheikh Mohamed Sayyid Tantawi – the former Grand Imam and rector of al-Azhar University, who died in 2010, is an example of a contemporary Muslim anti-Semite who validated his bigotry by appealing to traditional Muslim Judeophobia based on negative references to the Jews in the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet.

Tantawi’s reading of the Quran ascribes to the Jews a slew of unflattering characteristics, including wanton envy, lasciviousness, religious fanaticism, murderousness, and a tendency toward “semantic bickering.” Using a phrase referring to a verse in the Quran (2:65), in a 2002 sermon, Tantawi describes Jews, collectively, as “descendants of apes and pigs” and accuses Jews of corrupting Allah’s word, consuming people’s wealth and murdering Allah’s prophets.

This is one way in which such references to the Quran and early Muslim history facilitated the Islamization of European anti-Semitism. This could occur because Judeophobia/anti-semitism was present in early Islamic history, just as it was in early European history. Genocidal anti-Semitism, however, remained a specifically European, primarily German, disease that never existed in Islam before the twentieth century.

Together with that, it should be remembered that the modern fusion of traditional Muslim Judeophobia and fierce European anti-Semitism occurred during the years between the World Wars, when the victors of World War I were precariously positioned in the Middle East as the “Mandatory” powers, in the terminology of the League of Nations, while the former subjects of the Ottoman Empire restlessly aspired to their own independence and statehood.

With the abolition of the Caliphate by Turkish leader Kamal Atatturk, Muslims now faced the problem not only of how to acquire eventual independence from European colonial rule, but also of how to restore the Caliphate in some form or other, to create a Shariah-based, Islamic state. These questions became the distinguishing features of political Islam, or Islamism, and the ideology of political movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

But more than that, the modern antecedents of Arab/Muslim antisemitism and genocidal declarations of war may be attributed to Muslim distress over the long decline of Islamic rule and the loss of lands to European powers, and, especially among Arabs, the partition of Palestine, and the birth of Israel.

The establishment of the state of Israel, in the very centre of the Arab core of the Islamic world, the inclusion of the ancient Jewish city of Jerusalem and the repeated defeats suffered by Arabs in their wars against the Jews created a sense of insufferable and deep humiliation that find expression in the vilest denunciation of the Jews as enemies of Islam and Muslims.

Most of all, the sense of outrage, as is clearly shown in the modern Arab/Muslim anti-semitism, was aroused by the identity of those who inflicted these dramatic defeats on Muslim and Arab armies and imposed their rule on Muslim Arab populations.

For the victors were not the followers of a world religion, or the armies of a mighty imperial power, by which one could be conquered without undue shame – nor the Catholic kings of Spain, not the far-flung British Empire, nor the immense and ruthless might of Russia – but the Jews – historically few, scattered, and powerless, whose previous humility made their triumphs especially humiliating.

This recent history partly explains the nature of contemporary Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism, which continues to be ratcheted up in inverse relation to the repeated failures by Arabs to defeat Israel and Israel’s continued success in all fields of human endeavour and compassion.

The current pretext of the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict is nothing but a proxy war by the nation of Islam in retaliation against Jews for losing both an international legal decision in the 1947 Partition Plan and losing physical wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973. And those non-Muslim enablers in Europe’s organisations who unceasingly censure Israel, are but self-serving business entities content to promote a basically religious propaganda in return for a cut of the largesse of petrodollars.

Together with current seismic politico-cultural shifts in the Arab Muslim world due to a very violent unravelling of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1915, the continuing discord over the nature of Islamic society and the sectarian conflicts that have spilled over into civil war across the Middle East and into the wider Muslim world have fostered an unwillingness on the part of Muslims worldwide to examine any internal causes for their malaise.

It has created a culture of denial that by now is a part of Muslim culture and history that manifests itself by a Muslim refusal to take responsibility for their own role in history, and leads to a pathological proclivity to blame others – especially the Jews – for misfortunes that are really of their own making.

Thus, just as a few drops of lemon juice curdle a bowl of milk, Judeophobia sanctioned by the Quran and the Prophet would mean that Islam as a religion of peace/mercy is, arguably, a falsehood.

The words of Bernard Lewis in 1984 in his book The Jews of Islam remain as poignant today as when they were originally written:
“Islamists have shredded their “thin veneer of Islam” and displayed their “jihad” as a neo-pagan belief in a capricious tribal god governing a cult of violence. It was from such a pagan belief that Muhammad sought to lift the Arabs of the desert by having Islam bear the universal message of belief in one God, merciful and compassionate; but it is precisely this pagan cult of tribal violence that Islamists have resurrected or which, it might be said, they never really renounced.”

On this basis, it is easy to see why John Kerry’s “messianical” mission to bring peace to the Middle East was always going to fail and how the narrative of the bigoted Palestinian/Muslim/Arab religious, political and intellectual leadership will continue to perpetuate the cycle of violence against Jews in or out of Israel.

The Quran makes it so.

Are the BS and the DS in BDS manifestations of a malodorous whole?

If we leave analogies of bull and donkey excrement aside, is there any way to intellectually or morally justify the Arab inspired BDS campaign?

Or is the BDS campaign, co-founded by Omar Barghouti, yet another example of how Muslim racist supremacism fails when interrogated by the standard trifecta of intellectual rigour, universal morality and international law?

latuff-apartheid

In an article for the Los Angeles Times on May 26 2014, and placed prominently on the official bdsmovement.net website, Saree Makdisi, a professor of comparative literature, asks the question : “Does the term ‘apartheid’ fit Israel?”

And, in the time-honoured tradition of lazy journalism or arguably naïve enthusiasm, and just in case there was any chance of receiving an answer which would queer her pitch, Makdisi immediately answers herself in the affirmative: “Of course it does.”

But is that so? Is Israel an apartheid state as set out in Article II of the UNGA declaration introduced in 1973 and eventually ratified in 1976 by over 100 countries?

The UNGA declaration crafted 19 Articles which, in summary, concluded that “As such, apartheid was declared to be a crime against humanity, with a scope that went far beyond South Africa. While the crime of apartheid is most often associated with the racist policies of South Africa after 1948, the term more generally refers to racially based policies in any state.”

Warming up to her task, Makdisi then states that the convention outcomes were “…ratified by most United Nations member states (Israel and the United States are exceptions, to their shame).”

In this she is mostly correct.

However, she omits to mention that in addition to Israel and the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, “to their shame”, also refused to sign on or ratify the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (ICSPCA). These democracies rejected the ICSPCA formulation that apartheid was declared to be a crime against humanity because crimes against humanity are considered so grave in nature that they must be meticulously elaborated and strictly construed under existing international law.

And so, in order to examine what Article II of the ICSPCA formulation said, I quote its entirety:

(a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:
(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;
(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;

(b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;

(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate…denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;

(d) Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof;

(e) Exploitation of the labour…of a racial group or groups, in particular by submitting them to forced labour;

(f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.

For anybody who has lived in Israel, Article II, as it would be applied to the Jewish State by Israel’s detractors, is to draw a very long bow.

Learned treatises have been written refuting every one of the apartheid allegations at every level that Israel’s detractors would bestow on her. I will not add to the painstaking and methodical work of my betters.

For those who haven’t lived in Israel, why would they believe somebody like Barghouti unless it suited them to subscribe to a prejudice and a libellous bigotry that meshed with their own personal world view? It is easy to show Barghouti for what he is.

By that I mean that labelling Israel as an apartheid state comparable with the old South Africa is the most potent weapon in the armoury of BDS promoters. It resonates well with those who live by popular media ‘sound-bite analysis’ of complex situations, and Barghouti has chosen his weapon well.

While well-intentioned, though not necessarily well-read, people believe the BDS movement is worthy of support because they mistakenly believe that BDS advocates a two state solution, the truth is quite different.

On the 6th January 2004, that same Omar Barghouti wrote in The Electronic Intifada: “The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is really dead. Good riddance! But someone has to issue an official death certificate before the rotting corpse is given a proper burial… We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism…nothing can be done to save it…[and] I, for one, support euthanasia.”

Dem’s fighting words in anybody’s language. And the written record can never be erased.

Unfortunately, those sentiments from the horse’s mouth [apologies, Omar…] lay bare the real aim of the BDS campaign.

The intellectuals [sic] behind the BDS campaign do not support a two-state solution as most European and some Australian BDSers believe.

They support a one-state solution where 7.7 million “Palestinians” worldwide would return to present-day Israel in an act of “euthanasia” [apologies, Omar] that would spell its demise.

The barely-concealed bigotry and prejudice that drives the international BDS campaign is slowly coming under greater examination across the western civilised world which values intellectual and moral honesty. Here again, Mr Barghouti does the movement no favours.

For example, Mr Barghouti maintains that BDS follows the heroic legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement, where being anti-Israel aligns you with the romantic, heroic social justice movements of the past.

Fortunately, Dr King’s words still ring out as starkly today as they did in 1968 at a dinner he attended in Cambridge, MA : “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”

And it says much about the racist bigotry of the BDS campaign particularly when King is recorded as saying on March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his assassination:
“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvellous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality. I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews — because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all.”

As for that other icon, Nelson Mandela, and the narrative of C.R.A.P. that the BDSers would have you believe, we have only to turn to the 1990 series of interviews that Mandela gave on his invitation to the United States for a series of ticker-tape parades celebrating his achievement: With respect to Israel and the Palestinians, Mandela stressed that he unequivocally recognized Israel, not only as a de facto entity but its de jure right to exist as a state behind secure borders.

In his 1994 autobiography he states: “I have found Jews to be more broad-minded than most whites on issues of race and politics, perhaps because they themselves have historically been victims of prejudice.”

But this is not about whether Mandela gives Israel a character reference or not.

Rather, it is about his statement in Gaza with Arafat in October 1999, despite his ambivalence about Israel because of their support of the apartheid regime in South Africa that, “The Arab leaders must make an unequivocal statement that they recognize the existence of Israel with secure borders.”

Omar Barghouti and his BDS campaign are currently a popular go-to mainspring for those leisured but morally and intellectually suspect classes looking for a cause to espouse.

At his core, Barghouti is essentially dishonest; his campaign is based on a lie. Hence, BDS will go the way of other ill-conceived Arab plans since 1948 to rid the Middle East of the only Jewish state in the world.

In support of the above claim, I state that Mr. Barghouti claims that it is racist for Israelis not to condemn their army when it accidentally brings about the death of Palestinian civilians while in his view it is not racist for Palestinians publicly to applaud the purposeful murder of Jewish children or kidnapping of Jewish teenagers.

Further, Omar Barghouti does not deny the tacit assumption that while Palestinian nationalism is a legitimate expression of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people, Jewish nationalism must be racism.  For Mr Barghouti to appeal to a wider base of a readership not well versed in Middle east history, facts and figures, he must needs use the race card to justify his claim that Israel pursues a policy of apartheid.

If you have never been to Israel you would never know otherwise. Mr Barghouti banks on this.

And Mr Barghouti would prefer you not to know that Mr Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Fatah-Hamas “unity” government in Judea and Samaria, stated to Egyptian media on 28 July 2010: “I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.”

Now that’s apartheid.

Mr Barghouti could not deny that if you had ever been to Israel or lived there, you would know that in Haifa or Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, Jews and Arabs live in the same neighborhoods, in the same blocks of flats In Jaffa, Lod and Haifa, frequent each other’s businesses, and cheer the home town football team together.

Israeli Arabs have the right to vote, serve in the Knesset, study in Israeli universities, share the same hospitals and public facilities and work alongside Israeli Jews. If you fell ill you would likely be looked after by Arab physicians and nurses in Israeli hospitals. Eleven serving members of the current Israeli Parliament in the State of Israel are Arabs, even though they don’t (yet??) see the irony in their vociferous objection (Ahmed Tibi, MK, February, 2014) to living under the Palestinian Authority in any future two-state solution……..

Casting “Palestinians” as passive ‘victims’, wholly innocent of any responsibility for their plight, Mr Barghouti essentially disrespects them by absolving them of any accountability for their own actions, and providing them with a framework to behave as if they can do no wrong.

“The only reason there is no Palestinian state thriving next to Israel (to which Palestinians the world over would have the right of return) is because the Palestinians do not want such a state: they would rather destroy Israel than build Palestine – and often well-meaning Europeans [and Americans] encourage them in that idee fixe” ( (Menachem Kellner, 2007).

Thus, even this brief survey highlights the questionable intellectual and moral honesty of this mainstay of rational Arab policy.

As for Ms Makdisi who lives and works at UCLA, well, I bear her no ill will.

When all is said and done, Ms Makdisi, is a professor of literature, and the very tools of her trade are, after all, mostly fiction.