Tag Archives: Israel

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.

The Legal Israeli

Israel bashers will wax lyrical about the illegality of Jewish settlements east of the Green Line and in Judea and Samaria which was invaded and occupied, in defiance of international law, by Jordan 1948-1967.

The facts are that Israeli settlement is not illegal. By international law.
This is why the Obama administration now harps on about the “legitimacy” of Israeli settlement and not illegality.

It will be tedious to repeat Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, but for those new to the arguments:
“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons
from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

Of course, Israel did not transfer anybody from Judea and Samaria in 1967. Quite the opposite, the ethnic cleansing of Jews by Jordan in 1949 underscores the illegal eviction of Jews by the Jordanian Muslims, enthusiastically supported by only two states: Pakistan. And Britain….

Article 49 goes on to state: “…the Occupying Power may undertake total or partial evacuation of a given area if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Such evacuations may not involve the displacement of protected persons outside the bounds of the occupied territory except when for material reasons it is impossible to avoid such displacement.”

Thus, international law permits operations involving security; the clause allowing in principio building of the security barrier inside the West Bank that Israel erected in reaction to the Second Intifada, and relocation of people impacted to construct such barrier.

And so, in international law, Jews moving to Judea and Samaria is part of the ongoing provision legally established internationally in 1922, and is jus cogens in customary international law.

Israel is in no way legally obligated to maintain a status quo under Article 55 of the Hague regulations because Israel is not bound by the laws of Jordan, which illegally seized and annexed the area. Even if Pakistan pronounced it OK in 1948…..

On the other hand, Israel makes the case that Judea and Samaria need to be administered according to British laws which had an international (legal) mandate before the Jordanians took illegally invaded and occupied the area.

To that extent, Israel is fully compliant with international law as laid down by Britain which state that no person should be forbidden to live in any part of the entirety of the Mandate (including Gaza, Israel and the West Bank) on the basis of religion, per Article 15 of that 1922 Mandate: “The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief… {and that) Jewish immigration under suitable conditions shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”

In other words, in accordance with the same international law and legal authority which created Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, administration under British law encouraged Jews to live throughout Judea and Samaria, including state lands, and it can therefore not be illegal for any Jew to live there.
And it is this legal ruling which frustrates the very pliable Obama.

Further, Democrats like Carter and Obama have no legal recourse to back up their condemnation of Israeli settlement as illegal because Jews moving to, and living in, the West Bank, could ONLY be considered illegal, if Jordanian law was to be maintained in the area.

Of course, not even Jordan’s forcible seizure could circumvent customary law in the ICJ from ruling that “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.” (Schwebel, 1970).

For those who fret that Israel may, in some difficult to understand way, be deserving of pariah status as an illegal occupying force, I would suggest that under international law, the League of Nations Mandate explicitly recognized the right of Jewish settlement in all territory allocated to the Jewish national home in the context of the British Mandate. And the British Mandate covered the area that is currently Israel, all the disputed territories (and even what is now Jordan), and even Gaza in its original iteration.

These rights under the British Mandate were preserved by the United Nations, under Article 49 of the UN Charter.

Today, Israel faces serious diplomatic challenges to its legitimacy as a Jewish state only after Arab intransigence, bravado and supremacism saw that it could never remove Israel through military force (1948, 1967, 1973).

But like everything else in the Jewish people’s 3,000 year history, this too shall pass.

חזק ואמצ

WHEN INTERNATIONAL LAW’S THE THING…..

Without question, Israel is currently facing an increasingly coordinated and concerted effort by Europe and the Arab world, to delegitimise and cripple her.

Barack Obama is presiding over seismic shifts in geopolitical alliances instigated by a foreign policy that is foreign to everything America has said they stand for till now.

It is not coincidental that China and India are strenuously courting the tiny Jewish state as it becomes increasingly clear that liberal democrat America does not have Israel’s best interests at heart.

Consider the present administration’s full-throated support of “Palestinian” statehood and its increasingly strident efforts to accommodate a landscape-changing Iranian nuclear deal.
Both developments would seriously affect Israel’s ability to adequately protect itself without using the nuclear option if the Arab world continues to see as its primary foreign policy objective, the removal of the Jewish state from the Middle East.

But are Europe and America barking up the wrong tree? Do the Chinese and Indian governments more accurately evaluate the danger of spreading radical Islam given the chaos Muslim minorities cause in their respective countries? Does Russia, whose propaganda campaign is responsible for much of the European shift towards delegitimisation of Israel, also know what the Israelis know: that radical Islam unchecked today will rapidly convert significant sections of European cities into expanding Sharia-controlled no-go Muslim enclaves? Will Muslim terror stop once the world recognises the illegality of the Zionist enterprise in the Middle East. Is the foundation of the state of Israel illegal under international law?

The short answer is that the formation of the State of Israel is completely legal under international law, even if Arab backed European politically motivated communities would like to revise the fact.

There is a reason, in international law, there has been no “Palestinian” state these past 66 years.

And as long as there are those who would delegitimise a UN member state, there will always be those who will make sure that petty, genocidal, religious dogma neither changes the facts of history nor subverts international law which has at its very core, the objective of limiting the institutionalised violence we call war.

Israel is a sovereign state under international law. International law is a set of rules that are generally accepted in relations between states (Glick, 2014). International law is based on consent, and states follow the rules of international law to which they consent.

International law comprises two strands: treaties and custom. Treaties may be bilateral, based on international conventions like the 1948 Geneva Convention, or they may be multilateral such as is the case with the NATO treaty.

However, while treaties are binding under international law, institutions created by the treaties cannot make new law. Thus international bodies such as the UNGA can only pass resolutions which are recommendations. The UNSC may pass binding resolutions, but exercise of that power is limited to situations that are 1) threats to peace, 2) breaches of peace, 3) and acts of aggression against UN member states. Clearly, in the case of the Israeli Arab conflict as regards “Palestine”, “Palestinian” Arabs, hyperbole notwithstanding, have no legal leg to stand on. They have continuously threatened the peace, breached innumerable ceasefires, and often attacked a UN member state.

On the other hand, treaties do not carry the same weight as legislation, and states only have to obey treaties to which they are parties. In other words, no consent, no law.
Does this mean that a would-be “Palestinian” ‘nation’ could refuse to honour a treaty to which they were not party?

The brief legal answer is no.

International law permits self-determination claims to be satisfied by incorporation into the ruling state, by sovereign independence, or by anything in between.

In order to abide by its international obligations as a member of the family of nations to respect the self-determination rights of “Palestinians”, Israel is required to take good-faith negotiations with the “Palestinians” in a bid to satisfy these self-determination rights.

Nobody would dispute that the two unprecedentedly generous Israeli peace offers to Arafat and Abbas, in attempts to reach a peace settlement over the past 20 years, in addition to the commencement of the Oslo Accords which recognised the PLO as official representative of the “Palestinian” people, do not constitute good-faith efforts by the Israelis to satisfy “Palestinian” self-determination rights. The remarkable Barak and Olmert offers are historically documented proof of that.

Thus, Israel has fulfilled its obligations in this sphere as well.

Unlike Israel, there has never been a polity/state called “Palestine”. Thus not agreeing to international law has never been an option for them, despite their bombast and continuous claims of victimhood over the years.

And finally in this section about the legality of the Israeli negotiating position under international law, the prospect of the PA unilaterally approaching the UN for membership and thus statehood, would be a grave violation of the PLO’s signed agreement with Israel, under international aegis, which specifically barred such unilateral actions. Under international law, this agreement was witnessed by outside parties including the United States, Russia, Norway, the EU and so on.

This means that any material violations of agreements that were witnessed by the EU or similar, would irreversibly jeopardise the worth of such agreements in international law and the worth of such witnessing, and would free Israel to act in its best interests without fear or favour. A scenario fraught with potential for untold violence anyway you care to look at it.

Custom in international law, on the other hand, is different in that it results from general and consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal obligation.

International law requires states to follow customary law even when the states have not explicitly consented to the custom (Glick, 2014). However, because customary law is also based on implied consent, a state that consistently objects to an international custom, is not bound by that custom.

Once again, in the absence of there ever being a sovereign “Palestinian” state to even invoke customary law and thus invoke consistent objection to the legal establishment of the State of Israel, in the light of the point blank refusal of three offers of “Palestinian” statehood 1947-2014 thus abrogating its rights to sovereignty in PA controlled “West Bank”, and in the absence of any codification of rules and charters minimising violence against Jews by the current “unity” government as per the requirement of an intending member of the United Nations, “Palestinian” claims that they are a people living in a non-self-governing territory and thus have a right to self determination is belied by the fact that the “Palestinians” have been exercising self rule over inhabited parts of Judea and Samaria since 1994 when PA was formed…….

Thus, the PA’s invocation of even this tenet of international law is baseless.

In light of the above, understanding “Palestinian” Arab violence towards the State of Israel becomes even more difficult to accept in any form, because of the documented incidents of a violent minority which proffers its own apocalyptic Islamic interpretation of how the world should be, and what should replace western interpretations of law and order.

In Gaza, and further afield, the rebirth of Islamic imperialism and violence post 9/11, from the World Trade Center, to a discothèque in Bali, to beheadings in the barren stony lands around Dabiq and Raqqa point to what Buruma and Margalit (2004) have termed Occidentalism.

Like Orientalism, which was perceived as a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies, Occidentalism sees the West as something less than human, something to be destroyed, something that goes beyond Wall Street, Hollywood, capitalism or the all-too-convenient catch-cry of “US imperialism”.

The current crop of jihadis see western liberalism as a threat to their religious fundamentalism, self-appointed caliphs and religiously inspired “pure” and “authentic” cleansing of the kuffar through blood letting, because it deflates the pretensions of their own brand of heroic Islamic utopianism.

Wherever it occurs, this Occidentalism is fed by an inflated Muslim perception of humiliation, of defeat.

The current wave of Islamic Occidentalism seeks to right a perceived historical wrong. And nothing matches the perceived Arab Muslim sense of failure and humiliation as much as the perception that a once glorious civilization has been left behind in every respect by the post-Enlightenment West.

This over-indulged perception of humiliation, historically redolent of the Arab psyche, can easily turn into a self-aggrandising cult of the pure and the authentic. And it is when “purity” or “authenticity”, of faith or race, leads to purges of the supposedly inauthentic, of the allegedly impure, that mass murder begins. The fact that anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and a general hostility to the West currently overlaps is no coincidence. (Buruma & Margalit, 2004).

However, in a modern world dominated by the spread and take up of western values of business and culture, copied and practised skilfully by the very people who would kill you for it, international law remains the final fragile red barrier “authenticity” and “purity” of Islamic thought must breach in order to imprint its brand of religious fundamentalism on a wide swathe of the world’s peoples.

To that extent, I submit that Muslim violence today against the west is not the fault of anyone else except irrational, inverted Muslim Quranic interpretation and thought, and a willingness to shed as much blood (of others) as it takes to spread a violent, radical brand of Islam.

This vision radical Islam has of itself as an antidote to “Westoxification”, is a mixture of the universal and the pure: “universal” because all people can/should, in the eyes of the believers, become orthodox Muslims; and “pure” because those who refuse the call are not simply lost souls but savages who must be removed from this earth.

Thus the “pure” and/or “authentic” Occidental hero is the one, whether he is a Nazi or an Islamist, who is just as ready to destroy those who sully the purity of his race or creed. It is indeed his duty to do so. When the West is seen as the threat to authenticity, then it is the duty of all “holy warriors” to destroy anything to do with the “Zionist Crusaders,” whether it is a U.S. battleship, a British embassy, a Jewish cemetery, or a Bali discotheque; even unto the extreme of beheading well-meaning western aid workers and journos in Dabiq and Raqqa as a terror tactic to induce compliance (Buruma & Margalit, 2004).

But, whatever the rest of the world might be comfortable acceding to in appeasing Muslim violence by permitting Sharia police no-go zones in European cities and towns, with regards to the Israeli- “Palestinian” conflict, there is always the question of international law.

It is the source of greatest frustration to large hostile bodies such as the Arab League and their enablers in the European Union that, since their inception in 1945, they have never been able to either militarily extract a territorial concession from Israel in all the wars they have initiated, nor circumvent the rule of international law in their efforts to financially and socially/legally cripple the sovereign Jewish state these past 66 years….

The sovereignty of the Jewish state became a legal issue in 1917 with the demise of 400 years of Ottoman Muslim rule in the Levant.

Whereas the Levant Arabs, now freed from the oppressive yoke of the Ottomans, agreed to League of Nations mandates to create Muslim entities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Gaza in return for supporting the British and the French, those self-same Arabs did not see their way clear to the same League of Nations establishing the Jewish state of Israel in what was called the British Mandate for Mesopotamia……

Thus, with the disintegration of the despotic Ottoman rule in the region, the Arabs accepted international law in the creation of five more Muslim entities along national ethno-religious lines, but just not a single Jewish one.

Fortunately for Israel, its creation has always been anchored in international law both through treaty and through custom as described above. For example, Israel is well within its international legal rights in building as it sees fit in Judea and Samaria. Yehuda and Shomron were always included territory in the intended Jewish state under both the League of Nations and the legally approved British Mandate, despite the illegal invasion and occupation of the area (euphemistically called the West Bank [of the Jordan]) by Jordan in 1948. In 1967, Judea and Samaria were returned to Jewish sovereignty in a defensive war where Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq combined to try and wipe out (again) the tiny Jewish state.

Forty years previously, the 1937 Peel Commission succumbed to Arab violence and recommended the partition of the remainder of the Mandate, now not including Jordan, into a further division of Jewish and Arab land. The Jews were now to receive a mere 19% of the truncated Mandated lands, with 81% going to the creation of yet another Muslim Arab state. The Jewish Agency accepted even this disappointing breach of promise. The Arabs rejected the compromise.

The records will always show the facts of the matter: Arab intransigence and religious racism are the only reasons there is no “Palestine” today. The Arab-Israeli conflict never had anything to do with land. It was always a war of religion.

Clearly, as it has always done since 1917, international law will always back up the Israeli position on any future negotiated settlement.

International law (and an innate sense of fairness in other nations around the world that is difficult to legislate for) remained the major stumbling block in MENA and the EU preventing the dismemberment of the Jewish state.

But, in the end, all of history shows that people do not like continuous change or violent upheaval. The average person in the street does not approve of murder and mayhem, be they from Dubai or Donetsk. The average person just wants to get on with life and make the most of their time while alive.

For this reason alone, the current orgy of Islamic violence will splutter and die as the internet continues to interleave the commonality of the human condition, race, religion or creed notwithstanding.

And because of this, the State of Israel will continue to survive and prosper.

Because of this, and international law……….

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.

Hamas for Dummies

The article below was written by a Swedish blogger who has been blogging for over 11 years on stealth islamisation in Scandinavia. While written before the sad news of the boys’ murder, and before the release of the harrowing 2 minute phone call to Israel Police, the piece is instructive because it itemises the ways the kidnapping has served Hamas less well than it hoped.

Hamas for Dummies

June 18th, 2014 by Ilya Meyer

Truth be told, the title of this piece should instead be “Hamas are Dummies”.

Here’s why.

All the intel indicates that the three Israeli Jewish schoolboys kidnapped on June 12 were abducted by Hamas.

Almost a week later, their whereabouts are still not known. Palestinian Arab society erupted into paroxysms of joy, public celebration and calls for more kidnappings. And who can blame them – for so many decades now their leaders have assiduously taught them to rely on crime, murder, theft, lies, indoctrination, racism and genocide as noble tools for achieving an even nobler goal: the extinction of Jews from the region.

The Palestinian Arabs even enlisted their own youngest schoolchildren in their propaganda, proudly showing young kids flashing three fingers in celebration of the “victory” of having kidnapped three Jewish schoolchildren. Read that again: Palestinian Arab society has so brainwashed its own children that they celebrate the kidnapping of other children. It speaks volumes of that society – and neatly addresses the non-issue of the chances for peace in the future. What peace with a society whose future leaders are today being taught (at UN, EU and US taxpayer-funded expense) that kidnapping children is a cause for celebration? The world is noting this with revulsion, and the backlash is already on the way.

Because when all is said and done, what has the “success” of the kidnapping given Hamas?

Yes, they are still holding three Jewish schoolchildren whose sole crime is that they are Jewish. But here are just some of the costs to Hamas and the other Palestinian Arab terrorist groups and indeed the general Palestinian Arab populace:

1. Day after day, night after night, Israel is identifying, locating, rounding up and destroying illegal weapons caches. That’s hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of smuggled weapons crushed to dust. Weapons belonging not just to Hamas, but to all Palestinian Arab gangs. When the first round is over, the search will proceed deeper: water wells will be excavated in the hunt for concealed weapons, apartment building foundations will be dug up, warehouses will be torn apart. Oh, it will all be put back together, but the price to the general populace in the meantime will be uncountable. And it’s all down to Hamas.

2. Soon the only place to safely store weapons will be in mosques, a common Palestinian Arab tactic, but as the Israeli surveillance drones continue their untiring unmanned missions, that is where the weapons will be forced to remain. Hidden and useless. Your planning is impeccable, Hamas.

3. Night after night, more and more Hamas operatives, terrorists and leaders are being rounded up by the IDF. But these searches also disrupt the operations of the other terrorist gangs, those that had nothing to do with the kidnappings. Fatah is already gunning for Hamas because of the resultant loss of its freedom of movement and its resultant inability to continue its targeting of Israeli children. Jihad Islami and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade are also being severely curtailed in their ongoing activities. So they all have Hamas in their cross-hairs – anything to get the IDF off their backs and restore calm.

4. With the kidnappings, Hamas has succeeded in doing something that not even Israel’s own politicians have achieved: they have welded together ALL of Israeli society in the face of this terrible predicament. Israeli society is 100 percent behind the country’s political and military leaders. Not even Benjamin Netanyahu managed to do that in all his years in power. Now the Prime Minister has the whole nation behind him. Thanks Hamas.

5. Even the traditionally anti-Israel UN and EU, two organisations that are firmly antagonistic to the Jewish state, have come out in support of Israel over the kidnapping of the three schoolboys. Never could Israel have dreamed of getting both the UN and the EU firmly behind the Jewish state. Seriously, big thanks Hamas.

6. Even overseas Jewish groups not always comfortable about supporting Israel have come out in full support of the Jewish state following the kidnapping. Hamas has succeeded in bringing together world Jewry where even the Jewish Agency failed – and the effect will last. Many thanks, Hamas.

7. Almost the best bit of all: following the kidnappings, Norway has indefinitely postponed a long-scheduled international donors’ meeting for financial aid to the Palestinian Arabs. Following the “unity government” that brought together the two main Palestinian Arab terrorist groups, Fatah and Hamas, it now transpires that not only Hamas but also Fatah will suffer the financial consequences of cancelled aid. Seriously Hamas, you should candidate for a position in the Israeli Knesset because you are doing more for Israel in its ongoing battle against Palestinian Arab extremism – including curtailing international funding – than the Jewish state has ever managed on its own. Keep up the good work.

8. Convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists already in Israeli jails are now having all their privileges withdrawn. Including Israeli taxpayer-funded university education – so Israeli taxpayers are overjoyed.

9. Already freed Palestinian Arab mass-murderers, 1000 of whom were released in exchange for one (1) Israeli abductee Gilad Schalit a couple of years ago, are now being rearrested by Israel. So Hamas are not exactly their flavour of the month there either…

10. And finally, that perpetual thorn in Israel’s side, that fifth-columnist and traitor guilty of multiple treason against the country in which she serves as a Member of Knesset (parliament), Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, has at last overplayed her hand, joyfully proclaiming her support for the kidnapping of the citizens of her own country by agents of an enemy entity. Calls to expel her from the Knesset are now gathering broad support all across the Israeli political spectrum. When she went so far as to condemn Mohammed Zoabi, a teenage member of her own family, simply because he as an Israeli citizen expressed support for the three teenage Israelis kidnapped by Hamas, his lawmaker relative Ms Hanin Zoabi publicly abused and threatened him. Her extremist family took their cue from her – resulting in Israel Police arresting three members of her family for threatening the life of the teenage Mohammed. The whole of Israel is caught up in the drama of the three kidnapped Jewish Israeli schoolboys – and equally in their fervent support of Arab Israeli schoolboy Mohammed Zoabi whose crime was to express dismay at the kidnapping and empathy with the victims.

So all told, Hamas, you’ve done a great job: united all of Israel, ensured international backing for the Jewish state, cut off funding to your own people, seen masses of Palestinian Arab terrorists arrested and rearrested, and finally outed Hanin Zoabi, a treacherous fifth columnist within Israel. Tactically, strategically, short-term and long-term, you’ve done a brilliant job.

Really, Hamas, you’re giving us everything we ever wanted.

Now keep looking over your shoulders. Not for the Israeli army, who as you know will always treat you humanely.

But for your very own Palestinian Arab comrades-in-arms. You’ve cost them a whole lot.

Once again, thanks.

Signed: the Jewish people and the nation of Israel, who have come together as never before.

Palestine and Jerusalem are Occupied

Muslim and other pro- “Palestinian” interest groups have fired the first public shots in the latest round of the anti-Israel campaign down-under.

Apart from the silly and pointless noisy demonstrations outside perceived and real Jewish-owned stores and Israeli products in the major cities, the anti-Israel movement is building steam in the media and in Federal government.

On 1st May 2014, former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr, published his memoirs where he caused a media sensation when he publicly made claims about the impact of the “the Israel lobby” in Canberra.

Approximately a week after that, two South Australian public personalities. A journalist and a former state (now federal independent) senator, visited Judea and Samaria for a few days with the Adelaide Friends of Palestine. It was their first trip to Israel.

On May 10th 2014, the Middle East correspondent in Jerusalem for the national daily The Australian , John Lyons, reported on the visit of the Adelaide Friends of Palestine and the Australian independent Federal senator Nick Xenophon. Reporting from “…deep in the heart of the Palestinian territories…” (sic), Lyons quotes Xenophon who tells him “’What I saw in Hebron was heartbreaking – the division, the segregation, the palpable fear in the community.”

On May 17th 2014, the recently returned and enervated journalist, Peter Goers, wrote a puff-piece which lionised the ‘tragic life of Hebron Arabs’ and slammed what he called the “shame of Israeli apartheid.”

He also drew a startling analogy between himself and that other Jew, Jesus: “JESUS wept. In Palestine, Jesus wept and so did I. I weep for the Palestinians living under the Israeli apartheid…” Goers writes for the sole South Australian daily, The Advertiser.

On June 5th 2014, Liberal Party Attorney General George Brandeis was heckled by a former Australian Communist party member, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, about his dropping the use of the term “occupied” in relation to East Jerusalem.

Brandeis was quickly reminded that he was still just a politician at the behest of his donors. Eighteen Arab and Muslim diplomats wrote a strongly worded letter of protest to him, and there were noises made about how Australian wheat exports and the live meat trade to the Middle East could suffer.

A few days later, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Abbott both began walking back the Brandeis statement, but clarifying that their policy vis a vis Jerusalem and the “territories” had not really changed, just the terminology.

On 25th June 2014, Senator Xenophon, recently back from Hebron, deep in the heart of the Palestinian territories, requested that the matter of Mr Brandeis’ dropping of the term “Occupied” when he referred to East Jerusalem be brought to the Australian people as an item of “public importance. He stated he would provide irrefutable legal evidence which showed the stance of the Liberal Australian government of Tony Abbot regarding the terminology used by people like Attorney General Brandeis to be “…factually untrue…[and] legally ignorant. Mr Xenophon then uploaded his speech to YouTube.

On 26th June 2014, a small, niche leftist newspaper crowed that in Parliament, Mr Xenophon “Smashe[d] [Abbott Liberal government] spin on Occupied Territories”. Nobody much noticed.

And so, we come to the subject of this blog: have Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem been “occupied” by a belligerent army of Jews?

Have the Israelis taken away land that rightfully belong to the “Palestinian people”?

Have the Jews denied the “Palestinian nation” their birthright and are crushing crushed their immutable cultural, spiritual and religious connection to a land rooted in the annals of time?

Is Israel’s current presence in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in flagrant violation of international law, and does that make the League of Nations Mandate which eventually made for a Jewish and an Arab state itself illegal?

That is to say, if anybody international legal body, which today represents 193 members, shall make a finding which occludes the wishes of the new Muslim ummah, should the decisions of that body be annulled?

The phrase ‘occupied territories’ has come to mean only one particular place in the entire world — namely Judea/Samaria (i.e. the West Bank). That phrase is the battle cry in a rising tide of global anger directed against Israel. Gaza too was once “occupied” by Israel, but that line of delegitimization died with the Israeli pull-out in 2005. Today, Gaza, for the ummah and its western backers, is merely under “siege”.

But Judea and Samaria still remain “occupied”; as is East Jerusalem…….

For the intellectually curious, even a cursory overview of the non-legal antecedents to this conflict will show the facts of the Muslim claim on East Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the land of Israel.

Consider two questions: What entitles any group of people to possess any particular tract of land? How can we decide whether Jews or Arabs have the true rights to possess the ‘occupied territories’?

In the absence of any universally accepted rules, and in general practice among the nations, it usually boils down to who was there first and also right by conquest, especially if the conquest occurred long ago.

Today, there are 193 member nations in the U.N. with several having major territorial conflicts of their own, such as India and Pakistan regarding Kashmir.

Also, within nations there are separatist groups that seek independence, such as Basques in Spain, the Kurds in Turkey and what’s left of Iraq, and the Chechens in Russia. China’s woes with the Muslim Uyghur have only just begun in earnest.

An added facet is the appearance and disappearance over time of peoples and of nations. Many peoples of antiquity have long ceased to exist. Also, nations and even empires, come and go over the centuries.

But Jews and Arabs are still around and trace their origins back to Abraham of the Bible.

Jews descended through Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Jacob (who was later renamed Israel).

Arabs descended through Abraham and Hagar the Egyptian, and through their son Ishmael whose daughter Mahalath also married Esau, the brother of Jacob.

Thus Jews and Arabs are actually two branches of the same family which have diverged over the centuries and Jews and Arabs come to pray at the tomb of Abraham and Sara.

The Bible, in the book of Genesis, clearly states that descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will eventually receive their inheritance in the form of the Promised Land, which is later identified to include the general location of present day Israel.

But Ishmael and his descendants ere also promised an inheritance,
‘…for I will make a great nation of him [i.e. Ishmael]’ Gen. 21:18.

In the Bible, the Jews are assigned only a modest portion of the land in the Middle East, with remaining lands distributed among the other nations.

Unlike certain other empires and religions throughout history, the Jews are not promised, nor commanded to seize, all of the lands in the world, nor to convert all others to their beliefs.

This promise was made at the time of Abraham, about 4,000 years ago (some 2,300 years before the birth of Muhammad) and takes further shape in the time of Moses, about 3,300 years ago (some 1,600 years before advent of Mohammedanism), where the Jewish People became irrevocably linked to the land of Israel, the “Promised Land.”

The Bible assigns this one people to this one specific land and does not do this for any other people.

Over two billion Christians, plus 18 million Jews, accept the Five Books of Moses as a pillar of their religion. They all embrace a religion which clearly defines that land as belonging to the Jewish People in perpetuity.

Those who deny the validity of this Biblical assignment must then fall back on man-made rules which are subject to constant alteration, disagreement, and conflict.

At the time of Mohammed, about 1,400 years ago (some 2,600 after Abraham’s covenant), the Arabs, along with Jews, Christians, and others, lived in the Arabian Peninsula.

Before being forced to convert to the teachings of Allah by Muhammad in the 7th C.E., Arabs had deep-rooted love for the tribe to which they belonged.

This belief in the greatness and excellence of their tribe led them to carve a deity of their own and they sang hymns in its praise in order to win its favour. Thus the tribe called Kalb worshipped Wadd, the Hudhayl worshipped Suwa. The tribe of Madh’hij as well as the people of Quraysh worshipped Yaghuth, the Khaywan worshipped Ya’uq. Similarly the tribe of Himyar adopted Nasr as their god and worshipped it in a place called Balkha. The Himyar had also another temple (bayt) in San’a. It was called Ri’am, the people venerated it and offered sacrifices to it.

The most ancient of all these idols was Manah. The Arabs named their children after them as ‘Abd Manah and Zayd Manah. Manah was erected on the seashore in the vicinity of Mushallal in Qudayd, between Medina and Mecca and all the Arabs used to venerate her and offer sacrifices to her.

Another goddess which was ardently worshipped by the Arabs was known as al-Lat. “She was a cubic rock beside which a certain Jew used to prepare his barley porridge (Sawiq). Her custody was in the hands of Banu Attab Ibn Malik of the Thaqif who had raised an edifice over her. She was venerated by the Quraysh and almost all the tribes of Arabia and they named their children after her, e.g., Zayd al-Lat and Taym al_Lat.

So, prior to the arrival of Mohammad in the polytheistic Arab Peninsula, only two, monotheistic Abrahamic faiths existed: long-established Judaism following the word of the omnipotent Yahweh, and early Christianity which believed in the Trinity.

The Arabs of the Peninsula were pagan worshippers who practised polytheism.

Not then, and not at any time after that, have the teachings of Muhammad as encoded in the Qu’ran, ever considered either Judea or Samaria or Jerusalem as significant in the new, nascent Muslim faith. Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria simply figured little in Islam.

The table below shows the frequency with which key words to the three faiths are a signifier of their importance to the three Abrahamic faiths:

Book                         Subject                        Number of times mentioned
Jewish Bible              Jerusalem                                669
Jewish Bible             Zion (i.e. Jerusalem                  154
or the land)
Christian Bible           Jerusalem                                 154
Christian Bible               Zion                                         7
Both Jewish and
Christian Bibles       Judah or Judea                          877
Both Bibles                 Samaria                                  123
The Qu’ran            Israel or Israelites                          47
The Qu’ran             Jew or Jewish                               26
The Qu’ran            Christian or Christians                  15
The Qu’ran            Mecca and Medina                         8
The Qu’ran                Jerusalem                                Zero!
(not mentioned)

We are sophisticated readers, all of us, and we are all familiar with the urban myth that numbers can be made to tell any story one chooses to.

What, however, is incontrovertible from the numbers above, is just how many references in both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles testify to the integral historic connections between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel and also to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Judaism and of the Jewish People.

It is also incontrovertible that that same Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, of which “Palestinians” (sic) are allegedly “disposessed”, are of no historical, spiritual or even religious significance to Muslims in any way. The Qu’ran shows that this is so.

Jerusalem was the capital of Israel 3,000 years ago under King David.

The Qu’ran was written about 1,600 years later. An the focus of the nascent Muslim faith was always Mecca.

Together with that, the Qu’ran has more references to things Jewish and Christian than to their own two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

This indicates their keen awareness of Jewish roots in that region.

And, of course, most remarkable statistic is that the Qu’ran fails to mention Jerusalem even once.

Thus, with Muslims facing towards Mecca while praying, while Jews have turned to Jerusalem since antiquity, it is clear that Islam has no Qu’ranic connection to either Jerusalem or to the land of Israel, and therefore no spiritual, religious or cultural claim to either.

The Qu’ran simply confirms that this is so.

Islamic scholars themselves, such as Khaleel Mohammed, state that the Qu’ran actually supports the right of Jews to the land of Israel. He cites Sura 5:20, 5:21 in the Qu’ran which are translated as follows:
5:20. Remember Moses said to his people: ‘O my People ! call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples.
5:21. ‘O my people ! enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned to you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.’ (The Meaning of the Illustrious Qur’an by A. Yusuf Ali)

Further, the Qur’an explicitly refers to the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel before the Last Judgment – where it says: “And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.'” [Qur’an 17:104]

The messages in the Islamic Qu’ran are therefore very similar to that in the Jewish Bible which preceded it by one and a half millennia.

But this Qu’ranic message is not taught, or is conveniently forgotten by those radical Muslims and their European enablers and financial backers who would de-legitmise and wish for the demise of the Jewish state.

The Qu’ran also never mentions Palestine or Palestinians because there was such a nation, a people, or a political entity never existed.

We now have the holy books of Judaism, Christianity, and even Islam, recognizing the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel. Those three religious represent half of all humanity.

And lest anti-semitic zeal conflate fact with myth, we should remember that two thousand years ago, before the birth of Muhammad, Rome ruled much of the known world.

The Jews in the land of Israel (called Judea at that time) were a colony of Rome with their capital in Jerusalem. The Jews revolted against harsh Roman rule and were defeated after a long and brutal war.

As punishment the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and renamed that city Aelia Capilolina and renamed the geographical location from Provincia Judea to Provincia Philistia/Palaistina in an attempt to totally erase Jewish history and prevent another uprising.

No Arabs were involved in this action.

And it is this Roman nomenclature used to put down a Jewish revolt, with no input from Arabs who were not actors in this episode of history, which has been commandeered by the terror leader Yasser Arafat after the second defeat of monumentally large Arab Muslim armies by the numerically insignificant Jews in 1967.

The foundations of the chimera of a “Palestinian” ‘people’ and a “Palestinian nation” with Jerusalem as its capital, was laid progressively by an Arab Muslim leadership, furious at a second resounding physical defeat by a numerically weaker opponent.

With the exception of the Arab fight-back and subsequent defeat in yet a third war in 1973 , the delegtimisation and attempted destruction of Israel by law-fare rather than full-frontal violence, had begun.

The name Aelia Capilolina later reverted back to the ancient word Jerusalem after the Romans and their empire disappeared. The name Philistia/Palaistina evolved into Palestine and came to designate a region, but never a country or a people.

Thus the ongoing enthusiasm of the Muslim world to destroy a Jewish state is not only not based on any Arabic name for any Arab land, nor even any city held sacred by Muslims and/or Arabs, but rather on the Roman term ‘Palestine’ which was historically used by a now-vanished Roman people and empire to describe an area inhabited by the indigenous Jewish inhabitants of antiquity.

So much for the historical ‘first-dibs’ Abrahamic narrative.

The legal narrative why, in international law, Israel does not occupy East Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Judea or Samaria may be the focus of a later blog.

In his May 10th, 2014 article for The Australian, correspondent John Lyons said that Mr Xenophon had a message for Australian politicians. It was this: “I would urge Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to have a good look at the International Court of Justice’s statement on Israeli settlements,” he said. “The ICJ statement is crystal clear…”

I believe the Senator and those like him who may not have the time  (or inclination) to fully study the issue, would be  surprised by just how crystal clear international law really was, and is, in relation to Israeli settlement in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria………

Meanwhile, the push-back against bias and demonisation of a legitimate legal entity by those publicly committed to its demise, will continue.

Sooner rather than later, the persistent presentation of truth  and fact, backed by law, will expose the true face and motives of  a rejectionist and revisionist Arab political culture which has historically been intolerant of “other”.

Xenophon and Selective Xenophobia

It is hard to accept that a politician paid from the public purse, can abuse his political leverage to condemn a country he has visited briefly only once (May 2014), as a guest of the Adelaide Friends of Palestine interest group.

This post will show that independent senator Nick Xenophon understanding about international law regarding the Israel-Arab conflict, the disputed territories in Judea and Samaria, and the status of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is redolent of a Year 10 student research essay.

And because it is not a mature understanding, it needs to be challenged.

Mr Xenophon’s twitter feed directs the reader to his June 25 speech in Parliament where he submitted an item of “public importance” to the Senate that “…the term “occupied” in relation to the occupied “Palestinian” territories is an objective legal description of the status of those territories.” (emphasis mine) (http://youtu.be/9W7ZhGFwz6g #auspol)

Mr Xenophon then states: “Mr Deputy President, I will now demonstrate, conclusively, why that claim is false and most unhelpful to the process of achieving a lasting peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict.” He also purports to mention that “The statement made by the Australian government on 5 June this year is not only wrong; it is factually untrue, legally ignorant and most unhelpful” (emphasis mine).

Mr Xenophon starts by acknowledging invisible others in the gallery who have come to hear his speech as evidence of great “international” interest in his speech. Mr Xenophon then reads from a pre-prepared text in front of him:
“The term “occupied” is an objective legal description of the status of the occupied Palestinian territories. According to the 1949 Geneva Convention and 1907 Hague Regulations, territories are considered occupied when it comes under the actual authority of the invading military. There are certain objective tests…

One – has the occupying power substituted its own authority for that of the occupied authorities? Yes. It is a matter of fact that Israel’s authority prevails in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Two – Have the enemy forces been defeated, regardless of whether sporadic local resistance continues? Yes. It is a matter of fact that Israel defeated its military adversaries in the June 1967 war. (Xenophon fails to elaborate whether this was a defensive war or not)

Three – Does the occupying power have a sufficient force present to make its authority felt? Yes. It is a fact that Israel has sufficient force to make its authority felt.

Four – Has an administration been established over the territory? Yes. It is a fact — a poignant fact — that even the Palestinian leaders who wish to enter or leave the occupied Palestinian territories cannot do so without permission from Israel. Even the Palestinian president cannot go to the United Nations in New York, or indeed to anywhere else in the world, without permission from Israel.

Five – Has the occupying power issued and enforced directions to the civilian population? Yes. It is a fact that Israel has issued and enforced such directions.

“Indeed, Mr Acting Deputy President, Israel’s highest court — the High Court of Justice — stated in paragraph 23 of its verdict in the case of Beit Sourik Village Council v The Government of Israel on 30 June 2004 that ‘Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation’.

Let me say that again. Israel’s own highest court stated in 2004 that ‘Israel holds the area in belligerent occupation’

Note: Perhaps because he did not have enough time, Mr Xenophon omits to mention that the Israeli High Court of Justice decision in the Sourik decision described at length both the all-pervasive and insidious character of Palestinian terrorism (in breach of UN Charter???) and the injury to Palestinian civilians caused by the security barrier. In Paragraph 28 it concludes:

“We examined petitioners’ arguments and have come to the conclusion, based upon the facts before us, that the Fence is motivated by security concerns. As we have seen in the government decisions concerning the construction of the Fence, the government has emphasized, numerous times, that ‘the Fence, like the additional obstacles, is a security measure. Its construction does not express a political border, or any other border.’ (Decision of June 23 2002).”

Mr Xenophon continues:  “I concede that here the word ‘occupied’ is ‘freighted with implications’, but to say they are pejorative is factually untrue and legally ignorant.” … So, what are these implications in fact and in law? (emphasis mine).

Here I turn to the landmark 2004 International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion (emphasis mine) on, and I quote, “ the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying power, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. Note the words “occupying” and occupied” used by the International Court of Justice…. Let’s say what the ICJ said in its advisory opinion (emphasis mine).

First, Article 2 paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter: “All members shall refrain…from the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state (emphases mine)….

Second, no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognised as legal.

Third, the principle of self-determination of peoples has been enshrined by the …Charter and reaffirmed by the General Assembly (emphasis mine).

The court (ICJ) observed that the existence of a Palestinian people is no longer an issue. (Xenophon does not inform the audience that creating nations is beyond the clear UN Charter remit of the ICJ as we shall see….) The court stated that the wall’s sinuous route had been traced …to include…the great majority of the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including (and here Mr Xenophon adds vocal emphasis) East Jerusalem.

It noted that Article 9, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides the occupying power to not deport or transfer the parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies….

The (Mr Xenophon here spells out each word emphatically) International Court of Justice stated unambiguously that, and I quote, “The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem had been established in breach of international law….[and even as Israel] has the right, and indeed the duty, to respond in order to protect the life of its citizens,… the [measure of building the wall is] bound nonetheless, to remain in conformity with applicable international law (emphasis mine).

In conclusion, the court (the ICJ) considers that Israel cannot rely on a right of self defense…to build the wall.

…Not one judge…dissented from its findings. [And it is worth remembering that] …[US Judge] Thomas Buergenthal…described his conclusion as a declaration, not a dissent.

As we shall further see, Mr Xenophon is being exceedingly coy.

Mr Xenophon then refers to Judge Buergenthal as a “…remarkable individual and jurist…” whose words we should all heed, as he quotes verbatim Judge Buergenthal’s declaration from paragraph 2 of his declaration onwards where the judge says that the wall is causing suffering:
“ I share the Court’s conclusion that international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and international human rights law are applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and must there be faithfully complied with by Israel. I accept that the wall is causing deplorable suffering to many Palestinians living in that territory….”

However, Mr Xenophon, a lawyer by training, omits to inform his audience of Judge Buergenthal’s opening paragraph.

Paragraph 1, which prefaced the remainder of his 10 paragraph declaration, and through which lens the remainder of his stated dissent was clearly to be viewed, opened thus:
“Since I believe that the Court should have exercised its discretion and declined to render the requested advisory opinion, I dissent from its decision to hear the case. My negative votes with regard to the remaining items of the dispositif should not be
seen as reflecting my view that the construction of the wall by Israel on the Occupied Palestinian Territory does not raise serious questions as a matter of international law. I believe it does, and there is much in the Opinion with which I agree (emphasis mine).

However, I am compelled to vote against the Court’s findings on the merits because the Court did not have before it the requisite factual bases for its sweeping findings; it should therefore have declined to hear the case… In my view… [this] vitiates the Court’s findings on the merits” (emphasis mine).

Nor does Mr Xenophon refer to Buergentahl’s paragraph 3 which possibly queers Mr Xenophon’s narrative even further. This could be because the eminent jurist states:
“… to reach that conclusion [of the ICJ] with regard to the wall as a whole without having before it, or seeking to ascertain all relevant facts bearing directly on issues of Israel’s legitimate right of self-defence, military necessity and security needs, given the repeated deadly terrorist attacks in and upon Israel proper coming from the Occupied Palestinian Territory to which Israel has been and continues to be subjected, cannot be justified as a matter of law …” (emphasis mine).

Mr Xenophon, a lawyer by training, continues his extraordinary sleight of hand by disregarding paragraph 4 too.

Here Judge Buergenthal says: “ ….I accept that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and that it is entitled to be fully protected. But assuming without necessarily agreeing that this right is relevant to the case before us and that it is being violated, Israel’s right to self-defence, if applicable and legitimately invoked, would nevertheless have to preclude any wrongfulness in this regard. See Article 21 of the International Law Commission’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, which declares: “The wrongfulness of an act of a State is precluded if the act constitutes a lawful measure of self-defence taken in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.”(emphasis mine)

We now have to decide whether either Justice Buergenthal or Senator Xenophon is correct in their interpretation of international law..

But Mr Xenophon, who continually refers to the ICJ as an arbiter in the case of whether East Jerusalem is legally or illegally occupied, continues his extraordinary display of high-school debating skills by omitting reference to paragraph 5 where Judge Buergenthal says:
“…Since these facts are not before the Court, it is compelled to adopt the…legally dubious conclusion that the right of legitimate or inherent self-defence is not applicable in the present case. The Court puts the matter as follows:
“Article 51 of the Charter . . . recognizes the existence of an inherent right of self-defence in the case of armed attack by one State against another State. However, Israel does not claim that the attacks against it are imputable to a foreign State……Consequently, the Court concludes that Article 51 of the Charter has no relevance in this case.” (Para. 139.)

So Mr Xenophon’s legal training suggests that, in this instance, he is happy to accept that “Palestine” is not a State and because of this, the ICJ, which makes copious reference to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” is within its rights to maintain that Israel “…cannot rely on a right of self defense…to build the wall” because Israel is not protecting/defending itself against a “foreign State”. (specifically, “Palestine”).

So, no State, no debate, as far as Israel is concerned, seems to be the line.

Yet, confusingly, only moments before, Mr Xenophon has quoted Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter which says: “All members shall refrain…from the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state (emphases mine) where he implies that Israel is in breach of international law because of its aggression against a member “state”…..

In quoting this, Mr Xenophon can only mean that, in the instance immediately above, there is, in fact, a state of “Palestine”, something not yet determined in any mutually recognised international court, or internationally recognised treaty, nor even of a legal, binding directive from the United Nations Security Council which is the legal arbiter and enforcer of decisions such as these in the international arena. Under UN Charter….

But if there is a state of “Palestine” and not just an occupied territory in the geographical location of historically Mandtaed Palestine as Mr Xenophon now seems to imply, and not merely an occupied territory of an entity not recognised under UN charter, then Israel is within its rights to defend itself and its citizens under Article 2 of the Geneva Convention.

But not if a non-state entity attacks its civilian population or kidnaps non-combatant teenagers.

This international law stuff can be a confusing thing.

For some.

For others, it is clear that Mr Xenophon’s assertion that “The statement made by the Australian government on 5 June this year…is factually untrue, (and) legally ignorant”… is predicated on whether there is a state called “Palestine”. He, however, consistently refers to it in his speech as an occupied Territory, thus making it difficult to follow his line of legal reasoning…………

If there is a legal entity/state called “Palestine”, then the government could conceivably be accused of being legally ignorant.

If there is no state called “Palestine” then the ignorance might well belong only to the Senator making the speech….

But if Mr Xenophon is keen on quoting Article 2 of the UN Charter, he remains coy on Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states: “Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.”

This raises the possibility that, for Mr Xenophon, the “Palestinians” are nationals of a legal identity and he alone amongst international jurists, confers on them the status of citizens of a state.

Article 2 continues: “Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it…and nationals of a co-belligerent State, shall not be regarded as protected persons while the State of which they are nationals has normal diplomatic representation in the State in whose hands they are.”

The “State of Palestine” has not signed on to the Geneva convention, simply because there has never been such a political entity.

Unfazed by the facts, for Mr Xenophon, who condemns Israel by implication and continually asserts in his speech that he refers to an “Occupied Palestinian Territory”, ICJ terminology he favours, and not the State of Palestine, Article 2 which is unambiguously specific in its terminology, cannot be referring to nationals of a state which does not exist. Particularly since Xenophon repeatedly calls it a Territory.

This is doubly ironic, for prior to this, the ICJ decided in the Order of its docket, Resolution 2 (December 19 2003), that it was fitting and proper for the ICJ to permit ‘Palestine’ – which does not represent a country – to “submit [to the Court] a written statement supporting its claim that Israel illegally occupies territory in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem…..

Mr Xenophon also refrains from quoting Article 2 of the Convention which says that “Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.”

It is becoming increasingly difficult, in the arena of international law, to trust the legal opinion of Mr Xenophon because he seems to cherry-pick whatever he fancies from the ICJ rulings to bolster his new-found altruism.

It is true that It is unclear whether international conventions are even admissible as evidence in an Advisory Opinion such as the ICJ is mandated to provide the United Nations General Assembly, as per Article 38 of the ICJ’s own Mandate.

The wording of Article 38 of their Mandate views as admissible only “international conventions, whether general or particular … expressly recognized by the contesting states” (emphasis mine).

To the average reader, this would seem to indicate that in terms of fair use, the ICJ is mandated to use general conventions such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions and the human rights conventions cited by the ICJ (as well as equally relevant ones the ICJ chose not to cite) only in cases where the ICJ is sitting in the capacity of an arbitrator between two sides where both sides have accepted its jurisdiction.

Therefore, use of general conventions might not apply when the ICJ has been asked for an advisory opinion – all the more so because Israel, the only “state” in the case (Mr Xenophon referring repeatedly to Occupied Palestinian Territories is mystifying…), clarified in its brief to the ICJ that it did not accept the court’s jurisdiction.

Mr Xenophon’s speech is all the more astonishing because Judge Buergenthal, a jurist and human of avowedly unimpeachable character in the Minster’s own words, opens his declaration on the ICJ ruling to which Xenophon refers time and again by saying “…the Court should have exercised its discretion and declined to render the requested advisory opinion…” (emphasis mine).

This is taken from the first sentence of Judge Buergenthal’s declaration………………

It is equally astonishing that Mr Xenophon also omits to mention in the House that the ICJ cannot consider declarations and resolutions of the UN General Assembly as customary international law.

But even further, the International Court of Justice lacks the authority to issue a directive to Member States, a function reserved solely for the Security Council.

This is encoded in the1974 rejected attempt to over- empower the ICJ at the 1492d meeting of the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee because of the subversive threat, already seen by international jurists 40 years ago in the immediate aftermath of the 1973 war and Arab fury at losing a second genocidal campaign. The thwarting of the ICJ’s 1974 attempts to over-empower itself arose because of the entry of scores of new states into the United Nations who promote resolutions in the General Assembly reflecting political, economic, or sociological aspirations rather than a responsible assessment of the relevant legal issues and considerations.

Mr Xenophon does not tell the House that in the ruling he refers to again and again in Parliament, the ICJ invited a series of anti-Israeli terrorist organizations and states which openly champion and justify use of force and terrorism as a means of achieving their stated objectives of the delegitimization and eventual removal of the Jewish State.

Thus, in 2003, the ICJ heard testimony from the PLO, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and the League Arab States (still officially in a state of war with Israel), while refusing to hear any input from Israeli victims of terrorism.

Mr Xenophon will confirm that the ICJ also heard from 26 states on how Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem was illegal and that it was an occupying power.

These states were: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Comoros, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and ‘Palestine’ – mostly majority Muslim countires; all of whom submitted scathing ‘finger pointing’ affidavits regarding Israel’s conduct.

What Mr Xenophon will not say is that nearly one-half of the briefs were from entities that do not even recognize Israel’s right to exist or have no diplomatic relations with Israel.

Nor does he tell Parliament that 23 out of the 26 states mentioned above who were invited by the ICJ to present affidavits, are categorized as “Not Free” by the human rights monitoring organization, Freedom House.

This is because some of these states are rated as the worst offenders of human rights for whose citizens political rights are absent or virtually non-existent as a result of the extremely oppressive nature of the regime or severe oppression in combination with civil war.
Mr Xenophon is relying on the ignorance of the House of the minutiae of the proceedings to pay back his Australian Friends of Palestine invitation to Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem……

But perhaps most incongruous of all is Mr Xenophon’s repeated support for the rulings of the the ICJ, where its own mandate repeats time and again the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” (or armed jihad) but sees nothing wrong with accepting testimony from the PLO, Fateh, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic States, entities which refuse to recognize Israel, oppose compromise, justify support for terrorism, blow-up civilians, kidnap teenagers, promote Jewish hate on children’s TV, champion the use of violence and defy in words and deeds, ‘the in-admissability of use of violence’  for political ends.

Thus the behaviour of the ICJ is in direct breach of the basic canon of the very organisation it was created to supply an advisory opinion to, and Mr Xenophon either forgot or cannot comprehend, that the ICJ is in specific breach of that same Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter that he visited on the Australian parliament not five minutes earlier……

It is clear to current international jurists, that the rules of war enshrined in the Hague (1907) and Geneva Conventions (1949) which Mr Xenophon invokes, did not envision terrorism, a worldwide curse, as a major form of warfare.

America, which respects the rule of law, has taken the lead to fill the void of the gap between 1907 and 2014 by defining a new category for such terrorists – ‘illegal combatants.’

This category recognizes that one cannot abridge all the rules of warfare by targeting civilians and then expect to enjoy the privileges of POWs under the same conventions.

Mr Xenophon doesn’t appear to consider the possibility that the ICJ prefers to adhere rigidly to the 1907 and 1949 conventions written for a far-off time which does not now exist; outdated definitions that hardly reflect current realities, because it chooses to support a favoured narrative.

It is as well to remember the writings of the former president of the International Court of Justice, Judge Schwebel, who wrote that international law was largely the creation of governments and that those who advise governments on what international law is and should be were merely a product of their times.

For this reason, when Mr Xenophon repeatedly refers to the ICJ which makes rulings on evidence tendered by the 26 nations above, as an example, then one has to question Mr Xenophon’s motives in his sudden outpouring of altruistic fervour for “Palestine” in Parliament.

Mr Xenophon has been in state politics in South Australia  since 1997 and  on the national stage since 2007. Before he moved into Federal politics, Mr Xenophon also founded and ran a successful law practice in South Australia.

In February 2013, he was deported from Malaysia by the government because he was identified as a “threat to national security…” and as an Australian Senator “with an agenda” under Section 81 of the Immigration Act of that country.

In Australia, then Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in 2013 that Australia needed to be “robust” in its support of Mr Xenophon and condemnation of Malaysia.

On a happier note for Mr Xenophon, in the September 7 2013 Federal elections,  he garnered a record 24.9 percent of the vote. As an independent in closely contested Houses, Mr Xenophon became eminently woo-able property because he represented a significant voting bloc. He also became attractive to anti-Israel NGOs.

On 1st May 2014, former Xenophon supporter Bob Carr, published his memoirs where he caused a media sensation when he publicly made claims about the impact of the “the Israel lobby” in Canberra.

In the second week of May 2014 (or thereabouts), Mr Xenophon visited Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem with the NGO  Adelaide Friends of Palestine as well as a popular Adelaide-based tabloid journalist of the only state daily and radio talk show host.

On May 17th 2014, the journo initiated a public campaign of pro-Palestinian Israel bashing.

On 25th June 2014, Senator Xenophon felt the altruistic urge to support the ‘underdog’ “Palestinians”, condemn Israel in Parliament and upload his efforts to YouTube.

On 26th June 2014, a small, niche leftist newspaper crowed that in Parliament, Mr Xenophon “Smashe[d] [Abbott Liberal government] spin on Occupied Territories”. Nobody much noticed.

Since his graduation from law school, Mr Xenophon built up a law practice which today deals with representing those injured, whether by motor vehicle, work related, medical negligence or public liability.

For this reason, I can safely surmise that as a lawyer in the sphere of workplace accident  and personal injury law, Mr Xenophon has built a flourishing and respected practice because, until his fulltime immersion in politics, he appeared to know what he was doing in this area.

In the arena of international law, not so much.

Mr Xenophon’s motives not only remain open to interpretation, but his demonstrated grasp of international law seems to be carefully tailored to support forgone conclusions.

But what of xenophobia? Xenophobia is defined as fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture.

In electing to push the myth of a “Palestinian” people and government both of which are today still on the record as stating that they wish the destruction and removal of the Jewish state, Nick Xenophon, together with long-standing Australian communist party member Lee Rhianon in the Senate, arguably subscribes to that same Arab Muslim xenophobia, particularly if they are Jewish.

Or Christian. Or Hindu. Or Buddhist. Or Bahai.

It is a legal argument that, Mr Xenophon, as someone who enjoys the benefits of a multicultural Australia, can never hope to win.

Under international law.

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.

Is Australia Islamophobic, or do its politicians just know how to read….?

 

Thank you to @anneinpt for planting the seed of this  article….

If you could describe a people by their traits, you would not be far off the mark if you said Arabs were great at two things: melodrama and creating the “creeping factoid”.

With regards to the first characteristic, when Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandeis refused, in Parliament, to refer to East Jerusalem as “occupied”, that political chameleon in Ramallah, chief “Palestinian” negotiator, Saeb Erekat, lodged an official letter of protest with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop over the meeting of Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, with Housing Minister Uri Ariel, in the latter’s office in East Jerusalem.

In the letter, Erekat rather melodramatically called a meeting between two blokes a “violation of international law” and “an attempt to legitimize an illegal situation” and made some noises about falling Australian wheat and meat exports…… All very solemn stuff.

And that’s where the “creeping factoid” bit comes in.

Fortunately, Attorney-General Brandeis, his Prime Minister, and the country’s Foreign Minister, all read and know what the international legal community reads and knows: that Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria is legal. Moreover, when specifically challenged about the illegality of Israeli settlements on a visit to Israel in January 2014, Foreign Minister Bishop stated, “I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”

But what about the “factoid” I mentioned earlier?

Well, a factoid is an invented fact, believed to be true because of its appearance in print. This was the original definition coined in 1973 by Norman Mailer. He came up with the word, adding the suffix “oid” to imply something that gives the impression of being something it actually is not.

For my money, though, I went with the Oxford dictionary meaning of the term. I’m that sort of guy.

The Oxford dictionary calls a factoid “an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.”

So what is it that these Australians are seeing that neither the chief “Palestinian” negotiator and eighteen Arab and/or Muslim diplomats in Canberra who angrily lobbied Ms Bishop do not see?

The facts. And they “hide” in plain sight.

Of course, the beauty of this system of relying on facts is that anybody can go and check them out for oneself. Then it’s all about following the crumb-trail of history until you get to the logical conclusion. So, let’s see whether these Aussies know their potatoes or not……….

Today, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict will be settled through law. This means accepting and working within an internationally agreed framework called the United Nations Charter. And it means turning to the ministrations of the International Court of Justice as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization. Its main judicial organ, should the Assembly require an advisory opinion, is the International Court of Justice, which is annexed to the UN Charter of which it is an integral part (Article 92).

This means that in and of itself, the International Court of Justice is, under the terms of the UN Charter, an Advisory body to the UNGA and the UNSC, and does not constitute res judicata

Further, Articles 93 and 96 state that all members of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice and that the General Assembly or the Security Council may request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on any legal question arising within the scope of their activities.

However, much as it would like to, the ICJ cannot consider declarations and resolutions of the UN General Assembly as customary international law, nor does it have the authority under the Charter to issue a directive to Member States, a function reserved solely to the Security Council.

Not to labour the point too much, the ICJ’s powers under a) its own mandate and b) its annexation to the United Nations Charter, do not include the right to issue directives to enforce and/or adopt its advisory opinion. That is the sole prerogative of the Security Council, the only UN organ with the power under the UN Charter to ‘direct’ or ‘obligate’ Member States on how to act.

As we shall see, nothing of the sort ever took place in the case of the international legally binding contracts which partitioned Mandated Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.

And if that is the case, then which “international law” does Erekat accuse Australia of violating?

That Australian Foreign Minister might have been onto something after all.

So what of Mr Erekat’s melodramatic invocation of “violation of international law” and attempts to “legitimize an illegal situation”? Perhaps the facts will speak for themselves.

At the end of the nineteenth century, it was clear that the Ottoman Caliphate was an apple ripe for the plucking. It had ruled over Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa and vast tracts of the Mediterranean basin suppressing Arab and Caucasian alike for around 600 years.

In 1915, Sir Henry McMahon made promises on behalf of the British government, about allocation of territory to the Arab people in the region in return for their support in toppling the Ottomans.

Archive documents show that the British promise excluded Palestine, that area from the river to the sea, from territory to be given to the Arab people. It also separated the territory east of the Jordan River, namely Transjordan (since renamed Jordan), from Palestine west of the Jordan.

This land west of the Jordan was to be a Jewish homeland in line with the 1917 Balfour Declaration of intent to establish a Jewish homeland.

On the 25th April 1920, at the San Remo Conference which convened at the conclusion of World War I to determine the precise boundaries for territories captured by the Allies, it was finally resolved to incorporate the Balfour Declaration in Britain’s mandate in Palestine.

Thus, Britain was made responsible “for putting into effect the declaration made on the 8th November 1917 by the British Government and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people; it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

This determination was ratified under the auspices of the League of Nations in August 1920 at the Treaty of Sèvres.

Apart from the major powers, the Treaty was attended and signed by the Hashemite King of the Hedjaz as representative of Arab interests in the region who was a signatory to the explicit stipulation of the Treaty that there would be “a national home for the Jewish people” in British Mandated Palestine so long as he could lay claim to a British-supported Arab kingdom in Transjordan [in addition to the creation of the Arab states of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq…].

Thus, the San Remo Resolution of 1920, as well as the formal Treaty of Sevres later in the year recognized, with the acknowledgement of the representative of the Arab interests in the region, the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine.

Till this point in history, there was no mention of a “Palestinian” Arab people, nor of “Palestinian” Arab territory west of the Jordan, nor even of Jerusalem as a capital for an Arab Muslim state……………….

In fact, the term “Palestine” is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people now extinct who, in the 12th Century B.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip.

In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans then applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank of the Jordan River) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word Filastin is derived from this Latin name. The Roman name Palaestina and the British term Palestine have always and everywhere referred to the Jews of the Land of Israel and the people of Judea and Samaria…..

And this is where the Arab penchant for “creeping factoids” comes in.

In his Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962, John F. Kennedy famously said “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic…[enabling us to] enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

And it is this that has become the weapon of choice for the Arab Muslim narrative in the Middle East.

One can easily trace the General Assembly’s attempts to legislate changes in the status of the Territories.

How the definition of the status of the Territories was doctored is well documented on the website of the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations that posts landmark pro- General Assembly resolutions.

In this regard, the wording of resolutions by sub-committees heavily influenced by the Arab voting bloc changes reference to the issue from “territories” to “occupied territories” to “Occupied Territories” and “Arab territories” to “occupied Palestinian territories” to “Occupied Palestinian Territory” and “occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem”!!

Specifically, the following example will illustrate what I mean:

• Resolution 3236 (XXIX) 9 passed in November 1974, immediately after the Yom Kippur War, speaks of “the question of Palestine”.

There is still not a mention or record of the concept of a “Palestinian” Arab Muslim people or a “Palestinian” Arab nation, a “Palestinian” territory “stolen” and “occupied” by invading Jews.

At this stage, some twenty five years after the birth of the Jewish state, the issue remains one of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict which started with the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. And it was only after Israel had defeated its enemies against overwhelming odds in 1948, 1967 and 1973, that the Arabs realised that an approach other than a full-frontal, genocidally-inspired violence might serve them better.

Thus, starting with the flexing of Arab oil muscle in the first Gulf oil crisis in 1973 after the defeat of the Yom Kippur War which has held the rest of the world in thrall till today, the process of the de-legitimising Israel in earnest began to gather steam.

The myth of an Arab Muslim“Palestine”, the Muslim “Palestinian” people and the “occupied territories” with Jerusalem as its capital, made its way from myth to “factoid”…….

The crossover from Arab-Israeli conflict to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was complete as the Arab states exploited mainly immigrant Arabs to Mandated Palestine to fight a proxy war they lost in 1948.

The only fly in this fervent ointment of a newly-discovered “Palestinian” “heritage” of course, remained the actual legalities of what was decided in 1920 and 1922 under the auspices of the League of Nations and the United Nations which succeeded it.

But because it is further possible to illustrate that the Arab concept of the “creeping factoid” was a planned campaign of creating a “country” and a “people” out of thin air, I quote the following:

• Resolution 38/5810 in December 1983, now speaks of “Arab territories” where there were none (Jordan is Palestine…) and “occupied territories” (by whom??)

• Resolution 43/17611 passed in December 1988 expresses sentiments
suggesting “Palestinian entitlement” – speaking of “the Palestinian people[’s] right to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967” ( I need hardly point out again that there was no “Palestinian People” 1948-1973 to take land from in the first place..…);

• Resolution 51/13312 passed in December 1996 adds Jerusalem in particular – speaking of “occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”;

• Resolution 52/25013 passed in July 1998 fully “assigns title” – speaking of “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” a designation that is frequently used in subsequent resolutions.

As late as December 2003, concerning a request a request made by the United Nations General Assembly, contained in Resolution ES–10/14 of 8 December 2003, the ICJ formulated a question which read as follows:
“What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem….?”[emphasis mine]

Of course, despite the overall impression it might give the casual media consumer, none of these terms have a legal foundation any more than declaring “the world is flat” makes it so. Yet, the International Court of Justice, to which Mr Erekat makes innumerable references, cites these terms as if they were legal documents, all in violation of the Court’s own Statute.

It is for this reason, under international law, that it becomes increasingly difficult to understand Mr Erekat’s objections as relayed to the Australian Foreign Minister.

Eleven successive British governments, Labour and Conservative, from David Lloyd George (1916-1922) through Clement Attlee (1945-1952) viewed themselves as duty-bound to fulfill the Mandate for Palestine placed in the hands of Great Britain by the League of Nations. Under international law.

We see now that there has never ever been a violation of international law regarding Israel’s sovereign rights to settle the land she does.

There might be a lot of steam and noise in the Arab world’s use of the factoids. But they also know that you know that it ain’t worth a pinch of rat snuff.

And what of the notion of East Jerusalem as ‘sovereign’ “Palestinian” “capital” territory? That may become the subject of a further blog.

International law. Gotta love it.

I acknowledge the intellectual property of Eli Hertz and Maurice Ostroff in the writing of this blog, and I would thank @anneinpt for alerting me to Eli’s work on Twitter. Thank you all.

 

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.