Tag Archives: Jews

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.

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.

With Truth Over All Else

In the last few weeks, Australia and the Arabs in the West Bank of the Jordan River have been linked in hitherto not-seen ways.

Specifically, on May 10 the Murdoch owned national broadsheet, The Australian, published a piece about South Australian senator Nick Xenophon’s visit to Hebron in the West Bank of the Jordan River.

In the article, Xenophon is quoted as saying, “What I saw in Hebron was heartbreaking — the division, the segregation, the palpable fear in the community.”

Xenophon was invited by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (in Adelaide) to tour the West Bank of the Jordan River.

The Australian Friends of Palestine Association promotes itself as a South Australia not-for-profit organisation which has as “…its main aim the promotion of peace and justice in Palestine based on International Law and the relevant UN resolutions.”

One of the ways that the Australian Friends of Palestine Association has promoted peace and justice in “Palestine” is through a recent boycott attempt of Israel’s internationally acclaimed Bat Sheva dance company.

While I remain confident that the Australian Friends of Palestine officials will be able to muster some sort of logical explanation as to how boycotting an Israeli dance company based in Tel Aviv will promote peace in “Palestine”, I will at the same time refrain from drawing any parallels between the close connection of the Australian Friends of Palestine and the local BDS movement which also championed the boycott and which has as its published aim, the de-legitimisation of a sovereign country and its demise as the sole Jewish state.

My concern, rather, is Mr Xenophon’s statement to The Australian where he “…would urge [Australian Liberal] Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and [Australian Labor] Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to have a good look at the International Court of Justice’s statement on Israeli settlements. The ICJ statement is crystal clear — all settlements are illegal under international law.”

Those who are familiar with Australian politics, and South Australian politics in particular, will know that Mr Xenophon is a caring human being, with a well-developed sense of justice who made his name as the “no-pokies” Minister of Parliament. May 2104 was his first ever visit to the Middle East.

To that extent, as a champion of the underdog and the under-represented, Mr Xenophon is entitled to his own opinion.

However, not even Mr Xenophon is entitled to his own facts.

Fortunately, Mr. Xenophon states that he is supportive of international law as it relates to Israeli settlements in an ostensibly “Palestinian” West Bank. This is as well, because under international law, all of the West Bank of the Jordan River was designated as a homeland of the Jews.

In this context, then, it is unusual that a South Australian senator who is allegedly supportive of aboriginal rights for aboriginal peoples in Australia can, on the one hand stand up for indigenous peoples’ land rights as morally and legally justifiable, yet decry those same land rights when those indigenous peoples are Jews.

This contextualising and understanding of those land rights, and legal codification of that understanding under international law, dates back to the San Remo Conference of 1920, that same conference which eventually led to the establishment of the generally mainly sunni Arab states of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq [and the Jewish state of Israel].

As it was in the beginning….

At the San Remo Conference, the entire land mass between the Jordan River and the Sea, the so-called “Palestinian” West Bank, was assigned to the Jewish people. This is verifiable, and in writing, and was agreed to by the Hashemite King of the Hedjaz (later part of Saudi Arabia) who was party to the 1920 Sevres Treaty that explicitly stipulated that there would be “a national home for the Jewish people” in British Mandated Palestine.

Image

In the east, the land, not including Jersualem, Judea and Samaria, was given to the Arabs as a present to the colonising Hashemites of Saudi Arabia in return for supporting Britain and France against Turkey during the breakup of the Ottoman Caliphate. It was called Transjordan, later re-named Jordan.

In the west, the land now named the “West Bank” [but legally known as Palestine prior to 1948 and designated under international law as a Jewish homeland], was given to the Jews and included Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. And Hebron.

The ancient Jewish town of Hebron, is the home and burial place of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah as mentioned in the Bible and accepted by both Christians and Muslims (in that chronological order) some 1,800 years before Islam began its conquest, occupation and subjugation of the near and middle east.

And while it is true that these Jewish biblical Patriarchs are also recognised by Islam as “friends of God” [in Arabic, Al-Khalil is a direct translation from the ancient Hebrew word “Haver”: friend], it is also incontrovertible that these were figures of religious importance to a Jewish nation, religion and history which had established itself and survived for one and a half millennia before even the birth of Islam.

In other words, if we are to stand by that same international law which is of importance to Mr Xenophon, then Article 6 of the Mandate, charged Britain with the duty to facilitate Jewish immigration and close settlement by Jews in the territory which then included Transjordan, as called for in the Balfour declaration, that had already been adopted by the other Allied Powers. As a trustee, Britain had a fiduciary duty to act in good faith in carrying out the duties imposed by the Mandate.

This was reiterated by the League of Nations, 1922, and incorporated into the UN Charter, Article 80, which prohibited the UN to tamper with the League of Nations decisions related to the matter discussed.

More than that, the 1920 agreement incorporated the previous 1915 McMahon-Hussein agreement between Britain and Sherif Hussein of Mecca, where Britain separated the territory east of the Jordan River namely Transjordan (since renamed Jordan) from Palestine west of the Jordan which it had designated, under internationally codified regulations as a home for the Jewish people.

And so, under international law, as the San Remo resolution has never been abrogated, it was and continues to be legally binding between the several parties who signed it.

This would make the claim of an occupied “Palestine” and an “Arab-Muslim West Bank, one of the most important public-relation put-overs by those who wish to de-legitimise and demonise the State of Israel in recent times.

To add insult to the injury of canvassing that Israel occupies “Palestine” as a brutal apartheid regime, it was Arab Muslims under the Hashemite king of Jordan who made a land grab in 1948 of the west bank of the land slated for a Jewish state under international law as I have iterated above. The Jordanians also illegally took east Jerusalem at the same time and annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1949 in a measured dis-regard of international law.

Between 1948 and 1967, the Muslim Arabs ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem and the West Bank of Jews.

This was the only time in three millennia of recorded history that Jews did not live in East Jerusalem, putting the current Arab Muslim narrative of Israeli “apartheid”, a country with 2 million voting and working Arabs, into perspective…….

…is now and….
As many now know, East Jerusalem was taken back by Israel in 1967. Under international law, in a defensive military action.
Therefore, this makes the current claim of the “Palestinians” a curious one under international law, and is a major reason there is no “Palestinian” State today on the west bank of the river: Jordan is “Palestine”.

I agree with Mr Xenophon that disputes between peoples should be settled under international law.

It is now time that those who would make pronouncements on “occupation” “heartbreak”, “division” and “legal right” in Israel and the Middle East, temper their comments with observation of the facts.

The Muslim Arab narrative of an “occupied” “Palestine” under an apartheid Jewish regime which has “stolen” Arab land is a remarkably successful public relations coup for the Arabs.

However, it will never be able to spin or circumvent international law which designated land west of the Jordan River to be the homeland of the Jewish people, and land east of the Jordan River, to be the Arab Muslim State of Palestine.

… ever shall be…
To this end, Israel exists as a legal entity in a string of international understandings and treaties codified by international law going back as far as the 1915 McMahon-Hussein agreement between Britain and Sherif Hussein of Mecca regarding the division of the Ottoman Caliphate [see above].

This was further reinforced by the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France and supported in principle by the 1917 Balfour Declaration as a statement of intent on the creation of a Jewish state in Mandated Palestine.

To that is added the legal agreements of the April 1920 San Remo Conference which entrenched under international law the principles of the Balfour Declaration.

Later that same year, the August 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, abolished the Ottoman Empire and obliged Turkey to renounce all rights over Arab Asia and North Africa. 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…].

Even though history is said to be written by the victors, the importance and legal standing of the 1920 San Remo conference can never be wished away by those who wish for the demise of the Jewish state. If we allowed that to happen, it would open the floodgates of terror and violence.

That is why, in the April 2010 commemoration of the San Remo Conference which was attended by politicians and others from Europe, the U.S. and Canada in San Remo, participants felt it incumbent upon themselves to make the following statement that:

“…. the San Remo Resolution of 1920 recognized 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.

“Recalling that such a seminal event as the San Remo Conference of 1920 has been forgotten or ignored by the community of nations, and that the rights it conferred upon the Jewish people have been unlawfully dismissed, curtailed and denied.

“Asserting that a just and lasting peace, leading to the acceptance of secure and recognized borders between all States in the region, can only be achieved by recognizing the long established rights of the Jewish people under international law.”

 Truth without end. Amen
Mr Xenophon is an understandably busy person, with perhaps insufficient time to devote to reading all about the ins and outs of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He was invited by a special interest group to visit a part of the world he would not normally consider visiting, and he accepted.

However, in the name of that same international law which he invokes so eloquently on behalf of the “Palestinians”, it behoves Mr Xenophon to pay as much attention to those legal principles which enshrine the right of the Middle East’s aboriginal/indigenous Jewish people to a state of their own before they were overrun, colonised, occupied and dispersed by waves of Muslim conquest in the 7th century C.E., some nearly two millennia after the Jews were already established in the Land of Israel.

In other words, if Mr Xenophon believes land rights based on principles of continuous occupation and recorded history (but not any international law) of an indigenous people were good enough for Eddie Mabo in Australia, then those same principles (with the added legitimacy of international law) must also be good enough for the indigenous Jewish people in the State of Israel today.

It is time to stop sugar-coating this four-decade campaign with euphemisms.

It is time to recognise that much of the current mainstream media support of an Arab boycott of a legal Jewish entity in the Middle East is symptomatic of a resurgent anti-semitism: same canards; different actors.

It is time to realise that Israel will remain implacably opposed to all those entities who would force her to build a peace on a foundation of historically refuted lies.

Israel has every legal, moral and historical right to exist, because the alternative does not bear thinking about.

Let us call this campaign, which hijacks the energies of myriad well-intentioned people like Mr Xenophon, by its real name: a virulent middle eastern anti-semitism of the kind the world has already seen in a different time and a different place…………..