Tag Archives: Middle East

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.

Perspective on the Long War

Minimizing a religious explanation for Islamic terrorism while emphasizing political and socioeconomic causes of Muslim violence is a disingenuous ploy which serves only Muslim apologists and appeasers. The true nature of the outburst of Muslim violence and unrest the world over is, rather, to be found in the religious culture in which [Islamic terrorism] is rooted and nurtured, a culture in which there is no distinction between religion and politics.

Modern international Islamist terrorism is a natural offshoot of twentieth century Islamic fundamentalism. This fundamentalism was fed by perceived Muslim acceptance of western domination and culture. This was perceived as a natural injustice which could only be rectified by a return to the original mores of Islam.

In the worldview of the Islamic fundamentalist, there is no separation between the political and the religious. Islam is, in essence, both religion and regime, and no area of human activity is outside its remit. Whatever the nature of the problem, “Islam is the solution.”

In other words, Islamic fundamentalists believe that Islam is the final dispensation for humanity as revealed to Muhammad and the task of restoring it to its true essence and pristine form is the job of jihad.

In the world view of the Islamist fundamentalist, there exist only two camps—Dar al-Islam (“The House of Islam”—i.e., the Muslim countries) and Dar al–Harb (“The House of War”—i.e., countries ruled by any regime but Islam)—that are pitted against each other until the final victory of Islam.

However, these radical concepts, which are the wellspring of so much hatred and grief today, have deep roots in mainstream Islam.

Rooted in mainstream Islam is the belief that there are two kinds of war in Islam: one is called Jihad (Holy War), which means the conquest of other countries in accordance with certain conditions. The second type is war to preserve the independence of all Muslim countries and the repulsion of foreigners. Jihad or Holy War, which is for the conquest of other countries and kingdoms, becomes incumbent after the formation of the Islamic state in the presence of the Imam or in accordance with his command.

In this mainstream interpretation of jihad as just, fundamental Islam believes entire civilizations need to be saved by all means available—the Islamic civilization of the Middle East and the civilisations of the un-believers alike. National borders are seen as Western imperialist creations that serve to divide the umma, the world community of Muslims.

Restoration of the caliphate in the Middle East is only a prelude to the reconquest of all lands that were once under Muslim rule in a bid to regain its lost glory.

Millions of fundamentalist Muslims the world over have never reconciled themselves to the loss of Islam’s colonies as embodied in the glory days of the Ottomans, nor are they reconciled to the loss of lands beyond the Middle East. Many such Muslims believe in the restoration of Spain and consider their 1492 expulsion from the country a grave historical injustice.

In France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Britain, a rapidly expanding Muslim population due to cheap immigration labour, higher rates of child birth, and conversion to Islam form the building blocks of a growing foreign minority which has located Europe, home to the world’s largest Muslim diaspora, at the heart of the battle over Muslim identity.

And it is this frighteningly large minority who are inspired and guided by the words of Muhammad’s farewell address: “I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah.’’

On the other hand, those who naively champion moderate Muslims have to take seriously the words of moderate Muslim scholars like Dr. Zaki Badawi, long-time director of the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, when he says, albeit in far more tempered language, “Islam endeavours to expand in Britain. Islam is a universal religion. It aims to bring its message to all corners of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole of humanity will be one Muslim community.”

It is the stated intention of billions of non-Muslims the world over, that this will never happen. Religion will always remain a matter of choice. Forcing a particular world-view at the expense of all others, is fascist, bigoted, supremacist behaviour.

The long war will continue, and in between the battles, we will continue to live, love, give birth, celebrate, make careers and die. It cannot be any other way.

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.

Is Hamas Losing its Protective Edge?

Most media outlets across the world without any particular axe to grind, peg Hamas as the instigator for this latest round of violence in the Middle East.

It continues to hurl rockets at nearby Israeli civilian centres with the express purpose of causing solely civilian Jewish casualties. But why is it doing this? And is Hamas losing its ‘protective edge’ in the battle for the hearts and minds of the “Palestinian” street?

It is increasingly clear to many observers here in Australia, that Hamas has been stung by the Israeli operation in Judea and Samaria in the wake of the kidnapping of the three Jewish teenagers.

Their 5-year long wait for release of arab prisoners in the Shalit deal has come to naught because Israel has used the west bank initiative to re-imprison most of the top Hamas west bank-based operatives who were released back in 2011.

In the psychology of perceptions in mid-east politics, Hamas lost face.

Not only face, but Hamas is financially strapped now that Shia Iran has withdrawn its financial backing of the terror group because of its support of the rebel Sunni militias in Syria. Needless to add, Assad to has revoked backing the group.

Add to this PA refusal to pay Hamas salaries, the lukewarm support from PA chief Abu Mazen across the country and his reticence to further foment a second front there, and the near hermetically sealing off of the land/tunnel access to Egypt and the Sinai by al-Sisi, has meant that Hamas needed an event to justify its existence.

That leaves only the sea access, but Israel has recently reduced the perimeter blockade to its original distance of three nautical miles, further negating gains made by Hamas in the international arena.

Thus, the round-up of top Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria provided just such an excuse for Hamas to try and restore its flagging fortunes and relevance in the “Palestinian” street.

Until the two Hamas members who murdered Gilad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Ifrach are located and brought back to Israel, it is not entirely clear or proven beyond reasonable doubt that Hamas itself was actually involved in the kidnap and murder.

This would have added to Hamas’ sense of “injustice” at the hand of the Israelis, and would have been a blow to their image as the only arabs taking the physical fight to the ‘Zionist entity’. In this regard, they might yet turn out to be entirely vindicated!….

For his part in the discomfiture of Hamas at the hands of the Israelis, Abu Mazen in Ramallah must be privately delighted that political rival Hamas is bleeding men, materiel and prestige in the current ill-advised debacle. He has further turned the screws by refusing a recent Hamas demand that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah take employees of the disbanded Gaza government onto its payroll.

This dispute over money is symptomatic of the wider malaise and schism afflicting a ‘unity’ government recently sworn in in a bid to end seven years of rival administrations in Gaza and Ramallah. Politically too the two groups are on different trajectories, and Hamas is incensed at the ongoing international recognition of Ramallah as representative of the “Palestinian” struggle at the expense of its violent sibling in Gaza.

Militarily, it is in a bind. Now that Egypt has closed off tunnel access to smuggled medium and long-range rockets from Iran, its need to replenish its stock will grow stronger the longer this conflagration drags on.

In addition, the longer the successful Israeli aerial assault continues on Arab rocket infrastructure in Gaza without any reciprocal success in taking Jewish lives, the more likely it is that a focused ground offensive by the Israeli army would destroy Hamas’ military capabilities and morale even further. This is because hitting the rocket launching system can be done in a far more systematic manner, in places where the rockets and their production facilities are hidden deep in the heart of their non-combatant population. And finally, an IDF ground assault would effectively signal a psychological blow to Hamas who may well believe that Israel is reluctant to initiate a ground operation. However, a ground assault could be exactly what Hamas wants so that anti-tank weapons can take out slow-moving Israeli tanks and army jeeps and other large slow-moving objects in the confines of Gaza’s warrens of streets.

On balance, this writer couldn’t care less what Hamas may or may not believeabout Israeli valour: sanctity of Israeli life in such an operation is paramount and though I hope that Israeli brass will eschew such an option, I will understand why it had to happen.

In the short to medium term then, with Hezbollah and Syria tied up in the north, with Egypt barricading them from the south, with Jordan increasingly turning to military cooperation with Israel against an ISIS threat in the east, Hamas is inexorably running out of options. Unquestionably, it will be dismayed by the heavy physical and strategic damage it has so far sustained. It now appears that al-Sisi’s ouster of the Brotherhood in Egypt was more than just an omen of what was in store for the Gaza-based affiliate……

And that is quite OK by Israel.

In the end, Operation ‘Protective Edge’ will have succeeded in its stated mandate of stopping the rockets.

Nakba as National Narcotic

Nakba as National Narcotic

“From 1948 to 1967, there is no historical record whatsoever of any effort to create a separate “Palestinian” state. The PLO’s purpose during that time, was not to create a “Palestinian” state, but rather to exterminate a Jewish one. That effort continues today.”

Speak to any supporter of “Palestinian” Arab ‘rights’ to a ‘national’ home in Judea and Samaria today, and you will quickly come to the nub of the conflict as they see it: the loss of “Palestinian” land must be avenged and the rights of the “Palestinian” nation restored….. Most would have you believe that the Nakba of 1948 was the central incident which defines the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict today.

Nothing could be further from the truth/facts.

The movement of Arab Muslims out of the territory of the new state of Israel was as unnecessary as it was a strategic mistake by the Muslim Arab leadership of the time.
They have spent the past 66 years trying to correct it at the expense of other….

Hiding behind a narrative of Jewish depravity and barbarity as they would like to portray it, Muslim Arabs use the narrative of the Nakba as a way to assuage shame and guilt at leaving lands which they were quite welcome to in the first place. In international law.

Over the years, the “Nakba” became a catch-cry which acted as an ideological narcotic on the political will of Muslims Arabs in Judea and Samaria and their backers, irrespective of facts codified in international law.

In other words, using the “Nakba” to press claims of a “Palestinian” homeland for a “Palestinian” people and “nation” merely highlights the fact that the very concept of a stateless Palestinian people is a fabrication.

The “Nakba” is essentially an error of the Arabs own making and it galls the Arab psyche that they cannot turn the clock back on a tiny non-muslim Jewish state amidst a sea of Islamic countries.

In international law, the legally binding Mandate for Palestine document, was conferred on April 24 1920, at the San Remo Conference and its terms outlined in the Treaty of Sevres on August 10 1920. The Mandate’s terms were finalized on July 24 1922, and became operational in 1923.

While Arabs accepted the international community’s creation of the Muslim entities of Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq as legal creations of the League of Nations and the Mandated Powers, they refused to accept that same body’s co-decision to create a Jewish state for a people who had been there some 1,700 years before the birth of Islam.

In fact, made clear through Jamal Husseini, the Arab Higher Committee’s spokesman that they would go to war to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state.

After the UN adopted the partition resolution on November 29, 1947, the Arabs declared a protest strike and instigated riots that claimed the lives of 62 Jews and 32 Arabs.
From November 29, 1947, until April 1, 1948, the Palestinian Arabs took the offensive, with help from volunteers from neighbouring countries of Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The Arabs inflicted severe casualties on the Jews, in breach of international law and UN rulings.

The UN blamed the Arabs for the violence.

The UN Palestine Commission, which was never permitted by the Arabs or British to go to Palestine to implement the resolution, reported to the Security Council on February 16, 1948, that “powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein.

The Arabs were blunt in taking responsibility for the aggression and the breach of international law. Jamal Husseini told the Security Council on April 16, 1948:
“The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

Even the British commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion, John Bagot Glubb admitted: “Early in January, the first detachments of the Arab Liberation Army began to infiltrate into Palestine from Syria. Some came through Jordan and even through Amman . . . They were in reality to strike the first blow in the ruin of the Arabs of Palestine.”

It is this pain and shame that the Nakba as narcotic is meant to deaden: Arab responsibility for their own failures to accept international law and the consequences of trying to take land through a strategy of aggression in direct violation of the 1907 Hague Convention and the draft of the Geneva Convention which was finally published in 1949……

Again, in international law, the partition resolution was never suspended or rescinded.

Thus, Israel, the Jewish State in Palestine, was born on May 14, as the British finally left the country.

Five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq) immediately invaded Israel.

Their intentions were declared by Abd Al-Rahman Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Nakba as narcotic is a deadly attraction to those who have a propensity to addiction; flawed intellects who need props to cope.

The rest of us who are able to resist political addictions and its consequences will know that the United States urged a resolution charging the Arabs with breach of the peace.

Joining the USA, the Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko famously told the Security Council on May 29, 1948, 15 days after the creation of the State of Israel:
“This is not the first time that the Arab states, which organized the invasion of Palestine, have ignored a decision of the Security Council or of the General Assembly. The USSR delegation deems it essential that the council should state its opinion more clearly and more firmly with regard to this attitude of the Arab states toward decisions of the Security Council.

In fact, on July 15, the Security Council threatened to cite the Arab governments for aggression under the UN Charter!!

By this time, however, the Israeli Defense Force had succeeded in stopping the Arab offensive and the initial phase of the fighting ended.

What a difference a few decades of “doublethink” make!

Not for nothing are George Orwell’s words as sinister today as when he first wrote them: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

The continued use of “Nakba” as narcotic inures those who continue to wage war as destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour (Orwell).

And, like all addictions, it is ultimately fruitless.

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”.

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…………..