Tag Archives: Palestine

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……….

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Propaganda in the Service of Untruths

The recent rush to recognise “Palestine” by the British Parliament and the Government of Sweden fails to take into account several anomalies and illegalities which can’t but be viewed as biased anti-Jewish animus.

The State of Israel was, of course, just one of many new or recreated nations that, in the wake of World War I, were carved out of the former German, Austro-Hungarian, Czarist and Ottoman empires.

These included, for example, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Mandate Syria and Mandate Iraq. All of these states entailed the granting of sovereignty, or promised sovereignty in the case of the Mandates, to previously largely disenfranchised peoples, and all also encompassed other ethnic groups within their borders that chafed at the new national arrangements. Yet, 66 years later, none have stirred anything like the animosity displayed by a mainly liberal-left elite in Europe, in thrall to a rampant radical Islamism, to the fact of a recreated Jewish national home.

Rather, a vocal anti-Jewish lobby in Europe and Britain today has opted instead for a smug and casual hatred of the Zionist project, under a transparently ludicrous veneer of moral superiority.

It is not to be forgotten that the medieval blood libel that Jews kill Christians, particularly children, to use the blood of Christian innocents for Jewish rituals, was first introduced in England with the earliest recorded such claim involving the death of one William of Norwich in 1144.

And it should also be remembered that the blood libel was exported from England to the continent, where over eight centuries it provided a rationale for the murder of thousands of Jews. It’s most gruesome and horrific iteration was the Final Solution proposed by an amoral German Nazi regime, but since the end of World War II it has enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Arab world.

Today, Britain and Europe, with enthusiastic backing from a demographically significant European Muslim migrant population together with financial muscle from Arab Muslim kings, emirs and other petty but monied ME tyrants, join in the markedly racist and illegal call for the creation of a Judenrein “Palestinian” state, while still others call for the Jewish state to be subsumed into a binational (read: Arab majority) “Palestine”.

Indeed, with the renewed anti-semitic upsurge in Ireland, long a PLO/Fatah/Hamas backer from the time of the now-sanitized, re-invented Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, together with official political bodies in the UK and Sweden, there is a concerted European push calling for the recognition of “Palestine”, claiming that such recognition would “contribute to securing a two-state solution.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Any unilateral moves and declarations by Europe to recognise “Palestine” are based on questionable legal, historic and political premises since no Palestinian state exists, and the issue of the status of the territories is subject to negotiation.

In fact, the European and British claim that recognising “Palestine” would “contribute to securing a two-state solution” is the antithesis of what it purports to be by pre-judging the outcome of the very negotiations, under international law and several UN resolutions, they purport to support.

One does not need a degree in international law or political history to see what is the real aim of the parties concerned.

Furthermore, those aims rely on illegal interpretations of international rulings and a willingness to manipulate the law to produce a Final Solution by other means.

While the ultimate aim of a “negotiated two-state solution” correctly acknowledges the present legal situation in which the issue of final status of the territory is a distinct negotiating issue between Israel and the “Palestinians”, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, it is clear that the issue of the permanent status of the territory remains an open negotiating issue, yet to be agreed-on, and one may assume that upon resumption of the negotiating process, it will be duly addressed by the parties as one of the central agenda items.

Thus, imposing an agreement by outside parties will not further a “negotiate” peace process one iota.

The British House of Commons, the Irish Upper House and the Swedish prime minister would appear to contradict themselves by recognizing that negotiations are still pending, while at the same time prejudging the outcome of the very negotiation they purport to support, by calling for recognition of the state of Palestine.

Clearly no such Palestinian state or sovereign entity exists and thus cannot logically be recognized or acknowledged by the Irish Upper House or others.

Similarly, no international treaty, convention or binding international resolution or determination has ever been adopted or entered into, that determines that the territories in dispute are indeed “Palestinian”.

Further, the Palestinian leadership itself is committed, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to negotiate the issue of the permanent status of the territory.

Article V of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993 states as follows:
“2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives.
3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.”

Clearly then, the ultimate status of “Palestine”, whether as a state or any other sovereign entity agreed-upon by the two sides, cannot be arbitrarily imposed by external parties, including the UK, Irish or Swedish parliaments, or the UN.

It can only result from a genuine negotiating process in accordance with accepted norms and requirements of international law regarding the characteristics of statehood.

The 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States clearly determines that:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Clearly, the “Palestinians” do not meet the requirements set out in this convention.

Thus, the attempt by House of Commons, the Irish Upper House of Parliament and the Swedish prime minister to recognise a “Palestinian” state clearly pre-empts the outcome of any negotiation the trio above are themselves legal signatories to through a one-sided determination that totally ignores legitimate legal and historic claims to the territory by Israel, including those based on historic and legal commitments to which the United Kingdom itself is bound. They would, therefore, appear to be intervening in a bona fide negotiating process (in international law) by supporting one side only.

That these three groups do not see the bias, animus and disregard for international law when it suits them, in holding such a position, strains credulity.

If the “Palestinians” do not meet internationally codified definitions of statehood, what about the claim by “Palestinians” that Israel occupies the West Bank.

Article 42 of the Hague Regulations, primarily because it actually falls under a category titled, “Military Authority Over the Territory of the Hostile State,” unequivocally explains the type of territory in question. The West Bank was never/is not a state; it is disputed territory taken in a defensive war after an illegal occupation so-named by all but 2 nations in the world and subject to negotiation under that same international law that Ireland, Britain and Sweden would today conveniently ignore.

In international law, as in any type of law, one should look to an interpretation only if the wording of the original is somehow unclear or vague. The wording of Article 42 is blindingly clear.

Pursuing this theme of Eurabian anti-Jewish animus, in 1967, the ICRC quickly branded Israel’s acquisition of the territory as an “occupation,” but made no such finding during the 19 years of illegal Jordanian rule. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find any ICRC assertions that a territory is “occupied” by a particular nation in the dozens of other territorial disputes that have yet to find a resolution…..

In addition, the legality of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria including Jerusalem beyond the 1949 armistice lines is clearly addressed in Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Taken from the ICRC’s own website, it states that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Here, the terms “deport” and “transfer” are active, meaning that civilians are not acting on their own behest.

As the ICRC itself acknowledges, Article 49 was drawn up in the wake of the Nazi policy of forcibly transferring parts of its own population into territories it occupied before and during the war. The most infamous of these forcible transfers or deportations was the masses of Jews who were sent to occupied territories to be murdered en masse in Poland and elsewhere.

This provision of the Geneva Convention regarding forced population transfer cannot possibly be viewed as prohibiting the voluntary return of individuals to the cities, towns and villages from which they, or their ancestors, had been ousted.

In 1970, regarding Israel’s case, former State Department legal adviser Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in The Hague, wrote: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.”

In 1980, Julius Stone, professor of jurisprudence and international Law, wrote: “Because of the ex iniuria principle [unjust acts cannot create law], Jordan never had, nor now has, any legal title in the West Bank, nor does any other state even claim such title. Article 49 thus seems simply not applicable. Even if it were, it may be added that the facts of recent voluntary settlements seem not to be caught by the intent of Article 49, which is rather directed at the forced transfer of the belligerent’s inhabitants to the occupied territory, or the displacement of the local inhabitants for “other than security reasons”(emphasis mine).

And finally, in 1991, Prof. Eugene Rostow, former US undersecretary of state for political affairs, wrote: “The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the local population to live there.”

Attempts to impose a state of “Palestine” on Israel by Britain, Ireland and Sweden rest on very shaky legal grounds.

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

The Arab leadership refusal to accept the Partition Plan, the repeated attempts to bend international law through waging war, the three “Nos” of Khartoum which precluded legal negotiations, the rejection of three peace initiatives by the “Palestinian” ‘leadershp’ in the past twenty years, all point to an oft-stated goal by the very people Israel is supposed to be negotiating with for its continued safety and survival: an Arab Muslim state from the river to the sea.

The willingness of Britain, Ireland and Sweden to unilaterally press for a “Palestinian” state on the basis that Israel has to end its “occupation” of the West Bank despite the fact that Judea and Samaria did not belong to any state before 1948, flies in the face of any reasonable application of Article 42 of the Hague Regulations to which the trio above, as EU members, are signatories.

And finally, the willingness of Britain, Ireland and Sweden to wilfully ignore the last provision of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an active transfer or deportation of its own citizens has to be undertaken by the state occupying the area, something that has clearly never happened in the history of Israel’s control of the territories in question, merely serves to strengthen the perception that the new/old anti-semitism is prepared to sacrifice Jewish lives again for the sake of new-found “friends” and short term expediencies.

There may yet be a “Palestinian” state in one form or another. But any iteration of that state will have no choice but to take Israel’s security needs into consideration given the neighbourhood it lives in. “Palestine” will come into being through negotiation.

In the meanwhile, the European trio’s rush to recognise “Palestine” will always come up against legal precedent and international law against which it has no recourse now nor in the foreseeable future.

There is a sense of Arab-Muslim privilege which exists today that makes anti-Semitism “okay,” acceptable in academic discourse, and even politically correct. It enables impressionable college students looking for a cause to question a Jew’s very identity, to challenge their ancient history, and therefore allows them no future.

This type of prejudice will be fought against in all the relevant arenas.

It is one thing to be perceived as trying to right a wrong. But no wrong has been committed; a dispersed people have fought for, and earned the right for their very noisy, opinionated, fractious, democratic, cultured, lawful survival.

It needs to be understood that the current Arab-Muslim sense of “entitlement” are ethnically and religiously biased variations of the old European libels that manifested themselves in racist anti-Jewish laws for centuries in Western Europe, and which culminated in the Holocaust.

The politics of internal national voting patterns and demographic demagoguery will never create a ‘nation’ state. International law will see to that.

 

This article is a synthesis of the intellectual property of Yair Shamir, Alan Baker, Jacques Gauthier, Howard Grief and essential principles from Anthony Cullen’s book: “The Concept of Non-International Armed Conflict in International Humanitarian 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.

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”.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what about the “factoid” I mentioned earlier?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Specifically, the following example will illustrate what I mean:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International law. Gotta love it.

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

 

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…………..