Tag Archives: West Bank

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.

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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.

Jerusalem – Confusing Fact and Fiction

Confusing fact and fiction – Gerard Henderson, The Sydney Institute
Is Jerusalem occupied by Israel? The answer is: “not under international law”. Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute explains why

[Since the 6 Day War in 1967] there have been…references to the occupied territories [in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict].

This description [“occupied”] was once used by some to refer to areas such as the Sinai, Gaza, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982. In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, which is now ruled by the terrorist Hamas organisation. The Golan Heights still remains disputed between Israel and Syria. The Palestinian Authority, which recently included Hamas in its government, presides over much of the West Bank, with the obvious exception of the Israeli settlements.

Following its defensive war in 1967, Israel captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which had been occupied by Jordan for some two decades.

Jordan never created a Palestinian state and no such nation has ever existed.

Clearly in 1967 Israel did not conquer and occupy any territory ruled over by a Palestinian nation.

Any successful Middle East peace process will almost certainly involve the withdrawal of Israel from nearly all areas of the West Bank and, possibly, a part of East Jerusalem. Also, it is likely that there would be land swaps between Israel and what would become the nation of Palestine in a two-state solution.

This would be consistent with the UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed in November 1967, which called on Israel to withdraw from “territories”, not all territories, as part of what would now be called a land-for-peace deal. In such an eventuality, it is likely that Israel would swap some land within its borders since the creation of the state in 1948 for some of the land that it took from Jordan (not Palestine) in 1967.

Anyone familiar with the topography of Jerusalem would be aware that Israel is not defendable on its 1967 borders.

Former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr is a critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. Yet even Carr concedes in Diary of a Foreign Minister that Israel’s security concerns are real. Carr relates a conversation at the Knesset in Jerusalem when he asked the Israeli Prime Minister to explain his security concerns. An aide pulled aside the curtains and Netanyahu declared: “I don’t want Iran on that hill.”

If the [Australian Senator and member of the communist movement that supported the Soviet Union right up until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989] Rhiannon line [in the Australian Parliament] prevails, there will be no peace process at all. And no Palestinian nation.

Even beyond the obvious security concerns, East Jerusalem includes the Jewish quarter of the Old City including the Wailing Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.

It is doubtful whether any democratically elected Israeli government would willingly facilitate a pre-1967 situation occurring again whereby Jews are driven out of East Jerusalem and prevented from praying at or visiting the Wailing Wall.

At the Senate hearings, Rhiannon…declared she had been insulted when [Attorney General] Brandeis commented on her longstanding membership of that part of the Australian communist movement that supported the Soviet Union right up until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Rhiannon’s past association with communism is a matter of public record.

Interviewed on Radio National on December 6 last year, she even admitted to having studied at the Lenin International School in Moscow in 1977, at the height of Leonid Brezhnev’s brutal totalitarian dictatorship.

A two-state solution may take place in the Middle East. Even if it does, this will not suddenly bring peace and stability to the region. The Israel-Palestine dispute is but a sideshow in the looming battle between the Shia and Sunni brands of Islam.

Sunni Saudi Arabia is much more concerned with Shia Iran than with Israel. And, right now, the Sunni terrorist movement the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham seems more interested in murdering Shia Muslims than Jews or Christians.

On ABC’s Insiders last Sunday, David Marr suggested “there is a very real possibility that the Arab world is going to respond to Australia’s unique stand on East Jerusalem by saying: ‘Well, we won’t buy your wheat.’ ”

Similar views have been expressed by Suzannah Moss-Wright of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce.

This seems unduly pessimistic. The Arab world, plus Iran, appears to be involved in a religious civil war of disturbing ferocity.

In such a reality, Australia’s position concerning the appropriate terminology on East Jerusalem is of scant importance. Despite Rhiannon’s Green-left advocacy.

Note: It is worthy of note that Rhiannon has the vocal support of independent Senator Nick Xenophon in Parliament  on whose selective xenophobia I have written in a previous post (http://bit.ly/1q07S1G )

 

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…………..