We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

"May Allah Curse These Dogs": In Sydney, Islamic Extremists React To This Morning's Dawn Police Raids

Many readers will be aware that last week Queensland counter-terrorism police raided an Islamic bookshop near Brisbane and arrested two men, one the brother of Australia's first suicide bomber, and that today there were a number of arrests in simultaneous dawn raids at addresses in Sydney and Brisbane, apparently in connection with a plot to kidnap, drape in an Islamic flag and behead members of the public randomly selected. 

Such atrocities in the two cities are alleged to have been ordered by an Australian currently fighting with ISIS forces, namely, it is said, Mohammad Ali Baryalei (pictured), who has actively proselytised on behalf of Islam in "The Lucky Country"
or rather The Lucky-How-Much-Longer Country (see video of him here).

None so queer as leftists ...
To quote an official police statement:
'The NSW Police Force has announced the activation of a high-visibility policing operation following the counter-terrorism operation this morning.
Operation Hammerhead is an ongoing statewide operation focussing on high-visibility policing, increased presence in public places and public transport hubs.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said he has asked the Commander of the Central Metropolitan Region, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller to head-up the operation.
“Operation Hammerhead will focus mainly on metropolitan Sydney and primarily involve general duties police. If need be, those officers will be used wherever our operational intelligence dictates.
Hundreds of general duties police, as well as specialist commands, will be deployed from the Police Operation Centre which will remain open 24/7 during the operation.
Operation Hammerhead will also patrol iconic locations such as the Harbour and its surrounding foreshores as well as sporting fixtures and other large scale public events,” Commissioner Scipione said.
Central Metropolitan Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said a major part of operation’s strategy will focus on maintaining strong community engagement.
“Our aim is to provide and maintain high levels of public safety to give all NSW residents the confidence to go about their day-to-day business,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
“To achieve this, together with our partner agencies, we are working closely with our contacts in the community to ensure calm.
We will use a range of officers and squads during the operation that are available at all times of the day and night.
These include but not limited to General Duties, Police Transport Command, the Dog Squad, Operational Support Group officers, Public Order and Riot Squad Officers, Traffic and Highway Patrol, and Mounted Units.”
Following today’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team raids across Sydney, further charges have been laid with a 24 year old man from Merrylands, charged with possessing ammunition without license and unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon.
He has been bailed to appear in Fairfield Local Court on September 24th.
One man has appeared before the courts charged with conspiracy to commit acts in preparation of a terrorist act.
Nine of those detained today have now been released as investigations continue.
Liberal Senator Bernardi's tweet was shrugged off by Prime Minister Abbott
Two women were issued Future Court Attendance Notices.
Police stress that this investigation remains active with the principle focus on community safety and preventing any form of terrorist activity on Australian soil.'
Following today’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team raids across Sydney, further charges have been laid with a 24 year old man from Merrylands, charged with possessing ammunition without license and unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon.
He has been bailed to appear in Fairfield Local Court on September 24th.
One man has appeared before the courts charged with conspiracy to commit acts in preparation of a terrorist act.
Nine of those detained today have now been released as investigations continue.
Two women were issued Future Court Attendance Notices.
Police stress that this investigation remains active with the principle focus on community safety and preventing any form of terrorist activity on Australian soil.
 Photo: SBS
Earlier this evening (Aussie time) a crowd of Islamists organised via social media by the caliphate-seeking group Hizb ut-Tahrir (which is proscribed in most of the Middle East but allowed to operate in Australia and in that Cloud Cuckoo Land which for one more day at least we can term the United Kingdom), estimated at 100 or 200 according to source, gathered outside the Lakemba railway station (video here) for a good old moan about the police raids:
'Hundreds of protesters in Sydney have called on Muslims to stand as one against government aggression.
Signs reading "terror raids cannot break the spirit of Muslims" and "stop terrorising Muslims" were waived by about 10 people among the 200 who rallied in western Sydney to demonstrate against a series of pre-dawn anti-terrorism raids....About 50 people were watching from across the road....
"Women, children should be safe from the terror of the state," they chanted....'
 Hizb ut-Tahrir bigwig Uthman Badar declared that
'the raids were about creating the "hysteria" needed to make the Muslim community scapegoats.
"We reject the terror laws, they only serve American wars," the crowd chanted before Mr Badar added that western foreign policy was responsible for terrorism.
"We're not fools. We know what the intent with all of this is," he said.
"The people that are leading this, the govt and its agencies ... the world has not seen greater terror than what they have infected around the world."
An incensed young man who said his mother was punched by police as the family's home was raided on Thursday morning yelled at the crowd to "wake up."
"What are you going to do about it? Talk? Seriously? Talk?"
"May Allah curse these dogs."
Read more about the raids and (scrolling down for photos) the rally here

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

"Anti-Zionism Is Antisemitism ... Israel Represents The Right To Be Different In The Middle East"; A British Muslim Former Radical On How & Why He Learned To Love Israel (video)

An insightful address in America by former radical Israel-hater Kasim Hafeez, a personable, well-spoken and amusing young Muslim man of Pakistani background from Nottingham, England who now lives in Canada, on why Israel is not an apartheid states and why he's convinced that no "pro-Palestinian movement exists in the Western World ... It is an anti-Israel movement".

He is not afraid to speak about Islamic extremism and the inadequate response of the general Muslim community ("To be honest, the radicals are winning .... We have sleep-walked into this disaster").

And his comments about the Palestinian plight is spot-on.

Woven inextricably into this splendid narrative is his own personal odyssey from an easy-going guy to a confessed antisemitic activist, radicalised at university in Britain, to a staunch supporter of Israel who is shunned by much of his family and receives death threats from "people who can't spell properly". 

Long, but worth listening to, if necessary in instalments.  His passionate defence of Israel, so well-expressed,  will inspire you and warm your heart!

Another great defence of Jews and Israel, this one by Brigitte Gabriel, here:

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

"We Need To Remind People That What Began With A Campaign Against Jewish Goods In The Past Ended With A Campaign Against Jewish Lives"

In my previous post, on why a ""Yes" vote in the forthcoming Scottish referendum is greatly to be feared, one of the screenshots of Facebook messages by Scottish Palestinie Solidarity chief  and fanatical "Yes" vote proponent Mick Napier  shows a contemptuous reference to  "Tory Gove".

"Tory Gove" is Scottish-born Conservative MP Michael Gove, one of the most admirable of David Cameron's team.

A few days ago Mr Gove delivered a gung-ho speech before the Holocaust Education Trust denouncing antisemitism.

Inter alia, he said:
'.... I grew up in the Church of Scotland, learning the story of the Jewish people as one of the most inspiring, moving, tragic and yet life-affirming stories of all mankind....
We need to stand together against prejudice, against hate, against the resurgent, mutating, lethal virus of antisemitism, now more than ever....
We need to join hands across parties and stand together against hatred and prejudice as one – united – British family. Now more than ever....
We should never forget what we are commemorating. Wars generate crimes, conflict breeds horrors but no crime is as wicked as the Holocaust, no horror as enormous....
Before the war, antisemitism had been alarmingly commonplace. In Britain, even respected writers such as T.S.Eliot and Graham Greene had regularly, almost casually, indulged in antisemitism. That would surely now cease. Adorno might be refuted. Poetry would still be possible, but it would be purged of the poison of pre-war antisemitism. Belatedly, mankind had developed new sensitivities.
Or so it seemed, back then.
Today, across Europe, there has been a revival of antisemitism which the enormity of the Holocaust should have rendered forever unthinkable.
In France, in July of this year more than 100 Jewish citizens had to be rescued from one synagogue and another was firebombed. The leader of an antisemitic party – the Front National – is France’s most popular politician. Heroes of popular culture – like the comedian Dieudonne Mbala Mbala – try to make hatred of Jews a badge of radical chic.
The virus is spreading across other European nations. In Germany Molotov cocktails were lobbed at one synagogue. In Belgium a cafe displays a sign saying “dogs are allowed but Jews are not” while a doctor refuses to treat Jewish patients. And in May of this year four people visiting the Jewish Museum in Brussels were killed by a jihadist terrorist.
We must all remember where this leads. Now more than ever.
And we must not think that Britain – gentle, tolerant, civilised Britain – is immune. CST, the Community Security Trust, monitors instances of antisemitism throughout the UK.
It is careful to distinguish between explicitly antisemitic incidents and more general protests about Israeli policy. The latter, even if many of us would regard them as profoundly misguided, are legitimate expressions of opinion in a democratic society. But once they transgress into antisemitism, all legitimacy ceases. When banners at pro-Palestinian rallies carry slogans such as “Stop Doing What Hitler Did To You” or “Gaza is a Concentration Camp” then a line has been crossed.
In July this year, CST [Community Security Trust] recorded 302 antisemitic incidents, a fivefold increase from July 2013.
In 101 of those cases, there were explicit references to the Holocaust including attempts to equate Israel’s actions in self-defence with Nazi crimes. On our streets our citizens have marched with swastikas super-imposed on the Israeli flag.
Devaluing the Holocaust devalues our humanity.
We need to be clear about what is going on here.
There is a deliberate attempt to devalue the unique significance of the Holocaust, and so remove the stigma from antisemitism. The historian Professor Deborah Lipstadt has spoken out about the way in which Holocaust comparisons are used “politically, glibly”. She explains that Holocaust denial now takes the form of “comparisons of Israel to the Nazis”. These are “terrible and outrageous and most importantly incorrect. You can believe that Israel was wrong to go into Gaza, but to call it a Holocaust is wrong.”
And even as this relativisation, trivialisation and perversion of the Holocaust goes on so prejudice towards the Jewish People grows.
The Tricycle Theatre attempts to turn away donations which support the Jewish Film Festival because the money is Israeli and therefore tainted. In our supermarkets our citizens mount boycotts of Israeli produce, some going so far as to ransack the shelves, scatter goods and render them unsaleable. In some supermarkets the conflation of anti-Israeli agitation and straightforward antisemitism has resulted in Kosher goods being withdrawn.
We need to speak out against this prejudice. We need to remind people that what began with a campaign against Jewish goods in the past ended with a campaign against Jewish lives. We need to spell out that this sort of prejudice starts with the Jews but never ends with the Jews. We need to stand united against hate. Now more than ever.
I believe that in the face of this prejudice there has – so far- been insufficient indignation: an insufficient willingness to recognise that civic freedom is indivisible: that an attack on one is an attack on all.
On a North London pavement
The British rightly pride themselves in their long and relatively peaceful political evolution based on a widespread acceptance of British values. But this can have an unfortunate consequence: complacency in the face of threats from those who care nothing for peace, democracy or British values. Antisemitism is an obvious early manifestation of the growing threat and we are all in this together....
We know that in the twisted world view of Islamist extremists antisemitism is a central strand, but we also know that when Islamist extremists embrace violence they have us all in their sights.
That requires a robust approach from us – at home and abroad.
Because we know that the jihadist terrorists responsible for horrific violence across the Middle East are targeting not just Jews and Israelis but all of us in the West.
They hate Israel, and they wish to wipe out the Jewish People’s home, not because of what Israel does but because of what Israel is – free, democratic, liberal and Western. We need to remind ourselves that defending Israel’s right to exist is defending our common humanity. Now more than ever....
There is an iron law in history – the more secure the Jewish people are in a nation, the freer and happier that nation is. Throughout world history, the test of which nations are most advanced and most liberal is the security of the Jewish population. Whether it’s been the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, England at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries or America now – the health of a country’s Jewish population is a badge of freedom.
And the corollary of that is when a Jewish community feels less secure in any nation then that nation is moving into darkness....
We should never allow darkness to encroach again. We must – all of us – stand firm for our precious freedoms and stand alongside our Jewish neighbours. Now more than ever....'
Read the entire speech here

And on that theme, here's look at antisemitism in France, and how it is driving many Jews to make aliya:

Beware The Anti-Israel MacRatbags: Why we should fear a "Yes" vote in Thursday's Scottish referendum

Members of the Radical Independence Campaign standing with Gaza
The outcome of Scotland's referendum on Thursday to decide whether or not to secede from the Union with England hangs in the balance, with polls indicating that the probable result is too close to call.

A "Yes" vote leading to the breakup of the United Kingdom would be a tragedy, diminishing Britain's weight in the world.

It would also limit opportunities for Scots, people who have not, despite the nonsense pushed in some "Yes" circles, been oppressed by "the English"; indeed, in the twentieth century alone there were five British prime ministers from Scotland and others with Scottish connections, including Tony Blair.

Ratbags in Edinburgh
Scots have played a distinguished part in Britain's wars and in the development of the British Empire (the East India Company was largely dominated by Scots, something that the leftists would rather not acknowledge).

More importantly from our standpoint, Scottish independence would mean and the dominance in Scotland of the Israel-hating Left, which has to date been responsible for five Scottish councils commiting to BDS and which is thirsting to wreak more mischief of that sort.

As the Jewish Chronicle reported last week that some Jews intend to vote "Yes" despite apprehensions:
 'Scottish Jews are concerned that independence could lead to a rise in anti-Zionism but, for many, it will not stop them voting yes.
Scotland's 6,000-strong community has faced a summer of rising anti-Israel protest amid the Gaza conflict, with Glasgow and Edinburgh town halls flying the Palestinian flag and protesters boycotting stores stocking Israeli goods.
With the latest polling putting the yes and no camps at level pegging in the run-up to the vote on September 18, Jews are having to consider what affect independence could have on issues such as circumcision and kosher slaughter, and whether a new goverment would pursue a harder line on Israel.
... Paul Morron, president of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council [is not panicking but concedes]
"An independent Scottish government will have control over foreign policy and that may take a more anti-Israel view. This could increase pressure on the community. We have seen how quickly anti-Israel feeling can turn into antisemitism.
"In the last 60 years Glasgow has not suffered this level of antisemitism so of course there is a major shockwave going through the community. ..."
....Living in England, Rabbi Alan Plancey, emeritus rabbi of Borehamwood Synagogue, cannot vote next week, but as a proud Scot he is keenly following the campaign, and is dead against independence. "Why do we have to split up everything all the time? If it works, why break it?" he said.
"There is a lot of antisemitism in Scotland - if they go on their own, it could be worse. Once they have their own fully sovereign government and parliament, God knows what they will do."'
 Note this recent press release by the Radical Independence Campaign:
“An independent Scotland could have a Palestinian embassy and support sanctions against Israel”, Radical Independence Campaign co-founder Jonathon Shafi has said, ahead of a Scotland-wide march against the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
The writing on the wall
The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) were present at the Scotland-wide demonstration and have printed placards reading ‘Scotland’s stands with Gaza – Free Palestine’. Jonathon Shafi, who will be speaking at the demonstration, said:
‘Israel has broken the UN Human Rights Charter many times over. But we have come to come expect nothing but inaction from successive Westminster Governments. This is not the first time Israel have committed war crimes, such as collective punishment, and as long as the UK Government and the rest of the international community continue to stand in support of Israel, it won’t be the last.
An independent Scotland could follow the example of Chile, who announced this week that they were suspending trade talks with Israel and considering withdrawing its ambassador from Tel-Aviv(1).
An independent Scotland could stand with those in the international community who want to see peace and justice for the people of Palestine. It could support effective political and economic sanctions against Israel. And it could make a symbolic gesture of the legitimacy of Palestine on the international stage by having a Palestinian embassy in a newly independent Scotland.
With the full powers of independence, the Scottish Government could play a definitive and leading role in standing against Israeli occupation and the oppression of Palestinians. Contrast that with David Camerons ‘staunch support’ of Israel."

Note what Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), said on Sunday. To quote the  Jewish Chronicle:
'Scottish politician Alex Salmond appeared to compare the Islamic State terror group’s beheading of a British aid worker to the actions of the Israeli government in controversial comments on Sunday.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Salmond said: “The Muslim community of Scotland isn’t responsible in any shape or form for atrocities or extremism, just like a few weeks ago the Jewish community of Scotland wasn’t responsible for the policies of the state of Israel.”
The Scottish National Party leader was commenting after Scottish aid worker David Haines was murdered by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq.'

Note, too, that Mick Napier, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief, is as fanatical a pro-Scottish independence proponent as he is an anti-Israel one.

If Scotland does become independent, this initiative of Napier's, argued by him before the Scottish Parliament that Edward Snowden by granted asylum in Scotland, is a likely example of what the ratbags will do.

Yes, if they get independence, that is a likely example of what they will do Though they are unlikely to cite a Yiddish tale, as he does in that video. What chutzpah!

 I give several recent examples of Mr Napier's mindset below, as contained in recent messages of his on Facebook.

And cheering Scottish independence on, the Welsh Green Party's anti-Israel leader:

As well as the anti-Israel Socialist Workers mob:

Yet another ratbag for independence, in a nonsensical piece in the Guardian:

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Not Fit To Lick Melanie's Boots: The British Board of Deputies Carries On Regardless

O, what a b[r]ummer!

British economics writer Alex Brummer, who is currently City Editor of the Daily Mail, also has a regular column in the Jewish Chronicle.  Mr Brummer, whose columns usually exude good sense, has erred badly in his latest contribution to the latter newspaper, with a most unworthy, myopic attack on one of the few public intellectuals in Britain, Jewish or non-Jewish, possessing the perspicacity and courage to say what needs to be said regarding the threat to the West and to Israel posed by militant Islam and indeed by the creeping islamicisation of non-Islamic societies.

Namely, that truly wonderful woman, Melanie Phillips.

Regular readers of my blog will recall that Ms Phillips recently made a well-justified condemnation of the Board of Deputies' ill-conceived release of a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain (see the latter's stance on Gaza here).

My blog quoted the comment on Facebook that Ms Phillips made about the statement.

She subsequently wrote:
'The Board of Deputies last week crossed a line. It stopped being a community embarrassment and became instead a positive menace.
It proudly announced an "unprecedented" joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain. This said the Middle East conflict should not poison community relations. But it also condemned the "targeting of civilians". The omission of who had supposedly done this targeting implied the Board blamed Israel along with Hamas.
No, protested the Board, this obviously could only relate to Hamas since Israel never targeted civilians. The crucial point, it said, was that the MCB had condemned Hamas.
Oh dear; where to start? The MCB, closely associated with Jamaat-e-Islami extremists and whose affiliated groups often support the Muslim Brotherhood, would never single out Hamas for blame.
UK's Jewish leadership has strengthened its enemies
The Board had enabled it to crow falsely but plausibly – that the Jews had condemned Israel for war crimes. And the MCB could tell its own people it had not blamed Hamas, since the Palestinians were only civilians while all Israelis were military targets.
Worse still, the Board was boasting of its deal with a body which is a front for Islamic extremism and hatred of Israel and the Jews. Its past leaders have described Israel as "the Zionist terrorist state" and claimed that Hamas "stands for freedom".
It reveres Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who has supported suicide bombings outside Britain and claimed the Torah permits Jews to spill others' blood and seize their money and land.
In 2009, its then deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, signed the Istanbul Declaration, which threatened violence against Israel supporters and British troops.
Because the government views it with suspicion, the MCB is now careful to sanitise its language. Even so, its current secretary-general, Shuja Shafi, found it impossible to say on the Today programme that scrawling "Free Gaza" on a synagogue was antisemitic.
Notwithstanding, the Board claims "it gets you nowhere if you only make peace with your friends". Really? Can we expect a historic Board rapprochement with Hamas? Or al Qaeda? Or Iran?
A clue to the Board's idiocy lies elsewhere in the joint statement, which condemns both antisemitism and "Islamophobia" as if these were equal forms of bigotry.
This is a terrible error. While antisemitism is a true prejudice for which there can never be a shred of rational justification, "Islamophobia" is a catch-all phrase used to demonise anyone who makes a legitimate criticism of Islam or Muslims.
So while there may be some who unreasonably hate all Muslims, those who warn about the Islamic jihad or condemn Muslim attacks on women and girls or freedom of speech are condemned as "Islamophobic" to silence such criticism.
Those who point out the virulent antisemitism in Muslim societies are similarly branded. And because the Jewish leadership is desperate to appease Muslims, it is - astoundingly - silent about Muslim antisemitism. Instead, it, too, demonises those who warn against Islamic extremism as "right-wingers" or "Islamophobes".
The Board's spokesman has ludicrously insisted it is right to oppose "Islamophobia" because "racism is racism". It would appear that the Board doesn't even understand that Islam is not a race but a religion.
The Jewish leadership has now invested legitimate criticism of Islam with a status equivalent to the most hateful prejudice in the world. It has thus helped silence criticism of threatening Islamic behaviour and made all in Britain more vulnerable to attack.
Similarly, by awarding a kitemark of respectability to the MCB, it has undermined all who struggle to defend Britain against Islamic extremism. A Muslim academic, Mohammed al Husseini, has expressed his sense of betrayal at the Board's "collaboration" with the MCB.
All decent people, Jews and non-Jews - including truly anti-jihadi Muslims - need to stand shoulder to shoulder against Islamic extremism. Instead, the UK's Jewish leadership has breached the defences and strengthened the foe.'  [Emphasis added]
Particularly odious is Brummer's contention that
 "We are all capable of scouring the worldwide web in search of adverse material that supports our case. Phillips is expert at this and her fondness for conspiracy theories on a range of issues including events in the Middle East are legion"
As one very prominent Anglo-Jewish Zionist who is also a member (yes, there are still members who have not caught the dhimmitude bug) of the Board of Deputies remarks on Facebook:
"Alex Brummer – In defending the indefensible you have resorted to a baseless ad hominem attack on Melanie Phillips...
Resorting to playing the [wo]man rather than the ball simply reveals to all how impossible you find it to defend your case. I really thought you were above such libellous smear tactics. Shame.
 Melanie Phillips is a thorough and principled journalist and possibly the best asset we have in advocating for Israel and fighting antisemitism...
MCB supports BDS but no boycott of the goods of any other country. So how can its condemnation of antisemitism carry any credibility??"
That admirable Deputy also writes:
'Next Sunday there is a motion at Bd Deps: "That the Board supports the Executive in its approval of a joint statement by the Board and the Muslim Council of Britain condemning anti-Semitism"
There are several reasons to oppose the motion.
1. MCB still has as members groups aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and sympathetic to Hamas. The Board should be allying with moderates like Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini who has roundly criticised the joint statement.
2. The MCB supports a boycott of Israeli goods. How can a condemnation of antisemitism by an organisation that has an antisemitic policy in place have any credibility whatsoever? And why did the President not see that?
3. The Board should not be giving the MCB credibility – it undermines the government’s strategy of bypassing the MCB as far as tackling extremism is concerned.
4. The MCB’s condemnation of antisemitism is meaningless without its confirmation that it accepts the same definition of antisemitism as the Board’s – namely, the EUMC Definition. I have asked it to confirm – no response.
5. Dr [Shuja] Shafi heads MCB. On the [BBC] “Today” programme he refused three times to accept that daubing “Gaza” on a synagogue wall is antisemitic. [Dr Shafi evidently thought better of this image-breaker when he left the studio; see tweet. Did a panicky Board of Deputies contact him, perchance? If so, he still fell short.  D.A.]
6. One part of the statement was very badly written. It said "The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions". The phrase "against our religious traditions" is in the plural. It therefore includes both Judaism and Islam. It therefore conveys the impression that the Board believes that the IDF targeted civilians, otherwise why the reference to Judaism? (To argue that Hamas' targeting of civilians is against Jewish religious traditions is nonsensical). Of course the Board does not think that the IDF targeted civilians …. but when writing about such a sensitive subject, perception is all important.
7. I am a member of the Board’s Defence Division and one of our responsibilities is interfaith work. Such a potentially controversial statement should have been shown to me and the other members of the Division for comment before it was released. It wasn’t. Yet another example – like the infamous Oxfam project – of the members of a supposedly democratic body being presented with a fait accompli.
If you too oppose the motion please lobby your Deputy to speak and vote against it.' [Emphasis added.]

Friday, 12 September 2014

David Singer: Palestine – Goodbye Land Swaps, Hello Land Grants

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

The two-state solution has suddenly come back to life.

Thought dead and buried after Hamas had shown that it could indiscriminately fire rockets from Gaza into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem over a 50-day period – even forcing international carriers to cancel flights into Ben-Gurion International Airport for 24 hours – Caroline Glick reported on its amazing resurrection:
'Something extraordinary has happened.
On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give the PA some 1,600 kilometers of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called "Palestinian refugees" to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.
Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.
On Monday Army Radio substantiated Abbas's claim.
According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip and accept limited autonomy over parts of Judea and Samaria.
In exchange for this state, the Palestinians would give up their demand that Israel shrink into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Sisi argued that the land Egypt is offering in Sinai would more than compensate for the territory that Abbas would concede.
In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, "They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] 'Let's end the refugee story.'" "But," he insisted, "It's illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt's expense. We won't have it." 
The Secretary-General of Abbas' office – al-Tayyib Abd al-Rahim – said the reports were "fabricated".

Arutz Sheva reported:
“Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday denied reports that he had offered to establish a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula – the website of Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
In a speech to mark national teachers' day and which mostly dealt with education Sisi stressed that no one can make such promises and that there is no room for talk about the matter.”
Amidst these claims and denials  the idea of land grants by Egypt, and also Jordan – now remain the last route to peacefully creating the two-state solution so earnestly sought by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

President Obama’s policy for bringing such a state to fruition was expressed in his State Department speech on 19 May 2011 – which has now been well and truly trashed as a result of the latest Israel-Hamas War:
“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.“ 
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks at a joint press conference with President Obama in London on 25 May 2011 now sound equally as ludicrous in 2014:
"… the Palestinians need to know that we understand their need for dignity and for a Palestinian state, using the ’67 borders as land swaps as the start point. That is I think what is so key to the speech that’s been made. So neither side now has I believe the excuse to stand aside from talks."

 At the time I wrote the following:
“Now in 2011 – apparently to satisfy the Palestinians “need for dignity “ – Israel is being asked by America and Britain to consider transferring sovereignty of Israeli land to a sovereign Palestine to compensate that State for the loss of any areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem that Israel seeks to retain.
This is a request that is doomed to failure in the light of Israel‘s escalating security and national interests – particularly in the face of the dramatic developments that have taken place in Egypt and Jordan in recent months and the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.
… To believe Israel should now offer additional Israeli territory to bring the border between it and a sovereign Palestine closer to the heartland of Israel is irrational and absurd.
For Obama and Cameron to espouse such a policy seems the height of folly and farce.”
 I also pointed out at the time:
“If Arab dignity is the key – then there is another policy that should be explored – the grant of sovereign Jordanian land to the Palestinian Authority equivalent to the area of the West Bank land retained by Israel.
The area of Jordanian land required to satisfy such Palestinian dignity is extremely small. The entire area of the West Bank is only 5640 km2. Assuming Israel’s security needs necessitated it to acquire sovereignty in 20% of the West Bank – Jordan would be required to make a land grant of about 1130 km2 to a sovereign Palestine. Given Jordan‘s area is 92300 km2 – compared to Israel’s 22070 sq km2 – Jordan’s security and national interests would hardly be affected."
Obama’s land swap proposals – enthusiastically backed by Cameron have now become the latest in a long line of lost opportunities presented in 1937, 1947, 1948-1967, 2000, 2008 and 2014 to create a second Arab State in Mandatory Palestine – in addition to Jordan.

Land grants by Egypt and Jordan are lifelines desperately needed by Obama now – if the two-state solution is ever to eventuate.

As Obama signs up Egypt and Jordan to join his coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State – he might just be whispering this politically savvy message in their ears.