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)

Friday, 25 April 2014

"I Think Israel Has Become A Proxy For People To Express Their Own Sense Of Western Self-loathing"

"It's very fashionable these days to be against Western modernity, to see the modern world as destructive and problematic.  Some time over the past 20 years the meaning of what is to be radical changed to self-loathing, to hate your own history, to hate your own nation.
What I think Israel represents to a lot of Western radicals and others is the kind of most outward symbol of that old-sense Western modernity.  It's seen as obsessed with sovereignty, obsessed with national territory, brutally progressive, capitalistic and constantly talking about freedom – all those things that we in the West used to do, but we don't anymore because apparently we grew up.
I think Israel has become a proxy for people to express their own sense of Western self-loathing.  I think it is the reason that so much contempt is visited upon Israel.  More than North Korea, more than China, more than Belarus, and more than any other country, because Israel is seen as doing all the things that civilised Westerners don't think we should do anymore."

So says Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked online magazine, who's currently in Australia, in an interview with the current, hot-off-the-press Australian Jewish News.

As the following excerpt from the transcript shows, Mr O'Neill was the only panellist who spoke up in support of Israel during the egregiously biased Q&A program earlier this week, about which I blogged here:
 BRENDAN O'NEILL [to former Aussie foreign minister Bob Carr, a fellow panellist]: Well, the suggestion in your book is actually that foreign policy was effectively outsourced to these groups and that's something slightly different than what you're saying now because what that echoes, in my mind, is this old, quite ugly prejudice about Zionist groups or Jewish groups being the puppet masters of politics and that is a prejudice that has...
BOB CARR: But I don't hold that view. I’ve never held a view remotely like it.
BRENDAN O'NEILL: No, but it is the impression one gets from your book, where you talk about the outsourcing of Australian policy on the Middle East to these groups and there are a lot of lobby groups in the world. They lobby on all sorts of issues but it’s always the Jewish lobby or the Israel lobby that is depicted as being particularly sinister, blackmailing politicians, controlling politicians, making politicians fall at their feet and I think that's a real double standard on Israel at the moment. Not only is their lobby group treated as uglier than every other lobby group but also Israeli artists are the only ones who are generally boycotted by trend westerners. Israeli academics are boycotted, whereas other academics from very authoritarian countries are not. There is a real double standard in Western discussions about Israel at the moment and I think that does come across in some of your commentary on...
BOB CARR: Well, hold on. Hold on.
BRENDAN O'NEILL: ...on these groups. And what I would say is there is – I come from a continent where there is a long history of blaming Jewish or Israeli groups when political things don't go your way. There is a long history of that and it has - and it’s an ugly history and I would just say if you failed to convince Julia Gillard to go with your view of what happened to the Middle East, that's your fault. Don't blame these lobby groups.....
 BRENDAN O'NEILL: I think, you know, Nigel [Kennedy, a fellow panellist, and fervent BDSer] talks about being censored by the BBC, but now you know what it feels like to be an Israeli academic or an Israeli artist or an Israeli actor.
NIGEL KENNEDY: Or a Palestinian actor though.
BRENDAN O'NEILL: Because when they come to Britain to do Israeli performances, they are jeered off stage. They are booed off stage. An Israeli violinist was booed out of the Proms. So that is what the BDS is about. It’s about censoring Israeli voices and it’s a very authoritarian approach. I don't think people who criticise Israel are anti-Semitic at all but I am concerned about the way in which criticising Israel has become the most trendy, fashionable cause amongst every leftie in the west, above everything else, and it’s people are - now define themselves through their loathing of Israel. You are basically not allowed into polite society these days unless you are, you know, signed up critic of Israel and that, I think, is damaging because it imbues the conflict in the Middle East with this kind of great western kind of culture war. It turns an ordinary war into culture war. It entrenches both sides and it makes a solution actually more difficult."
Alas, Mr O'Neill is too trusting.  Sure, criticism of aspects of Israeli policy is not necessarily antisemitic.  But his stated assumption that Israel's critics "are not antisemitic at all" is naive and jejune, one that can be ardently contested, especially as seen in the true aims of the BDS movement.

The grandson of refugees from Nazism, Nick Dyrenfurth, an adjunct research fellow at the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University in Melbourne who happens to be opposed to the "Occupation" and (like O'Neill, if I read him correctly) is hardly on the political right, has written a rather fine article on the BDS movement and the Jake Lynch affair in which he states, inter alia:
'....Do not buy from Jews! Eight decades on, it still requires a leap of imagination to believe that those five words once dotted the shopfronts of Europe’s economic, cultural and intellectual epicentre. My grandparents literally saw the writing on the wall, fleeing to London with thousands of other Jewish refugees in the late 1930s. Remarkably, just a few generations after the horrors of Nazism, cosmopolitan Berlin can boast one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the world. Elsewhere, however, Europe’s future seems to beckon to its torturous past....
Yet it is not the usual suspects on the right that are arguably causing the most angst among the Jewish diaspora, or indeed Jews in Israel. That honour goes to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement associated with elements of the global left....  
In fact, the BDS campaign possesses three specific aims. The first is to end the Israeli occupation of lands occupied in the 1967 war, including East Jerusalem, and dismantle the West Bank security barrier. The second is to achieve full equality for the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel. Finally, there is its demand of a “right of return” for all descendants of Palestinian refugees to “Green Line” Israel as stipulated in UN Resolution 194, itself actually conditional upon the acceptance by all parties of the earlier partition of Jewish and Arab states in Palestine.
The implacable demand for the “right of return” gestures towards the ambivalent attitude of BDS supporters regarding a negotiated two-state solution within roughly Green Line borders. The movement’s spiritual leader, Qatari-born Omar Barghouti, along with Australian supporters such as the journalist Antony Loewenstein, explicitly calls for the establishment of a “secular democratic state” of Palestine. This is the so-called one-state solution, which would see a single, non-Jewish state created between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, ushering in the end of the state of Israel after 66 years in existence. BDS is justly regarded by many as a war against Israel by means other than violence....
.... [I]t singles out Israel for boycott and ignores far worse human rights abuses; it punishes all Israelis for the actions of their state; it educates followers that the “racist”, “colonialist” Jewish state is at the centre of all that is wrong in the world; it pushes Jewish defenders of Israel’s right to exist out of progressive movements; it recycles images of Jews as bloodthirsty oppressors exercising disproportionate influence over politics and the media; and it pushes the idea that people who raise the issue of anti-Semitism are only doing so in order to silence criticism of Israel. It has nothing to say of Palestinian rejectionism, especially of the racist, religious fundamentalist Hamas variety...." [Emphasis added]
See, too, Canadian columnist Robert Fulford, focusing here on the brouhaha over Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream:

"The people who defame Israel and wish to undermine its status in the world are not anti-Semites — or so they will tell you, every chance they get. Their denial of anti-Semitism is essential to their moral position. In their own view they are good progressives, therefore absolutely innocent of racial or religious discrimination. Their propaganda campaign, which they hope eventually will escalate into economic warfare, is intended merely to reshape Israel’s policies.
....My own belief is that the BDS people and their fellow travellers, whatever their background, are anti-Semites. They do all they can to stigmatize the Jewish state and reduce its ability to defend itself. They know that Israel is surrounded by neighbours who will never recognize its existence, much less sign a treaty developed in a “peace process” quarterbacked by Washington. The Palestinians and the Arab states who claim to support them are not hoping for a more generous Israel or a BDS-approved Israel or an Israel willing to hand over the West Bank. They are working for a day when Israel will be gone forever.
In order to satisfy this generation’s anti-Semites, Israel must meet standards that no other country in the world has ever met or ever will. At the United Nations Israel is condemned more often than all other countries combined. [Emphasis added here and below]
It is, of course, an imperfect democracy, like Canada and all other free countries, and its human rights record could certainly be improved. But its treatment of Palestinians has never been even remotely comparable to China’s oppression of Tibetans or Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, two among many outrageous practices that apparently never trouble the students who direct their anger at Israel...."

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Menaced By The Mob: An infidel toddler in torment

This photograph apparently shows the infant child of Christian parents being threatened and tormented by Islamic jihadist rebels in Syria.

The Egyptian-born American Christian scholar Raymond Ibrahim, who regularly chronicles the crimes against his co-religionists in the Muslim world, explains:
'According to Sham Times and other Arabic websites, jihadi social media networks posted the above picture of a child sitting on the ground while surrounded by armed men pointing their rifles at him.  The caption appearing with the picture, purportedly posted by a supporter of the Free Syrian Army, is “Our youngest hostage from among the hostile sects of Kessab.”
Kessab is a predominantly Christian Armenian village in Syria near the Turkish border.  Earlier it was invaded by jihadis, who terrorized, pillaged churches, and prompted some 2000 residents to flee.  Initial reports had stated that about a dozen families remained as hostages....'
See Ibrahim's further commentary on it here which includes the observation, given the known behaviour of such cruel and violent men,
'Surely “teasing” an infidel toddler – a subhuman – with their rifles and sharing it with their sadistic comrades via the Internet for a “laugh” should not be too surprising?'
I came across this photo just after I was sent (thank you, reader P) the link to a report in today's The Independent newspaper which tells us, inter alia, that
'Tony Blair will call on Britain today to back “revolution” against anti-Western interests in the Middle East and beyond to combat the growing threat of radical Islam.
In a significant and controversial intervention, the former Prime Minister will suggest that, as a result of failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, governments in Europe and America have become “curiously reluctant to acknowledge” Islamic extremism.
This unwillingness to confront Islamism risks the 21st century being characterised by “conflict between people of different cultures”, he will warn.
Mr Blair will also call for Europe and America to put aside their differences with Russia and China and “co-operate” to fight what he describes as the “radicalised and politicised view of Islam” that is threatening their collective interests....
[He] is understood to be increasingly concerned by the failure of Britain and other Western countries effectively to tackle what he believes to be the growing threat of radical Islam – that combines politics with religion and opposes pluralistic societies....
While he does not specifically mention military intervention he makes clear that he believes Western “engagement” needs to go beyond the political. ...
The threat of this radical Islam is not abating,” he will say. “This struggle between what we may call the open-minded and the closed-minded is at the heart of whether the 21st century turns in the direction of peaceful co-existence or conflict between people of different cultures.”...'
Many reading that will not be unmindful that it was Blair who during his prime ministership opened the floodgates in Britain to unfettered mass migration from the Third World including that of Islamists.

Yet I should have thought that his present views with regard to the radical Islamist threat around the word represents something of a "Motherhood" statement, and that those, such as our old mate the Vicar of Virginia Water whose co-religionists have the most to lose by the triumph of radical Islam (like the child in the above photo and his fellow Christians in the Middle East, not to mention the feminist brigade) would welcome Blair's remarks.

It seems I'm mistaken, at least as far as our old anti-Zionist mate is concerned (hat tip: reader P again).

Anything to say about the death and destruction meted out to your fellow Christians by the radical Islamists Blair warns against, vicar?

David Singer: "Abbas's Pathetic Bluff & Bluster Should For Once Be Exposed & Rejected By America & Israel"

Here, entitled "Palestine Abbas Unilaterally Resurrects Palestinian Authority," is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

'Easter 2014 will be remembered as the time when PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas tried to resurrect the Palestinian Authority (PA) that he himself had declared dead and buried on 3 January 2013.

Adopting US Secretary of State Kerry's terminology "Poof that was the day that signalled the end of the Oslo Accords".

The demise of the PA had been announced by John Whitbeck, an international lawyer who served as a legal advisor to the Palestinian team negotiating with Israel, in an article published on 10 January 2013 in Al Jazeera English and also the Huffington Post:
"On January 3 Mahmoud Abbas, acting in his capacities as President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, signed "Decree No. 1 for the year 2013." While he did so with minimal ceremony or fanfare, and while the change formalized by this decree should surprise no one after the UN General Assembly's overwhelming vote on November 29 to upgrade Palestine's status at the United Nations to "observer state," this change is potentially historic.
By this decree, the Palestinian Authority, created for a five-year interim period pursuant to the Oslo Declaration of Principles signed on the White House lawn in September 1993, has been absorbed and replaced by the State of Palestine, proclaimed in November 1988, recognized diplomatically by 131 of the 193 UN member states and supported in the recent General Assembly vote by an additional 28 states which have not yet formally recognized it diplomatically.
After citing the November 29 General Assembly Resolution, Article 1 of the decree states: "Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads of the Palestinian National Authority official and national institutions shall be amended by replacing the name 'Palestinian National Authority' whenever it appears by the name 'State of Palestine' and by adopting the emblem of the State of Palestine." Concluding Article 4 states: "All competent authorities, each in their respective area, shall implement this Decree starting from its date."
Did none of the thousands of US State Department and Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs minions read Whitbeck's article and realise its significance?

Surely those who did should have been concerned at Whitbeck's further following comments:
"Perhaps due, at least in part, to the low-key manner in which this change has been effected, it has attracted remarkably little attention from the international media or reaction from other governments, even the Israeli and American governments. This is not necessarily disappointing, since passive acceptance is clearly preferable to furious rejection.
The relatively few and brief media reports of the change have tended to characterize it as "symbolic." It could and should be much more than that. If the Palestinian leadership plays its cards wisely, it could and should represent a turning point toward a better future.
In his correspondence, Yasser Arafat used to list all three of his titles under his signature President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority (in that order of precedence). It is both legally and politically noteworthy that, in signing this decree, Mahmoud Abbas has listed only the first two titles.
The Trojan horse called the "Palestinian Authority" in accordance with the Oslo interim agreements and the "Palestinian National Authority" by Palestinians has served its purpose by introducing the institutions of the State of Palestine on the soil of Palestine and has now ceased to exist."
Abbas had dissolved the Palestinian Authority with the stroke of a pen creating a situation where further negotiations under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap were nugatory.

America and Israel at their peril apparently preferred to negotiate with ghosts and turn a blind eye to this extremely significant development.

Now, 15 months down the track with negotiations begun in July 2013 now on their last legs news that Abbas is contemplating dismantling the PA for a second time has brought forth the following response from State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki:
"Of course [the PA disbanding] will have serious consequences. Obviously this is not in the interest of the Palestinian people , and all that has been achieved will be lost.
The US has made tremendous efforts to build Palestinian institutions in the PA, and so has the international community, The move will seriously harm the US-PA relationship, including in terms of financial aid."
Ignoring Abbas's 2013 decree has certainly cost the US dearly about US $500 million in financial aid reportedly paid to an organization over the last 15 months that had ceased to exist.

Has America ever suffered a more blatant financial scam of such massive proportions?

Suddenly the State Department is now also concerned about "the interest of the Palestinian people" after having connived to allow Abbas to lead them down a negotiating blind alley with no possible light at the end of the tunnel following the PA demise.

Israel also needs to explain its role in perpetuating the fiction of the PA's existence for the last nine months

Kerry's desperate efforts to keep these Mickey Mouse negotiations alive has been exposed by Abbas's last ditch threat to dismantle the non-existent PA.

Kerry needs to answer how any signed agreement could ever be achieved with a party whose existence Abbas can turn on and off like a tap.

Abbas's pathetic bluff and bluster should for once be exposed and rejected by America and Israel.'

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Carr, Cox & Kennedy: Aussie pro-Israel politician Danby on the ABC's bias

The ABC is Australia's equivalent of the BBC, though it is state-funded out of the public purse via taxation rather than by means of that odious poll-tax known as the "licence fee" that comfortably sustains its British counterpart.  Like the BBC, the ABC is very much a voice of the liberal-left, and, though probably not as audaciously prejudiced as is the arrogant and self-satisfied Al Beeb, its current affairs programs and panels tend to be in thrust and composition accordingly skewed.


Moreover, as Jewish MP Michael Danby has observed:
“The ABC regularly exhibits its cultural insensitivity of having programs like Q&A on Jewish holy days such as Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Passover.”
Nowhere was the ABC's bias and insensitivity more apparent than in the selection of panellists for last night's Q&A (billed as "Lobbyists, Lies & Libertarians"), as described in the following letter of protest from veteran pro-Israel federal MP Michael Danby (correctly anticipating  “the inevitable attack on Israel and the Australian Jewish community” and considering the program as advertised  "a set-up because the panel designed to promote Bob Carr along with overseas guest [violinist Nigel] Kennedy and [Viennese-born feminist] Eva Cox* who is a critic of the mainstream Australian Jewish community”) in an as yet unanswered letter to the ABC's managing, Mark Scott:
Dear Mr Scott,
Thank you for our telephone conversation earlier today. At your suggestion I am copying Peter McEvoy, Executive Producer of QandA to this note restating my concern with the likely content and construct of the panel of next Monday’s QandA program. Clearly there will be a focus on Mr Carr’s book, particularly given the publicity his book attracted this last week. The publicity highlighted his controversial views of the ‘unhealthy influence of the Australian Jewish Community’ on Australian Foreign Policy. A community, of which you know, I am a proud member and advocate.
Mr Carr’s advertised co-panelist Eva Cox has virulently negative views about Israel and the Australian Jewish Community which she has previously expressed on QandA. [compere] Mr [Tony] Jones has hosted Ms Cox on previous QandA programs when Israel has been a topic, in which she has vociferously expressed such views. A third panelist, British violinist, Nigel Kennedy, was censored by the BBC in August 2013 for his ad-hoc attack on Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state during a performance screened by the British network. As it stands, those criticised in Mr Carr’s book, such as myself, Mark Dreyfus, Josh Frydenberg and Mark Leibler will have not any opportunity to respond to the inevitable chorus of criticism of phantom ‘Likudniks.’ Even though our position of a two state solution brought about by an agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis is the position of both Australian Parties representing 90% of Australians. Of course each panelist is entitled to their opinion, however, it would be both equitable and instructive for an element of balance to be introduced by either myself, Dreyfus, Frydenberg or Leibler. [Emphasis added]
I accept that the British panelist Mr O’Neil[l] has at times written regarding the issues of anti-Semitism and BDS, and has expressed views that might introduce some balance on the Middle East. However, he is not cognisant of the domestic issues ventilated by Mr Carr, which are specifically with regard to Australia’s vote at the UN and a severe critique of the Australian Jewish Community, nor would he have any knowledge of the specific electoral pressures that I and many others ascribe as a primary source of Mr Carr’s conduct and writing. Nor, I doubt would [NSW Liberal politician]Ms  [Kerry]Chikarovski.
 .... I believe the views of at least one articulate Australian who represents a different view on the inevitable discussion of the thrust of Carr’s book should be included in the line-up.
Finally, as a suggestion, one of the panelists or Mr Jones might want to raise with Carr why he was so obsessed with this issue when there are far worse situations in the world, such as 300,000 incarcerated in North Korean Concentration Camps, or 140,000 people murdered by their own government in Syria, or indeed Bob Carr’s cruel indifference to the millions of Tibetans living under China’s boot...."
For the entire letter and the full story see J-Wire here

*In 2010 Cox (pictured right, alongside Carr), like Antony Loewenstein and a number of figures marginal to the mainstream Australian Jewish community, signed the following petition:
We are Jews from Australia, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.” While this law may seem intended to enable a Jewish homeland, we submit that it is in fact a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.
Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish, thereby potentially taking the place of Palestinians who would dearly love to return to their ancestral lands.
We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.
'We are Jews from Australia, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.” While this law may seem intended to enable a Jewish homeland, we submit that it is in fact a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.
Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish, thereby potentially taking the place of Palestinians who would dearly love to return to their ancestral lands.
We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.'
The Q&A program that was the subject of Danby's letter was broadcast last evening.  It included discussion on not one but two questions (a not insubstantial portion of the entire subject matter) of relevance to Danby's fears, as set out on the ABC site:
ISRAEL LOBBY
Greg Weiss asked: Bob Carr, in your previous book “My Reading Life” you praised the Jewish Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. Primo Levi's family along with 6 million Jews were murdered while waiting for the world to speak up on their behalf. None did. That is why the Jewish people have been forced /opted to have their own lobby groups as no one lobbied on their behalf. What is the problem then with a Jewish lobby group? I see no difference between it pushing for its own case any more than a Gay lobby group fighting for Gay rights or the Groceries Lobby arguing for its interests or any other group. Why single out the Jewish lobby group from any other one?
PALESTINE
Jessie Tu asked:Nelson Mandela famously said that our freedom will be incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians. I believe that what is occurring to them is a direct violation of the most fundamental human rights. However, I've noticed that my views are often deemed 'Pro - Palestinian' and retaliated against and labelled 'anti Semitic' by those on the other side. How can a logical dialogue even begin when the belief in the equality of all humans is met with such aggressive defensiveness?
Brendan O'Neill spoke well in Israel's defence, but Kerry Chikarovski proved a cop-out, being by her own admission out of her depth on the issue.  (In fact, besides panellist O'Neill, the only articulate pro-Israel speaker was Greg Weiss, a questioner, who cogently pointed out from the floor that Israel is not an "apartheid state".)

See the program (or, when it becomes available later today, read the transcript) here

Incidentally, Danby has written regarding Carr's book:
'.... Let’s look not at some of the anonymous trolls on Twitter empowered by Bob the book-pedlar but at people willing to put their names to their bigotry, who feel empowered by a man of his high rank indulging in a false and disgraceful critique of the “unhealthy influences’’, which he was ‘‘shining a spotlight on’’, of the “Melbourne-based Israel lobby”.
My ears burned. I was sent messages by Carr’s biggest fans such as ‘‘you are scum’’, ‘‘Jew loving asshole’’ and even alerted that ‘‘we all know what you people are up to … same old nonsense as last 2000 years’’. Carr is not responsible for these or for David Duke, or for the Nazi Stormfront website adulating his exaggerated claims, but their adulation ought give him pause....
None of the Australians stereotyped and caricatured by Carr in his book are the fanatics he pretends they are. [Mark] Leibler is a mate of Noel Pearson. His firm Arnold Bloch Leibler has a legacy of supporting indigenous communities and leaders, and Dadon has taken his career as an international jazz musician to new heights.
Carr, that supposed struggler for justice, offered nothing when I ran an international conference on the 300,000 people incarcerated in concentration camps in North Korea.
He says nothing about the abuse of African Muslims in Darfur or the Turkish Uighu­r of Xinjiang. Where are he and his Twitter-troll supporters as President Bashar al-Assad drops barrel bombs on Syrian cities every day?
Yes, I suppose he perfunctorily dispensed some Australian aid. Excuse me, but I think any of these issues are more pressing and ought to be the subject of public mobilisations, rather than a young, struggling Jewish family making a life in a new apartment on a hill in East Jerusalem....
Can you imagine how I felt, at a meeting with six MPs, when he jumped out of his seat, arms flailing like Mr Bean, indignant that the “Jewish lobby” was stopping him issuing a press release on a Lebanese oil spill?....'
Read more here (or try googling the title...)
We are Jews from Australia, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.” While this law may seem intended to enable a Jewish homeland, we submit that it is in fact a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.
Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish, thereby potentially taking the place of Palestinians who would dearly love to return to their ancestral lands.
We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.
We are Jews from Australia, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.” While this law may seem intended to enable a Jewish homeland, we submit that it is in fact a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.
Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish, thereby potentially taking the place of Palestinians who would dearly love to return to their ancestral lands.
We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.

"Zionists Are taking Over The Canadian Government"

Earlier this month Israel, having already released numerous very ruthless characters with blood on their hands,  announced that it would not, after all, release the final batch of Palestinian prisoners due to be set at liberty under the terms of a controversial undertaking aimed at kick-starting the peace process.

In consequence, a variety of anti-Israel chants, with Netanyahu being compared to Hitler, have been heard in splendidly pro-Israel prime minister Stephen Harper's Canada over the past few days, from protesters waving the Palestinian flag (not a maple leaf in sight, apparently) and Elias Hazineh (he's the guy who last year told an "A' Quds day" rally in Toronto that Israeli Jews  refusing to leave "Palestine" should be shot) was on hand to enthuse the crowd.

Jonathan Halevi explains:
'The Palestine House marked the “Palestinian Political Prisoners' Day” in series of events, including a demonstration in front of the Israeli consulate in Toronto (April 17, 2014) [video clip here], vigil dedicated to Palestinian political prisoners in front of the Israeli consulate (April 18), panel discussion and a movie screening at United Steelworkers Hall (April 19) and letter writing night at Beit Zatoun (April 20).
The demonstration was organized with coordination with the following organizations Beit Zatoun (a cultural and activism centre in Toronto purporting “to explore issues of social justice and human rights, both locally and internationally”), Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA), Canada Palestine Association (CPA), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), Not In Our Name (NION), Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QUAIA), Stop the War Coalition (STWC), United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine/Israel (UNJPPI), Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP)....
 The demonstrators, who gathered (April 17) in front of the Israeli consulate in Toronto, demanded the immediate release of ALL Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli jails. They described them as “political prisoners” and “our heroes” ....
Elias Hazineh, former President of the Palestine House, attended the demonstration. He warned the Canadians of the Zionist menace to Canada by saying loudly the following:
“Zionists are taking over Canada. They are taking over our government. Zionism is racism and they are taking over our government. Zionism is racism. Zionists are taking over our government. Zionists are taking over the Canadian government. Zionists are taking over the Canadian government. The Zionist movement is a racist movement. It is taking over our government. The Zionists are taking over our government. The Zionists are taking over our government. Be careful, wake up Canada, wake up, Zionists are taking over the country.” ....'
 For much more, on both the protesters and some of the "political" prisoners they support (including the mass murderer serving 67 life sentences who first practised his deadly skills by blowing the head off an already-abused donkey) see Jonathan Halevi's graphic post here
 (Hat tip: reader Shirlee)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

"Carr ... Offers No Criticism of ... a 'Palestinian Lobby' While Acknowledging The Lobbying of ... Arabs on Australia's Foreign Policy"

In an op-ed entitled (should you wish to google it) "A great read with deeply troubling insights into the mind of Carr and his Israel-lobby obsession"  published in yesterday's The Australian newspaper, Gerard Henderson, executive director of the Sydney Institute and a longtime friend of Israel, has offered his thoughts on Bob Carr's Diary of a Foreign Minister, which he considers "very much the real Carr".


And in so doing he's told of an incident that sheds further light on Carr's negative attitude towards Israel, and suggests that it began earlier than often thought.

The incident in question occurred in the immediate wake of 9/11, when Carr was premier of New South Wales.  Ken Burns, the American documentary film maker (his output includes the acclaimed The Civil War, which had been shown on Australian television), was due to present the prizes at a dinner marking the annual event known as The Premier's History Awards.

Reveals Henderson:
"...The date was September 17, 2001....
It turned out that Burns was a last-minute scratching from the event. It was around a week since al-Qa’ida’s terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. Air transport from the US had been disrupted.
Moreover, word got around the audience that Burns was not keen on flying in the wake of what Americans term 9/11.
At the start of the dinner Carr came over to talk to me. I expressed commiserations that his guest Burns was a non-starter. To my surprise, Carr seemed quite shaken by the 9/11 attack.
He said to me that he had now come to the conclusion that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 had been a mistake.
Carr stated his belief that the Arab world would never accept the creation of a Jewish state and that Islamists would continue to target Western nations.
From around late 2001, I noticed a change in Carr’s attitude towards Israel."
Henderson, inter alia, makes the excellent point that Carr's book contains "numerous references" to the importance, particularly in Sydney's western suburbs, to the Arab Muslim votes, and that while he  'is ready to bag what he terms the “Israel lobby” in Australia and to identify ... AIJAC figures ... as allegedly exerting improper influence' he 'offers no criticism of such an entity as a “Palestinian lobby” while acknowledging the lobbying of Muslims and non-Muslim Arabs on Australia’s foreign policy towards the Middle East'.

(For many years the Palestinian representative in Australia was Ali Kazak, whose vigorous lobbying efforts were often in the limelight; see also here)

Henderson believes the book
"indicates that Carr is somewhat unhinged in so far as Israel is concerned. He cannot accept that [Julia] Gillard’s long-time support for Israel reflects her real position...."
Hat tip: reader Ian

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Brandeis University, Islamic Misogyny, & Leftwing Hypocrisy: Chesler & Glazov have Wolf for breakfast

American author Naomi Wolf  became an immediate star in the talk show firmament upon the publication in 1991 of her first book, The Beauty Myth, and has written a number of feminist tomes since then, including the widely derided Vagina: A New Biography.

When Al Gore was running for the White House in 2000 she was hired as his consultant at a salary rumoured to be $15,000 a month.

In 2008, following a visit to the Middle East, this feminist declared:
".... The West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality. But when I travelled in Muslim countries and was invited to join a discussion in women-only settings within Muslim homes, I learned that Muslim attitudes toward women's appearance and sexuality are not rooted in repression, but in a strong sense of public versus private, of what is due to God and what is due to one's husband. It is not that Islam suppresses sexuality, but that it embodies a strongly developed sense of its appropriate channelling - toward marriage, the bonds that sustain family life, and the attachment that secures a home....
.... I put on a shalwar kameez and a headscarf in Morocco for a trip to the bazaar. Yes, some of the warmth I encountered was probably from the novelty of seeing a Westerner so clothed; but, as I moved about the market - the curve of my breasts covered, the shape of my legs obscured, my long hair not flying about me - I felt a novel sense of calm and serenity. I felt, yes, in certain ways, free. ..."
For these remarks she was (as outlined in this disparaging piece here) ably taken to task by another feminist, Professor Phyllis Chesler, who was once married to an Afghan and experienced first-hand Islamic oppression of women.

And now, in what some observers see as a grudge-match, Naomi Wolf has attacked Phyllis Chesler for the latter's condemnation of Brandeis University for its decision not to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali a degree after all.

Phyllis Chesler has the full story of Naomi Wolf's snide and snotty attack on her (and her Zionism) here (be sure to read it!), and concludes:
"Unlike Wolf, I view the burqa as a sensory deprivation isolation chamber and as such, a violation of human and woman’s rights. I was once held captive in purdah in Kabul. The polygamous family which isolates and sequesters women is totally against freedom for women. While I enjoy all-women company just as much as Wolf does, I would never enjoy it if it was the only company I was allowed to keep.
Naomi: I challenge you to address the issues. Do you agree with the Brandeis signatories and also believe that women on the Brandeis campus are as endangered as women in Iran, perhaps in Evin Prison are? As endangered as child brides in Afghanistan or genitally mutilated girls in Indonesia? As endangered as the 100 girls just scooped up by an Islamist paramilitary group in Nigeria to be their sex slaves? As endangered as a girl who wants to choose her husband is in parts of India? As endangered as a girl who wants an education in Pakistan or who insists on driving her car in Saudi Arabia? Do you believe that the face veil and the burqa are religious choices, or “sexy” and mysterious? Even if girls and women who refuse to wear them are honor killed by their families for this very reason?"  [Emphasis added]
Jamie Glazov, in a must-read no-punches-pulled article on the subject, absolutely nails it when he observes:
"Wolf’s attack on Chesler is an extension of the collision that occurred between the two a few years back, after Wolf went on a political pilgrimage to the Muslim world and returned singing the praises of the burqa. Chesler dismantled Wolf’s embarrassing fairy tales of the female gulag that Islam has constructed for nearly a billion women with such precision that one wonders why Wolf is now even bothering to step back into this mismatch. Unlike Wolf, Chesler is a true scholar of Islam and as the former bride of a Muslim in Afghanistan, she has first-hand experience of the horrors of Islamic gender apartheid.
Naomi Wolf is a sad emblem of the pathetic state of the Left and of its pseudo feminist wing: ignorant, arrogant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-American and an embarrassing fifth column for the Islamic barbarians of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas."
 Meanwhile, in a humdinger of an article, conservative theorist Roger Scruton observes:
"....I am not in favour of the growing habit among universities of awarding honorary degrees to politicians, CEOs and celebrities, merely in order to gain status for themselves or to illustrate their political correctness. An honorary degree ought to reflect the recipient’s achievements in the intellectual sphere, when these achievements are either great in themselves, or an expression of a life informed by public spirit and lived on behalf of the rest of us. It gave me great pleasure, therefore, when Ayaan Hirsi Ali was awarded an honorary doctorate by Brandeis University – to be conferred precisely now, at the first anniversary of the Boston bombings. What better way to show that we stand for something, that we believe in ourselves and the people who are prepared to make sacrifices on our behalf? The intellectual life as we know it and as our universities are obliged to endorse it, is a life in freedom, in which the dissenter is protected against every orthodoxy that would seek to suppress him. To honour Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose battle on behalf of intellectual freedom has awoken so many of us to its value, is to show, as all universities should show, a commitment to the true life of the mind.
The award was all the more gratifying in that Brandeis university, founded in 1948, and named in honour of Louis Brandeis (1856-1941), the first Jewish Justice of the US Supreme Court, has made a point of offering a non-sectarian education under the sponsorship of the local Jewish community. It is a valued and civilising presence in the Boston area and in the intellectual life of Massachusetts. The award of this degree at this critical and anxious time made a clear statement, on behalf of the values that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has defended in her distinguished and beautifully written books. What better way of expressing our solidarity with the victims of the Boston bombing?
Inevitably, of course, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) protested. Hadn’t a death sentence been passed on this troublesome woman? Wasn’t she guilty as an apostate, and hadn’t she spoken out against the society that created her and to which her allegiance was owed? Wasn’t all this stuff about the rights of women really ‘Islamophobia’? Knowing the sanctimonious clap-trap with which CAIR masks its contempt for the American idea of freedom, I was not surprised by this. But when I learned that 85 of the 350 members of the faculty at Brandeis had, in response, signed a petition calling for the award to be rescinded, on the grounds that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a purveyor of ‘hate speech’, and that her presence would make Muslim students ‘uncomfortable’, I recognized the real problem that we now confront, which is not Islam, but the liberal mind-set.
We are embroiled in an existential conflict, for which innocent people in the West are paying with their lives.  Liberals tell us that ‘we’ are to blame for this conflict and not those who attack us. When someone flees to the West, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali did, in order to say ‘not so, it is they who are to blame’, instead of welcoming her many among us wish to turn her away. For her message is a threat to our complacency.  No one could possibly want to attack us, the liberals insist, since we are so obviously nice – at least, the liberals among us. Our enemies are not those who threaten Western civilisation, but those who defend it, since their words are a ‘provocation’ and their presence an affront. Thus is blame redirected from the aggressor to the victim, and the duty to defend our inheritance turned into a duty to reject it.
To my chagrin Brandeis University caved in to this petition, and the offer of an honorary degree has been rescinded. This great university, created by American Jews in order to pass on the values of Western civilisation, has chosen instead to betray them."
Read the whole of Roger Scruton's article here