Sunday, June 30, 2013

Apologising For The Balfour Declaration


We should take a special interest in a pending centenary  I suggest because some others are taking an interest in another centenary almost to the day and in a very real way especially for Australians they are closely related. The Battle of Beersheba  on 31 October 1917 when the Australian Light Horse  took the town in what would have been the last successful cavalry charge in military history but for it having been carried out by an infantry regiment.

Two days later the Balfour Declaration was signed.

Now Beersheba  is a thriving city of 200 000 in the south of Israel with ambitious urban plans. Most are Jews driven from Muslim lands and their descendants.  These people are now free and equal citizens in a free state. Since the coming of Islam to the lands where they had lived for generations before the birth of The Prophet that had not been possible. They lived at a formally imposed inferior status or they lived not at all. Where pogroms were a frequent problem they might live not at all anyway.

There is a movement in Britain to apologise for the Balfour Declaration.  There has even been suggestions that the long overdue apology to indigenous Australians is some sort of noble precedent for such a craven rebuttal of truth and history. That is another reason to take an interest in any link. Such a thing strikes as a grave insult to indigenous Australians. Indeed surviving indigenous peoples everywhere. I expect many will agree.   

Richard Millet has a post about a history teacher at a British university who is pushing the case for an apology under the auspices of the usual suspects. This gentleman. Dr James Renton. The teacher has invited comment on his proposal and the theory behind it. How could I decline? Where can I start?

Renton says that as the Declaration refers to a "national home" and not a "state"  Britain should apologise for creating a false expectation of a "state" among Zionists that is the source of the ongoing misery of the "Palestinians". The Brits had something else in mind all along and it was a deception to win over antisemitic  notions of "Jewish power" to the war effort.

That's about it really. Oh, and the Jews were not all Zionists anyway and the Brits didn't know that.

If you think I'm being unfair to Dr Renton  read the article. If you do not want to pay Haaretz anything Richard Millet will email it to you as he did to me. Or I will of course  if you have my email address. 

First of all . it rankles that issues like this are always cast as an entirely British affair and very often as a projection of Britain as an imperial power. I think we need to be clear about this. This land fell to British and French administration as a consequence of the Ottomans being on the losing side of a war that engulfed scores of countries big and small and the Declaration was made when it was known this was likely no matter what happened in Europe. You can call this an imperial war if you want but it is just weasel words. It was a world war.

Moreover the Declaration was enshrined in international law  by formal convention of the nations including those that actually fought in that part of the war. At that point the Balfour Declaration became something else and not just in a formal legal sense. Britain was in Palestine not as an imperial power but by global license subject to a formal mandate that defined the parameters by which she had any right to be in Palestine at all. It was not the British Mandate. It was the League of Nations Mandate. It is unacceptable to breeze over this as a technicality.  Dr Renton refers to this  "as the rental contract, if you will, for ruling the Holy Land". I'm not quite certain what is meant by that but those who speak like this should not expect to command much respect when they  invoke allegations of contempt for principles of international law in any other context.

It should take only a moment's reflection how fatuous a demand for a British apology is and on so many levels. How can a British apology mean anything at all without that of all the powers at San Remo and in the League of Nations? Including Australia. Don't hold out for that one.

But it gets worse. Although Britain was the Mandate authority obligated to carry out the terms of the Mandate, and not as an imperial power administering a colony,  it does not follow that she did not behave as an imperial power. She most certainly did. Old habits die hard. 

Notoriously the British never delivered on the terms of the Mandate. It is the mother of moot points whether the obligation was for a Jewish national home or Jewish state (as if there is any material difference but let's indulge this for moment). The British never delivered either. They blocked it.  A country from which Jews were blockaded  by the Royal Navy on the eve of the Second World War, and even after when survivors were in desperate need of a place to live, by no stretch qualifies as the Jewish national home.   

The British failed miserably on their obligations under the Mandate. They sold out the Jews in the most terrible way in a futile rush to appease violent  Arab extremism at exactly the same time as they were appeasing the Nazis. In the case of the Palestinian Arab leadership they could appease both together.   Why would  the Palestine Return Centre  demand an apology for that?

The distinction between a Jewish state and a Jewish national home is an illusion. It is merely a reflection of the language of the era. Is Dr Renton suggesting that the Arab leadership was violently hostile to a Jewish state but would have come smiling bearing gifts for the Jewish national home? If that is the case then it behoves him to define what he means by a Jewish national home. 

For certain the British and Zionists would stretch for a broad concept and of course the British would have been considering options that embraced a permanent place within the British empire and Commonwealth as they should have. Something similar to the self governing dominions of the time and a political evolution similar to that of Australia or Canada may well have been very attractive to the Zionists who prominently included Anglophiles especially if it came with British protection. It would have been very nice for it to have been offered I expect. 

 Dr Renton cites every reason for why the Declaration was made but the obvious one. The British were considering the shape of the world post war at a time when nations locked in moribund and collapsing empires were asserting self determination across three continents. One of those national groups was the Jews. Their case was compelling and urgent and won the support of important politicians who supported the dream because it was the right thing to do. One of them was Winston Churchill who was a passionate and effective advocate of Zionism throughout his career. The Jews in Palestine had fought with the allies to liberate the land.  For certain there would have been be policy noise around Whitehall about its impact on war strategy  and some of it would have been harebrained. This is the Foreign Office after all. 

We know what Dr Renton would like to see by 2 November 2017 but I have a very different proposal for 31 October 2017. A celebration in Beersheba of the event that saw the town  become a city of free people in their own homeland in a free state and which helped  make possible the Declaration. Although the British were to betray that it did not kill the dream.

Could things have worked out any other way given the measure of Arab self destructive intransigence, then as now? Perhaps not but the administration of Palestine couldn't have been worse.  It would have helped not to have made a Nazi civil head of the Muslim population. There could have been a real attempt to take power from the hate fill clerics rather than give it to them and it is a curious fact that is exactly what was going on in Turkey as it dramatically transformed itself into a secular Muslim state that was later to become a firm ally of Israel. Perhaps that was the greatest irony of all.  Turkey would have made a much better job of the Mandate than Britain. The "rental contact" should have been leased back to Istanbul. Ataturk would have delivered on a Jewish national homeland. He would have understood the need for it and how to deal with the rank and medieval opposition.

hat tip CiFWatch

cross posted Israel Thrives

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Barry Rubin Exposes the Truth about the "Peace Process"

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Israel Thrives.}

If you want to cut through the yammering mierda around the Arab-Israel conflict one of the best scholars and analysts to consider is professor Barry Rubin.  In a recent piece at his blog, Rubin Reports, entitled "It's Time to Tell the Truth About the 'Peace Process'" he writes:
Has it become time that the absurd paradigm governing the Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the “peace process” be abandoned or challenged?

After all, this narrative has become increasingly ridiculous. Here is what is close to being the official version:

The Palestinians desperately want an independent state and are ready to compromise to obtain that goal. They will then live peacefully alongside Israel in a two-state solution. Unfortunately, this is blocked either by: a) misunderstanding on both sides or b) in the recent words of the Huntington Post, “the hard-line opponents who dominate Israel's ruling coalition.” Israel is behaving foolishly, too, not seeing that, as former President Bill Clinton recently said, Israel needs peace in order to survive. One aspect—perhaps a leading one—why Israel desperately needs peace is because of Arab demographic growth. The main barrier to peace are the Jewish settlements.
This interpretation has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with reality. People on both sides know this, even if they rarely say so publicly. For the Palestinian side, the pretense of peacemaking—which every Palestinian leader knows—obtains money, diplomatic support, popular sympathy, and pressure on Israel. Here's the dirty trick involved. If anyone raises... issues about whether a "peace process" can really bring peace, concerns about how it would be implemented, and documented experience about Palestinian behavior in the past, the response is that Israel doesn't want peace. The actual arguments and evidence about these problems is censored out of the Western mass media and distorted in terms of political stances.
Rubin is correct.  One of the main things that it is necessary for us to understand concerning the long Arab war against the Jews in the Middle East is that it is cognitive war, in a certain kind of way.  Whatever else it is, it is a propaganda war in which our Arab opponents seek to influence western understanding.  They seek to present a progressive "narrative" of Arab-Muslim persecution within the Land of Israel at the hands of Israel and the Jews.

Let's go through some of this:
The Palestinians desperately want an independent state and are ready to compromise to obtain that goal. 
This is what many, or even most, on the western left, particularly in Europe, believe.  They honestly believe that the local Arabs are largely innocent and that when they strike out against the Jewish minority in that part of the world it is due to righteous indignation against Jewish wrong-doing.  From an historical perspective this is entirely nonsense.  The "Palestinian narrative" as it has been adopted by the west wipes out fourteen centuries of Jewish persecution under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperialism.  They are robbing us of our history.
They will then live peacefully alongside Israel in a two-state solution. 
The fact of the matter is that the vast Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East - which outnumbers Jews by a factor of 60 or 70 to one -  has never accepted the existence of Israel as a Jewish State and its governments have vowed the destruction of the Jewish homeland from even before UN Resolution 181 in November of 1947.
Israel is behaving foolishly, too, not seeing that, as former President Bill Clinton recently said, Israel needs peace in order to survive.
One of the most insidious notions often peddled on the western left is that the Jews of the Middle East do not want peace.  We read this kind of thing all the time in western left journals like the Huffington Post or the UK Guardian.  The Jews of the Middle East are a people continually hounded, harassed, and murdered - thus keeping our numbers artificially low - for fourteen hundred years.  Israel is a bunker because the only way that the Jews can survive in that hate-filled environment is with a bunker.  Yet these smug, safe westerners throughout Europe and in the United States honestly believe that the Jews of Israel do not want peace and thus do not deserve peace. This is, essentially, what they are saying.
One aspect—perhaps a leading one—why Israel desperately needs peace is because of Arab demographic growth. The main barrier to peace are the Jewish settlements.
To blame the refusal of the local Arabs to even negotiate a peaceful settlement of the issues on the fact that Jews build housing for themselves in Judea and Samaria is racist on its face.  For something around four thousand years Jews have lived in Judea. The very first thing that we must understand is that this small bit of the planet is, in fact, Jewish land.  It is not just as much Jewish land as France is French land, but far more so.  Four thousand years we have lived in those hills.  Four thousand years we suffered armies marching through and throwing us into the sea and off of Jewish land.

The main barrier to peace is not Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.  They aren't "settlements," they are homes, townships, and communities.  I understand, of course, that I am critiquing Rubin's interpretation of how the western world, particularly the western left, views the conflict, but he happens to be correct.

The characterization by Rubin, in italics above, is an exceedingly accurate view of how the western left views the conflict.

They honestly believe that the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East - which is doing nothing more than trying to protect itself from the relentless anti-Jewish violence characteristic of the Muslim world - is guilty of the persecution of the Arab majority population.

And that, my friends, is the Big Lie.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Letter From Israel

  elinor        אלינור   


Early Days—Very Early Days I

The Bank

At first I didn’t understand why the bankers’ cheque I’d brought with me from ‘the old country’ would take three weeks to process.  A bankers’ cheque, I had always understood, was the same as cash.  I went from bank to bank and received the same answer.  But why? 

The Head Banker of my neighbourhood branch took the cheque, examined it over and over, then nodded.  A foreign cheque, is this?  Nodding.  Slowly.  He opened an enormous account registry out of which might have flown moths.  He struggled to find the right page and picked up a pen. Dickens, I kept thinking, Dickens.  I expected quill and ink.  By that point in my previous life I had been using a computer for more than 10 years.

If you live in a place for a very long time you stop noticing how things are done by other people.  I noticed.  I looked up at my Israeli friend who made a ‘relax, don’t say anything’ gesture, so I didn’t.  I wanted to, though.  (FYI: This gesture includes an elaborate closure of the eyes, a squinch of the lower lip, a slight nod of the head to the side and a minimal hand movement.  Good thing I speak body language.)

With effort, the banker found the right place to register my precious cheque.  Having done so, he stood, reached over to shake my hand and assured me that ‘within a month or so’ I would have access to my very minor fortune.   I froze.  How to pay first, last and security rental requirements?  Grocery bills? Not his problem.  A cheque book?  Not until the cheque clears. How about a modest starter loan?  No such thing.  However, there was a small amount of money to come from the Jewish Agency if I were to stay a full year.  I looked up over my glasses at him.  I understand, he said. 

(I now compare this experience with e-mail money transfers of today.  Some twenty-four hours and your bills are paid.  Who said modernisation would be the ruin of civilisation?)

Oh dear, what to do?  In the country for three days and flat broke already.  OK, how about a new one for my worry space? 

This bank had been shoe-horned into a once-upon-a-time ground-floor flat in a large, elderly apartment building.  Fair enough; free-standing bank buildings were rare with the urbanisation of landscapes everywhere.  But had the bank ceiling/upstairs flat floor been reinforced?  Could some enterprising bank robber just drill through the floor/ceiling and clean out the bank on one pre-Pesach evening when no one was working and celebrants were moving furniture, throwing books on the floor to dust them and banging pots around?  I proposed the situation to my Israeli companion who looked at me with a marvellous combination of doubt and disbelief that I should say or even think such a thing.  It has since happened.

Always on the alert for problems, I enquired about a safety deposit box for my precious documents and few gems.  Never heard of it, not in this district, try over there.  Four years later I wandered into a distant neighbourhood bank and much to my delight, they had one available.  My delight diminished with every step I took into the dark, dank basement.  Many years later I saw this basement being robbed in films with Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes and too many others.  Nothing ever happened to mine.  If only they had known.

cross posted Israel Thrives

Friday, June 14, 2013

In For A Billion. In For A Trillion.


Pat Condell on singling out a billion people for criticism.

Muslim persecution of Christians..

Muslim persecution of homosexuals

The world's most dangerous countries for women: No 3: Pakistan. 
90% of women suffer domestic violence and 1000 women are murdered every year in "honour" killings

50% of urban Pakistani women beaten by their husbands

Pakistan child marriage: 9 year old flees hospital after acid attack

Girl raped for 21 days by policemen

Pakistan: Rape during police detention

Rape victims denied justice in Pakistan

Pakistani mob torches Christian homes over prophet blasphemy

Pakistan mob burns man alive for desecrating Koran

Here's a petition about the Danish cartoons in the name of a billion Muslims, but they haven't all signed it yet

Friday, June 7, 2013

Open Letter To Bishop George Browning


Dear Bishop Browning,

Recently On-Line Opinion posted your angry denial of  antisemitism with which you  say you have been smeared through your outspoken criticism of Israel and Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Israel is a state like any other you complain and any suggestion that criticism of state policies that have lead to the continuing suffering of these people is antisemitism is name calling and unacceptable. It is a sign of weakness you say that betrays the poverty of your antagonists' case.  It's all summed up in a sentence:

Criticism of Israel is not antisemitism per se.

You could put that in bold. On-Line Opinion did.

Of course antisemitism is a vile and threatening thing and loose allegations of it are contemptible as are all loose allegations of racism. 

I believe I can offer some insight that might be helpful with this but also there is something with which you might be able to help me. Criticism of Israeli policies is of course not antisemitism per se and it is indeed deplorable, in fact risible, to claim it is. It could only mean that antisemitism was most entrenched in Israel where it poured deep and strong foundations in this vigorous little democracy. 

My difficulty is that I have never been able to find an example of someone serious, seriously suggesting that such criticism is antisemitism. It's been a long search. I have made many appeals in a number of places for an example but with no reports of confirmed sightings that could stand much scrutiny. It's like looking for the Loch Ness Monster. Plenty of denials. The word clouds are dripping with denials of antisemitism from critics of Israel but not a single allegation that criticism of Israel is antisemitism per se .  

You say you have some examples of this from opinion pieces and various correspondence. Will you consider sharing these? Because if indeed you are in possession of a genuine specimen of someone serious, seriously suggesting that criticism of Israel is antisemitism per se then I believe we should have it stuffed and put on display in a natural history museum right next to the frozen woolly mammoth. It would be a crowd magnet.

With all these pre-emptive denials of antisemitism hanging  in the ether like white noise it does beg the question is there some message being jammed here. Because right now the world is swamped with Jew hatred in its most vile forms, Israel is at the centre of it and there is no longer any excuse for not being aware of it.

Which brings me to the first problem I have with your piece.   

You say that the belittling of or discrimination against Jews is utterly deplorable and you make a historical reference to the enormous suffering it has caused. Of course that was antisemitism but you must know this ugly thing is back with a vengeance and that it is especially virulent, dangerous, aggressively violent and mainstream throughout the Islamic world including those parts that you visit frequently. It has surged from an already high base since the Islamic Revolution and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It takes all the classic lethal forms from blood libels of Christian manufacture to satanic conspiracy theories and is most manifest in an intractable, genocidal conviction that Israel can never be recognised as a Jewish state and must be destroyed. Jews have no place as free and equal people. They have no place at all.This is the official ideology that saturates the populations in these political cultures that are hardly liberal democracies that encourage enlightened dissent.

And yet about all of this you are silent. Not a word. 

In the shadow of this your observation about historical enormous suffering jars as gratuitous especially when you link it to the plight of the Palestinians which frankly is always good for a wince and some nerve pain. Like an old and very bad joke. Why do critics of Israel always do that? 

Which brings me to the next problem

There is no one claiming that the plight of the Palestinians is a good thing. No one would deny that the history of these people is tragic. But why do your foundation assumptions hold this is Israel's fault and that it is within her power to remedy?  How is it possible to reach such a far reaching position full of implications and set it in concrete without so much as  a moment's thought? It's as if it's some kind of a mental reflex. It's  as if you have closed your mind to any other side of the story from the very start. 

It's an all or nothing thing with critics of Israel. Israel has no case. To defend Israel and Israel's policies is in your words to defend the indefensible.

Just like the Arab and Muslim cultural antisemitism that hangs over the whole stage like toxic fog it is impossible not to be aware that Palestinian intransigence to the very notion of a sovereign Jewish state is at the core of Palestinian suffering. Recognise Israel and draw the border.  Yet the Palestinians say no. They want no border and no Israelis and they are immovable on this. 

Not a word about that. Ever. Why? Surely it can't be denied. The Palestinians don't bother. Why would their allies? Do you? 

Which brings us back to criticism of Israel and  allegations of antisemitism. 

Increasingly critics of Israel are silent or agnostic on the matter of whether Israel is a legitimate expression of national aspiration that if not to be celebrated at least has a right to exist, or whether it is some sort of imperialist relic, ethnocracy, apartheid state or worse best torn down and replaced with something else about which they are necessarily vague especially given that it is never going to happen. 

Only in this way can justice be restored to the Palestinians. 

Increasingly defenders of Israel have a term for this phenomenon. We call it antisemitism.

There is discussion about whether this crazy spiralling antizionism is a new antisemitism or just the same old same old, but antisemitism it is. Or for the benefit of clueless pedants and marginal racists who manage a brain snap over the notion of Arab antisemitism; Jew hatred it is. If you prefer. The name cannot change it. It's still the exact same thing.

This is another silence that troubles me. Here is something that is at the very centre of this nagging and dangerous conflict and well of human misery and yet critics of Israel who will indignantly deny the charge of antisemitism, usually pre-emptively, can not bring themselves to say with assurance that Israel has a right to be left in peace within agreed borders as a sovereign state and if that means anything at all it means sovereignty over her borders and population.  

If a critic of Israel has no difficulty accepting this and saying it with confidence no matter the audience then why the silence about the truth that the Palestinian factions without exception do not accept it?  That they have rejected the notion repeatedly in the past and continue to emphatically reject it with a violence ranging from depraved brutality against civilians to duplicitous manoeuvring abroad with systematic racist and religious vilification at home as part of a compulsory social curriculum for all men, women and children.

They won't even talk about it. To get them to the table they demand something for nothing and then they do nothing. Their leaders can't seriously talk about it at least not with Israelis. They would not survive a week and they say so. In any event it is not just the Palestinian factions that compete for a stranglehold on what passes for a Palestinian polity. 

You are outspoken in your criticism of Israel to the point of not hearing a word in her defence, that which you regard as indefensible, including the defence of Israeli policy in that part of Judea and Samaria where she exercises civil and/or security authority under what is left of the Oslo accords. Yet not a word about this deep rooted hostility for the human rights of another people in their own homeland and yes I mean the Israelis. 

As if this toxic ideology, as often as not rooted in the extremist religious mind, is not at all the cause of the pain of the Palestinian people.  

There are other noisy silences from the critics of Israel in the West that also  blare off key like a brass band of cracked trombones in a winter shower. At times you can barely hear the chanting of antisemitism denial for the din.

We hear nothing about the Jews dispossessed  from Muslim lands in the twentieth century. It's as if these people have been airbrushed from history just as  the warring factions across the region compete with blood curdling shrillness must be the fate of Israel and the remaining Middle East Jews.

Why is that silence so especially ear splitting? There is not a murmur about that Nakba or for that matter all the other Nakbas one after the other that sweep across the Arab and Muslim world including the Palestinians. Nor is there any evidence of any serious curiosity about the cause of it. 

It can't be all Israel's fault.

There are other swamps of silence especially relating to Christians. 

We are witnessing a resurgence in what used to be called theological antisemitism among some Christians but now manifests as clerical antizionism . In its worst forms it is very ugly. It's not pretty in any form. At its crudest it is nothing less than the retailing of war propaganda and hate incitement that lap at the boundaries of violent extremism. The dehumanising of what are called the "settlers", a "malignancy", set for ethnic cleansing and rightly so and their demonisation at an almost mystical level are chilling. Then the "settlers" become the "Zionists".  Look at the language of these sites.  Here is the active nurturing of profound and special grievance aimed in just one direction without any hint of compromise and which ultimately leads no where to go except war.

This completely exonerates everything that has anything to do with the actual cause of the suffering and indeed allies with it. These clerics identify with the ideology and political culture that poison the lives of the Palestinians and other Muslim peoples far beyond and they conflate the police states that oppress these people with the people themselves.    

And that's just the Church of England.

Please do not misunderstand me. This is not at all a religious argument for me. I understand that this is partly a theological dispute between wings of Christianity. However there are over ten million people living between the river and the sea and they are real people and this is one of the most divisive issues on the planet. Clergy from the far ends of the world who choose to become activists in this, perhaps feel compelled by religious impulse to do so, have lost any lingering benefit of clergy in a secular age and are entitled to be scrutinised, and criticised, in the same full measure. Passion is not a qualification in this business.

This must be frankly said.

There is something repugnant about a religion that singles out another religion quite specifically for de-legitimisation and rejection at some kind of mystical level. Beyond theology it is risible and when it extends even to a malign interpretation of religious texts that by their mere existence beyond all doubt prove the Jews and Judaism are the surviving indigenous culture and people of this land, quite apart from religion, then a red line has been crossed.

It is much worse when this is conflated with a theology that vastly magnifies and focuses from a far distance like a telescope on the story of the Palestinian people post-Israel to the exclusion of all others to the point of what looks very much like the canonisation of martyrs. It is worse still when this theology attributes great sin to modern Israel in the treatment of Palestinians on a scale so mortal it invalidates ownership of the land and by inference invites dispossession in favour of a superior claim.

This is more than dangerous crackpottery. It is from an older and much darker age and it is bracing to behold a philosophy anything like this in the twentieth  first century without a moments reflection on the enduring contribution that Christian antisemitism has made to the enormous suffering you have mentioned. It is particularly troubling with the sweep of political Islam and with its undisguised hatred of Israel and Jews with which there is clearly a connection.  

There are some brave voices but again there is much loud silence from Christians including those in a position to do something about it.

Which brings me to the last great silence. Perhaps the greatest of them all.

Why do those who steadfastly criticise Israel and enjoy the good offices of the Palestinian elites not do all in their power to encourage the Palestinians to accept Palestine, accept Israel, accept peace and security, work for prosperity and raise their children in hope and love?

Surely this must be in the best interests of the Palestinians.

Why the silence?  

Is this antisemitism? I don't know.  It's not my field and It's not my place to say.

But why the reluctance to speak this truth to power: that Israel is here to stay, it is in its proper place,  the Israelis will never give up their state, that this world was made to be shared and that Palestine is there for the asking if you want it?

For sure this might take some courage. Likely you will lose some friends. But with just one brave voice the bubble can be burst. Surely Christians, like Jews, believe that? 

Otherwise what are we left with? Never ending grievance and frustration. Never ending war. The never ending stoking of the flames and apart from the antisemitism denials  a never ending silence from those who might have made a difference but were too confused to see what is clear and too weak of character to speak out about it.


cross posted Israel Thrives  





Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dershowitz On A Grim Lesson From Syria


Alan Dershowitz on why Israel must never compromise on security. It is extraordinary that it must be explained to "progressives" in the West how wars are fought across the Muslim Middle East and always have been. To attempt to explain what is in front of their noses is to risk denunciation as a racist.

Israel unilaterally withdraw from Judea and Samaria without even so much as a promise of peace? Ethnically cleanse her own population at the command of human rights groups and spiteful little European countries dripping with malice who simply can not get their minds around the concept that human rights is an universal notion and does not exclude Jews.

Only a Western "progressive"  could even imagine this. Their motives for campaigning for it are likely even more disgusting than they appear. Among other vile moral perversions they must enjoy war. There can be no other explanation. We know for certain that its not because they give a damn about the "Palestinians". That is a lie for sure.  

JUNE 4, 2013 4:09 PM 8 COMMENTS

Syrian Commander Riad al-Asaad, who heads a contingent of Syrian army defectors, in a screenshot from a video from his group's Facebook page. (Free Syrian Army)
Fareed Zakaria explained why neither side in the Syrian conflict is likely to surrender:
“People fight to the end because they know that losers in such wars get killed or ‘ethnically cleansed.’”
In this kind of war the words “ethnically cleansed” do not mean displaced or made refugees.  They mean, as Zakaria further explained,massacred:
“Then you have phase 2, which is the massacre of the Alawites, the 14 percent of Syria that has ruled and that will be a bloodbath.”
Nor will the massacres and bloodbaths be limited to combatants, or even civilian officials, if the past is any indication.  Babies, women, the elderly and everyone else will become targets of the vengeful blood lust.  Already somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 Syrians have been killed, the vast majority of them civilians.  According to United Nations investigators, some have been killed by chemical weapons and thermobaric bombs (that suck the oxygen out of the lungs of everyone in the area.)  There have been at least 17 massacres between mid-January and mid-May of this year alone.  And there is no sign that the bloodshed is abating.  Whether the death toll is closer to 80,000 or 100,000, this figure is more than all the people killed in nearly a century of conflict between Israel and its enemies —a conflict that includes half a dozen wars and thousands of acts of terrorism and reprisals.
Even if one credits the worst allegations against the nation state of the Jewish people, Israel has killed fewer civilians since it came into existence 65 years ago than any country in history facing comparable threats over so long a timeframe.  The world seems unaware of this remarkable fact because the media and international organizations focus far more on Arab and Muslim deaths caused by Israel than on those caused by fellow Arabs and Muslims.
Neither is Syria the first bloody battleground on which Arabs have massacred Arabs and Muslims have massacred Muslims.  Black September in Jordan, the protracted war between Iran and Iraq, the civil war in Lebanon, and the killings in post-Saddam Iraq are only some of the bloodiest battles that resulted in many thousands of civilian deaths.
Imagine then what would happen if Israel were ever to lose a war with its Arab and Muslim enemies (as it almost did when it was attacked on Yom Kippur in 1973 by the Egyptian and Syrian armies.)

Holding Human Rights NGOs To Account


The Elder has  broadcast a petition aimed at human rights organisations that studiously ignore the only reasons they have for existing when it requires some courage. Says the Elder:

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have publicly stated that antisemitism is a human rights issue, yet they have not once condemned the endemic and virulent Arab antisemitism that is seen daily by millions in the Arab media.

In July, a highly anticipated mini-series with an all-star cast will be broadcast throughout the Arab world. However, the writer and director of the series make no secret of the fact that the point of the series is to demonize Jews from the time of Moses to today. In other words, the series is meant to incite Arabs to hate Jews. This is a quintessentially human rights issue and it is outrageous that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty have ignored this, as well as many other antisemitic broadcasts in Arabic-language media. Their condemnation can show the Arab broadcasters that such hatred is not acceptable and that Arab nations must be held to the same human rights standards as every other nation on Earth.

Human Rights NGOs: Condemn upcoming antisemitic "Khaybar" Ramadan mini-series

Human Rights NGOs: Condemn upcoming antisemitic "Khaybar" Ramadan mini-series

    1. Eldad Tzioni
    3. Petition by
      United States

More details here
Ken Roth, Human Rights Watch
Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch
MENA Group, Amnesty International
Amnesty USA, Amnesty International
David Nichols, Amnesty EU Foreign Policy
Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General
Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Director 
Condemn upcoming antisemitic "Khaybar" Ramadan mini-series
[Your name]
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hat tip  Shirlee