Friday, November 30, 2012

The Two State Solution


Here's a modest proposal

Seven steps to a fair and reasonable peace that might even satisfy the Gareth Evans/Bob Carr/Bob Hawke school of solving the problem of Israel.

For the benefit of readers outside Australia, my country has decided to abstain on the vote that admits "Palestine" to the same status as the Vatican at the UN. It probably already has by now.

There's something strange and unnatural about that,  don't you think? Something vaguely threatening in the air for the future of civilisation. A bad omen. Like when Gandalf gets word that the bad guy wizard in the next tower is experimenting with mixing the seed of men and orcs to get a better class of warrior.

I am not of course talking about how Australia voted in the UN. I'll get back to my gutless country in another post. In particular to those three gentlemen. For now it is perhaps enough to quote my old dad word for word when he heard our Prime Minister had been rolled when she tried to stand by the US and Canada and stand up for Israel on such an important principle.

I feel diminished as an Australian

 "Palestine" in the same pew as the Pope?

If it were the Protestants you could perhaps more easily understand.

The most consistent thing you hear from the Israel critics in the West after they run out of everything else is Israel is the strongest party. Solve it. Otherwise it doesn't want peace. Go away.

Often they mean that literally.

OK. Why not do what they advise? Israel has the "power". Use it.

Step One

Israel annex Judea and Samaria and declare the borders where they are and at the river with Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish homeland.

Step Two

The entire population of the Land of Israel are declared citizens with equal civil and political rights guaranteed irrespective of race, religion and sex. All rights of Israel's secular liberal democracy are available to all of her citizens.

The right to hold, buy and sell property without coercion and to whoever irrespective of race or religion prevails over all commerce.

Step Three

Israel is relieved of all responsibility for the population of Gaza.  The role of feeding them and providing all other services goes to the Australian Council of Churches, the British Methodist Conference, the Republic of Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Elvis Costello and Malcolm Fraser.

Step Four

All countries committed to the international rule of law recognise the new borders and move their embassies to Jerusalem with all due ceremony and celebration. Each guarantees the peace of Israel by bilateral treaty and commits to solving the problem of the "refugees" once and for all

Step Five

All these countries cease funding UNRWA forthwith. It is an obstacle to peace. It gets in the way. So do all people wearing blue helmets. Besides these countries are going to need the money. (See Step Four).

Step Six

Israel acts immediately to enforce the law across the land

Step Seven

Israel works towards a constitution with a bill of rights that protects all citizens. Education is compulsory and is the exclusive  responsibility of the state as are all branches of civil law such as marriage law. Any form of forced marriage and marriage of minors is outlawed.  Religion is free and the right of citizens to move between or abstain from religion is enshrined. Religious practices and education that encourages violence or racist or religious incitement are outlawed just as political violent incitement.


We can't expect this to be done and dusted in one day. Obviously it is a big ask. However by 31 October 2017 would be nice, The one hundredth anniversary of the taking of Beersheba by the Australian Light Horse from Turkey and her German allies two days before the one hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

International Law Rules! OK?

What is wrong with this plan?

Demographics? I don't buy that.

There could be as many as one million fewer "Palestinians" in Judea and Samaria than official UN figures.

For sure the "Palestinian Territories" have among the lowest death rates in the world.  Much lower  than Israel or Australia but there are two things that drive that apart from living under relative peace and prosperity with free quality medical services on tap, especially  in Judea and Samaria.

The first is the high birth rate, again among the highest in the world.  Over five births per woman which is as about as high as anywhere in the impoverished Third World.. This is because females are forced into marriages at fifteen instead of going to school hence ensuring a life of drudgery and dependence.

The other is the strong material incentive for people not to die. An UNRWA card carries with it benefits for the individual and the number on issue is important to the  group. Why would a mere death get in the way of that?

Before the Islamic Revolution the women of Iran were among the most liberated in the Muslim world at least in the cities. They began to go to universities and have careers just as in the West. As a  result the birth rate fell.  That comes with prosperity, freedom and women's liberation. This is why the Iranian regime has moved to restrict female access to higher education. With a measure of freedom comes fewer babies.

In a generation Muslim  young people of Judea and Samaria will look less like this:

... and more like Ceylan Özbudak

Mark my words.

Then would Gareth Evans decide that he and his colleagues (and Israel, United States and Canada) are back on the right side of history?

Any better ideas Gareth? How about you Bob? Either of you?

cross posted Israel Thrives



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Peace Activist of the Month


This is Ceylan Özbudak

Ceylan Özbudak is a Turkish peace activist. She graduated from Istanbul University as a language major and is Executive Director and TV host on A9 TV, a satellite TV network based in Istanbul. Ceylan also hosts the Building Bridges Show, which has featured many prominent Middle East experts, authors, academician and religious leaders.

Ceylan Özbudak has just published this in the Times of Israel

I am a Muslim. And a devout Muslim. I love all Muslims very dearly. My love is for all believers. Right now it is impossible to support the loss of innocent lives in both Israel and Palestine. So far, more than 130 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed.
Direct peace talks should immediately begin and both sides should consent to this. Otherwise, whichever international laws we look at, launching rockets at a state and causing the deaths of its citizens attracts a right to reprisal. In this way, both sides justify their actions by consider the strikes as defense on their part. Besides, even if unintentionally, Hamas is putting Palestine in the wrong in the eyes of international organizations by constantly adopting this mistaken approach.
If the Palestinians wish to enjoy greater justification, the way to do this is not by slaughtering innocent people on the other side. Such attacks during a state of peace will attract a reprisal anywhere in the world. Civilian people in Israel are living in fear in shelters due to the rockets fired from Gaza. There has been blind conflict between the two sides for many years now; the children of Israel on the one side and the children of Ishmael on the other. These two peoples that should be living side by side in peace in those ancient, lovely lands are fighting one another instead.
Many people in Palestine I have spoken to are exceedingly alarmed by this behavior of Hamas’s and do not support attacks on the innocent people of Israel. There is nothing to support in this behavior, which will clearly never produce any results and that merely causes destruction. If people support that and say they are Muslims, then they are unfamiliar with the commandments of the Quran. Whether or not the response to these attacks is a just one, is another matter.
I am speechless. I am without speech. Except to say that if this isn't a case for the Geoffff's Joint Peace Prizedon't know what is.
hat tip Israel Thives (who has more pictures)

A letter to Christian Critics of Israel (with update)


Operation Christian Pillar of Defense -- Caergwrle Wales

At Connexions the blog of Richard Hall, a Methodist Minister in Wales, there is this discussion in the immediate wake of Pillar of Cloud. At the start of Pillar of Cloud Richard Hall  linked with approval an article in The Conversation by an Australian academic that condemned Pillar of Cloud as illegal within hours of the killing of Ahmed Jabari.

This is a comment at the time by Kim Fabricius  also a Methodist Minister.

Kim 11.21.12 at 6:22 pm
Personally, I think the Palestinians should be grateful for the generous humanitarian gesture of the Israeli minister that “the goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Compared, say, to US General Curtis LeMay’s May 1964 message to the Vietnamese that “they’ve got to draw in their horns or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.” I mean, the Stone Age ended between 4,ooo and 6,500 years ago, so a send-back to the Middle Ages, a mere few centuries, constitutes real moral progress, the war-plan of a truly civilised society.
I suppose it would be churlish to mention that, of course, LeMay lived to eat his words. Churlish too to mention that in Amos 1-2, the prophet pronounces judgement on the war-crimes of Israel’s neighbours — including Gaza! (1:6-8) — his hearers no doubt shouting in righteous triumph, until — what goes around, comes around — he pronounces that same judgement on the people of Israel themselves (2:6ff.).
By the way, on “just war” doctrine, Judaism has developed its own ethical norms. Interestingly, however, unlike traditional Christian jus in bello doctrine, these do not include “proportionality”. Hmm.

This a letter that I have left for Richard Hall and his readers

Good morning Richard.

I promised you another comment and I have waited until the dust has settled in Gaza and tempers in the West have cooled as the hudna holds and the news cycle moves on.
Let’s reflect on Pillar of Cloud for a moment in isolation and see if there is anything in it that the outspoken West has to learn.

I use the word hudna carefully by the way. This is a hudna. It is not a cease-fire or a truce and even less an armistice and it would be a good idea for those with an opinion to learn the difference.

From the standpoint of Hamas and its defenders ( the entire Islamic world and especially Iran of which Hamas is a proxy) this is a tactical cessation of just one form of the attack on Israel and the West while Hamas regroups and rearms.

From the standpoint of Israel and its defenders they don’t care what you call it so long as Hamas and the other killers agree to stop trying to murder people at random in Israel in this way. And if they do try again they and the world can expect another Pillar of Cloud.

The process of rearming Hamas and the other terrorist gangs has already begun. Iranian missiles have already been intercepted on their way to Gaza.

That is what the “blockade” is about incidentally. The one do good pests from Europe like to try to run for the stunt mad international media.

It is not a blockade on Gaza at all. It is a blockade on Iran and and al-Qaeda and the Salafist gangs many of which are based in Egypt
Israel supplies Gaza. Egypt does not. Nor does Jordan. Even at the height of Pillar of Cloud Israel was still able to get vital supplies of food medicines and other essentials through to the civilian population
Even after Hamas shelled the crossing.

No doubt Hamas and its occasionally warring allies and their armies totalling 20 000 or more ate the food too. And drank the water and used the power nearly all of which Israel supplies.

I am going to make a proposition that I think can not be honestly disputed.

There is nothing to celebrate about Pillar of Cloud. It’s cost in resources is enormous and together with Iron Dome, the other wing of Israel’s defence, it is a heavy burden that Israelis must bear way beyond you and me.

That it was extraordinary skilful, and achieved a level of precision and sheer moral care for the innocents tragically caught up in war, never before approached by a modern military and way beyond the capability of any European country is just the simple truth.

The suggestions that it breached international law are absurd.

I invite you and others to examine your instinctive reactions to this affair from the start, because it is an on going affair.

What we have here is the double standard that has become so much a part of the West’s and especially European perspectives that it is barely noticeable. In fact the double standard is so vast in this case it is obscene.

Israel has behaved far better in the face of these attacks on her civilian population than any European country ever has or would or could if faced with anything like Israel is. Another simple truth.

I suppose we could excuse Czechoslovakia that when betrayed simply surrendered. Is that what you would have Israel do?

The Jews of the Middle East in living memory were once dispersed throughout Muslim lands but are concentrated now almost entirely in one remarkable little country where they form about half the Jewish population. The other half (and they are quickly intermarrying ) are largely the descendants of Jews that in living memory were dispersed throughout Christian lands in Europe and who too were uprooted and dispossessed.

Some one here said that these Jews acted disproportionately. Christians would not do this was the clear inference or at the very least Christians should not do this.
This is not a religious argument for me . By any common definition I am not a religious man. I have not seen the inside of a functioning synagogue for more than forty years. I take no pride in that. It just is, is all.

But I call bullshit.

You can not expect the Jews to behave with more care for the civilian population of an enemy regime than they do for their own. You can not expect them to stand by while their own are threatened and murdered and to do nothing because they value the lives of their own less than they do the lives of others.

Christians never have. Christians never would.

What do you expect these Jews in their own homeland to do when faced with such unrelenting genocidal hatred on such a scale and subject to continuous attacks with a ferocity that almost ranks among the attacks by the Muslim states and groups on one another?

Behave like Super Christians?

That is not a rhetorical question. Because this double standard has become so universal that it strikes me that it now amounts to this.


Richard Hall replies:

Richard 11.28.12 at 2:50 pm
I’m sorry geoff: I don’t see that we’ve got any basis on which to continue this conversation. Your presentation of Israel simply as an innocent victim of Arab aggression suggests we have no common ground at all. Let’s leave it there.

And indeed the traffic from the UK in the last day or two has been negligible. They are just not interested. I get more curiosity  about what I have to say from the Palestinian Territories or Qatar than I get from Wales. That can't be good.

Still this is progress of a sort.  It was only a few weeks ago that I got banned (temporarily) by Richard Hall from a thread    for saying that antizionism was just another form of antisemitism. I was then deemed off topic on another thread for saying this


cross posted Israel Thrives

Obama's Silence

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at Israel Thrives and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

 Thousands of Egyptians gather at Cairo’s Tahrir square for anti-Morsi rally

CAIRO — Thousands flocked to Cairo’s central Tahrir square on Tuesday for a protest against Egypt’s president in a significant test of whether the opposition can rally the street behind it in a confrontation aimed at forcing the Islamist leader to rescind decrees that granted him near absolute powers. 
Waving Egypt’s red, white and black flags and chanting slogans against President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, the protesters joined several hundreds who have been camping out at the square since Friday demanding the decrees be revoked...

The president’s declaration last week of new powers for himself has energized and — to a degree unified — the mostly liberal and secular opposition after months of divisions and uncertainty while Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups rose to dominate the political landscape.
When Barack Obama made the foolish decision to support the "Arab Spring" he claimed to do so out of support for democracy and support for the people's wishes throughout the Middle East.  I have never understood how supporting theocratic dictatorships in the movement for political Islam could possibly be considered support for democracy when those dictatorships are anything but democratic.  Yet this is what we were told and Obama supporters lapped it up like cream.

And now that the Obama administration has helped install the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt, and now that Morsi and the Brotherhood are beginning the process of stripping the Egyptian government of its democratic institutions, will Obama speak up?

So far nothing.  Silence.

Just as Obama was silent when the Iranian people took to the streets in opposition to their theocratic regime, so Obama is silent now as the Egyptian people take to the streets in opposition to their theocratic regime.

I do not know why Obama does what he does.  Some claim that he's a Jihadi, which is to say, some think that he wants to see the spread of political Islam throughout the Middle East and, although that is not my interpretation, it is not particularly difficult to see why many people would draw such a conclusion.  The so-called "Arab Spring" was / is the rise of political Islam and if you support the "Arab Spring," whatever your best intentions... however naive they may be... then you are supporting political Islam, which is the most viciously reactionary conservative political movement in the world today.

My own sense is that Obama supported the "Arab Spring" for the same reason that so many well-meaning progressives did so, because he honestly thought that it was the great up-welling of Arab democracy.  Those of us with a little more basic common sense were willing to wait and see before jumping to any such conclusions, which is why I have concluded that Obama is not particularly bright.  He has intelligence in the way that George W. Bush had intelligence, which is the intelligence of the crafty politician, but he didn't have enough intelligence to see either the Muslim Brotherhood or the "Arab Spring" for what they are.

He can have no such delusions now, however, because Muhammed Morsi just did what people like Barry Rubin told us he was going to do all along.  He is stripping back the thin veneer of Egyptian democracy because the goal of the movement was never democratic to begin with.  Dictators may very well use the ballot to come to power, but just as Hamas has not had an election since coming to office, do not expect to see another national Egyptian election in 4 years or 6 years or 8.

If I were a betting man, which I am, I would put down good money on the bet that there is no way that the Muslim Brotherhood is going to risk losing power through the ballot box now that it has finally, after almost 90 years struggling in the opposition, come into its own.

And for that we can, at least in part, thank Barack Obama.

Perhaps now we can finally put away the silly notion that Obama is playing three dimensional chess in an effort to outfox political Islam.  That was never the case.  Obama is not some sort of grand thinker, above the scene, moving the pieces of a vast and complex geopolitical chess board.  He is rather, like most presidents, I suppose, a guy of average intelligence in a job that is way over his head.  I am certain that he means well, but I also do not care what his intentions are as I look out at the results.

So many of us were so hopeful for this presidency, and remember that I voted for him as well the first time around, that we were (and are) willing to overlook almost anything that he does in order to maintain the delusion that Barack Obama represents the greatness of progressive political craftsmanship.  The truth of the matter is that he represents nothing so much as the failed aspirations of one struggling to maintain some measure of control in world that is significantly different from what Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said said it was.

His supporters will never admit this to themselves, however, because that would require looking at the last four years with fresh eyes and open minds.

I wouldn't gamble on it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Israel Report --- 26 November 2012 --- elinor



You try holding your breath for 24 hours—and then have a thunder storm so severe that bombing and sirens couldn’t possibly be heard. The cease fire seems to be holding; quiet nights have passed. The children in the south went back to school—albeit heavily accompanied by parents. 

The communications network during war is amazing. Two seconds after the cease fire, everyone knew. But then, every time there was a strike, someone would ring someone and strangers would stop each other on the street to pass along the information. And yet, when my grandson was on a field trip in Jerusalem and there was a code red, the entire grocery store we were in knew nothing. Someone didn’t ring someone. Instead, he rang and said I’m OK, don’t worry. About what? Who ever expected Jerusalem to be a target?


Breath is being held. This might become a permanent activity.

They said and we said and since nothing was written or signed, who knows what will tip the balance back into war? Not us. So we go back to whatever we were doing before war broke out and hope for the best.

Problems post bellum: Are the trains and planes back to their normal schedule? We’re not hearing the planes overhead any more. Do the old men with the antiquated grocery store—and lower prices—carry walnuts, or will it be necessary to buy them at the big expensive store we don’t like? Ordinariness feels so good.


Day 3 of the cease fire. War is painful and expensive and I refuse to believe that anyone actually wants it, Pat Condell notwithstanding.

Breath is still being held.


cross posted Israel Thrives

Peace in the Middle East? In Your Dreams -- Pat Condell


cross posted  Israel Thrives

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The History of Palestine From The River To The Sea


A bright future for multicultural Australia ...


This on the Facebook page of the pro-Hamas group in Sydney that just now organised a street rally against the massacre of the innocent native Palestinians in Gaza by the war criminal Zionists.

That's right. You heard that correct. Apparently they did it in every Australian city.  A ceasefire means nothing at all to these people when there comes an opportunity to ...

Well you know by now. There is no excuse for not.

This is from a young Australian woman who lives in Sydney and is the product of the Australian education system. Chilling.

Meanwhile in Israel, cowards are praying before battle of killing the native Palestinians.
Meanwhile in Israel, cowards are praying before battle of killing the native Palestinians.
Hat tip  Shirl in Oz

Like ·  ·  · November 19 at 11:27am via mobile

The Speakers at the Sydney rally..

Note the ALP MP


Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, Grand Mufti of Australia

As'ad Awashra, Palestinian student from the West Bank

Ahmad Mustafa, Palestinian Cultural Centre
Ray Jackson, Indigenous Social Justice Association
Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator
Lynda Voltz, NSW Labor MLC
Paul MacAleer, Maritime Union of Austrlia
Antony Loewenstein, Independent journalist and author


Lutfi Zayed

Ophelia Haragli

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Che Goes Back To University ...


A human rights activist at a university?

How quaint. Just like the seventies. How long before he is outed?


Che Gorilla has been let loose on another thread at The Conversation 

You may recall Che took control of this blog's Ministry for Inter-Blog Relations and Political Affairs after the last election. Just like Hamas there is not a thing that can be done about it,

The article is here.
Another expert opinion on international law from the arm chair..


The United States and Australia made it clear during the war that they stood firmly with Israel. No objections to Israel’s disproportionate use of force. No condemnation of civilian death during Israel’s air raids. No questioning of the Israeli interpretation of self-defence. The Obama administration found the perfect opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the special bi-lateral relationship which had become somewhat of a hot topic during the electoral campaign. But this was not a campaign trick. This reaffirmation came after Obama’s electoral victory and pointed to an established pattern of pro-Israeli policies which has been the subject of heated debate in the United States.
For its part, Israel demonstrated once again that it has no regard for international law. The Israeli leadership and the great majority of the Israeli public work on the assumption that the world is ready to sacrifice Israel. This is the dominant political point of view, with obvious reference to the WWII experience and regenerated through institutionalised reminders of the Holocaust. Consequently, Israel has simply ignored UN rejection of its occupation of Palestinian lands.

and so on...
read it all in fairness to the man

Says Che:

Che Gorilla

Human Rights Activist
It is simply untrue to say that Pillar of Defense was in breach of international law. No respectable legal expert could say that.
To conclude as the writer has done is to consciously exclude the remaining Jews of the Middle East from having any legal or human rights. Though most of them are descended from Jews once wide spread through Muslim lands but dispossessed and now concentrated in one remarkable little country
We have just witnessed the most moral and strictly legal military operation in the history of the world. It has left military tacticians everywhere quietly astonished. Ask anyone at the ADF what they think of this.
On the other hand Hamas and its vile allies have carried out appalling war crimes that in a sane world would see their leaders dragged before the ICC.
Those that are left.
Go to this blog and in particular spend eight minutes listening to Colonel Richard Kemp for an expert military opinion on this operation. No military man in the West would disagree.
With that evidence no judge in the West could convict Israel of war crimes. Not if she was an honourable person.
Israel has far more respect for the rights of the civilian population of this vile and illegal regime in Gaza than the regime does.
If you are going to pictures of a family accidentally killed then why not include images of kids killed by Hamas misfires?
Like this one

Hamas and its Salafist and al-Qaeda allies are as guilty of crimes so barbaric that charges of genocide should be among those considered at the ICC.
Firing missiles from under the shelter of one civilian population into another.
Cowards and war criminals of the worst kind. They should be given no pass in any civilised land under the true rule of law.

Cross posted  Israel Thrives

What a nice man ...


Alan Stock is a radio and TV talk show host in Las Vegas, Nevada who has picked up a piece by Dr Mike Lumish at friend blog Israel Thrives , A Question for Progressive-Left American Jews, on his website.

That makes him a nice man. He is also very obviously a "dog man". That makes him a very nice man

He also looks uncannily like an old friend. So much so that I intend to email him

Alan's website tells us that:
Talkers Magazine (, the bible of the talk radio industry, has named Alan Stock as one of the 100 most influential talk radio hosts in America for twelve straight years. Radio and Records, the one-time bible of the entire radio industry, named Alan one of six top local talk radio personalities. Alan has been the recipient of two Electronic Media Awards and in 2003, Alan was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.

A Mike Lumish
NOV 12

A Question for Progressive-Left American Jews

A Question for Progressive-Left American Jews
a Malachi
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a Obama Benghazi photo
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