Israel’s detractors, including Iranian President Ahmadinejad, accuse it of racism and apartheid.
Just watch and make up your own mind:
Last week the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) published its preliminary findings into the conduct of its forces during its Gaza offensive (Operation Cast Lead). A more detailed investigation is scheduled to be completed by June. This initial report is not comprehensive and incidents are still being investigated.
The findings will not be unexpected either from those who are inclined to to believe that the IDF did not commit any crimes and those who believe it definitely did.
The former group, although disturbed by many reports which came out of Gaza at the time and subsequent stories from Israeli soldiers, would characterise the IDF as a predominantly moral army which like any army has some soldiers whose actions may be immoral, reprehensible or worse. They would not, however, characterise the IDF and, therefore, Israel, as intent on criminal acts or anything other than displaying the greatest possible care to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties. I would include myself in this group.
The latter group, which, like the first, will probably have already made up its mind, will see the report as a whitewash.
So let’s examine the findings.
Five investigation teams were set up and headed by senior officers who had not been directly involved in the operation.
The teams looked at incidents where UN facilities were fired on, incidents involving medical facilities and vehicles, deaths and injuries to uninvolved civilians, the use of white phosphorous and damage to buildings and infrastructure.
The first finding was:
The investigations showed that throughout the fighting in Gaza, the IDF operated in accordance with international law.
Secondly, the IDF operating to very high moral standards against an enemy which used human shields.
The report now goes on to justify the operation as a response to eight years of rocket and mortar fire including three years of such attacks since Israel withdrew from Gaza and abandoned its settlements. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis lived in constant fear of these attacks which were indiscriminate by their very nature and, therefore, contrary to all norms of international law.
Thee battlefied is described:
The fighting in Gaza took place in a complex battlefield against an enemy who chose, as a conscious part of its doctrine, to locate itself in the midst of the civilian population. The enemy booby trapped its houses with explosives, fired from the schools attended by its own children and used its own people as human shields while cynically abusing the IDF’s legal and ethical commitment to avoid injuring uninvolved civilians.
This is an aspect of the conflict that is barely reported in the Westerm media and was overwhelmed by the concentration of civilian suffering without regard to the true background to that suffering.
Now the extreme lengths the IDF went to to avoid civilian casualties are described:
In order to ensure compliance with the IDF’s obligations under international law, the IDF invested an enormous effort and huge resources to warn civilians in the Gaza Strip away from harm. The IDF dropped more than 2,250,000 leaflets during the fighting, used Palestinian radio, made personal telephone warnings to more than 165,000 Gaza residents and carried out a special warning shot procedure (“A knock on the roof”), in order to ensure that Palestinian civilians could avoid harm. Additionally, the IDF made extensive use of accurate munitions, wherever and whenever possible, to minimize harm to civilians. In addition, during the operation the IDF authorized humanitarian convoys to enter the Gaza and employed a humanitarian recess for several hours a day….
Like other militaries that are forced to fight a terrorist enemy that hides and operates under a civilian cover, the IDF had to face difficult moral dilemmas as a result of the illegitimate approach of Hamas. This approach turned Gaza’s urban areas into a battle field and intentionally made use of uninvolved civilians, civilian buildings and sensitive humanitarian facilities (i.e. hospitals, religious and educational institutions and facilities associated with the UN and other international organizations). …
In some of the incidents the IDF even placed more limits on its actions than required under international law, and acted with restraint in order to avoid harming civilians.
Crucially, mistakes are given very little coverage:
Notwithstanding this, the investigations revealed a very small number of incidents in which intelligence or operational errors took place during the fighting. These unfortunate incidents were unavoidable and occur in all combat situations, in particular of the type which Hamas forced on the IDF, by choosing to fight from within the civilian population.
In other words, mistakes happen in war, Hamas chose to use the civilian infrastructure etc. etc. But where’s the substance. This is precisely the area where the IDF has been criticised, indeed, demonised, by the world’s press. Is this really adequate? Some well-reported incidents have been explained elsewhere. Should these not be repeated in this report?
Anshel Pfeffer in the London Jewish Chronicle ends a piece about this report with this:
In the absence of an investigation by an objective party, trusted by all sides (and, no, the United Nations does not fit the bill), this is the best we are going to get.
I would have been very surprised if a group investigating itself would have come to any other set of conclusions. The problem with all such investigations, whatever the reputation of the investigators, is that those inclined to cynicism will be cynical. On the other hand, the report is hardly likely to change anyone’s overall opinion of Operation Cast Lead or the IDF’s conduct. The use of white phosphorous is not addressed at all although other reports have stated that many of the images purporting to show WP were in fact other smokescreen producers.
Sadly, there is no sign of a totally impartial investigation. The UN team is made up of members who had previously condemned Operation Cast Lead and, therefore, its impartiality is compromised.
The report lacks specifics and witness testimony. In particular, I’d like to see more information on the use of WP and an explanation for images which appear to show WP in a schoolyard after the conflict ended. Perhaps the June report will provide more information on all thse matters. Maybe the IDF knows that the UN report is likely to be damaging and will only give more detail when it decides to rebut future accusations. Who knows.
What has become clear is that the IDF were determined to minimise their own casualties. This would be the attitude of any army in the world. To do so in the conditions that pertained in Gaza entailed an aggressive operation in an urban area. Hamas had thought, and announced beforehand, that they had created a killing field for IDF soldiers. The entire Gaza strip had been turned into one huge booby-trap with over a million civilians embedded in this network of terror. Hamas’ perverted ideology requires that the lives of their own civilians be used as part of the propaganda battle. In that battle, Israel and the IDF were clear losers.
No report will erase the memory of the media images coming from Gaza during the operation. And no report will retrospectively be able to make the Israeli case or provide the rebuttals that were so absent or poorly presented at the time.
This video is an attempt by the IDF to describe the conditions they encountered. I believe it is too weak and should show more graphically, with photographic evidence the conditions which pertained in Gaza in December and January.
During the recent Israeli election campaign Avigdor Lieberman, representing Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) presented himself as a far-right nationalist who had made some inflammatory and what could be perceived as racist remarks about Palestinians and Arab Israelis. He also managed to upset Egypt, one of only two neighbouring states that Israel has signed a peace treaty and with whom it has an important relationship with reagrd mutual security issues.
Hi smost controversial slogan was “No loyalty, no citizenship” which called for all Israel citizens, including Arabs, to swear an oath of allegiance. In itself this may seem unexceptional but if you consider that Basques donlt have to do this in Spain or Republicans in Northern Ireland or Kurds in Turkey, such a policy seemed designed to be a step toward another objective:
What we state unequivocally is that we are completely opposed to what has been and still is the guiding principle of Israel’s foreign policy: ‘land for peace’ … There is either ‘peace for peace’ or the exchange of territory and populations.
The “exchange” he refers to is his idea of a Pakistan/India type transfer of all Israeli Arabs to a future Palestine and, presumably all Jews within the agreed border to return to Israel. If you analyse this it makes no reference about Israeli settlements and it undermines Israel’s claim that it is not an apartheid state and is not racist.
I do not subscribe to a transfer of populations and no Palestinian government would ever do so and a large number of Israelis would oppose it. Such an exchange would only lead to a considerable cultural loss to Israel. It sounds totally impracticable.
However, land-for-peace IS off the table for Lieberman in this speech. But Lieberman is part of a broad coalition. But we’ll return to land-for-peace later.
Time and time again our leaders go to Egypt to meet Mubarak and he has never agreed to make an official visit here as president. If he wants to talk to us, he should come here. If he doesn’t want to come here, he can go to hell.
Great. So let’s make Lieberman Foreign Minister!
In 2006 he said this to an Arab member of the Knesset who is well-known for his support of the Palestinian cause:
The fate of the collaborators in the Knesset will be identical to that of those who collaborated with the Nazis. Collaborators, as well as criminals, were executed after the Nuremberg trials at the end of the World War Two. I hope that will be the fate of collaborators in this house.
Isn’t it interesting that the Arab MK can openly express his views, make trips abroad to meet enemies of the state and not be imprisoned or worse. He’s a member of parliament! How would that work in Iran if a Jewish member of parliament expressed his Zionist views (or anyone else for that matter). One can’t imagine a single Arab state that would tolerate this sort of opposition.
On the other hand such language from Lieberman would not be tolerated in most democracies. Even if said in the heat of the moment, it is totally unacceptable.
I think Lieberman, in his new role a a coalition member is now finding a more moderate voice. But it’s still pretty strident at times.
Let’s now look at what Lieberman said on April 1st when taking office: (translation from Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website).
He began describing the realities of a new world order where there are “semi-states”:
there are countries that are semi-states. It is hard to call a country like Somalia a state in the full sense of the word and the same holds true for the various autonomies in Eastern Europe, in the Balkans and here as well. It is even hard to call a country like Iraq a state in the full sense of the word. And even worse, there are now international players that are irrational, like the Al Qaeda organization. And we can certainly also ask if the leader of a strong and important country like Iran is a rational player.
In my view, we must explain to the world that the priorities of the international community must change, and that all the previous benchmarks – the Warsaw Pact, the NATO Alliance, socialist countries, capitalist countries – have changed. There is a world order that the countries of the free world are trying to preserve, and there are forces, or countries or extremist entities that are trying to violate it.
He sees the threat to world order not coming fro Israel-Palestine but from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. He stresses regional stability and especially singles out Egypt as an important partner to Israel. So this is already a softening in an attempt too make up for hos remarks about Mubarak: “I would be happy to visit Egypt and to host Egyptian leaders here, including the Egyptian Foreign Minister”. In fact, this is not going to happen just yet; Ha’aretz reports “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would not accompany Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on an upcoming visit to Egypt.” Maybe a tad too early for a Mubarak-Lieberman rapprochement. An apology from Lieberman might help.
He goes on to describe the efforts of the two previous administrations and the meaning of “peace”:
I think that we have been disparaging many concepts, and we have shown the greatest disdain of all for the word “peace.” The fact that we say the word “peace” twenty times a day will not bring peace any closer. There have been two governments here that took far-reaching measures: the Sharon government and the Olmert government. They took dramatic steps and made far-reaching proposals. We saw the Disengagement and the Annapolis Conference.
Yisrael Beiteinu was not then part of the coalition, Avigdor Liberman was not the foreign minister and, even if we had wanted to, we would have been unable to prevent peace. But none of these far-reaching measures have brought peace. To the contrary. We have seen that, after all the gestures that we made, after all the dramatic steps we took and all the far-reaching proposals we presented, in the past few years this country has gone through the Second War in Lebanon and Operation Cast Lead - and not because we chose to. I have not seen peace here. It is precisely when we made all the concessions that I saw the Durban Conference, I saw two countries in the Arab world suddenly sever relations, recalling their ambassadors - Mauritania and Qatar. Qatar suddenly became extremist.
Then the old Lieberman slips out using a phrase which lends itself to misinterpretation:
We are also losing ground every day in public opinion. Does anyone think that concessions and constantly saying “I am prepared to concede,” and using the word “peace” will lead to anything? No, that will just invite pressure, and more and more wars. “Si vis pacem, para bellum” - if you want peace, prepare for war; be strong.
It is strange he begins by admitting Israel is losing the media war and then puts a very big foot in an equally big mouth with the the Latin quote.
But now we come to Liberman’s clever strategy:
We definitely want peace, but the other side also bears responsibility. We have proven our desire for peace more than any other country in the world. No country has made concessions the way Israel has. Since 1977, we have given up areas of land three times the size of the State of Israel. So we have proven the point.
The Oslo process began in 1993. Sixteen years have passed since then, and I do not see that we are any closer to a permanent settlement. There is one document that binds us and it is not the Annapolis Conference. That has no validity. When we drafted the basic government policy guidelines, we certainly stated that we would honor all the agreements and all the undertakings of previous governments. The continuity of government is respected in Israel. I voted against the Road Map, but that was the only document approved by the Cabinet and by the Security Council – I believe it was Resolution 1505. It is a binding resolution and it binds this government as well.
The Israeli government never approved Annapolis, neither the Cabinet nor the Knesset, so anyone who wants to amuse himself can continue to do so. I have seen all the proposals made so generously by Ehud Olmert, but I have not seen any results.
So we will therefore act exactly according to the Road Map, including the Tenet document and the Zinni document. I will never agree to our waiving all the clauses - I believe there are 48 of them – and going directly to the last clause, negotiations on a permanent settlement. No. These concessions do not achieve anything. We will adhere to it to the letter, exactly as written. Clauses one, two, three, four – dismantling terrorist organizations, establishing an effective government, making a profound constitutional change in the Palestinian Authority. We will proceed exactly according to the clauses. We are also obligated to implement what is required of us in each clause, but so is the other side. They must implement the document in full, including – as I said – the Zinni document and the Tenet document. I am not so sure that the Palestinian Authority or even we – in those circles that espouse peace so much - are aware of the existence of the Tenet and Zinni documents.
This is where the world’s media said “aha!” – see, he doesn’t want to observe the peace accords, he will renege on Israel’s previous commitments. He is right: Annapolis did not oblige either side to anything because no agreement was reached and, therefore, Israel has no obligations under Annapolis. “Lieberman does not want a two-state solution” the media opined. But what was signed was a mutual agreement to negotiate:
We agreed to immediately launch good faith, bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including core issues, without exception,” and that, “The final peace settlement will establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people.
Thus a two-state solution was agreed for the first time by both sides as an end goal to negotiations.
But looked what happened in the Arab world and in Iran. Both Hamas and Iran said the conference should be boycotted and Hamas even held a demonstration in Gaza against it four days before the conference began. Even in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority stronghold, their were demonstrations against the conference which were brutally broken up by Fatah members. Ahmadinejad in Iran, meanwhile, also denounced it as “”A political show for the media which is in Israel’s interest”" (as reported by yNetNews at the time. It appears Ahmadinjad was very worried that there might actually be a settlement. Peace is not in his interests because it means Israel had not been wiped off the map”.
But in Israel too, when it was realised that Olmert had put East Jerusalem on the negotiating table, there were many protests, mainly by right-wing religious groups.
Before the conference Mahmoud Abbas of the P.A. had said that the ALL the West Bank and Gaza forming a Palestinian state would be the only acceptable solution. This sounds like a pre-condition to me, just the sort of pre-condition he accused Binyamin Netanyahu of stipulating when he said that the P.A. must recognise Israel as a Jewish State (and later appeared to back track on this to the point where we now don;t know whether he does or he doesn’t want this pre-condition). Of course, Abbas has his own constituency and any pre-condition that actually recognises a Jewish State is political dynamite and potentially fatal. Yet the P.A. have said in the past that they DO recognise Israel. So it’s clearly the “Jewish” bit they have a problem with.
So what happened next? The joint statement was actually a confirmation of the road-map which was issued 30th April 2003 by the “Quartet”. So the whole Annapolis Conference was little more than a belated Bush effort to get things moving again.
So back to Lieberman who recognises this:
The Israeli government never approved Annapolis, neither the Cabinet nor the Knesset, so anyone who wants to amuse himself can continue to do so. I have seen all the proposals made so generously by Ehud Olmert, but I have not seen any results.
So we will therefore act exactly according to the Road Map, including the Tenet document and the Zinni document. …
We will adhere to it to the letter, exactly as written. Clauses one, two, three, four – dismantling terrorist organizations, establishing an effective government, making a profound constitutional change in the Palestinian Authority. We will proceed exactly according to the clauses. We are also obligated to implement what is required of us in each clause, but so is the other side.
So what Lieberman is saying is that Annapolis reconfirmed the road-map to a two-state solution. But the very first steps have not been carried out by the Palestinian side because terror still exists. How can peace be reached with half of Palestine whilst the other half attacks from Gaza on a daily basis.
Lieberman is saying “enough of concessions” let’s move forward on the basis of the road-map. He is cutting to the chase and saying we have map, so let’s use it. He is challenging the Palestinians to move forward on this basis.
Liberman has his unsavoury side but he also makes a lot of sense. Israel must can not move forward on the road-map until its own security is assured and that may well mean that as long as Hamas rules Gaza very little will happen.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the global war of deligitimisation of Israel is the alliance of the European extreme left with terrorism.
So, for example, Respect’s George Galloway is quite jubilant about supporting Hamas and denies that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map. Meanwhile Gerry Adams, former IRA supremo turned politician, also sees fit to cosy up to Hamas.
Of course, the common interest of the extreme Left, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran is their loathing of Zionism. The fact that this includes loathing of Jews generally is glossed over by the Left, is denied or represented as paranoia or an attempt to scotch criticism of Israel. It is why the Dutch Labour Party supports demonstrations at which bigots call out “Hamas Hamas, Joden aan het Gas” (Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas). Here’s a YouTube video where Harry van Bommel, a Dutch Socialist MP, is leading a chant of “Intifida” to an unchallenged background chant of “Hamas Hamas, Joden aan het Gas”
Now the Dutch Labour Party, the main opposition in the Netherlands, according to Ha’aretz
…demands Israel accept Hamas as a partner for dialog
As seems invariably to be the case with some Left wing elements, they see the world through the prism of their own ideology. This prism appears to have a very large blind spot, so let me state it again for the umpteenth time: Hamas is a viciously anti-Semitic terrorist organisation which will not recognise Israel, wants to destroy Israel and kill ALL Jews. You don’t make deals with your would-be murderers.
Don’t believe me? Then just look at the Hamas charter. Or if you think that is just political positioning, here’s an example from Palestinian Media Watch.
I reproduce it here, but if you go to the website you’ll be able to experience the delights of a Hamas TV broadcast.
Apr. 19, 2009 Palestinian Media Watch
Jews are evil – “Their children will be exterminated.”
Imam who participated
in “Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace”
calls for extermination of Jews
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
A Hamas cleric who once participated in an international conference of “Imams and Rabbis for Peace” — whose delegates vowed to “condemn any negative representation” of each other’s religions — has wholeheartedly espoused Hamas’s racist ideology in a recent Friday sermon on Hamas TV.
Ironically, this latest profession of Hamas’s genocidal racism was preached and broadcast at the start of the month in which the UN is meeting in the “Durban II” conference in Geneva to condemn Israel as being “racist.”
According to the Hamas interpretation of Islam, the Jews are inherently evil, seek to rule the world, and are a threat to Muslims and all of humanity. Therefore they are destined to extermination. In the words of Hamas religious leader Ziad Abu Alhaj, “Hatred for Muhammad and Islam is in their [Jews'] souls, they are naturally disposed to it…”
He asserts that because of the Jews’ inherent evil, the Jewish state, “Israel … is a cancer that wants to rule the world.” One can find the details of the Jews’ plan in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which he jokingly refers to as “The Protocols of the Imbeciles of Zion” (a play on words in Arabic). He concludes that the Jews are destined to be annihilated:
“The time will come, by Allah’s will, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth.”
[Hamas (Al-Aqsa) TV, April 3, 2009]
He also claims that the Jews wanted to murder Muhammad.
This imam, who is preaching the genocide of Jews, participated in the Second World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace in 2006, which also featured many prominent rabbis from Israel. The final statement from the Seville conference included the pronouncement, “. . . We condemn any negative representation of these [religious beliefs and symbols], let alone any desecration, Heaven forbid. Similarly, we condemn any incitement against a faith or people, let alone any call for their elimination, and we urge authorities to do likewise.”
The following is the text of the Hamas sermon calling for the extermination of Jews:
“Who is it that is leading the world today in the vicious, all-encompassing war against Islam and Muslims? The answer is clear: it is the Jewish nation. It is the Jews who today are leading the all-encompassing war against Muslims…
We, the Muslims, know the nature of Jews the best, because the Holy Quran taught us. The prophetic traditions explained at length to Muslims the true nature of Jews… Their war and their hatred for Muhammad and Islam is in their souls, they are naturally disposed to it.
Israel today lives in the heart of Arab-Muslim territory, and it is a cancer that wants to rule the world. Know, my brothers! The Jews’ expansion today brings the dissemination of an ancient thinking…
They argued with Allah’s prophet Moses; they wanted to kill Allah’s prophet Jesus, and wanted to murder Allah’s prophet Muhammad…
The Jews want to destroy every inch … Perhaps their famous book, which they deny [its authenticity] – known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but we call it, “The Protocols of the imbeciles of Zion” – in this book, my brothers, the Jews set down their plan to besiege the entire world by land, by air, and by sea – conceptually, economically, and its communications, as is happening today…
The Jews’ grandeur today, and their ascent to the world’s throne, is because America, with all of its power, is ruled by the Senate, I won’t say ‘American’ but rather ‘Jewish’ [Senate] … The time will come, by the will of Allah, when their property will be destroyed and their children will be exterminated, and no Jew or Zionist will be left on the face of this earth.”
I wonder if Harry van Bommel would do business with a Belgian terrorist organisation calling for the killing of Dutch children and wiping the Netherlands off the map or saying that Dutch Protestants are controlling the world with their evil religious animus.
I wonder what George Galloway and Tony Benn really think when they read this, if they do, or are they too busy trying to find an apology for it. The double-think involved is staggering; George Galloway, for example has given an impassioned interview about the enormity of the Holocaust, but supports groups bent on a second one.
As Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes the podium at Geneva, no doubt the European Far Left will be cheering from the sidelines.
On April 20th, in Geneva, the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance will begin in Geneva. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran was invited and will attend.
This is the long-awaited follow up to the first conference in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 which turned into an anti-Israel hate-fest.
The conference was effectively hijacked by the anti-Israel lobby and its original aims completely lost in a torrent of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and resolutions. Israel and the United States withdrew in disgust.
The draft documents, (which were eventually rewritten but not adopted by all parties – you can guess which ones adopted the originals), expressed “deep concern” at the “increase of racist practices of Zionism and anti-Semitism”. It thus attempted a sleight of hand to discriminate between this particular form of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. The draft continued to describe ”movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas, in particular the Zionist movement, which is based on racial superiority”.
Notice the “in particular” and the lies about “racism” and “racial superiority”. Firstly, which “race” is doing the racism against which other race? Jews are not a race, unless you are a supporter of Hitler’s views on this matter. Israel has the most racially diverse population in the Middle East by a very long way.
“Racial superiority”? We have already debunked the “Jews as a race” canard, so this is covert language for Jews being the “Chosen People” which the anti-Israel camp interpret as “racial superiority” and which leads to the “International Jewish Conspiracy”. It also alludes to the ”Right of Return” which is wilfully misinterpreted by this bunch of hypocrites as giving preference to Jews right to citizenship and not allowing Palestinians a right to return to their pre-1948 homes. You can characterise this as discriminatory, but “racial superiority?”
I don’t propose to go in to the reasons and arguments about the “Right of Return” of Jews and Palestinians because I can refer you to this article.
If you read the final Declaration from Durban I it is not difficult to see that the countries now baying for Israel’s blood would fail to live up to almost every paragraph of the Declaration’s stated aims. Durban II is hypocrisy made manifest, the apotheosis of the inverted moral order spreading its vicious and malicious hatred throughout the world.
In Geneva, the draft resolutions try to reintroduce the Israel- and Jew-bashing rhetoric of the first conference and to press for a resolution against “defamation” of religion which seeks to silence any criticism of Islam. Once again Israel has been singled out among all nations. Despite strenuous efforts to have the draft resolutions amended, which has been successful to a limited extent, as things stand, the draft is so clearly a document not against racism or xenophobia but actually its opposite: a slur against the Jewish people and Israel which is itself a form of the very xenophobia the Conference is supposed to be designed to condemn and an attempt, by seeking to limit freedom of speech, to suppress criticism of the religious intolerance and bigotry of those states drafting the anti-Israel lies.
President Ahmadinejad’s presence itself indicates that he is there to orchestrate his own Nuremberg rally. As Arutz Sheva reports:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor slammed Ahmadinejad as “the representative of a regime which consistently breaches human rights, which assassinates opponents and persecutes minority groups, which exports hatreds and terrorism throughout the Middle East.”
They might also add that he is a Holocaust denier and contemplates the destruction of Israel as a desirable goal.
Canada, Israel, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia and now, at last, the United States have all refused to take part in this obscene parody of a Conference. Some Jewish groups intend to go to have their voices heard and to demonstrate. Notably, the UK is still sending a delegation.
My view now is that the Conference should be boycotted. Boycott the boycotters. Deny them any legitimacy.
See the BBC which is quite balanced for a change (having improved on its earlier wishy-washy attempt).
Meanwhile the UN sits on its hands and watches. So much for its founding principals.
I have to pass on to you the words of Anna Bayevsky. I do not apologise for quoting in full. I do not have a web link. (April 20th is Hitler’s birthday – he’d be so proud of the neo-Nazis who have hijacked this Conference. On that day The March of The Living will once again take place at Auschwitz-Birkenau when the Jewish Youth of the world commemorate the Holocaust. The next day is Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day)
STATEMENT BY ANNE BAYEFSKY AT THE THIRD SUBSTANTIVE PREPARATORY MEETING OF THE DURBAN REVIEW CONFERENCE
April 17, 2009
United Nations, Palais des Nations, GENEVA, Switzerland
The eyes of millions of victims of racism, xenophobia and intolerance are upon YOU, the representatives of states and the United Nations. And instead of hope you have given them despair. Instead of truth you have handed them diplomatic double-talk. Instead of combating antisemitism you have handed them a reason for Jews to fear UN-driven hatemongering on a global scale.
The Durban conference – allegedly dedicated to combating racism, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance – will open April 20th on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler without agreement on even so much as remembering the Holocaust and the war against the Jews. Your draft words on the Holocaust – the very foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – have been narrowed to the barest mention from previous versions. And if the minor reference survives at all – it will be a testament to your interest in Jews that died 60 years ago, while tolerating and encouraging the murder of Jews in the here and now.
Furthermore, the draft before you demonizes the Jewish state of Israel and then has the audacity to pretend to care about antisemitism in a single word buried among 17 pages. Antisemitism means discrimination against the Jewish people. Since it is evident that almost none of you have the courage to say it, the face of modern antisemitism IS the UN – your – discrimination against Israel, the embodiment of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.
Over and over again we have heard a massive misinformation campaign about the content of these proceedings and the draft before you. We have heard the tale that this draft does not single out Israel, that the hate has been removed, that the fault of the antisemitism at Durban I was that of NGOs while states and the UN were blameless.
Perhaps you think that journalists and victims will not bother to read for themselves the Durban Declaration adopted by some governments. There is only one state mentioned in it – Israel. There is only one state associated with racist practices in it – Israel. And yet the very first thing that this draft before you does is to reaffirm that abomination, abomination for Jews and Arabs living in Israel’s free and democratic society, and for all the victims of racism ignored therein. Lawyers call it incorporation by reference when they hope nobody reads the small print. The propaganda stops here. We have read it. We understand the game. And we decry the ugly effort to repeat the Durban agenda to isolate and defeat Israel politically, as every effort to do so militarily for decades has failed.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chair of this Preparatory Committee also told us this week that the Durban Declaration in all its aspects is a consensus text. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the Canadian reservations made in Durban in 2001 which state categorically that the Middle East language was outside the conference’s jurisdiction and not agreed. Perhaps they failed to notice that one of the world’s greatest democracies, the United States, voted with its feet and walked out of the Durban I hatefest? The Durban Declaration has never represented a global consensus among free and democratic nations. When the head of the Islamic conference treats Durban as a bible, in their words, it is more accurately a defamation of religions.
This week you decided which states ought to serve in a leadership role at next week’s conference. Among them are some of the world’s leading practitioners of racism, not those interested in ending it. You have also decided to hand a global megaphone to the President of a state which advocates genocide and denies the Holocaust.
So in a state of shock and dismay we address ourselves not to the human rights abusers that glorify the Durban Declaration or its next incarnation, but to democracies — and we ask: Will Germany sit on Hitler’s birthday and listen to the speech of an advocate of genocide against the Jewish people and grant legitimacy to the forum which tolerates his presence? What about the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Magna Carta? Or France that helped to ship last generation’s Jews to crematoriums?
You could have fought racism. You chose instead to fight Jews. You could have promoted the universal standards against racism already in existence. You chose instead to diminish their importance in the name of alleged cultural preferences. You could have protected freedom of expression. You chose instead to undermine it by twisted concepts of incitement. You could have brought victims of racism together in a common cause. You chose instead to pit victims against each other in an ugly struggle for meagre recognition. For those democracies that remain under these circumstances you are ultimately responsible for what can only be called an appalling disservice to real victims of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance around the world.
Continuing the saga of the BBC’s ever-shifting headline on the story of an Israeli Arab who drove at three policeman protecting those demolishing the home of Hussam Dwayat (the July 2008 bulldozer attacker who killed three and injured 40 and was shot dead) – see my previous posts here and here .
The driver was shot dead by the police.
Headline No 1. Palestinian killed in demolition (no he was not!)
Headline No 2. Police kill Palestinian motorist (whilst attempting a 3-point turn, no doubt)
And now, No 3. Palestinian ‘attacker’ shot dead
Note the quote marks. This warns us that someone who drives directly at and injures three policeman may not be an attacker but is so characterised by Israelis. This is because he only “injur(ed) them lightly”.
As I previously wrote, given the history of suicide attacks within Israel, how can the police take any chances with someone driving straight at them with a lethal weapon, namely a half-ton car. This is not Kensington High Street. But the BBC, in its attempt to be ‘fair’ describes terrorists as ‘militants’ and people driving directly at security forces as ‘attackers’.
They have no such scruples when they use terms such as ‘occupation’ (without quotation marks), of course.
And let us not forget that by the time this latest and considerably more accurate headline reaches the BBC’s pages, it has already ceased to be current news and is confined to the archive. It’s the earlier headlines that have already made their nasty little innuendos and have now conveniently disappeared to cover the BBC’s previous ‘bias’.
Following my previous post and complaint to the BBC ( I am sure they had several) they changed the headline to – wait for it – “Police kill Palestinian motorist”.
I almost wet myself. If it wasn’t so tragic it would be funny. Of course they have to really rub our noses into Israeli disproportion:
A police spokesman said officers shot the man after his car hit three guards, injuring them lightly.
Police responded by firing more than 20 bullets into the windshield
They completely ignore the fact that the car or the man or both may have been booby-trapped and full of explosives. This is the problem with such reporting: people outside Israel just do not realise what police and the IDF have to contend with every day. Are they trigger happy? No. But why should they take any chances when history has shown them that a moment’s hesitation could cost them their life. As in Gaza, so in Israel. It’s a tragedy, but one imposed by a series of ruthless, suicidal assaults. This could have been the next one. Do not US soldiers in Iraq do likewise? Did not UK soldiers in Basra and still in Helmand?
But for the BBC this is little short of murder. Either they don’t understand or they don’t wish to.
Two other attacks by Palestinians using bulldozers have been carried out since Hussam Dwayat’s death, though no Israelis were killed in these later incidents.
And so as with Hamas rockets, so with bulldozer attacks. If they kill no-one then it’s all right because they didn’t intend to kill anyone. Duh! BBC logic.
The bulldozers failed because of the vigilance of Israelis not because they were intended to cause a little mischief.
King Abdullah of Jordan, on a visit to Bucharest, has said that Israel
“must decide whether they want to observe this opportunity and become integrated in the region or whether they want to remain a fortress … and keep the Middle East hostage in conflict”
as reported by Arutz Sheva. The opportunity he refers to is the Saudi Peace Plan/Ultimatum reiterated in Qatar last week in terms of “take it or leave it”.
The Saudi plan offers recognition of Israel from all Arab countries but in return Israel must withdraw from what are known as The Occupied Territories, there must be an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and (and here’s the killer punch), there must be a just solution to the “problem” of Palestinian refugees.
So in return for the dubious benefits of “recognition”, whatever that really means, Israel must return to the 1949 ceasefire lines and potentially allow into Israel hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Palestinians against whom it has been fighting an existential war since 1967. This influx will turn the Jewish State into something quite different. In no time, Jews would be a minority in their own country and there would be two Arab states, no doubt with the intention of confederating as Palestine and thus bringing about the end of Israel.
Security issues (massive), housing, health, the economy would all suffer to the detriment of Israelis. And where would these returnees go? Would they have the right, having kicked the Jews out of the West Bank, to start to kick them out of Ashkelon and Haifa?
In Qatar an ultimatum was issued. See my post “Israel must agree to its own destruction” – Arab League This is more of the same from a previously tacit source – namely king Abdullah.
It’s as if the enmity generated throughout the world by Operation Cast Lead, the move to a right wing government in Israel and the pleasant noises (for Arab ears) emanating from the new administration in Washington have emboldened the Arabs in the belief that the time is ripe to land a killer blow on the Israeli chin or maybe a kick somewhere lower down.
All this might be considered a first round negotiating position, but three significant players are completely ignored in this equation: Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.
Also on Arutz Sheva this report Hamas: We Will Not Recognize Israel-Period.
Hamas leader Ismael Haniya reasserted his faction’s principled refusal to recognize Israel, calling it “the Zionist entity” and claiming it to be an illegitimate state based on ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, according to the Palestine Times. He said that Hamas wouldn’t abandon its principles under pressure. “We will not cave in to pressure, we will not betray our people’s trust, we will not recognize the illegitimate Zionist entity. This has always been our stance, and it will never change.”
Haniya suggested that when it comes to recognizing Israel, the Palestinian Authority represented only itself and not the entire PA Arab population.
Let’s analyse this. Israel is “an illegitimate state based on ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”. So what is it this “principled” people want to do with Israel?
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
Hamas are a little hypocritical when it comes to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, don’t you think? Just go to PalestinianMediaWatch (www.pmw.il) to see the depraved depths of their hate-filled rhetoric, their “educational”materials, their blood-libels and then tell me who are the racists and Nazis in the Middle-East.
Hezbollah and Iran have a similar genocidal animus against Israel and the Jews. Fatah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs, Islamic Jihad are not exacty Israel or even Jew-friendly.
So let’s see what happens when the Saudi dream is realised. Israel’s borders will be open, the security wall dismantled and those whose professed aim is to kill all Jews and destroy Israel will have a free pass across its borders, along its coastline, in its airspace. Their agents and accomplices will move freely among Jewish Israelis.
So the small matter of the Right of Return for Palestinians is nothing less than a formula for the destruction of Israel and the removal of all rights to self-determination of Jews. So the other points in the formula a little moot. Of course, compensation for the hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from Arab countries in 1948 are not part of the equation.
Do the Arab nations really expect this government of all governments to agree to a new Jewish Holocaust?
Of course they don’t. But what they do want is to be seen as moderate, offering a “peace solution” which Israel will reject out of hand and they can write another chapter in the Book of Historical Revisionism to say “the Jews didn’t want peace. We had no choice but to continue the struggle. They bring it upon themselves.”
On the BBC news site home there is a link which reads:
Palestinian killed in demolition
What?! My reaction was – “Oh no”, they’ve demolished a house with someone inside it and killed them.
But no. Nothing of the sort.
Israeli police have shot dead a Palestinian motorist in East Jerusalem who drove at them while they were carrying out a home demolition.
Ahh! So a potentially lethal attack on Israeli police is turned into a headline which clearly states that someone was killed as a result of the demolition.
The demolition in question was that of the house of Hussam Dwayat who killed 3 people in a bulldozer attack in Jerusalem in July 2008.
Now, whatever you think about house demolitions, it is clear that the BBC headline writer has seriously skewed the truth. Anyone who is not bothered to read the story will just think it’s another Israeli atrocity story.
I have complained to the BBC. I await their response.