Human Rights Watch and its Marxist lies about Israel in Gaza

The Israel GPO (Government Press office) has taken the unusual step of releasing a news briefing (which is an article printed in Ma’ariv by Ben-Dror Yemini) discrediting HRW’s recent accusations that during the recent Gaza conflict (Operation Cast Lead) Israeli soldiers fired on, and killed, civilians waving or displaying the white flag, an International symbol of surrender of or non-combatancy. Such behaviour, is, of course, a war crime.

But the GPO reports that the Ma’ariv article reveals that the author of the HRW report, Joe Stork :

a senior official in Human Rights Watch,…….. is a fanatical supporter of the elimination of Israel.  He was a friend of Saddam, ruled out negotiations and supported the Munich Massacre, which “provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians.”

On Thursday last, Joe Stork held a news conference where he accused Israel of these crimes. But Stork is revealed as being far from an objective reporter:

Several times in the past, Stork has called for the destruction of Israel and is a veteran supporter of Palestinian terrorism.  Already as a student, Stork was amongst the founders of a new radical leftist group, which was formed based on the claim that other leftist groups were not sufficiently critical of Israel and of the United States’ support of it.  Already in 1976, Stork participated in a conference organized by Saddam Hussein which celebrated the first anniversary of the UN decision that equated Zionism with racism.  Stork, needless to say, arrived at the conference as a prominent supporter of Palestinian terrorism and as an opponent to the existence of the State of Israel.  He also labeled Palestinian violence against Israel as “revolutionary potential of the Palestinian masses” – language that was typical of fanatical Marxists.

So the question is: what is HRW doing employing someone who is so clearly biased? As an NGO which claims to present facts in a non-political, non-partisan way, the use of Stork shows up HRW for what it really is when it comes to Israel – biased and prepared to be represented by a renowned Israel hater and Marxist who sees the conflict through the prism of his own political prejudices rather than as a seeker of impartial truths.

The article continues:

Stork expressed his position that the global Left must subordinate itself to the PLO in order to strengthen elements that opposed any accord with Israel.  It would seem that he has not changed his ways since then.  He is still conceptually subordinate to those who have maintained their opposition to the existence of the State of Israel.  Once the world’s radical left supported the PLO.  Today, part of the global Left supports Hamas.

…….

This is the man.  A radical Marxist whose positions have not changed over the years.  On the contrary.  Objectivity, neutrality or sticking to the facts are not Stork’s strong suit.  He even proudly exclaims that there is no need for neutrality.

In other words Stork is firmly in the camp of Israel’s enemies, sees no reaqson for impartiality and is prepared, presumably, therefore, to say or do anything to destroy Israel. The words Marxism and Truth have never been comfortably accommodated in  the same sentence.

Yemini concludes:

Israel is called upon to provide explanations in the wake of Human Rights Watch reports.  It is about time that Israel publicly exposed the ideological roots of several of this organization’s leaders and demands the dismissal of these supporters of terrorism and haters of Israel.  Until then, Israel, justifiably, cannot seriously comment on criticism from such a body.

I second that!

So, you may well ask, just because he is biased, does that mean the stories are false? Quite right too. The BBC interviewed Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister on this very issue. (One can just see the BBC News team rubbing its hands once again with glee on more stories of the IDF’s “war crimes”).

Mark Regev says:

I would want to say two things though about this report. I think anyone who reads it sees that it is based once again on a very problematic methodology. In other words, Human Rights Watch is relying on testimony from people who are not free to speak out against the Hamas regime

Absolutely!  Where did Stork get his information? From Palestinians in Gaza who exist under a terror regime which uses its own citizens as human shields and intimidates them into toeing the Hamas line when they engage with journalists. It is clear to anyone who is impartial that interviewing Gazans, who are in all likelihood produced by Hamas for the all-too-willing Mr Stork, cannot be considered conducive to finding the truth. And when you ignore the other side completely, produce unsubstantiated claims by persons unknown then the whole story smacks of vicious propaganda.

Mark Regev, sadly, appears evasive in the interview, he always comes over as usch and I think he should be replaced by someone in better command of the facts. But the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which quotes the BBC interview with Mark Regev, appears to realise that his performance was far from adequate and reminds us that the IDF issued a 150+ page report on its actions in Gaza where it addressed many of the issues for which it has been accused of criminal behaviour and adds these telling paragraphs:

Sadly, Hamas terror operatives ruthlessly pervert the intent of the IDF’s obligations to prevent harm to civilians by exploiting those with white flags as cover for belligerent action and to protect themselves from return fire. Any person who displays a white flag in this way acts illegally, does not enjoy protection from retaliatory action, and endangers nearby civilian populations. As a clear example of this practice, the video below shows a Hamas terrorist planting an explosive device and hiding amongst civilians who are waving white flags.

Merely displaying a white flag does not automatically grant immunity, and in cases of suspicion that a person holding a white flag is endangering security forces, they are authorized to take necessary precautionary steps and, in accordance with rules of engagement, to verify and neutralize the threat.

This is the point about many of the IDF’s perceived infringements during Cast Lead. Hamas do not observe ANY rules of international law, the Geneva Convention or any conventions. They are a  terror organisation which is prepared to use any means and every dirty trick and to sacrifice its own population in order to attack Israel either physically or by propaganda to which the world’s press is only too willing to give credibility. Hamas flouts the norms of warfare by using white flags to cover its own combatants. I am sure it sent out innocent people as well as its own forces with white flags to evade capture or attack or as a cover for its operations in flagrant breach of international law.

The world seems to believe that Hamas is just an army like the IDF. It isn’t. To make any moral comparison is repugnant.

Hamas does not answer to the world’s press, its own people and certainly not to NGO’s. It is virtually immune from criticism by the UN . Yet any lie it chooses to tell, often given a fig-leaf of credibility by its success in inducing a response from the IDF which appears to flout international law, is believed and swallowed whole by every news outlet in the world (including some in Israel).

Here’s some actual evidence from an IDF video on YouTube:

So before Israel is condemned for shooting white flag carriers, make sure they aren’t terrorists  or protecting terrorists.

If you want to believe your favourite terror organisation, Hamas, that’s your choice. But think. Maybe your political views, like Mr Stork’s, have coloured your perceptions.

Aya’s story – a hope for a future of peace between Israel and Palestine

The Rambam Medical Center in Haifa has just issued a press release about a little Palestinian girl called Aya Aiid Abo-Mois.

Aya Aiid Abo-Mois from Jenin at the Rambam Medical Center, Haif, IsraelAya travels every day from a village near Jenin in the Palestinian Authority-run West Bank.

At 5.am every morning she and her mother are picked up by Jewish volunteers from an organisation called Derech HaChlama (The Road to Recovery). They operate regularly between the West Bank and Israeli hospitals.

Aya is just two and her sister died, aged one, of kidney failure. Now Aya also has kidney failure and requires dialysis every day.

It’s a struggle for her mother and traumatic for Aya but her mother Sahir is determined that her daughter survive.

The report relates:

Israeli Arabs and Jews, meet and speak freely about their fears and hardships and even discuss geo-political issues of the day. Sahir has developed a close kinship with the people she met at the hospital and says that there is a feeling of cooperation. She says, “I am especially grateful to ‘Derech Hachlama,’ and without their help I don’t know how we could provide my daughter with the superior life-saving treatment that she needs.”

So how did Derech HaChlama come about?

“Derech Hachlama” was founded in 2006. It began when a Palestinian member from the “Forum of Bereaved Families” asked his friend, an Israeli member of the forum, to help him with travel to Rambam. The Israeli, Yuval Roth, lost his brother 15 years ago; (his brother was murdered during his reserve duty service when he hitched a ride with Hamas terrorists disguised as religious Jews). Yuval didn’t hesitate to offer assistance to his friend and very quickly, with the aid of other members, a network of approximately 60 patients’ using the organization’s travel services developed. “The demand is great for travel from Palestinian villages to Israeli hospitals, and at least two new patients join our service every month,” states Yuval.

Aya Aiid Abo-Mois from Jenin at the Rambam Medical Center

Sometimes, amidst the darkness of hatred and prejudice a bright light shines.

Photos by Pioter Fliter with the kind permission of the Rambam Medical Center

Here’s to you Mrs Robinson

In its wisdom the United States will, this week, present former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, (who was also the Secretary General of the infamous 2001 Durban conference and Irish President), with the U.S Presidential Medal of Freedom.

UN Watch has published an open letter from its Executive Director, Hillel Neuer, to Mary Robinson which I take the liberty to reproduce in full as every word is worth reading and reproducing.

This stinging attack on Mrs Robinson speaks for itself. Robinson is typical of a political class who see appeasement and reconciliation as counters to extremism, fascism and terrorism. Perhaps her experiences in Ireland gave Robinson the illusion that she was qualified to moderate on human rights issues and in particular Israel.

Medal of Freedom? Freedom to terrorise and oppress. Freedom for racists and Fascists to accuse others of the crimes they are so demonstrably culpable. Freedom to scapegoat Israel and the Jews. I hope she wears her medal with pride.

You may have seduced the US administration, Mrs Robinson, but you can’t seduce me.

As in the new Obamaworld there has been a consensus that peace can be bought by attacking the victim and cheering on the aggressor. It’s the ‘even-handedness’ approach which is anything but. It stems from the new era of Political Correctness, evangelical appeasing, inverted morality or moral equivalence that appears to be particularly applied to the Middle-East. Meanwhile Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Burma, Syria, Iran and Sri Lanka (I could go on) get an almost free pass.

Here’s the letter:

Letter to Mrs. Mary Robinson

Dear Mrs. Robinson,   Recent statements by you and your defenders, amid the growing opposition to your receipt this Wednesday of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, require a response.

According to the organization Physicians for Human Rights—for whom you recently worked on a report together with one of its board members, Richard Goldstone—you are being “vilified” by “false accusations.”

In your own words, “certain elements” of the Jewish community—those opposed to your selection—are subjecting you to “bullying.”

Mrs. Robinson, let’s be honest: no one has bullied you, and you are not being vilified by false accusations.

Instead, facts were presented and issues raised concerning your 1997-2002 tenure as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights—by mainstream Jewish organizations as well as by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle—which question the integrity of your actions on the Middle East, most famously during the lead-up to that dark moment in history known as the Durban conference.

Hurling ad hominem epithets won’t make these facts go away. Nor will misrepresenting your critics’ arguments and then purporting to refute them, which is what both you and your defenders have been doing.

If you are to receive this medal, the American people are entitled to know precisely what the issues are.

I. Your Role at Durban

Let us begin with Durban, the U.N.’s 2001 world conference against racism, which you presided over as Secretary-General, and then consider your overall tenure as U.N. rights chief.

As you know, the Durban conference degenerated into an unprecedented international platform for anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli hatred, with massive rallies in the streets of Durban organized by Palestinian and fundamentalist Arab groups. One widely distributed flyer showed a photograph of Hitler and the question “What if I had won?” The answer: “There would be no Israel.”

The late Tom Lantos, founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and a respected defender of human rights for all, was a U.S. delegate to the conference. “Having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust first hand,” he said, “this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I have seen since the Nazi period.”

Shortly after the conference, Lantos published an essay in the Fletcher Forum for World Affairs that amounts to a stinging indictment of your role in the events leading up to the conference, including at the fateful preparatory meetings in Tehran and Geneva, with your acts of omission and commission described as “a major contributing factor to the debacle in Durban.”

This article is the primary source cited by your critics. If its author had been a hawkish unilateralist, you could have easily dismissed him as just another “bully.” But Tom Lantos was a Democrat, a firm believer in vital multilateral institutions, and a true friend—meaning never an uncritical one—of the United Nations.

And so you have no choice but to address his charges. Your main defense, as reported in the Irish Times, is that Lantos “misunderstood” your role.

“The conference was run by the member states, particularly by South Africa as the chair,” you said. “So all key meetings and all decisions at the official level were made by governments and I wasn’t present when they were arguing about whether anti-Semitic language which was in brackets should be included. I just wasn’t there.”

You weren’t there, Mrs. Robinson? That’s odd, because in the same breath, you proceeded to claim credit for the removal of these proposals: “But I did finally, after the United States and Israel had withdrawn, persuade South Africa to take this language out immediately and to continue with the conference.” It sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it, too.

In attempting to defend the final text, you say that Shimon Peres, Israel’s foreign minister at the time, “welcomed” it. This is a deliberately misleading half-truth, put to frequent use this year by the apologists for Durban II.

The facts tell another story. On September 4, 2001, after he instructed his delegation to walk out of the conference, Peres described the gathering in Durban as “a farce” where “human rights were defeated,” and as a “court of mockery of justice.”

At the same briefing, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Rabbi Michael Melchior—a spiritual leader known for his advocacy of pluralism, liberalism and human rights protections for Israel’s minorities—described the Durban draft as “the most anti-Semitic official document put on any table in any official conference since World War II.” Yet you omit to mention any of this.

Yes, a few days later, when the final text emerged, Peres cheered the removal of the worst proposals, a direct result of the diplomatic pressure created by the joint U.S. and Israeli walkout that you continue to condemn. At the same time, his legal adviser, Alan Baker, made clear that Israel hardly gave its blessing to the outcome: “The fact that the Palestinians succeeded in inserting partisan and specific statements concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a declaration of a conference on racism is something that never should have happened.”

Sure enough, when the declaration came before the U.N. General Assembly in March 2002, Peres instructed the Israeli representative to join the U.S. and vote against it. Some endorsement.

Yet even if your account were true, it is, in the end, immaterial to Lantos’ 22-page indictment, only a small fraction of which discusses your role at the final conference. Most of it, as you know, addresses what you did—and failed to do—during the lead-up.

Lantos never denied that at Durban you stood up to condemn anti-Semitic pamphlets distributed by the Arab Lawyers Union, or that you rejected the viciously anti-Israel NGO declaration.

Rather, citing one instance after another, he made a compelling case that throughout the year of lead-up meetings you continuously fanned the flames of anti-Israel prejudice, only to cry “Fire!” once they rose up into a great conflagration.

I urge you to respond to Lantos’ detailed charges concerning your actions during three key moments, in Tehran, Geneva, and Durban:

1.   That You Condoned the Tehran Hatred of February 2001
In February 2001, when the Tehran preparatory meeting of Asian states adopted a text condemning only one country—demonizing Israel as a country guilty of a “new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity,” and calling Zionism a “racist and violent movement based on racist and discriminatory ideas”— your response was to congratulate the Tehran delegates for their “high degree of consensus.”

When asked about the inflammatory rhetoric at a news conference, you replied: “The situation in the Palestinian occupied territories was brought up at the meeting and it is reflected in the final Declaration.” You went on to add that a “striking feature” of the meeting was the “emphasis on dialogue between civilizations.” That was it. No outrage. No criticism. No moral leadership.

Your comments, wrote Lantos, “represented a pivotal moment in the evolution of the World Conference Against Racism. By appearing to condone the Asian conference’s efforts to place the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the agenda of the World Conference, [Mary Robinson] betrayed its intentions and emboldened those intent on using the conference for their own political purposes. From that moment the conference began to take a dangerous trajectory that became ever more difficult to correct.”

In other words, at the moment when the Islamic states injected the toxic language that would eventually poison the entire Durban process, your actions encouraged it.

Mrs. Robinson, will you respond to this charge?

2.   That You Opposed the U.S. at the Geneva Pre-Conference of August 2001
Lantos detailed your actions during the emergency Geneva meeting of August 2001, a last-minute attempt to stave off the impending disaster. “Mrs. Robinson’s intervention with the assembled delegates later in the same day left our delegation deeply shocked and saddened. In her remarks, she advocated precisely the opposite course to the one Secretary [Colin] Powell and I had urged her to take. Namely, she refused to reject the twisted notion that the wrong done to the Jews in the Holocaust was equivalent to the pain suffered by the Palestinians in the Middle East. Instead, she discussed ‘the historical wounds of anti-Semitism and of the Holocaust on the one hand, and…the accumulated wounds of displacement and military occupation on the other.’ Thus, instead of condemning the attempt to usurp the conference, she legitimized it.”

“Instead of insisting that it was inappropriate to discuss a specific political conflict in the context of a World Conference on Racism, she spoke of the ‘need to resolve protracted conflict and occupation, claims of inequality, violence and terrorism, and a deteriorating situation on the ground.’ Robinson was prepared to delve into the arcana of a single territorial conflict at the exclusion of all others and at the expense of the conference’s greater goals. Robinson’s intervention broke all momentum that the U.S. had developed. The Arab countries immediately seized on these statements as a clear indication that the tide had turned again in their favor, dropped all talk of compromise, and began pressing for the continuation of the Middle East discussion in Durban.”

Mrs. Robinson, will you respond to this charge?

3.   That You Opposed the U.S. at the Durban Endgame in September 2001
Finally, at the endgame in Durban, Lantos documents your counter-productive role: “As the U.S. pressed its case, Robinson seemed to be working to stymie our efforts. In her public and private statements, as was the case in Geneva, she insisted that the conference had to recognize the suffering of the Palestinian people. In a meeting on Sunday, September 2, with [U.S.] Ambassador Southwick, she lashed out at him, characterizing the U.S. threat to pull out if the Norwegian language was not accepted as ‘warped, strange and undemocratic.’”

“In a meeting I had with Commissioner Robinson later that same day… [I] told her that the U.S. government was extremely displeased with the way she had handled the conference, and we indicated that we held her responsible for her actions that contributed to its failure.”

Mrs. Robinson, will you respond to this charge?

The American people are entitled to answers to the specific allegations, not to straw man arguments.

Let’s face it: Tom Lantos never “misunderstood” your role. Known as “Mr. Human Rights,” he was a veteran lawmaker on U.N. affairs who directly engaged with you on the issues in Washington, Geneva, and Durban. He knew exactly what measures of influence and responsibility you exercised over the process as Secretary-General, and it was on that nuanced basis that he denounced your record.

Leadership means taking responsibility. During the march to Durban you could have confronted the purveyors of anti-Israel hatred from the start. Instead, you chose to egg them on, only to have it explode in your face—by which time your protestations were simply too little and too late. You may not have been the chief culprit of the Durban debacle, but you will always be its preeminent symbol.

II. Your Role as High Commissioner

But the concerns about your actions on the Middle East are not limited to Durban. They extend to your entire 5-year tenure as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Here again, you invoke the same defense: Your critics “misunderstand” what your role was, failing to appreciate the difference between the former Commission on Human Rights, a body of 53 U.N. member states, and your own role as the U.N.’s top human rights official.

To be sure, some of your critics, while getting the big picture right, have helped you make this case by conflating your former office with that of the Commission and its resolutions condoning Palestinian terrorism.

I will be the first to defend you on this point: you cannot be held responsible for texts that you neither initiated nor voted upon.

The errors of a few, however, do not detract from the numerous, genuine and well-grounded concerns cited over the years by UN Watch and others.

When the Arab and Islamic blocs, supported by an automatic majority of countries like China, Russia, and Cuba, diverted the world’s highest human rights body from its mission—ignoring millions of human rights victims in 191 countries in order to target Israel—you could have taken them on.

Unlike the U.S. president’s powers vis-à-vis Congress, you had no power to veto the Commission’s enactments. But you held the moral pulpit of the U.N. human rights system and could have set a different tone for Geneva. Unlike the political body, you were required to be impartial, objective, and non-selective.

Regrettably, however, when it came to Israel, you effectively encouraged the Commission’s anti-Israel obsession—an obsession that epitomized the politicization and selectivity that ultimately doomed the now-defunct body.

Examples abound. To name but a small portion:

  • On May 15, 1998, as we reported, you legitimized Palestinian demonstrators hurling bricks, rocks and Molotov cocktails as a “peaceful assembly.”
  • In September 2000, we protested your breach of impartiality and integrity when you named Ms. Mona Rishmawi, notorious for having written articles comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, as your senior advisor. She continues to serve at the office of the High Commissioner.
  • In November 2000, when you led a fact-finding mission with the cooperation of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, we noted your distinct policy of listening to the Palestinians, while asking hard questions only of the Israelis.
  • The subsequent report that you published was found by UN Watch to have denounced Israeli actions without considering their cause and context, including self-defense from armed attacks, and to have presumed Israel to be the aggressor.
  • In December 2001, as documented by UN Watch, you gave special support to an extremist Palestinian demonstration held on the sidelines of a gathering of Geneva Convention signatories that was convened to condemn Israel.
  • At the Commission’s April 2002 special session against Israel, your speech gave more credence to Palestinian propaganda than to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which had witnessed Palestinian unloading of an explosive suicide belt from an ambulance.

Unfortunately, whenever we met with you in Geneva to raise such concerns, you rejected them out of hand.

Last week, when Jean Ziegler was elected vice-chair of the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee, we were reminded of your legacy. In the year 2000, it was you who invited Ziegler—the 1989 co-founder of the Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize—to become a U.N. human rights expert. He has since distinguished himself as the most anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Israel U.N. official in the history of the organization, cynically abusing his mandate.

Did your actions, however selective, at least help Palestinians? No. Your support of one-sided U.N. measures only encouraged Palestinian extremists, deterred Israelis from trusting international institutions, and promoted the futile path of feel-good unilateral censure, instead of the necessary path of dialogue and reconciliation.

Mrs. Robinson, last week you said that when it came to the Middle East, you acted “purely in a principled, human rights way with no bias, which I am incapable of.”

The evidence above, however, shows that you were not only capable, but all too willing.

I look forward to your response, which we offer to publish in its entirety.

Yours truly,

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
UN Watch
Geneva, Switzerland

Palestinian Authority rejects the two-state solution

Fatah, led by the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, has held its first congress for 20 years.

Draw your own conclusion as to why now.

My guess is that things are going very well for Fatah which is in power on the West Bank and nominally in Gaza where it has been chucked out by the nice Hamas people by a series of gunfights, murders, torture, intimidation, throwing people off high buildings etc. you know, the sort of stuff that passes for politics in the Palestinian world.

Anyhow….

… things are going well because Israel is under intense attack not just from the usual suspects in the Arab world, the EU, NGO’s and the UN, but also from its closest ally, the United States of America.

This means that Fatah, alias the Palestinian Authority, alias the PLO (yes, I know they are all different but they temd to have the same cast list) believes it can make another small step or two forward in its ultimate goal of destroying Israel.

It doesn’t need to use an Intifada, armed resistance, suicide bombings and other terrorist tactics, it just has to sit back and watch Israel dangle from an ever-tightening noose, partly of its own making but mainly from the pressure from the Obama administration.

It appears the world wants Israel to make concessions: freeze “settlements”, freeze expansion of “settlements”, grant a Right of Return for the great grandchildren of  Palestinians who left, or were driven out in 1947-9, concede East Jerusalem which is supposed to be “Arab” m, and withdraw to the 1967 borders (thereby rendering the Arab attack on Israel in 1967 as of no consequence).

But Fatah have made some surprise moves on the compromise front – the main one being no compromise at all, so:

it will not change its charter which calls for Israel’s destruction whilst retaining the option of armed struggle enshrined within this charter ““until the Zionist entity is wiped out and Palestine is liberated”.

So where is there room for two states if they still want to eradicate Israel? They say they will pursue peace but reserve the right to use arms. But what peace do they intend? A peace where Israel no longer exists. The road to peace from the Fatah perspective is a series of concessions by Israel which will lead to its destruction. That is Fatah’s idea of peace and if they don’t get it, they will take up arms – possibly.

Fatah refused to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. In fact it’s quite derisory about the idea and considers a Jewish state to be a racist concept but not an Islamic state.

The whole tenor of the Fatah congress was refusal to compromise, refusal to recognise Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, refusal to give up the armed struggle, refusal to relinquish any part of its charter where the destruction of Israel is its stated goal.

Of course, recent events in Israel show the current administration to be equally uncompromising: Prime Minister Netanyahu states that the whole of Jerusalem is indivisible; retains the right to expand “settlements” and cares little about how evictions of Palestinians, however legal, play out on the world stage and give fuel to Palestinian rhetoric.

Israel has not ruled out a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, but the Palestinians’ idea of a two state solution appears to be little more than empty rhetoric aimed at the non-Arab world whilst they tell each other that the liberation of ALL of Palestine is still their goal. So we may have two entrenched positions but what is there to negotiate from an Israeli perspective until their right to exist is fully recognised.

Obama and the Jewish Democrats

In an op-ed piece in the Jeruslame Post, Marc R. Stanley castigates the Jewish critics of Obama who say that he is not talking to Israel.

Stanley correctly points out the often paranoid reactions coming mainly from the Right and concludes:

The long-term security of Israel will only be fully ensured if peace is achieved. Obama has made clear that the road is difficult, but the president is working hard to make that day come. However, there will still be those with the undying chutzpah to attack the president for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. I urge them to actually listen to what the president is saying and watch what he is doing – they might be surprised.

Hmm.

I have to say that from where I sit/stand (in the UK) Obama is playing a very dangerous game and the efforts of the US Jewish Democrats to convince themselves that all is well and peace will inevitably result from this ‘new approach’ are simply comforting themselves that their choice of President will all turn out OK in the long run.

I do not doubt President  Obama’s commitment to Israel, and, as a naturally left-leaning person myself, I was extremely pleased to see him elected. But we should not allow the historic significance of his election at home cloud the reality of his policy in the Middle East.

Although ‘well-meaning’ I believe the ‘even-handed’ policy, designed to give confidence to the Arab world and to be seen as an honest broker, just will not work for a very simple reason: the PA (and, of course, Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran) have not budged one inch; they see a Palestinian State merely as a stepping stone to the destruction of Israel and the creation of a single state ‘from the river to the sea’. None of their statements are in any way indicative of any compromise on ANY of the sticking points, namely, settlements, Jerusalem, Right of Return, demilitarisation etc., let alone changing the whole ethos of Jew-hatred which is promulgated daily on TV and in schools and mosques.

As long as the Palestinian leadership continues its century-old animus against the Jewish people with attitudes which have only become more polarised over time, then Obama is barking up a tree that has been continuously urinated on by the dogs of the PA et alia.

Obama, frustrated by Arab and Palestinian stone-walling (encouraged, no doubt by the US administration’s new tough-love approach to Israel) simply reacts by criticising just about everything Israel does (settlements, evictions etc) whilst remaining publicly effectively uncritical of the PA.

But, sooner or later, he will realise that regardless of what Israel does, the PA will remain firmly a prisoner of its own rhetoric and history. It cannot change. Only a revolution within Palestine, a new generation that can face reality and not live on fantasies driven by ideology and religious fanaticism, can start a real dialogue for peace.

Obama is doomed to fail, and in the process he simply fuels the world’s bias, anger and frustration with and against Israel whilst Palestinians remain the poor benighted victims of racism, apartheid and European colonialism. So the narrative goes and will go for a very long time.

Support for the IDF from an unexpected quarter

I’ve been in Israel for a week so I missed this story as reported by BackSpin reporting an article in Tundra Tabloids

It appears that Abdallah al-Hadlaq, a journalist for the Arabic language Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Watan, has slammed the Israeli left-wing pressure group ‘Breaking the Silence’ over its unsourced accusations of military misconduct during Operation Cast Lead, the campaign in December 2008 and January 2009 in Gaza.

The BtS report gained worldwide coverage by the global media all too keen to condemn Israel without regard to proper journalistic investigative norms.

It takes a Kuwaiti to speak up for the IDF:

The report by “Breaking the Silence” was unfair, unbalanced, and lacking in proof, so one wonders where it was when Hamas used schools and homes for weapons storage or for missile launchers. Israeli pilots reported many secondary explosions after they hit Hamas targets. Where was that organization when Hamas smuggled tons of illicit weapons through a network of tunnels from Egypt?

Thank you, sir.

Sick Palestinians denied access to Israeli medical facilities

The Jerusalem Post reports that 50 Gazans were denied (or at best, delayed) entry to Israel at the Beit HaMeches Junction near the Erez crossing.

Before you throw your hands up in disgust against those terrible Israelis, let me clarify: it was Hamas who was, once again, risking the lives of its own citizens for their own perceived political benefit.

It may also come as a surprise to you that Gazans are queueing up to go to Israel for medical treatment. Isn’t it strange that those awful Israelis, those tramplers of human rights, who were accused of genocide in Gaza just a few months ago (probably by some of the people waiting to get into Israel) are willing to offer medical aid, often freely, to Palestinians.

Please put on your very best thinking cap. Now, tell me about another conflict where one side is sworn to exterminate the other and this other side is the one that is vilified and also chooses to provide humanitarian aid to the people who are determined to destroy them. What crazy logic is this?

Let’s see: were Germans streaming across the Channel for medical treatment in WWII, or Japanese to America? How many Taleban are welcomed to the hospitals of Lahore or Karachi? And, how many Gazans can find medical treatment in PA hospitals or vice-versa?

Only Israel, the little Satan, finds it morally obligatory to help the sick and dying of any country, including those of its sworn enemies.

So maybe if you found this page expecting to enjoy more gleeful Israel bashing, perhaps you might consider that your prejudices need re-examining.

Boycott Israel? Not as easy as you think

This video posted on YouTube shows just how difficult it is to boycott the Zionist entity.

For a start, most of you wouldn’t be able to view this blog.

Watch and learn. Then see if you can work out how to get round the inherent difficulties and utter hypocrisy involved in such a venture.

BBC et alia misleading on Jerusalem evictions

Nothing could better illustrate the skewed and biased animus of the BBC and much of the world’s media against Israel than Sunday’s story about the eviction of two Palestinian families from  buildings in Sheik Jarrah in East Jerusalem.

News From Jerusalem has a scathing article about the misrepresentation and trashy journalism that completely turns the real situation (known as “The Truth”) on its head.

Here’s the BBC article in Question, now headlined as “Israel Condemned over evictions”,

The News from Jerusalem article quotes as follows:

A BBC article entitled, “Palestinians evicted from Jerusalem,” tells of Israeli police who evicted nine Palestinian families living in two houses in “occupied East Jerusalem.”

“Jewish settlers moved into the houses almost immediately. The U.S. has urged Israel to abandon plans for a building project in the area,” reported the British outlet.

An AFP report, “Israel evicts Palestinians from Jerusalem homes,” begins with a scene of intimidating Jews removing peaceful Arabs from their apartments.

“Israeli riot police wielding clubs kicked out two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem on Sunday, defying international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area,” reported AFP.

“I was born in this house and so were my children,” Maher Hanoun, one of the evictees, was quoted as stating. “Now we are on the streets. We have become refugees.”

But NFJ reveals

The home was originally Jewish, but its Jewish occupants were chased out during countrywide anti-Jewish Arab riots in 1929. Arabs then squatted on the property, with one family, the Hejazi family, becoming the de facto occupants despite never having purchased the property.

Even though documentation proves the complex is owned by Jews and that Arabs have been squatting on it illegally for almost a century, Jewish groups still legally re-purchased the property from the Hejazi family. Following pressure from the Palestinian Authority, however, the family later denied selling the complex back to the Jews despite documentation and other evidence showing the sale went through.

Israel’s court system, not exactly a friend of Jewish “settlers,” twice ruled now the property undoubtedly belongs to Jews.

This is not made clear by the BBC. Let’s just repeat this. The land was owned by Jews until 1929. The Arabs who live their never compensated the original owners. Despite this, the land was RE-PURCHASED. Yes, money was paid for the property but despite evidence to the contrary the family living there denied it! Presumably under pressure from the PA and out of fear that they had sold property to Jews, which is a capital offence in the Palestinian Authority.

The family were given weeks to move out, but didn’t.

But here’s the crunch:

The construction project at the center of attention, a hotel financed by Miami Beach philanthropist Irving Moskowitz, is located just meters from Israel’s national police headquarters and other government ministries. It is a few blocks from the country’s prestigious Hebrew University, underscoring the centrality of the Jewish real estate being condemned by the U.S.

Moskowitz’s housing project, legally purchased, formerly was the house of the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who spent the war years in Berlin as a close ally of Adolf Hitler, aiding and abetting the Nazi extermination of Jews.

Al-Husseini was also linked to the 1929 massacre of Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron and to other acts of incitement that resulted in death and destruction in what was then called Palestine. Some Palestinians have expressed a desire to preserve the building as a tribute to Husseini.

Did the Israeli authorities try to rehouse the families involved? I don’t know. But, presumably they and their PA backers were more intent on making political capital against Israel because they knew how the eviction would appear, and they were certainly right.

Once again Israel is vilified even though the Supreme Court, internationally recognised as an independent judiciary, found in favour of the Jewish groups who legally purchased the property. This is completely glossed over by the BBC who thus imply that the Supreme Court is an instrument of Israeli State oppression of the Palestinians when nothing could be further from the truth.

The US condemnation is as ignorant as it is malign and disingenuous.

A Brave Muslim Voice

It’s not often that a Muslim, brought up in hatred of Israel and Jews has the courage to explore the truth and becomes an advocate for mutual respect, support for the State of  Israel and is openly critical not just of the Arab world but aspects Islam and Sharia.

Such a person is Nonie Darwish.

I urge you to read her story and visit her websites which are a breath of fresh air to the debate about Israel-Palestine and the dialogue between Jew and Muslim.

Arabsforisrael.com is a fascinating site and it is telling that so many contributors have to make anonymous comments for fear of retribution.
Nonie’s personal blog can be found at noniedarwish.com

Please read them.