Iran missile launch date significant

No-one appears to have noted that the test launch of Iran’s long-range Shahab-3 and Sajjil missiles, whose range would enable then to reach Israel, were launched on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

In 1973 Israel’s neighbours planned to launch a killer blow to Israel as they massed weapons and troops along its borders. They chose to attack on Yom Kippur in the belief that Israel would be sleeping that day. They almost succeeded.

By launching missiles which threaten Israel, on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Iran is sending a clear message. But no-one outside Israel seems to have mentioned this. In fact, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur pass Europeans by, but the newspapers always seem to mark Ramadan and Eid. So it’s not surprising that the launch date’s significance has been overlooked or considered to be ‘coincidence’ perhaps.

Looneytunes take over the General Assembly

Two of the world’s finest orators were given the platform at the UN yesterday and today.

Colonel Gadaffi stretched a 15 minute slot into a 100 minute filibustering rant which amounted to very little and included his tearing up the UN Charter. fine. In that case Libya should be expelled, shouldn’t they? In his speech he managed to accuse Mossad of the President Kennedy assassination and imply that swine flu is a man-made disease (presumably the Jews are to blame for that too) and that the Security Council are terrorists (well takes one to know one, eh?)

The only redeeming feature of the speech was that it meant the benighted Assembly could have some respite from deranged presidents and not have to listen to President Ahmadinejad of Iran until the following day.

And what did the Iranian, election-fixing, president have to say: it’s the Jews who run the world and the Zionist regime is committing genocide. Yes, genocide, that thing which he wants to commit against the Jews by destroying Israel and that thing that the Nazis didn’t commit against the Jews. Mr Ahmadinejad is becoming as impressive an expert on genocide as David Irving.

And the response? A walk out by the delegates of the Western democracies. Does Mr Ahmadinejad care? No. He has his oxygenated publicity to reinforce his role as Middle East superpower person, so he probably enjoys walk-outs.

Ahmadinejad and the history deniers

That nice Mr Ahmadinejad from Iran is at it again.

Having found himself in hot water at home because of accusations of a rigged election, he has apparently sought to unite the people against, you guessed it, the Jews.

Ho hum.

His latest Holocaust denial came on Quds (Jerusalem) Day:

He is reported to have said:

“[The Holocaust] a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim”.

He also repeated the canard that the Zionist entity (Israel) was created as a result of this supposed lie.

Not only is this historically illiterate (and this faulty historical narrative can be heard in many places, not just in the Middle East) but he and those like him are attempting to create another Holocaust. But this time it isn’t the physical extermination of the Jewish people (although that is a much desired outcome for Hamas and Hizbollah to name the prinicpal culprits) but this time the Holocaust will begin with the extermination of Jewish history.

Anyone who knows anything about the Jewish people will know that history is central to identity. This is true of most nations but for Jews it defines them even more deeply because for 2000 years they were scattered across the nations of the world with only their history to unite them.

That history was not just one of persecution, migration and expulsion but also a history of yearning for a return to the Land, to the holy city of Jerusalem whose importance in history is solely due to its Jewish history. Without the connection to the Land, to Israel and Jerusalem there would be no Jewish people at all. Look at Jewish liturgy: the Torah, the three daily services, literature, poetry, art.

The Jews and their ancestral land have always been two sides of the same history: the People and the Land.

Now you can argue, and I’m sure you will, about the right to that land today and it’s an argument of history that is a valid one to discuss. And it should be because there are so many lies and misconceptions about the Jews’ return to the Land.

But if you accept that, whatever you may think of Israel and the events of the last sixty or hundred years, that Judaism and the Jewish soul identify completely with that land, (and it is a spiritual as well as a religious and historical connection), then you will see that to deny that connection in effect denies the existence of the Jewish People and its right to exist; to exist anywhere, not just in Israel.

And this is what Ahmadinejad does, but it is also what is taught in the Middle East; not just by the perverted purveyors of hatred that are known as Hamas and Hizbollah but by clerics, publishers, academics, politicians, archaeologists, teachers and broadcasters across the Middle East. They daily trot out lies which deny that Jeruslaem was the site of the two Jewish Temples, deny any Jewish connection whatsoever to the Land and characterise the Israelis and, therefore, of course, all Jews, as part of a (Zionist) plot to deprive them, the Palestinians and the Muslim umma in general, of their land. And part of this ruse perpetrated originally by a few hundred thousand Jews was to fabricate or exaggerate their own suffering to prick the conscience of those who persecuted them, or allowed them to be persecuted, and thereby allow them to steal the Land. That ruse, they claim, was the Holocaust.

And don’t take this lightly. because those who deny history – the ‘history deniers’ (Richard Dawkins uses this term in rather a different context in his latest book) who use it now against the Jews will and, in fact, do use it against everyone else. They denigrate and deny others’ holy books whilst being ready to kill the denigrators of their own, they deny what happened on 9/11 whilst in a breathtaking example of double-think and hyprocisy, celebrate it as a victory over the Zionists who they also say carried it out!

Mahmoud Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis on the Holocaust and you won’t be surpised to find that he found it was a lie.

You can get a flavour of it here: http://www.pmw.org.il/holocaust.htm which shows very starkly that the oh so moderate Palestinian Authority is Holocaust-denying to its rotten core.

So Ahmadinejad is not alone. He is part of a vast army of Muslims who actively seek to deny Jews their history, any land whatsoever and in some cases, their lives. And it is widespread because it is promulgated and taught not just in the Middle East but across the world.

Shana Tova

Shana tova – Happy New Year – to you all, Jew or Gentile.

May it bring peace to the world and especially to Israel and Palestine and their people.

A tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton

Not my usual sort of post but I have to pay tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton, a quiet, modest, great man.

Sir Nicholas saved the lives of almost 700 Jewish children from Czechoslavakia in 1939 by arranging for them to leave mainland Europe and arrive in the UK after a tense journey through Nazi Germany.

So modest was he that it was only relatively recently that those he saved, many very young children at the time, discovered who their saviour was.

In a memorable TV program with Esther Rantzen, Sir Nicholas was brought into the studio on a pretence. His story was then told.

It was then revealed that the woman sitting right next to him was, unbeknown to him, one of the young children he saved.

Then, in one of the most moving moments of TV I can ever remember, Esther Rantzen asked anyone else in the audience who was on a Kindertransport arranged by Nicholas Winton to stand up. Every single member of the audience stood up.

I cried buckets.

There is a wonderful Jewish Talmudic saying:

Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he had saved the whole world.

Sanhedrin 4:5

And the truth of this is the number of children and grandchildren and, no doubt, great grandchildren who owe their existence to Sir Nicholas. They number in the thosuands.

Sir Nicholas is now 100 years old. This week many of those he saved retraced their journey from Prague to London renewing friendships and sharing memories before a reunion with Sir Nicholas.

I have to mention a tenuous connection to Sir Nicholas. When I was at school, one of my best friends was the son of a young boy saved by Nicholas Winton. He became one of the greatest British film directors of his  generation – Karel Reisz.

NATO clinic raid draws little fire

The BBC News website reports :

A member of the Afghan parliament has criticised a Nato air strike on a clinic where a Taliban leader was being treated for his injuries.

The report stresses that NATO checked there were no civilians in the clinic first before they attacked with helicopter gunships.

Amnesty International has called for an investigation. NATO say 12 militants were killed.

I’d like you to compare this incident to the furore that would surround and has surrounded Israeli attacks of a similar nature.

For NATO to say they checked that there were no civilians in the building requires a healthy degree of scepticism.

Clinics like hospitals are protected buildings unless they are being used as a base for military operations or direct attack.

Think Gaza Operation Cast Lead and accusations of  war crimes.

But AI are very reasonable when it’s not Israel who are the accused party:

Amnesty International has called for an investigation into the attack, but added that if the Taliban fired first, they had committed a serious violation.

Not quite the point despite AI’s attempt to whitewash NATO. If you were confronted by troops and gunships you might be inclined to fire first too. This does not vindicate the imminent attack on a clinic.

Just replace NATO with Israel and Taliban with Hamas. Now what would you say?

I know what I would say. Proportionality.

Israel is being and was being directly attacked on its own borders by Hamas. This rendered Hamas a legitimate target. If those targeted are responsible for horrendous acts of terrorism and are hiding in a protected facility then, as far as I am aware, Israel waits for them to come out. In Operation Cast Lead hospitals were only fired upon when fired from. The main hospital in Gaza, where the Hamas leadership were using the basement as an operations centre, was not attacked. If Israel was so intent on war crimes and so careless of civilian casualties would they not have targetted Shifa hospital?

Apparently NATO would.

Double standards anyone?