West Dunbartonshire councillor responds to Israel boycott furore

The Scottish councillor at the centre of the furore caused by recent reports that, as part of its Israel boycott, it was banning books by Israeli authors, has issued an unprecedented video on his website, refuting these claims.

Cllr McColl also described personal abuse that he had received by phone and email and on Twitter.

He also described as ridiculous a blog which may have been mine, and certainly contained the information which I posted on Sunday.

As a reminder, here is the notice that WDC put out on their website in response to the attention they were receiving from those opposed to their policy.

West Dunbartonshire Council utterly refutes recent media claims that it has ‘launched a boycott on Israeli books’.

The Council’s boycott does not in any way seek to censor or silence authors and commentators from Israel.

The Council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK and are therefore not affected by this boycott. Only books that were printed in Israel and transported to the UK for distribution would be potentially boycotted.

In the two and a half years the boycott has been in place there has never been a case when the library service has been unable to purchase a book it wished to as a result of this boycott.

Contrary also to some media reports the boycott is not retrospective and absolutely no books have been or will be removed from our library shelves as a consequence of the motion.

West Dunbartonshire Councillors voted to introduce the boycott in 2009.

The full motion is:

‘This Council deplores the loss of life in Palestine which now numbers well over 1,000.  This Council also recognises the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence.  Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel.  Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC.’

So the book thing seems to be a red herring.

It all boils down to the decision taken two and half years ago during Operation Cast Lead (the Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2008-9) that Israel used disproportionate force and killed 1000 people. As a result of this, they decided unanimously at a council meeting to ban the purchase by the council of all products from Israel.

There is a special page on the councillor’s website here: http://www.cllrjmccoll.info/israel.html with the video embedded at the top.

It is also found on YouTube and I’ll embed the two videos below.

There is also a statement by Cllr McColl on his web page, which I’ll also reproduce, as it includes more detail on the council’s motivations at the time which are, apparently, still in place two years after the event. Note that this is a ‘Personal Statement’ by the councillor with my annotations interpolated.

Personal Statement
The following is intended to answer a number of questions that have been asked and assertions made in emails etc…
This boycott was not made at the request, suggestion or upon reading a pamphlet from any Anti-Israeli or Pro-Palestinian group.

This boycott was in response to and in support of international media coverage two years ago by the BBC, AP, CNN, SKY, REUTERS which showed Israeli forced murdering innocent women and children and firing rockets at civilian targets.

To say that Israelis were murdering innocent women and children is a blood-libel against the IDF which is without foundation. Although it can be argued that there were incidents where innocents died due to mistakes by the IDF, to use the word ‘murder’ is unconscionable and unfounded.

The charge of deliberately firing rockets at civilian targets was made by the Goldstone Report and refuted by an IDF report.

The councillors reliance on reports from the BBC, AP and Reuters et alia is touching; but these organisations were seriously biased in their reporting at the time and swallowed Hamas’ narrative and propaganda.

The Goldstone Report has now been seriously compromised by its author’s somewhat equivocal quasi-retraction.

Far from being ‘murderers’ which is the Hamas/Far Left accusation, Col Richard Kemp told the UN that no other army in history had done more to protect civilians.

Why did WDC rush to judgement in 2009 and why have they not re-evaluated this motion in light of new evidence?

It is enlightening to note that the original motion was tabled by Cllr Jim Bollan of the Scottish Socialist Party and his blog sports a Red Flag and an image of Lenin. He is a former member of the Scottish Communist Party. So we know where he is coming from.

Yet the entire council was minded, as one, to declare the boycott in 2009.

I have never seen, read or heard any material from Pro-Palestinian or Anti-Israeli groups and I would put little stock in either. I get my information from reputable, recognised sources.

Yet he was prepared to vote for for Cllr Bollan’s motion who is a signatory of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s appeal for funding of its BDS campaign (http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3631:scottish-psc-financial-appeal&catid=257&Itemid=200079)

Hamas’ use of hospitals and other civilian buildings (and indeed civilians themselves) as human shields is utterly despicable, but that does not give the Israeli Government the right to kill those unfortunate enough to be used by this terrorist organisation.

So according to Cllr McColl it is Israel who is responsible for the deaths of human shields and not Hamas; Israel cannot defend itself, therefore, and must acquiesce to the tactics of real murderers, namely Hamas.

This is also to ignore the extraordinary lengths that the IDF went to to minimise casualties.

We have recently seen dozens of human shield civilians killed by Nato bombs in Afghanistan. Civilians have been killed by Nato in Libya. Is the Cllr suggesting that Israel’s actions were more reprehensible than Nato’s or were they both operating against an immoral and ruthless enemy that cared less for its own citizens than Israel and Nato?

West Dunbartonshire Council remains committed to our boycott of Israeli goods and our resolve has only been strengthened by the torrent of vile abuse threats of violence against our families that has come from people who claim to be peace loving people.

So the main reason for continuing the boycott against an entire country is anger at threats made by that country’s misguided supporters.

There is a certain air of malice in this paragraph. It is Cllr McColl and his colleagues who are now the victims and they are well and truly p***d off.

Whilst I utterly deplore personal threats, especially to children, and name-calling, maybe this brief unseemly episode will give the councillor and his colleagues some idea of  what it is like to have your children threatened daily by Kassam rockets rather than words, and what it’s like for Israelis to be accused of being Nazis constantly by Palestinians, their supporters and the Left wing politicians who are responsible for the sort of boycott they are supporting.

This is not an anti-Semitic act.

I don’t care whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Agnostic or any other such label you might want to give someone. We are all members of the human race and we should all stand together in asking the Israeli Government to think again about their methods.

How noble. What we should all be standing together doing is condemning Hamas’ rockets and their charter which seeks the destruction of the State of Israel and all Jews – that’s anti-Semitism, councillor.

And where are your noble moral principles when it comes to motions against Libya, Syria, Iran, Zimbabwe, Sudan, China;  I could go on.

If you have moral principles, why are they so uniquely selective against one state.

Even if I were to concede all the accusations against Israel were true, that would still not justify your singling out of one country.

You say it’s a symbolic act. No-one believes, of course, that Israel cares about the purchasing habits of one Scottish council, but by joining the BDS movement on the Palestinian side, this takes your act beyond symbolism and into the camp of the demonisers and delegitimisers.

Thus, WDC stands shoulder to shoulder with Hamas, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and every other Israel hater and boycotter in Scotland and beyond. Nice one councillor.

I agree that the Israel Government has the right and responsibility to defend their people, but I do not agree that this should come at such a high cost. They need to think again.

The definition of ‘proportionality’ as a casualty numbers game is absurd.WDC need a lesson in international law and the laws of armed conflict. These laws do not describe warfare as a zero sum game or a boxing match.

In fact, the proportion of combatant to non-combatant deaths in Operation Cast Lead was far lower than any other conflict in recent times; and that includes Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan. Considering the conditions, and the blatant disregard for life by Hamas, the ratio is extraordinary. Extraordinarily low, that is.

I’m sure the Israeli government (which is not the one which initiated Cast Lead, by the way) would love to hear from Councillor McColl and his colleagues some ideas about how they can stop a murderous, Islamofascist enemy from firing thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and civilians (a war crime), firing RPG’s at school buses and kidnapping soldiers.

And how they can do this without killing civilians.

And whilst they are giving the Israeli government the benefit of their great experience in warfare and the laws of proportionality, maybe they can let them know what would be proportional; how many deaths would have been ‘proportional’ then? Or would 1000 Israelis have had to die for WDC to deny the motion before the council in 2009?

That assumption on your part says more about you than it does about me. To quote a Jewish woman from Glasgow who telephoned me on this issue,

“We are brought up in a culture of ‘poor wee us’, automatically thinking that the world is against us and perhaps we should take stock of that before we draw conclusions about other people’s motivations.”

Ah, playing the sympathtic Jew card now. We are all paranoid that the world is against us. This distorts our moral compass. This is why the Israelis/Jews feel justified in massacring innocents. Yada, yada.

No, we are not paranoid, we see the torrent of delegitimisation and demonisation against the State of Israel that WDC are now taking part in.

Such suggestions are inherently anti-Semitic even if unconsciously.

The reason the Council discussed this matter was because it was raised by an individual Councillor as a private member’s motion.

You’d have to ask Cllr Jim Bollan what his personal motivations were for bringing this forward, but I do not believe him to be racist. I have never found him to talk down or discriminate against anyone.

Now just passing the buck. Didn’t Cllr McColl vote for this? What does Cllr Bollan’s motivation matter.  What were Cllr McColl’s motivations? Herd mentality?

It is not normal for issues of International significance to be brought before Council my individual members. Our main function is to govern our small local area and provide Education and Social Care services as well at things like refuse collection and recycling.

Main function’? Sole function, surely. Would Cllr McColl expect Eshkol Regional Council in Israel to pass a motion banning Scottish goods if it were outraged by the actions of the Black Watch in Iraq? They would tell them to mind their own business.

We do on occasions hear motions from members of this type, although never before a boycott. For example, the Council has condemned the actions of China, Burmha [sic] and various other places and has twice since 2007 been successful in aiding Amnesty Internation [sic] to free political prisoners from such countries.

Yet more nobility. But how pathetic. Why not boycott China for its civil rights abuses, jailing dissidents, executing thousands, destroying Tibetan culture. Similarly Burma. And if you are going to say that WDC do not buy from Burma, well, how about another symbolic gesture?

Singling out Israel is immoral.

All I ask is that when you read this and other responses you might get from our Councillors, that you look at this issue objectively and try to see this from our point of view.

Er, yes – you feel that it is your duty to boycott one country and not the dozens of others whose actions are much worse and don’t have a neighbour lobbing missiles at them on a daily basis.

My Great Grandfather fought in WWII and was awarded the highest decoration an enlisted man can get in the British Army for his bravery on the battlefield in the fight against Hitler’s Nazis and being compared to such evil people is not only extremely hurtful, but the first time I read one of these emails, I was physically sick.

If you are one of the many many people who have been sending vile emails, please…I urge you to take a step back and consider your position from our point of view.

Well, I’ve covered this. Maybe Cllr McColl’s great grandfather fought in WWII and I honour and respect his memory and all those who fought against Nazism. The Councillor may recall that many Israelis’ grandparents and great grandparents and other relatives were murdered by the Nazis. The Councillor’s disgust does not excuse his support of a motion to boycott just one country above all others. Maybe his illustrious forbear would have had his own views on his great grandson’s judgement in this matter.

Any further threatening email received will be forwarded to the police.

Quite right.

So, in summary this whole matter is sheer hypocrisy.  Only Israel is subjected to this default role as murderous aggressor despite the truth being the very opposite.

Oh yes, innocents died and mistakes were made. Tell me one army that doesn’t do so, especially given the circumstances.

It is the sheer arrogance and self-righteous indignation of this council which really stands out.

An indignation it accords to no other country in the same degree.

And WDC actually encourages the spread of its anti-Israel stance based on the reports of credulous journalists and the propaganda of terrorists.

It makes ME physically sick.

Declaring a unilateral Palestinian state would be illegal

H/T Elder of Zion

In September the Palestinian Authority, backed by the Arab League and over a hundred other countries, will try to have ‘Palestine’ declared as a state based on the ’1967 borders’.

It will thus bypass several UN Resolutions and bilateral agreements and trigger a likely annexation by Israel of areas it will now claim as part of Palestine.

Whilst I have always conceded that a two-state solution is the only likely one to bring long-term peace, the only way this can be achieved is via negotiation.

The JCPA has published an open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon signed by several international jurists and lawyers.

The core of this letter is reproduced below which explains the illegality of such a move:

    1. The legal basis for the establishment of the State of Israel was the resolution unanimously adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, affirming the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical area of the Land of Israel. This included the areas of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, and close Jewish settlement throughout. This was subsequently affirmed by both houses of the U.S. Congress.
    2. Article 80 of the UN Charter determines the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations). Accordingly, the above-noted League resolution remains valid, and the 650,000 Jews presently resident in the areas of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem reside there legitimately.
    3. “The 1967 borders” do not exist, and have never existed. The 1949 Armistice Agreements entered into by Israel and its Arab neighbors, establishing the Armistice Demarcation Lines, clearly stated that these lines “are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.” Accordingly, they cannot be accepted or declared to be the international boundaries of a Palestinian state.
    4. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) called upon the parties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and specifically stressed the need to negotiate in order to achieve “secure and recognized boundaries.”
    5. The Palestinian proposal, in attempting to unilaterally change the status of the territory and determine the “1967 borders” as its recognized borders, in addition to running squarely against Resolutions 242 and 338, would be a fundamental breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in which the parties undertook to negotiate the issue of borders and not act to change the status of the territories pending outcome of the permanent status negotiations.
    6. The Palestinians entered into the various agreements constituting what is known as the “Oslo Accords” in the full knowledge that Israel’s settlements existed in the areas, and that settlements would be one of the issues to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. Furthermore, the Oslo Accords impose no limitation on Israel’s settlement activity in those areas that the Palestinians agreed would continue to be under Israel’s jurisdiction and control pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.
    7. While the Interim Agreement was signed by Israel and the PLO, it was witnessed by the UN together with the EU, the Russian Federation, the U.S., Egypt, and Norway. It is thus inconceivable that such witnesses, including first and foremost the UN, would now give license to a measure in the UN aimed at violating this agreement and undermining major resolutions of the Security Council.
    8. While the UN has maintained a persistent policy of non-recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem pending a negotiated solution, despite Israel’s historic rights to the city, it is inconceivable that the UN would now recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, the borders of which would include eastern Jerusalem. This would represent the ultimate in hypocrisy, double standards, and discrimination, as well as an utter disregard of the rights of Israel and the Jewish People.
    9. Such unilateral action by the Palestinians could give rise to reciprocal initiatives in the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) which could include proposed legislation to declare Israel’s sovereignty over extensive parts of Judea and Samaria, if and when the Palestinians carry out their unilateral action.

Even though the US and other countries, including the UK, will veto this on the UN Security Council. the intention of the resolution and a vote in favour in the General Assembly is intended to isolate Israel and give a kind of de facto respectability to the Palestinian claims.

A peace agreement was intended to end the conflict. This does not end the conflict. It leaves the Palestinians still claiming that millions of descendants of refugees from 1948 should be entitled to ‘return’ to Israel and that Jerusalem is the capital of ‘Palestine’.

The PA will claim a consensus legitimacy for its ‘Palestine’ whilst still removing Israel from its maps of ‘Palestine’.

Establishing ‘Palestine’  on the 1967 borders will do absolutely nothing to further the cause of peace; in fact, it will do the exact opposite.

Scottish Council puts the Dumb into Dumbarton – boycotting Israel and the hypocrisy of the BDS campaign

This is a cross-post by Michael Ordman of  Good News From Israel and shows the hypocrisy and ignorance of those who would, in their blindness and ideological zeal, boycott divest and sanction Israel. Note that this is not simply boycotting goods manufactured in the ‘occupied territories’ but ALL goods.

Following the decision of the West Dunbartonshire Council to boycott all goods produced in Israel, council workers now need to perform the following actions:-

1.  Computers & Technology

  • Remove all Intel Pentium and Celeron computer processor chips from council personal computers (desktops, laptops and notebooks) as these were either developed or manufactured in Israel.  Note that the revolutionary new Ivy Bridge processor will be manufactured in Israel.
  • Any computers that still work need to have their anti-virus software and personal firewalls removed as this technology originated in Israel.  Any computers running the Windows XT operating system must be turned off immediately as this was developed in Israel.  All current Microsoft operating systems are not to be used as Microsoft is heavily reliant on its Israel R&D centre.
  • The departmental firewall will also need to be switched off.  Employees should no longer open external emails as most of these will be infected with viruses
  • No outgoing emails can be sent. The algorithm (code) that’s used today for sending e-mails, was made by an Israeli who worked at the Ben-Gurion University in Be’er-Sheva in 1980
  • Before accepting any printed material, check that the supplier has not used the Israeli device that might have saved up to 50% of the ink used.
  • At home, do not use Facebook as many in-built and add-on applications are Israeli-developed.
  • Do not watch videos on the Internet as the platform used to upload them may be from AOL and hence from an Israeli company.
  • Do not use Video On Demand (VOD) to watch movies as you may inadvertently see an advert displayed using Israeli software
  • Do not purchase any games devices as these are likely to use Israeli technology.
  • Do not read books using an e-book as this may contain Israeli technology.
  • Do not use data storage as it may have been developed at Israel’s storage technology R&D centre
  • Do not buy an electric car as it is likely to be powered with an Israeli battery or use Israeli developed charging mats

2.  Phones & Voicemail

  • Discard all mobile phones, as this technology was developed in Israel, where the first mobile phones were manufactured.  Mobile chip technology from a single Israeli company has now been installed in over 100 million devices.
  • Only department heads may retain mobile phones for emergency situations.  However the use of SMS (Texting) is expressly forbidden as this facility was developed in Israel.
  • No 4G devices can be used as the chipset is Israeli.
  • Turn off your voice-mail service and delete any recorded messages.  Israeli companies invented the voice-mail system.
  • If your call is not answered by someone you know, hang up.  Israeli call-centres and call-centre technology is in widespread operation in the UK.
  • Do not use the Internet to search for answers to your questions as this may involve use of an Israeli-developed search engine.  Better to remain unenlightened.

3.  Food and Drink

  • Council restaurants and canteens must dispose of cherry tomatoes, which were developed in Israel.  Employees must ensure that no cherry tomatoes are included in sandwiches brought into office premises.
  • The ban also applies to honey and any products derived from honey.  Israel has developed solutions to the world-wide problem of bee-colony collapse, so that any products derived from bees might only be available now due to an Israeli invention.
  • Avoid drinking any of the world-recognised award-winning Israeli wines
  • No delicious home-made drinks from Israeli-manufactured household drinks machines
  • Avoid any fruit from South Africa or Peru as produce from these countries is being marketed with Israeli brand names
  • No agricultural products from the following areas must be consumed as they use water irrigation and agricultural technology provided directly from Israel.
    • Most of Africa
    • China
    • India
    • Indonesia (a Muslim country)
    • Nepal
    • Many others – please check.

Much fruit and vegetables (including organic) imported into the UK has been enhanced using Israeli technology.  This saves millions of people from starving around the world but is not a good reason for you to eat it.  For safety, only eat fruit and vegetables that you have grown yourself using seeds that have been in your family for generations.

4.  Dealing With People

When interviewing prospective employees or holding meetings with members of the public or other organisations you must check that they have no association with the following countries and areas that have accepted aid from Israel.  The council must avoid acknowledging Israel’s contribution to world relief. Also, any associated products from these areas may also have been contaminated by Israeli technology.  These locations include:

  • The Congo (oil tanker fire disaster July 2010)
  • Angola (mines cleared by Israeli technology – July 2010)
  • Mississippi (bioremediation technique used to clean up after oil spills developed in Israel)
  • China (a major purchaser of Israeli technology, and recipient of medical aid and training)
  • South Africa (Israelis trained their doctors to perform circumcisions to prevent the spread of AIDS – July 2010)
  • Cameroon (opthalmologists from Haifa restored vision to patients and trained local medical teams in these procedures – Aug 2010)
  • Haiti (Israel set-up the largest field hospital to treat victims of the earthquake and hurricane and provided vital assistance for over a year)
  • Romania (Israeli doctors treated babies following fire at a neonatal unit – Sep 2010)
  • Ghana (receiving technological aid from Israel since 2006;  Israel is now providing neonatal units to save many of the 4,800 babies that die each year)
  • Philippines (signed major trade agreement with Israel in Nov 2010)
  • The Maldives (although non-Islamic worship is banned here, Israeli eye-doctors performed free operations for citizens in Dec 2010)
  • Kenya (Israel’s Agency for International Development built a state-of-the-art Emergency Room in a hospital serving 6 million Kenyans in Jan 2011)
  • Uganda (Israeli solar-powered refrigerators were provided to store vaccines used to eliminate an outbreak of Polio from the country in Jan 2011)
  • Vietnam, whose milk industry is being totally transformed using high-yield Israeli cows (Feb 2011)
  • Chile, whose rescued miners were treated to a tour of Israel as part of their “Pilgrimage of Thanks” (Feb 2011)
  • New Zealand (Israel sent several rescue teams, temporary shelters and water purification systems following the Christchurch earthquake in Feb 2011)
  • Japan (As well as rescue teams, Israel supplied geiger counters and Israeli thermal imaging cameras are monitoring the reactor cores – Mar 2011)
  • Sri Lanka (Israel conducted a massive airlift with food, 50 medical staff and rescue teams only 48 hours after the Tsunami in Dec 2004)
  • India (Israel sent an fully-equipped field hospital following Gujarat earthquake in Feb 2001)
  • El Salvador (Israel relief aid following earthquake in 2001)
  • Georgia (Israel contributed food and seeds for farmers following severe drought in 2001)
  • Turkey (Israel relief aid following earthquake in 2000)
  • Mozambique ((Israel relief aid following floods in 2000)
  • Colombia (Israel sent medical aid and food following earthquake in 1999)
  • Venezuela (President Chavez has forgotten Israel’s aid following floods of 1999)
  • Central America (Israel sent emergency medical aid teams and equipment to help victims of Hurricane Mitch in 1998)
  • Pakistan (2005) and Peru (2007) both accepted aid from Israeli NGOs following earthquake disasters.
  • Peru’s hydo-electric power plants are also being built and run by an Israeli company.
  • Rawanda, Mexico, Chad, Sudan (Darfur) and Malawi all have received medical assistance from Israel’s NGO IsraAID.

5. Health

  • Destroy all personal medication.  Many medicines will have been manufactured by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest generic drugs company in the world.
  • AIDS and HIV suffers note that AZT and Hypericin-based drugs have all have been developed or improved following research at Israel’s Weizmann Institute or Hebrew University; also a treatment that destroy HIV-infected cells without damaging healthy ones
  • Diabeties sufferers – Israeli scientists have developed new devices for measuring and injecting Insulin
  • Multiple Sclerosis  -Copaxone - one of the most efficient medicines and the only non interferon agent, was developed by Teva
  • Myeloma – the drug Velcade was developed over a period of 30 years by scientists at Haifa
  • Emphasema – avoid the Israeli protein replacement therapy
  • Check all vaccines as many of these have been developed in Israel.
  • Ensure that all X-rays do carry a radiation risk, as the only radiation-free system is Israeli
  • Do not use Epilady (or epilator) – this hair removal device was invented by two Israelis
  • Ensure any colonoscopy or gastro investigation does not use internal Israeli cameras such as the Pillcam.
  • Do not protect babies and infants from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome with the Babysense system from Israel.
  • Do not undergo surgery to install an artificial heart, as the first artificial heart transplant took place in Israel.
  • Sufferers of Parkinsons must avoid the brain pacemaker – pioneered in Israel to stop tremors.  Also Levodopa to reduce motor disturbances. Or magnetic cortex stimulation
  • Do not take any form of medication to combat cancer.  Israeli scientists have been developing treatments in this area for decades.  Full list available on request.
  • Kidney transplants must only use kidneys from donors of the same blood group.  Israel’s revolutionary new methods allow donors from other blood groups.
  • Treatments derived from Stem Cell research must be avoided as most of this is Israeli-developed
  • If you or your family are struck with a bacteria infection, do not take alternatives to older, ineffective bacteria-resistant antibiotics as an Israeli discovery will have been responsible for the modern, effective drugs.
  • Epileptics must avoid any treatment that may have benefited from the Israeli discovery of the underlying mutant gene.
  • Employees of Arab origin must not make use of the only database for matching potential Arab donors of bone-marrow – in Israel.
  • Check that any pain relief medication is not based on soya as an Israeli doctor discovered the beneficial effect of the soya bean.
  • Before any surgery or medical tests, check that hospital catheters have not been protected from infection using the new plastic from Israel that disables micro-organisms
  • Sufferers of sleep apnea must avoid tests using the breakthrough Israeli device for diagnosis.
  • Employees with a family history of heart disease and arteriosclerosis must not use the Israeli device for early detection of these.
  • Sufferers or relatives of sufferers of the eye disease Age-related Macular Degeneration must not use Israeli implants to arrest the disease.
  • Avoid throat surgery as this may utilise Israeli surgical lasers.
  • In the event of a spinal injury or disease, do not accept spinal implants – likely to be an Israeli product or development.
  • Heart rhythm problems must not be solved with the Israeli-developed heart pulse generator.
  • Any incident of stroke or head trauma or onset of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, epilepsy, glaucoma or brain tumour must avoid using any of the Weizmann Institute’s patented methods of treatment.
  • Do not use the revolutionary new Israeli bandage that saved Arizona senator Gabriella Giffords after she was shot in the head.
  • Do not allow dyslexics to benefit from the Israeli Internet-based reading system.
  • Sufferers from liver disease must avoid using the Israeli-developed antibody immunotherapy treatment.
  • All heart stents are off-limits as most of these originate from Israeli medical companies
  • If you break a bone badly, reject any treatment that involves introducing collagen, as this may have been manufactured from Israeli plants.
  • Reject all dental treatment as your teeth may need to be scanned with an Israeli-developed dental scanner
  • Treat skin allergies only with steroid creams as the new safer non-steroid alternative is Israeli

6. Other impacts of the boycott:

  • Reject all products from the USA.  Analysis conducted in a typical US state shows that Israeli innovations were responsible for $2.4 billion in direct revenue to its economy in 2009 and generated nearly 6,000 jobs.
  • Do not tutor your children in advanced Mathematics techniques which may have originated in Israel.  Also, if these techniques are used in your children’s schools, withdraw your children immediately.
  • Keen ornithologists should consider giving up their hobby as many rare species stop off or reside in Israel during their twice-yearly migration.
  • Avoid going to any football matches featuring teams with Israeli players.
  • Destroy all your recordings of Madonna, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Deep Purple, Bon Jovie, Justin Bieber, George Benson, Moby and many, many more artists who have ridiculed the stupid and illogical boycott and have proudly performed (or will shortly perform) concerts in Israel.
  • Destroy any recordings of U2, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Rihanna Coldplay and any artist whose music has been recorded using the sound technology of the Grammy Award winning Israeli company Wave Audio.  You also must get rid of any personal copies of Shrek, American Beauty and Star Wars.  Do not trust anything recorded by Sony, JVC, Toshiba or Dell.
  • Don’t go to see “The Black Swan” with Natalie Portman, or watch any old films with Elizabeth Taylor – both lovers of the Jewish State.
  • Do not stay in hotels or visit shopping centres owned by Israeli companies (sorry, you will need to check which ones yourself).
  • Do not have anything to do with the banks who are using Israeli software to prevent fraud.
  • Do not use any Credit or Debit card as the Security monitoring system used by the Credit companies is likely to be Israeli.
  • Do not buy an engagement ring containing a diamond as it is possible that this may have been cut in Israel.
  • Do not travel by air as your plane might be towed by the Israeli-built “Taxibot”.
  • Do not use public transport inside Amsterdam, Moscow or Northern China in case you benefit from Israeli transportation devices.
  • If you suffer a power or network failure, be grateful that at least you haven’t installed the Israeli system that prevents power outages.

Finally, you need to leave all your taps running when you leave home and must never flush your toilet, because Israel provides water-saving technology to over half of the planet. It also is providing sewage treatment technology across the world, including to the UK.

Seriously, let’s hope that the idiotic decision by West Dumbartonshire Council to boycott of Israeli products is flushed down the toilet of history.

 

Bringing the plight of Gilad Shalit to attention of the world

Gal Sitty, an Israeli living in Los Angeles is trying the sort of in-your-face campaigning that we more often see from Israel’s opponents.

Sgt Gilad Shalit is a hostage, held in Gaza by Hamas who kidnapped him almost 5 years ago.

His crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; a soldier protecting Israel’s borders.

Despite several attempts to broker a deal, Shalit still languishes somewhere in Gaza – as far as we know.

Gal Sitty has decided to buy billboard space near the UN headquarters in New York City in a bold move to get the message to a wider audience and the UN in particular.

The goal is to raise $10,000 via this web site:

http://epicstep.com/campaign/231/free-gilad-shalit/

You can read more about Gal and his campaign in the Jerusalem Post.

 

 

So what’s wrong with the 1967 lines? Let’s not get hung up on semantics

It all started with Obama in Washington on May 19th at the State Department and ended today with Bibi Netanyahu addressing congress in Washington.

And it’s all about a two-state solution.

A really tense photo-op with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which looked like a married couple at a party just after a row, desperately trying to convince the guests they still love each other, whilst their body-language says otherwise.

Bibi, unhappy at the ’1967′ lines thing, gave Obama a bit of a lecture on Jewish history.

Then it was over to AIPAC for Obama, where he clarified what he had just said in the State Department and with Bibi, and spelled out what ‘based on 1967 lines’ means.

All this followed by a quick interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr (who behaved at times like a 13 year old schoolboy interviewing his idol) and a further clarification of what he really meant about 1967 lines. Then across the sea to Ireland for some schmaltzy, easy publicity in Dublin (a great rousing, inspirational speech which Obama is  so good at) thence to the UK and, no doubt, more on the two-state solution in the Palace of Westminster tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Bibi arrives in Congress and really lays it on the line and tells it like it is to a rapturous reception.

But what is all the fuss about amidst this flurry of diplomatic activity? What did Obama say that was so wrong?

Here’s a snippet from his State Department speech: (full text here)

For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure.  Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.  And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.

Nowt wrong there.

How about:

The status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.

The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River.  Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself.  A region undergoing profound change will lead to populism in which millions of people -– not just one or two leaders — must believe peace is possible.  The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome. The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.

That word ‘occupation’ somehow jangles coming from the mouth of an American President. OK, let’s not get into the legalities but he does seem to be suggesting that Israel does this occupying in an attempt to deny a Palestinian state.

Hmm.

What America and the international community can do is to state frankly what everyone knows — a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples:  Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.

I don’t disagree with that; apparently Bibi doesn’t disagree with that. So who does? Ah – the Palestinians, the Arabs, most of the Muslim world, Iran, Hamas, Hizbollah… get the picture?

Now what appears to be controversial:

We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.

But:

…the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel:  How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?

Exactly. So why mention the 1967 lines?

Melanie Phillips takes issue with the ’1967 lines’ as follows:

Obama spoke correctly when he referred to the ‘1967 lines’ rather than ‘borders’. There are no 1967 borders. Israel actually has no borders. All it has are the 1949 ceasefire lines, which is where Israel was left when it fought off the attempt by five Arab armies to exterminate it at birth. These lines were referred to as the ‘Auschwitz borders’ because within them no country could possibly defend itself against its enemies. They left Israel at its narrowest point a mere nine miles wide — as Netanyahu said, less than the Washington Beltway. A return to the 1967 lines would mean exposing Israel once more to the likelihood of destruction, and such a proposal runs counter to the spirit and the letter of UN Resolution 242. True Obama added ‘with land swaps’. But no realistic land swaps could make up for this fatal vulnerability.

But ‘with land swaps’ means that the 1967 lines will not be the border but the starting point of negotiations and it has long been known that ‘with land swaps’ means that the areas along the Green Line such as Gush Etzion will remain part of Israel, the ‘settlements’ in Judea and Samaria which are not contiguous with these borders will be part of Palestine.

According to Melanie the fatal flaw was saying that the 1967 lines were the basis of a ‘settlement’ rather than ‘negotiations’. That’s too nuanced for me. And it doesn’t matter if:

Successive administrations carefully stepped round this minefield in accordance with Resolution 242. It is the Palestinians who talk about returning to the ‘1967 borders’. The sting in what Obama did was to adopt the Palestinian position as US policy. Wrote [Glenn] Kessler: [link]

He did not articulate the 1967 boundaries as a ‘Palestinian goal’ but as U.S. policy… for a U.S. president, the explicit reference to the 1967 lines represented crossing the Rubicon.

But this is Bibi Netanyahu’s position, it appears, as he said in Congress a few hours ago:

I am saying today something that should be said publicly by anyone serious about peace. In any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel’s borders. The precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We will be very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967.

Does it really matter if they are ‘based’ or ‘must be negotiated’. It’s the same thing unless you wilfully misconstrue. Apparently it’s a major shift in US policy. That is, it’s a major shift to say what we already knew. With such subtle nuances no wonder the peace process gets stalled.

The Glenn Kessler Washington Post article quotes Hillary Clinton in 2009:

“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

Did Obama really make a policy shift or was it a gaffe? Was it a sop to the Arabs?

So what if Obama says ‘based on’? The facts on the ground are already ‘based on’ the 1967 lines because the major ‘settlements’ around Jerusalem are more or less contiguous area bestriding the Green Line. If you are serious about a viable Palestinian state it cannot look like a moth-eaten bit of Gorgonzola. To be viable it has to be contiguous.

The big threat to any negotiation is the status of Jerusalem.

Bibi:

As for Jerusalem, only a democratic Israel has protected freedom of worship for all faiths in the city. Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. I know that this is a difficult issue for Palestinians. But I believe with creativity and goodwill a solution can be found.

‘Difficult issue’ is right because the 1967 lines (really 1949 ceasefire lines) cut through a hitherto undivided city leaving the eastern section to be ethnically cleansed of its Jewish majority (by the Jordanians) and between 1948 and 1967 the eastern part of the city became what is now termed ‘Arab East Jerusalem’.

This is what Obama had to say:

… the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees.  But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians

I’m not sure what rights anyone has who has been on the losing side three times, refused a state four times and still claims the whole of Israel as Palestine. Nevertheless, it is clear that a very imaginative solution will have to be reached for Jerusalem because I can’t see the Palestinians ever accepting that it will not be their capital, however absurd such a claim or aspiration is. It is now part of the ‘narrative’ and well-nigh impossible to deracinate from their collective psyche.

Robin Shepherd also takes issue with the ’1967 lines ‘. He also believes Obama is throwing Israel under ‘the proverbial bus’.

And it all revolves around what ‘based on the 1967 lines’ means again:

No Israeli government — let me rephrase that, no government of any description, anywhere — could accept a peace deal which leaves its people at the mercy of a declared enemy long committed to the state’s destruction.

And that is exactly what the 1967 lines would mean for Israel: Not so much gambling the lives of your children on the kindness of strangers as gambling them on the kindness of people very well known to you who (literally) teach their own children to hate yours.

Well, if that’s the issue with the ‘based on the 1967 lines’ thing then it doesn’t matter where you delineate a Palestinian state because wherever its borders are it’s never going to be very far from Israel. What difference would a few kilometres make to Israel’s security?

None.

Shepherd’s conclusion:

In the end then, you can pore over Barack Obama’s speech all you like. You can put this bit of his speech against that bit. You can draw comfort from one part and be concerned by another. You can agonise about what the 1967 borders with land swaps really means. You can pull and push until it sounds innocent enough on the one hand or nothing short of disastrous on the other.

But it’s all an exercise in futility.

This is a president cocooned in delusions about how to deal with tyrannical regimes and the political cultures which underpin them. Obama is an appeaser through and through. And when you read between the lines, that was the message we should draw from yesterday’s speech.

I’m not sure he is an appeaser. Deluded, yes. And this delusion stems from a profound refusal by him and the Europeans and, indeed British PM Cameron and Foreign Secretary Hague, and just about everyone in the Labour Party, to grasp one simple fact:

The current Palestinian leadership has clearly demonstrated that it is not interested in 1967 or 1948 or 1750 or 2012 or any other date. It is only interested in a single, Palestinian state including what is now Israel.

Any and every diplomatic effort it makes to have a unilateral de facto state declared by the UN in September points to this.

The pact with Hamas points to this.

The PA education system with its vicious anti-Semitic vitriol and historical revisionist mythology points to this.

The PA naming squares after terrorist murderers and putting convicted murderers on the PA payroll points to this.

Into this mix is a further US and Western delusion that the Arab Spring, wherever it is, is a bid for western-style democracies even though not one of the the Springers has yet achieved anything resembling democracy.

This delusion ignores the emboldening of elements within these countries to seize an opportunity to attempt to destabilise Israel: in Egypt the threat of ending the peace treaty and cutting of gas supplies, in Tunisia attacks on Jews, in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan mass invasion of Israel’s borders by Palestinians and others claiming they are walking to their homes in ‘Palestine’ when ‘Palestine means pre-1967 Israel.

So the 1967 lines may well be a starting point for negotiations with land swaps,  but if Israel insists on all of Jerusalem and no return of so-called refugees, and if the Palestinians are negotiating not for a final settlement, but a stage toward the complete conquest of all of Israel, then the whole process is a non-starter. And, by the way, I agree with that Israeli position, in case you are wondering, but what I am saying is that that position cannot currently be accepted by Palestinians.

The problem for Israel is that powerful allies want to force yet another round of negotiations even though the Palestinian position is hardened and emboldened by Washington and the EU countries who persist in their double-think and delusion that Israel can negotiate with its would-be destroyers.

As Melanie says:

Bottom bottom line: it’s all a pile of steaming irrelevance. The Arabs aren’t going to play anyway. The immediate reason for the nine-decade war thus remains firmly in place. The deeper reason, that the aggressor is indulged and rewarded by the west and thus has every incentive to ratchet up his rejectionism and aggression, also remains firmly in place.

That is what Netanyahu has to address. He has to tell America and Britain that this murderous impasse is their fault — and that only they can end it by refusing for the first time to indulge and reward those committed to the destruction of Israel, the real cause of the continuation of this conflict. Netanyahu did well last Friday. Now he has to turn telling truth to power into a new strategic approach.

Bibi had his chance today in Congress, but I’m not sure it was a ‘new strategic approach’.

With Israel or against? The West has to decide NOW and fast

With Israel or against? The West has to decide NOW and fast whether it is willing to stand by and see a second Holocaust.

Will Cameron and Sarkozy and Merkel and Obama and the rest wring their hands and say: “If only they had compromised; if only they had shared Jerusalem and dismantled the settlements. If they hadn’t been such stiff-necked Jews then all this genocide would not have happened.

Why do I say this? Surely Israel is the regional superpower?

Well that means nothing.

The Palestinians are so emboldened by the UN and the Western powers not standing up for Israel, and, to the contrary, accusing Israel of intransigence, failure to compromise, not wanting peace, occupation, appropriation, war crimes, crimes against humanity… you know how it goes; so emboldened are the Palestinians that now they have no fear of saying in English what they have always said in Arabic.

Now the days of bad faith and playing the peace game are over. The mask has dropped.

Now they are telling it like it is and ‘it’ is the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian IslamoFascist, West-hating, anti-Semitic, racist, genocidal, state.

And this is to replace the democratic, free, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, JEWISH state of Israel.

Let’s see what the Palestinian Authority’s president had to say in the New York Times on the anniversary of what he calls the ‘Nakba’ (catastrophe) and what Israel calls its Independence Day.

This month, however, as we commemorate another year of our expulsion — which we call the nakba, or catastrophe — the Palestinian people have cause for hope: this September, at the United Nations General Assembly, we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and that our state be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.

Of course, he doesn’t mention that the same United Nations recognised the very State of Israel that he refuses to recognise. He does not mention that the so-called 1967 border is in fact the 1949 armistice line and was never an agreed border. The borders of Israel were never finalised because the Arab states would not recognise Israel and have not recognised Israel since or intend to do so in the future.

And here’s the really good bit:

It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued. Indeed, it was the descendants of these expelled Palestinians who were shot and wounded by Israeli forces on Sunday as they tried to symbolically exercise their right to return to their families’ homes.

Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled.

Let’s see how some commentators reacted to this outrageous rewriting of history.

Elder of Ziyon:

A complete and utter lie. Within mere hours after the partition vote, Arabs started murdering Jews:

The link in the above quote is to another Elder blog which describes the massacre of November 1947 :

The first victims were on a bus to Jerusalem. Some were killed instantly from a grenade hurled into the bus; one of the injured passengers was murdered as he tried to tend to his injured wife. Another victim was on her way to Jerusalem to get married.

Others were killed that day as well, and many hundreds more – men, women and children – were to be brutally murdered in the coming months.

The reasons for the hate have not changed a bit from then to today. They were not murdered because of “occupation” or “refugees” or any of the dozens of other justifications that have been since used to minimize the horror of these unabashed terror attacks.

Their “crimes” were simply because they were Jews with the desire to live in their own nation, at peace with their neighbors. What the world recognized instinctively in 1947 – that Jews deserve the right to self-determination – was to be tested by a massive temper tantrum of Arab supremacists who were willing to attempt a second genocide against the Jews rather than face what they consider “humiliation.

The Elder tells us:

Abbas’ account is so outrageously false that it should have been rejected from being in the New York Times editorial just on that basis. An op-ed does not give the writer carte blanche to make up history. The facts are documented quite well. Abbas is a liar.

The Arab armies that invaded in May 1948 didn’t “intervene” to protect Arabs of Palestine. They went in to massacre all the Jews of Palestine.

So it is not surprising that an established liar can write:

Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled.

That “promise” was roundly rejected by not only the entire Arab world but by every Palestinian Arab leader themselves. Abbas is arrogantly trying to pretend that he deserves a state when his forebears, and he himself, have rejected just such a state numerous times.

Rivka Shpak Lissak wades in:

Abu Mazen’s article is a combination of 2 lies:
About historical facts
About the negotiating with Israel

Lies about History:…

The historic name of the country is the Land of Israel
It was the homeland of the Jews/Israelis from the 18th century BCE. 3 to 4 million Jews lived in the Land of Israel in 66 CE when they revolted against the Roman occupation of their country and failed.
From 66 CE to 640 CE the Romans and the Byzantines were engaged in a policy to put an end to the Jewish majority, and by 640 only 200,000 Jews survived. Many were killed, many enslaved and sold in the empire’s markets and many were forced to run away.

Until the 15th century CE there was a Christian – Aramaic majority in the so called Palestine (the Romans changed the name of the country in 135 CE).

In the 16th century there were less than 100,000 Muslims in the country. Most of the ancestors of the today Palestinians immigrated to Palestine from Arab and Muslim countries between the middle of the 19th century and the 20th century, most of them, illegally,during the 20th century, due to jobs created by the Zionist movement and the British Mandate.
The only region settled by Arabs in Palestine between the 7th and 12th centuries was the today Western Bank

Conclusion: There was never an Arab or Palestinian state in Palestine.

Lies about the negotiating with Israel

Abu Mazen wrote:
“We have been negotiating with the state of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own.”
The Palestinians are responsible for the continuation of the conflict without a peace agreement:
2000 – Camp David, Clinton and Barak gave Arafat a fair proposal. It included 97% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza, and compensation in Israeli territory for part of the settlements, division of Jerusalem and a solution to the holy places. Arafat rejected the proposal because it included settlement of the refugees in the Palestinian state and not in Israel.
2008/9 – Ulmert proposal was even better than the Clinton – Barak proposal, Abu Mazen admitted in an interview to the Washington Post , May 2009, but he did not say Yes to the proposal because it did not include the settlement of the refugees in Israel.

The settlement of the refugees in Israel is a Trojan horse to put an end to the Jewish state, by turning the Jews into a minority.
The refugee problem was created as a result of the war Palestinians and Arab states declared against Israel because they refused to accept the 1947 UN resolution of 2 states. They declared they were going “to throw the Jews into the sea.” And eliminate the Jewish state,
Israel.
Palestinians could get a state in 1947 besides Israel, thus the refugee problem would have never created. Its their responsibility.
Freeze of settlements was never a pre- condition in 2000 and 2008/9. This is a new device to prevent negotiations.
The settlements were always part of the talks – not a pre- condition. This issue should be part of the negotiations.

So this is the narrative which gets western leaders putting their fingers in their ears and singing ‘la la la’.

It could not be plainer,

This is what Abbas said:

The State of Palestine intends to be a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Once admitted to the United Nations, our state stands ready to negotiate all core issues of the conflict with Israel. A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948.

Palestine would be negotiating from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is militarily occupied by another, however, and not as a vanquished people ready to accept whatever terms are put in front of us.

So even when he has his state it will still be negotiating for the return of refugees TO ISRAEL bu Israel is, to him, ‘militarily occupied’. Don’t be fooled. You may think he is talking about the West Bank, but he is clever, this peace-loving man with a doctoral thesis questioning the extent of the Holocaust. He knows and his people know that when he speaks of ‘territory’ that is ‘occupied’ he means the WHOLE OF ISRAEL.

This same narrative is the one you can encounter in the Guardian’s Comment is Free, in the politics of the Far Left, in trendy kaffiyeh-wearing students who shout death to Israel and the United States.

It’s the same lie that makes the dispute a border dispute not an ideologically and religiously driven 100 year long struggle to kill or drive Jews from sacred Islamic land. Leave, die or become a fourth class dhimmi, oh Jew. That is the true narrative. Not settlements, not the Green Line, not so-called East Jerusalem. It’s about a psychotic and deeply-embedded hostility to Jews qua Jews that is endemic in Palestinian society and in the countries which surround Israel. If they wanted a state they could have had it at least four times in history.

An important article from Palestine Media Watch reports what is taught in Palestinian School Books which explains the real truth and intention of the PA and, for that matter, the tens of thousands of people who invaded or attempted to invade Israel on the anniversary of the ‘nakba’ earlier this week:

Abstract:“The Zionist gangs stole Palestine … and established the state of Israel” – this quote, from an official PA 12th Grade schoolbook, is an accurate depiction of how the PA educates its population to view the establishment of the State of Israel. Presenting the creation of the state as an act of theft and its continued existence as a historical injustice serves as the basis for the PA’s non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist. In order to create an ideological basis for this, the PA denies there was an ancient Jewish history in the Land of Israel and also distorts modern history, presenting Zionism as a demonic Nazi-like phenomenon. In order to explain what made Jews come to Israel, since they claim there was no historical connection to draw them, Zionism is presented as a colonialist movement created by the West to further its interests.

First, the countries of Europe wanted to rid themselves of the Jews and needed a place for them. They also wanted a foreign body in the heart of the Arab world to serve Europe’s colonialist aims. For these reasons, they sent the Jews to “steal Palestine.” Israel is further demonized through images and descriptions, such as “the foster child of the Nazis,” “an organized terror state,” “the cruelest enemy,” etc. Accordingly, the idea of the State of Israel ceasing to exist is presented as the achievement of justice.Today, following the establishment of a Fatah and Hamas unity government, many countries are demanding that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist as a condition for the world’s recognition of their new government. Ironically, this very condition is violated daily by the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas.

Not only to they teach anti-Semitism as they would teach Mathematics, their intention is clear. The state they intend to have recognised in September is just a Trojan horse, another step along the road of delegitimisation, demonisation and ultimate destruction.

On the BBC Radio 4 Today programme we heard exactly this narrative from a Palestinian representative , Husam Zomlot.

The question was: did not Israel have the right to defend its borders when thousands of people from neighbouring hostile countries, who are technically in a state of war, come streaming across the border. Is  it not surprising some were killed?

Mr Zomlot did the usual rhetorical trick of avoiding an answer simply because he believes Israel is not Israel; it’s Palestine and these people were returning to their homes. If you are in the UK you can hear the interview and also Mark Regev’s response on behalf of Israel here. But here’s a flavour of it:

“… they reside in what remains of the Occupied Palestinian Territories’ (namely, Israel)”

Humphrys: “They were carrying clubs, they were throwing stones, they posed a threat to the Israelis”

Zomlot: “Those are the definition (sic) of peaceful demonstration, sir.”

Humphrys: “How would you have expected the Israeli security forces to react?”

Zomlot: “This is not a security matter… definitely the security forces would always fail to deal with such a purely political, humanitarian, legal matter”. Wha? Clearly avoiding the issue.

Humphrys: “You say it’s not a security matter.. if I marched into your house waving a club and throwing a stone then it would be a security matter, wouldn’t it?”

Zomlot:  According to the United Nations, according to UN Security Council resolutions, those people they’re marching to their homes, they have the deeds of their homes, it’s their private property… these people are not marching into a foreign territory

And there you have it. Israel is not a foreign territory for this Palestinian spokesman, it is Palestine. From the River to the Sea.

You see now what I mean about ‘emboldened’. Now we see how these Palestinians (if indeed they are) feel. They have a right to march into their homeland because Israel is not a legitimate state. And he has the audacity to quote the UN resolutions as proof of this when, in fact, quite the opposite is true.

The nakba invasions proved very fertile ground for those who would destroy Israel. It gave them a very potent weapon; they will organise more such invasions backed, no doubt, by Hizbollah/Iran and Hamas/Iran and see what the Israelis do. They will be ‘peaceful’ demonstrations, even though invading another country is not peaceful. They will be unarmed with sticks and rocks. And when the Israelis try to  hold them back with tear gas or rubber bullets or live rounds they will be violent colonialist aggressors.

Here’s someone with a long memory salivating at the though of murdering Jews and stealing their property AGAIN. A 92 year old woman gloats about how she saw Jews being massacred in Hebron.

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2929.htm (transcript below)

An interview with Sara Jaber, a 92-year-old Palestinian who participated in a Right of Return demonstration on the Jordanian Israeli border. The interview was aired on Al-Aqsa TV on May 13, 2011:

Interviewer: Please tell us who you are.

Sara Jaber: I am from Hebron. The Jaber family.

Interviewer: What is your name?

Sara Jaber: Sara Muhammad ‘Awwadh Jaber.

Interviewer: How old are you?

Sara Jaber: I am 92.

Interviewer: So you remember May 15, 1948, the day of the Nakba.

Sara Jaber: Why wouldn’t I remember? May Allah support us. I hope we forget those days. Allah willing, you will bury [Israel], and massacre the Jews with your own hands. Allah willing, you will massacre them like we massacred them in Hebron.

Interviewer: What does this day mean to you? You have lived 63 years since the Nakba. You have experienced the entire Nakba…

Sara Jaber: 92 years. That’s 92. I lived through the British era, and I lived through the massacre of the Jews in Hebron. We, the people of Hebron, massacred the Jews. My father massacred them, and brought back some stuff…

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

And if you can stomach some more, take a look here:

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2934.htm (transcript below)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on May 11, 2011:

Yunis Al-Astal: The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the Islamic nation behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang.

[…]

All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews.

[…]

In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil.

[…]

When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the United States of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate, and all these countries will turn into states within the Caliphate. When this happens, any Palestinian will be able to live anywhere, because the land of Islam is the property of all Muslims.

Until this happens, we must reject all the resettlement plans, naturalization, or even reparations prior to the return of the refugees.

[...]

It’s about time the democracies of the world stood behind Israel. It’s about time the UN did something about it. It’s about time they all recognise this conflict for what it is: a genocidal and fanatical war against Israel, democracy and freedom.

If this is the Arab Spring what will winter bring.

 

 

 

Thoughts on Northern Ireland as model for the Israel-Palestinian conflict

This is a guest post by Mel McDermott. 

Mel McDermott lives in Dublin.  He has been a teacher for most of his adult life as well as a student of history with a special interest in the Middle East.

He is a close observer of parallels and contrasts between the conflicts in Northern Ireland and in Israel/Palestine.  He is active in hasbara work and in the struggle to combat dishonest media coverage and delegitimisation of Israel in Ireland.
 

A few years ago, around the time of Hamas’ violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, many voices were heard in Ireland, as well as outside it, claiming to draw lessons from the Northern Ireland peace process that were felt to be relevant to the Israel-Hamas conflict.  Politicians in the Republic, who include some of the most hostile to Israel among European parliamentarians, were only too happy to dispense advice to the Israelis – along the lines of “We talked to the IRA to end the conflict, so you must talk to Hamas if you want to end yours”, such negotiation being without preconditions.  The argument was usually clinched by the glib phrase “To make peace, you talk to your enemies, not your friends”.

It was always suspect advice.  Leave aside the fact that the primary motivation of Sinn Fein-IRA is political and that of Hamas is religious (though, of course, the religious dimension of Islam cannot be separated from the political).  For the first, the goal, mistaken or not, was the political unification of the island of Ireland outside the United Kingdom regardless of the wishes of the British majority in Northern Ireland.  For the second, as the Hamas Charter of 1988 makes clear, the goal is the recovery of land once under Islamic rule: all of historic Palestine including Israel is the waqf (Islamic trust territory) that cannot be allowed to be alienated from Islamic rule ‘until the Day of Resurrection’.

Leave aside also the very different balances of forces in the two conflicts.  In the NI case, Sinn Fein-IRA terrorism enjoyed neither majority support among nationalists in Ireland nor the support of any neighbouring state (though it did have safe houses in the Republic and covert help from friends in the US) and was fighting an uphill struggle against the British and Irish security forces, which had essentially fought it to a standstill by the early 1990s.  Hamas, on the other hand, has some reason to feel the wind at its back, what with arms supplies and training from Iran, the moral support of the Middle East Arab masses and the international campaign of delegitimisation of Israel.

Aside from wrong starting assumptions, the true weakness of the ‘talk to Hamas without preconditions’ advice was that it rewrote history by misrepresenting what happened between the first IRA ceasefire in 1994 and the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.  For Sinn Fein-IRA to enter negotiations, the ceasefire was not enough.  To join in talks with the constitutional parties and the two governments, Sinn Fein was required to sign up to the six ‘Mitchell Principles’(named after US Senator George Mitchell, sent as mediator by President Clinton).  The chief of these committed all parties to renunciation of violence and to the use of exclusively democratic means to advance their goals.  In other words, your enemies had to stop trying to kill you before you agreed to talk to them.

After two years, the talks resulted in the Good Friday settlement that still holds.  According to its terms, Sinn Fein-IRA agreed to accept the present status of NI as part of the UK as long as there is a pro-union majority there, in return for its being allowed to take part in a power-sharing devolved administration in NI; the Republic voted overwhelmingly by referendum to remove its constitutional claim to NI, and the British promised to abide by the result of any future majority vote in NI to leave the union; residents of NI can opt for British or Irish citizenship.

In short, all sides operated within a familiar Western context in which recognition of politico-military realities, including war-weariness on all sides, generates movement towards negotiation, compromise and, ultimately, some kind of settlement.  When have any of those factors been in evidence among the anti-Israel forces in the Middle East?

The Mitchell Principles were, in fact, rather similar to the three conditions which Israel, with the agreement of the Quartet (US, UN, EU and Russia) has set for engaging Hamas in talks.  (Whether, since SF-IRA was not asked to recognize explicitly NI’s right to exist, Israel should insist on explicit recognition by Hamas in the event that it renounced violence fully, is an argument – an academic one, surely — for another day.)

But here’s a lesson from the NI peace process that nobody is keen to pass on to Israel’s leaders.  It is the fact that, even after you get the settlement, rejectionist elements among the terrorists will continue with violence and do their best to disrupt the agreement.  The worst death toll in a single atrocity in 30 years of conflict in NI came in August 1998, four months after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, when the Real IRA, made up of dissident former IRA members, killed 31 people at Omagh with a car bomb.  The same group has recently murdered Catholic/nationalist  members of the reformed Police Service of Northern Ireland (set up under Good Friday) and threatened to kill more, the aim being to intimidate their co-religionists from joining, thus bolstering their own claim that the PSNI is a sectarian force.

This pattern should be familiar to all who remember the eruptions of Fatah and Hamas terrorism after the Oslo Accords and the recent proliferation of groups in Gaza willing to continue rocketing southern Israel in defiance of the will of Hamas when that group calls one of its periodic lulls.

This is not a matter simply of terrorists falling out; it is about the persistence of the ideology that motivates them.  Recently, in the Republic, a new political party, Eirígí (Gaelic for ‘Arise’), founded in 2006 by former SF-IRA members, has been busy recruiting among young people and has been given a lot of air time to expound its views on the forthcoming visits to Ireland of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama and on the killing of bin Laden.  Defining its objective as an all-Ireland ‘Socialist Republic’, it aligns itself with the Real IRA rejection of Good Friday and rehashes the old republican tropes of ‘British imperialist occupation of the six counties’ and the demand for a ‘British withdrawal’.

Eirígí’s political traction so far shouldn’t be over-rated: in the recent NI local elections none of its candidates were elected, though one received over 1,400 votes in a Belfast ward.  Yet, with youth and vigour on its side and a talent for agit-prop on the streets, it has obvious potential to attract support from those too young to remember much about the peace process.

It has been an eerie feeling to hear the return of this pre-Good Friday rhetoric as if the Agreement had never happened, and to hear it go unchallenged by naïve talk show presenters as if it were just another contribution to debate.  The Agreement that was supposed to have laid the conflict to rest and resolved all outstanding matters between Britain and Ireland now seems to recede into the fog of history and becomes just one of a number of competing ‘narratives’.

Is this the future of an Israel-Palestinian peace deal, assuming one can ever be achieved?  A decade after the agreement, and a generation is on the rise that doesn’t remember the long process and painful compromises needed to reach it and is ripe for indoctrination and incitement by hate-filled ideologues from the past – there you have the materials for a new round of conflict.  Does the information revolution and its encouragement of ever-shorter attention spans facilitate this?  Think of how little kudos Israel gets now from critics for its withdrawal from Gaza less than six years ago – it might never have happened.

I’ve met Israelis who imagine, understandably, that a good ploy to win Irish friends is to emphasise a common anti-British narrative based on the parallel independence struggles of the Irish and Israelis.  I try to tell them there is no percentage in that line, since the inheritors of the violent nationalist tradition are also the most virulently anti-Israel.  For them, the Palestinians have taken over the MOPE (Most Oppressed People Ever) slot once held by the NI Catholics/nationalists.

The Eirígí phenomenon has some novel features.  It was already noticeable that the ranks of Palestine Solidarity campaigners were augmented by members of Sinn Fein, especially from the youth wing, who seemed very well organised for talk show phone-ins, texting programmes etc.  With the Good Friday settlement in place, and unable to vent their spleen on the unionist/loyalist opposition or on the security forces with the same venom as previously, these people found an ideal alternative outlet in the Israel/Palestine issue.

Eirígí have taken this further by practically merging agitation on the NI and Israel/Palestinian issues, thus enabling it to boast a membership equally ignorant of Irish and Middle East history.  Its street demonstrations have included a mock-trial and guillotine execution of Queen Elizabeth in Dublin city centre – on charges that included the 19th century famine and participation in the 2004 siege of Falluja – and demands for the release of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Ahmad Sa’adat and the convicted Hamas terrorist Jamal Abu al-Haija, both on hunger strike in an Israeli jail.  Its website helpfully sets this in the context of the 30th anniversary of the deaths of 10 IRA prisoners on hunger strike in NI at the height of the IRA’s war.  The IRA’s pioneering use of victimhood as a propaganda weapon in a campaign of violence has found its emulators in the Middle East.

Falsifying history, the website adds ‘We in Ireland understand only too well the seriousness of the situation when you have no option but to use your body as a weapon’.  In fact, all the concessions won by SF-IRA in 1998 were already on offer in the Sunningdale Agreement of 1974 reached between the British and Irish governments (the nationalist politician Seamus Mallon famously called the Good Friday Agreement ‘Sunningdale for slow learners’).  But at that stage violence seemed a more promising path to its ultimate goal.   That remind you of anything in the 63 years of Israel/Palestinian conflict?

 

Jewish ‘Nakba’ – why Jews deserve compensation and the Palestinians do not

Today saw the commemoration of what Palestinians call the Nakba, the catastrophe, which happens to be the anniversary of the Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.

In scenes unprecedented in history thousands of people in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, East Jerusalem and even Jordan have tried to cross the border into Israel apparently to demonstrate their so-called ‘Right of Return’. In Tel Aviv an Arab drove two kilometres trying to hit everything in sight and screaming ‘Death to the Jews’ (note ‘Jews’, not ‘Israelis’) killing one man and injuring several others.

Several people were apparently killed by IDF gunfire and at the border with Gaza tank rounds were used.

In Ankara, Turkey and even in Athens, Greece, where you’d think they would have other things to demonstrate about, protests have taken place and Israeli embassies targeted.

I did not intend to write about this particular event, as important as it is. However, it underlines the fact of continued Palestinian rejectionism. As Jonathan Tobin has pointed out :

Nakba Day should illustrate that it is not the eviction of the Jews from parts of the West Bank that has inspired Palestinian Arab nationalism but the notion that Jewish sovereignty anywhere in the country is unacceptable.

Estimates of the number of Palestinians who would claim a Right of Return (or compensation) vary, but it is somewhere between 4 and 7 million and, of course, growing.

The notion that somehow Israel could absorb 7 million people, let alone return them to their putative homes and property is absurd. That doesn’t matter. They are not interested in returning to No. 10 Habibi Street or 17a Jaffa Road.

No, their goal is the same as it has always been: destroy the State of Israel, kick out 5 million Jews and create a Palestinian State from ‘The River to the Sea’. A single, Islamist, authoritarian entity to replace Israel.

The ‘Return’ of a large number of Palestinians would result in Israel no longer being a  state where the Jews remain a majority in charge of their own destiny. The goal of a single Islamic state, yet another in the region, would be achieved and the ‘Zionist Project’ would be history.

The sad fact is that so many on the Left in Europe believe that a one state solution will solve the problem and immediately result in the end of the Arab’s grudge against Israel and the West.

They are deluded.

The justification for the idea of a Nakba and a Right of Return comes from two false narratives.

The first is that Jews ‘stole the land’ from something called Palestine, a mythical Muslim state in cis-Jordanic Mandate Palestine. The Jews attacked the Arabs, driving them out and stealing their land forcing them to be refugees in surrouding countries and in Gaza and the West Bank.

This is a gross distortion of history. The Arab League rejected a two-state solution in 1947 and when the Jewish State was declared armies from surrounding nations attacked the nascent state.

Although many Arabs were driven out, many more left from fear or because they were encouraged to leave whilst the armies of the Arab League mopped up the Jews and drove them into the sea.

Unfortunately for these refugees the Arab league never delivered. Much of the land that had been offered as part of an Arab, Palestinian State was now in the hands of the Israelis.

Then something extraordinary happened; the UN created an Agency to deal only with refugees from the conflict of 1948. This is UNRWA or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

UNWRA’s own website tells us:

UNRWA’s services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. The descendants of the original Palestine refugees are also eligible for registration. When the Agency started working in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, 4.8 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services. (my emphasis)

Thus, uniquely, amongst all the millions of refugees in the world. descendants of Palestinian refugees are also given refugees status with no end date applicable. So in another 60 years there could be 100 million refugees and they would all claim that they have a right to live in Israel and claim back their putative property.

And these refugees were created as a result of an aggressive act by their own people (the Arab nation under the auspices of the Arab League as there was no idea of a separate Palestinian State in 1948).

Let us remember that Israel accepted the partition plan (UN General Assembly Resolution 181) that would have given them a small fraction of what they were promised (by the League of Nations under International Law in 1922), but the Arabs rejected it on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs, and then attacked Israel.

The second false narrative is that there is a Right of Return for these refugees based on UN resolution 194 Article 11:

Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible; Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;

As the Zionism-Israel website tells us:

UN General Assembly Resolution 194 called for return of refugees who were willing to live in peace with their neighbors. Jewish refugees, including refugees from Palestinian Arab areas and hundreds of thousands of others expelled from Arab lands, were absorbed into Israel and did not claim refugee status. Arab refugees were placed in camps.

Please point out to me a specific ‘Right of Return’ in Article 11, and where does it mention descendants in perpetuity are entitled to refugee status. In the Zionism-Israel article cited above the Right of Return was specifically excluded despite recommendations by Count Folk Bernadotte, the UN mediator murdered by Jewish extremists.

The cited article also points out that there was no specific mention of Arab refugees. It referred to all refugees included Jews who fled from the area now known as the West Bank which came under Jordanian control until 1967 and included East Jerusalem which was ethnically cleansed of Jews by the Jordanians.

And, most importantly, even if there were a Right of Return specifically for Arab refugees mentioned in Resolution 194 Article 11, General Assembly resolutions are not binding in international law. Israel has no obligation whatsoever to provide such a right.

For a full discussion of the putative Palestinian Right of Return I recommend you read the cited article.

But here is the point of the title of this article. There was a Jewish ‘nakba’ which no-one ever hears about very often if at all.

Estimates of Palestinian refugees vary from 450,000 to 750,000.

800-900,000 Jews were expelled from several Arab states and stripped of their property and assets in 1948, and immediately in the aftermath of the creation of Israel, for no other reason than they were Jews.

Many of these fled to Israel where they were absorbed.

Today, the inestimable Michelle Huberman of Harif organised an event in London “The Jewish Nakba, Remembering Jewish refugees from Arab Countries”. This organisation is dedicated to having the issue of Jewish refugees and their narrative recognised and acknowledged.

Communities right across the Arab world from Algeria to Iraq were wiped out; some of these communities could trace their roots back more than 2000 years.

I recommend that you read Sir Martin Gilbert’s fine history: “In Ishmaels’ House” which deals with the Jewish nakba in its final chapters.

This is why I believe those who suffered the enormity of these events deserve compensation; they attacked no-one, they may or may not have been Zionists, they were generally content to continue their tight-rope existence  in Arab lands where many were successful, wealthy, educated, property owning and asset rich.

How did they deserve to be deprived of citizenship, stripped of their assets and their property? What crime did they commit? The crime of being a Jew. That eternal crime which has been punished for centuries.

And they want to punish us still.

That punishment is their version of justice. The perceived grievance of the original 750,000 bloated to 4.5 million or more. Yet the 800,000 or so Jews and their descendants are only now being recognised as the other half to this cruel equation. Indeed, the Israeli government has quite rightly stated that no final peace can be made with the Palestinians without compensation for the Arab Jews.

The compensation and the recognition of this injustice against Mizrachi and Arab Jews is long overdue; and it is a much stronger claim than the Palestinians, many of whom had only moved relatively recently from surrounding countries and fled, or were victims of Israeli action as a result of their own people’s aggression.

Yet, in this Looking Glass world we now live in, the Jews and their grievances are valued at nought whilst the Palestinians must be rewarded and compensating for 60 years of self-victimhood and an aggressive war of extermination.

OK, despite the title, no doubt, at some time in the distant future, hopefully, when there is a final settlement that does not involve the destruction of Israel, Palestinians will be rewarded for their extraordinary patience and, as George Galloway might say, their ‘indefatigability’.  I do not wish to suggest that they have not suffered or that Israel is blameless, but unless and until they recognise their own guilt and allow Jews to live in their homeland on a sliver of land called Israel, they do not deserve any compensation at all.

When it comes to massacring its own people, Syria has form

Today I was alerted to the fact that Syria has put down an uprising before, and even more brutally.

I happened to come across this cross post on Cifwatch.com by Impartial Eclipse.

The post, written in March, tells us about how in February 1982 the Syrian army enter the city of Hama in central Syria to hunt down anti-Ba’athists.

The anti-Ba’athists were in fact mainly what we would now call ‘Islamists’, some affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. This group had already revolted in the past in order to bring down the government of Hafez Assad, the father of the current President of Syria.

These rebel insurgents in Hama were Sunni Muslims. When they attacked and killed Syrian soldiers hunting down the regimes political enemies, what followed was a true massacre of medieval proportions and brutality.

The Syrian army went on a killing spree not just against insurgents but the whole city.  In scenes reminiscent of the Nazis who razed whole towns in the Second World War, government forces killed between 10,000 and 40,000 people, men women and children. Exact figures are hard to come by but most commentators now believe that 40,000 is nearer the mark than 10,000.

The city was surrounded and shelled for three weeks. Scenes of unspeakable acts of mutilation and mass executions were reported.

The world did nothing. The Syrian regime remained. The uprising was limited to Hama, and the Muslim Brotherhood was eliminated in Syria, either going to ground or scattering to neighbouring countries, the USA and Great Britain.

Over the past few weeks we have seen that Hafez Assad taught his son, Bashar, well.

A generation later the insurgents have returned. This time they are not necessarily Islamists but from a wide spectrum of Syrian society determined to put an end to decades of the Assad dynasty. What these latterday insurgents want is not always clear, but political rights and greater freedoms are on their agenda. One assumes.

The reaction of the current President Assad is to behave like his father. He, too, is prepared to use tanks and bombs against his own citizens, indiscriminately, to fire on unarmed demonstrators, arrest and detain thousands.

This time it is not just the residents of Hama who are rising up, but also Deraa, Baiyas, Aleppo and Homs. Even the Damascus region has tanks on the streets of its towns.

Not 40,000 dead this time but, according to best estimates about 800. So far, but it could get a loss worse and probably will.

There is a striking comparison to be made between the siege of Deraa where its people have no-one to protect them and Misrata in Libya.

For weeks the Libyan army has pounded the people of Misrata, the front line of the rebel advance. Yet these insurgents are armed and are protected by the most sophisticated air force in the world – that of Nato aided by a few Qataris representing the Arab League.

So what is the difference between Libya and Syria?

According to pundits, the Arabs agreed via the UN Security Council and Resolution 1973 to ‘invite’ Nato to protect Arabs from other Arabs because even this roll-call of oppressive regimes could not stomach the spectacle of Gaddafi killing his own people.

Yet when it comes to Syria not one of them has so much as whispered disapproval. Not the Saudis, not the Egyptians who are now supposed to be paragons of democracy, not the Jordanians and not Assad’s good friends the Turks (until today) and the Iranians (“no need for intervention”).

No international intervention has materialised because the Arabs appear to value the blood of Libyans above that of Syrians, and the UN can just issue its usual mumbled toothless condemnations.

The EU, meanwhile, proclaims sanctions. Big deal.

Apparently, it’s a different situation to Libya because Assad still has the support of his people. Did anyone take a poll in Libya and Syria to determine which regime had most popular support?

The simple truth is that Syria is a ‘player’ a regional power which bestrides the geographic and political ground between Turkey and Iran. Libya, on the other hand, apart from a bit of oil, is of little strategic importance and Gaddafi’s heyday of state terrorism, WMD, assassinations, racism and islamisation are largely in the past.

The recent Arab Spring has shown to what lengths the regimes in the region are prepared to go to preserve power and hegemony; whether it is the racist pragmatist Gaddafi or the Bahraini sheiks, the Ba’athists in Syria or the Shi’ites in Yemen.

Let’s not forget the hundreds who died in Egypt before we proclaim this was a bloodless ‘revolution’.

Despite the West’s wishful thinking that all these Arab uprisings will lead to democracy and the New Millenium, due to the very nature of the regimes in these countries, we have no idea of the motivations, political leanings or any future political outcomes resulting from these uprisings. The West assumes that if you through the pack in the air it will land as a perfect House of Cards, but revolutions and seismic political events leave vacuums into which other dark forces can come which are even more inimical to West and western values.

And in this maelstrom, at the eye of this storm, is Israel being encouraged to make a deal with a Fatah-Hamas coalition to introduce another murderous, undemocratic, Islamist, Jew-hating regime in the region.

An opportunity not to be missed.

What some Zionists get up to in Israel

The Elder of Ziyon has joined forces with Stand With Us and has presented a series of This Is Zionism posters which say a lot about Israel.

If you hate Israel, turn away now.

Israel is 63 today and despite being in a state of war with some or all of its neighbours throughout its history, its achievements are manifold.

Full set of posters can be found here.

Am Yisrael Chai