We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

"The Fight Against Militant Islam Is Indivisible. When Militant Islam Succeeds Anywhere, It’s Emboldened Everywhere"

 The transcript of Bibi Netanyahu's address to the UN General Assembly is below (courtesy of here), but in my opinion there's nothing quite as inspiring as actually listening to the great communicator, with his awesome sense of history and of present-day realities.






Incidentally, for anyone who has already seen this video but may not have seen a most encouraging article (from a pro-Israel viewpoint if not from that of the Arab author) regarding growing support for Israel in Chinese circles, see here.





 Bibi's speech [emphasis added]:
'I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I've come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I've come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it. Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel pray for peace. But our hopes and the world's hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It's not militants. It's not Islam. It's militant Islam.
Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it's rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying: "All politics is local"? For the militant Islamists, "All politics is global." Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world. Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas.
To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.
Listen to ISIS’s self-declared caliph,Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago: A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master… The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism… and destroy the idol of democracy. Now listen to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future: We say this to the West… By Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world. As Hamas's charter makes clear, Hamas’s immediate goal is to destroy Israel. But Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists. That’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered on 9/11. And that's why its leaders condemned the United States for killing Osama Bin Laden, whom they praised as a holy warrior. So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. And what they share in common, all militant Islamists share in common: • Boko Haram in Nigeria; • Ash-Shabab in Somalia; • Hezbollah in Lebanon; • An-Nusrah in Syria; • The Mahdi Army in Iraq; • And the Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.
 Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shi'ites. Some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the 7th century. Others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the 9th century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims and they even kill each other in their quest for supremacy. But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance – Where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated, and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die. For them, anyone can be an infidel, including fellow Muslims. Ladies and Gentlemen, Militant Islam's ambition to dominate the world seems mad. But so too did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept to power eight decades ago. The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith. They just disagree about who among them will be the master… of the master faith. That’s what they truly disagree about. Therefore, the question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions.
There is one place where that could soon happen: The Islamic State of Iran. For 35 years, Iran has relentlessly pursued the global mission which was set forth by its founding ruler, Ayatollah Khomeini, in these words: We will export our revolution to the entire world. Until the cry "There is no God but Allah" will echo throughout the world over… And ever since, the regime’s brutal enforcers, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, have done exactly that. Listen to its current commander, General Muhammad Ali Ja'afari. And he clearly stated this goal. He said: Our Imam did not limit the Islamic Revolution to this country… Our duty is to prepare the way for an Islamic world government… Iran's President Rouhani stood here last week, and shed crocodile tears over what he called "the globalization of terrorism." Maybe he should spare us those phony tears and have a word instead with the commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
 He could ask them to call off Iran's global terror campaign, which has included attacks in two dozen countries on five continents since 2011 alone. To say that Iran doesn't practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees. This bemoaning of the Iranian president of the spread of terrorism has got to be one of history’s greatest displays of doubletalk. Now, Some still argue that Iran's global terror campaign, its subversion of countries throughout the Middle East and well beyond the Middle East, some argue that this is the work of the extremists. They say things are changing. They point to last year's elections in Iran. They claim that Iran’s smooth talking President and Foreign Minister, they’ve changed not only the tone of Iran's foreign policy but also its substance.
They believe Rouhani and Zarif genuinely want to reconcile with the West, that they’ve abandoned the global mission of the Islamic Revolution. Really? So let's look at what Foreign Minister Zarif wrote in his book just a few years ago: We have a fundamental problem with the West, and especially with America. This is because we are heirs to a global mission, which is tied to our raison d'etre… A global mission which is tied to our very reason of being. And then Zarif asks a question, I think an interesting one. He says: How come Malaysia [he’s referring to an overwhelmingly Muslim country] – how come Malaysia doesn't have similar problems? And he answers: Because Malaysia is not trying to change the international order. That's your moderate.
So don’t be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive. It’s designed for one purpose, and for one purpose only: To lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the bomb. The Islamic Republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces, and leave it with the capacity of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium. This would effectively cement Iran's place as a threshold military nuclear power. In the future, at a time of its choosing, Iran, the world’s most dangerous state in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons. Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all. It’s one thing to confront militant Islamists on pick-up trucks, armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It’s another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weapons of mass destruction.
 I remember that last year, everyone here was rightly concerned about the chemical weapons in Syria, including the possibility that they would fall into the hands of terrorists. That didn't happen. And President Obama deserves great credit for leading the diplomatic effort to dismantle virtually all of Syria's chemical weapons capability. Imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic State, ISIS, would be if it possessed chemical weapons. Now imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic state of Iran would be if it possessed nuclear weapons. Ladies and Gentlemen, Would you let ISIS enrich uranium? Would you let ISIS build a heavy water reactor? Would you let ISIS develop intercontinental ballistic missiles? Of course you wouldn’t. Then you mustn't let the Islamic State of Iran do those things either. Because here’s what will happen: Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. It's then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.
There is only one responsible course of action to address this threat: Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled. Make no mistake – ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war. To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The fight against militant Islam is indivisible. When militant Islam succeeds anywhere, it’s emboldened everywhere. When it suffers a blow in one place, it's set back in every place. That’s why Israel’s fight against Hamas is not just our fight. It’s your fight. Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.
 For 50 days this past summer, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, many of them supplied by Iran. I want you to think about what your countries would do if thousands of rockets were fired at your cities. Imagine millions of your citizens having seconds at most to scramble to bomb shelters, day after day. You wouldn't let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity. Nor would you let terrorists dig dozens of terror tunnels under your borders to infiltrate your towns in order to murder and kidnap your citizens. Israel justly defended itself against both rocket attacks and terror tunnels. Yet Israel also faced another challenge. We faced a propaganda war. Because, in an attempt to win the world’s sympathy, Hamas cynically used Palestinian civilians as human shields. It used schools, not just schools - UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel. As Israel surgically struck at the rocket launchers and at the tunnels, Palestinian civilians were tragically but unintentionally killed. There are heartrending images that resulted, and these fueled libelous charges that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.
We were not. We deeply regret every single civilian casualty. And the truth is this: Israel was doing everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel dropped flyers, made phone calls, sent text messages, broadcast warnings in Arabic on Palestinian television, always to enable Palestinian civilians to evacuate targeted areas. No other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemies. This concern for Palestinian life was all the more remarkable, given that Israeli civilians were being bombarded by rockets day after day, night after night. As their families were being rocketed by Hamas, Israel's citizen army – the brave soldiers of the IDF, our young boys and girls – they upheld the highest moral values of any army in the world. Israel's soldiers deserve not condemnation, but admiration. Admiration from decent people everywhere. Now here’s what Hamas did: Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings to leave. And just in case people didn’t get the message, they executed Palestinian civilians in Gaza who dared to protest. No less reprehensible, Hamas deliberately placed its rockets where Palestinian children live and play. Let me show you a photograph. It was taken by a France 24 crew during the recent conflict. It shows two Hamas rocket launchers, which were used to attack us. You see three children playing next to them.
Hamas deliberately put its rockets in hundreds of residential areas like this. Hundreds of them. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a war crime. And I say to President Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for. And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated, or spoken out against from this podium last week. Ladies and Gentlemen, As Israeli children huddled in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer: Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles. By investigating Israel rather than Hamas for war crimes, the UN Human Rights Council has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. In fact, what it’s doing is to turn the laws of war upside-down. Israel, which took unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is condemned.
 Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians – that a double war crime Hamas is given a pass. The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: Use civilians as human shields. Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works. By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions. It probably already has, about the use of civilians as human shields. It’s not just our interest. It’s not just our values that are under attack. It’s your interests and your values.
 Ladies and Gentlemen, We live in a world steeped in tyranny and terror, where gays are hanged from cranes in Tehran, political prisoners are executed in Gaza, young girls are abducted en masse in Nigeria and hundreds of thousands are butchered in Syria, Libya and Iraq. Yet nearly half, nearly half of the UN Human Rights Council's resolutions focusing on a single country have been directed against Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East – Israel. where issues are openly debated in a boisterous parliament, where human rights are protected by independent courts and where women, gays and minorities live in a genuinely free society. The Human Rights… (that’s an oxymoron, the UN Human Rights Council, but I’ll use it just the same), the Council’s biased treatment of Israel is only one manifestation of the return of the world’s oldest prejudices.
We hear mobs today in Europe call for the gassing of Jews. We hear some national leaders compare Israel to the Nazis. This is not a function of Israel’s policies. It's a function of diseased minds. And that disease has a name. It’s called anti-Semitism. It is now spreading in polite society, where it masquerades as legitimate criticism of Israel. For centuries the Jewish people have been demonized with blood libels and charges of deicide. Today, the Jewish state is demonized with the apartheid libel and charges of genocide. Genocide? In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy's civilian population to get out of harm's way? Or ensuring that they receive tons, tons of humanitarian aid each day, even as thousands of rockets are being fired at us? Or setting up a field hospital to aid for their wounded? Well, I suppose it's the same moral universe where a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews, Judenrein, can stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
 In the past, outrageous lies against the Jews were the precursors to the wholesale slaughter of our people. But no more. Today we, the Jewish people, have the power to defend ourselves. We will defend ourselves against our enemies on the battlefield. We will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion. Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed. Ladies and Gentlemen, Despite the enormous challenges facing Israel, I believe we have an historic opportunity. After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world. Our challenge is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East. Together we can strengthen regional security. We can advance projects in water, agriculture, in transportation, in health, in energy, in so many fields. I believe the partnership between us can also help facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World.
But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere. I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support. I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land.
The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel.
History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years. I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people. But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground.
Because you see, Israel's withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel. These sobering experiences heighten Israel's security concerns regarding potential territorial concessions in the future. Those security concerns are even greater today. Just look around you. The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void. Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population. Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country.
That’s why in any peace agreement, which will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise, I will always insist that Israel be able to defend itself by itself against any threat. Yet despite all that has happened, some still don't take Israel’s security concerns seriously. But I do, and I always will. Because, as Prime Minister of Israel, I am entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish state. And no matter what pressure is brought to bear, I will never waver in fulfilling that responsibility. I believe that with a fresh approach from our neighbors, we can advance peace despite the difficulties we face.
 In Israel, we have a record of making the impossible possible. We’ve made a desolate land flourish. And with very few natural resources, we have used the fertile minds of our people to turn Israel into a global center of technology and innovation. Peace, of course, would enable Israel to realize its full potential and to bring a promising future not only for our people, not only for the Palestinian people, but for many, many others in our region. But the old template for peace must be updated. It must take into account new realities and new roles and responsibilities for our Arab neighbors. Ladies and Gentlemen, There is a new Middle East. It presents new dangers, but also new opportunities.
 Israel is prepared to work with Arab partners and the international community to confront those dangers and to seize those opportunities. Together we must recognize the global threat of militant Islam, the primacy of dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons capability and the indispensable role of Arab states in advancing peace with the Palestinians. All this may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s the truth.
And the truth must always be spoken, especially here, in the United Nations. Isaiah, our great prophet of peace, taught us nearly 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem to speak truth to power.
 For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent. For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still. Until her justice shines bright, And her salvation glows like a flaming torch.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Let's light a torch of truth and justice to safeguard our common future.
Thank you.'

Monday, 29 September 2014

Rolling Out The Red Carpet For Ridley: "I suspect the ABC Left sees Islamist grievances as a vehicle for its own ideological hatreds – of the West ... of Israel ..."

I was struck over the weekend by these two pertinent  and sensible observations, both on Facebook, by two Jewish academics on opposite sides of the world, both of whom are openly pro-Israel, both favouring a two-state solution, and both on the moderate Left (meaning that they can't readily be dismissed as right-wing bigots by the usual suspects).

First, a London University academic, reflecting on this Socialist Worker poster placed around campus during freshman week:


"This, in the place I have to work.

Who is 'the resistance' whose victory is hoped for? Hamas? Hezbollah? Isis?
  
Why is it left ambiguous?

How would victory for these groups further freedom for Palestine?

Why is this the eye-catcher for freshers week when, as we speak, 'the resistance' is murdering, raping, cleansing, driving-out, by the hundreds of thousands?

How is this considered OK in a democratic scholarly space?"


 Second,  a Monash University academic:

"Interesting to read in The Age today [Friday]that a national Islamic conference in Melbourne has invited British journalist Yvonne Ridley to speak.
 Ridley is a member of the so-called left-wing Respect Party in Britain headed by George Galloway who wants to ban all Israeli Jews from Bradford. She has publicly said:“Respect is a Zionist-free party. If there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out”, February 2006 address at Imperial College in London.
Ridley wishes to create a racially pure political party free of Jewish contamination.
I wonder if the organizers are aware of her racist views."
A couple of years ago, when Ms Ridley was running for Parliament as a member of Galloway's Respect Party, a concerned moderately left observer, Shamik Das, itemised various shocking Ridleyisms that included the sentiments quote above and then some [emphasis added]:
'Ridley said: 
“[Respect] is a Zionist-free party… if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists.” She explained that government support “goes towards that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East”.
She went on to attack the Tories and Lib Dems, saying that all the mainstream parties are “riddled with Zionists”. I found it hard to comprehend how the notion that “[Respect] encompasses a broad church of ideas and opinions” could be compatible with the hunting down of supporters of an Israeli state.
Also in that Imperial lecture, she says:
 “Israel is a vile little state. It’s propped up by America. It cannot survive without American money.”
Blogpost, 2011:
“.... I loathe the Zionist State and what it stands for.”
 Rally outside US Embassy, 2006:
 “Drinking Coca Cola is like drinking the blood of Palestinian children."
 Addressing a Viva Palestina meeting, 2009:
 “The Zionists have tentacles everywhere. We’ve seen with the disgraceful behaviour from the BBC that this interference goes right to the very top of the media, into the very heart of our homes.”
 At the same meeting:
 “We have to end the Zionist state. We’ve got to charge the war criminals. We have to boycott Israeli goods.”
Hamas:
Galloway names Ridley as a Hamas donor, 2009:
 “I, now, here, on behalf of myself, my sister Yvonne Ridley, and the two Respect councillors – Muhammad Ishtiaq and Naim Khan – are giving three cars and 25,000 pounds in cash to prime minister Ismail Haniya.”
 Ridley herself confirming she personally donated money to Hamas in a deliberate violation of sanctions law:
 “I brought cash and I am happy to say I have given that cash to George Galloway and we have both given that money to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, which has broken UN sanctions. If they want to charge us, if they want to arrest us, bring it on.”
She added:
 “During our brief time in Gaza, I did have the privilege to join a few of us together to meet Ismail Haniyeh… If I could use my Palestinian citizenship, it would be to vote Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas back in again in Gaza. Victory to intifada 3! Victory to Hamas!“....'
See more, with chapter and verse, here


Having read the Monash University academic's remark quoted above, I looked at the article that he cited , and learned, inter alia:
'An organiser of a national Islamic conference being held in Melbourne says the portrayal of Islamic State barbarism is being used to stir political fear.
Mustafa Abu Yusuf, a spokesman for the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah Association of Australia (ASWJ), claimed the actions of Islamic State [also known as ISIL] were being "rammed down our throats" in a bid to paint fundamentalist Muslims as potential terrorists and curb civil freedoms.
But he also praised police who worked with the Muslim community on the ground.
Mr Abu Yusuf said he had not seen videos of the ISIL beheadings posted on social media although he called the act abhorrent  but said the group's actions was "no more horrific" than those of Western armies during war.
He questioned why the Abbott government did not react with equally fierce rhetoric when chemical warfare was used and human rights abuses were committed in the Syrian civil war....
Ahead of the launch of the three-day "Crossroads" conference, expected to draw thousands of people to the Melbourne Convention Centre, Mr Abu Yusuf rejected allegations that the ASWJ promoted violence and extremism.
The Crossroads conference has drawn attention for its list of controversial keynote speakers, including Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist who converted to Islam after she was kidnapped by the Taliban. Ms Ridley is known for her outspoken views and is alleged to have referred to suicide bombings as "martyrdom operations". [Emphasis added]
"The conference is being portrayed as a conversion of terror and terror ideals," Mr Abu Yusuf said. "But Islam prohibits extremism in all its forms  religious, financial or whatever the case may be.
"This is about building a focus on unifying rather than dividing Australia."
.... "Everyone, including the white government that rules this country, are all immigrants, and immigration has made this country stronger," he said. "But with all this Team Australia rubbish, Abbott must think most Australians are stupid. He has dumbed down our country to us and them."....'

I then discovered that the ABC (which as I've pointed out several times bears similar hallmarks to the BBC) had hastened to provide its airways to Yvonne Ridley, just as it did seven years ago, when she was the guest of a similar Islamic Conference in Melbourne.  On that occasion she was interviewed by the AM radio program's Jane Cowan:
Tamil Tigers in Australia  rallying against Israel recently

'ELIZABETH JACKSON: A controversial speaker at an Islamic Conference in Melbourne this weekend has lashed out at the media, accusing reporters of whipping up hysteria over Muslims.
Yvonne Ridley is a British journalist; she famously converted to Islam after being captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
This week Labor's Immigration spokesman, Tony Burke, called for her to be banned from entering Australia, because of her reportedly extremist views.
But Yvonne Ridley told our reporter, Jane Cowan, she's been misquoted and misrepresented.
YVONNE RIDLEY: These views have been taken out of context and have been dredged up by mischief-makers who have an Islamaphobic agenda.
JANE COWAN: What do you believe on those fronts?
YVONNE RIDLEY: Um, I believe in justice for the Palestinians. I believe in justice for Chechnyans.
JANE COWAN: Can you categorically condemn suicide bombing?
YVONNE RIDLEY: You know, the greatest purveyors of suicide bombing are the Tamil Tigers, a Marxist-Leninist organisation, largely of the Hindu faith; I'm not really quite sure why it is being attached specifically towards Muslims.
JANE COWAN: But if you've been reported as saying you support suicide bombing, would you now here condemn it, no matter who perpetrates it?
YVONNE RIDLEY: I condemn shoddy journalism and poor research, and people like you should know better than to try and tackle people like me over things that have allegedly been said or not said.
JANE COWAN: But this is an opportunity for you to clarify your views, and …
YVONNE RIDLEY: I've clarified them. What don't you understand?  Listen, I have told you exactly what I have said, now you tell me why you need me to condemn something that is as plain as, you know, as the language that I've just said. What didn't you understand about what I have just said?
JANE COWAN: My question is, do you or do you not support suicide bombing?
YVONNE RIDLEY: Of course I don't.  I have, in fact, been quite mystified that a senior Labor member would result to this cheap tactic, especially after last year I spent some time with [former prime minister and erstwhile gung-ho Israel supporter] Bob Hawke and his wife and other eminent people in Copenhagen, drawing up a declaration to combat Islamophobia.'
The AM program this week featured Ms Ridley as follows:
'ELIZABETH JACKSON: Islamic groups and the police are presenting a united front to guard against Muslim vilification, in the wake of the police shooting of Numan Haider.
The 18 year old was shot dead after he stabbed two police officers at the Endeavour Hills Police Station.
The bubbling social tension has been addressed at the launch of a conference in Melbourne last night.
From Melbourne, Rachael Brown reports.
RACHAEL BROWN: As the funeral was being held for 18 year old Numan Haider yesterday, Islamic leaders and police were urging calm.
And opening the annual conference of the Islamic organisation, Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, Sheik Muhammad Omran recalled visiting Haider's grieving family with an AFP officer, who said: "He was one of our kids the same as he's one of yours".
MUHAMMAD OMRAN: We care for each other, and if we have that bit of care, believe me Australia will be more wonderful than what it is today.
RACHAEL BROWN: Sheik Omran says current tensions aren't an Islamic problem, but an Australian one.
MUHAMMAD OMRAN: If I say it's not my business, it is your business, it is this, it is that, then the whole society goes scattered and no-one will win.
RACHAEL BROWN: The annual conference aims to help Muslims navigate contemporary challenges, but this year it's been inevitably overshadowed by Haider's death.
YVONNE RIDLEY: It is a crime. I would hesitate to call it terrorism because we don't know the full facts. It might have been nothing more than a knife crime.
RACHAEL BROWN: UK journalist Yvonne Ridley is in Melbourne for a presentation on the media, and engaging youth, which she says has certainly taken on a different significance now.
YVONNE RIDLEY: The wild speculation  and it is wild  has not been helpful at all: A, it's bad journalism and B, it's irresponsible.
RACHAEL BROWN: Since her conversion to Islam after she was kidnapped by the Taliban, she's been labelled a firebrand radical convert.
YVONNE RIDLEY: I'm not a firebrand. I speak my mind. The fact that some male journalist in Australia decides to call me firebrand because I wear a scarf is really irresponsible.
RACHAEL BROWN: On the question of the disconnect between youth and their elders, she says this isn't a Muslim problem, it's a universal one.
YVONNE RIDLEY: We do need to engage youth more. The one thing that I'm critical about in the Muslim community - we need to open up the mosques to political debate. Quite often issues like Iraq, Palestine, Syria are closed to debate.
If young people can't talk about these issues inside the mosque, they will find somewhere else to talk about it.
RACHAEL BROWN: Ms Ridley says there are voices of extremism closer to home, like the Palmer United Party Senator, Jacqui Lambie, whose understanding of Sharia law is that it "obviously involves terrorism".
JACKIE LAMBIE [sic!; The ABC transcript should read YVONNE RIDLEY]: I thought it was very Monty Python-esque, her whole language. And I realised there wasn't a hint or irony in what she was saying.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's UK journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley, ending that report from Rachael Brown.'
Not for nothing does the great Andrew Bolt, in the course of his newspaper column today, observe:
'....On Saturday ... the ABC’s AM promoted the speaking tour of British Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley, describing her merely as a journalist mysteriously “labelled a firebrand radical”.
 The ABC left it to Ridley to explain: “Some male journalists in Australia decide to call me firebrand because I wear a scarf.”
Completely false. Ridley is called a firebrand because she has praised suicide bombers as “martyrs”, and called even the Chechen terrorist behind the Beslan school massacre a “shaheed” or martyr.
She’s damned Israel as a “vile little state” that had to be destroyed, and said Israeli children murdered by jihadists weren’t “innocents” but future soldiers.
US President Barack Obama was “an out-of-control psychopathic killer” and Australia one of the “most shocking” countries for its supposed hatred of Muslims.
Why is the ABC promoting Ridley at this dangerous time? Why present her as unfairly maligned instead of rightly criticised?
This is not unusual for the ABC....
It is lethally irresponsible for the ABC to pump out lunatic propaganda that could incite Muslim extremists and demonise the moderates. It is hard to believe the country’s biggest media empire could be so reckless.
Yet the ABC does it repeatedly. Last month 7.30 let Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan criticise Israel without revealing this seemingly reasonable man had claimed the “Jewish mentality ... has become addicted to the killing of women and children”, and “the Jews used to slaughter Christians in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos”.
Why this validation of extremists? I suspect the ABC Left sees Islamist grievances as a vehicle for its own ideological hatreds — of the West, capitalism, Israel and freedom....' [Emphasis added]
Read Bolt's entire article here

Sunday, 28 September 2014

David Singer On How The USA, Russia & Iran Can Cooperate In Destroying ISIL

Here is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

It is entitled "Obama, Putin And Rouhani Can Do Deal On Destroying ISIL".

Writes David Singer:

President Obama’s sudden about face in deciding to attack ISIL in Syria on 21 September – without express approval of Syria or a resolution of the United Nations Security Council – has provoked a strong response from Russia and Iran – President Assad’s main supporters in his three years struggle to remain in power in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on 23 September:
"Such actions must be carried out exclusively within the boundaries of international law. That means not formal unilateral 'notification' of strikes but the clearly expressed approval of the government of Syria or the passage of a decision by the United Nations Security Council."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani  reportedly said the US-led airstrikes were illegal and constituted an attack on Syria – while also condemning Islamic State militants as "barbarians."

Their strictures were issued following the admission made to Chuck Todd on Meet The Press by America’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, on 19 September – that training of moderate rebels in Syria would help both US efforts to destroy ISIL as well as the rebels' ongoing struggle against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad:
“But may I add, the training also will service these troops in the same struggle that they've been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime”
Putin and Rouhani would have been very concerned that the US-led attacks on ISIL in Syria were undertaken with the active support of Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – all members of the “London 11” – whose communique released on 22 October 2013 had declared:
“We agree that when the TGB {Transitional Governing Body – ed] is established, Assad and his close associates with blood on their hands will have no role in Syria. There must be accountability for acts committed during the present conflict.”
It is clear Assad will not be inviting anyone into Syria if there is any suspicion that they are there to preside over his demise. It is equally clear that when someone like the Iranian President calls ISIL “barbarians” – that international action must be taken to eliminate ISIL at the earliest possible opportunity.

Rouhani did not directly condemn the US-led air strikes against ISIL in Syria when addressing the United Nations on 25 September – but issued the following warning:
“I believe if countries claiming leadership of the coalition are seeking to perpetuate their hegemony in the region, they’d be making a strategic mistake. Democracy can’t be delivered in a backpack. It’s not a commodity to be exported from west to east. It needs a foundation” 
Rouhani offered this sage advice:
“Obviously, since the pain is better known by the countries in the region, better they can form coalition, and accept to shoulder the responsibility of leadership to counter violence and terrorism. And if other nations wish to take action against terrorism, they must come to their support.
I warn that if we do not muster all our strengths against extremism and violence today, and fail to entrust the job to the people in the region who can deliver, tomorrow the world will be safe for no one.”

Boris Kalyagin – international journalist and professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics – told Pravda.Ru on 23 September:
“We believe that no decision related to such major international questions as the struggle against aggressors, particularly terrorist regimes, can be taken without a UN resolution. The United States has repeatedly demonstrated that it takes actions bypassing UN decisions, that's why they want to deprive us of our voice, to feel like masters at the Security Council."
Russia and Iran’s ground rules are very clear – if Obama wants to degrade and destroy ISIL he needs to act under the authority of a Security Council Resolution passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

America and Russia dealt with the issue of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile by navigating Resolution 2118 through the UN Security Council – preventing threatened air strikes by America on Syria to degrade its chemical weapons.

That resolution weakened Assad’s position – but nevertheless Assad understood that was the price he had to pay for Russia and Iran’s continuing support.

Two Security Council Resolutions condemning some activities of ISIL – 2170 and 2178 – have already received American and Russian backing.

They have been inadequate, however, to stop ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front in their tracks.

Withdrawal of American plans to train moderate rebels to destroy ISIL in Syria whilst assisting them to overthrow Assad – at best a mindless pipe dream – can be ended by America and Russia jointly procuring the passage of a Security Council resolution:
1. Deploring the illegal acquisition by ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front of parts of the sovereign territory of Syria and Iraq.
2. Condemning their cruel and inhumane conduct in murdering civilians and displacing entire communities in Syria and Iraq
3. Calling on them to surrender control over those parts of Syria and Iraq occupied by them to a duly constituted United Nations Force within 72 hours.
4. Reserving the right to take such further action as it considers fit in the event of non-compliance
Obama, Putin and Rouhani have their problems with other pressing issues – Ukraine and nuclear weapons.

On ISIL and Al-Nusrah Front their national interests are identical.

The UN Security Council stands ready to help them cut a deal.

A Post Card From Teheran

Well, not exactly; a message from our old mate the Vicar of Virginia Water to his Facebook faithful.

He sure gets around, doesn't he?


I shall be very interested to know what he says in the various lectures that he's lined up.

"Christian Jihad"?

The mind boggles.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Piers Akerman On The Great Australian Blight

Lefties on parade
Like fellow-Aussie columnist Andrew Bolt, Sydney Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Akerman goes where the blinkered, the naive, and those afraid of reprisals, fail to tread.

Over the past few days he has written two hard-hitting articles regarding multiculturalism and Islamofascism.

To quote from the first:
'The war against terror in Australia will count for nothing ­unless it is accompanied by a war against the culture that permitted terrorism to gain a foothold in the country.
At a rally in Melbourne on Friday
That would be the invidious policy of multiculturalism promoted [during the 1970s] by the Whitlam government’s notorious minister for immigration Al Grassby....
Multiculturalism is a great example of elitist policy-­making that should be dumped.
Since the Leftist intelligentsia launched the French Revolution, Leftist elites have triggered top-down revolutions with results in Russia, China, South-East Asia and South and Central America.
Grassby and others within the Labor Party and the academia have promoted culturally undermining policies of moral equivalence of which multiculturalism is but one manifestation.... [M]ulticulturalism ... encourages division and repels ­integration....
Ditto
Many Muslims who came to this country have chosen to live in ghettos in which English is rarely used, in homes with satellite dishes channelling Arabic (the taxpayer-funded ABC runs Al Jazeera news broadcasts and the taxpayer-funded SBS provides ­Arabic programming).
Many are choosing not to become part of mainstream Australia, though the efforts of brave individuals such as prominent Lebanese community leader Jamal Rifi and his friend Mamdouh Elomar, whose son Mohamed is among the 60-odd Australians to have answered the jihadists’ call to arms, are to be applauded....'
Read the rest here

Another view: Note the Radical Women's presence!
To quote from the second:
'Thanks to the publicly funded ethnic lobby and its supporters at the ABC, SBS and Fairfax, Australians were denied the opportunity to examine and possibly root out the evil of Islamo-fascism when it first came to public attention during the so-called Cronulla riots of December 2005.
Then, when convoys of young Lebanese-Australian publicly demonstrated their hatred for Western culture, terrorising whole suburbs as they smashed windows, vandalised cars and shouted abuse at men and women dressed in regular street clothing, the public was advised: Move along, nothing to see here.
Radical Women on a previous occasion
But there was plenty to see. Just as there had been when some Australian Muslims cheered the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, and failed to condemn the Bali bombings. What was on show was undeniable evidence that within the Muslim community there were many, not just a handful, who were supporters of terrorism.
But the handful of commentators who dared point out the obvious were warned off with threats from various taxpayer-funded organisations and nanny state apparatchiks that publicising the blatant unvarnished facts about Cronulla might whip up unnecessary fear and create division in the community. Instead of highlighting the self-evident antagonism of many young men in the Muslim communities in Sydney and Melbourne, particularly, to the society in which they or in many cases, their parents, had sought and received sanctuary from attacks from other Muslim groups in their former homelands, the publicly funded media portrayed the violent bullies as victims....
And on another
The weakness shown by the authorities then has undoubtedly encouraged a generation to arrogantly believe in their own supremacy now. Whenever challenged, they and their lawyers would play the victimhood card.
Whether it was the increase in fanatical suicide bombings, the 9/11 attacks, or even the gang rapes carried out by young men who self-identified as Muslims even as they were committing the most heinous crimes, the kumbaya crowd has always insisted the perpetrators were the real victims.
Just as the Islamic Council of Victoria has refused to condemn 18-year-old Abdul Numan Haider, who was shot and killed at Endeavour Hills Police Station in Melbourne on Tuesday after he arrived for an interview with two knives and savagely wounded an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victorian policeman before he was shot dead. Political leaders have been too quick to say Islam is not the problem.
But elements of Islam are clearly part of the problem, as anyone familiar with the Koran must be aware.
Constant appeasement of the vocal radicals is not the answer, be it with the censorship of free speech by S18C of the Racial Discrimination Act or through biased programming like the ABC’s Q & A show.
Having failed to address the issue of Islamo-fascism when it started to emerge within the Australian Muslim community, politicians are still reluctant to confront reality. There is a division in Australian society between those who refuse to assimilate and those who welcome the freedoms offered by our pluralistic society....'
Read the rest here

Al Beeb's man in Sydney displays that huge IQ of his again
Meanwhile (as reported here), two Liberal politicians have expressed concern over last Monday's ABC Q&A program in which two Muslim panel members uttered the following sentiments regarding the previous Thursday's terror raids of a number of Muslim homes in Sydney and Brisbane:
Randa Abdel-Fattah:
"....The timing of the raids, you know, the fact that it is happening one week before - it happened one week before, conveniently, the most draconian legislation is about to be announced. We have the fact that we’re going sending troops into Iraq. The whole way that the raids were televised, it was almost like an NCIS episode, almost live feeds. The fact that police were providing, you know, footage to the media, the wall-to-wall coverage that we've seen in the media.... You cannot help but feel cynical about the timing of these raids, the fact that it is whipping people up into a frenzy of hysteria of war fever and the back-to-back coverage....Not only did it provide theatre, not only did it give a sense for Australians to get behind the raids and the wall-to-wall coverage in the media, but it reinforced this wider narrative of Muslims as criminals, as Muslims as the antagonists of Australian values and I'm very cynical about the Government's use of these raids to politicise the Muslim problem of terrorism.[indistinct]...."
Anne-Azza Aly:
".... All terrorism is theatre and all counter-terrorism is theatre. So, yes, it was a manufactured spectacle but that's what counter-terrorism is. That's what security is.... That’s what counter-terrorism is. That’s what terrorism is. It’s all about theatre. So I think we have to accept there is an element of theatre, because this is essentially about perception and it is about convincing people and changing people's minds to a particular world view, whether that world view is that of ISIS and the Islamic State or whether that world view is that of the Australian Government and democratic values and so on and so forth."
 Interesting article by Aussie Islam scholar (and Anglican minister) Mark Durie here

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The ABC & Bibi: Bravo, Bolt!

My previous post shows the ABC's interview with Bibi Netanyahu.  I saw only the tail end of the interview and what struck me was the hectoring tone taken by interviewer Leigh Sales, who attempted to interrupt the Israeli prime minister a number of times, and then proceeded to lecture him on what is right for his own country.

Little surprises me about the ABC, which is the equivalent of the BBC and equally leftwing and politically correct.
And I see that my impression of the interview has been borne out by the popular Australian columnist Andrew Bolt and by many commentators on his column concerning the interview (hat tip: reader Ian):
'How does it work in the ABC’s world?:
 Terrorist: I am going to kill you and all your children.
ABC presenter: Can we haggle here?
[Bolt then quotes the genocidal antisemitic Hamas Charter at length]
But from 7.30 last night:
 LEIGH SALES: ...(H)ow will you have a two-state solution if you’re not prepared to negotiate with Hamas?
 BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Well, I don’t negotiate with people who want to destroy me ... People who are out to destroy you are not candidates for negotiation. You make peace but only with an enemy that wants peace. An enemy that wants to eradicate you from the face of the Earth: there’s nothing to negotiate about. We want to talk to those Palestinians who reject Hamas. That’s why I’ve asked president Abbas to reject Hamas and espouse peace. You can’t have Hamas and peace. You have to choose one or the other. We choose peace.
 LEIGH SALES: But you have to negotiate with who is the representative of 1.8 million Gazans and that is Hamas, otherwise there is no prospect for a two-state solution?
 BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Hamas is not the representative. Hamas is their jailer. Hamas has oppressed them. There was only one election in Gaza: once. After that, there are no elections; there are executions. Hamas executed dozens of Palestinians who don’t agree with them during the last war that they forced on their people, using them as civilian shields and when people protested they put a bullet in their heads… They don’t represent anyone in Gaza. They rule them with an iron fist. This is a terrorist tyranny. I will not accord them any legitimacy. Neither should anyone else.'
 Read more here

                                                                     * * *
And we are all anti-"The Zionist Project" eh?
"Disenfranchised"

Defined by my dictionary as:

"1. Deprived of the rights of citizenship, especially of the right to vote; 2. Deprived of a privilege, right, or power".

Rather like the plight of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban, then, huh?

Yet, on the ABC and elsewhere, pundits are trotted out who misuse that very word, purloining it to describe the present position of Muslims in Australia!

There was such a commentator today on the ABC, who did exactly that; he was invited on to talk up "Islamophobia" and the "fear" in Australian Muslim circles following the recent terror raids and the reported attempted murders yesterday of two police officers (seriously slashing one) by an 18-year-old Afghan Australian recruit to extremism who one of the victims shot dead.


Australian Jewry's enfant terrible adds his ten cents' worth
And talk them up the commentator did: "disenfranchised" escaped more than one from his lips, to "explain" Islamic extremism.

Observes Andrew Bolt's  column today, inter alia:
'Two policemen are stabbed in Melbourne after offering to shake the hand of a Muslim terror suspect and who do Muslim leaders attack?
Yes, the police. Again.
The Islamic Council of Victoria’s reaction yesterday is a disgrace and only too typical of the Muslim leadership that has so betrayed Australia....
It seems impossible to deny the role of Islam in this confrontation. It seems implausible to blame anyone but Haider himself for what followed.
Yet the Islamic Council of Victoria’s secretary, Ghaith Krayem, announced he was “disappointed” that police “almost have said it was the young man’s fault”.
Pardon? Who else’s fault could it have possibly been?
The ICV compounded that implied slur of the police by demanding “a full and objective investigation into this incident to ensure that such a tragedy is never repeated”.
If it were calling for an investigation into Islam, Islamic radicals and apologists in bodies like the ICV, I would agree.
Let’s get the role of Islam out in the open.
But, no, for the ICV the fault lies not with Islam but a few criminals it claims misrepresent the faith — and especially with Australian society, which had “to deal with the root causes of alienation and disaffection of people such as this”.
The Lebanese Muslim Association yesterday agreed Muslims were feeling marginalised and “picked on” and “root causes” here needed addressing.
Our fault, then? That’s an excuse jihadists would want to hear.
But how strange. We actually have about as many Buddhists as Muslims, yet only Muslims warn they are so “alienated” that we must expect terror attacks unless we change.
This absurdly inflamed sense of victimhood — this blaming of non-Muslims — is now so common among Muslim leaders that we must conclude it is not just a misjudgment but a tenet of their ideology....
Yes, for our Muslim leaders it seems the root cause of Islamic terrorism is never Islam and always the West. And so often there’s the same implied threat: change or risk death — said either as a demand or prediction, depending on whether the speaker is an extremist or moderate....'
Read the rest here


Incidentally, from an Aussie academic who back in 2002 concocted a pro-BDS petition with (part-Jewish) leftist academic John Docker, a curious observation today:

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Bibi Netanyahu Interviewed On Aussie TV (video)





Shana Tova to all Jewish readers.  May you have a sweet year ...

Here's Bibi Netanyahu, interviewed on the ABC (Australia's answer to the BBC) yesterday.

I saw a few minutes of the interview but have as  not yet had a chance to view the video. (Hat tip: that amazing resource, reader Ian).