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)

Thursday, 11 February 2016

"The NSW Branch of the ALP Has Launched a Full-scale Attack on Israel... And we should ask: Why?"

This coming weekend the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in New South Wales (power base of Israel-demonising ex-state premier and ex-foreign minister Bob Carr) is holding its state conference.

Of 45 proposed resolutions relating to foreign policy a whopping 28 concern Israel/Palestine, and you can guess their flavour.

As Australian Jewish News publisher Robert Magid writes in the course of a long and penetrating op-ed in the current issue of that newspaper:
 '.... One can ask why are there no resolutions about the extermination of the Yazidis and the Nazerenes; the rape of Tibet by our major trading partner; concern for the spread of Islamic extremism in our closest neighbour and largest Muslim country; the spread of mayhem at the hands of Islamist terrorists in much of Africa, the slaughter in Syria and Iraq, Russia's rape of Ukraine, the dangerous path Europe has taken, to name only a few pressing issues which can't be converted to condemnation of Israel....
 .... [A] worthy resolution would include an understanding of Israel's concern for its people's safety, condemnation of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and of the war crimes of missile attacks from Gaza intent on the mass killing of Israeli civilians.
Before one calls for the creation of a Palestinian state [as 13 proposed resolutions do] one has to resolve the issue of borders, end the fantasy of "right of return" into Israel and require a guarantee that all aggression ceases.
The NSW branch of the ALP has launched a full-scale attack on Israel, an ally of Australia and a country which on a global scale, is involved in a tiny distant conflict of little impact strategically to Australia.  And we should ask: Why?'
Here's a rather interesting recent conversation between two ALP heavyweight old-timers, ex-Senator Graham Richardson and ex-federal minister Peter Baldwin, concerning the present iniquity.

 Meanwhile, for anyone who missed it, here's what the editor of Melbourne's The Age newspaper, one of the Israel-critical Fairfax stable of newspapers, has had to say about his paper's woeful attitude towards Israel.

Simone's Cri de Coeur from Calais (video)

A heart-wrenching account by a lifelong resident of Calais regarding the terrible impact on the town and its people of the thousands and thousands of "asylum seekers" in the "Jungle" awaiting their chance to invade France's neighbour across the Channel.

 (Note: Sandgate in the subtitles should of course read "Sangatte")

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

" If You Don’t Do This, You Are Professionally Ostracized": A journalist on anti-Israel bias

Ring any bells, Jon Donnison?
'....Over time, I came to realize that to be considered a successful journalist by the Western media, a journalist must stick to an acceptable script. In the Middle East, this means portraying Israel and the Jews as the bad guys, and the Palestinians and the PA as the good guys. If you don’t do this, you are professionally ostracized.
.... I saw journalists depict the easiest stories to tell without digging any deeper into the facts behind the conflict. There were various reasons for this—lack of time, money, and resources; ignorance and pressure from editors....
Beyond this, however, I found that some stories carried with them an inherent dislike for the Jewish state and the Jewish people. I’m not speaking about most of the Western media. But a few conversations with journalists do come to mind in which it was obvious that the motivation for their stories was anti-Semitism. What’s scary is that these stories inevitably play a major role in shaping foreign policy toward Israel.
Of course, every news outlet, newspaper, or magazine has an agenda. There is no such thing as an unbiased journalist. We bring our experiences, interactions with people, and our emotions to bear on every story and situation. This is inevitable. Biases will always exist. But we still have a responsibility to uncover and portray the truth to the best of our ability. Admitting to our biases does not mean we should submit to them. [This goes double for publicly-funded public broadcasters like the BBC, whose charters obligate them to impartiality.]
I admit that, at times, I questioned my perception of the situation in Israel. Was I missing something? I felt like I must be doing something wrong, because my views didn’t fit into the framework presented by the Western media.... And the Western media’s view of Israel is a status quo that needs to be questioned.
There is another reason why Western journalists must begin to question their biases and their conduct toward Israel: Their failure do so is pushing peace further away. For example, the Western media feeds the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. If journalists really want to help change things for the better, they should have the courage to criticize the Palestinians and their government.
Got that, Jezza?
They should report on human rights violations committed by the PA (and Hamas). They should tell the world about incitement again Jews and Israelis in PA-controlled media, as well as mosques and schools. They should report on the television shows that teach Palestinian children to hate Jews. They should share the stories of Palestinians who want to speak out against their leaders, but are afraid to do so for fear of imprisonment or death. Give Palestinians a real voice. Putting all the blame on Israel will never change the fate of the Palestinian people.
In fact, just like the PA, the Western media exploits the Palestinians. They use them in order to get the award-winning story their editors want. What the Palestinians do not realize is that these journalists don’t care about the Palestinians. They interview a few people in Ramallah about their struggles, take some emotional photos, and then head back to the comfort of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. As a result, decades of pro-Palestinian bias has changed nothing.
.... As a journalist myself, it pains me to see how bias, unprofessionalism, laziness, ego, and sometimes outright racism influences coverage of Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians. These failures are not only a violation of journalistic ethics, they make peace less likely and embolden Israel’s enemies, and the enemies of democracy around the world.
People ask me a lot if I am pro-Israel. Am I pro-Israel? If supporting democracy and the search for truth it permits means that I am pro-Israel, then, yes, I am.'
Those are extracts from a suberb indictment of journalistic bias against Israel, entitled 'Yes, Journalists Choose Sides in a Conflict—and Often for the Worst Reasons' by Israel-based journalist Zenobia Davji, herself of Parsee heritage.  The entire piece must be read.

And since her article inevitably reminded me of the BBC, here's a recent Memri.org video of Al Beeb's very good friend "Bari" Atwan, speaking late last year in Beirut:

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Blarney, BDS & Blood Libels (includes video)

At the weekend, Martin O'Quigley, head of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, explains why he's out on the streets of Dublin demonstrating against the proposed foundation of an Irish branch of the anti-islamisation organisation PEGIDA, dubbed by most of the press a "far right" organisation  (a label rejected by worried English feminist Anne-Marie Waters of UK Mothers against Sharia and the other founders of the British branch).

For O'Quigley the demo's something about being anti-Zionist and opposing all forms of racism, apparently, as well as dutifully opposing fascism.

The fact that fascism, which Europe defeated during the Second World War (a conflict in which the Irish Republic stood neutral, incidentally, even spitefully denying British ships port facilities during that life or death conflict with evil), is busily importing a new kind of fascism, is of course not part of the mindset of the Irish anti-"Islamophobia" crowd and more than it is of their British and Continental counterparts.

I hold no brief for PEGIDA.   But how strange it is that the fears of Ms Waters and other true feminists for the future of girls and women in a Europe of rapidly changing demographics are apparently not shared by the guys and gals of the "far left".

As reported here, among those joining in the Irish anti-PEGIDA protests are such far leftists as Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, the Workers Solidarity Movement.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan said “we are standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity to show that there is no place in Ireland today for racism and Islamophobia. There is no place for hate.” 
Ms Boylan is a veteran of the anti-Israel movement: see, for instance, here  and here and here

"There is no place for hate" on the Irish Left, it seems, except where Israel is concerned.

President Higgins and friends
I have blogged several times about the anti-Israel cause in Ireland and how vicious seem its sentiments.

Here's another example,  these disgraceful assertions by Anna O'Leary, an Irish Israel-hater, telling Iran's Press TV that Israel is "a place that does not observe human rights".

Listen to her vile blood libels against Israel and her laughable remarks about "our values" (the "our" encompasses Iran, too, presumably!)

 That O'Leary thinks it appropriate to give an interview to the satellite propaganda channel of one of the world's most notorious actual violators of the human rights of women and children, and indeed of males when they are gays or dissidents, while accusing Israel of the heinous things she does in the way she does speaks volumes about the nature and purpose of O'Leary in particular and the Irish BDS movement in general.

Oh, and as for Anne-Marie Waters, here she is in Copenhagen last month, castigating the pro-Islam lefty sisterhood heckling her there:

Sunday, 7 February 2016

David Singer: UN Security Council & Quartet Silence Dooms Two-State Solution

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

He writes:

The UN Security Council and the Quartet – Russia, America, the United Nations and the European Union – have ended any expectations they had of successfully negotiating a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, after failing to categorically reject UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s highly offensive remarks before the Security Council and in the New York Times.

Ban told the Security Council on January 26:
“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.
Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth.
Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”
Reacting to "occupation” can never justify the murder of Israeli civilians in their own homes, shopping in supermarkets, meeting in bars, or waiting at bus stops.

Such acts of murder are despicable and inhumane – and the Security Council and the Quartet should have said so clearly and unequivocally.

Following Israel’s trenchant criticism of these statements a clearly piqued Ban ran off to the New York Times on 31 January claiming he had been misrepresented:
“Some sought to shoot the messenger — twisting my words into a misguided justification for violence. The stabbings, vehicle rammings and other attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians are reprehensible. So, too, are the incitement of violence and the glorification of killers.”
Ban had dug himself an even deeper hole.

Failing again to call such stabbings, vehicle rammings and other targeted attacks on Israeli civilians as “murder” was reprehensible.

The Security Council and the Quartet should have made it absolutely clear that until such murderous acts ceased - the Quartet’s further participation in assisting and facilitating the implementation of the two-state solution envisaged by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap would be indefinitely suspended. That role had been specifically assigned to the Quartet in 2003 when the Bush Roadmap was released:
“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established…
The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan … including direct discussions between the parties as required.”
In July 2015 the Quartet’s role was deliberately changed when:
1. The Quartet’s representative Tony Blair stood down with no replacement whilst his office – the Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) - was renamed the Office of the Quartet (OQ).
 2. The OQ’s stated mandate was:
 “to support the Palestinian people on economic development, rule of law and improved movement and access for goods and people, as they build the institutions and economy of a viable and peaceful state in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”

An independent non-partisan Quartet had overnight been transformed into a biased and hostile Quartet, ignoring Israel’s territorial claims and security needs whilst solely supporting the “Palestinian people”.

No longer were the “democratic Palestinian state” or “practising democracy” mentioned in the Roadmap considered non-negotiable end objectives.

Changing the name had certainly changed the game – with the murder of Israeli civilians and the glorification of their killers beginning soon thereafter.

Whilst the Security Council and Quartet take no decisive action to effectively end these ongoing murders, the two-state solution – and the Quartet’s role - will be doomed to political oblivion.

Friday, 5 February 2016

When Jon Meets Sophie

Both the ABC's Jerusalem correspondent Sophie McNeill and the BBC's Australia (ex-Gaza) correspondent Jon Donnison are notorious for their anti-Israel bias.

They get away with their breaches of their employers' respective charters time and time and time again.

Lefty McNeill is an avowed activist and Lefty Donnison (with his numerous snide tweets about Aussie asylum policy as well as about Israel) behaves like one.

Here's the latest example of Jon and Sophie together.

One, if you'll pardon the expression, on top of the other.

Israel.  "Financial deals".  "Who would have thought it"

There wouldn't be a hint of leftist "rich man antisemitism" there, would there Jon?

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Irate Over Iran

Foreign Office Arabist Sir Richard Dalton ( a former British ambassador to Libya and to Iran), seen in the above footage telling the BBC's Jane Hill that "Israel exaggerates the threat of Iran" and that last year's nuclear "deal" will be honoured"conscientiously" by Iran not merely for 15 years but indefinitely, is set to chair an event at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) addressed by the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr Mohammed Javar Zarif.

Protests Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews:
“To give Zarif a platform to speak at a prestigious London venue like Chatham House is nothing less than an insult to British values. This is a man who has publicly supported Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded organisation which is widely believed to have perpetrated acts of terror around the world including the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina which killed 85 people and the bombing of a tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012 which killed six.
 Hezbollah has also been found to have used funds from drug trafficking operations to buy arms.
Zarif represents a regime which has been complicit in massive violations of human rights beyond its borders, including in Yemen, where it supports the Houthis, whose flag proclaims ‘Death to the Jews’.
 His is a government which sponsored a Holocaust cartoon competition, condemned around the world and notably by UNESCO. Zarif is the representative of a vile regime and a pariah terrorist state. His presence at Chatham House is an affront to anyone with a belief in peace and justice.”
Meanwhile, here in Australia, prominent pro-Israel federal Labor MP Michael Danby has denounced Aussie  foreign minister Julie Bishop’s decision to lift sanctions against Iran:
“Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, a source of instability in the Middle East and violates UN Security Council resolutions, such as Resolution 1929, which prohibits Iran from testing nuclear warhead-capable ballistic missiles. Dropping sanctions against Iran will serve to increase instability in the Middle East.
While the US Congress has debated the Iran deal and sanctions, Julie Bishop arrogantly refuses to allow a parliamentary debate as Australian Labor continues to ask for one on this major shift in Australian foreign policy. It’s extraordinary that under the Turnbull-Bishop government, Australia learns of major policy shifts by press release. The opposition has been continuing to call for a Parliamentary debate on this deal with Iran and the lifting of sanctions.
I have asked Ms Bishop to explain to Parliament what benefits to Australia there will be in providing intelligence to Iranian-sponsored militias in Iraq, which are now increasingly fighting in Syria.
 I have asked Ms Bishop to explain why she is in favour of allowing Iranian consulates in Melbourne and Sydney, when Iran has repeatedly used the diplomatic cover provided by consulates and embassies to enable Hezbollah terrorist activity in South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
 I have also asked whether Ms Bishop has already decided to remove Australia’s autonomous sanctions against Iran, since she has been narrowcasting on ABC Rural radio the benefits of trade with Iran. She has not bothered to reassure Australians that she has a peaceful Middle East or Australia’s best interests at heart. Since the Vienna nuclear deal was concluded in July, Iran has fired ballistic missile tests in September and November. Unlike the United States, Australia has failed to even protest these violations of United Nations resolutions.
Iran has a history of aggressively breaking the rules or pushing the envelope. Whatever slim hope there is that the nuclear deals working will work is dependent on us ensuring Iran does not get away with breaking the rules. We are failing miserably, and so will the nuclear deal. The ramifications of that is a nuclear Iran and more nuclear proliferation across the Middle East.”
See more regarding Danby's concerns here