Thursday, July 21, 2011

Australian Senator RYAN slams "Australians for Palestine" and their despicable BDS campaign

From THE SENATE PROOF MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST: Israel: SPEECH, Wednesday, 6 July 2011, by Senator RYAN (Victoria).
Senator Ryan:
...At the second conference of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism last year in Ottawa, which I was fortunate enough to attend, Stephen Harper said:
… when Israel … is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.
  • Demonisation,
  • double standards,
  • delegitimisation, 
...the three Ds, it is the responsibility of us all to stand up to them.
Sadly, this continues today...what I would like to speak about is this socalled BDS campaign.
... I note the public debate over the last three to four months that has thankfully exposed the lies and double standards upon which this campaign is based. Today I want to raise a few examples of this campaign in detail and consider the so-called BDS handbook produced and distributed by Australians for Palestine. I believe it was distributed to nearly all members and senators in this place.

In this manual we find some extraordinary lies and we find a use of language that is extraordinarily concerning. This booklet and the language in it refuses to even accept the partition by the United Nations in 1948. It refuses to accept the state that was created to be Israel. It goes on to talk about Israel's alleged conquest in 1967 of the Palestinian territories as if it were a unilateral invasion rather than yet another battle for Israel's very existence. It alleges racial discrimination against the Palestinian people without providing anything other than assertions and slurs.

Israel more than any nation surrounding it goes to extraordinary lengths to accommodate its Arab Muslim and Christian minorities, amongst others. This allegation is itself a distortion of this very tolerance and the exemptions from duty such as national service that are granted to the non-Jewish minorities of Israel. More troubling is the linking of the wars of independence and defence with the Holocaust which is the last refuge of the intellectually pathetic as well as those who seek to diminish the horror of that unique historical tragedy.
Some of the words the booklet uses are:
Just as Jews expected to Germany to accept responsibility for what it did in the Holocaust so, too, will the refugee issue continue to fester and frustrate attempts to bring peace to the region
This is both a historical inaccuracy as well as a baseless slur.

Of course, the truth is that the so-called refugee issue is unique in the world. Nowhere else have refugee camps been used for such political purposes by the neighbours but opponents of a nation to continue to create angst and tension against the state that they wish was not there—in this case Israel.

Of course, nowhere else do we legally define refugees on such an intergenerational basis. The refugee issue is the tool with which some hope to destroy Israel through simply swamping it with people.

There is never mentioned the great yet intermittent expulsions of Jews from Arab lands that followed in the second half of the 20th century. Hundreds of thousands of Jews in nations that they had been at home in for centuries were expelled from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Morocco and Egypt, amongst others. Jews were forced to leave their homes. Their possessions and all their wealth were stolen often after arbitrary imprisonment or detention.

To talk about the movement of people in the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century and only refer to the refugee issue outlined allegedly in the terms by Australians for Palestine without considering the mistreatment of Jews throughout the Middle East at the same time is selective use of history.

This booklet also gives away later in the contents what its agenda is. It refers to the BDS campaign:
Thus it does not endorse either a one-state or a twostate solution.
The truth is this booklet gives away with those words the very point of this campaign. The campaign is to remove the state of Israel as a Jewish state.

...We also have outlined in this booklet a way to target Israeli goods. It outlines that if you look for the Israeli barcode which begins with the numbers 729 you can avoid purchasing products that originate from Israel. I would not like that to become a modern digital version of the Star of David on products.

Possibly, apart from its reference to the Holocaust, the most offensive example in this booklet is that it actually provides excuses for Hamas. It says:
In fact, Hamas has demonstrated a flexible approach to pragmatic politics. It has held to unilateral ceasefires and key leaders have even expressed a willingness to implicitly recognise Israel's existence as part of a genuine two state solution.
Hamas is an organisation that retains to this day in its charter the most vile references to the Jewish people, the most vile anti-Semitic references and that pledges itself to pushing the Jews into the sea. It pledges itself to the destruction of the Jewish state. Yet here in this booklet attempting to hide the truth of this campaign it actually provides excuses for an organisation that intentionally targets civilians.

... in Australians for Palestine we have a group of people that provides excuses for people who target children on school buses and in their schoolyards with rockets and with bombs.

What is the BDS in reality? The truth is that it represents the third wave of the attempt to eliminate Israel. Of course, not all those who supported it are necessarily aware of this objective but the campaign against Israel since 1948 cannot be ignored and this is the latest weapon of those who seek to eliminate it. Sadly, as is often the case with fellow travellers they are sometimes unwitting in the campaign they have been joined to.

The first wave was war. In the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Israel's neighbours attempted to eliminate the Jewish state by means of traditional warfare.

In 1970 the second wave commenced ...that of asymmetrical warfare, terrorism—targeting civilians throughout Israel and in other parts of the world and using tactics that are utterly repugnant to civilised society.

But those campaigns were both failures. Israel could not be broken militarily despite the often extraordinary odds, and the various intifada and terror campaigns did not break its society, which I am in constant admiration of.

This campaign is now aimed at undermining support for Israel in the West. The use of names like Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela is a sign that this campaign is aimed at middle-class Australia, not the Arab street.

Of course, this comparison is utterly flawed. Martin Luther King, one of the truly great men of the 20th century, was pledged to harmony and nonviolence. The campaign against Israel is anything but. We have seen examples of that in our cities with the violent protests outside stores just in the last month.

When allegations are made towards Israel, often without any foundation or evidence, they are never made against others. We hear nothing from groups like this about the oppression of Arab peoples in the states surrounding Israel as we speak. These nations have much worse records on human rights and are direct neighbours of Israel. The issue is that they too are pledged to the destruction of that state. It is this double standard that gives the game away.

Australians for Palestine, through the words they have used in this, are not a group who support the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

How long until we see the Star of David painted on windows? It may these days be painted in blue with a blue stripe above and below it in an attempt to say it is about Israel, but we know what this means. The agenda of these groups is clear: it is to diminish the support for Israel in Australia.

...In this book, in possibly the most egregious misuse of history, they refer to the Simon Wiesenthal Center as 'a notorious pro-Israeli front'. The centre is dedicated to a man who spent his life Nazi hunting and has the Museum of Tolerance and a website with educational tools such as Tools for Tolerance to encourage harmony in our society. To accuse that particular centre named after that extraordinary individual of being 'a notorious pro-Israeli front' is nothing short of offensive.

I see nowhere from Australians for Palestine condemnation of the rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians; we only see excuses for Hamas. We do not see any call for Hamas or the Palestinian Authority to recognise Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. We do not see or hear of any demands from it that call for the Palestinian Authority to stop its glorification of terrorists, naming soccer tournaments after them, naming streets after them and having their education system encourage vile racism that we would not tolerate in our own communities.

This campaign seeks to hold Israel to a standard to which it will not hold its own proponents, the Palestinian Authority. Until those standards are applied equally, until the physical attacks on Israel and the anti-Semitic attacks upon the Jewish people are prominently and consistently ignored, this campaign will have no legitimacy and will continually be brought to attention in this place.

Israel won't apologize for 'Marmara' incident

Minister says "Turkish stubbornness preventing us from bridging gaps"...

The "golden era" of Israeli-Turkish ties will not return, even if Israel did apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Wednesday, reiterating that Israel has no intention of saying sorry to Ankara.

Ya'alon, who in recent weeks led three rounds of talks with the Turks in an effort to find a formula that would bring closure to last year's flotilla incident, indicated in an Israel Radio interview that Jerusalem felt no pressure to reach agreement with Turkey before former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer issues a report on the matter.

"Turkish stubbornness is preventing us from bridging the gaps, and therefore it is good that Palmer will release his report on July 27, and then we will meet," Ya'alon said.

The UN commissioned report is widely believed to uphold the legality of Israel's naval blockade of Gaza, as well as the right of Israel to stop the flotilla, while taking the IDF to task for using excessive force in stopping the Mavi Marmara. The report is also believed to highlight Turkish government links with the flotilla, which resulted in the death of nine Turks when IDF commandoes were attacked while boarding the ship.
...Ya'alon said that while Israel agreed to express regret for the loss of lives, it would not apologize. There is a huge difference, he said, because an apology means taking responsibility for the action.

The Mavi Marmara was a Turkish provocation, Ya'alon said, pointing out that by stopping Turkish participation in this year's flotilla, Ankara showed that it could have stopped last year's as well, had it been so inclined. "The Turkish government also bears responsibility," he said.
"I am also not sure that the Turks are willing to renew the golden era of ties," Ya'alon said. "The deterioration [in the relationship] happened even before the flotilla and has to do with the orientation of the [Turkish] government." ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The West Bank is disputed, not "occupied"

From YouTube, on Jul 12, 2011, by :
In this 3-minute video, Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon explains where the terms "West Bank", "occupied territories" and "67 Borders" originated and how they are incorrectly used.

Also see the excerpts from previous JIW postings below for further information (click on the title to go to the full posting, where you will find links to the original source material).

…The “Mandate for Palestine,” an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, a 10,000- square-miles area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The legally binding document was conferred on April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference, and its terms outlined in the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920. The Mandate’s terms were finalized and unanimously approved on July 24, 1922, by the Council of the League of Nations, which was comprised at that time of 51 countries, and became operational on September 29, 1923.

...On April 18, 1946, when the League of Nations was dissolved and its assets and duties transferred to the United Nations, the international community, in essence, reaffirmed the validity of this international accord and reconfirmed that the terms for a Jewish National Home were the will of the international community, a “sacred trust” – despite the fact that by then it was patently clear that the Arabs opposed a Jewish National Home, no matter what the form…

...The “Mandate for Palestine” is Valid to This Day
The Mandate survived the demise of the League of Nations. Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the “Mandate for Palestine” of the League of Nations.

This Mandate granted Jews the irrevocable right to settle anywhere in Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, a right unaltered in international law and valid to this day. Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (i.e. the West Bank), Gaza and the whole of Jerusalem are legal.

The International Court of Justice reaffirmed the meaning and validity of Article 80 in three separate cases...July 11, 1950...June 21, 1971...[and] July 9, 2004...neither the ICJ nor the UN General Assembly can arbitrarily change the status of Jewish settlement as set forth in the “Mandate for Palestine,” an international accord that has never been amended.

All of western Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, including the West Bank and Gaza, remains open to Jewish settlement under international law.

Israel Has the Better Title to the Territory of What Was Palestine, Including the Whole of Jerusalem
International law makes it clear: All of Israel's wars with its Arab neighbors were in self-defence.
Professor, Judge Schwebel, wrote in What Weight to Conquest:
"(a) a state [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defense may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defense;
"(b) as a condition of its withdrawal from such territory, that State may require the institution of security measures reasonably designed to ensure that that territory shall not again be used to mount a threat or use of force against it of such a nature as to justify exercise of self-defense;
"(c) Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.

"... as between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."
"No legal Right Shall Spring from a Wrong"
Professor Schwebel explains that the principle of "acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible" must be read together with other principles:

"... namely, that no legal right shall spring from a wrong, and the Charter principle that the Members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State."
Simply stated: Arab illegal aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, cannot and should not be rewarded.

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, stated:

"Territorial Rights Under International Law.... By their [Arab countries] armed attacks against the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and by various acts of belligerency throughout this period, these Arab states flouted their basic obligations as United Nations members to refrain from threat or use of force against Israel's territorial integrity and political independence. These acts were in flagrant violation inter alia of Article 2(4) and paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of the same article."

Thus, under international law Israel acted lawfully by exercising its right to self-defence when it redeemed and legally reoccupied Judea and Samaria, known also as the West Bank.

Legalities aside, before 1967 there were no Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and for the first ten years of so-called occupation there were almost no Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And still there was no peace with the Palestinians. The notion that Jewish communities pose an obstacle to peace is a red herring designed to blame Israel for lack of progress in the 'Peace Process' and enable Palestinian leadership to continue to reject any form of compromise and reconciliation with Israel as a Jewish state.

"Occupation" and "Settlements" have … become the buzzwords by which to denote, to decry and defame Israel's control of the territories across the 1967 armistices lines. This prevailing custom is wildly at odds with the realities that forced Israel to seize these territories in an unequivocal act of self defense against threats of annihilation, in classic preemptive exercise of the right of "anticipatory self defense."

A 2003 article "Jus ad Bellum: Law Regulating Resort to Force", published by the American Bar Association, sets out the rather stringent conditions for the legitimate exercise of "anticipatory self defense." It stipulates that the necessity for action must be "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." It goes on to quote a "recent edition of a leading treatise [which] states that [anticipatory] self-defense may justify use of force under the following conditions: an attack is immediately threatened; there is an urgent necessity for defensive action; there is no practicable alternative, particularly when another state or authority that legally could stop or prevent the infringement does not or cannot do so..."
There is clearly not doubt that these conditions were met in June 1967.

The declarations of Arab leaders, before Israel held a square inch of territory now claimed to be "occupied," show irrefutably that "an attack was immediately threatened" and that there was indeed "an urgent necessity for defensive action." Furthermore, there was clearly no practicable alternative, particularly when another state or authority that legally could stop or prevent the infringement did not do so..." (since the UN had, at Cairo's behest, removed its troops from the Israeli-Egyptian border; and the United States and other maritime powers refused to remove Egypt's blockade of the Straits of Tiran, and to honor their commitments to allow Israel the right of navigation in the Red Sea.)

On March 8th 1965, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser proclaimed: "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand. We shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood."

On May 18, 1967 the Cairo-based radio station Voice of the Arabs blared stridently: "As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise patience no more. .... The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."
Two days later, on May 20, 1967, Gen. Hafez al-Assad, Syria's Minister of Defense, and later President, boasted: "Our forces are now entirely initiate the act of liberation itself and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland....the time has come to enter a battle of annihilation."

On May 27, Nasser declared: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight."

And four days before the outbreak of war, on June 1, 1967, Iraqi President Abdul Rahman Ali (later killed by Saddam Hussein) threatened: "The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map."
Therefore, it was not Israeli aggression but unequivocal Arab aggression that led to the events which precipitated Israel's takeover of territories across the 1967 frontiers, an act of clearly legitimate anticipatory preemption of that aggression….

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Palestine - 'Occupation Incorporated'

From Sky News, July 18, 2011, by Tim Marshall:

...The Palestinian Authority likes to boast about the West Bank' s 8% economic growth...

What they fail to remind us is that there are well over 200 NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza, and 30% of the GDP here comes from international aid. Palestinians are among the most foreign aid funded people in the world and the place is awash with money.

This underlying economic problem is further complicated by the fact that UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees stipulates that not only are the Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948 refugees, but so are their sons and daughters grandsons and granddaughters, great grandsons and granddaughters and so on into the future. In Palestine many people are born refugees. There are people who have a vested interest in this continuing. In 1950 there were 750,000 Palestinians in the Middle East, now there are 4.8 million. UNWRA is considered a 'temporary agency'.

...The billions that pour in here mean the Palestinian Authority does not need to try very hard to deliver the services expected by voters, it also stifles the private sector, inflates wages and causes an internal 'brain drain'.

The restaurant I went to in Ramallah had a line of expensive cars outside and ranks of NGO workers picking their way through an expensive menu inside. The NGOs do fine work alleviating suffering, helping projects with expertise etc, but they also recruit the best of the local talent and take advantage of their charitable status to get tax breaks.

No Palestinian business can compete with NGOs which routinely triple what a local firm would pay. Many NGOs fork out 'danger money' and even 'hardship payments' to both local and international staff which further undermines the local private businesses. So the NGOs get the brightest and the highest paid, and the private firms get the rest but without the tax exemptions.

“Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry,” a medical NGO worker recently told This Week In Palestine, “People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want'

... Palestine remains a friendly place, welcoming, hospitable, full of air con, hi-fi, wi-fi and wine. Journalists also take advantage of this state of affairs, writing of the poverty and suffering of Gaza for example, before retiring to very expensive sea front hotels after an excellent dinner in one of the expensive fish restaurants.

This is not to argue that NGOs are not required, many are, but they distort the situation and fundamentally the Palestinians cannot have properly functioning businesses, nor be fully independent until their leaders are partially weaned off their addiction to other peoples money.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

73% of Palestinians want to kill all Jews

From JPost, 15 July 2011, b

73% of 1,010 Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza agree with 'hadith' quoted in Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones, trees.

Only one in three Palestinians (34 percent) accepts two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to an intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip completed this week by American pollster Stanley Greenberg.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, was conducted in partnership with the Beit Sahour-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by the Israel Project, an international nonprofit organization that provides journalists and leaders with information about the Middle East.

The Israel Project is trying to reach out to the Arab world to promote “people-to-people peace.” The poll appears to indicate that the organization has a difficult task ahead.

Respondents were asked about US President Barack Obama’s statement that “there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people.”

Just 34% said they accepted that concept, while 61% rejected it.

Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state.

Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% said it should be the capital of Palestine, 1% said the capital of Israel, 3% the capital of both, and 4% a neutral international city.

Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.

When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.

But only 45% said they believed in the charter’s statement that the only solution to the Palestinian problem was jihad....