Saturday, August 25, 2012

Abu Mazen: Diplomatic Terror and Inability to Deliver Anything

From Yisrael Beiteinu, August 23, 2012, by Foreign Minister Liberman:     Israel’s problem with the Palestinians ... All we try and achieve with the Palestinians is to keep the quiet at all costs.

...Between Abu Mazen and Khaled Mashaal there is a clear division of labor.
Khaled Mashaal leads the armed terror and Abu Mazen the diplomatic terror.

...all of Abu Mazen’s initiatives in the international arena point to diplomatic terror:
  • The Durban Conference,
  • accusations that Israel is an “Apartheid” state,
  • filing alleged war crimes charges at The Hague against the IDF,
  • the creation of an investigative commission at the UN Human Rights Council,
  • boycotts against Israel, Israeli academia and Israeli products,
  • unilateralism at the United Nations and UNESCO and
  • the charges against Israel of stealing natural resources from the Palestinians.
All of these are examples of blatant diplomatic terror that is led by Abu Mazen himself.

Other examples of this, are
  • calls for a square named after the “Engineer” Yehiya Ayyash and
  • a street named after Dalal Mughrabi,
both were vicious murderers responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent women, children and infants.
In addition, Abu Mazen organized a homecoming celebration for the terrorists released in the Shalit deal, including those responsible for the murders in the Sbarro Restaurant and the Park Hotel in Netanya, who he called “freedom fighters” and gave them a financial reward of $5,000 and an apartment. These facts speak for themselves.

It should be further understood that Abu Mazen in unable to deliver the goods. He does not control Gaza, he continuously postpones the elections for the presidency, the parliament and municipal elections for years. There is also a clear understanding that in Judea and Samaria he also has no real control.

He has no legitimacy, and even if we were to sign an agreement with Abu Mazen, it is clear that any Palestinian government that arises after him will claim that the agreement has no support and will not be recognized. They will then say: What he received, we received and now we will start again from scratch....

Jewish anti Israel activists and Obama flock together

From a Letter, Thursday, August 23, 2012 to President Obama on the inclusion of numerous anti-Israel figures in his campaign, by William Kristol, Chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel:

Dear Mr. President:
This week, your campaign launched a group called “Rabbis for Obama” ...[which] your campaign says, are “committed to re-electing” you due to your “policy agenda that represents the values of the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community” and your “deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel.” was particularly shocking to see that your campaign had recruited, and was touting the support of, rabbis who have no commitment to Israel’s security, and whose values are representative of a small and extreme group of anti-Israel activists – and certainly not of the pro-Israel community.
“Rabbis for Obama” includes many leaders of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Movement, a movement inimical to Israel’s well-being. It includes founders of the pro-Hamas “Fast for Gaza” initiative. It even includes one person who was pleased to dine with Iranian President Ahmadinejad in 2008 and another who says the United States and Israel bring terrorism on themselves. Several members of “Rabbis for Obama” are officials of Jewish Voice for Peace, a radical group that the Anti-Defamation League featured in its list of the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America.”
Far from demonstrating a “deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel,” these figures have demonstrated a deep hostility to the state of Israel and a deep commitment to demonizing the Jewish state and undermining the U.S.-Israel alliance.
...This is, as you have pointed out, a particularly perilous time for the people of Israel... [Repudiate] the anti-Israel figures among the “Rabbis for Obama” ...[and] have an urgent and serious conversation with whoever in your campaign thought it appropriate to trumpet their support as a way of making your case to the pro-Israel community.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Hebron Massacre, 117 years ago today.

From, Wednesday, August 22, 2012:

The Hebron Massacre, August 24, 1929.
Re-Posting Photos Discovered in the Library of Congress Archives

The destruction of the Avraham Avinu
Synagogue in Hebron in 1929  
On the eve of the anniversary of the Hebron massacre on August 24, we re-post these  photographs which we uncovered in the American Colony collection in the Library of Congress archives. 
Today’s leaders of the Hebron Jewish community told us last year that they had never seen the photos before. 
Click on the photos to enlarge. Click on the captions to download the high-definition originals.
Background to the Hebron massacre.  After the British army captured Palestine from the Turks in late 1917, the relationship between the British and the local Arab population was characterized by tension that sporadically erupted into insurrection over the next 30 years. 
A destroyed synagogue. Torah scrolls
strewn on the ground
Enlargement of scroll showing
Deuteronomy 1: 17
The Arabs of Palestine were led by the powerful Husseini clan who controlled the offices of the Mufti (religious leader) as well as the Mayor of Jerusalem.  For decades the clan had opposed European colonialism, the growing power of foreign consulates in Jerusalem, Christian and Jewish immigration and land purchases.  After the 1917 Balfour Declaration expressed support for “a national home for the Jewish people,” Husseini added “Zionists” to his enemies list.  The clan leveraged its power and threats of violence to win over Turkish and British overlords, to challenge the Hashemite King Abdullah, and to hold off competing clans such as the Nashashibi, Abu Ghosh, and Khalidi clans.
Jewish home plundered. Blood-stained floor
[Haj Amin el Husseini fled Palestine in 1937 to escape British jail and eventually found his way to Berlin where he assisted the Nazi war effort.  He died of natural causes in Beirut in 1974.]
On Yom Kippur 1928, Jews brought chairs and screens to prayers at the Western Wall. This purported change of the status quo was exploited by the Mufti, Haj Amin el Husseini, to launch a jihad against the Jews.  Husseini’s campaign continued and escalated after a Jewish demonstration at the Kotel on Tisha B’Av in August 1929.  Rumors spread that Jews had attacked Jerusalem mosques and massacred Muslims.  The fuse was lit for a major explosion. 

Synagogue desecrated
Starting on Friday, August 23, 1929 and lasting for a week, attacks by enraged Arab mobs were launched against Jews in the Old City in Jerusalem, in Jerusalem suburbs Sanhedria, Motza, Bayit Vegan, Ramat Rachel, in outlying Jewish communities, and in the Galilee town of Tzfat.  Small Jewish communities in Gaza, Ramla, Jenin, and Nablus had to be abandoned.

The attack in Hebron became a frenzied pogrom with the Arab mob stabbing, axing, decapitating and disemboweling 67 men, women and children.  At least 133 Jews were killed across Palestine. In 1931, there was a short-lived attempt to reestablish the Jewish community in Hebron, but within a few years it was abandoned until the Israel Defense Forces recaptured Hebron in 1967. 
The British indulged the Arabs and responded by limiting Jewish immigration and land purchases.
Large common grave of Jewish victims. Later the grave
was destroyed

Jewish home plundered

Today in Hebron: A recent Jewish service in the rebuilt
Avraham Avinu Synagogue (with permission of photographer)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Greens Party bullying, backbiting and divisions

From the Australian, August 22, 2012, by CHRISTIAN KERR:
Greens Senate candidate Cate Faehrmann, right, has been heavily criticised in an internal party report.
Picture: John Grainger Source: The Daily Telegraph
THE NSW Greens' leading Senate candidate for the next election has been accused of questioning the integrity of party staff and levelling unfounded charges.
A harshly worded 87-page internal party report on the bitterly fought preselection won by Cate Faehrmann has ...revealed the depths of factional division within the state.
The NSW Greens held their annual general meeting at the weekend....
The report - and equally tough comments in response by Greens members that have appeared on a closed party website, both obtained by The Australian - illustrate the infighting between the hard-left "Eastern Bloc" faction allied to senator Lee Rhiannon, a Moscow-line communist even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the more environmentally focused "Deep Green" grouping.
The report was prepared by returning officer and Sydney City councillor Chris Harris, a member of the Eastern Bloc.
"The preselection process was highly adversarial," he wrote.
The report slams Ms Faehrmann, an opponent of the Eastern Bloc faction.
Mr Harris claims Ms Faehrmann "questioned the integrity of Greens NSW" staff by expressing concern over the handling and storage of postal ballot envelopes.
He accuses her of "raising 'issues of concern' ... founded on no real basis" and impugning "the reputation of people of goodwill ... acting in good faith".
Mr Harris continues: "What could be characterised as bullying behaviour should not be part of a preselection that is based on mutual respects."
He claims Ms Faehrmann's comments "have no credibility" as they are based on "unfounded 'concerns' ".
Mr Harris did not respond to a request for comment yesterday....
One senior NSW Greens figure attacked the report, saying it was "only just accepted" by the weekend meeting.
"The returning officer was very partisan," the source said.
The source described Mr Harris as a member of "the inner sanctum of Lee's group".
"It had to go to a vote because there was so much concern at the bias that was evident in the report," the source said.
"He did not investigate the breaches by Lee at all but instead focused on attacking Cate Faehrmann."
It was revealed during the preselection process that Senator Rhiannon had ghostwritten a controversial article attacking her party...
Senator Rhiannon did not respond to a request for comment from The Australian yesterday....
Chris Tuckfield from the Waverley Greens attacked Mr Harris for "misrepresentation of the facts" and making "inappropriate" comments in the report "inconsistent in my view with the role and responsibility of a RO to be both impartial and seen to be impartial during a tense electoral process".
Justin Field, from the Shoalhaven Greens, described the report as "vindictive and aggressive", while another Shoalhaven member, Maureen Bell, said Mr Harris "chose to seek ways to attack my integrity" rather than acting on concerns.
A Penrith member, Suzie Wright, said the report "appears to open up adversarial battlelines...".

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

War criminals allowed to escape prosecution

From SMH, 21 August 2012, by Barney Zwartz:
After seven years of fighting a bid to extradite him to Hungary, a court has confirmed that accused war criminal Charles Zentai could remain in Australia. Photo: Barry Baker

NAZI and other war criminals have been allowed to live comfortable lives in Australia thanks to "fickle and cynical" government morality, according to a Jewish community leader.

"There has been a gross distortion of decency, allowing fugitives to take the places of refugees," Jeremy Jones, director of international affairs for the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, said at a book launch in Sydney on Sunday.

"Australian governments, though commission and omission, have been complicit in allowing torturers, murderers and architects of the most gross inhumanity to live in peace and without fear of consequences in Australia," Mr Jones said.

He said there was no political will to chase the hundreds, if not thousands, of war criminals who came to Australia after World War II, partly because the Government wanted "good anti-communists".

Unlike the US, Australia did not ask the right questions, so immigrants did not have to lie, which later would be grounds for deporting them, Mr Jones said.

Even now Australia had not prosecuted or extradited a single person for crimes against humanity, though perpetrators had come here from Europe, South America and Asia.

Last week the High Court upheld the decision not to extradite Charles Zentai to Hungary to face allegations of war crimes on the grounds that such an offence did not exist at the time. Mr Jones said the decision seemed to show "an awful lack of will, let alone morality".
"Australia held itself up as a place where a person could forget his or her past, and this was twisted and manipulated into a rationalisation for allowing criminals to escape prosecution."...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Israel’s Rights in the West Bank

From BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 176, July 31, 2012, by Avi Bell:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Commission to Examine the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria (the “Levy report”) has drawn a flurry of overwrought criticism due to its inclusion of a section concerning the lawfulness of Israeli settlement activity. But the report’s argument is surprisingly modest in substance; it does little more than endorse the traditional official Israeli position that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply de jure to the West Bank, and in any event does not bar Israeli settlements. Some have argued that the Levy report is foolish politically, arguing that by asserting its legal rights, Israel will signal that it is unwilling to entertain “land for peace” compromises. This seems a doubtful thesis. Israel has asserted its legal rights to Jerusalem for decades, but yet repeatedly offered compromises on its rights in the city. What the Levy report has done is to reinvigorate the discussion of the legitimacy of Israel’s position under international law after many years in which Israel has been silent about its legal rights. That is a welcome development.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was presented with the report of the Commission to Examine the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy (the “Levy report”). The report has drawn a flurry of overwrought criticism due to its inclusion of a section concerning the lawfulness of Israeli settlement activity. In contrast with the misinformed and sometimes outright disingenuous criticism, the report’s discussion of the lawfulness of settlements is surprisingly modest in substance. The report does little more than endorse the traditional official Israeli position that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply de jure to the West Bank, and in any event does not bar Israeli settlements...
The Levy report adduces one of two fairly compelling reasons for concluding that the laws of belligerent occupation do not apply de jure to Israel’s presence in the West Bank. One of the sine quibus non of belligerent occupation, as reaffirmed recently in an expert conference organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, is that the occupation take place on foreign territory. While recent years have seen some debate on the meaning of foreign territory, considerable state practice supports the traditional view that captured territory is “foreign” only when another state has sovereignty. The Levy Commission is on solid ground in observing that neither Jordan nor any other foreign state had territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in 1967 and that the territory cannot therefore be “foreign” for purposes of the law of belligerent occupation. Indeed, had the Levy Commission chosen to so argue, it could have argued cogently that Israel itself was already the lawful sovereign over the West Bank in 1967. Unmentioned by the report, Israel’s peace agreement with Jordan constitutes a second reason for questioning the de jure application of the laws of belligerent occupation to the West Bank. As Yoram Dinstein wrote some time ago, the rules of belligerent occupation cannot be applied to Israel’s presence in the West Bank “in light of the combined effect of ... the Jordanian-Israeli Treaty of Peace of 1994 and the series of agreements with the Palestinians. There is simply no room for belligerent occupation in the absence of belligerence, namely, war.” While Dinstein qualified his observation by holding several idiosyncratic views regarding the definition of occupation and the status of the Palestinians, as well as by joining a small group of legal scholars who believe in a “post-belligerent occupation” that shares many of the rules of belligerent occupation, the majority position is still clearly that the rules of belligerent occupation do not apply to an agreed-upon peacetime presence.
On settlements, the Levy report likewise adduces several strong arguments to the effect that even if the laws of belligerent occupation applied to Israel’s presence in the West Bank, the Fourth Geneva Convention poses no bar to the kinds of actions that are subsumed under the term “settlement activities.”
The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids “transfers” and “deportations” by the occupying state of parts of its population into occupied territory, but not “settlements.” Officials of the state of Israel have provided services to settlers and sometimes encouraged them, but the state of Israel has not transferred any Israeli to the West Bank against his or her will. In fact, as even anti-settlement activists like Talia Sasson
acknowledge, “there was never a considered, ordered decision by the state of Israel, by any Israeli government” on settlements. While some governments of Israel have favored the physical expansion of settlements or the increase of their population, settlement growth has been driven by the preferences of private citizens not by official Israeli population transfers. There is no precedent for any other state being adjudged to have violated the Fourth Geneva Convention simply on the basis of permitting or facilitating private preferences in the way Israel has done. Indeed, this is the reason that the Arab states sought to redefine the bar on “transfers” in international law by including a crime of “indirect” transfers in the Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court. However, Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute and it is therefore not bound by the alternative, more restrictive standard.
Some have argued that the Levy report is foolish politically, arguing that by asserting its legal rights, Israel will signal that it is unwilling to entertain “land for peace” compromises. This seems a doubtful thesis. Israel has asserted its legal rights to Jerusalem for decades, but yet repeatedly offered compromises on its rights in the city.
Others have objected that the Levy report’s conclusions can be disputed by international jurists, including by a controversial and non-binding advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. It is true that like many legal controversies, the questions addressed by the Levy Commission are capable of being analyzed in a number of ways. The Levy Commission’s conclusions are logical applications of reasonable understandings of the rules in an area where no authoritative resolution of the dispute has yet been rendered.
The Levy report has reinvigorated the discussion of the legitimacy of Israel’s position under international law after many years in which Israel has been silent about its legal rights. That is a welcome development.
*Avi Bell is a professor in the Rackman Faculty of Law at Bar-Ilan University and the University of San Diego School of Law.