MY CONDITIONS FOR PALESTINIAN NATIONHOOD

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By Richard Mather, JMA editor 

The House of Commons has voted to recognise the State of Palestine. But what is the State of Palestine? What are its borders and its currency? What and where are its legitimate international institutions? What is its government – the Palestinian Authority or Hamas?

At present, the State of Palestine is no more than a state of mind, a political-ideological fantasy dreamt up by Yasser Arafat and his Nazi sympathiser predecessor Haj Amin Al-Husseini. Palestine does not and never did exist in any concrete sense. It is a country of the imagination, residing in the warped minds of Islamo-anarchist Jew-haters.

But let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the State of Palestine is a real place. What would it be like? For a start, it would be a colonial outpost of the Arab-Muslim world, which has been appropriating land since the time of Mohammed. It would be a racist state, a place where Jews (who are the real and original Palestinians) are ethnically cleansed from Judea and Samaria. And until Hamas revokes its charter calling for the mass murder of the Jewish people, it would be a genocidal state. The State of Palestine would be a rogue state financed and armed by extremist countries like Iran and Qatar. The State of Palestine would be a human rights nightmare where women and gays are oppressed or killed, where journalists are imprisoned, where dissident voices are quashed, where political opponents are thrown off the top of buildings, where Christians are hounded out.

Despite this litany of problems, the world seems intent on establishing the twenty-third Arab country at a time when the Arab world is falling apart. A State of Palestine, with UN backing, will probably be a reality in ten to fifteen years. Of course, Israel and the Jewish people are under no obligation to recognise the legitimacy of a Palestinian state. But perhaps I can be persuaded. Here’s my list of conditions:

I will only recognise Palestine if Jews are allowed to stay in their homes in Hebron and Ariel and Beitar Illit, and the Hamas charter is revoked. I will recognise Palestine when the Arabs recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish nation and the refugees (who aren’t really refugees at all but the descendants of half a million Arab immigrants to Palestine in the late 19th century) are resettled in Palestine and not Israel. I will recognise Palestine when the endemic Jew-hatred is renounced and purged from school textbooks. I will recognise Palestine when it rejects the dream of a greater Palestine from the river to the sea. I will recognise Palestine when the Palestinian Arabs apologise for their role in the Holocaust. I will recognise Palestine when they apologise for massacring Jews in Hebron in 1929 and Jerusalem in 1936. I will recognise Palestine when it apologises for starting the war in 1947-49. I will recognise Palestine when it acknowledges the mistakes it has made (rejecting several two-state solutions) and takes some responsibility for its past, present and future. I will recognise Palestine when it starts behaving like a state that wants to prosper instead of a terrorist basket case that wants to destroy the one good thing in the Middle East – Israel.

HOUSE OF COMMONS VOTE IS UNJUST AND COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE

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By Richard Mather 

So the ayes have it. British MPs have ignored the wishes of the Anglo-Jewish population and voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel by 274 votes to 12.

The full motion stated: “That this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.”

The result is symbolic and is not binding on the current or future administrations, but it is a blow to the many British Jews who have lobbied their MPs to reject the motion. Opponents of the vote believe that a just settlement, which includes recognition of Israel by all countries in the Middle East, should be the aim of the British Parliament, not a unilateral declaration of statehood.

The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and neighbouring Arab countries have failed to fulfil UN resolution 242, which calls for the exchange of land in return for peace and security.”

The motion was sponsored by a Palestinian lobby group called the Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, co-chaired by the Conservative Arabist Crispin Blunt, a former chairman of the council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.

Other sponsors of the motion included Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, a supporter of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and an advocate of a European trade embargo against Israel. Graham Morris, Labour MP for Easingtom and chairman of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, also sponsored the bill. (This is a man who compares Zionism to Nazism.)

As well as causing distress to Britain’s Jews, the vote is damaging to the UK’s standing in the Middle East. No longer can London be a neutral party in Middle East peace talks. The recognition of Palestine, with no binding agreements with Israel and no international functions, is effectively acknowledging the legitimacy of Hamas to speak for the Palestinians in Gaza.

And so the Hamas-supporting demonstrators in Britain who boycott Jewish businesses and shout “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea,” now have the tacit backing of the UK parliament. If British Jews are furious by the actions of MPs, they have every right to feel that way.

 

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The Temple Mount deserves better

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Hundreds of Gazans have been allowed to pray on the Temple Mount for Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday celebrating Abraham’s “sacrifice of Ishmael.” In a statement the IDF said it had given permits to 500 Gaza residents over the age of sixty to celebrate the three-day holiday.

It comes days after Palestinian youths hurled rocks, fire crackers and cinder-blocks at police officers who were guarding the Temple Mount. The officers were treated at the scene by medical personnel and the rioters proceeded to lock themselves inside the al-Aksa Mosque.

Meanwhile, Israel’s tourism ministry is considering opening a second gate to the Temple Mount for Jewish visitors and tourists. As things stand, there are eleven entrances to the Temple Mount, ten of them open to Muslims. The Mughrabi Gate is the only entrance for Jews and even this point of access is regularly targeted by Arab rioters.

But the requirements and safety of Jewish visitors is not the only problem. For many years the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf – the trust that controls and manages the Temple Mount – has carried out excavation work, drilled into ancient stones and painted over rare Jewish art works.

The Waqf has allowed illegal digging through the use of tractors and thrown away valuable artefacts from the two temples. Luckily, archaeologists have managed to rescue some these artefacts by sifting through the rubbish heaps. Among other things, they have found decorated utensils from the King Solomon era, as well as coins and clay dating back to the second temple.

The actions of the Waqf not only display a disdain for history, they represent a blatant attempt to disconnect the people of Israel from their inheritance by either denying the presence of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem or destroying evidence of its existence.

Indeed, the throwing away of evidence is a central tenet of Palestinian nationalism, which denies there was ever a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The phenomenon known as “temple denial” started when Yasser Arafat used the Camp David Summit in 2000 to insist that a Jewish Temple had never existed in Jerusalem. The idea immediately caught on and has become a mainstay of anti-Zionist discourse.

The UN’s cultural agency, UNESCO, has done little to prevent such blatant cultural and historical vandalism. Not only is this shameful, it is a clear violation of its promise to “create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.”

Judaism regards the Temple Mount as the place where God chose the divine presence to rest. According to the Talmud, it was from the Temple Mount that God gathered the dust used to create Adam.

The tossing of precious Jewish artefacts into a rubbish dump, and the hurling of stones and firecrackers at police, are not signs of respect or reverence. They are signs of contempt. The Temple Mount and the Jewish people who yearn for a truly united Jerusalem deserve better.

INTERVIEW WITH RAPHI BLOOM: “WE WANT A MULTI-GENERATIONAL RALLY”

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In a special interview with Richard Mather of the Jewish Media Agency, Raphi Bloom, co-chair of Northwest Friends of Israel, spoke of his pride in the Jewish community and he called on the Jewish people to stand united against anti-Semitism by attending a solidarity rally in Manchester on Sunday 19 October.

 

Can you tell JMA readers about the creation of Northwest Friends of Israel? Why was an advocacy group needed?

Northwest Friends of Israel was formed on the back of the boycott protests outside the Kedem shop in Manchester over the summer of 2014. It started off as a group of individuals who wanted to take action to counter the lies and the anti-Semitism that was going on outside the shop. It has since grown into a more organised body with a committee and voluntary roles, with a pro-active agenda moving forward.

Can you describe how the idea for a northwest rally came about?

There’s one taking place in London on the same day and we wanted to organise one in Manchester as well so that it would effectively be a national day of campaigning against anti-Semitism. We felt that the community, having experienced quite a significant increase in anti-Semitism over the summer months, wanted to reclaim the agenda and say that we’re proud to be British and we’re proud to be Jewish, and we will not let anything intimidate us.

We’re doing a huge amount of publicity. We’ve got posters up in all the synagogues in Manchester. We’ve been running a very active social media campaign. We’re encouraging people to put it on their own Facebook walls and via Twitter. We’re putting adverts in the Jewish press. We’re putting posters up in shops. We’re liaising with schools. All the shuls have emailed it out. So we’re really working hard to get the message out there.

Who is speaking at the rally?

The line-up is still evolving. But the lead speaker will be the Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, who is the shadow secretary of state for international development. Ivan Lewis who is MP for Bury South will be there. We’ve got two local rabbis from north and south Manchester speaking. We’ve got Jonathan Arkush who is the vice president of Board of Deputies. And we hope to attract a couple of senior Tory politicians as well. Another one of our speakers is Henry Ferster, a Holocaust survivor.

The rally is being held in Manchester. Why is this rally relevant to Jews who live in other areas of the north?

We are a northwest advocacy group. But because Manchester has the critical mass of Jews in the north of England, it makes sense to hold it here and invite surrounding communities with smaller Jewish communities to join us.

For those who are concerned about safety, what security measures do you have in place? Is it safe to bring children?

The rally is being held in Cathedral Gardens, which is an open area behind Manchester cathedral and the National Football Museum. So it’s a relatively quiet part of town in terms of the demographic walking past. It’s not, for example, like Piccadilly Gardens which attracts a number of different protest groups. In terms of security we’re working closely with Greater Manchester Police who will provide a presence on the day. We’re working closely with the CST [Community Security Trust] and we’ll also be providing thirty of our own stewards to help with crowd control. It’s definitely going to be safe. It’s going to be policed and we encourage people to bring children. We want it to be a multi-generational rally.

Looking back at where you were three months ago did you ever think you’d be planning a rally against anti-Semitism?

No, we never thought we’d be organising a rally against anti-Semitism. I guess what’s shocked a lot of people is that whilst we always knew there was a level of anti-Semitism in the UK, I don’t think anyone quite appreciated how close to the surface it was. People have been surprised and shocked that so many people – people who they went to university with, who they work with, who they went to school with – displayed not only anti-Israel sentiment but strayed over into anti-Semitic sentiment as well.

How has the Jewish community in Manchester responded to the rise in anti-Semitism?

I think the community has been incredible. What started on King Street galvanised the community. I think it’s energised a huge number of people to start advocating for Israel, to start fighting BDS [boycotts, divestments & sanctions], to start exposing and combating anti-Semitism. I think Manchester actually has led the way nationally. Whilst there were valiant efforts in Brighton and in London, Manchester has led the way both in terms of on-the-ground activism and grassroots organisations, almost taking the reins from the establishment. The way we communicated and developed relationships with the police and local council should be used as a template across the country.

What’s next for Northwest Friends of Israel?

We have a very ambitious agenda to be pro-active in terms of advocating for Israel, combating BDS and exposing anti-Semitism. In the run-up to the general election we have drafted a Charter for Israel. And we will be asking MPs and candidates to sign the charter, which acknowledges support for Israel and Israel’s right to be treated fairly alongside other nations.

We are starting to build relationships with Labour Friends of Israel and Conservative Friends of Israel, the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies, and we’ll be working with them on campaigns they bring to our attention. Additionally, we’re promoting advocacy training for 16 to 18-year-olds to prepare them for university life. And we’re going to meet with business leaders to try to pre-empt any BDS campaigns they might otherwise be persuaded to join.

Sum up why this rally is important to you.

For hundreds of years the Jewish community has lived safely and securely in the UK. We respect the country we live in and we’re proud to be British Jews. We live in a democracy and no ethnic minority should have to tolerate attacks because of their ethnicity or their religion. The Jewish community has been singled out for some quite violent anti-Semitism, both verbally and physically. We want to say to the entire country that we are British and we are very, very proud to be Jewish. We believe the vast majority of the British are not anti-Semitic but the minority that are anti-Semitic need to be exposed, need to stopped and need to be brought to account.

Any other comments about the rally?

It is just two or three hours on a Sunday. Strength in numbers will convey our message. We want everyone there from grandparents, to parents to grandchildren. We want entire families to come. We want it to be multi-generational. We want it to be uplifting. We want it to be inspiring. And we need your support.

 

The “Say no to anti-Semitism” rally will take place in Cathedral Gardens, central Manchester, on Sunday 19 October 2014, 2pm to 4pm.

Left-fascism: the post-Marxist war on Jews, Israel, democracy

Recently we have witnessed the rise of the New Left which identifies Israel with the establishment, with acquisition, with smug satisfaction, with, in fact, all the basic enemies … Let there be no mistake: the New Left is the author and the progenitor of the new anti-Semitism. (Former Israeli former minister Abba Eban writing in the American Jewish Congress Bi-Weekly in 1973).

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Berlin, Paris, Brussels, London, Manchester, Malmo. Just a few of the European cities where the hallmarks of fascism are routinely exhibited by the radical Left. Irrational, emotional, anti-Semitic, and engaged in violent confrontation against the Jewish people and democratic institutions – say hello to the exponents of left-fascism.

Driven by an extreme post-Marxist, post-colonial ideology, left-fascists are engaged in a long war against Israel – both as a state and as a collective noun for the Jewish people. Viewed as an agent of imperialism and a model of obsolete “Old Testament” principles, Israel is fair game for post-Marxist intellectuals and activists who despise Jewish self-determination and Judeo-Christian ethics.

Left fascism – which is best exemplified by the boycotts, divestments and sanctions movement – is an infantile philosophy that views the world in crude dialectic terms: Israeli/Palestinian; rich/poor; fair/unfair; the West/Islam; war/peace; strong/weak.

It is no surprise, then, that Israelis are seen as rich, powerful Westerners (despite the poverty of many haredi Jews in Israel). The Palestinians are poor, defenceless Muslims (which overlooks the fact that many Gazans are millionaires). This type of thinking, far from being progressive, is curiously blinkered and reactionary. It leads to situations where the post-Marxist Left finds itself excusing Saddam Hussein for the simple reason that he was a symbol of resistance against America and Zionism.

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2014 may turn out to be the year when Europe’s Jews faced the most sustained attack since the Second World War. Boycotts of Jewish businesses, arson attacks, physical and verbal abuse – all of this is the culmination of a sustained campaign of hatred which began more than forty years ago when a bomb was placed in the Jewish Community Centre in Berlin. The date was 9 November 1969, the anniversary of Kristnallnacht.

The group responsible for the (failed) attack on the Berlin Jewish community was the Tupamaros West-Berlin, a German-Marxist organization, which was trained by Palestinian terrorists in Jordan. A year later, members of the group joined the equally vile Red Army Faction, a violent revolutionary cell that operated in Europe until 1990s.

Ulrike Meinhof, co-founder of the Red Army Faction, equated anti-Semitism with anti-capitalism, and attempted to justify the Holocaust in crude Marxist terms: “Auschwitz,” said Meinhof, “meant that six million Jews were killed and thrown on the waste-heap of Europe, for what they were considered: money-Jews.”

The Left’s obsession with money and Jews might explain why today’s BDS radicals are so keen to disrupt the economy of Israel. By attacking “money,” they attack Israel and vice versa. (In 1979, the Workers Revolutionary Party accused Britain of selling out the Palestinians to “Zionist money power.”) The equation – “Israel=(blood) money” – is a repackaging of the old canard that Jews control the banks, the film industry, America, the world. Jewish businesses are justifiable targets (in the view of anti-Semites) because Jews are never just Jews, they are “money Jews.”

Does the Far Left believe that anti-Semitism actually benefits socialism and that capitalist democracy can only be defeated by wrecking Jewish businesses? The answer, it seems, is yes. The overlap between the boycott of Jewish shops and the violent demonstrations against G8 and Nato summits is confirmation that a dangerous populist ideology is being played out on the streets of Britain and Europe.

Robert Wistrich, professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University, observed this trend back in 2004. In an interview with Manfred Gerstenfeld he asserted that globalization has given rise to an anti-globalist Left that is “viscerally anti-American, anti-capitalist, and hostile to world Jewry.”

Indeed, it is alarming how many intellectuals and activists on the hard and soft Left believe that America –apparently in cahoots with the so-called Jewish lobby – is some kind of imperialist capitalist monster that creates war in order to finance the military-industrial complex.

This racist attitude towards the US and American Jews is best typified by an feverish speech made by George Galloway MP at the start of the second Iraq War.

According to Galloway, it was “vitally necessary” that the Left ally itself with radical Islam. This is possible, he said, because both “have the same enemies.” These enemies include the “Zionist,” American and British “occupation of poor countries mainly Muslim countries.” In Galloway’s worldview, both the Left and Islam share the same goal of opposing the “savage capitalist globalization which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world.”

The convergence of left-fascism and Islamic extremism is probably the biggest threat facing Jews today. It is, of course, reminiscent of the Nazi-Soviet pact in which both Hitler and Stalin (two of the 20th century’s biggest anti-Semites) agreed to mutual non-belligerence. But while the non-aggression pact lasted a mere two years, the contemporary red-black alliance (which has little in common except for their hatred of Jews and capitalist social democracy) has lasted a great deal longer and is actually strengthening. The relentless boycotts of Jewish businesses by anarchists and Islamists is proof of this.

In an age where political discourse is dominated by name-calling, it is important that left-fascists are called out for what they are: anti-Semitic anarchist thugs who are violently opposed to Europe’s social democracies. Likewise in the 1920s and 1930s, the Nazis were opposed to Germany’s post-WWI Weimar Republic, which was seen as decadent, bourgeois and “Jewish.” The collapse of the Weimar democracy led to the horrors of war and the mass killing of Jews and other “unacceptable” minorities. In the 21st century, we must be on guard against those who wish to plunge us back into the chaos of anarchy and murder.

Kicking terror out of football: Time for Qatar to up its game

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Simon Cobbs, co-founder of advocacy group Sussex Friends of Israel, has stated that Fifa’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar is a huge problem for footballs fans who are concerned about the country’s human rights record and its funding of terrorist groups.

In an interview with the Jewish Media Agency, Mr Cobbs said that unless the Qatari government renounces terrorism and improves working conditions for foreign labourers, then the World Cup should be taken away from them. Terrorism should not be rewarded, he declared.

Sussex Friends of Israel and other pro-Israel activist groups are urgently calling on football fans to speak out against the Qatari government’s links with terrorist organisations and the “slave labour” conditions endured by construction workers who are building the World Cup infrastructure.

“There is growing evidence that Qatari is supporting the Isis movement. But it is unequivocal that it supports Hamas,” says Mr Cobbs.

According to a report in the The Telegraph, Qatar is aiding fundraising efforts for Islamic State terrorists who are killing and looting in Syria and Iraq. Qatar, however, denies any involvement.

But there’s no disputing the fact that Qatar is sheltering exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and is a major financial supporter of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the territory since 2007. It is claimed that Hamas has used aid money to build terror tunnels. Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor has publicly stated that the tunnels “were funded by Qatari money.”

Mr Cobbs and Sussex Friends of Israel are also concerned about Qatar’s abysmal  human rights record, which presents an ethical dilemma to football fans who are appalled by the deaths of foreign labourers. Hundreds of migrants from Nepal, Bangladesh and India have perished as they worked 12-hour shifts in the blistering heat. Last month, 44 Nepalese workers died from cardiac arrest and workplace accidents.

Then there is the question of how to deal with Qatar’s rampant anti-Semitism. According to Arutz Sheva journalist Giulio Meotti, Qatar is “actively encouraging jihad against the State of Israel.” Meotti cites a Qatari television show – based on a book by late Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani – which features a Jewish prostitute denying the Holocaust and caricatures of Israelis demanding the deaths of Arabs. Qatar also hosts conferences in which Jews and the State of Israel are demonised.

There is also the unresolved issue of whether an Israeli stamp in a passport will bar someone from entering Qatar. And although the Qatari government has said it will let the Israel national football team participate in the World Cup on its territory, there is no getting around the fact that Israeli passport holders are still officially banned from entering the country.

In the background, there are accusations of corruption and bribery. The Sunday Times has found evidence allegedly showing that Mohamed bin Hammam, a member of of Fifa’s 24-person executive committee, paid more than $5 million to soccer officials to secure support for his country’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

Activists fear that all these issues – corruption, terrorism, slave labour and anti-Semitism – will be brushed aside for the sake of expediency. It would be embarrassing and hugely expensive for Fifa to admit it made a mistake. “People are whitewashed by the lure of the World Cup,” observed Mr Cobbs.

To highlight these issues and to put international pressure on Qatar, Sussex Friends of Israel and affiliated groups have embarked on a campaign to highlight the country’s continued “disregard of international law in supporting terror groups and its direct involvement in countless deaths and enormous suffering in countries around the world.”

Campaigners have already made their presence felt. On Friday September 19, a flash mob dressed in orange jump suits were photographed outside the Qatari embassy in London. Two days later, a Sunday, there was a football-themed protest outside the embassy. In the run-up to the Sunday event, Sussex Friends of Israel urged Jewish leadership groups to lend their support to what is described as an “incredibly important opportunity to show our disgust at Qatar’s continued refusal to stop funding terror.”

“We’re asking people to wear football shirts or team colours at the protest on Sunday,” said Mr Cobbs. “We’re asking lovers of football to come along and say not in our name.”

The message is loud and clear: it’s time to kick terrorism out of football.

First published September 20 for the Jewish Media Agency

http://jewishmediaagency.com/kicking-terror-football-time-qatar-game/