Monday, May 30, 2005

The Next World War

During these days, I'd rather say we stand in the way of the third World War, instead of Global Peace. But these time, not with Germany, But with the Muslims. Why? The answer is simple, one word. Jihad. Jihad already brought death to over 1000 innocent Israeliu citizens, and the cause for this Intifada was Ariel Sharon's visit to the Western Wall. Is that a reason to declare war? If yes, we head toward a Global War. Well, it'll become Global with time. It'll probably begin as a conflict between Iran and Israel. Iran's army isn't my fear - her nukes are. Then they might become a regional Empire on this way, if we keep doing nothing. Their Nukes are already capable of reaching Paris! So, shouldn't it be a goal for the Europeans to fight against them? For those who support Diplomacy, the Iranians respond with " Allah Hua Akbar ". So we better go to war to prevent another. If Iran will get nukes, she'll go to the side of Pakistan, and that's will probably lead to an alliance between Israel and India. There arte evidences that Iran gave Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, not mentioning Syria. So, is the next Islamic/Jewish war will become Nuclear War? Well, Gentelmen, History repeats itself. World War One in Nuclear Style. The Islamic alliance against the Western Alliance. Of course, they'll try to reunite the Islamic countries to create a Caliphate, then, the only thing thay will saparate the African part of the Caliphate from his Asian side is Israel.... Dear Lord, I pray I'm wrong!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Mr.Bush, don't be decieved

Like a lot of pro-Israelis under, I have been slightly worried about the direction that President Bush seems to be going in the Middle East peace process. He recently invited Abu Mazen to Washington, where in a joint press conference he made many specific demands on Israel, throwing in a request for Palestine to "democratise" just to seem fair. People have been asking Palestine to "democratise" for years - what we need is concrete demands, something that can be monitored, so that the International Community can be sure that changes are being made. Some possibilities are: the free practice of religion for non-muslims in Palestine, improvement of school standards or better public services, for example.

Bush seems totally unaware (or maybe he is aware?) that he is going back on and ignoring all the principles of his own doctrine. And you know what the official excuse has been? "The United States has not changed its position toward Israel" (U.S. National Security Council Spokesman). This is great diplomat speak isn't it? For "Our position hasn't changed" read "we are continuing our last position under Clinton". Yes, we have different men on all sides, different demands and different things being said, but that mentality is still there.

A good way of explaining this situation would be to just take a look at Natan Sharansky. He recently wrote a book called "The case for Democracy" which was basically a heartfelt, principled defence of the Bush Doctrine from the views of a former Soviet dissident who had made his dreams come true and was now defending his beloved Israel. Sharansky defends the Bush Doctrine in his book, and President Bush admits he is a fan of Sharansky. He openly praised Sharansky's book and has "openly acknowledged" the influence on his inaugural and State of the Union addresses.

And the situation now? Sharansky resigned from Sharon's government in disgust at the Road Map and the Disengagment - policies that Bush praises and gives legitimacy to by his support of Sharon. So who has changed? Can it be Sharansky, a man that hasn't changed his record since his political activism against Brezhnev landed him in a Soviet jail all those years ago? I don't think so.

In a recent press conference, Bush throws the book at Israel - i'd probably need a second check to make sure he didn't ask it to solve world hunger or colonise Mars in a week. And his demands to Abu Mazen? Bush made only vague, general statements about the need to fight terror.... Bush did not make any specific demands of Abbas at the press conference regarding the need to fight terror, merely stating that "all who engage in terror are the enemies of a Palestinian state, and must be held to account." Gee, gosh, I think terrorists are the enemy too - can I have a state please? No, Instead, he praised Abbas for his stance on terror, saying: "The United States and the international community applaud your rejection of terrorism." Rejection of terrorism? Did I dream up all those Yasem rocket attacks? Did those attempted car bombings not happen? have people stopped taking to the streets to proclaim death to Israel and death to America and proceed to burn their flags?

OK, thats my opinion on the matter - and I'm worried. If you want, you can dismiss me as 'idealistic', or 'far right' - but remember, that was how Bush used to be insulted too.


Also worth reading: Utter Betrayal from blog 'Israpundit'

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Anti-Semitism in England

From IsraPundit

I see that Joseph says we should boycott England and English goods, as England has become a very visible home of anti-Semitism. I wanted to add two things to that.

A friend of mine told me this past Sabbath, in the synagogue, that he had recently been in London for business. He was riding the subway (the Tube) and was horrified to see the sheer number of Arabs in native garb riding on the trains. He is not one prone to hysteria, but he believes the Brits have joined the French in being overrun by Arabs and Muslims, and they have lost control of this burgeoning population. Just like the rest of Europe, Britain is in danger of being "Islamicized" by appeasement and sitting around with a proverbial finger up its "arse".


In light of that, I happened to be channel-surfing one day, caught a report on CNN showing a "demonstration" of Arabs shouting nice things like "Bomb New York, bomb, bomb Washington, kill, kill, Tony Blair, kill, kill George Bush"...ad nauseam, and that's an appropriate term here.

Many were masked. The police stood politely and just watched. It was noted by the reporter, however, that it is against British law to appear masked like that, in these demonstrations, and it is also against the law to incite violence. Not that killing anyone is out of the ordinary for the Arab community. And the police did nothing.
I am all for "free speech", but I think one might cross the line when they gleefully cry out for the murder of others, repeatedly. Just a happy-go-lucky group of incipient murderers. This is now London in 2005.


Joseph wrote that Britain was making war on the Jews since ~1920. I think the sun may have started to sink on the Empire even before that, but maybe Britian will end up as Spain did after 1492, and as other empires have done...you attack the Jews and eventually, eventually, your empire sinks.


If we can help it along by a boycott, so the better. It worked once, in the 1760's up through the Revolutionary War...a boycott on British goods was an integral part of the forming of an independent America...and it is appropriate for Jews to do so now.

There is no longer any "Pax Britiannica", it is a pox on Britian. Let it be a warning also, to us in America, that by standing idly by and letting those who would defend and even applaud the rights of Muslims to spout hatred here, we will ultimately become as weak and pathetic as England has become.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Iran and Israel

All of those, who claim Iran produces nukes, for " peacefull intentions " please tell me, why do you think it's peacefull?

Because they've declared more than once about them going to destroy Israel, and, it would be easier to them with nukes, right?

Even if they don't succeed, we'll send nukes, that will succeed, and atomic war will start.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

British Shari'a Watch

From JPOST:

A central London rally organized by the British Palestine Solidarity Campaign on Saturday heard Respect Party MP George Galloway advocate a general boycott of Israel, as well as other speeches calling for Israel’s destruction.

Dark gray clouds poured heavy rain on London’s Trafalgar Square, as a crowd waving Palestine flags and anti-Israel banners filled the square to hear speakers shout vitriolic anti-Israel speeches. Demonstrators chanted Islamic slogans and flags calling for “victory to the intifada” were waved. Leading figures in Britain’s anti-Israel coalition also lined up to attack Israel.

Andrew Birgin, of the Stop the War Coalition, urged the destruction of the State of Israel. “Israel is a racist state! It is an apartheid state! With its Apache helicopters and its F-16 fighter jets! The South African apartheid state never inflicted the sort of repression that Israel is inflicting on the Palestinians,” he said to loud applause. “When there is real democracy, there will be no more Israel!” concluded Birgin. “Allahu Akbar!” yelled several men repeatedly in response.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Birgin said he was referring to Israel “in the sense that it exists now,” and said he wanted to see a “democratic secular state in which peace can move forward.”

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Case Against Disengagment

THE CASE AGAINST DISENGAGEMENT

The late President Reagan: "History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."

TABLE OF CONTENT

1. The test of disengagement.

2. Lessons of recent disengagements - Impact on Israel's and US' interests.

3. Abu Mazen - a New Regime?

4. Disengagement - Undermining or promoting peace?

5. Disengagement - Tailwind or headwind to terrorism?

6. Disengagement - Bolstering US-Israel relations?

7. Disengagement - Sparing Israel a demographic calamity?

8. Disengagement - Economic burden of asset?

9. Gaza - Land of Israel or occupied territory?

10. What would Israel get in return for disengagement?


From Yoram Ettinger

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Might Sharon be right?

An extended article from Time Magazine US on the Sharon Disengagment plan, which views the Disengagment as "The Gamble of a Lifetime". Lets hope it pays off

Sunday, May 15, 2005

AUT Boycott Falling Apart

JPost

The faculties of Oxford, Warwick and Sussex universities faculty has rejected he boycott of Haifa and Bar Ilan universities by Britain’s Association of University Teachers, reported Israel Radio on Friday morning.
The decision by Oxford faculty to reject the boycott came in advance of the proposed May 26 emergency meeting at which it was expected that the anti-boycott faction would try to overturn the boycott. A source told The Jerusalem Post that the AUT accepted a letter with the required 25 signatures submitted by John Pike of the Open University, calling for the special session, and for a “comprehensive debate of the issue.”
The controversial boycott recently came under fire, not just by pro-Israel groups, but also by British university lecturers and professors


Israeli News Network

Haifa University has threatened to sue the British university teachers’ union which recently voted to boycott the Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities. The teachers’ union is to meet soon to reconsider its decision.
Haifa University said that the boycott, which charges the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University of Ramat Gan for supporting Israel’s presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha), was published on a web site and defamed them. Haifa has been cited for alleged mistreatment of pro-Arab lecturer Ilan Pappe. Different Jewish academic bodies in the United States have sharply criticized the British boycott.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

German Minister supports Israel

BERLIN - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said on Wednesday that Israel still needs to have "military supremacy" over its neighbours.
"Many people in Europe, not only in Germany, no longer understand why Israel needs to be in a position of military supremacy," said Fischer in an interview with the newspaper Die Zeit.
Fischer, who has long taken an intense interest in Israel and in the Palestinians, said the problem remained that Israel was "never really recognised" by its neighbours.
"This requires military supremacy," he added.
Fischer noted that in Israel there was "a lot of mistrust" of the Europeans when it came to security issues.
"Would they really help us in a serious situation?" is the question asked in Israel about Europe, he said.
"In the case of the US there is certainty on this, but I'm not divulging any secrets by saying there are several question marks over the Europeans," said Fischer, who insisted this Israeli perception was not correct.


Expatica

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The British academic rabble

From World Net Daily

Rabbi Smuley Botech on British Academia, the boycott of Israel, and why the AUT chose to single out Israel

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Greetings to new members

Just to say hello to new members of SSSI: axel_bavaria and
egra. I'm sure you'll get to know them as time passes. What is certain though is that we will all stand together for a secure Israel.

Hi, and about Israel - through the eyes of Israeli Teenage.

Some of you might know me as Alexander The Great, but here's what I post:

I live in Israel. As an Israeli Teenage, and as someone who've lived in Terror reality, here's my timeline for these, and my points of view, since Oslo: At 1994, and I'm three years old, everyone were talking about the Oslo Agreements, and about the Peace that was about to come. Even though my familly was rightist, thanks to Oslo, I've always lived in the Leftist Mythology, and as some Israelis ( very stupid ) called it, Good Ashkenazi Jew and a leftist. All that ended in 2001. I was eleven, and the elections were coming. Ehud Barak VS Ariel Sharon. Than, my whole life changed. The Al Aqsa Intifada started, while the Palestinians had a state, because Ariel Sharon visited the Western Wall. So, suddenly, my teacher at school tells us, there's a War, and Ariel Sharon won the elections. My leftist point of view started to crumble, though it didn't crush immidiately. Than, when it seemed that all the world is against us, even our best friend, the USA, something, that set the flame was done. 11.9.01, The twin towers were crushed by a terrorist, whose name is Osama Bin Laden. My world was shocked, and my faith in the Left became smaller. With all the Terrorist attacks, where innocents were murdered, before we invaded. That's continued, while I had no specific opinion. In the 6th grade while I was 12, I've had the biggest luck in the World, I made a research on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict. So, I've checked more and more, and I was shocked! My leftist point of view completly collapsed, I became rightist, and I've checked and learnt more and more, and i've read the Oslo Agreements, the source to the problem. Well, in my 7th Grade I've changed my opinion so fast, and I've started giving lectures in my Arabic Class about Islam and Politics. Today, I'm afraid of the future, of WWIII that will happen, I think you know. Now you tell me!

And as I've written about the past, I'll now write about the Future. It's no shame to say, that there's an intiate propaganda within the Israeli teenages. All the songs that people say they're " cool ", are actually songs that's based upon Israel and warrlike countries are wrong. That's how songs are. Not mentioning the Rabbin Memorial Day. As they say in the leftists propaganda: Rabbin was murdered by hideous and crazy rightist groups. As I've proven, it's not a problem to make Objective Subjective. So, in every Memorial Day they bring to us photos of Rabbin, and tells us how close he was to achieve peace.... Excuse me, but that b********t. Rabbin knew absoultly nothing about Politics, and Oslo was one of the worst things ever happened to Israel, after the Yom Kippur war. I've read Oslo, and even though there are parts I don't agree with, I'd say that it could've bring peace. If it was done by Arafat. Arafat lied to Rabbin from the 1st moment. No more than a Liar, that's what he was. So he done nothing he was supposed, and Rabbin gave him weapons, the weapons the Palestinians use against us today. So, to the Future, as I've said, the process od Oslo is absoulutly DEAD. Even though leftists try to revive it, it's dead. And the Propaganda in schools. Very disgusting. People, even teachers compare the Conflict to the Holocaust, in excuse, that's we can compare, because it's similiar. So to all those, where are the Death and Concentration camps? Where are the labour camps? Where are the GHETTOS? They don't exist. I've heard quite often, from both students and teachers, the statements as: We're doing them what's the Egyptians have done to us. The refugee camps are like concentration camps. How can we do a Genocide to others while we passed it? That's what makes me disgust, this sort of Statements. And they say School is Objective... So in the future, I won't doubt that there will also be leftists who will kill rightists.... And to the Iranian problem, I'm sure that if Iran will pass the edge of achieving Nukes, we'll bomb them as we've done to Saddam. But, the future is black by my point of view. Iran heads toward destroying Israel with the Nukes she develops. So if we bomb them for our own security, the world will get into great war. Now, what would you say? But who am I to say?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Disgraced Jenny Tonge now in HoL

From JPost

Dr. Jenny Tonge, a British legislator who was fired last year after expressing sympathy for Palestinian suicide bombers and comparing Gaza's Arabs to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, has been nominated to serve in the House of Lords.

Tonge, who served as the Liberal Democratic Party's spokeswoman on children’s affairs, was sacked from her position by party leader Charles Kennedy in January 2004 after a storm of protest over remarks she made in an address to a pro-Palestinian group.


This woman really annoys me. You see, last year I attended a Young European Conference in Paris as part of my Sixth Form College, and Jenny Tonge was there (along with other speakers - most notably Michael Portilo). We had a Question and Answer session at the end of the days events - and one student got up and questioned her quite hard. It was quite an experience to witness, as this student was clearly upset with her "empathising" with people who are essentially killers. What a disgrace - another great example of the moral corruption of the left.

Prof. against AUT boycott

From JPOST link here

Professor Gregory Gutin, of the University of London's Royal Holloway, is in Israel for a two-week visit in order to attend an international conference hosted by Haifa University's Department of Computer Science. Gutin told The Jerusalem Post that his visit "should show that not every member of AUT is going to accept the boycott."

Everyone looses in Gaza Plan

A piece in the Boston Globe argues that among the hardest hit when Israel withdraws from Gaza will be ... Arabs themselves

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Now they try and kill children

This is bloody typical. Although I'm personally still undecided on the disengagment issue - this type of thing does nothing to persuade me

From Haaretz:

Palestinians on Friday morning fired an anti-tank rocket on Friday morning at school bus carrying children outside the southern Gaza Strip settlement of Kfar Darom, shaking the fragile lull in violence. The rocket failed to hit the bus.

A mortar shell also hit a Gush Katif settlement. No damage or casualties were reported in either case.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired four Qassam rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot predawn Friday. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said that several people had been treated for shock. Three of the rockets landed in an open field. One hit a building in the center of the Negev town, which was empty at the time due to renovation works.

The "Red Dawn" early warning system apparently did not work. Sderot residents last night talked of the return of fear to their lives.

Sderot resident Moshe Shachor told Army Radio that even after Mahmoud Abbas was elected Palestinian Authority Chairman, Sderot residents did not believe to the promises of quite.
"Clearly, the solution for living in Sderot is [the Israel Defense Forces] sitting in the Gaza Strip," Shachor said.


Since the de facto ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a number of Qassam rockets have been fired at Sderot causing no damage or injury.

David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister's Office, charged that the Palestinian Authority is freeing suspects and "allowing them to perpetrate additional acts of terror. This has to stop."
Palestinian security officials promised to investigate.

Sharon delays prison releases

From FOX News:

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday said he opposes any further releases of Palestinian prisoners until the Palestinians take tougher action against militant groups.
Sharon made the announcement at a Cabinet meeting, hours before Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to meet to discuss the releases. Under a February cease-fire, Israel agreed to release 900 Palestinian prisoners. It has so far released 500.
Sharon said he would instruct his negotiators to make clear to the Palestinians that no more releases can take place until the Palestinians clamp down on militants.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Hezbollah 'not a militia'

From JPost:

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan met the Lebanese prime minister Friday and repeated his demand that all militias in Lebanon be disarmed, a clear reference to Hezbollah.

But Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati told reporters after the meeting that he did not consider Hezbollah to be a militia.

"In our terminology Hezbollah is not a militia, it is a resistance and we believe there is a difference between resistance and militia."

Asked by a reporter if believed that meant that UN Security Council resolution 1559, which seeks the disarming of militias did not require Hezbollah to disarm, he said, "To a certain extent."

Oh brother...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sign the Petition!

Sign this online petition to resind the AUT's boycott of Israeli Universities.

I was signitory #6171 - keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

AUT and Israel

The boycott of 2 Israeli Universities by the AUT goes a long way to explaining why it was I decided to start this blog. There is such limited debate in Britain on the Israeli side - and even when people 'stick up' for Israel its nearly always with a caveat like "I support the Jewish state but not the government's policies" - which is pretty much saying that in this country to be pro-Israeli is to... accept its right to exist. Not much really, but I suppose its a start.

Thankfully, there is some sanity in the wilderness:

The Association of University Teachers (AUT) has received a flood of protests, accompanied by an increasing number of resignations, following its decision to adopt boycotts against Israeli universities last Friday. The backlash, which may take the form of mass resignations from the union, has seen an outpouring of protests by Jewish and non-Jewish academics across Britain.

John Vail, lecturer in political economy at Newcastle University, wrote in an e-mail to fellow academics: “The boycott is blatantly discriminatory and reeks of double standards.” He added: “Although I have no current research links with Israeli academics, this has made me want to go out and develop some just so as to show my disapproval of this motion. I hope that our local branch will pass a motion that expresses our disagreement with the national policy.”

Fifteen academics from the Board of the London-based Leo Baeck Institute signed a letter expressing “dismay” at the AUT resolutions: “All agree in deploring the proposed boycott of Israeli universities and academics who fail to satisfy a political inquisition. Israeli universities, notably the three targets of the boycott, represent the best ideals of the university as a place of tolerance and the free exchange of views, in which Jews, Muslims and Christians study and work together.”

The letter, which registered alarm at the “double standards and hypocrisy” behind the resolution, asked: “Will the tests and the boycott apply to Israeli Arab academics or only Jews?” The letter’s signatories are based in a variety of British universities, and include the Institute’s chairman Prof. Peter Pulzer, and Dr. David Rechter, both of whom lecture at Oxford University.

"The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz

1.) Is Israel a colonial, imperialist state?

Israel is a state comprising primarily refugees and their desendants exercising their right to self determination. Begining in the 1880s, the Jews who moved to what is now Israel were refugees escaping the oppressive anti-semitism of colonial Europe and the Muslim states of the Middle East and North Africa. Unlike colonial settlers serving the expansionist commercial and military goals of imperial nations such as Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and Spain, the Jewish refugees were escaping from the countries that oppressed them for centuries. These Jewish refugees were far more comparable to the American colonists who left England because of religious oppression (or the Europeans who later immigrated to America) than they were to eighteenth - and nineteeth - century English imperialists who colonised India, the French settlers who colonised North Africa, and the Dutch expansionists who colonised Indonesia.

2.) Did European Jews displace Palestinians?

The Palestine to which the European Jews of the First Aliyah immigrated was vastly under-populated, and the land onto which the Jews moved was, in fact, bought primarily from absentee landlords and real estate speculators. In addition to Palestine being an appropriate place for Jewish refugees because of its close connection to their history and ideology, it was also seen as appropriate because of the demographics of the land to which they were moving, or, in their word, returning.

3.) Was the Zionist movement a plot to colonize all of Palestine?

The Second Aliyah (1904-1914), although largely inspired by Zionist ideology, was also an immigration from persecution, and it contemplated cooperation with local Muslims to create better lives for all residents of Palestine.

4. ) Was the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (which called for the establishment of a "Jewish home in Palestine) binding international law?

A de facto Jewish homeland already existed in parts of Palestine, and its recognition by the Balfour Declaration became a matter of binding international law when the League of Nations made it part of its mandate

5.) Were the Jews unwilling to share Palestine?

The goal of the Arab leadership was not only to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in any part of Palestine but to transfer the Jews of Palestine out of their historic home and to make all of Palestine empty of Jews. Jewish leaders, on the other hand, were willing to make painful compromises as long as they could have a Jewish homeland in those areas of Palestine in which they were a majority.

6.) Have the Jews always rejected the two-state solution?

As soon as partition into two states or homelands was proposed, the Jews have accepted it and the Arabs have rejected it. This has happened four times already: in 1917 (separation of British mandate of Palestine); 1937 (The Peel Commission); 1948 (UN Partition plan) and 2000 (Clinton-Barak-Araft deal)

7.) Have the Jews exploited the Holocaust?

The Palestinian leadership with the acquiescence of most of the Palestinian Arabs actively supported and assisted the Holocaust and Nazi Germany and bears considerable moral, political, and even legal culpability for the murder of many Jews. For example - The official leader of the Palestinians [at the time], Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, formed an alliance with the Nazis and eventually spent the war years in Berlin with Hitler, serving as a consultant on the Jewish question, and was taken on a tour of Auschwitz by Himmler and expressed support for the mass murder of European Jews.

8.) Was the UN Partition Plan unfair to Palestinians?

The UN plan was fair to both sides and was a reflection of mutual self-determination both for Arabs and for Jews and is now the consensus of world opinion.

9.) Were Jews a minority in what became Israel?

The Jews were a substantial majority in those areas of Palestine partitioned by the United Nations for a Jewish State.

10.) Has Israel's victimization of the Palestinians been the primary cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Arab rejection of Israel's right to exist has long been the cause of the problem

11.) Was the Israeli War of Independence Expansionist Aggression?

Israel defended itself against a genocidal war of extermination.

12.) Did Israel create the Arab refugee problem?

The problem was created by a war intitiated by the Arabs.

13.) Did Israel start the Six-Day war?

Although Israel fired the first shot against Egypt - although not against Jordan - the war was begun by Egypt's decision to close the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping and to order the removal of UN troops from the Sinai.

14.) Was the Israeli occupation without justification?

Israel was willing to trade land captured in a defensive war for peace, as it eventually did with the Egyptians and Jordanians, but neither the Palestinians nor the Syrians have been willing to offer peace in exchange for land, as required by Security Council Resolution 242.

15.) Was the Yom Kippur War Israel's fault?

The unprovoked attack on Israel was unjustified and in violation of the UN charter.

16.) Has Israel made serious efforts at peace?

Israel has offered the Palestinians every reasonable opportunity to make peace, but the Palestinians have rejected every such offer, most recently at Camp David and Taba in 2000-2001.

17.) Was Arafat right in Turning down the Barak-Clinton peace proposal?

Not only have Presidents Clinton and George W Bush placed all the blame on Arafat but so have many of Arafat's closest advisers. And now even Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, who played a central behind-the-scenes role in the peace negotiations, has called Arafat's rejection of the Barak offer "a crime against the Palestinians - in fact against the entire region." Prince Bandar's assessment of Arafat's rejection of the peace proposal and of the resulting widespread support for the Palestinians provides a case study of how Arafat's use of terrorism is encouraged by the double standard under which Israel is blamed for offering peace and the Palestinians are rewarded for rejecting peace.

18.) Why have more Palestinians than Israelis been killed?

There are several important reasons why this comparison is misleading. These include the fact that Palestinians count the suicide bombers of themselves as victims and ignore the large number of foiled and prevented terrorist attacks against Israelis. Also, Israel's advanced heathcare means that many victims who sustained 'lethal' injuries can survive - whilst the Palestinian health system is very poor, with the opposite being true ('nonlethal' injuries are enough to kill). This is not helped by the repeated refusal by Palestinian authorities of Israeli offers for palesinian victims to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

19.) Does Israel Torture Palestinians?

Israel is the only country in the world whose judiciary has squarely faced the difficult issue of whether it is ever justified to engage in even a modified form of nonlethal torture - akin to the tactics currently being used by the United States on al-Qaeda prisoners - in order to obtain information deemed necessary to prevent a ticking bomb from killing dozens of civilians. On September 6 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court decided that not only is torture absolutely prohibited but even the types of physical pressure currently being used by the United States - sleep deprivation, forced uncomfortable positions, loud music, shaking, hoods over the head - are prohibited by Israeli law, even in cases in which the pressure is uesd not to elicit a confession but rather to elicit information that could prevent an imminent terrorist attack. Prior to this decision, the Israeli security services did sometimes employ physical measures similar to those now being used by US authorities against suspected terrorists.

20.) Has Israel engaged in genocide against Palestinian civilians?

All nations must be judged in comparison with other nations facing comparable threats. Context is essential to any evaluation of a nation's behaviour. Judged in this manner, Israel's action in its war against terrorism and external attack recieves relatively high grades. Indeed, no other nation faced with comparable threats, both external and internal, has ever been more protective of enemy civilians, more willing to take risks for peace, and more committed to the rule of law.

21.) Is Israel a racist state?

Every other state in the area, including the Palestinian Authority, has an officially established religion, Islam, and discriminates both in law and in fact against non-Muslims, especially Jews. Israel, in contrast, is in practice a secular state that is religiously and racially pluralistic with freedom of religion for all. Moreover, several other states and the Palestinian authority have laws of return, and Jordan has a law explicitly prohibiting Jews from becoming citizens, but only Israel - whose law grew out of a history of Jews being slaughtered because no other state, or Palestine under the British mandate, would accept Jewish refugees - is condemned for its law of return.

22.) Is the Israeli occupation the cause of all the problems?

Other occupations, such as the Chinese occupation of Tibet, have been longer and less justified, and Israel ended its occupation in 1995, only returning to some areas to prevent terrorism. It has again offered to end the occupation for the best efforts by Palestinian authorities to end the terrorism.

23.) Has Israel denied the Palestinians statehood?

The Palestinians never sought statehood when they were occupied by Jordan and Egypt. Historically they wanted to be part of Syria. The claim of Palestinian statehood began as a tactic to eliminate the Jewish state of Israel. Moreover, the Palestinian claim to statehood and independence is no stronger, and in some cases far weaker, than the claims of the Tibetans, the Kurds, the Basques, the Chechens, the Turkish Armenisans, and other stateless groups. Yet the Palestinian claim has been leapfrogged over other more compelling claims for one major reasons: the Palestinians have attracted world-wide attention by murdering thousands of innocent people, whereas the Tibetans have never resorted to terrorism, and other groups have employed only episodic local terrorism, which has not been rewarded by the international community in the way that Palestinian terrorism has been so richly rewarded. The Palestinian success in bringing their cause to the attention of the world has not, however, brought them a state, because neither Israel nor the United States has been willing to reward terrorism in the way that the United Nations, the European Community, the Vatican, and other have.

24.) Is Israel's policy of House Destruction collective punishment?

Whether it is wise or unwise, the Israeli policy of demolishing houses that were used to facilitate terrorism or owned by people who assisted terrorists is an economic penalty for complicity with murder. It is not particulary effective, since the houses are rebuilt with money provided by sympathizers, but so long as it is limited to houses that are owned by accessories to terrorism is not collective punishment. Moreover, the concept of collective accountability for terrorism that is widely supported by the vast majority of Palestinians and their leadership is entirely consistent with law and morality.

25.) Is targeted Assassination of terrorist leaders unlawful?

Targeting the military leaders of an enemy during hostilities is perfectly proper under the laws of war, which is what Israel - as well as the United States and other democracies - has done.

26.) Is Settlement in the West Bank and Gaza a major barrier to peace?

The Arabs and Palestinians refused to make peace before there was a single settlement, and the Palestinians refused to make peace when Ehud Barak offered to end the settlements. Moreover, when Egypt offered to make peace, the Sinai settlements were not a barrier; they were immediately uprooted....The real barrier has been the unwillingness of many palestinians, and many Palestinian terrorist groups and nations, to accept the existence of any Jewish state in any part of Palestine.

27.) Is Terrorism merely part of a cycle of violence?

While reasonable people might disagree about the effectiveness of aspects of Israeli counterterrorism tactics, the history of Palestinian terrorism clearly shows that terrorism increases whenever Israel offers peace or is involved in an election in which a dovish candidate is running. Terrorism has been used as a deliberate tactic to derail any movement toward peace and a two-state solution....There is nothing Israel can do to stop terrorism other than taking actions to prevent determined terrorists from succeeding. A cycle of violence presupposes that one side can voluntarily stop the cycle if it simply does not respond to the other sides violence. Experience shows that when Israel did not respond firmly to Palestinian terrorism, more terrorism followed, and when Israel took appropriate military steps, the number and severity of terrorist attack were reduced.

28.) Is Israel the prime human rights violator in the world?

Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that operates under the rule of law. Its record on human rights compares favorably to that of any country in the world that has faced comparable dangers. Its Supreme Court is among the best in the world, and it has repeatedly overruled the army and the government and made them operate under the rule of law. Israel has among the best records in the world with regard to the rights of women, gays, the physically and mentally challenged, and so on. It also has freedom of speech, press, dissent, association, and religion. The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, shows no respect for human rights. It tortures and kills alleged collaborators without even a semblance of due process. It tolerates little dissent and is intolerant of alternative lifestyles. Palestinian propagandists invoke "human rights" merely as a tactic against Israel.

29.) Is there a moral equivalance between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli responses?

Every reasonable school of philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, and common sense distinguishes between deliberately targeting civilians and inadvertently killing civilans while targeting terrorists who hide among them.

30.) Should Universities divest from Israel and Boycott Israeli Scholars?

These campaigns to single out Israel for demonization are immoral, bigoted, and based on misinformation.

31.) Are critics of Israel Anti-Semitic?

I have never heard a mere critic of Israel called anti-semitic. Rather, the double-standard applied to the Jewish state is anti-semitic. As Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote: "Criticizing Israel is not anti-semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction - out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East - is anti-semitic, and not saying so is dishonest"

32.) Why do so many Jews and even Israelis side with the Palestinians?

The reality is that complete freedom of information and freedom of speech among Israelis and Jews allows for the widest array of views to be presented, whereas virtually total control over information to most residents of Arab and Muslim states, coupled with extreme sanctions for expressing dissenting views, makes any realistic comparison impossible.

Other quotes


"No other nation in history faced with comparable challenges has ever adhered to a higher standard of human rights, been more sensitive to the safety of innocent civilians, tried harder to operate under the rule of law, or been wiling to take more risk for peace"

"The Palestinians have mastered a harsh arithmetic of pain... Palestinian casualties play in their favor, and Israeli casualties play in their favor"

"Why then are decent people today afraid to call evil by its name? Why do so many insist on finding moral equivalence? And why do so many people describe the worst of evils - the deliberate targetting of children - with positive sounding terms like 'freedom fighing', while describing reasonale efforts to prevent these Nazi-like evils as Nazism itself?"

"In the interests of fairness and peace, the world must come to see Israel in a realistic way.It must stop looking only for imperfections, and then magnifying them out of all proportion both to Israels own positive accompishments and to the imperfections of other nations"

Natan Sharansky's Resignation Letter

Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Jerusalem, 23 Nissan 5765 May 2, 2005 Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Office of the Prime Minister Jerusalem


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign as Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Jerusalem.
As you know, I have opposed the disengagement plan from the beginning on the grounds that I believe any concessions in the peace process must be linked to democratic reforms within Palestinian society. Not only does the disengagement plan ignore such reforms, it will in fact weaken the prospects for building a free Palestinian society and at the same time strengthen the forces of terror.

Will our departure from Gaza encourage building a society where freedom of speech is protected, where independent courts protect individual rights and where a free market enables Palestinians to build an independent economic life beyond government control? Will our departure from Gaza end incitement in the Palestinian media or hate-filled indoctrination in Palestinian schools? Will our departure from Gaza result in the dismantling of terror groups or the dismantling of the refugee camps in which four generation of Palestinians have lived in miserable conditions?
Clearly, the answer to all these questions is no.

The guiding principle behind the disengagement plan is based on the illusion that by leaving Gaza we will leave the problems of Gaza behind us. As the familiar mantra goes "we will be here, and they will be there". Once again, we are repeating the mistakes of the past by not understanding that the key to building a stable and lasting peace with our Palestinian neighbors lies in encouraging and supporting their efforts to build a democratic society. Obviously, these changes surely will take time, but Israel is not even linking its departure from Gaza upon the initiation of the first steps in this direction.

In my view, the disengagement plan is a tragic mistake that will exacerbate the conflict with the Palestinians, increase terrorism, and dim the prospects of forging a genuine peace. Yet what turns this tragic mistake into a missed opportunity of historic proportions is the fact that as a result of changes in the Palestinian leadership and the firm conviction of the leader of the free world that democracy is essential to stability and peace - a conviction that is guiding America's actions in other places around the world - an unprecedented window of opportunity has opened. Recent events across the globe, whether in former Soviet republics like Ukraine or Kyrgyzstan, or in Arab states like Lebanon and Egypt, prove again and again the ability of democratic forces to induce dramatic change. How absurd that Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East, still refuses to believe in the power of freedom to transform the world.

Alongside my concerns, about the danger entailed in a unilateral disengagement from Gaza, I am even more concerned about how the government's approach to disengagement is dividing Israeli society. We are heading towards a terrible rift in the nation and to my great chagrin, I feel that the government is making no serious effort to prevent it.

As Minister I share collective responsibility for every government decision. Now, when the disengagement plan is in the beginning of its implementation stages and all government institutions are exclusively focused on this process, I no longer feel that I can faithfully serve in a government whose central policy - indeed, sole raison d'etre - has become one to which I am so adamantly opposed.

I would like to thank you for our productive cooperation over the last four years. In particular, you sensitivity toward issues of concern to the Jewish People and the strong backing you gave to my efforts to combat anti-Semitism and to strengthen Israel's connection with the Diaspora made possible for the State of Israel to forge the many successes which we achieved together in these areas.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the central role you played in integrating Israel B'aliya into the Likud, a historic step of great national importance.
As in the past, I will continue my lifelong efforts to contribute to the unity and strength of the Jewish People both in Israel and in the Diaspora. I will also continue to advocate and promote the idea that freedom and democracy are essential to peace and security.

Sincerely,

Natan Sharansky

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hello

This, hopefully, will become a group blog for students, British or otherwise, who support Israel - its right to exist, its right to be secure within its own borders, and its right to live in peace.

More will come later.