We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

"Stop Those Who Want To Destroy The Only Free Jewish State In The [Middle East] Region": A Christian priest 's plea (video)

No prizes for guessing that the speaker in this newly uploaded video is not our old mate Reverend Stephen Sizer, who's just taken leave of Bethlehem where he has been participating in the groundwork of the next "Christ at the Checkpoint" Conference (scheduled for March 2016).

This priest is Father Gabriel Naddaf of Nazareth, who told the UN Human Rights Council last month
what the Israel-demonisers don't want to acknowledge: that there is only one country in the Middle East where Christians are not being persecuted, and that country is Israel,


He says, inter alia:  
'While I stand before you today, the earth of the Middle East is soaked with the blood of Christians being killed daily.
Do you know that at the start of the 20th century, Christians comprised 20 per cent of the population of the Middle East?
Today they comprise only 4 per cent.
Do you know that over the past years some 100,000 Christians have been killed annually? And why? Not for a crime they’ve committed, but only for believing in Christ.
In Iraq alone, more than 77 per cent of the Christians have fled during the year 2000, in addition to thousands killed and expelled.
Some two million Christians lived in Syria, but today, they are less than 250,000.
Christians in these countries are treated as second-class citizens; facing racial, religious, economic and social discrimination.
Why is this happening? Only due to their religion, a religion that advocates love and peace between mankind.
Christians in the Middle East are marginalized; their rights denied, their property stolen, their honor violated, their men killed, and their children displaced.
Where will they go? Who will defend them? And who will guard their property?
If we look at the Middle East ... we realize there’s only one safe place where Christians are not persecuted.
One place where they are protected, enjoying freedom of worship and expression, living in peace and not subjected to killing and genocide.
It is Israel, the country I live in....
Christians and Jews live in Israel not only because Christ was originally Jewish, born in Jewish Bethlehem, but because they share a common destiny, and a true hope to coexist in peace.
Does the world acknowledge Israel for protecting its Christians? Many in the international community have chosen to criticize Israel.
This, in my mind, is a double crime: because by doing so, the international community helps those striving to annihilate the Jews, the Christians, the Druze and the Yazidis for political ends.
By doing so, the international community unfortunately contributes to exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.
It causes Christians to leave the land of Christ searching for a safe haven across the world.
It is time for the world to awaken and realize the truth of those striving to destroy the Jewish State.
They are hastening the death sentence of Christians in the Middle East.and the Holy Land ...
 O world leaders and supporters of peace, stop those who want to destroy the only free Jewish state in the region.
It is the only refuge welcoming and protecting all of its citizens. It is the only place that does not attempt to push out Christians, forcing them to leave their land in search of security.
I implore you from the bottom of my heart to hear the cry of the Christians of the Middle East before it is too late, and you may read about them only in the history books..."
Full transcript here

Maureen's Message To Miliband

What a great lady British actress Maureen Lipman is.  Known for her gifts as an actress and writer, the widow of much-acclaimed playwright Jack Rosenthal well deserves her epithet "a British national treasure".

While a bevy of other star thespians, including Miriam Margolyes, Juliet Stephenson, Emma Thompson, and Harriet Walter, to note only examples from the pro-cultural boycott distaff side of Britain's theatreland, are among Israel's trenchant critics, Ms Lipman outdazzles them all with her steadfast support of the beleaguered, traduced, and heroic little country.

Now, writing in the conservative intellectual monthly Standpoint, she tells Labour leader "Red Ed" Milibank, who placed a three-line whip on his members during the recent Commons debate and vote on whether Britain should recognise a Palestinian state, why she's abandoning, at least for the foreseeable future, her decades-long attachment to the Labour Party.

She writes in part:
'Just when ... anti-Semitism ... is mounting savagely...  Just when the virulence against a country defending itself, against 4,000 rockets and 32 tunnels inside its borders, as it has every right to do under the Geneva Convention, had been swept aside by the real pestilence of IS, in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.  
.... Many people on the Left and the Right would like to see a two-state solution if it means peace and mutual respect. I am one of them. Any future Palestinian state will be entirely free of Jews, of course. Yet the Jewish state is labelled "apartheid" with 1.7 million Arabs in residence and represented in parliament.
(1) It is a historical fact that the Arab states refused such an offer in 1937, 1948, 2000 and 2008. They have yet to accept Israel's right to exist and their constitutions and broadcasts to this day extol its destruction. 
(2) How can you recognise a state until its borders are decided?
(3) If you recognise a state you can officially arm that state. Already billions of pounds have been allotted to rebuild Gaza. Ha! Rebuild the tunnels and reequip the arsenal. Oh, how the propaganda has worked on these clever, concerned people again and again and again. If Hamas and Fatah cared one iota for the Palestinians, might they not have built schools and hospitals and streets for their people the first time the billions poured in and were converted into weaponry and hotel suites in Paris and citizens were used as human shields?...
....May I remind you that no one is tunnelling into Dover or sending rockets into Coventry, yet we seem to have every right to bomb the living daylights out of Iraq. Again. Conclusion: one law for the Israelis, another law for the rest of the world. ....'
Read the entire piece here

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Old "Israel Looted Palestinian Books" Canard Rears Its Ugly Head Again

I see that no less a personage than Dr Nabil Al-Arabi, secretary-general of the Arab League, has claimed at an Arab League function in Cairo attended by representatives of the International Council on Archives as well as by the Palestinian and Egyptian ministers of culture and an array of Arab intellectuals and officials, that "Israel has stolen 80,000 Palestinian books and manuscripts and kept them in its national libraries since 1948".

It's reported that
"Al-Arabi called for efforts to be made to regain archives stolen by imperialist powers with the aim of hiding the Arabic identity and forging its history, mainly the Palestinian history. He stressed the importance of maintaining the Palestinian identity and its manuscripts
He added that some Arab countries, including Algeria, Libya and Iraq are working to regain their archives, which also contains its histories. The Arab League is working on this in cooperation with the ICA.
 Abu Amr [Palestinian Minister of Culture Mr Ziad Abu Amr]said: "The occupation's measures, which have been taking place since the Nakba in 1948 to damage Palestinian culture, information centres, universities and archives of Palestinian institutions, are part of the efforts to hide the Arabic identity of Palestine."...'
As I noted in a couple of years ago, the canard that Israel deliberately misappropriated books belonging to the Palestinian Arabs has been a weapon in the Israel-haters' cachement for some considerable time.

It has gone the rounds of the Israel-demonising propaganda network, appearing, for instance,  here / and here and here

But as that 2012 post of mine declares, in 1948, in an article entitled "Arabs in Israel," Norman Bentwich, Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, noted in regards to the work of the Ministry of Minorities, set up to safeguard the welfare of Arabs (and other non-Jews) in the newly-proclaimed Jewish State:
 'Perhaps the most striking work in the Ministry is its effort to develop cultural life, in the midst of the uneasy truce, for the Arab population. It has already established some fifty primary schools in the towns and villages, with free education. A former Jewish Inspector of the Mandatory Education Department is in charge of the schools; another, an Oriental Jew, with a thorough knowledge of Arabic, assists him. The Ministry has also established one or two Arab clubs for reading and recreation, and has promoted a daily Arabic newspaper, El Yom (The Day). This is the first Arabic daily to appear in Israel. Several of the staff are Arabs, who have full freedom of expression; and some educated Arabs write to the Palestine Post, the English[-language] daily, voicing grievances about rent and employment, and the like.
 A remarkable cultural enterprise is the establishment in Jaffa of an Arab library, which includes close on 100,000 books and periodicals salvaged from private houses that were deserted and broken into during the fighting. It includes, too, some Arab manuscripts from the ninth and tenth centuries, which may have value for scholars. The books and manuscripts are being catalogued by a Jewish scholar of Baghdad. The library is housed in a private mansion of one of the richer Arabs of Jaffa, and there is a project of making it a cultural centre. The whole cost to the Government so far has been only a few hundred pounds.
In Jerusalem 30,000 books were similarly salvaged and handed over for safe-keeping to the [Hebrew] University of Jerusalem. It is likely that the owners of the books will come to identify their property and collect it back; but the action of the Ministry will have prevented looting and destruction, and it has received the appreciation of the Arab population.'
Does that look like deliberate plunder to you?  No, not to me, either.
Read more of the Bentwich article here

Since this looted books story is already being used as anti-Israel propaganda by the usual suspects, it's as well to be reminded that in Hebron in 1929 Jewish manuscripts, including notable ancient documents, were looted from Jewish homes and synagogues. It's possible that some of this loot surfaced among  Jewish manuscripts shown by Arab dealers to the Rockefeller Museum.  Furthermore Jewish homes and synagogues/yeshivot were looted in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1929 and 1936-38; during the latter period, there was a pogrom in the south Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiyot, and at least one important Hebrew writer residing there had his books vandalised and looted. (Hat tip: E.)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The (Other) Biased BBC, & Iran's Barbarity Towards Religious Minorities

While our old mate the vicar of Virginia Water and his equally anti-Israel Christian assoiciates gather at the Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) to plan the next "Christ at the Checkpoint Conference", scheduled for 2016 (see my penultimate post) there's a timely reminder by Tricia Miller in the Jerusalem Post of that BBC's bias against Israel.

Inter alia, we are told:
'According to its website, Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) is a Christian college founded for the purpose of training leaders to serve local Arab churches and communities.
BBC affirms the National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith and believes the Bible to be the authoritative word of God.
But there is another side to BBC not evident on their website. The school has a deeply entrenched anti-Israel position, demonstrated through statements and publications of leaders associated with the school, and the biennial “Christ at the Checkpoint” conferences it sponsors. Most recently, its media center produced a video that employs numerous errors and false accusations in a blatant attempt to demonize Israel.
The video, Bethlehem Voices on Gaza ... purports to “interview people on the streets of Bethlehem regarding the war in Gaza.”
All of the interviewees are unidentified, except for Rev. Alex Awad, dean of students and full-time instructor at BBC, charter member of the BBC board of directors, and senior pastor of the East Jerusalem Baptist Church ....
One of the false accusations made [in the video]against Israel employs oft-repeated Hamas propaganda that says Israel targeted civilians in Gaza....
The allegation that Israel targets civilians is closely related to another recurrent piece of Hamas propaganda – that Israel is committing “genocide” against the Palestinians in Gaza. The man who made this statement declared he was sure Israel was not “touching Hamas or the fighters over there.” ....
[O]ne of the interviewees made an outrageous statement when he said, “As you know, we have been under occupation for 65 years.” [I]t is important to note that Gaza is not “under occupation.” There have not been any Jews in Gaza, much less any IDF forces, since Israel withdrew unilaterally in 2005.
Furthermore, the West Bank is not  “under occupation” either, and certainly has not been for “65 years.” Prior to Israel gaining this territory after the 1967 war, Jordan occupied it illegally. Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan after it won a defensive war against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, all of whom attacked with the goal of destroying the Jewish state.
Following the 1967 war, the UN passed Resolution 242, which identifies the West Bank as administered territory, whose ownership is disputed. The final status of this territory is supposed to be determined in some future peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. But until then, the West Bank is disputed, not occupied territory....'
For Tricia Miller's entire piece see here

Meanwhile, while our old mate the vicar happily continues to denounce Israel and Zionism on Iran's Press TV, and to spruik Iran's cause on social media, and while anti-Israel nutjobs like those in the picture condemn the Jewish State but turn a blind eye to Iran's crimes against humanity, Iran's terrible persecution of Christians and other religious minorities is the focus of a new UN report, as reported by Benjamin Weinthal:.
'While persecution of religious minorities is nothing new in the Islamic Republic, the 28-page catalog of horrors compiled by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Right in the Islamic Republic of Iran, undermines the claim that President Hassan Rouhani has ushered in a new era of tolerance.
“At least 49 Protestant Christians are currently detained, many for involvement in informal house churches,” the report states. “In April 2014, security forces reportedly raided an Easter service in a private home in southern Tehran and detained six individuals.”
“The state of freedom of religion and belief in Iran is not improving, It is deteriorating,” Dwight Bashir, deputy director of policy and research at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
The UN report chronicles the closure of churches and the arrests of “their pastors for holding services in Persian or for allegedly ministering to Iranians from Muslim backgrounds.” Tehran has also cracked down on Christian community websites, including blocking their reception and Christian converts have been expelled from Iranian universities.
Shaheed’s report documents the lack of due process afforded religious and ethnic minorities across the spectrum in Iran, ranging from Jews to Baha’is to Sunni Arabs to Armenians and Kurds....
Rouhani lacks the power and possibly the will to bring meaningful human rights reform to Iran, said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-Israeli Middle East analyst. The religious leaders who carry more clout than he see the attraction to Christianity as a “threat and could undermine the revolution which is based on the promotion of Islamic values,” he said....'
See more here

Incidentally, for a most illuminating interview with hard-headed Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon regarding Hamas, Abbas, Iran, and much more, see here

Monday, 27 October 2014

"Allah Willing, Jerusalem Will Not Only Be The Capital Of The Palestinian State, But Also The Capital Of The Coming Islamic Caliphate" (video)

That's the chilling boast of Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy leader of the Islamic movement in Israel, who's seen here in an interview on 17 October on Palestinian Authority TV.

PA TV brought the interview to an abrupt end ...

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Knickers & The Vicar: Try This For Sizer

It would be quite wrong to assume that, for the entertainment and edification of his Facebook faithful, our old mate the Reverend Stephen Sizer posts solely about Israel, Zionism, and the Middle East.

Quite wrong indeed.

Occasionally the Israel-denouncing, anti-Zionism crusader from Virginia Water in Surrey will venture onto other tracks, as he has in the past day or two with this

and this

Rum sort of stuff for a clergymen, eh?

This is even rummer (no explanation necessary as to why):

Ah, yes, the vicar will have his little joke. ( It is a joke, isn't it, vicar?)

In a recent speech in Manchester, British Board of Deputies' vice-president Jonathan Arkush (for his statements on behalf of the Board regarding the vicar see here and herestated:
"In July and August Israel was at war for 50 days.  It was a war started by Hamas who fired 4,000 rockets at Israel.  But when Israel defended itself by acting against the launching sites from where the rockets were fired, the world reacted with condemnation.  Why ?
In its 66 years of existence Israel's Arab neighbours have not allowed it a single day of peace or even recognition.  They began war after war, and ever since 1967 whenever Israel defended itself the world reacted with condemnation.  Why ?
Here in the UK, just 2 months ago, we witnessed ugly demonstrations of hatred for the world's only Jewish state, including here on the streets of Manchester.
Did we imagine the placards and social media proclaiming 'Hitler was right' ?
Did we imagine the attacks on synagogues ?
Did we imagine the trashing of supermarkets by mobs intent on destroying kosher food ?
Did we imagine the 311 incidents classified by the CST [Community Security Trust] as antisemitic in July alone ?
Did we imagine the manager of Sainsburys in Holborn removing the kosher section because he feared a demonstration ?
Did we imagine the Tricycle Theatre's attempt to expel the Jewish Film Festival ? ....
And did we imagine the debate in the House of Commons just 6 days ago when MPs lined up to direct their bigotry and bile solely against the world's only Jewish state ?  It was a depressing and shameful spectacle which only served to demonstrate the shocking ignorance to too many of our elected Members of Parliament."
He went on:
"Friends, Natan Sharansky was right to point to 3 indicators of antisemitism when it comes to criticism of Israel:
One, demonisation - treating Israel as somehow uniquely evil.
Two, delegitimisation - depriving Israel of having any right to exist
Three, double standards - reacting towards Israel in a way you wouldn't react towards any other country.
The "3 D's".  we have seen far too much of them in recent weeks."
And concluded:

"How then do we react against antisemitism, the world's longest hatred ?
I will tell you how we react.  First and foremost, we must be proud of our Jewishness and never be afraid to show it.  We must turn up the volume of Jewish life.  We must defend ourselves against attacks from wherever they may come - and that includes robustly defending attacks on shechita and brit mila..  we must promote the extraordinary achievements of the State of Israel and rebut the slurs.
And we must do so calmly, rationally and on the facts.
We must win allies, because we Jews cannot fight antisemitism alone.  And that is why we must appreciate the presence of our friends here with us today, including Jim Murphy MP, Christians for Israel, the Kurdish community, Rev Mike Fryer and all of you who have come to show your support, and we thank you....
The Board cannot stop antisemites but we can lead the fight against antisemitism - and we do.
We shall continue to remind Government, opposition and everyone in the public space that prejudice may start against the Jews but it never ends with the Jews.  As Lord Sacks has said, a society that cannot tolerate difference loses its humanity.
Friends, with your support, our pride in our Jewishness has achieved so much for our country.  This is a battle we dare not walk away from.  And we won't."
In conduct which will strike many people as unbecoming for a vicar, Reverend Sizer has greeted that speech by Jonathan Arkush as the launching pad from which to mock Mr Arkush and fellow- deputies Jerry Lewis and Jonathan Hoffman (pictured), both of whom are known for their stalwart support of Israel.

Also  involved in this eyebrow-raising exchange are Methodist preacher Stephen Leah, secretary of the York branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a changer of the verses of much loved traditional English hymns into Israel-demonising lyrics, plus a scurrilous blogger whose hallmark is this sort of nonsense and whose alias is a spoof on the respected (pro-Israel) blog Harry's Place (and with whom the vicar not infrequently engages in a spot of childish banter which includes a quite unbecoming cattiness about certain pro-Israel activists):

Shamefully, the vicar is all-too prone to belittle the concerns regarding antisemitism of the Board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust; one wonders what his diocesan superior, the new Bishop of Guildford, would make of a Church of England clergyman acting in such a gratuitous mocking manner towards members of the Jewish community.

Here's a brief exchange between Reading Palestine Solidarity Campaign organiser Tony Gratrex, whose continuing flirtations with antisemitism (as shown up on my blog and on Harry's Place) should have ensured that Sizer de-friended him long since:

More conduct unbecoming?  Here once again we see Sizer joining in the poke-fun with the scurrilous blogger calling himself Harriet whose obsession, indeed purpose in blogging, appears to be posting codswallop about the Board of Deputies and the "Hasbarafia":

Elsewhere on Facebook in recent days.  The vicar cheerleading for Hamas?  Surely not.

And for Muslim control of Rachel's Tomb?

  Linking to material likening settlers in Judaism's holiest city to Isis:

 See, by the way, the Rosh Pina Project's recent post (complete with video) about Sizer here:
"Rev Stephen Sizer, notorious anti-Zionist, appears yet again on Iranian propaganda channel Press TV, denting his academic credibility even further, as he claimed his fellow Christians who support Israel – Christian Zionists, are really no different from ISIS or Al Qaeda (3:38)! However Christian Zionists, even in their “extreme form”, (which is defined as supporting building homes for the wrong people (Jews) in the wrong place), are not chopping off people’s heads, slaughtering people who hold the wrong theology or practice, nor selling non-Muslim girls in to sex slavery. When Christianity was involved in its own Jihad during the Crusades, it was not Christian Zionists who took up arms, rather those who believed God had cast off the Jews and taken their land from them who went to war, urged on by clergymen like Sizer!
Sizer claims Christian Zionists have no place for Jews in their final End Times scenario (at 6:30mins) so why would Jews want their support for the here and now. However Sizer himself holds, as a conservative Anglican Evangelical, that all outside Jesus (including Muslims and Jews) face an eternity in hell. Sizer is disingenuous as he makes this cynical ploy to try to destroy what support Israel does get from Evangelicals.
Sizer seeks to position himself as a kind of martyr for Christian resistance against Zionist supporters, claiming the mere challenge against Zionism has caused him to suffer. However Sizer failed to grasp that people have no problem with criticising actual failures and proven wrong-doing, it is his dalliances with the edges of anti-Semitism, the re-branding of its canards and theological rehabilitation of Crusader Christian Jihad ideology, that worries so many of his detractors."
Championing Iran (the vicar seems inordinately fond of Iran):

Not supporting BDS for Iran, then, vicar? Despite all the human rights abuses there, including the persecution and putting to death of religious dissenters  including Christians?

Are you unaware of crimes such as these against Iranian women?

How about this recent horrific spate of executions in Iran?

And Iran's death sentence on and subsequent putting to death of a 26-year-old rape victim Reyhaneh Jabbari, in defiance of pleas for mercy from various sources?

Surely someone as au fait with Iran as you are couldn't have been ignorant of that.  Did you protest that sentence on Ms Jabbari, as you have Saudi Arabia's death sentence on a Shia cleric?

Surely you did not turn a blind eye?

Sceptical Sizer, and the company he keeps.  The vicar on 9/11 yet again, though no snide reference to  the "five dancing Shlomos" this time. 

An oblique  response to the murder by a Palestinian hate-merchant of three-month-old babe Chaya Zissel Braun in Jerusalem, the beloved daughter of parents who had longed for years to have a child, and who are now bereft, heartbroken, and traumatised:

Ah, and the Lobby, about which the vicar spoke recently in Teheran:

I'm sure the antisemites among your followers will have lapped that one up, vicar.

But are you sure, are you absolutely sure, that you want such people as your Facebook friends?

Postscript:   Off to Bethlehem, where he's attending the Christ at the Checkpoint 4 planning meeting for 2016.  He does get around, doesn't he? Let's hope it was not El Al that upgraded our old mate.  Nah ... he wouldn't fly El Al, would he?

Having linked yet again to an article by chum-in-arms Ben White disparaging the pro-Israel Christian analyst Dexter Van Zile (who clearly gets under their skin):

 Hat tip: reader P

Saturday, 25 October 2014

"Cancel Their Passports & Prosecute Them For Treason": Mark Steyn talks to Alan Jones regarding "The West's wannabe jihadists"

Listen to the excellent Canadian columnist in Friday's interview with the veteran Sydney radio host here

The moving tribute to the Canadian Parliament's heroic sergeant-at arms, Kevin Vickers, a former Mountie, mentioned in the interview, is seen below:

And here's the 17-year-old Australian jihadist to whom Steyn refers.

As Steyn emphasises, what the West ignored in the past to its peril must not in all conscience be ignored now.

Here's a blast (not literally, thankfully) from the very recent past (2012 to be exact)
an eight-year-old girl's speech to the 600-strong "Muslims Rise" conference in Sydney organised by extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which surely would function as a wake-up call if it took place now (woefully, not to the perverse leftists, of course):

(More on that speech here)

Meanwhile, a Canadian Muslim lady, Raheel Raza, suggests that her country should put these measures into immediate effect:
'1. Close all mosques for three months to have intense scrutiny on the Imams and their sermons in the past 3 months. This is not abuse of religious freedom – it’s to ENSURE that religion can be free and survive in Canada while protecting the country.
 2. All Muslim organizations (including mine) should submit detailed financial statements to show where their donations are coming from.
 3. Put a moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries for a set period till matters here settle down. Anyone wishing to partake in armed Jihad abroad or proven to be returning from such a venture, needs to have their citizenship revoked and given a one-way ticket to the country of their choice as soon as possible.
 4. Islamic schools need to have accountability and if their syllabus shows even an iota of hate, they should be shut down.
 5. The Islamists calls for un-reasonable accommodation like face covering, special prayer spaces, Friday prayers in public schools should be taken with a pinch of salt and instead of just giving in to these demands, there should be a body of well-informed Canadians discussing and debating these issues in light of Canadian values and norms.'