Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Palestine - Continuing Jew-hatred Must Exact A Heavy Price


[Published 20 November 2014]


The slaughter of four Rabbis with axes, knives and guns whilst praying in a synagogue along with the serious wounding of six other Jews caught in this horrific blood bath — and the murder of a Druze police officer who went to their rescue — is the end result of endemic Jew-hatred:
1. Begun in the 1920 Jerusalem riots
2. Embodied in the 1964 PLO Covenant, and
3. Reinforced in the 1987 Hamas Charter

Arab Jew-hatred has continued unabated for the last 90 years since the Jewish people’s right to self- determination was unanimously endorsed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

Alarm bells warning of this week’s massacre should have sounded loud and clear when American Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel on 2 January following Israel releasing 26 long term Palestinian Arab prisoners convicted of murder and other serious criminal offences.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presciently told Kerry on that occasion:
“A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced [these] terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas says — how can he say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women — axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets — what’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-a-vis Israelis and vis-a-vis the state of Israel? So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case — I stress, at least in one case — those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.”
Among those 26 prisoners released were:
1. Yakoub Muhammad Ouda Ramadan, Afana Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad, and Da’agna Nufal Mahmad Mahmoud — convicted of stabbing Sara Sharon, 37, to death in Holon on January 20, 1993.
2. Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal — convicted of the ambush and murder of Shlomo Yahya, a 76-year-old gardener, in a public park in Moshav Kadima and stabbing him to death.
3. Barham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser — convicted for the murder of Morris (Moshe) Edri 65 — a former employer of Nasser who Nasser ambushed and stabbed in the back.
4. Muammar Ata Mahmoud Mahmoud and Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim — convicted of murdering Menahem Stern, a history professor at Hebrew University. Stern, 64, a winner of the prestigious Israel Prize, was stabbed to death while walking to work at the university’s Givat Ram campus on June 22, 1989.
5. Abu Hadir Muhammad Yassin Yassin — convicted for the murder of Yigal Shahaf — shooting him in the head as he and his wife were walking through Jerusalem’s old city toward the Western Wall.
Netanyahu then told Kerry to his face:
“In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the state of Israel. This Palestinian Government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media — the government-controlled media — in the schools, in textbooks, in kindergartens. You see it at every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel. This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement, towards reconciliation and peace.”

Kerry failed to address this virulent Jew-hatred motivating Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews - ignored the adulation afforded these convicted murderers by Abbas and remained silent on the rampant incitement conducted on a daily basis against Israel.

Instead — Kerry — apparently languishing in a time warp—sought to provide some comforting reassurance for Netanyahu with these incredibly inane remarks:
“On a personal level, last month I travelled to Vietnam on my first visit there as Secretary of State. And the transformation in our relationship—I was a young soldier who fought there—the transformation in our relationship is proof that as painful as the past can be, through hard work of diplomacy history’s adversaries can actually become partners for a new day and history’s challenges can become opportunities for a new age.”

Kerry’s words have turned out to be a massive misjudgement.

It is surely time for America and the European Union especially - and for the rest of the international community generally - to take stock and make clear that:
1. no further financial aid will be given in either Gaza or the West Bank
2. Abbas and his Government will be regarded as persona non-grata
Until:
1. the insidious Jew-hating provisions in the PLO Covenant and Hamas Charter are repealed
2. Government-controlled media and schools excise all references denigrating and demeaning Jews.
3. The PLO is prepared to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in any peace agreement signed by Israel and the PLO.
Failure to so act can only see the Jewish-Arab conflict spiralling out of control into a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Syria Hysteria Dooms Obama's Plan To Destroy ISIL


[Published 21 September 2014]


President Obama’s failed policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt and the West Bank do not bode well for the success of the President’s current plans to end the threat to world peace posed by the meteoric rise of both the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF).

That threat was articulated by UN Security Council Resolution 2701 - passed on 15 August - which expressed:
” its gravest concern that territory in parts of Iraq and Syria is under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) “

Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter—the Security Council strongly condemned:
“the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, numerous atrocities, mass executions and extrajudicial killings, including of soldiers, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks on schools and hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and obstructing the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education, especially in the Syrian governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo and Idlib, in northern Iraq, especially in Tamim, Salaheddine and Niniveh Provinces;”

America has subsequently acted as though Resolution 2701 had never been passed.

In his speech to the American nation on 11 September Obama declared:
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.”

The President is wrong on both counts.

Firstly — ISIL is Islamic — as its formal Declaration of Statehood on 29 June 2014 proclaims - and this following analysis asserts:
“The Islamic State is not only a terrorist group. It is an extremist, Islamist, political and military organization that holds a radical interpretation of Islam as a political philosophy and seeks to impose that worldview by force on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Expelled from al-Qaeda for being too extreme, the Islamic State claims to be the legitimate ruler of all Sunni Muslims worldwide. They have established what they regard as a state which includes large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, governed from Raqqa in Syria.

It advances a number of theological opinions to support its claims. Its adherents hold that they are merely practicing Islam fully, pronouncing those who disagree with them takfir (heretics).

This designation is used as religious justification for killing the Islamic State’s opponents”

Secondly - ISIL is a State - meeting the legal requirements of Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Thirdly - Obama’s claim that ISIL is recognized by no other government is irrelevant — as article 3 of the Montevideo Convention makes indisputably clear:
“The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states."

Obama’s false assumptions are a recipe for policy failure — as the goals enunciated by Obama in the same address clearly demonstrated:
“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
Destroying the UN condemned Al Nusrah Front did not rate a mention. A lukewarm response from 57 Islamic States to help defeat ISIL’s declared world threat to peace was not factored into Obama’s thinking.

Four days later an international conference held in Paris made it clear that Syria was not even part of the battleground where ISIL was to be confronted, degraded and destroyed.

Mouram Daoud—a member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria — an internal opposition coalition — opined that ISIL cannot be defeated militarily without Syria and Turkey’s backing:
“The US administration should first pressure the Turkish partner to stop the flow of jihadists through its airports and stop buying oil from IS. According to [United Nations] Resolution 2170, the US will not be able to strike IS sites in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government, which is eagerly awaiting this type of cooperation to restore its international legitimacy. But the US will not include the Syrian government in this war, and will not recognize the government either. This means that the US will stick to its decision to only provide weapons to the Syrian [rebel] factions.”

Obama’s mantra - first delivered in August 2011 - remains unchanged:
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Not even 200000 deaths and the creation of millions of Syrian civilian refugees since 2011 have produced any momentum for rapprochement between Obama and Assad that would enable Assad to extend - and Obama to accept - any invitation to confront ISIL in occupied Syria.

Any expectation that Assad and his backers — Russia, Iran and Hezbollah — will help Obama by destroying ISIL in Syria - is a pipe dream.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Europe Rapidly Becoming Fertile Recruiting Field For Islamic State


[Published 14 May 2015]


Islamic State now has the potential to break out of Syria and Iraq and into the heart of Europe without a shot being fired in anger by the Europeans to repel Islamic State’s stated aims of re-establishing the Caliphate and with it the supremacy of Islam world-wide.

This previously dismissed possibility has become an emerging reality with the record flow of hundreds of thousands of Moslems into Europe by boat in 2014 - seeking asylum as their homes and lives in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan,Yemen and Lebanon have been reduced to rubble by ongoing and continuing conflict over the past four years.

Ironically - and alarmingly - the possibility of some of these asylum seekers already being Islamic State believers - whilst others become potential recruits in pursuing these Islamic State goals - comes at the same time as Europe is actively seeking to restrain its own already radicalised Moslem citizens from leaving its shores to join Islamic State forces in its ongoing campaign of territorial conquest throughout much of the Arab world.

What was thought to be fantasy just twelve months ago has been turned on its head with the recent publication of the following statistics by Eurostat - the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg - whose task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions within the European Union (EU):
1. Asylum seekers from Syria seeking refuge in the 28 EU countries rose from 49980 in 2013 to 122115 in 2014 - which equated to 20 % of the total of asylum seekers from all non-member EU countries.

2. In the same period asylum seekers from Iraq jumped from 10740 to 21310 whilst Afghani asylum seekers rose sharply from 26125 to 41370.

3. Of the 68400 Syrians actually granted protection status in the EU - more than 60% were recorded in two Member States: Germany (25700) and Sweden (16800).

Many of these desperate asylum seekers become possible candidates for being persuaded that their lives have been turned upside down by Europe’s failed policies in Syria and Iraq and that their hopes for real salvation rest in actively supporting the objectives of Islamic State.

Europe’s failure to prevent more than 200000 deaths that have occurred in Syria and Iraq alone in the past four years with the destruction of many towns and villages into heaps of rubble and the consequent displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis - both internally and externally - is an easily told story that will gain much sympathy with many of these asylum seekers - even as they are being welcomed and absorbed into their European host countries.

France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are part of a group called the London 11 - whose other members are Egypt, Jordan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, Turkey,United Arab Emirates and America.

The London 11 has since 2012 expressed its support for the Syrian opposition in its attempt to rid Syria of President Assad. Supplying arms and financial support has clearly proved insufficient to halt the carnage.

On 10 November 2014 Senior Officials of the London 11 met with Syrian National Coalition Leader Hadi al- Bahra.

The best the London 11 could do was:
“demonstrate collective and united support for the moderate opposition led by the National Coalition, as they fight a two-front war resisting the brutality of the Assad regime and fighting extremists including Daesh (Islamic State)”

Many European countries form part of the American led coalition which has also failed to effectively halt the progress of Islamic State.

Europe remains a sitting duck whilst it passively sits on the sidelines uttering pious platitudes.

Carter Causes Consternation With Election Call For Palestinian Arabs


[Published 7 May 2015]


Former US president Jimmy Carter has created a stir with his call for Palestinian Arabs to hold elections to end the internecine struggle between Hamas and the PLO in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza.

Speaking at a joint news conference with PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah - after cancelling his stop in Gaza where he was supposed to meet Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – Carter – now a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders - declared:.
“We hope that sometime we’ll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank,”

No Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections have been held in over a decade - even though Abbas’s term in office as President expired in January 2009 – a position he continues to fill without any constitutional authority to do so.

In 2006 - a year after Abbas was elected as President - Hamas overwhelmingly won the one and only election ever held in Judea and Samaria. The PLO refused to accept its electoral defeat and a year afterwards Hamas violently ousted Abbas’s Fatah faction from Gaza and seized control there.

Carter’s call can be seen as timely – given the current stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and the PLO and the distinct likelihood they will not be resumed.

Indeed one could see Carter’s election call as the most constructive contribution he has made to peace in the Middle East since his following statement in Time Magazine on 11 October 1982 concerning Jordan and Jordan’s late monarch - King Hussein:
“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”

This viewpoint would be just as applicable in 2015 to Jordan’s current monarch - King Abdullah – who is trying to distance himself from any involvement in the future of Judea and Samaria even though Jordan was the last Arab country to occupy those territories between 1948-1967..

Elections would enable the long-suffering Arab populations in Gaza, Judea and Samaria to have a say in their future after having been under the tyrannical dictatorships of Hamas and the PLO for almost ten years.

Ironically there are those who argue against holding such elections because they are worried that Hamas will again be triumphant – resulting in greater upheaval and unrest than currently exists.

Respected commentator Khaled Abu Toameh puts it thus:
“Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes.”

Toameh presumes that only Hamas and the PLO will contest any such new elections.

Given their woeful performances over the last ten years - any such new elections would hopefully spawn the emergence of political parties other than Hamas and the PLO with markedly differing viewpoints and policies – perhaps even parties calling for Jordan to enter into negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty of Judea and Samaria and even Gaza between their respective States.

Keeping people in a perpetual state of silence by denying them any say in their future is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

When people vote – they bear the consequences of the Government they elect.

Carter the Elder has spoken. What says Obama the Younger?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Palestine - Sharon's Ghost Returns To Haunt Obama


[Published 29 April 2015]


Michael Oren – one of seven members of the recently formed Kulanu party elected to Israel’s new Parliament – seems destined to play a pivotal role in torpedoing President Obama’s proposals for a two-state solution aimed at resolving the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Agreement has reportedly been reached between Israel’s Prime Minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon for Kahlon to be appointed Finance Minister. Fellow Kulanu members - Yoav Galant and Eli Alalouf - will serve respectively as Housing Minister and Environmental Protection Minister.

Still unannounced is the replacement for Tzipi Livni - who headed the Israeli team in peace talks with the PLO - but who now seems destined to enter into Opposition. These peace talks have remained in a state of suspended animation since April 2014 – despite intensive American efforts to have them resumed.

President Obama’s proposals – first enunciated in 2011 – were re-stated as recently as July 2014 by White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon at the Ha’aretz Israel Conference for Peace:
“A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. While the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel.

Negotiations should therefore result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. Any peace agreement will require robust security provisions that safeguard Israel’s security. And the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in an independent, sovereign and contiguous state.”

The idea that Israel should be required to make mutually agreed land swaps for territory it retains in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) was never stipulated or mentioned in the letter given by President Bush to Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 April 2004 – whose terms were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day. (“American Written Commitments”)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had declared at the Annapolis International Conference convened by President Bush on 27 November 2007 that any resumed negotiations:
“will be based on previous agreements between us, UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Roadmap and the April 14th 2004 letter of President Bush to the Prime Minister of Israel.”
Michael Oren – Kulanu’s diplomatic voice and former Israeli Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 - recently called for these 2004 American Written Commitments to be resuscitated:
“A decade ago, in April 2004, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received a letter from American president George Bush, Jr. recognizing Israel’s right to build in long-standing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem like Talpiyot-East and Ramot. Furthermore, Israel was now allowed to build in settlement blocs crucial for Israel’s security, and in which some 80% of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria reside […] According to the Bush-Sharon letter, these areas will remain within Israel’s borders in any arrangement arrived at with the Palestinians […] it’s time to revive the Bush-Sharon letter and act according to it.”

Obama is going to find it impossible to impose his land swap proposals – if Oren has any say.

Sharon’s ghost has tantalisingly returned to haunt Obama.

Islamic State Morphing Into Global Gehenna


[Published 13 April 2015]


Growing support for - and pledges of allegiance to - Islamic State by diverse Islamic terrorist groups world-wide are now creating horrific humanitarian problems for Christian communities in many countries—some far removed from the Middle East.

30 such groups have so far been identified:
al-I’tisam of the Quran and Sunnah [Sudan]—Aug. 1, 2014 — Support
Abu Sayyaf Group [Philippines]—June 25, 2014 — Support
Ansar al-Khilafah [Philippines]—Aug. 4, 2014 — Allegiance
Ansar al-Tawhid in India [India]—Oct. 4, 2014 — Allegiance
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) [Phillipines] — Aug. 13, 2014 — Support
Bangsmoro Justice Movement (BJM) [Phillipines] — Sept. 11, 2014 — Support
al-Huda Battalion in Maghreb of Islam [Algeria] — June 30, 2014 — Allegiance
Heroes of Islam Brigade in Khorasan [Afghanistan] — Sept. 30, 2014 — Allegiance
The Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria [Algeria] — 30 Sep. 2014 — Allegiance
Jundullah [Pakistan]—Nov. 17, 2014 — Support
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) [Pakistan] Statement —Sept. 24, dated Sept. 12, 2014 — Support
Islamic Youth Shura Council [Libya] — June 22, 2014 — Support
Jaish al-Sahabah in the Levant [Syria] — July 1, 2014 — Allegiance
Faction of Katibat al-Imam Bukhari [Syria] — Oct. 29, 2014 - Allegiance
Jamaat Ansar Bait al-Maqdis [Egypt] — June 30, 2014 — Allegiance
Jund al-Khilafah in Egypt [Egypt] — Sept. 23, 2014 — Allegiance
Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna in Baalbek [Lebanon] — June 30, 2014 — Allegiance
Islamic State Libya (Darnah) [Libya] — Nov. 9, 2014 — Allegiance
Shura Council of Shabab al-Islam Darnah [Libya] —Oct. 6, 2014 — Allegiance
Mujahedeen Indonesia Timor (MIT) [Indonesia] — July 1, 2014 — Allegiance
Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSCJ) [Egypt] — Oct. 1, 2014 — Support
Tehreek-e-Khilafat [Pakistan] — July 9, 2014 — Allegiance
Okba Ibn Nafaa Battalion [Tunisia] — Sept. 20 2014 — Support
Mujahedeen of Yemen [Yemen] — Nov. 10, 2014 — Allegiance
Supporters for the Islamic State in Yemen [Yemen] — Sept. 4, 2014 — Allegiance
al-Tawheed Brigade in Khorasan [Afghanistan] — Sept. 23, 2014 — Allegiance
Supporters of the Islamic State in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques [Saudi Arabia] —Dec. 2, 2014 — Support
Ansar al-Islam [Iraq] — Jan. 8, 2015 — Allegiance
Leaders of the Mujahed in Khorasan (10 former TTP commanders) [Pakistan] — Jan. 10, 2015 — Allegiance
Boko Haram [Nigeria]— March 7, 2015 — Allegiance

71 Chadian soldiers have reportedly been killed and 416 wounded in less than three months of fighting to crush Boko Haram. Chad has sent about 5,000 troops to fight alongside soldiers from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon against Boko Haram whose Nigeria-based insurgency has increasingly spilled-over into neighbouring nations.

Some 13,000 Nigerians have been killed and 1.5 million have fled their homes since 2009.

Other Islamic terrorist groups can be expected to join their ranks.

President Obama’s pledge to degrade and destroy Islamic State heading an international coalition of 62 like-minded nations - is looking increasingly ineffectual as Islamic State rapidly morphs into a global Gehenna.

President Obama declared on 23 September 2013:
“The United States will continue to work with the entire continent of Africa and around the world to make sure that we are dismantling these networks of destruction.”

A Chapter VII Security Council Resolution is urgently required authorising the use of a UN military force to eradicate these “networks of destruction” that are now uniting into a ruthless killing machine dedicated to restoring the Islamic Caliphate.

Only an internationally-sanctioned force replacing Obama’s coalition can stem the tide.

President Obama needs to get that Security Council Resolution rolling.

Nuclear Knockout Not Nearly Nailed


[Published 8 April 2015]


President Obama seems to have been unduly optimistic in triumphantly proclaiming the success of the P5+1 talks with Iran in Lausanne.

Speaking from the White House President Obama announced:
“Today, the United States — together with our allies and partners — has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

There was only “an understanding” — not even a piece of paper initialed by representatives of all the parties to the long and complex negotiations - that President Obama could wave to the waiting media setting out what that “understanding” was.

It did not take long to discover the reason explaining the absence of such an initialled document.

It turns out there are in fact two pieces of paper — one prepared by each side — but neither signed or agreed to by the other:

1. Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

2. Iranian Fact Sheet on the Nuclear Negotiations which was only published in Farsi — but has been subsequently translated into English - for which there does not appear to be an official Iranian Government translation.
The first and simplest question one needs to ask is — in what language will the final authorised version of the agreement be actually framed?

Will it be English or Farsi or both?

Can the nuances of language be properly translated from one language into another language so that the meaning of the words is absolutely identical in both versions?

Was this very basic issue even addressed at the Lausanne negotiations? No mention of it appears in either of the above documents.

Who is going to draft the agreement — supposed to be ready for signing on 30 June — the P5+1 or Iran?

The appearance of these above two documents supposedly recording their “understanding” have already revealed wide gaps in each party’s understanding of their understanding.

It can be reasonably concluded that the parties were indeed miles apart and that there is a lot more negotiating to do before a draft agreement can even be produced for discussion purposes — let alone signed in final form.

The differences between the two documents are stark on issues of major importance — as the Wall Street Journal points out:

On sanctions:
“The U.S. says sanctions relief will be phased, suspended, and tied to Iran’s compliance with the terms of the deal. Iran says the sanctions, once the final agreement is sealed, will end more quickly.”

On stockpiles:
“Iran says it will limit enrichment and its stockpile for 10 years, the U.S. says 15.”

On inspections:
“U.S.: The IAEA will have regular access to Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as the supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran: The fact sheet doesn’t specifically mention access to facilities or inspections, but does say Iran would, on a voluntary and temporary basis, implement an “additional protocol” on access to nuclear facilities, “for the sake of transparency and confidence building.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reportedly held marathon negotiations through the night that ended after 6 a.m. on the morning of April 2, as they tried to overcome final gaps for a political accord on an Iran nuclear deal.

The result — two very different documents presenting two very different perspectives of what each side has taken away from the negotiations.

President Obama expressed his thanks:
“to our tireless — and I mean tireless — Secretary of State John Kerry and our entire negotiating team. They have worked so hard to make this progress.”

Progress?

The President must be joking.

Palestine - Obama Admits Defeat On Renewed Negotiations For Two-State Solution


[Published 2 April 2015]


President Obama has finally admitted the death of any renewed negotiations for a two-state solution between Israel and the PLO for the next several years - telling the media on 24 March:
“there still does not appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a Palestinian state even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time — which was always the presumption.”

President Obama has apparently accepted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s contention that such negotiations are not possible whilst conflicts involving radical Islam rage in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

President Obama had until now placed his faith in such negotiations:
“Now, I have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties.”

The rise of Islamic State in June 2014 has created a new ballgame and new dynamic.

Islamic State’s possible spill-over into Gaza and the West Bank cannot be ignored by Obama when Israel is being requested by Obama to withdraw from part of the West Bank and cede part of its own sovereign territory to the PLO in accordance with President Obama’s vision enunciated in May 2011:
”.. the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps - so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

Abandoning territory as Israel did in Gaza in 2005 — will require ironclad security guarantees.

President Obama’s pledge to degrade and destroy Islamic State is a work in progress that could take up to three years — as Secretary of State John Kerry openly admitted last September at a NATO Summit attended by President Obama and himself.

Six months later Kerry’s assessment has been thrown into serious doubt by Syria’s President Assad — who in a rare interview with 60 Minutes on 30 March declared:
"Actually ISIS [Islamic State] has expanded since the beginning of strikes — not like some Americans want to sugar coat the situation - to say that it is getting better, ISIS [Islamic State] is being defeated and so-on. Actually No — they have more recruits. Suggested estimates say they have 1000 recruits every month in Syria and Iraq. They are expanding in Libya and many Al-Qaeda affiliated organisations have announced their allegiance to ISIS.”

Israel cannot possibly be expected in these circumstances to negotiate with the PLO on establishing secure and recognized borders as stipulated by President Obama and Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 — until Islamic State is finally degraded and destroyed.

President Obama has announced he is going back to the drawing board.
“the evaluation that’s taking place is specific to what happens between the Israelis and Palestinians going forward. We’ll continue to engage the Israeli government as well as the Palestinians, and ask them where they are interested in going and how do they see this issue being resolved. But what we can’t do is pretend that there’s a possibility of something that’s not there. And we can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years.”

President Obama should — in such evaluation process - seriously explore the possibility of first demanding that President Mahmoud Abbas call Presidential and parliamentary elections in Gaza and the West Bank — last held in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Let democracy replace these repressive dictatorships.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Palestine - Words Matter But Their Meaning Matters More


[Published 24 March 2015]


“Words matter” - White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters this week.

Regrettably Earnest was being less than earnest in failing to point out that words can also have several meanings — which can result in people failing to actually communicate with each other because each has a different understanding of the words he is using.

As a lawyer with extensive experience in drafting agreements — I have found the most critical part in any agreement is the definition of terms used in those agreements - so that the parties are in no doubt at all as to the meaning of the words they are using.

The so-called “two State solution” has gone nowhere in the last 20 years for precisely this reason.

The parties to the negotiations - including America on its own and as part of the Quartet — have been talking at cross purposes without first agreeing on the meaning of the terms they are using.

Take the following terms - and their suggested possible definitions:
1. “Palestine” — means “the territory known today as Israel, West Bank, Gaza and Jordan being the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine dated 24 July 1922.”

2. “Palestinians” — means
(i) “those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there.
(ii) Anyone born after 1947 of a father qualifying as a Palestinian under paragraph (i) - whether inside Palestine or outside it”


3. “West Bank” means “the term used since 1950 to refer to the territory known as “Judea and Samaria” since biblical times and comprising the territory that came under Israeli military government control in 1967”

4. "Oslo Accords 1" - means "Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or short Declaration of Principles(DOP) dated 13 September 1993

5. “Oslo Accords II" - means "Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip commonly known as Oslo II or Oslo 2 dated 25 September 1995"

6. “Oslo Accords” means “Oslo Accords I” and “Oslo Accords II”

7. “Bush Roadmap” means — “the two-state solution”

8. “two-State solution” — means “the Performance Based Roadmap To A Permanent Two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June 2003, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July 2003 and 17 September 2003 Quartet Ministerial statements.”

9. “Quartet” means “America, European Union (EU), Russia and the United Nations(UN)”

10. “Jerusalem” means “all of the area that is described in the appendix of the proclamation expanding the borders of municipal Jerusalem beginning the 20th of Sivan 5727 (June 28, 1967), as was given according to the Cities’ Ordinance.”

11. “Palestinian Authority” means “The Palestinian National Authority established in 1994 following Oslo Accords 1 and disbanded on 3 January 2013”.
To the legally uninitiated this may sound like a lot of detailed, unnecessary and technical drafting — but its purpose is quite clear — to ensure when the parties to this dispute use any of the above terms - their meaning is unmistakably clear.

The proof is in the pudding.

Do President Obama and his Press Secretary — Josh Earnest — agree with the above definitions when they utter these commonly used terms almost daily?

Do Israel’s Prime Minister — Benjamin Netanyahu — and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agree with these definitions?

Do the media? Do you?

If indeed there is any disagreement — then the parties need to first reach agreement on their meaning - before they can even think of talking to each other.

Unless everyone is singing from the same hymn book - the music will sound frightfully discordant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Israel Teeters On Cusp Of Security Suicide


[Published 15 March 2015]


Economic issues have been identified as the top issue in the forthcoming Israeli elections to be held on 17 March - with security issues trailing far behind.

The polls are confidently predicting a four seat difference in favour of the Zionist Camp over the current Likud-led Government and the possibility of a new Zionist Camp Government being formed.

Zvi Zhariyha pointed out on 15 January:
“In Israel’s proportional representation system, in which parties are awarded seats in parliament based on the proportion of the vote that they receive, the ranking of the candidates on the slate becomes all-important as seats are filled from the top of the list. Top spots on the Labor list went to MKs with a social-justice and economic agenda, including former journalist Shelly Yacimovich, and Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, who were both prominent in the 2011 social justice protest movement.

Yacimovich finished first in the party vote, which will place her in the third spot on the slate, behind Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, the leader of Hatnuah, which is running on a joint ticket with Labor. Shaffir finished just behind Yacimovich, granting her the fourth slot .."
"

Two of these top four Zionist Camp candidates have expressed viewpoints that are distinctly anti-Zionist.

Prime Minister—in-waiting - Isaac Herzog — according to respected analyst Sarah Honig — has voiced opposition to the term “Jewish State”:
“The Jewish state expression is entirely mistaken,” he says recurrently (and we have a recording to prove it: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9nHlX19roA) “because it creates the impression of a nationality that enjoys excessive privileges.”

Were US Secretary of State John Kerry somehow able to get Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table again — then this long standing Israeli demand — supported by President Obama - and the Congress since 2004 — would ostensibly fall by the wayside under a Government led by Herzog.

Sarah Honig further points out:
"Stav Shaffir, for example, refused to share a podium with the Likud’s Yoav Kish because he is a reserve fighter pilot. She also thinks that “Hatikva is a racist national anthem.”

It’s not our say-so. Journalist Asher Schechter wrote a book on the 2011 demonstrations in which Shaffir was a key mover (Rothschild — the Chronicle of Protest, published by Kibbutz Hameuhad/Sifriat Hapoalim). On page 96 Schechter describes Shaffir’s vehement opposition to singing Hatikva. She was so emotional about it that “she burst into tears and yelled out that Hatikva is racist.”

Another Zionist Camp likely member of the Knesset—Merav Micaheli - told Galei Zahal
“women should not at all send their kids to the army when there is a continuous occupation for over 40 years. The regime in Israel doesn’t make the effort to solve this in other ways, so it’s necessary to stop being prepared to send children to the army.”

Sarah Honig has identified two other candidates likely to pop up as Zionist Camp representatives in any Zionist Camp Government:
Zoher Bahalul (who declares: “our Palestinian identity is stronger than the Israeli”) or the ultra-leftist Prof. Yossi Yonah (who confessed: “Zionism doesn’t express what I am”).

Veteran Ha’aretz journalist — Gideon Levy — has also delivered a withering attack on the Zionist Camp:
“This camp knows only how to trick and mislead, in the best of its tradition.”

Economic issues also topped security issues by a country mile in the 2013 Israeli election — yet Netanyahu still emerged as Prime Minister.

With 14% of the voters still undecided - they could re-elect Netanyahu again - figuring out that improvements in economic and social justice conditions aren’t worth a shekel if you are not alive to enjoy their undeniable benefits.

Netanyahu Puts Behaviour Change By Iran On Negotiating Agenda


[Published 9 March 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – addressing the American Congress - has made behaviour change by Iran an essential pre-requisite to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 – France, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Russia and the United States.

Those negotiations - designed to curb Iran procuring a nuclear bomb - have a deadline expiring on March 24.

The threat Iran’s behaviour poses to peace and security in the Middle East and the world’s oil supply was starkly laid out by Netanyahu:
"Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back[ed] by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back[ed] by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply."

Iran’s past attacks on Americans did not escape Netanyahu’s notice:
"Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan".
Netanyahu spelled out Iran’s ever-increasing quest for domination and influence outside its own national borders:
"In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow"

So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.
Netanyahu warned against the P5+1 agreeing to any 10 year moratorium on Iran gaining a nuclear bomb - without imposing strict conditions requiring an end to such behaviour by Iran:
"Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.

Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children.
We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could produce many, many nuclear bombs."

Netanyahu’s solution to preventing this catastrophe occurring requires Iran meeting three conditions in any concluded negotiations – each enthusiastically endorsed by a standing ovation from the Congress as Netanyahu declared:
"First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. 


Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.


And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state."

Behaviour change by Iran has thus been firmly put on the negotiating agenda – and overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress – with Netanyahu warning:
"If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.

If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted.

If Iran doesn’t change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.



If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country"

Significantly Netanyahu stressed that these three conditions would represent:
"A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally".

The P5+1 must ensure that Iran abandons its belligerent behaviour – or terminate the negotiations.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Netanyahu Flies Into Washington On A Wing And A Prayer


[Published 2 March 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington this week is going ahead despite unsuccessful attempts from far and wide to shoot him down in flames before he was even airborne.

President Obama’s unsuccessful attempt to stop Netanyahu’s visit by claiming breach of protocol — represents an ugly attempt to deny Netanyahu his right to freely address the Congress — the very nerve centre of the world’s leading democracy.

Netanyahu has not been deterred by many Democrats threatening to boycott his speech.

At least 30 House Democrats and 4 Democrat Senators will not be on hand to hear what Netanyahu has to say concerning the threat to world security and peace posed by Iran’s implacable march towards producing a nuclear bomb and its threat to use such a bomb to eradicate the State of Israel.

Netanyahu has ignored the entreaties of a panoply of American Jewish groups and Israel’s opposition parties pleading he cancel his visit:
“When there is something that is connected to our very existence, what do they expect the prime minister to do, bow his head and accept something that is dangerous in order to have good relations? I think the relations are strong enough to overcome the disagreements, and that Iran with an atomic bomb is much more dangerous than one disagreement or another [with the US].”

American-Israeli relations were irreversibly intertwined when the Congress - voting 407-9 — and the Senate — voting 95-3 - overwhelmingly endorsed the commitments made by President Bush in his letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004.

Among those commitments was an unequivocal declaration that:
“The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.”

Netanyahu’s address will fortuitously take place on the eve of the Jewish Festival of Purim when Jews remember the foiled plot in Persia (now Iran) in the 4th century AD:
“to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

Netanyahu has observed:
“it is the same Persia with a regime that is waving the banner of destroying the state of the Jews. The means by which they intend on implementing this threat is with many atomic bombs.”

Netanyahu will be flying into Washington accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to the United States — Ron Dermer — and all Netanyahu’s top advisors.

They will—in the words of that famous World War II song - be:
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer
With our full crew on board
And our trust in the Lord
We’re comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

As for trusting in the Lord — Obama and those churlish Senators and Congressmen who don’t have the decency to listen to what Netanyahu has to say — might well recall the following words from Psalm 83:
1.“O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
3 They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
5 For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant

The Jews have long memories of past attempts over many centuries to exterminate them — as Jew-hatred once again spreads its evil roots around the globe.

The ancient Jewish Book - Ecclesiastes — proclaims:
“there is no new thing under the sun.”

Pray President Obama heeds Netanyahu’s message.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Islamic State - Egypt Wakes Up - When Will America And Russia?


[Published 24 February 2015]


Whilst the American—led coalition continues its largely ineffectual air strikes in Iraq and Syria — Islamic State has spread its barbaric tentacles into Libya with alarming rapidity.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for:
1. Attacking Tripoli’s downtown luxury hotel in January - the Corinthian - which left 11 dead

2. The brutal mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Christian Copts

3. A multi-pronged suicide attack that killed at least 45 people in the town al Qubbah in Libya’s east.

4. Seizing the university in Sirte - deposed dictator Muammar Gadaffi’s hometown.
Egypt’s President - Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi—has called for intervention by the United Nations:
“What is going on in Libya could change this country into a breeding ground that could threaten the whole region, not only Egypt. Egypt, the Mediterranean Basin and Europe have to deal with this problem because the mission was unaccomplished, was unfinished by our European friends. We abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias.”

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was told this week by Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri:
“Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build our national army’s capacity and this would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons ... so as to deal with this rampant terrorism,”

The Security Council ignored his plea — and with good reason.

Libya currently has two Governments — one located in Bayda and the other in Tripoli. In November 2014 Libya’s Supreme Court held the Bayda Government to be illegal and unconstitutional - a decision ignored by its two principal backers - the United States and the European Union.

Removing the arms embargo — in force since 2011- would mean new shipments of arms could risk ending up under Islamic State’s control.

U.N. special envoy to Libya - Bernardino Leon - has said that Islamic State and other militants can only be defeated with a united Libyan government in place that has strong international support.

Any expectation that the United Nations can mediate between these rival Governments to forge a unity government to end ongoing hostilities and divisions in Libya is fanciful.

Leon himself has frankly admitted the immediate threat Libya faces from Islamic State:
“In Libya, Islamic State has found fertile ground in the growing post revolution political instability, capitalizing also on the weakness of state institutions and state security sector,”

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has also acknowledged Libya’s parlous situation.
“What we are seeing today in Libya is a double threat: it is a threat of a country that is breaking apart and of a country where Daesh (Islamic State) is taking power and infiltrating,”

President Obama’s urgently needs to rethink his September 2014 assessment that Islamic State:
1. Is not Islamic

2. Is not a state but only a terrorist organisation with no other vision

3. Can be degraded and destroyed by an American-led coalition
Professor Deborah Lipstadt has succinctly summed up President Obama’s continuing political blindness:
“He has bent over backwards to try to separate [Islamic State] from Islam, Sometimes people try to keep an open mind. And when you have too open a mind, your brains can fall out.”

Islamic State continues to morph as groups such as “Province of Sinai “ — creating mayhem and havoc in the Egyptian desert area neighbouring Israel and Gaza - swear allegiance to it

Islamic State will continue acquiring territory whilst military action remains unauthorised by a United Nations Security Council resolution.

America and Russia must both be brain dead in ignoring Islamic State’s increasing threat to their vital respective interests in the Middle East.

Palestine - European Union Causes Peace Process And Quartet Meltdown


[Published 16 February 2015]


Revelations that the European Union (EU) has been acting illegally in funding and facilitating the construction of more than 400 unauthorised buildings in areas in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) under exclusive Israeli control — signals the end of:
1. negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation under the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap and

2. the role of the Quartet - America, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - as mediator in those negotiations
The Daily Mail - in exposing the EU’s bizarre behaviour - reported on 6 February that:
“Official EU documentation reveals that the building project is intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C (the Israeli area)’, which some experts say is an attempt to unilaterally affect facts on the ground. Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the West Bank. They proudly fly the EU flag, and display hundreds of EU stickers and signs. Some also bear the logos of Oxfam and other NGOs, which have assisted in the projects.”
The EU through its spokesman- Shadi Othman - attempted to justify such conduct by reiterating the EU’s unilateral opinion as to the final outcome of the currently stalled negotiations:

“We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited Areas A and B. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land.”

Why Israel’s approval was not first sought before the EU surreptitiously undertook such activity - remains unexplained.

Representatives of the Quartet — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov , United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson (representing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon) - met in Munich on February 8 — two days after the European Union’s illegal actions were exposed - but no mention was made of the EU’s devious conduct nor was there any call for it to be immediately halted.

The remaining three Quartet members have - by their silence - clearly signalled they condone such illegal conduct by the EU and support its continuation.

Hypocritically - the Quartet Representatives declared:
“Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.”

It is hard to conceive any action more likely to undermine trust or prejudge final status issues than the Quartet’s failure to condemn the EU’s own aberrant behaviour and call for an immediate halt to its illegal activities in the West Bank.

The Quartet Representatives repeated their mantra:
“A sustainable peace requires the Palestinians’ aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security to be fulfilled through negotiations based on the two-state solution.”

The parameters under which those negotiations were being held between Israel and the PLO have now been well and truly consigned to the dustbin of history as a result of the EU’s disgraceful conduct — joining so many other failed proposals made since 1920 aimed at ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.

The Quartet has been found sadly wanting and is clearly out of tune - abandoning any sense of impartiality or propriety in aligning itself with one party to the dispute.

Israel’s Prime Minister - Benjamin Netanyahu - has now directed that action be commenced to demolish these illegal EU structures.

The Quartet has been totally compromised - the peace process and its intricate negotiating structure irretrievably ended.

Back to the drawing board for yet another new proposal…...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

United Nations Security Council Abandons Humanity


[Published 9 February 2015]


In a supposed show of unity by the world powers against Islamic State - the United Nations Security Council is reportedly preparing to adopt a legally binding resolution intended to choke the terrorist group’s ability to trade in oil, antiquities and hostages.

As it pontificates on the terms of the Resolution – the Security Council completely ignores the Report of another United Nations organ – The Committee on the Rights of the Child - released on 4 February – which depressingly confirms the following litany of suffering visited on children, women and minorities in Iraq by Islamic State:
1. The systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive;
2. The very large number of children killed and severely injured as a result of the current fighting - including by air strikes, shelling and military operations by the Iraqi Security Forces
3. Deaths from dehydration, starvation and heat in conflict affected areas
4. The high number of children abducted by Islamic State - many of whom are severely traumatized from witnessing the murder of their parents and are subjected to physical and sexual assault.
5. “Markets” set up by Islamic State selling abducted children and women attaching price tags to them
6. Sexual enslavement of children – particularly from minority groups - detained in makeshift Islamic State prisons - such as the former Badoush prison outside Mosul.
7. The executions of teachers and health personnel
8. Recruitment and use of children especially children in vulnerable situations such as refugee children, children with disabilities, children who have lost their parents and children in street situations being used as:
(a) Suicide bombers
(b) Human shields in order to protect Islamic State facilities from airstrikes and being frequently forced to witness brutal acts of torture and killing
(c) Informants - for manning checkpoints or as bomb makers for armed groups -in order to support their families
(d) Some recruited children being trained in kidnapping
(e) Children as young as 12 or 13 undergoing military training organized in Mosul by Islamic State which is reportedly also giving children the responsibility to guard and arrest individuals
(f) Children and families belonging to minority groups, in particular Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabean-Mandaean, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi’a, Assyrian, Baha’i, Alawites - who are being systematically killed, tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, cut off from humanitarian assistance by Islamic State in a reported attempt to suppress, permanently cleanse or expel, or in some instances, destroy these minority communities.
The Committee could only urge Iraq to take all necessary measures to rescue children under the control of Islamic State and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Islamic State fighters must be laughing their heads off at the thought.

Regrettably the Committee did not see fit to damn the Security Council for its continuing failure to authorise and institute military action by the world body against Islamic State under Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter.

Instead we now have the prospect of yet another proposed totally ineffectual Security Council resolution talking about oil, antiques and hostages – the third in a series of resolutions on Islamic State that are worthless in ending the barbaric atrocities listed above.

Russia’s veto remains the obstacle to passing a Security Council Resolution authorising the use of military force.

Russia was eventually persuaded to join America in sponsoring a Security Council Resolution calling for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.

A similar diplomatic effort is needed to destroy Islamic State.

There are many diplomatic inducements and trade-offs that can be explored including:
1. Easing current sanctions on Russia
2. Restoring Russia’s credit rating
3. Compromising on Syria and Ukraine
The human suffering caused by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria must be stopped in its tracks without further delay.

Meantime the Committee on the Rights of the Child has invited Iraq to submit its next Report by 14 July 2020 which should be:
“in compliance with the Committee’s harmonized treaty-specific reporting guidelines adopted on 1 October 2010 (CRC/C/58/Rev.2 and Corr. 1) and should not exceed 21,200 words (see General Assembly resolution 68/268, para. 16). In the event that a report exceeding the established word limit is submitted, the State party [Iraq] will be asked to shorten the report in accordance with the above-mentioned resolution. If the State party is not in a position to review and resubmit the report, translation of the report for the purposes of consideration by the treaty body cannot be guaranteed.”

The Committee has also invited Iraq:
“to submit an updated core document in accordance with the requirements of the common core document in the harmonized guidelines on reporting, approved at the fifth Inter-Committee Meeting of the human rights treaty bodies in June 2006 (HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6, chap. I). The word limit for the common core document is 42,400 words, as established by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/268 (para. 16).”

Will Iraq still exist in 2020?

The United Nations and its diverse organs have become the world’s laughing stock as they engage in verbal gobbledygook, pathetic platitudes and mutual back-slapping - whilst doing nothing of substance to end the suffering of millions of human beings around the world.

What has to happen before the United Nations Security Council comes to its senses and gets really serious about degrading and destroying Islamic State?

Obama Honouring Presidential Commitments Trumps Protocol


[Published 2 February 2015]


The furore engendered by House Speaker John Boehner inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3 — supposedly in breach of Presidential protocol - marks the first step in Congress flexing its muscles to persuade President Obama to re-think his concerted attempts to undermine the written commitments made by President Bush to Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his letter dated 14 April 2004 - as overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day (“American Written Commitments”)

Those 2004 American Written Commitments to Israel have become even more critical in 2015 — as a completely changed political environment sees America:
1. leading negotiations with Iran on curbing Iran’s nuclear program
2. heading a coalition of 62 States seeking to degrade and destroy Islamic State
3. forming part of the London 11 countries backing the unsuccessful bid to oust Assad from power in Syria
4. witnessing the shredding of the 2003 Bush Roadmap calling for the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan - as PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas chooses instead to travel the road leading to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.
These American Written Commitments were made to support Sharon’s decision to unilaterally disengage from Gaza — which Israel duly honoured in 2005 — when the Israeli Army and 8000 Israeli civilians left Gaza — many after living there for almost forty years.

Israel’s disengagement brought Hamas to power in Gaza’s one and only election - which has since seen three wars, thousands of deaths and casualties, property destruction running into billions of dollars and 11000 rockets being indiscriminately fired into Israeli civilian population centres.

Those American Written Commitments assured Israel that the United States:
1. Would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan other than the Roadmap envisioned by President Bush on 24 June 2002.
2. Reiterated America’s steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders,
3. Was strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.
4. Understood that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
5. Accepted as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
6. Acknowledged that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, that all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution had reached the same conclusion
President Obama and his administration have sought to circumvent these American Written Commitments — thereby encouraging continuing Arab rejectionism of Israeli peace overtures whilst souring the American—Israeli longstanding relationship.

Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly took the first steps to repudiate these American Written Commitments on 6 June 2009:
“Since coming to office in January, President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Israel to halt all settlement activity in Palestinian areas, a demand rejected by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israelis say they received commitments from the previous US administration of President George W. Bush permitting some growth in existing settlements.

They say the US position was laid out in a 2004 letter from Bush to then Israeli premier Ariel Sharon.

Clinton rejected that claim, saying any such US stance was informal and “did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”
Clinton made Obama’s intentions clear — when she stated on 25 November 2009
“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

This blatant disregard for the American Written Commitments - which had never mentioned land swaps -signalled trouble for Israel - if Obama ever confirmed Clinton’s statements.

Eighteen months later Israel’s worst fears were realised when President Obama declared on 19 May 2011:
“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

Israel’s curt response came the same day:

Mr. Netanyahu said in a pointed statement just before boarding a plane to Washington that while he appreciated Mr. Obama’s commitment to peace, he:
“expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of American commitments made to Israel in 2004 which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”

These American Written Commitments cannot be unilaterally revoked or varied — if America is to retain any international credibility for honouring agreements it makes with other States.

Israel — and Israel alone — must determine where its secure, recognized and defensible borders are to be located under these American Written Commitments.

Obama will hopefully get this unequivocal message when Congress welcomes Netanyahu to address it — protocol or no protocol.

Yemen Crumbles,Iraq Stumbles,America Fumbles


[Published 25 January 2015]


There are some 60 States in the American-led coalition pledged to degrading and destroying Islamic State — but only 21 — regarded as “key members” were at the Conference in London on 22 January — which UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond described in these terms:
“Today, 21 key members of the global coalition met in London to review and discuss our efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL not just through military force, but by addressing the underlying narrative of the organization, its financing, its flow of foreign fighters, and by reasserting our commitment to Iraq. In total, over 60 countries have signed up to the global coalition, showing the international will and commitment to combat this threat.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry was at pains to clarify why the other 39 States had not joined the talk-fest:
”And all the coalition partners are continuing to make vital contributions .., and we mean all 60. Whether it’s sheltering refugees, training, advising Iraqi troops on the front lines, or speaking out against Daesh’s [Islamic State—Ed] hateful, false ideology, we appreciate the contribution of every single member, each of whom has chosen one line of effort or another.

But we also recognize the need to, as effectively as possible, be able to coordinate all of these contributions. And that’s what the small group that came here today set out to do. The small group will continue to meet on a regular basis and continue, obviously, to consult with the full 60 members of the coalition, who will meet again as a full membership.”

The non-participation of the world’s remaining 133 States in the American-led coalition did not escape Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s attention — as he wryly noted:
“Daesh is a terrorist organization. It knows no race, no religion, no region. It spares nobody, so everybody must be facing Daesh.”

Al-Abadi was therefore being more than a little cynical when he stated:
“that Iraq is not alone, the Iraqi people are not alone, but the entire world stands with Iraq.”

One can only ask - why then are these 133 reluctant States not members of the American - led coalition? Are they prepared to let the other 60 States do the heavy lifting for them whilst they just sit by and watch? Will they only be motivated to join the American-led coalition when Islamic State comes knocking at their door?

Pointedly the Joint Press Availability with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond and Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi - issued by the US State Department following the London Conference - made no mention of any discussion having taken place at the Conference concerning Yemen’s dramatic cave-in this week — resulting in the resignation of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after having being held captive following a concerted assault waged by Houthi rebels.

Yemen had been allowing the United States to wage counterterror drone strike operations targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen’s sovereign territory.

Membership of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State was respectively claimed by the perpetrators of two horrific massacres in Paris last week at the offices of publisher Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket - resulting in the murder of seventeen people whilst putting France on a state of highest alert to counter any further possible terrorist attacks in their wake.

The events in Yemen represent a spectacular collapse of President Obama’s policy for similarly countering Islamic State in Iraq - by training supplying and using Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State on the ground whilst the coalition counters Islamic State from the air.

President Obama laid out this policy on 10 September 2014 — citing Yemen as an example of how that policy was working:
“Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved — especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.”

Could Yemen’s fate herald the Iraqi Government’s possible collapse?

Al-Abadi ominously told the London Conference:
“Another issue, which is being discussed today, is the fiscal problem for Iraq. You know oil prices have dropped to about 40 percent of their level last year. Iraqi economy and budget relies 85 percent on oil, and this has been disastrous for us…

...We don’t want to see a reverse of our military victory because of our budget and fiscal problems and we have been assured that every member of this coalition will stand with Iraq in its fight against Da’esh “

How long will it take Obama to understand that Islamic State can only be comprehensively defeated by military action undertaken on the ground by a properly equipped and authorised United Nations international force?

Charlie Hebdomania Plunges World Into Whirlpool Of Islamic Violence


[Published 19 January 2015]


The sale of seven million copies of the magazine Charlie Hebdo featuring a front page cartoon depicting an image purporting to be that of Muhammad has brought forth its first bloody response from the Islamic world — Niger — where reportedly three people have been killed and six churches attacked and looted.

Riots and protests in Algeria, Somalia, Pakistan and Jordan have added fuel to the rapidly growing feeling of resentment and hostility that Charlie Hebdo has inflamed.

Niger’s President - Mahamadou Issoufou - was one of six African heads of state who attended the unity march in Paris last Sunday in the aftermath of the horrific massacres in the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket - that saw 17 people murdered in cold blood by terrorists identifying themselves with Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

Niger, Algeria, Somalia, Pakistan and Jordan are all members of the 57 States comprising the Organisation of Islamic Co-Operation.

President Issoufou — reacting to the outbreak of the violence in Niger - angrily declared:
“Those who loot these places of worship, who desecrate them and kill their Christian compatriots… have understood nothing of Islam,”

“Understanding nothing of Islam” could however be equally applied to those seven million readers (with possibly still more to come) who eagerly snapped up the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo—a publication that normally sells 60000 copies — supposedly in support of the right of “freedom of expression” — as proclaimed by French President Francois Hollande:
”...France has principles and values, in particular freedom of expression.”

Hollande had apparently abandoned the moral high ground he initially took on January 7 - following the attack on Charlie Hebdo — when he gave this response:
“France is in shock—the shock of an attack, because it’s a terrorist attack, there’s no doubt about that—against a newspaper that had already been threatened on several occasions and had consequently been under protection. At such times, we must stand together as one, show that we are a united country and that we can react properly, with firmness, but always with concern for national unity.“

Shooting civilians in cold blood in their offices and in a supermarket needed to be condemned and swiftly ended. No State can possibly permit such conduct within its borders nor can any such conduct be justified on any grounds whatsoever — no matter who or what is the target.

But was cocking your nose an appropriate response to the sensitivities and feelings of 1.4 billion Moslems around the world - 4.7 million of whom were estimated in 2010 by the Pew Report to live in France and comprise 7.5% of France’s population - by publishing another depiction of Muhammad contrary to what many Moslems believe to be the precepts of Islam?

Hollande seems to be whistling even further into the wind when he proclaims:
“There are tensions abroad where people don’t understand our attachment to the freedom of speech. We’ve seen the protests, and I would say that in France all beliefs are respected.”

How can Hollande claim that France respects all beliefs when his own Prime Minister is photographed holding a copy of the front page of the latest Charlie Hebdo magazine leaving the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysses Palace in Paris?

There surely is a big difference in supporting the freedom of expression whilst at the same time disagreeing strenuously with the views those people are expressing.

Would the better response have been to leave those seven million copies on the newsstand shelves unsold and its contents condemned for fuelling racial hatred?

Jewish citizens of France certainly don’t believe Hollande and have been voting with their feet in increasing numbers - following more than 20 anti-Semitic incidents — some fatal — committed against French Jews in the last twelve months. 7000 Jews left France and emigrated to Israel during that period.

Those Jews still remaining will view the following words of French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on 21 November 2014 last year with utter cynicism and disbelief after last week’s horror at the Kosher supermarket:
“Every time you feel the violence exercised against you, when you are afraid for your children, when you are worried about this rising violence, remind yourselves that the republic protects you and [you have] an interior minister who loves you and who is your friend,”

Hollande’s unity march - led by more than 40 international leaders locking arms in solidarity — should have concentrated solely on calling for the eradication of those responsible for the terrorist attacks — Islamic State and Al-Qaeda — rather than marching ahead of a sea of “Je suis Charlie” banners hoisted defiantly aloft behind them.

Collective international military action is undoubtedly needed to degrade and destroy these enemies of humankind engaging in unimaginable acts of violence all around the world and threatening its peace and security — including groups such Boko Haram, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah.

The message should be clear and unyielding — no State will tolerate under any circumstances the deliberate targeting of its civilians for any reasons whatsoever.

Hollande’s march should have been just the first stage of a world unity march by all world leaders to the United Nations in New York - demanding the passing of a Resolution by the UN Security Council to take military action against Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

Until 193 world States identify and eradicate their common enemies - Charlie Hebdomania will remain an incurable illness with frightening consequences.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Palestine - Mapping The Truth Erases A Long-running Fiction


[Published 12 January 2015]


The US State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs has featured a map on its website - which both rejects and corrects the misleading use of the terms “1967 boundaries” and “1967 borders” — which have never existed in relation to any territorial subdivision between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

The map makes clear:
1. There was a 1950 armistice line that separated Israel from the Gaza Strip
2. There was a 1949 armistice line that separated Israel from the West Bank.
The use of dishonest and untruthful verbiage such as “boundaries” and “borders” has been a major factor in causing what now appears to have led to an irretrievable breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) designed to create a second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan.

Absent from this State Department map is there any mention of these aberrant terms.

Instead the map seeks to present an honest and accurate position of the current territorial relationship that exists between Israel, the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria”) and Gaza.

PLO propaganda — aided by sloppy media journalism — have been the drivers in introducing these false and misleading terms into the political diplomatic lexicon.

This campaign of deception and media indolence can at least be traced back to October 2007 — when USA Today under a headline — “Abbas wants return to pre-1967
borders” — reported PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas telling Palestine TV:
“We have 6,205 square kilometers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We want it as it is.”

There were four “small” problems confronting Abbas — that he was not prepared to recognise - nor USA Today to question or challenge:
1. There had never been any pre-1967 borders—only the 1949 and 1950 armistice lines.

2. Those armistice lines had been agreed between Jordan, Israel and Egypt — long before the PLO came into existence in 1964.

3. The PLO in 2007 at best still only “had” about 40% of the West Bank it had obtained under the 1993 Oslo Accords. Israel “had” the other 60% - also granted under the Oslo Accords.

4. The Jews had a better legal claim to “have” at least that part of the West Bank they had lived in prior to 1949 — before being driven out by six invading armies - as well as those areas defined as State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes as stipulated by article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
Undeterred by these roadblocks - Abbas continued making these misleading demands - with Islam On Line reporting the following statement by Abbas on 9 December 2009 under the headline — “Abbas Names 1967 Borders as Precondition for Talks”:
“We will renew negotiations if the settlements are completely halted and the 1967 borders recognized as the borders of the Palestinian state,”

The New York Times obligingly gave credence to Abbas’s claims on 19 May 2011 with a story under a banner headline “Obama sees ‘67 borders as starting point for peace talks” followed by this misleading report accompanied by a supposedly accurate map showing the “Green Line Pre-1967 border”:
“A day before the arrival in Washington of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Obama declared that the prevailing borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — adjusted to some degree to account for Israeli settlements in the West Bank — should be the basis of a deal. While the 1967 borders have long been viewed as the foundation for a peace agreement, Mr. Obama’s formula of land swaps to compensate for disputed territory created a new benchmark for a diplomatic solution.”

Suitably emboldened with the New York Times unquestionably uttering the same nonsense as he was — Abbas sent a letter to the UN Secretary General dated 23 September 2011 applying for membership of the the UN.

Abbas—signing as “President of the State of Palestine [a non-existent legal entity—ed.], Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization”- brazenly repeated his earlier claims — this time seeking to implicate most of the international community in his fantasy.
“Furthermore, the vast majority of the international community has stood in support of our inalienable rights as a people, including to statehood, by according bilateral recognition to the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the number of such recognitions continues to rise with each passing day.”

Abbas was at it again in 2012—as BBC News reported him saying:
“Palestine for me is the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital. This is Palestine,”

With Abbas last week choosing the path of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in preference to resuming negotiations with Israel — he surely has succumbed to his own propaganda and sown the seeds for his own fall from grace.

He has shown himself unwilling to be bound by the procedures laid out in the Oslo Accords, the Bush Roadmap and Security Council Resolution 242 — the internationally laid down parameters under which an end to the Jewish-Arab conflict was to be negotiated and resolved.

An opportunity could now be opening for negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan - the parties to those 1949 and 1950 armistice lines — to try and transform them into lasting and permanent borders.

A little bit of intellectual honesty can go a long way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Remembering Australia's First Jihadist Attack - 1 January 2015


[Published 30 December 2014]


The Department of Veteran’s Affairs announced last March that the centenary of the Battle of Broken Hill on 1 January 2015 would not be formally commemorated by the Australian Government.

That decision will now be seen in hindsight by many as a wise one indeed — following the fallout resulting from the horrific Martin Place siege perpetrated by self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis just two weeks ago - that claimed his life and those of two innocent civilians.

However Nicholas Shakespeare has written a novella — ”Oddfellows” - based on this little known event — to be published by Random House in January - ensuring this centenary will not pass unnoticed.

Shakespeare has written a poignant article - “Outback Jihad” - in which he graphically describes what the locals call “The New Year’s Day Tragedy”:
“The tragedy was a desperate response, in the least likely spot, to a jihad announced on the other side of the world. On 11 November 1914 — 100 years ago this month — the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V, and caliph of all Muslims, who had earlier signed a treaty with Germany, declared a holy war against Great Britain and her allies, “the mortal enemies of Islam”. The Turkish sultan’s call overlooked the Christianity of his own allies in Germany and Austria-Hungary, and was virtually ignored by Muslims, save for some small-scale mutinies in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and in Broken Hill where two disaffected “Turks” decided to launch a suicide mission under a homemade Turkish flag. Their target: a train of 40 open ore wagons carrying more than 1200 holiday-makers…

At 10 am on 1 January 1915, the long and crowded train pulled away from the Broken Hill platform. It had been a town ritual since 1901: on New Year’s Day, the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, a friendly society founded to embrace education and social advancement, held a picnic 25 kilometres away at a shady creek in Silverton…
Less than ten minutes after leaving the station, the train slowed down, the driver having been warned that sand had drifted across the line. The engine stoker was standing out on the footplate when he noticed a red cloth fluttering above a white cart. His first thought: someone’s exploding defective ammunition. But he dismissed it. No one would be venturing out with a powder magazine on New Year’s Day…

... They chugged past. The driver noticed what looked like an insignia on the red cloth. What this was, he couldn’t make out. Then a breeze sprang up, the cloth unfolded, and the driver saw a yellow crescent, like a banana, and a star.

At that moment, a pair of white turbans bobbed up from the trench—dark faces, the tips of rifles—and the driver heard two gunshots. One bullet hit the sand, spitting dust against the engine. The second bullet struck the brake van, embedding itself in the woodwork…”

In the ensuing melee and mayhem that followed for the next three hours—six people (including the attackers) were killed and seven injured.

Shakespeare records:
“The two soldiers of Allah were not Turks, but British passport-holders from India’s north-west frontier, a region now divided between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

One was Badsha Mahomed Gül:
“Born in the mountainous Tirah region, Gül had come to Australia as a cameleer. When the camel business declined, he had worked in a silver mine until the outbreak of war, and was laid off after all contracts with the German smelters were cancelled…

Three days after the tragedy, a confession was discovered, tucked under a rock and written in a mixture of Urdu and Dari, in which, astoundingly, Gül claimed to have visited Turkey four times — and even to have enlisted in the sultan’s army…"

Gül’s accomplice was Mullah Abdullah:
”.. a disgruntled old cameleer with a limp. Aged 60, he had lived in Broken Hill for 15 years. Different skin colour, strange clothes, not Anglo-Saxon —boys laughed when he hobbled by and chased him down the street, throwing stones. He never retaliated, but several times complained to the police, who failed to act.”

Eerily reminiscent of Man Haron Monis and his numerous brushes with the legal system:
“He (Abdullah) was not trained as a priest, but he had priests in his family. In the absence of a religious leader, he had begun to take on that role in “Ghantown”, as the North Broken Hill camel camp was known.

As well as acting as imam, he served as the butcher of his community, slaughtering animals in the manner stipulated by Islamic law. The fact that he was not a member of the butchers’ union in the most unionist town in the country brought him into conflict with those who needed little excuse to treat a Pathan from north-west India as an enemy alien. The most aggressive of his persecutors was the local sanitary inspector, a short, mournful-looking Irishman called Cornelius Brosnan.”

Broken Hill’s current mayor — Winston Cuy — acknowledges there are sensitive issues in the incident such as religion and civilian deaths.
“Broken Hill will be recognising it. What are the words you use and how do you commemorate it?”

Christine Adams — Curator of the Broken Hill Sulphide St Railway and Historical Museum — provides a sensible pointer:
“We think that it needs to be treated with a certain amount of tact. It was two people, what they did was a terrible terrible thing, it wasn’t a nation”.

Islam Must Degrade And Destroy Islamic State


[Published 26 December 2014]


The impassioned plea by the father of a Jordanian F16 fighter pilot captured by Islamic State has shot down attempts by American President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to distance Islam from the Islamic State (ISIL).

Speaking to the media - the father of Islamic State’s star captive - 1st Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, - said:
“I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Mu’ath, with generous hospitality. I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother.

We are all Muslims.”

This desperate cry for mercy stands in stark contrast to what President Obama stressed at a media conference in August:
“Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.

They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.”

Cameron has been equally as strident:
“We should be clear: this is not the “War on Terror”, nor is it a war of religions. It is a struggle for decency, tolerance and moderation in our modern world. It is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.”

Abbott was eager to support Obama and Cameron’s statements — telling a media conference during the Martin Place siege in Sydney last week:
“But the point I keep making is that the ISIL death cult has nothing to do with any religion, any real religion.”

These Presidential and Prime Ministerial statements had followed a most explicit condemnation of Islamic State by Iyad Ameen Madani - the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — the collective voice of the Muslim world - representing 57 countries over four continents comprising 1.4 billion Muslims - the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.

As Vatican Radio reported on 25 July:
"In a statement, he [Madani] officially denounced the “forced deportation under the threat of execution” of Christians, calling it a “crime that cannot be tolerated.” The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.”

Yet the simple plea of one distraught Jordanian parent pleading for his son to be set free - stressing that “we are all muslims” — will certainly sheet home the distinct unease being felt by non-muslims living in Sydney — still reeling from the Lindt Chocolat Café siege and subsequent shoot out in Martin Place killing two innocent civilians and the self-styled Islamic cleric who perpetrated the siege.

Such unease subsequently found the head of the Australian Defence League and two other people being charged over a brawl near a mosque in Sydney’s Islamic heartland—Lakemba.

The news that Sulayman Khalid, 20, was one of two men arrested on Christmas Eve as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation into the alleged planning of a terrorist attack on Australian soil — has only increased such unease.

As the Daily Telegraph reported:
“Khalid, also known as Abu Bakr, appeared earlier this year on SBS’s Insight wearing a jacket emblazoned with the Islamic State flag and stormed off the set when questioned about his support for IS fighters.”

France has this week also seen three supposedly “lone wolf” incidents allegedly involving “deranged” Muslim perpetrators in:
1. Nantes - when a van was driven into a crowd killing one and wounding 9 other shoppers

2. Dijon - where a man shouting “allahu akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic) injured 13 in a similar attack to that in Nantes

3. Tours - where an attacker - also yelling “allahu akbar” - was shot dead after stabbing three police officers
Meaningless OIC condemnatory statements designed to distance Islam from Islamic State are no longer sufficient.

Surely the time has come for the OIC to galvanise its member States into pledging unified Islamic military action to degrade and destroy Islamic State.

Such steps could include:
1. OIC resolving that all 57 member States join the American-led coalition of 62 States presently fighting Islamic State. Presently only 13 of those Islamic States have joined the coalition. Major Islamic States — such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Algeria, Pakistan and Nigeria remain uncommitted.

2. Making a unified Islamic approach to the United Nations Security Council by sponsoring a resolution calling for the use of armed force by the United Nations against Islamic State under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

3. Four Islamic States — Malaysia, Nigeria, Chad and Jordan — are members of the UN Security Council and provide an effective bloc to pressure the Security Council — particularly those States exercising a veto - into taking such action.

Growing Islamoparanoia needs to be contained - if rampant Islamophobia is not allowed to run riot.