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.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Palestine - End The West Bank Refugee Gravy Train


[Published 28 February 2016]


With more than three million Syrians fleeing war-torn Syria seeking safe havens in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Europe — scarce United Nations resources continue to be used supporting and maintaining about 760000 Palestinian Arabs currently living in the West Bank and registered as “refugees” with the United Nations Relief And Works Agency (UNRWA).

Their refugee categorization and status was changed on 3 January 2013 when PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas replaced the “Palestinian Authority” with the “State of Palestine” by this decree:
“Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads of the Palestinian National Authority official and national institutions shall be amended by replacing the name ‘Palestinian National Authority’ whenever it appears by the name ‘State of Palestine’ and by adopting the emblem of the State of Palestine.”

John Whitbeck - a legal advisor to the Palestinian team in negotiations with Israel — has written on the significance of this name change:
“In his correspondence, Yasser Arafat used to list all three of his titles under his signature — President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority (in that order of precedence). It is both legally and politically noteworthy that, in signing this decree, Mahmoud Abbas has listed only the first two titles. The Trojan horse called the “Palestinian Authority” in accordance with the Oslo interim agreements and the “Palestinian National Authority” by Palestinians has served its purpose by introducing the institutions of the State of Palestine on the soil of Palestine and has now ceased to exist.”

Abbas’s semantic ploy had left Israel without its designated negotiating partner under the Oslo Accords and had effectively ended negotiations for the creation a Palestinian State under the Bush Roadmap.

The institutions of the so-called “State of Palestine” had replaced the “Palestinian Authority” in some 40% of the West Bank designated under the Oslo Accords as Areas “A” and B” — assuming full administrative control over 95% of the entire West Bank Arab population - including about 190000 Palestinian Arab refugees living in 19 camps - whilst the remaining 570000 lived in towns and villages.

UNRWA funds:
1. 97schools with 51,327pupils
2. 2 vocational and technical training centres
3. 42 primary health centres
4. 15 community rehabilitation centres
5. 18 women’s programme centres
UNRWA explains:
“UNRWA is unique in terms of its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees. It has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees,defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.

UNRWA services are available to all those living in its areas of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance.”

As of 14 September 2015 - 136 of the 193 United Nations member states have been playing the PLO name-game change and recognised the “State of Palestine”.

These 136 States now need to answer two questions:
1. How can any person living in his own country still be classified as a refugee?

2. Shouldn’t the 760000 registered Palestinian Arab refugees living in the West Bank have their refugee status revoked and be resettled and fully integrated among their fellow Palestinian Arabs?
Claiming the trappings of Statehood — whilst segregating its citizens into two different classes — is a recipe for continuing tension and future conflict.

Change the name — change the game — but be prepared to accept the consequences.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Syria - End The Diplomatic Doublespeak, Start Getting Serious


[Published 20 February 2016]


The deadline for a ceasefire in Syria by 19 February has passed with no indication that it will be achieved at any time in the foreseeable future.

Hopes for that ceasefire were high after the UN Security Council had unanimously passed Resolution 2254 on 18 December 2015 requesting:
“the Secretary-General to lead the effort, through the office of his Special Envoy and in consultation with relevant parties, to determine the modalities and requirements of a ceasefire as well as continue planning for the support of ceasefire implementation, and urges Member States, in particular members of the ISSG, to support and accelerate all efforts to achieve a ceasefire, including through pressing all relevant parties to agree and adhere to such a ceasefire;”

The ISSG mentioned in the Resolution is the International Syria Support Group – comprising the Arab League, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States.

ISSG has proved totally ineffective in ending the five year conflict in Syria that has seen more than 300000 deaths and seven million Syrians internally displaced or fleeing to neighbouring States and swamping Europe to escape the horrific carnage unleashed in Syria during that time.

Islamic State was spawned in Syria and Iraq in July 2014 and now occupies more land than the area of Great Britain. Together with Al Nusra Front - a Syria-based Sunni extremist group that adheres to the global jihadist ideology of al-Qa’ida - both have been declared terrorist organisations by the UN Security Council.

Meeting in Munich on 12 and 13 February the ISSG members agreed that:
“The UN shall serve as the secretariat of the ceasefire task force. The cessation of hostilities will commence in one week, after confirmation by the Syrian government and opposition, following appropriate consultations in Syria.

During that week, the ISSG task force will develop modalities for the cessation of hostilities. The ISSG task force will, among other responsibilities continue to: a) delineate the territory held by Daesh [Islamic State], ANF [Al Nusra Front] and other groups designated as terrorist organisations by the United Nations Security Council; b) ensure effective communications among all parties to promote compliance and rapidly de-escalate tensions; c) resolve allegations of non-compliance; and d) refer persistent non-compliant behaviour by any of the parties to ISSG Ministers, or those designated by the Ministers, to determine appropriate action, including the exclusion of such parties from the arrangements for the cessation of hostilities and the protection it affords them.”

Meaningless gobbledygook.

The ISSG task force failed to meet once during that critical seven day period.

Whilst the UN and the ISSG task force mumbles, fumbles and stumbles – the carnage continues - as the ISSG members remain divided between those supporting Syria’s President Assad retaining power and those seeking his removal.

The ISSG is hopelessly conflicted and needs to adopt a different approach to begin ending the suffering of the Syrian people.

All ISSG members unanimously agree that Islamic State and Al Nusra Front represent a grave threat to world peace and security.

Russia, America, China, France and the United Kingdom – the five permanent members of the Security Council and all ISSG members - need to combine their diplomatic power to procure the passing of an unequivocal and unambiguous Security Council Resolution establishing a UN military force to confront and defeat Islamic State and Al Nusra Front.

Until these enemies are comprehensively defeated – all else is diplomatic doublespeak and a complete waste of time in ending the conflict in Syria.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Palestine - France Signals Surrender To PLO And Muslim Pressure


[Published 13 February 2016]


France’s extraordinary decision to try and resurrect the dead two-state solution smacks of:
1. Abject surrender to PLO demands for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State outside the parameters defined by Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

2. A desperate attempt to appease France’s 4.7 million Muslims as they protest against the continuing state of emergency declared after the series of co-ordinated attacks by Islamic State in Paris last November that saw 130 people murdered and 368 wounded.
France made its intentions clear in the following statement released on 30 January by Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius:
“France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the two-state solution”

Mr Fabius issued this veiled threat on France 24:
“If this attempt to achieve a negotiated solution reaches a dead end, we will take responsibility and recognize the Palestinian state,”

Respected commentator Aaron David Miller has already delivered his verdict on the proposed International conference in a scathing twitter:
“Another bone headed French play.Convene a peace conference doomed to fail; then recognize a faux Palestinian state”

In its Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey the Pew Research Centre found that 76% of France’s population had favourable views of France’s Muslim population whilst 24% had unfavourable views.

France no doubt hopes that calling this pro-Arab international conference will stem any growth in the anti-Muslim view in the next Pew Survey. Given the violent ongoing Muslim demonstrations such hope is doomed.

France’s Muslim population far exceeds that of the 475000 Jewish population whose number has been dramatically declining following 851 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2014 and 806 attacks in 2015.

Jews leaving France for Israel have also doubled and then doubled again since 2010 - reaching 8,000 last year - up from 1,900 in 2011. Such is the Jewish exodus that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was recently forced to acknowledge that French Jewry is in crisis and that France must work with:
“all its might to protect Jews”

France’s planned international conference and threatened recognition of a Palestinian State will have the opposite effect - ensuring an ever increasing number of French Jews will be fleeing to safer havens.

Any unilateral French declaration recognising Palestinian Statehood will only exacerbate the continuation of the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict - not contribute to its resolution.

Such a declaration could represent a complete turnaround in France’s stated foreign policy:
“France considers that the conflict can only be resolved by the creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel.”

Given the current authoritarian and undemocratic division of rule between two organisations pledged to wipe Israel off the map - the PLO in Areas “A” and “B” in Judea and Samaria and Hamas in Gaza - France needs to ensure that any State of Palestine it recognises is indisputably democratic.

France is being politically naive to believe the failed negotiations conducted over 23 years between Israel and the PLO can be revived.

An international conference aimed at jumpstarting negotiations to resolve sovereignty in Judea and Samaria between Israel and Jordan - not Israel and the PLO - would have made far more sense.

However the only winners from France’s proposed conference will be the airlines, the 5 star hotels, 3 hat Michelin restaurants, vignerons and limousine car companies catering to the needs of the delegations flying in for a talkfest that will go nowhere.

Hopefully the Islamic State will not spoil the politicians’ party.

Palestine - Security Council And Quartet Silence Dooms Two-State Solution


[Published 6 February 2016]


The UN Security Council and the Quartet — Russia, America, the United Nations and the European Union — have ended any expectations they had of successfully negotiating a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation - after failing to categorically reject UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s highly offensive remarks before the Security Council and in the New York Times.

Ban told the Security Council on January 26:
“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.

Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth.

Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”

Reacting to “occupation” can never justify the murder of Israeli civilians in their own homes, shopping in supermarkets, meeting in bars, or waiting at bus stops.

Such acts of murder are despicable and inhumane — and the Security Council and the Quartet should have said so clearly and unequivocally.

Following Israel’s trenchant criticism of these statements a clearly piqued Ban ran off to the New York Times on 31 January claiming he had been misrepresented:
“Some sought to shoot the messenger — twisting my words into a misguided justification for violence. The stabbings, vehicle rammings and other attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians are reprehensible. So, too, are the incitement of violence and the glorification of killers.”

Ban had dug himself an even deeper hole.

Failing again to call such stabbings, vehicle rammings and other targeted attacks on Israeli civilians as “murder” - was reprehensible.

The Security Council and the Quartet should have made it absolutely clear that until such murderous acts ceased - the Quartet’s further participation in assisting and facilitating the implementation of the two-state solution envisaged by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap would be indefinitely suspended.

That role had been specifically assigned to the Quartet in 2003 when the Bush Roadmap was released:
“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established…

The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan ... including direct discussions between the parties as required.”

In July 2015 the Quartet’s role was deliberately changed when:
1. The Quartet’s representative Tony Blair stood down with no replacement whilst his office — the Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) - was renamed the Office of the Quartet (OQ).

2. The OQ’s stated mandate was:
“to support the Palestinian people on economic development, rule of law and improved movement and access for goods and people, as they build the institutions and economy of a viable and peaceful state in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
An independent non-partisan Quartet had overnight been transformed into a biased and hostile Quartet - ignoring Israel’s territorial claims and security needs whilst solely supporting the “Palestinian people”.

No longer were the “democratic Palestinian state” or “practising democracy” mentioned in the Roadmap considered non-negotiable end objectives.

Changing the name had certainly changed the game — with the murder of Israeli civilians and the glorification of their killers beginning soon thereafter.

Whilst the Security Council and Quartet take no decisive action to effectively end these ongoing murders - the two-state solution — and the Quartet’s role - will be doomed to political oblivion.

European Union Becomes Irrelevant In Resolving The Jewish-Arab Conflict


[Published 25 January 2016]


The Council of the European Union (EU) has disqualified itself from influencing any resolution of the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict following the release of its “Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process” on 18 January.

Continuing its partisan support of Arab demands the EU has reaffirmed its July 2014 position:
“The EU recalls its willingness to engage further with regional partners on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative which provides key elements for the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the opportunity for building a regional security framework.”

Key elements of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative included:
1. “Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights to the lines of June 4, 1967 as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.”

2. “The acceptance of the establishment of a Sovereign Independent Palestinian State on the Palestinian territories occupied since the 4th of June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital”

Israel’s agreement to negotiate with the PLO on the basis of the 2003 Bush Roadmap was contingent on the removal of all references to the Arab Peace Initiative from the Roadmap along with 13 other detailed reservations.

American Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gave the following assurances to Israel on 23 May 2003:
“The roadmap was presented to the Government of Israel with a request from the President that it respond with contributions to this document to advance true peace. The United States Government received a response from the Government of Israel, explaining its significant concerns about the roadmap. The United States shares the view of the Government of Israel that these are real concerns and will address them fully and seriously in the implementation of the roadmap to fulfil the President’s vision of June 24, 2002.”

This fundamental disconnect between the EU and Israel over the Arab Peace Initiative continues to detrimentally impact on their relationship.

Full Israeli withdrawal from these territories - or even equivalent land swaps as suggested by the EU in its July 2014 manifesto - is a pipe dream - given that the creation of Islamic State since then has seen it:
1. conquer an area of Syria and Iraq larger than Great Britain - resulting in millions of Arabs being brutally slayed, injured, traumatised and physically displaced into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and even the EU.

2. become a distinct security threat to Israel and its Arab neighbours
The Arab Peace Initiative has been effectively consigned to the dustbin of history as a result.

Stubbornly continuing to support these key elements of the Arab Peace Initiative has led a clearly frustrated EU to take action to unilaterally end Israel’s total lawful control of Area “C” in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) by instigating the following intemperate actions:
1. Requiring Israel to specifically identify goods, products and services originating from Jewish settlements in Judea,Samaria,the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem

2. Funding and actively supporting illegal Arab housing construction in Area “C”
Israel reportedly considers that such actions by the EU give the Palestinian Arabs false hope that if they just hold out long enough - the EU will somehow be able to “deliver” Israel.

EU policy and its conduct since July 2014 has exacerbated the Jewish-Arab conflict rather than playing a constructive role in its resolution.

In reaffirming that policy in 2016 - despite total chaos occurring among Arab States in the region - the EU has clearly become irrelevant and can no longer have any meaningful role in resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Palestine - Obama's Ignorance Becomes His Nemesis


[Published 14 January 2016]


President Obama enters his final year as President having given up on trying to resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict - following in the footsteps of so many other American Presidents whose similarly-shared lofty and noble aspirations ended in abject failure.

In Obama’s case his inability to fully comprehend Jewish history and the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel was the catalyst for his inevitable failure - as tellingly illustrated in his landmark speech in Cairo on 4 June 2009:
“Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”

Israel’s current Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Dore Gold - has now revealed how Israel’s then leadership viewed Obama’s above remarks in this frank exchange published in Frontline on 6 January:
“When the president goes to Cairo for the speech, and you heard him speak, what did you think?

Well, everybody that was in my entourage focused on the whole notion that the state of Israel rose as a response to the Holocaust. That was something that was unacceptable.

Why?

Because Israel has an eternity to it that goes far back before the 20th century, the 19th century, and even earlier. All we have to do is know that there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem already at the time of the American Civil War. All we have to know is that we had a civilization here that was destroyed by the Romans. You can now find the catapult, the Ballista, used to fight the Jewish resistance at the time of the 1st century, 70 A.D. Our history is all over this city and all over the country. Therefore, an explanation that sees us as a bunch of Europeans who are looking for a refuge from the Nazis is a partial and not terribly accurate understanding of the soul of this country.

Does it surprise you that the president of the United States would make that error?

It surprised me that they have a speechwriter who would be allowed to write that kind of document, because I think Sen. Obama was presented with the four dimensions of Israel, but someone decided to take this partial approach in a presidential speech, and it didn’t earn him confidence with the people of Israel. …”

Blaming Obama’s ignorance on a speechwriter is being very charitable to President Obama and his administration including the State Department and his equally failed Secretary of State - John Kerry - who all must accept collective responsibility for Obama‘s further statement:
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”


Questioning the legitimacy of the right of the Jewish people to live anywhere in their ancient biblical and historical homeland - sanctioned by both the League of Nations and United Nations - was catastrophic.

Question the political wisdom - but not its legitimacy.

Obama got it wrong from the start and nothing was going to save him from failure in the end.

Palestine - European Union Drowns In Sea Of Inconsistencies


[Published 5 January 2016]

The European Union (EU) has concluded an unhappy 2015 with the introduction of racist and discriminatory labelling laws for Jewish goods and products originating from Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem.

EU members Hungary, Greece and the Czech Republic have rejected these laws which have also been condemned in a bipartisan resolution presented to the US Congress.

The EU’s Ambassador to Israel - Lars Faaborg-Andersen - has attempted to justify these labelling laws as being simply an expression of the EU’s longstanding view that such designated territories are not part of Israel.

He omitted to state that EU policy will never support any part of these disputed territories becoming part of the State of Israel because the EU claims that Jewish settlement there since 1967 is illegal in international law.

However there is no binding legal decision in any Court that substantiates this EU claim.

Indeed there is territory-specific legislation to the contrary - article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter - that confirms the legal right of Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.

Jews lived in these areas for millennia prior to being driven out in 1948 by six invading Arab armies - facts which somehow appear to have escaped the EU’s notice.

Such EU policy also flies in the face of Security Council Resolution 242 calling for secure and recognised borders to be established in negotiations between Israel and her neighbours.

The EU’s anti-Israel stance no doubt encouraged the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) to reject offers by Israel in 2000/01 and 2008 to cede its claims in more than 90% of Judea and Samaria as part of any peace treaty to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Why accept 90% when the EU is supporting the PLO’s demand for 100%?

The EU - in so acting - has repudiated the decisions adopted in 1922 by 23 of its current 28 members unanimously endorsing the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine - whose terms provided for:
1. Jewish self-determination in 22% of the territory of the Mandate including East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria

2. Arab self-determination in the remaining 78% of the territory of the Mandate - today called Jordan.
Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Malta are the only current members of the EU that were not members of the League of Nations when these fateful decisions were taken.

The Jews had been short-changed by the League of Nations - which reduced the area within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted to just 22% of that previously contemplated by the High Contracting Powers - Great Britain, France, Italy (all current EU members) and Japan - at the April 1920 San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres signed in August of that year.

The Jews nevertheless reluctantly accepted these restrictions. The Arabs rejected them. The PLO deemed them “null and void” in 1968.

Fast forward to 2016 and the European Union continues to backtrack on these internationally binding commitments to the Jewish people made by the overwhelming majority of EU members 94 years ago.

Conditions for entry into the EU require that each applicant:
1. Be democratic

2. Have a free market Government together with corresponding freedoms and institutions and

3. Respect for the rule of law.
The EU does not require the PLO to meet these criteria - yet opposes any claim to the historic and biblical heartland of the Jewish people by Israel - which shares these EU fundamental values.

The EU should hang its collective head in shame as it drowns in this sea of inconsistencies entirely of its own making.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Palestine - Elections Key To Ending Senseless Acts Of Self-Destruction


[Published 28 December 2015]


Elections in the West Bank and Gaza – last held in 2006 - increasingly appear to be the key to ending the past three months of random Arab stabbing and car ramming attacks on Israel’s Jewish civilian population, armed forces, border police and security guards.

97 stabbings were recorded – including at least 14 committed by Arab children aged between 11 and 16 and another 16 between ages 17 and 21. 19 cars were deliberately driven off the roads into crowds of people waiting at bus stops or assembly points.

These attacks occurred both in Israel and the West Bank.

Most of the perpetrators were killed or apprehended committing such acts – whilst a few remain at large.

Israel explains these latest tactics as forming part of the strategy of “popular resistance” adopted at the Sixth Fatah Conference in August 2009 by the Palestinian Authority (defunct since 2013) and Fatah – the dominant party in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

Such call to action resulted from continuing frustration that negotiations between Israel and the PLO under the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap had failed to create a Jew-free Palestinian Arab State throughout the entire West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

The reality is that such a negotiated solution has always been an impossible pipedream that could never happen.

500000 Jews will not voluntarily vacate their homes nor abandon their livelihoods in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to satisfy these racist and totally unacceptable PLO territorial demands – a major stumbling block to successfully concluding any negotiated agreement.

At present:
1. The PLO exercises exclusive administrative control over 95% of the existing West Bank Arab population who live within about 40% of the West Bank (Areas “A” and “B”)

2. The PLO exercises exclusive security control in Area “A” and shares security control with Israel in Area “B”

3. Israel exercises exclusive administrative and security control over Area “C” – 60% of the West Bank - where 350000 Jews and 50000 Arabs currently reside

4. Hamas exercises complete administrative and security control in all of Gaza

5. East Jerusalem has been unilaterally declared to be part of Israel’s capital

6. The PLO and Hamas are still engaged in an internecine struggle extending over the last eight years to achieve complete political dominance over the other in the West Bank and Gaza whilst denying their long-suffering populations any say on who they want to govern them.
Given these unresolved political stalemates – between Israel/PLO and PLO/Hamas - one must legitimately question why those Arabs presently sacrificing their lives murdering Jews do not choose to vent their wrath against the PLO and Hamas by demanding long overdue elections.

The PLO and Hamas – like all previous Palestinian Arab leaders over the last 100 years - have refused any compromises with the Jewish people – inciting their own people to murder Jews and kill themselves in the process to advance their documented political objective of wiping Israel off the map.

Palestinian Arabs denied a vote for the last 10 years need the opportunity to express their continuing support or rejection of these policies.

Elections enabling fresh political parties to emerge with alternative leaderships offering new ideas on making peace with Israel appear as far away as ever.

The sorry story begun with the PLO in 1964 and Hamas in 1987 drags on with no hope for change.

“Popular resistance” in the West Bank and Gaza demanding long-overdue elections can achieve far better results than the spate of utterly futile and senseless acts of self-destruction directed against Jews during the last three months.

Casting a live vote always beats a dead end.

European Union Suffers Continuing Backlash Over Racist Labelling Laws


[Published 23 December 2015]


The Czech Parliament’s lower House — by an overwhelming majority with all parties except the Communists supporting it — has joined fellow European Union (EU) members – Greece and Hungary – in urging the Czech Government to refuse implementing EU racist and discriminatory labelling laws for Jewish goods produced in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman said that it was:
“absolutely necessary to reject the efforts to discriminate against the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Another Czech politician Frantisek Laudat argued that the guidelines:
“may evoke awkward reminiscence of marking Jewish people during World War II.”

The Czech Assembly declared the new EU guidelines were:
“motivated by a political positioning versus the State of Israel.”

That political positioning has seen the EU:
1. Claim that settlement by Jews in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem is illegal in international law despite the provisions of article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter specifically authorising and preserving the rights of Jews to live there for the purpose of reconstituting the Jewish National Home.

2. Engage in supporting unauthorised, unapproved and surreptitious Arab building projects in Area “C” in Judea and Samaria where administrative and security control is solely vested in Israel under the Oslo Accords.

3. Ignore that Jews lived in these self-same designated areas for generations before being driven out and ethnically cleansed by six Arab armies in 1948 — resulting in these areas being illegally annexed and occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967.
To add to the EU’s current woes and expose the hypocrisy of these labelling regulations – the EU’s second highest judicial body — the General Court – has determined that the 2012 fishing agreement between the EU and Morocco must be annulled because it also applied to the Western Sahara — disputed territory under Morocco’s control since 1976.

The court cited United Nations resolutions classifying the Western Sahara as occupied — faulting the EU for pursuing its agreement with Morocco without making any distinction concerning products manufactured in the Western Sahara.

Although there are some 200 areas of disputed territory around the world – the EU has seen fit to only require special labelling laws for Jewish goods originating from territories disputed between Jews and Arabs.

The EU is considering an appeal.

The ire of the US Congress has now also been raised.

Representative Nita Lowey (Democrat) sponsored the introduction of the following resolution into the House of Representatives on 16 December – which has now been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
“H.Res. 567: Expressing opposition to the European Commission interpretive notice regarding labeling Israeli products and goods manufactured in the West Bank and other areas, as such actions undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

Numerous attempts by Secretary of State John Kerry to bring about a negotiated “two state solution” — first laid out in the 2003 Bush Roadmap — have come to nought.

These discriminatory labelling regulations must materially affect any future negotiations and the opportunity for the first time in recorded history to create a second Arab State – in addition to Jordan – within the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine.

The EU cannot realistically cancel these regulations – given the anger and resentment such back down would engender in the Arab world.

Such blatant anti-Jewish bias ends the EU playing a constructive role in influencing any division of these territories between their Arab and Jewish claimants.

The EU instead finds itself being increasingly labelled with a particular odium and tainted reputation because of these malicious regulations.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Israel - European Union In State Of Disunion


[Published 16 December 2015]


Hungary and Greece have broken ranks with the European Union in signalling they want nothing to do with the recently introduced EU labelling laws requiring Jewish products originating in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to have special labels and not be marked “made in Israel”.

These decisions follow hard on the heels of European Parliament delegation for relations with Israel chairman - Fulvio Martusciello - warning:
“The decision to label products was a mistake. Europe is loud about Israel, but quiet about 200 other conflicts around the world.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced Hungary’s decision:
“We do not support the decision to make a special mark on products coming from the West Bank or the Golan Heights. This step is inefficient and illogical. It would only hurt attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Greece’s decision was communicated by letter from its Foreign Minister to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Israel - when extensive bilateral cooperation in economic matters, technology, science, education, trade, energy, and agriculturewere concluded.

MeantimeGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel is backing a recent German Foreign Ministry statement that the new EU labeling initiative:
“does not deal with a stigmatized warning decal, as many have presented… What Brussels wants is, however, only a clear designation of the origin of the products.”

This Foreign Ministry thinking was no doubt influenced by the illegal invasion of many hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants into Germany and the huge economic and social problems faced by Germany in their resettlement.

Merkel has publicly opposed boycotts of Israel - which continues to receive preferential market access from Germany.

Will Germany’s Foreign Ministry now call for similar EU labelling of goods originating from other disputed regions around the world?

Surprisingly EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini - following talks with EU foreign ministers on 14 December — chose to refer to two points that were not part of the agenda but were debated among those present:
“One is related to the Middle East peace process, especially after the adoption of the technical guidelines on indication of origin. We had an exchange of views in this respect with the ministers, and we commonly decided that it was important also for me to pass this message publicly that the Council and the European Union stay united on these technical guidelines on indication of origin, which is in no way a boycott and should in no way be interpreted as one,”

Claiming to be united on these “technical guidelines” — despite their having been already rejected by Hungary and Greece—is surely deceptive and misleading.

Describing the labelling of Jewish products — but not Arab products - as “technical guidelines” - is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

They constitute clear “stigmatized warning decals”.

Mogherini continued:
“The second thing on which the Council was completely united is our continued engagement in the Middle East peace process and in broader bilateral relations with Israel. There is full unity and solidarity among member states and among European institutions on that.”

Mogherini is seriously mistaken if she thinks Israel will allow a clearly conflicted EU to remain part of the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers which also includes the UN, United States and Russia.

No amount of doublespeak will enable the EU to escape the charges that these labelling requirements:
1. Are racist and discriminate against Jews

2. Trample on Jewish vested legal rights to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem
Double standards and political hypocrisy will eventually bring even the most powerful down to earth.

Palestine - Israel Sheds PLO As Negotiating Partner


[Published 9 December 2015]


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has concluded that completing successful negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on the allocation of territorial sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), Gaza and East Jerusalem is a mission impossible to achieve.

Addressing the Saban Forum on 6 December – Netanyahu made his position clear and unequivocal:
“I have said and I continue to say it, that ultimately the only workable solution is not a unitary state, but a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. That’s the solution. But the Palestinians have to recognize the Jewish state and they persistently refuse to do so. They refuse to recognize a nation-state for the Jewish people in any boundary. That was and remains the core of the conflict. Not this or that gesture or the absence of this or that gesture, but the inability or unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to make the leap.”

Whilst the issue of a “demilitarized Palestinian State” is one possibly capable of being further negotiated – the issue of recognizing the Jewish State is definitely not.

Recognition of the right of Jewish self-determination in Palestine - whilst simultaneously recognizing the right of Arab self-determination in Syria, Lebanon and Mesopotamia (now Iraq) - has always been an issue with the Arabs - since these decisions were first made at the San Remo Conference in April 1920 establishing the Mandates for Palestine, Mesopotamia and Syria and Lebanon.

These decisions delivered to the Arabs 99.99% of the lands won from the defeated Ottoman Empire in World War 1 whilst setting aside the remaining 0.01% for the Jews.

95 years of bloody conflict between Jews and Arabs has ensued since then because the Arabs wanted – and still want - 100% of the Ottoman Empire pie and have never been prepared to settle for 99.99%.

Netanyahu points out where the Arab world now finds itself in 2015 because of such Arab irredentism:
“And what we see is the old order established after the Ottoman Empire collapsing and militant Islam, either of the Shiites, Shiite hue led by Iran, or the Sunni hue, led by ISIS, rushing in to fill the void.”

The PLO has never accepted the San Remo carve up of the Ottoman Empire between Jews and Arabs – as its current Charter declares:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”

The PLO’s rejection of the right of Jews to have one State whilst the Arabs presently have 22 States is also virulently expressed in the PLO Charter:
“Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood.”

The PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has no intention of changing this racist and utterly offensive position – as Netanyahu points out:
“You got a hint of that the other day when Abu Mazen spoke about the “occupation of Palestinian lands for the last 67 years”. Did you hear that? Occupation of Palestinian lands? For the last 67 years?

Sixty-seven years ago was 1948. That’s when the State of Israel was established. Does Abu Mazen mean that Tel Aviv is occupied Palestinian territory? Or Haifa? Or Beer Sheba?”

The demise of the PLO as Israel’s negotiating partner is long overdue.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry must urgently move to fill this negotiating void by replacing the PLO with Israel’s Arab partners in two long-standing signed peace agreements - Jordan and Egypt.

The Jewish-Arab conflict can still be peacefully resolved with the right partners sitting at the negotiating table.

UN Security Council Must Get Serious On Destroying Islamic State


[Published 25 November 2015]


Brussels in lock-down, mayhem in Mali and the shooting down of a Russian war plane by Turkey have swiftly followed the unanimous passage on 20 November 2015 of an ineffectual French-sponsored Security Council Resolution 2249 (2015) in the record breaking time of just 34 minutes.

Resolution 2249 once again showed up the Security Council’s continuing reluctance to seriously deal with destroying Islamic State — even though the resolution itself determined that:
”the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,”

Such an “unprecedented threat” only produced this limp-listed response calling:
“upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;”

The result:
1. Russia with Iran and Hezbollah

2. the 62 nation coalition led by America

3. France reeling from Islamic State atrocities committed in Paris
are now all conducting their own independent mini-wars on different terrorist groups and targets in Syria and Iraq — instead of focusing on their one common agreed enemy — Islamic State.

That a Russian fighter plane could be shot down by Turkey — both members of the ISSG — highlights the continuing folly of failing to have one military force under one military commander with the full support of all 193 United Nation member States.

Even more amazingly - Resolution 2249 was passed despite this warning from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on 18 November:
“The Security Council needs to give preferential attention to the task of creating a solid legal foundation for the fight against this evil [Islamic State] and for the mobilization of an actual global coalition in response to this common uncompromising challenge for us all”.

Russia must now be ruing its decision to support the passage of Resolution 2249 — rather than insisting on the Security Council passing a Resolution under article 42 of the UN Charter directed specifically at Islamic State to:
“take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”

Article 43 of the Charter would then have obligated:
1. All Members of the United Nations to undertake to make available to the Security Council armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage

2. Agreements being made governing the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided—such agreements to be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council.
How many more atrocities and military misadventures must occur before the Security Council gets really serious on destroying Islamic State with its own UN-authorized global military force?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Israel's History Trumps European Union Labelling Laws


[Published 23 November 2015]


Jewish history spanning 3000 years is set to trump the European Union’s (EU) unprecedented action requiring the way goods are labelled originating from four areas of territory disputed between Arabs and Jews — the West Bank, Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Similar labelling requirements have not been stipulated by the EU for products emanating from 150 other disputed territories around the world - inviting the charge of Jew-hatred against the EU for introducing this territory-specific policy smacking of double standards and blatant racial discrimination.

The aims of the new labelling requirements as set out in the European Commission’s Interpretative Notice (the Notice) — indicate they are not limited to consumer protection— as America’s State Department falsely claims — but also extend to advancing the EU political stance adopted on these four territories following their loss to Israel by Jordan, Egypt and Syria in the 1967 Six Day War:
“There is indeed a demand for clarity from consumers, economic operators and national authorities about existing Union legislation on origin information of products from Israeli-occupied territories. The aim is also to ensure the respect of Union positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the Union of Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967. “

Promoting the EU’s political position under the guise of introducing consumer protection labelling laws is reprehensible.

The Notice gives credence to the infamous anti-Israel BDS campaign operating in these four territories by inexplicably and unnecessarily introducing the term “Palestine” into its content:
“For products from Palestine that do not originate from settlements, an indication which does not mislead about the geographical origin, while corresponding to international practice, could be ‘product from the West Bank (Palestinian product)’ , ‘product from Gaza’ or ‘product from Palestine’.

Promoting the EU’s political position under the guise of introducing consumer protection labelling laws is reprehensible.

The EU sinks further into the political quicksand of the 47 years old conflict involving these territories with this bizarre footnote:
“This designation [Palestine] shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.”

Jurgen Hardt from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union asserts:
“The decision to label products from the West Bank is not a step for consumer protection, but will lead to the creation of stigma against Israel,”

Hungary’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó, terms the Commission’s labelling requirements “irrational” - not contributing to solving the conflict but causing more problems and damage.
Fulvio Martusciello — Chairman European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel - states that the labelling requirement is a mistake and that many European nations are having second thoughts about the wisdom of the EU decision.

The EU Notice contains these reassuring words of comfort:
“This notice also aims at maintaining open and smooth trade, is not hindering trade flows and should not be construed to do so.”

Accepting this EU expression of magnanimous goodwill at face value — Israel should label Jewish products originating from the “the West Bank” as originating from “Judea and Samaria” — the correct historical, biblical and geographical names used for 3000 years until Jordan invaded and illegally annexed Judea and Samaria — designating them the “West Bank” in 1950.

A few labelling ideas spring to mind:
1.“Made by Jews in Judea and Samaria — the ancient biblical homeland of the Jewish people”

2. “Produced by Jews in Judea and Samaria — heartland of the Jewish National Home”

Similar labelling could identify the Jewish source of Golan and East Jerusalem products.

The EU’s stated concern for consumer protection would be unequivocally satisfied — without prejudicing Israel’s claims to these disputed territories.

The EU has opened a can of worms.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Syria and Islamic State: America Capitulates - UN Security Council Procrastinates


[Published 18 November 2015]


President Obama has finally abandoned his 2011 policy calling for Syria’s President Assad to step aside and allow the future of Syria to be determined by its people - opening the way to a UN-led process on the political future of Syria being undertaken without first removing Assad.

Russia’s Foreign Minister— Sergey Lavrov — had criticised Obama’s stance as recently as 2 June 2015:
“The U.S.‘s “obsession” with [Syria’s President] Assad isn’t helping in the common fight against the threat from Islamic State…

“People put the fate of one person whom they hate above the fight against terrorism. Islamic State can go “very far” unless stopped, and air strikes alone “are not going to do the trick”

“If people continue to acquiesce with what is going on and continue to acquiesce with those who categorically refuse to start the political process until Bashar Assad disappears, then I’m not very optimistic for the future of this region…”

Marie Harf - a U.S. State Department spokeswoman responded:
“We’re certainly not going to coordinate with a brutal dictator who’s massacred so many of his own citizens. That’s just an absurd proposition. That’s certainly not going to happen.”

Less than five months later that “absurd proposition” has come to fruition.

The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Vienna on 14 November — attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry — agreed:
“on the need to convene Syrian government and opposition representatives in formal negotiations under UN auspices, as soon as possible, with a target date of January 1.”

Lavrov elaborated at a joint press conference with Kerry beside him:
“We have reiterated that Syrian future will be decided by Syrian people alone. This regards also the destiny of Mr. Assad and any other politician in this country.”

Lavrov stated that UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura would get the opposition and government together by 1 January for political negotiations — and continued:
“The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic has already informed Mr. de Mistura on the composition of their delegation. And today, Mr. de Mistura has the task to find the composition of the Syrian opposition delegation, which should be representative and reflect the whole spectrum of political forces.”

It will be nothing short of a miracle if Mr De Mistura can pull this rabbit out of the hat by 1 January. Nevertheless it does at last signify an international will and consensus on the way forward to ending a conflict that has claimed 300000 lives and created a flood of 7 million externally and internally displaced refugees during the last four years.

The ISSG further reiterated that the Islamic State, Nusra and other terrorist groups as designated by the UN Security Council, and further, as agreed by the ISSG participants and endorsed by the UN Security Council, must be defeated.

Jordan was appointed to develop a commonly agreed list of terrorist organisations by 1 January.

This foot-dragging takes the heat off any unified military action to target the Islamic State following the recent Russian airliner explosion and the Paris atrocities this week.

Nevertheless Lavrov was predicting that following his meetings with some unnamed ISSG members:
“I have a feeling that there was a growing understanding that there is a terrible need for efficient, comprehensive, international coalition to fight ISIS and other terrorists, as President Putin has said. And there are no prerequisites in this regard”
.

Any international coalition to fight the Islamic State can only be achieved through a UN Security Council Resolution.

Since the five Permanent Members of the Security Council are also members of the ISSG — such a Resolution cannot come quickly enough.

Palestine - Obama Gives Up On Bush's Two State Solution


[Published 11 November 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House this week has confirmed President Obama’s assessment that the much vaunted two-state solution proposed by Obama’s predecessor President George W. Bush on 30 April 2003 (the Roadmap) will not happen whilst Obama is President — or indeed ever.

Obama’s conclusion was announced by White House Middle East Adviser Rob Malley ahead of Netanyahu’s arrival at the White House after an absence of thirteen months.
“The president has reached the conclusion that right now - barring a major shift - the parties are not going to be in a position to negotiate a final status agreement,”

The major shift required — recognition of Israel as the Jewish State - is a pure pipedream.

Speaking the language of diplomatic doublespeak — Netanyahu told Obama that Israel’s negotiating position was immutable:
” I want to make it clear that we have not given up our hope for peace. We’ll never give up the hope for peace. And I remain committed to a vision of peace of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.“

Israel had flagged demilitarization and Jewish statehood as non-negotiable positions it required for concluding successful negotiations with the Palestinian Authority when Israel listed its 14 Reservations to the Roadmap’s terms twelve years ago.

Israel only agreed to open negotiations under the Roadmap after Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gave the following assurances from the White House on 23 May 2003:
“The roadmap was presented to the Government of Israel with a request from the President that it respond with contributions to this document to advance true peace. The United States Government received a response from the Government of Israel, explaining its significant concerns about the roadmap. The United States shares the view of the Government of Israel that these are real concerns and will address them fully and seriously in the implementation of the roadmap to fulfil the President’s vision of June 24, 2002.”

America has never wavered from supporting Israel’s position that the Palestinian Authority - itself disbanded on 3 January 2013 — recognize Israel as the Jewish State.

President Bush declared on 14 April 2004:
“The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.”

Bush’s commitment was subsequently approved by an overwhelming majority of Congress in June 2004.

Obama reaffirmed America’s support on 19 May 2011:
“What America and the international community can do is to state frankly what everyone knows — 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.”

Hamas and the PLO reject Israel’s long-held non-negotiable position on recognition.

PLO head Mahmoud Abbas declared on 11 January 2014:
“We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel. We have many excuses and reasons that prevent us from doing…”

Two such reasons are:
1. The PLO Covenant—Article 20:
“Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood.”

2. The Hamas Charter- Article 11:
“Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day.”
These two provisions — oozing unadulterated Jew-hatred — represent a permanent roadblock to ever concluding negotiations with the PLO under the Roadmap.

Negotiations between partners-in-peace Israel and Jordan on the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank still remains the key to ending the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Security Council Permanent Members Herald Armed Action Against Islamic State


[Published 3 November 2015]


An international conference in Vienna on 30 October — attended by all five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council — America, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom - has made an important breakthrough towards defeating the Islamic State and ending the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Together with Egypt, the EU, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Nations — the Permanent Members reached a mutual understanding that
“Da’esh (Islamic State), and other terrorist groups, as designated by the U.N. Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants, must be defeated."

This is the first time the five Permanent Members have reached such a consensus — acknowledging that prior measures not involving the use of armed force under Security Council Resolutions 2170 and 2178 have failed to defeat the Islamic State and other designated terrorist groups — a prerequisite before there can be any hope of restoring stability and reaching lasting political solutions in Syria and Iraq.

International co-operation to defeat the Islamic State through a Security Council Resolution authorising the use of armed force had previously risked being vetoed by either Russia or America in the face of earlier American objections against co-operating with any armed force which included President Assad’s troops.

Russia’s Foreign Minister — Sergei Lavrov - had declared as recently as 29 September.
“We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces, who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face. We should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad’s armed forces and Kurds militias are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria.”

However speaking at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State — John Kerry - after the historic Vienna meeting - Lavrov made an important concession to America’s stance of non-co-operation with Assad - opening the way for the passage of a Security Council Resolution authorising the use of armed force under article 42 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter:
“Russia is committed to fighting terrorism based on the solid basis of international law, whether we’re talking about the military interventions from air or the ground operations. These need to be conducted in agreement with the [Assad] government or with the UN Security Council.”

Lavrov signalled an early end to the current separate American-led coalition and Russian-Iranian interventions in Syria aimed at defeating Islamic State:
“I believe that neither the U.S. nor Russia want to go back to the so-called proxy war, but the fact that this situation makes the cooperation between the militaries ever more important is very apparent to me. We have a common enemy and we need to make sure that this enemy does not come to power in Syria or in any other country.”

Agreement by the five Permanent Security Council Members calling for armed action by air, sea and land forces against Islamic State and other designated terrorist groups has now become a distinct possibility — meeting President Obama’s preferred position as expressed by him on 6 September 2013:
“And I respect those who are concerned about setting precedents of action outside of a U.N. Security Council resolution. I would greatly prefer working through multilateral channels and through the United Nations to get this done.”
The Vienna participants reconvene within the next ten days to continue their crucial discussions.

Hopefully they will agree on pursuing the long-awaited and elusive Security Council Resolution authorising armed action - with the long-suffering Syrian people being its ultimate beneficiaries after five horrific years of war, 250000 deaths and millions being internally displaced and externally dispersed.

Palestine - Peres Trashes Rabin's Oslo Accords Vision


[Published 28 October 2015]


Former Israeli President Shimon Peres has pre-empted the memorial rally this Saturday evening to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the assassination on 4 November 1995 of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin - by writing – quite misleadingly - of Rabin’s vision in the Jerusalem Post this week.

Former US president Bill Clinton, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Yitzchak Rabin’s daughter - former deputy defence minister Dalia Rabin - are scheduled to participate in the rally – and hopefully will set the record straight.

Peres claimed that Rabin’s Government – in which Peres was Foreign Minister
“sought peace at the price of a historic compromise: two states for two peoples. For, if there shall not be two countries, there shall be one continues [sic] tragedy for both peoples.”

Rabin never offered any such two-state compromise.

Peres repeated this disingenuous message again in the same article:
“We laid down the foundations for a two-state solution and began building our peace with Jordan.”

Rabin made his vision very clear in his last speech to the Knesset on 5 October 1995 when presenting the 300 page “Israeli - Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” (Oslo Accords) for approval:
“Members of Knesset,

We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states.

In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.

At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel — Muslim, Christian, Druze and others — will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.

We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six Day War.

D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

The two-state solution was never entertained by Rabin.

Two separate countries - favoured by Peres - is irretrievably dead and buried. Rabin’s legacy should not be coupled with that failed diplomatic initiative.

Rabin’s vision should be faithfully preserved – not trashed.

Palestine - 1922 Two-State Solution Key To Resolving Arab-Jewish Conflict


[Published 22 October 2015]


United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon has jetted into Jerusalem on a fool’s errand - with tensions continuing to escalate between Arabs and Jews as their conflict spanning almost 100 years remains unresolved.

The Secretary-General observed:
“Beyond the immediate tensions, what is missing is the resolve to restore a political horizon for talks, and a political process that delivers real results and hope… We must, for the future of our children, turn back from this dangerous abyss, safeguard the two-state solution and lead people back onto the road towards peace,”

Safeguarding this “two-state solution” – code words for creating a second Arab State in Mandatory Palestine in addition to Jordan – is a lost cause. Restoring talks on this failed political process after twenty years of fruitless negotiations is meaningless United Nations babble speak.

The Secretary-General needs to focus on the “two-state solution” actually existing in 2015 – Israel and Jordan – the two successor States to the 1922 Mandate for Palestine – which eventually emerged after:
1. the 1920 Arab riots and

2. the political machinations of France and Great Britain between 1920 and 1922.
The riots were intended to pressure decisions affecting the fate of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Mesopotamia (Iraq) at the San Remo Conference starting on 19 April 1920 - following the liberation of those territories from 400 years of Ottoman Empire rule in World War 1.

The Arabs opposed a Jewish homeland in Palestine – and went on a murderous rampage to express their rage. 5 Jews and 4 Arabs were killed and hundreds wounded between 4 April and 7 April 1920.

However,the riots had little impact on the decisions taken at San Remo and the subsequent signing of the Treaty of Sevres.

The resulting Mandate for Palestine – adopted unanimously by all 51 member States of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922:
1. Gave recognition to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country

2. Empowered Great Britain as the Mandatory Power to be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as would secure the establishment of the Jewish national home whilst safeguarding the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine and the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Mandate, however, contained Article 25 – a provision used to deny the Jews the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Transjordan - 78% of the territory of Mandatory Palestine.

The inclusion of Article 25 followed French pressure on the British to stop Abdullah – the second son of the Sharif and Emir of Mecca Hussein bin Ali – leaving Transjordan whilst en route to Damascus with an armed force of 400 Arabs to help his brother Feisal resist French attempts to remove him from power in Syria.

Britain obliged by appointing Abdullah Emir of Transjordan on 11 April 1921. This Emirate became the independent Jew-free Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946 – today’s Jordan.

Achieving these British and French objectives closed the door firmly on any right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Transjordan - confining that right within the remaining 22% of Mandatory Palestine – today’s Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.

Redrawing the current boundaries of that fateful 1922 decision - taking into consideration today’s changed circumstances on the ground - remains the key to ending the Arab-Jewish conflict.

Pencils and rubbers wielded by Israeli and Jordanian negotiators can end the indiscriminate murder and maiming of Jews by Arab gun-toters, knife-stabbers, stone-throwers and car-rammers - and the inevitable Jewish response.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Islamic Lifelines Can Prevent Islamic State Dead Lines


[Published 14 October 2015]


Australia was introduced to a high school chaplain and Muslim community leader Sheikh Wesam Charkawi on one of Australia’s most widely viewed TV shows - Q and A - last Monday evening.

Australians were still trying to come to terms with the shooting murder of a 58- year-old police department accountant by a 15-year-old Muslim youth dressed in black robes shouting “Allahu Akbar” outside NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta some 10 days earlier.

Indeed the Parramatta murder was the third such instance involving Muslims in Australia in the last year - culminating in the loss of three innocent lives and the deaths of the three perpetrators.

Yet Sheikh Charkawi told his audience:
"Our faith teaches to withhold our hands from the breaking the branch of a tree, let alone taking the life of a human being, which equates to taking the life of humanity and saving the life of one amounts to saving the life of all. These are bedrock principles"

The Sheikh’s viewpoint was a revelation - considering the widely held belief that Islam with its Koranic concepts of jihad, martyrdom and forced conversion of non-Muslims was anything but the sanctity-of-life faith portrayed by him.

Sheikh Charkawi in seeking to explain the circumstances of the Parramatta murderer opined:
"I’m seeing a lot of identity issues with the young men and women and I keep hearing from many on the streets and in the schools that I visit that they tell us that we don’t belong. They say that we’re not part of the Australian society, we’re not part of the Australian community, that we’re terrorists, that we’re extremists, that our religion is one that is of destruction and loss of life and so on and so forth. Now, you’ve got to remember that these people were born into the age of terror and they’re being told that they don’t belong. What that leads to is to marginalisation and isolation, and if you add that to the mix of the propaganda that is being put forward by the groups like ISIS, it’s a very dangerous mix and so you see that it requires a whole of society effort and that’s the reality of it."

Left unanswered by the Sheikh was why such marginalisation, isolation and propaganda could lead a 15-year-old Muslim boy to take the life of another human being had he been properly instructed in the bedrock principles of Islam as enunciated by the Sheikh.

Instead the Sheikh tried to pass the buck - stating:
"If we take this issue and we restrict it to the Muslim narrative and we say that this is a Muslim problem, what happens is you can’t then step back and look for other empirical evidence as to any underpinning or driving forces that may be at hand here."

With the greatest respect to the Sheikh it is indeed a Muslim problem resulting from failing to properly educate its adherents from an early age that:
1. the taking of life is contrary to the principles of Islam

2. negative attitudes or grievances held by a Muslim cannot be resolved by taking the lives of other Muslims or non-Muslims

3. If the religious instruction afforded Muslims is faith-based on the bedrock principles espoused by the Sheikh — then attempts by Islamic State or other groups to recruit Muslims to their murderous ranks will surely fail.
Let the Australian Muslim community condemn those who seek to violate the sanctity of life in mosques and madrassas as this video recently taken in a mosque in Gaza so chillingly demonstrates.

The silence so far has been deafening.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Palestine - United Nations Bedazzled By Abbas Word Wizadry


[Published 4 October 2015]


PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the UN General Assembly last week contained a concoction of half-truths and outright lies that everyone who listened to him should question.

Here are some prize porkies:
1. “The question of Palestine was one of the first just issues brought before the United Nations from the time of its inception, and yet it remains unresolved until this moment”

Abbas failed to mention that it has remained unresolved since then because:
(i) The Arabs did not accept the 1947 UN Partition Plan to partition western Palestine into a Jewish State and an Arab State — whilst the Jews did.

(ii) The Arabs — instead - unsuccessfully sent six Arab armies to invade Palestine in May 1948 to rout the newly declared Jewish State — Israel - and drive its Jewish population into the sea

(iii) Jordan and Egypt successfully drove out and permanently expelled the Jewish population living in the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (later termed “the West Bank”) - keeping those areas Jew-free from 1948 until 1967

(iv) No attempt was made between 1948 and 1967 to create the Palestinian state Abbas says he will now accept. That opportunity has been well and truly missed.
2. Abbas described the Palestinian Arabs as “a people that had lived peacefully in their land and made genuine intellectual, cultural and humanitarian contributions to mankind.”
Abbas was gilding the lily.
(i) The Arab riots in Jerusalem in 1920, the Hebron massacre of the Jewish community in 1929 and the Arab riot between 1936 and 1939 give the lie to his claims.

(ii) No genuine intellectual, cultural and humanitarian contributions have been made to mankind by the Palestinian Arabs — unless airline hijackings, suicide vests, and indiscriminate targeting of Jews is what Abbas had in mind
3. “While Palestine was partitioned into two states — according to which Israel was established 67 years ago - the second part of that resolution still awaits implementation.”

Abbas suffers from a selective memory.
(i) Palestine was effectively divided 92 years ago in 1923 - when 78% - originally designated for the Jewish National Home by the 1920 San Remo conference and the Treaty of Sevres — was denied to Jewish settlement by article 25 of the Palestine Mandate.

(ii) This area subsequently became the Jew-free independent Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946 - renamed Jordan in 1950 after being unified with Judea and Samaria.
4. “We recall here the words of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1976, when he stated that Israel will become an apartheid state if it continues its occupation of the Palestinian territory and described the Israeli settlements on Palestinian land as “cancer”.

Abbas misleadingly failed to tell the General Assembly that Rabin’s view had changed markedly just before his assassination in 1995 — after experiencing 19 years of unremitting terrorism and rejectionism by the PLO — telling the Knesset:
(i) The borders of the State of Israel would be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. Israel would not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

(ii) Jerusalem would be united and would include both Maale Adumim and Givat Zeev as the capital of Israel under Israeli sovereignty

(iii)The security border of Israel would be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term

(iv) Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities in the area east of what was the “Green Line” prior to the Six Day War would be included in the State of Israel;

(v) Blocs of settlements would be established in Judea and Samaria like the one in Gush Katif

(vi) No single settlement would be uprooted in the framework of the Interim Agreement, nor building hindered for natural growth
5. “Palestine is a country of holiness and peace. It is the birthplace of Christ, the messenger of love and peace, and the Isra’ and Mi’raj (ascension to heaven and night journey) of Mohammed”

Abbas omitted any mention of the Jews — the forebears of the Christians
6. “It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations; what is required is to mobilize international efforts to oversee an end to the occupation in line with the resolutions of international legitimacy.”

(i) Abbas supposedly supports “resolutions of international legitimacy” — yet the PLO he heads has declared that the Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.

(ii) The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter are resolutions of international legitimacy that cannot be swept away because Abbas does not like them.
7. "The state of Palestine, based on the 4th of June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, is a state under occupation, as was the case for many countries during World War II.”

(i) “The state of Palestine” does not meet the legal requirements of customary international law as encapsulated in the 1933 Montevideo Convention.

(ii) There were no borders — only armistice lines.

(iii) How can “Palestine” be a state under occupation since there was no such State in existence prior to 1967?
The applause accorded Abbas in the UN General Assembly indicates how his deceptively misleading word wizardry continues to confound attempts to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Exposing its false peddlers must never cease.

Time the United Nations woke up and restored its own credibility.

Syrian Sinkhole Swallowing Obama And Putin's Credibility And Political Judgement


[Published 30 September 2015]


President Barack Obama’s continuing focus on removing Syria’s President Assad to secure America’s co-operation with Russia to destroy the Islamic State — whilst President Putin has now independently commenced Russian air strikes in Syria - supposedly on Islamic State forces — exposes both leaders lack of credibility and political judgment.

Obama addressing the United Nations General Assembly on 28 September asserted:
“The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo…

... Yes, realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL. But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild."

Obama’s acceptance of Russia and Iran as acceptable partners — but not Syria - makes no sense. Russia and Iran have propped up Assad’s hold on power in Syria for the last five years enabling the bloodshed and carnage in Syria to continue unabated.

Putin however argues for co-operation with Syria’s armed forces:
“We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces, who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face. We should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad’s armed forces and Kurds militias are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria.”

Putin’s undisguised contempt for the American led coalition’s efforts to degrade and destroy the Islamic State is a harsh — and arguably unfair - indictment.

Nevertheless both Presidents’ differing viewpoints and responses are now on the public record - and need to be reconciled before any Security Council resolution creating a UN armed force to destroy the Islamic State can emerge.

Obama’s preference for a Security Council Resolution can be gleaned from his comments made at a press conference in Russia on 6 September 2013 — shortly after chemical weapons had been used in Syria to gas 1400 people including 400 children. America took the view that Assad was the culprit — whilst Russia considered that the rebel forces battling Assad was the aggressor.

President Obama reasoned:
“You know, there are number a of countries that just as a matter of principle believe that if military action is to be taken, it needs to go through the U.N. Security Council…

... It is my view ... that given Security Council paralysis on this issue, if we are serious about upholding a ban on chemical weapons use, then an international response is required and that will not come through Security Council action.

And I respect those who are concerned about setting precedents of action outside of a U.N. Security Council resolution. I would greatly prefer working through multilateral channels and through the United Nations to get this done”

Eight days later — after three days of negotiations between America and Russia — the Security Council in fact adopted a resolution - jointly sponsored by America and Russia - on destroying chemical weapons in Syria - contrary to Obama’s belief that such co-operation was not possible.

Concentrating on their commonly agreed problem — destroying chemical weapons — and not who fired them — averted any possible Security Council paralysis.

Similarly Russia and America need to concentrate on jointly destroying their common agreed enemy - the Islamic State - under a UN mandated Security Council Resolution - rather than acting independently — and dangerously - of each other whilst arguing about Assad’s fate as President or Syria’s inclusion in any proposed UN force.

President Putin warned that the stakes of operating outside a UN Security Council resolution are high:
“Russia stands ready to work together with its partners on the basis of full consensus, but we consider the attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous. They could lead to a collapse of the entire architecture of international organizations, and then indeed there would be no other rules left but the rule of force.

We would get a world dominated by selfishness rather than collective work, a world increasingly characterized by dictate rather than equality. There would be less of a chain of democracy and freedom, and that would be a world where true independent states would be replaced by an ever-growing number of de facto protectorates and externally controlled territories.

On the basis of international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism.

Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of forces that are resolutely resisting those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And, naturally, the Muslim countries are to play a key role in the coalition, even more so because the Islamic State does not only pose a direct threat to them, but also desecrates one of the greatest world religions by its bloody crimes.”

President Obama also understands the risks of acting unilaterally:
“No matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy, we understand the United States cannot solve the world’s problems alone.”

With Russian airstrikes seriously escalating the conflict in Syria - Obama and Putin need to urgently sponsor that Security Council resolution before the Syrian sinkhole opens even wider.