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
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 19, 2016

United Nations Must Militarily Confront Islamic State And al-Nusra

[Published 5 October 2016]

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin’s assumption of the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for October could have a lightning rod effect on the Security Council finally authorising military action against Islamic State and Al Nusra under article 42 of the UN Charter.

Both terrorist organisations have been the subject of many unanimous Security Council resolutions declaring them to be a threat to world peace and security — but all such resolutions have stopped short of authorising military action.

American-Russian relations are in a precarious and highly volatile situation today due to:
1.The collapse of the ceasefire in Syria negotiated between America and Russia,

2. America’s decision to call off further negotiations with Russia on reinstating the ceasefire

3. President Putin signing a decree suspending a Russia-US deal on plutonium disposal - blaming hostile US actions

4. America and Russia engaging in a vitriolic diplomatic war shaming each other for the humanitarian disaster in Aleppo as Russian-backed Government forces and American-backed rebel forces battle for supremacy at horrendous cost to the civilian population caught in the crossfire.
Churkin has been afforded a world stage to justify Russia’s actions in Syria during regular media conferences that will be held by him as President of the Security Council.

Churkin was quick to grab that opportunity on 4 October — as this official UN record reveals:
“He (Churkin) was not aware of plans for further discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Federation Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, and did not know the result of discussions between the two countries during the last few hours. The nature of their differences was overdramatized. He hoped cooperation on Syria could be resumed.

He could not accept unilateral steps such as grounding of airplanes.

Al-Nusrah had moved to Aleppo and was keeping the civilian population hostage. He wanted as close cooperation with the United States as possible in fighting Al-Nusrah. Had it not been for Russian involvement, [Islamic State] black flags could now be flying over Damascus. There were 3,500 fighters in eastern Aleppo, of which 2,000 were Al-Nusrah, based on Russian intelligence. The rest were scattered in different groups. ISIL was not there.”
White House spokesman — Josh Earnest - reportedly said US policy would continue to give priority to the fight against jihadi groups in Syria.
“With regard to US options, we obviously have been very focused on countering ISIL [Isis] and other extremist groups that are using the chaos in Syria as a safe haven to plot and carry out attacks,”
Both Russia and America have previously expressed their willingness to involve the Security Council in defeating Islamic State and al-Nusra.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made this clear on 18 November last:
“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”.
President Obama preached a similar mantra in St Petersburg 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.”
Given the commonality of the positions of both America and Russia as reflected above — the possibility looms large that during Russia’s October presidency of the Security Council - Russia and America could co-sponsor a draft resolution to the Security Council authorising military action against Islamic State and al-Nusra.

October could indeed be make or break month for Syria.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Syrian Slaughterhouse Shames America - Undermines United Nations

[Published 29 September 2016]

The collapse of the Syrian ceasefire negotiated by Russia and America has led to bitter recriminations in the UN Security Council as each blames the other for the breakdown.

Civilians in Aleppo are paying the price.

Humanitarian partners in Eastern Aleppo have told Save the Children International:
“One hospital said that 43 per cent of the injured they treated yesterday were children, and the ambulance crew with Shafak, a Syrian NGO, said more than 50 per cent of the casualties they have picked up in the last 48 hours are children.

Doctors are working round the clock to try to save them, but children are dying on the floors of hospitals due to critical shortages of basic medicines and equipment, including ventilators, anaesthetics and antibiotics. Severe cases need to be transferred out of Eastern Aleppo for treatment, but all roads are blocked.”
Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria Director, pleaded:
“The UN Security Council has a chance to right the wrong and prevent more suffering when it meets today in New York. They cannot leave the room until they agree an immediate ceasefire, with roads opened to allow us to bring desperately needed food, clean water and medical supplies in.

“The information they have provided paints a picture of unimaginable violence and suffering for children and their families”
The Security Council predictably could agree on nothing.

America had failed to positively respond to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s warning on 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”
US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf had quickly dismissed Lavrov’s message — telling reporters that:
”... 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.”
Syria’s civilian population meanwhile continued being murdered, injured and traumatised either by the Syrian Army, the American-backed rebel groups fighting to remove Assad or by Islamic State occupying huge chunks of Syria.

America again failed to respond to a further plea by Lavrov on 18 November 2015:
“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 response to this common uncompromising challenge for us all”
The eventual execution of a ceasefire agreement between Russia and America on 9 September 2016 only promised joint American-Russian co-operation to attack Islamic State and al-Nusrah without any United Nations imprimatur. This agreement is now dead in the water with the collapse of the ceasefire.

America’s recalcitrance has been shameful.

Obama must now put the resolution of the Syrian civil war on the backburner.

America and Russia need to stop trading barbs on the ceasefire fiasco and focus on resolving the common problem confronting the world in Syria — the defeat of Islamic State and al-Nusrah.

Co-sponsoring a Security Council resolution under Article 42 of the United Nations Charter authorising United Nations military action against Islamic State will lock in all 193 member States.

Syria’s citizens can start to hope that Syria will ultimately become reunified once again

America’s reputation will be considerably enhanced — as will Russia’s which has been badly damaged in the last few years.

The United Nations will no longer be seen as a moral disgrace — but a moral place.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Islamic State and al-Nusrah Survive Whilst America and Russia Crash Dive

[Published 22 September 2016]

Botched airstrikes by American, Australian and British warplanes in Syria have accidentally killed at least 62 Syrian soldiers and wounded more than 100 - leading Russia to making the accusation that the “White House is defending Islamic State”.

The boot was however on the other foot when America blamed Russia for an airstrike a few days later that killed 20 Syrian Red Crescent aid workers and truck drivers delivering humanitarian aid relief to 78000 civilians trapped in Aleppo province.

A very angry American Secretary of State – John Kerry – addressed the UN Security Council on 21 September:
“For weeks over the summer, experts from my government worked with our counterparts from Russia in good efforts to develop a plan that would take into account the lessons learned from the original cessation, and the key elements of that plan launched in Geneva two weeks ago include the renewal of a cessation of hostilities, excluding only Daesh [Islamic State – ed] and al-Nusrah.

Importantly, it included arrangements for the unfettered delivery – unfettered delivery – of humanitarian aid to people in Aleppo and elsewhere in the country, and it envisioned the possibility – providing humanitarian assistance was unimpeded and sustained, and provided there were at least seven days of consecutive adherence to the cessation – that the United States and Russia would begin to coordinate their efforts against Daesh [Islamic State] and al-Nusrah.

And I want to make it clear, under President Obama’s orders, all preparations were being made in order to achieve that cooperation in terms of our military and intelligence community and the work we would do. So we’re committed to that."
America and Russia had again put the cart before the horse – and these two tragic events have happened as a result.

Russia, America and their respective cohorts now need to get on with the job of first destroying their commonly agreed enemies - Islamic State and al- Nusrah – but only after first obtaining a UN mandated Security Council Resolution - rather than acting independently of the UN by pursuing some joint co-ordinated action of their own.

President Putin warned in his speech at the UN just one year ago of the perils of operating outside a UN Security Council resolution:
“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.”
Obama and Putin should urgently co-sponsor a Security Council resolution under Article 42 of the UN Charter before the Syrian sinkhole opens even wider.

Such a Resolution would enable the UN to take action by air, sea, or land forces to defeat and remove Islamic State and al-Nusrah as a threat to international peace and security.

All UN Members would be obliged to make available to the Security Council, on its call, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage.

Only a UN-mandated military force led by a single commander-in-chief can ever hope to defeat Islamic State and al-Nusrah.

America seems unable to understand that resolving this world threat to international peace and security in Syria must first happen before it becomes possible to start resolving the 5 year old civil war in Syria.

Meantime Islamic State and al-Nusrah survive – and the inhumane suffering in Syria continues.

Russia and America must use the United Nations Security Council for the purpose it was created – not as a debating forum to play the blame game.

Islamic State Crows As Russia And America Trade Blows

[Published 21 September 2016]

Islamic State combatants were no doubt jumping with joy following botched airstrikes against them by American, Australian and British warplanes in Syria that accidentally killed at least 60 Syrian soldiers and wounded more than 100.

The 15-member United Nations (UN) Security Council met on 17 September after Russia demanded an emergency session to discuss the American-led airstrike fiasco.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN - Samantha Power - chastised Russia for the move:
“Russia really needs to stop the cheap point scoring and the grandstanding and the stunts and focus on what matters, which is implementation of something we negotiated in good faith with them,”
Russia made no bones about its feelings:
“We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: That the White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.”
The boot was however on the other foot with America blaming Russia for an airstrike a few days later that killed 20 Syrian Red Crescent aid workers and truck drivers delivering humanitarian aid relief to 78000 civilians trapped in Aleppo province.

Islamic State no doubt relishes these recriminations and counter recriminations that will guarantee the end of the current tenuous ceasefire.

This disastrous state of affairs could have been avoided had Russia, America and their respective cohorts agreed to concentrate on jointly destroying their common agreed enemy - Islamic State - under a UN mandated Security Council Resolution - rather than acting independently of each other.

President Obama’s decision to intrude uninvited upon Syrian sovereign territory in September 2014 without the backing of a Chapter VII UN Security Council Resolution - has seen America behind the eight ball ever since.

President Putin warned in his speech at the UN just one year ago of the perils of operating outside a UN Security Council resolution:
“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.”

Resolving Syria’s horrific five year civil war cannot be achieved until Islamic State is comprehensively routed and driven out of Syria

The chickens are now coming home to roost for America as the consequences of its by-passing the UN unfolded this past week.

Obama and Putin now need to urgently sponsor a Security Council resolution under Article 42 of the UN Charter before the Syrian sinkhole opens even wider.

Such a Resolution would enable the UN to take action by air, sea, or land forces as might be necessary to defeat and remove Islamic State as a threat to international peace and security.

All UN Members would be obliged to make available to the Security Council, on its call, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of defeating Islamic State.

Only a UN-mandated military force led by a single commander-in-chief can ever hope to defeat Islamic State and end the threat to world peace that this evil organisation represents.

How many more horrendous incidents like these latest two have to occur before Russia and America agree to jointly initiate action in the Security Council to confront and eliminate Islamic State?

Resolving Syria’s horrific five year civil war cannot be achieved until Islamic State is comprehensively routed and driven out of Syria.

The name-calling and blame games being traded between Russia and America serve no purpose other than to prolong Islamic State’s existence and Syria’s suffering.

Wake up Russia and America.

United Nations Must End Hamas and PLO Stranglehold On Power

[Published 9 September 2016]

The United Nations effort to create a second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan — has suffered another death blow following the Palestinian Supreme Court ordering the suspension of local elections in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip scheduled for October 8.

No parliamentary elections have been held since the 2006 - which Hamas won — but which the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) refused to accept. A bitter internecine struggle saw Hamas end up governing the Gaza Strip and the PLO controlling areas “A” and “B” in Judea and Samaria.

No Palestinian presidential election has been held since PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was elected in 2005.

Hamas boycotted the last Palestinian municipal elections in 2012 - but was due to participate this year.

In the absence of a popularly elected Government exercising complete authoritative and legislative control over the Gazan and West Bank Arab populations — any prospects of reaching a binding agreement with Israel in relation to Gaza and Judea and Samaria remains an impossible pipedream.

Both the PLO and Hamas have used the slogan “End the Occupation” to demand that Israel totally withdraw from Area “C” in Judea and Samaria over which Israel exercises complete administrative and security control under the Oslo Accords.

The United Nations has repeatedly reinforced that slogan by maintaining its flawed position that building in Area “C” by Israel is illegal in international law — completely ignoring that Jews have the legal right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea and Samaria under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations very own Charter.

The United Nations has allowed the conflict between Hamas and the PLO to career out of control for the last 10 years — allowing Hamas and the PLO to:
1. consolidate their power structures and political dominance within their own separate fiefdoms

2. allow corruption and nepotism to become entrenched and

3. pursue policies of confrontation with Israel that have proved disastrous for their respective long-suffering populations.
The United Nations has failed to insist that elections be held to enable such stranglehold on power to end and allow the people to have their say on who should govern them — the “self-determination” the United Nations has long been demanding but is being denied by Hamas and the PLO.

Ramzy Baroud - editor of - summed up the hopelessness of the political stalemate between Hamas and the PLO as long ago as 12 November 2013:
“In an initially pointless exercise that lasted nearly an hour, I flipped between two Palestinian television channels, Al Aqsa TV of Hamas in Gaza and Palestine TV of Fatah in the West Bank. While both purported to represent Palestine and the Palestinians, each seemed to represent some other place and some other people. It was all very disappointing.

Hamas’ world is fixated on their hate of Fatah and other factional personal business. Fatah TV is stuck between several worlds of archaic language of phony revolutions, factional rivalry and unmatched self-adoration. The two narratives are growingly alien and will unlikely ever move beyond their immediate sense of self-gratification and utter absurdity.”
Nothing has changed.

These irreconcilable differences between Fatah - the dominant faction in the PLO - and Hamas - not a member of the PLO — are still omnipresent in 2016.

The United Nations should be demanding that Hamas and the PLO end their decade-long occupation of power by allowing their respective populations the right to vote in internationally supervised elections.

“End the occupation” would then become a meaningful metaphor rather than a meaningless signpost that continues to lead to nowhere.

Palestine - Russia Following France On Diplomatic Journey To Nowhere

[Published 24 August 2016]

The media has gone into overdrive after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu to Moscow for direct talks.

Al-Sisi broke the news during an interview on 22 August with the chief editors of state-run newspapers Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar and Al-Gomhouriya:
“The Russian president has informed me that he has invited Palestinian President [Abbas] and Prime Minister Netanyahu for a meeting in Moscow.
Egypt supports these efforts and both sides are urged to participate and respond positively to the initiative for the sake of finding light at the end of the tunnel for Palestinians and establishing their state alongside Israel.”
The Russian invitation has not yet been confirmed by Putin.

However even assuming the meeting was indeed to eventuate — it must be crystal clear to any impartial observer that such a Moscow talkfest will end up in the garbage bin of history - like so many similar meetings over the last 20 years that have failed to resolve the 100 years-old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Peace negotiations between Netanyahu and Abbas remain deadlocked on one perennial and fundamental Israeli demand - that Israel be recognised as the Jewish State.

Abbas made his rejection of this demand very clear on 30 November 2014 when speaking to leaders of the Arab world in Cairo:
“We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel.”

Abbas has now backed up this statement by threatening to sue Britain for issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917 — which ultimately led to the League of Nations unanimously approving the Mandate for Palestine in 1922 calling for the “reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.”

Abbas has been emboldened in taking this stance after the Obama administration wavered in America’s previous long-standing commitment to support this Israeli non-negotiable demand.

US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to downplay supporting Israel’s position when he told a Senate panel in March 2014:
“'Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in Resolution 181 where there are more than 40-30 mentions of ‘Jewish state’. In addition, chairman Arafat in 1988 and again in 2004 confirmed that he agreed it would be a Jewish state. And there are any other number of mentions.”
Any Arafat declarations are meaningless - having been replaced with statements of outright rejection by Abbas. Arafat cannot rule from the grave.

Obama will soon be political history and his successor — either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump - have both made clear that the Obama-Kerry position will be reversed.

Hillary Clinton declared on 4 November 2015
“I am deeply committed to Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state,”
Donald Trump stated on 26 March 2016:
“Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel. But the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that.”
France’s attempt to convene an international conference later this year has been apparently undertaken without first attempting to get Abbas to moderate his stance by finally acknowledging and accepting the decisions of the international community expressed in the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

Indeed Abbas’s threat to sue Britain is a diplomatic kick below the belt for France’s efforts to broker a solution.

Putin would be politically naïve if he failed to sound out Abbas before facilitating any Moscow meeting.

Laying on the vodka, caviar and a Kremlin guard of honour whilst hosting talks that must inevitably lead to nowhere is the last photo-op Putin surely needs.

Strong man being derided with egg on face is not a pretty sight.

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.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Trump Advisor Castigates Clinton Betrayal Of Israel

[Published 10 August 2016]

Donald Trump’s trusted co-advisor on Israel — David Friedman — has castigated Hillary Clinton for her role as Secretary of State in perpetrating one of President Obama’s worst foreign policy failures - trashing the letter from President Bush to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004 - its terms having been overwhelmingly endorsed by Congress 502 votes to 12.

Friedman - rumoured to be Trump’s Ambassador to Israel if Trump becomes America’s next President — was recently asked this question in a wide ranging interview:
Hillary Clinton has just about everyone suggesting she is the most qualified person ever to be president. Where did she go wrong with the Middle East — if she did?

Friedman replied:
I don’t think she has made a right decision. I think she said some helpful things when she was the senator from New York when she had a Jewish constituency. As soon as she became secretary of state, the first thing she did was to embrace a unilateral settlement freeze. I think it completely poisoned the environment. I’m not aware of anything she did that is particularly good. I can name off the top of my head things that were nasty, like ripping up the letter from George Bush to Ariel Sharon, which I think was the only thing Israel got from evacuating Gaza.

The Bush letter had acknowledged the risks Israel was taking in unilaterally disengaging from Gaza and part of the West Bank. In return Bush gave Israel written assurances that in final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority America would support Israel:
1. not returning to the 1949 armistice lines

2. demanding recognition as the Jewish state

3. refusing Palestinian Arab “refugees” being resettled in Israel
In ripping up these assurances Obama had undermined Israel’s security concerns and negotiating positions as agreed with Obama’s immediate predecessor.

Israel’s unilateral disengagement was duly completed in 2005 - with 8000 Israeli civilians leaving their homes and businesses established during the previous 35 years - whilst Israel’s military also completely withdrew.

By any analysis that disengagement has been disastrous - bringing Israel and Gaza no peace - only ongoing and continuing conflict resulting from:
1. Thousands of rockets and projectiles being fired indiscriminately into Israeli population centres from Gaza

2. Terrorist incursions into Israel and

3. The construction of tunnels from Gaza into Israel’s sovereign territory to serve as entry points for future terrorist assaults on Israel by Gaza’s myriad array of terrorist groups
To be fair to Clinton - her role in framing Obama’s policy repudiating the Bush Congress-endorsed assurances remains unclarified and unexplained.

Clinton was confirmed as Secretary of State by the full Senate voting 94-2 on 21 January 2009 — having been a Senator since 3 January 2001.

On 24 June 2004 she was part of the Senate majority that voted 95 -3 to endorse the Bush letter.

The fact that Clinton was Secretary of State when the Bush letter was torn up does not necessarily implicate her as the architect of - or personally having agreed to - that appalling decision.

Statements made by Clinton on 17 June 2009 and 25 November 2009 point to her as the lead Obama official charged with implementing Obama’s policy - finally declared by Obama on 19 May 2011. Clinton remained Secretary of State until 1 February 2013.

Critically for Clinton — she now needs to fully explain her role in Obama’s gross act of betrayal of one of America’s staunchest long-standing allies.

Does Clinton avow:
1. Obama’s policy of ripping up the Bush letter in 2011? or

2. Her vote in the Senate endorsing the Bush letter in 2004?
Clinton needs to come clean before voting day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Israel - Clinton and Trump Must Honour Bush-Congress Commitments

[Published 4 August 2016]

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have yet to signal their readiness to honour the commitments made by President Bush in his letter dated 14 April 2004 to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Bush’s letter — overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day — supported Israel’s proposed unilateral disengagement from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank.

Bush further reassured Israel that in final status negotiations with the Palestinian Authority America would support Israel:
1. not returning to the 1949 armistice lines

2. demanding recognition as the Jewish state

3. refusing Palestinian Arab refugees being resettled in Israel
Bush’s assurances were absolutely crucial to Israel resuming negotiations with the Palestinian Authority — Israel’s then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telling world leaders gathered with Bush at Annapolis on 27 November 2007:
“The negotiations will be based on previous agreements between us, UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Roadmap and the April 14th 2004 letter of President Bush to the Prime Minister of Israel.”

Former Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz revealed in an editorial that he raised the letter during Bush’s meeting with a group of Israeli journalists at the White House in May 2008:
“Bush did not at first realize that I was referring to the 2004 letter. [National Security Adviser] Hadley, who was also in the Oval Office, had to prompt him. “Okay, the letters,” the president then said, remembering.”
Bush’s apparent memory lapse could not be claimed by his successor President Obama who set out to deliberately circumvent Bush’s commitment supporting Israel’s position on territorial withdrawal.

Obama’s attack dog was Hillary Clinton — then Secretary of State - who claimed on 17 June 2009 that the letter:
“did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

Elliott Abrams — Middle East Affairs point-man at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009 — had no qualms dismissing Clinton’s contention — stating in July 2009:
“Not only were there agreements, but the prime minister of Israel relied on them in undertaking a wrenching political reorientation—the dissolution of his government, the removal of every single Israeli citizen, settlement and military position in Gaza, and the removal of four small settlements in the West Bank. This was the first time Israel had ever removed settlements outside the context of a peace treaty, and it was a major step”.

Clinton made Obama’s sinister intentions clearer on 25 November 2009:
“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

Bush’s letter had never mentioned “agreed swaps” — signalling abandonment of the Bush-Congress commitments if Obama himself confirmed Clinton’s statements.

Eighteen months later that confirmation eventuated - Obama declaring on 19 May 2011:
“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

Michael Oren - Israel’s former Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 — has called for the Bush letter to be resuscitated. Clinton can do this by distancing herself from Obama’s attempt to trash it.

Trump’s assertion that:
“your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them”

is meaningless unless Trump pledges to unconditionally honour those Bush-Congress commitments.

Halting America’s rapidly declining trustworthiness and diplomatic integrity demands Clinton and Trump so act.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Palestine - European Union Rejects PLO Call To Boycott Quartet Report

[Published 25 July 2016]

European Union High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini has publicly rejected PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s call for Arab nations to lobby the UN Security Council to not endorse a Quartet Report that Abbas considers biased in favour of Israel.

Addressing the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on 22 July - Mogherini declared:
“John Kerry and I sit together in quite an impressive number of different formats. Together we decided to revitalize the Middle East Quartet. The report we have come up with just a few weeks ago cannot be underestimated. For the first time ever, the US, the EU, Russia and the United Nations have agreed on a clear analysis of the situation on the ground, and also more importantly on recommendations on the way forward to turn the two states solution into reality.

Together we have also agreed to engage more regularly with the key Arab states such as Saudi Arabia — the initiator of the Arab Peace Initiative — Egypt — for obvious reasons — and Jordan —for its role in the Holy places".

The Report certainly cannot be underestimated — condemning and identifying the PLO and Hamas as fostering and condoning terrorism - including:
1. “recent acts of terrorism” against Israelis, and incitement to violence including over 250 attacks and attempted attacks by Palestinians against Israelis since October 2015 — resulting in at least 30 Israelis having been killed in stabbings, shootings, vehicular attacks, and a bombing.

2. Palestinians committing “terrorist attacks” being often glorified publicly as “heroic martyrs.”

3. Some members of Fatah - which Abbas heads - publicly supporting attacks and their perpetrators, as well as encouraging violent confrontation — including a senior Fatah official referring to perpetrators as “heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.”

4. Palestinian leaders having not consistently and clearly condemned specific “terrorist attacks”. And streets, squares and schools having been named after Palestinians who have committed “acts of terrorism”.

5. The continuing illicit arms build-up in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups - including the building of tunnels, the smuggling of weapons, and the production and launching of rockets towards Israel.
Such hard-hitting language by the Quartet “for the first time ever” was ground-breaking - demolishing Arab propaganda that had for decades portrayed such conduct as being justified by the “occupation” or morally justifiable as the actions of “freedom fighters”.

The Quartet has finally made clear that the murders of innocent civilians in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Arba, Jerusalem and Itamar were equally as reprehensible as those murdered in Paris, Brussels, Ankara, Nice, Wurzburg, Sydney, Orlando and San Bernardino.

Abbas’s call to boycott the Quartet Report — and Mogherini’s public rebuke - has indeed rebounded on Abbas in spectacular fashion.

Victimhood and rejectionism must now be replaced with accountability and culpability.

Mogherini’s revelation that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will now be more regularly engaged greatly diminishes the political influence of the PLO and Hamas.

Between 1948 and 1967 Egypt occupied and administered Gaza - whilst Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem. Both enjoy signed peace treaties with Israel and are indispensable parties in resolving the Arab-Jewish conflict.

It is arguably no coincidence that retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki — heading a delegation of Saudi academics and business people—was meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai around the same time as Mogherini was addressing the Carnegie Endowment.

Diplomatic relations renewed this week between Israel and Guinea — a Muslim country and member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation — will hopefully encourage other member-countries doing likewise.

The winds of change are certainly blowing ...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Palestine – Abbas Emasculates Quartet, Humiliates United Nations and European Union

[Published 21 July 2016]

PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s failure to accept the recent Quartet Report has effectively emasculated the role of the Quartet and humiliated the United Nations and European Union in their efforts to resolve the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

The Quartet website points out:
“Established in 2002, the Quartet consists of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Its mandate is to help mediate Middle East peace negotiations and to support Palestinian economic development and institution building. It meets regularly at the level of the Quartet Principals (United Nations Secretary General, United States Secretary of State, Foreign Minister of Russia, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and at the Special Envoy level as well.”

Given the Quartet’s crucial role – Abbas should have accepted the Report with equanimity and pledged his readiness to stamp out reprehensible conduct identified in the Report:
“Palestinians who commit terrorist attacks are often glorified publicly as “heroic martyrs.” Many widely circulated images depict individuals committing terrorist acts with slogans encouraging violence. The spreading of incitement to violence on social media has gained momentum since October 2015, and is particularly affecting the youth.”

As Chairman of Fatah – the dominant faction in the PLO – Abbas would not have enjoyed reading the Quartet’s following condemnation of his failed leadership:
“Some members of Fatah have publicly supported attacks and their perpetrators, as well as encouraged violent confrontation. In the midst of this recent wave of violence, a senior Fatah official referred to perpetrators as “heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian.” Fatah social media has shown attackers superimposed next to Palestinian leaders following terrorist attacks”

Abbas was subjected to the following further criticism:
“Regrettably, however, Palestinian leaders have not consistently and clearly condemned specific terrorist attacks. And streets, squares and schools have been named after Palestinians who have committed acts of terrorism.”

Abbas’s pathetic response was to claim that the Report:
"does not further the cause for peace… We hope that the Security Council does not support this report,"

Abbas can’t be serious. Asking the United Nations to reject a Report to which it is a contributing party is incomprehensible. Expecting the European Union to act likewise would be irrational.

Abbas joins a long list of Arab leaders who rejected offers made possible by the efforts of the international community to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict in 1922, 1937, 1947, 2000/1 and 2007.

The conflict could have been ended between 1948 and 1967 with the stroke of an Arab League pen - after six of its member-State armies invaded Palestine in 1948 and forcibly expelled every single Jew living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Gaza and East Jerusalem.

United Nations and European Union calls for the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – since the 1980 Venice Declaration have been mistakenly construed by the PLO as a license to unrealistically demand:
• The return of millions of “refugees” to Israel
• Establishment of the prospective State of Palestine in all of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital
• Non-recognition of Israel as the Jewish National Home
The United Nations and the European Union have gone to extraordinary lengths to continue supporting the PLO despite the continuing terror, hatred and incitement now identified in the Quartet Report.

Abbas fumes and fulminates whilst illegally clinging to power.

Attacking the Quartet – and by association - the United Nations and European Union - are acts of unbelievable ingratitude and incredible political stupidity.

Abbas has sown the seeds for his own political demise.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

China Can Exploit United Nations Double Standards On Palestine

[Published 14 July 2016]

International support for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) - despite its rejection of the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter – could be exploited by China to blunt international action following an unfavourable ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration against China in The Hague.

Having boycotted those proceedings - Chinese President Xi Jinping then immediately dismissed the decision – which denied China had any legal basis to claim historic rights to the bulk of the South China Sea:
"China will never accept any claim or action based on those awards”

His rejection was as peremptory as that of the PLO – which declared in Article 18 of its original 1964 Charter:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that has been based upon them are considered fraud.”

This position was revised when the Charter was redrafted in 1968 – article 20 declaring:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”

These provisions have been a major contributing factor in preventing a resolution of the Jewish-Arab conflict for the last 52 years.

The international community has not punished the PLO for its unilateral demolition of these international-law building blocks but to the contrary has granted the PLO diplomatic recognition whilst also welcoming the PLO into the United Nations.

Should China be demonised because it also chooses to ignore a determination in international law that it regards as inimical to its national interest?

Does size matter? Can one forgive small players who wilfully shred international law but demand big players conform to legal decisions not to their liking?

The international community has some serious soul-searching to do.

Vietnam may now be ruing its welcoming embrace of the PLO by:
•Establishing ties with the PLO in 1968
•Allowing the PLO to open its resident Representative Office in Vietnam in 1976
•Elevating the PLO's resident Representative Office to the status of Embassy in 1982
Clearly concerned by China’s response to The Hague decision – Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh has declared:
"Vietnam strongly supports the resolution of the disputes ... by peaceful means, including diplomatic and legal processes and refraining from the use or threats to use force, in accordance with international law,"

That response is what one would normally expect – but when you have not demanded the same of the PLO for the last 48 years then such statement amounts to an indefensible double standard.

Other countries vitally affected by the South China Sea ruling include the Philippines – the plaintiff in The Hague proceedings - Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. They may find their long-standing ties with the PLO similarly embarrassing as they confront an angry China.

China on the other hand can argue that rejecting the South China Sea judgement is consistent with China’s recognition of the law-trashing PLO in 1988 – since International law means nothing to China and the PLO.

The Hague ruling is regarded as legally binding – but there is apparently no mechanism to enforce it.

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions programs against China will have little effect.

Rejecting China’s claim to any historic rights in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the acceptance of Jewish historic rights to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) – recognised by the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter – but erroneously claimed by the UN Security Council to be in violation of international law.

Double standards in the international community have a horrible way of coming back to bite those indulging in such dangerous games.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Palestine - Quartet and Two-State Solution Sink into Political Oblivion

[Published 7 July 2016]

The Quartet — America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — has effectively consigned any negotiated two-state solution to political oblivion with its latest Report.

Two statements in the Report stymie any resumption of negotiations — stalled since April 2014.

1. “The Quartet reiterates that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.”
Unilateral actions by the Palestinian Authority - disbanded in January 2013 - have already seen the international community:

(i) Admit “Palestine” as a member State of UNESCO on 29 October 2011 in contravention of UNESCO’s own constitution

(ii) Accord “Palestine” non-member observer State status in the United Nations on 29 November 2012

Such acts of recognition by the international community — over Israel’s strident objections — have hardened Palestinian demands and expectations that their goals can be achieved without negotiations requiring any concessions to Israel.

Reversing these decisions is a Quartet pipe dream.
2. “Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles and the rule of law, including control over all armed personnel and weapons in accordance with existing agreements.
Reunification under the “PLO platform” sounds the death knell for the Quartet’s mediating role and the two-state solution.

Hamas will certainly not become a willing player in its own extinction.
The Quartet obviously has not considered how such reunification could be achieved whilst Hamas’s own Covenant declares:
“Secularism completely contradicts religious ideology. Attitudes, conduct and decisions stem from ideologies.

That is why, with all our appreciation for The Palestinian Liberation Organization — and what it can develop into - and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser.

“Who will be adverse to the religion of Abraham, but he whose mind is infatuated? (The Cow - verse 130).

The day The Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies.

Until such a day, and we pray to Allah that it will be soon, the Islamic Resistance Movement’s stand towards the PLO is that of the son towards his father, the brother towards his brother, and the relative to relative, suffers his pain and supports him in confronting the enemies, wishing him to be wise and well-guided.”
Replacing “secular-democratic Palestine” with “Islamic-autocratic Palestine” is certainly not the Quartet’s prescription for achieving any realistic two-state solution — but this is what Hamas demands and will never abandon.

The Quartet is living in fantasy land if it believes otherwise.

“Democratic Palestinian authority” involves free and fair elections that Hamas and the PLO have both been unwilling to entertain since 2006. Given the rivalries between the PLO and Hamas such elections remain a figment of the Quartet’s imagination.

The Quartet — the most powerful and influential mediator in history — became totally irrelevant after it was restructured in July 2015. This latest Report will become yet another historical document attesting to the failure to achieve the two-state solution as envisaged by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

The time has surely arrived for trilateral negotiations to be commenced between Israel, Jordan and Egypt to allocate sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza between their respective sovereign States.

Time for the out-of-tune Quartet to bow out and give this Trio the world stage.

Palestine - European Union Acclaims Abbas Whilst Flogging Farage

[Published 29 June 2016]

Brexit proponent Nigel Farage has been branded a liar by the European Parliament (EUP) — but PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas can lie compulsively without the slightest EUP remonstration or rebuke.

Such hypocrisy and double standards surfaced during addresses by Abbas and Farage to the EUP within the last week.

Farage told those assembled:
“The biggest problem you’ve got and the main reason the UK voted the way it did is because you have by stealth and deception, and without telling the truth to the rest of the peoples of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union. When the people in 2005 in the Netherlands and France voted against that political union and rejected the constitution you simply ignored them and brought the Lisbon treaty in through the back door.

What happened last Thursday was a remarkable result — it was a seismic result. Not just for British politics, for European politics, but perhaps even for global politics too.”

Farage taunted the EUP Parliamentarians:
“What I’d like to see is a grownup and sensible attitude to how we negotiate a different relationship. I know that virtually none of you have never done a proper job in your lives, or worked in business, or worked in trade, or indeed ever created a job. But listen, just listen.”

Amid shouts of protest — the President of the EUP — Martin Schulz - interrupted Farage in full-flight with this rebuke:
“Mr Farage — I would say one thing to you. The fact that you’re claiming that no one has done a decent job in their life — you can’t really say that”.

Jean-Claude Juncker — President of the European Commission — put the boot into Farage amidst thunderous applause:
“You lied. You didn’t tell the truth. You fabricated reality.”

Abbas’s address contained a litany of lies based on a fabricated reality from the outset:
“I would also like to thank you all for all the different kinds of aid you have given, aiding us in institution-building and helping us establish the bases for a democratic regime which will be stable in the future and which will be able to comply with international criteria for democracy, and in particular we want to establish a proper rule of law and proper respect for human rights.”

EUP parliamentarians — including Shulz and Juncker - silently swallowed these soothing words despite:
1. Gazan and West Bank Arabs having been denied the right to vote since 2006 or to choose a President to replace Abbas whose term of office had expired in 2010.

2. The “Palestinian National Authority” having been unilaterally disbanded by Abbas by decree on 3 January 2013

3. Honour killings and victimisation of gays continuing under Abbas’s regime

4. Life imprisonment being imposed for selling land to Jews.
A duplicitous Abbas further claimed:
“Our history has been, frankly, one of a continued existence in this territory since the dawn of civilization until now”

Utter nonsense.

The “Palestinians” were defined for the first time in history in 1964 by article 6 of the PLO Charter:
“The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian parent after this date whether in Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.”

The Arab citizens of Palestine formed part of the “existing non-Jewish communities” in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

Exclusively high-jacking the term “Palestinians” constitutes racist-inspired semantic fraud.

Acclaim — not derision or condemnation — was the disgraceful EUP response to these and further outrageous lies.

Farage pointedly told the EUP:
“You as a political project are in denial”
Never were truer words spoken.

Palestine - European Union Should Heed Israel's Sobering Message

[Published 23 June 2016]

The European Union needs to heed the sobering message delivered by Israel’s President — Reuven Rivlin - to the European Parliament on 22 June:
“Currently the practical conditions, the political and regional circumstances, which would enable us to reach a permanent agreement between us — the Israelis and the Palestinians — are failing to materialize.”

Rivlin ascribed this situation to two reasons:
1. The Palestinian leadership was divided in at least two.

2. In order to achieve a stable and viable agreement, a reasonable regional and economic infrastructure was required whereas the reality was a chaos-stricken Middle East in which uncertainty is the only certainty.
Rivlin criticised the French Initiative to kickstart the negotiations stalled for the last two years as the chronicle of a predictable failure, which would only push the two peoples deeper into despair.

He warned those present:
“Distinguished audience, if the international community really wishes and truly aspires to be a constructive player, it must divert its efforts away from the renewal of negotiations for negotiations’ sake, and toward building trust between the parties, and to creating the necessary terms for the success of negotiations in the future.”

Rivlin laid out four areas where building trust could occur:
“First, harnessing the moderate powers in the region. The cooperation with Jordan and Egypt is a supreme common interest of Israel and the international community as well, in the aim of preventing military bolstering from beyond our borders, and in order to eradicate extremism and preserve the stability of the region…

Second, developing Palestinian economy and infrastructures for quality of life. One cannot speak about a future agreement when people live with a basic existential feeling of having no future, no opportunities, no hope, and no horizon. With the backdrop of economic difficulties in Judea and Samaria, and the situation in Gaza, a broad economic course of action is called for…

Third, investing in joint ventures aimed at creating joint interests…

Fourth and ultimately — education. Increasing stability, developing infrastructures and strategic terms are essential conditions, but are not enough. Creating the conditions for any future agreement requires conditioning hearts on both sides for the possibility of living with mutual respect…”

Rivlin’s message was timely — but could have been more pointed had he stressed that trust building and conditioning of hearts on both sides couldn’t realistically occur whilst:
1. The PLO remains the governing authority in Areas “A” and “B” in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)

2. Hamas remains the governing authority in Gaza

3. Free elections are denied to their Arab constituencies by Hamas and the PLO.
Both the PLO and Hamas maintain the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel as their primary goal.

The Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza have been denied any vote since their decision to elect Hamas in 2006 was rejected by the PLO — leading to bitter internecine power struggles that still remain unresolved today.

Certainly if elections were held whilst Hamas and the PLO retained political strangleholds over their respective electorally-starved populations — they might out of genuine fear for their personal safety well opt to continue swallowing the same unpleasant medicine — leaving the peace process in the negotiating void that exists to-day.

Rivlin’s call to harness the moderate powers in the region sends the European Union a message that facilitating direct negotiations between Jordan, Israel and Egypt on the future of Judea, Samaria and Gaza could be meaningful negotiations - not negotiations for negotiations sake — towards ending the 100 years old conflict.

Hopefully the European Union takes note and uses its power, prestige and influence to make such trilateral negotiations become a reality.

UN Security Council Must Take Military Action Against Islamic State

[Published 17 June 2016]

President Obama’s continuing refusal to co-sponsor a Security Council Resolution with Russia authorising the use of military force against Islamic State ensures that the horrendous murders in Orlando and Manganville this past week will be repeated with ever increasing frequency anywhere and at any time.

Speaking after a meeting with his National Security Council following the Orlando massacres President Obama stated:
“As we know all too well, terrorist groups like ISIL have called on people around the world and here in the United States to attack innocent civilians. Their propaganda, their videos, their postings are pervasive and more easily accessible than we want.

This individual appears to have absorbed some of that, and during his killing spree, the shooter in Orlando pledged allegiance to ISIL.

As I’ve said before, these lone actors or small cells of terrorists are very hard to detect and very hard to prevent.

But across our government at every level—federal, state and local, military and civilian — we are doing everything in our power to stop these kinds of attacks.”

President Obama was in complete denial so far as his Presidential options were concerned.

Despite a raft of resolutions passed by the Security Council under article 41 of the UN Charter requiring member States to take a melange of actions against Islamic
State — a resolution calling for the use of military action by the United Nations under Article 42 of the UN Charter remains stymied because of America’s opposition to taking such action proposed by Russia.

Article 42 is quite clear in its terms:
“Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may 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.”

Passing such a resolution would oblige all 193 member States to comply with Article 43(1):
“All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued this warning on 18 November last:
“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”.

President Obama preached a similar mantra in St Petersburg 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.”

Independent and uncoordinated military actions to wipe out Islamic State taken by Russian-led and American-led coalitions have only had limited success.

A minority of UN member States are shouldering the burden of inflicting total defeat — whilst the rest just make pious condemnatory declarations and avert their gaze.

Islamic State’s radicalising of Moslem minds everywhere is endemic and growing and represents a world-wide problem demanding a world-wide response.

How many more San Bernardino and Orlando massacres will President Obama mourn and decry before he agrees to co-sponsor a Security Council resolution with Russia authorising military action against Islamic State?

Palestine - European Union Must End PLO Subjugation And Exploitation

[Published 1 June 2016]

The European Union (EU) possesses the financial levers to end 10 years of exploitative rule by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in not holding any elections in the West Bank during that period.

95% of the West Bank Arab population live in Areas “A” and “B” under the total administrative control of the PLO. That population has been subjugated into silence by the PLO and given no opportunity to freely express their support or otherwise for the political and economic decisions taken by the PLO since 2006.

The EU in February 2015 released €130 million in direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and a further €82 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, commented at the time:
“The EU remains committed to the two-state solution and will therefore continue to support the Palestinian Authority in its state-building efforts and in delivering basic social services.”

Hahn’s statement ignored that the PA had:
1. frustrated state-building efforts to bring about the two-state solution during the previous twelve months by refusing to resume negotiations with Israel without preconditions.

2. ceased to exist as a legal entity after President Abbas had disbanded it by Presidential decree on 3 January 2013.
The stated purpose of EU funding — introduced in 2008 - included sustaining the now-defunct PA
“in its effort to pursue the fundamental values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

The PLO spurns these values:
1. continuing to declare international law — the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter - null and void and

2. denying its own citizens the right to free speech and free elections.
Yet despite another 12 months of no negotiations with Israel — the EU directly channelled another €170.5 million to the PA on 1 March 2016 and €82 million to UNRWA.

High Representative/ Vice-President - Federica Mogherini - said:
“The European Union renews its concrete commitment to the Palestinians. Through this package, the EU supports the daily lives of Palestinians in the fields of education and health, protecting the poorest families and also providing the Palestinian refugees with access to essential services. These are tangible steps on the ground that can improve the lives of Palestinian people. But these steps are not enough; Palestinian institutions must continue to grow stronger, become more transparent, more accountable and more democratic. Viable and inclusive institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights, are crucial in view of the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. Because what we want to achieve is the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State living side by side, in peace and security, with the State of Israel and other neighbours.”

Again we hear the same pious platitudes of democracy, respect for the rule of law and human rights uttered by the EU — but ignored by the PLO.

Surely it is time for the EU to demand that President Abbas:
1. Resign his office as President — an office he clings to seven years after his four year term expired — to end growing public perceptions of corruption now held by 81% of the population and curb his escalating autocratic tendencies¬†

2. Hold EU-supervised elections in the West Bank for the first time since 2006

3. End the radicalisation and Jew-hatred being taught in UNRWA schools beginning in Grade 1

4. Resume direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions
How long is the EU going to keep shelling out large sums of money — only to see the implementation of its noble objectives being continually subverted?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Palestine - Politicians Peddling Propaganda Forfeit Credibility

[Published 19 May 2016]

Senator Lee Rhiannon - a member of the Greens Party holding a pivotal position in Australian politics - authorised and printed a deceptive and misleading pamphlet which was distributed at a protest rally addressed by her last Sunday in Sydney “against Israeli Apartheid and commemorating Al Nakba 68 years on.”

The pamphlet purported to quote a statement by Israel’s then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1969:
“We came to a region of land that was inhabited by Arabs and we set up a Jewish State… Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages“

What Dayan actually said — which Senator Rhiannon was apparently not prepared to disclose — was:
“We came to a region that was inhabited by Arabs, and we set up a Jewish state. In many places, we purchased the land from Arabs and set up Jewish villages where there had once been Arab villages.”

God forbid that those present should learn that Jews had actually purchased land from its Arab owners. Better to maintain the canard repeated in Palestinian text books and media that:
“the Zionist gangs stole Palestine”

Moshe Aumann in his seminal work “Land ownership in Palestine 1880-1948” states that in 1948:
“8.6 per cent of the land was owned by Jews and 3.3 per cent by Israeli Arabs, while 16.9 per cent had been abandoned by Arab owners who imprudently heeded the call from neighbouring countries to “get out of the way” while the invading Arab armies made short shrift of Israel. The rest of the land — over 70 per cent — had been vested in the Mandatory Power, and accordingly reverted to the State of Israel as its legal heir. (Government of Palestine, Survey of Palestine, 1946, British Government Printer, p. 257.) The greater part of this 70 per cent consisted of the Negev, some 3,144,250 acres all told, or close to 50 per cent of the 6,580,000 acres in all of Mandatory Palestine. Known as Crown or State Lands, this was mostly uninhabited arid or semi-arid territory, inherited originally by the Mandatory Government from Turkey. In 1948 it passed to the Government of Israel. These lands had not been owned by Arab farmers — neither under the British Mandate nor under the preceding regime.”

Senator Rhiannon has a Parliamentary staff to assist her in ensuring everything that issues in her name as a Senator is totally and completely accurate.

She has let her emotions cloud her judgement in what can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to paper over the fact that Jews bought land in Palestine they settled on.

Another pamphlet containing four maps was handed out at the rally — supposedly documenting Palestinian loss of land between 1946 and 2000.

McGraw Hill Publishing only recently withdrew from sale and trashed unsold copies of one of its textbooks - Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World - containing those maps.

Spokesperson - Catherine Mathis - stated:
“As soon as we learned about the concerns with it, we placed sales of the book on hold and immediately initiated an academic review. The review determined that the map did not meet our academic standards. We have informed the authors and we are no longer selling the book. All existing inventory will be destroyed. We apologize and will refund payment to anyone who returns the book.”

Senator Rhiannon is perfectly entitled to express her support for the Palestinian Arabs.

It would be encouraging to know however that her support is based on fact — not fiction and partisan propaganda designed to deceive and mislead and possibly incite to violence and Jew-hatred.

Senator Rhiannon has badly blotted her copybook — and credibility.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

UN Security Council Moves To End Anonymity On Internet

[Published 15 May 2016]

Ending the plague of anonymity on the Internet seems closer to fruition following moves this week by the UN Security Council.

Re-affirming its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security the President of the Security Council re-iterated:
“the urgent need to globally counter the activities of ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities to incite and recruit to commit terrorist acts”

by a variety of measures including:
“developing the most effective means to counter terrorist propaganda, incitement and recruitment, including through the Internet, in compliance with international law, including international human rights law;”

The President called on its Counter-Terrorism Committee in close consultation with other relevant United Nations bodies and international and regional organizations as well as interested Member States to present a comprehensive international framework to the Security Council by 30 April 2017.

Steven A Crown, vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft told the Security Council:
“there is no silver bullet that will stop terrorist use of the Internet.”

Crown was quick to acknowledge:
“For the internet industry, the scale of the terrorist challenge is daunting. We know that there are tens of thousands terrorist internet accounts that refuse to die. As one is taken down, another quickly springs up in its place.”

Crown’s appearance marked the first time a representative of a technology company has addressed the U.N.‘s most powerful body.

Crown was surely being naïve in expressing this opinion.

The use of the Internet as a communications tool has been fuelled by the anonymity afforded to those who use it – enabling all kinds of hate and incitement to be spewed out daily without recourse to those who claim to have been legally affected by those who make their vile and outrageous statements.

Surely the first step in any move by the Security Council to combat this “Internet Intifada” is to insist that all member States impose laws in their jurisdictions compelling all Internet providers to insist on the names , addresses and contact phone numbers being provided by all registered users of their websites - including those seeking to post comments.

These details would be held by the Internet provider and could be subpoenaed in any proceedings brought in a competent court of law by persons claiming to have suffered as a result of any offending publication.

Large penalties would be prescribed for those providers who failed to check the bona fides of those using the internet.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power correctly said it was important to protect free speech.
"As we consider the task of countering violent ideologies we all must recognize that the common goal of countering terrorist ideology should never be used as an excuse to suppress political dissent. Legal action is a critical tool in the campaign against ISIL but it must not be wielded like a cudgel against those who voice unpopular speech or criticize authorities. Such behavior doesn’t prevent violent extremism, it fuels it.”

Ending anonymity on the Internet is not a threat to free speech. It does not prevent anyone saying whatever they want to say within the bounds of what is legally acceptable.

Anonymity has been widely rejected by most newsprint around the world.

Popular talk back radio shows have a seven second delete button to filter calls deemed to be outside what is legally permitted.

Ending anonymity on the Internet – if prosecuted by all UN member States - will lead to those tens of thousands of terrorist internet accounts currently in existence and their would-be successors being quickly and effectively eliminated.

If people are not prepared to reveal their identities – don’t publish.

Palestine - Perpetuating Propaganda Plagues Peace Process

[Published 8 May 2016]

McGraw Hill’s decision to trash copies of its textbook - Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World — has been subjected to intense criticism on web sites propagating the “Palestinian Narrative” of the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

The “Palestinian Narrative” is a concoction of lies and half-truths based on the 1964 PLO National Charter — as amended in 1968 - and the 1988 Hamas Covenant.

Catherine Mathis - a spokeswoman for McGraw-Hill - explained the Company’s reasons for destroying the textbook — which contained four misleading and inaccurate maps of “Palestine”:
“As soon as we learned about the concerns with it, we placed sales of the book on hold and immediately initiated an academic review. The review determined that the map did not meet our academic standards. We have informed the authors and we are no longer selling the book. All existing inventory will be destroyed. We apologize and will refund payment to anyone who returns the book.”

McGraw-Hill’s action follows similar criticism by MSNBC which aired the same series of maps last year on “MSNBC Live”. Host Kate Snow and her then guest Middle East expert Martin Fletcher made a return appearance to acknowledge that they realized after they went off the air that the maps were not factually accurate and they regretted using them.

Now Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has published a letter signed by 35 “prominent academics” attacking McGraw Hill’s
“shocking and outrageous act of censorship of the Palestinian narrative from US schoolbooks”.

The fact that JVP openly acknowledges the offending maps are part of the “Palestinian narrative” is surely more than sufficient justification for trashing the text book - because no disclosure was made by the contributing editors that the maps they used were partisan in nature.

But the academics letter goes even further in claiming:
1. “The maps in question are historically accurate” - but gives no evidence to back up that claim.

2. ”If there were in fact any minor errors with the maps they should have been corrected rather than removed altogether”- but fails to list such minor errors.
I contacted JVP requesting to know what those “minor errors” were.
Rather than listing those “minor errors” — JVP referred me to the fact sheet of another web site propagating the same maps and claiming they were accurate.

I then sent JVP my detailed reasons for questioning the accuracy of these four maps — adding:
“I know it would be very difficult to withdraw your letter signed by so many distinguished people but it needs to be qualified if their integrity and yours is to be maintained.

McGraw Publishing had the intellectual strength to remove the offending text book from sale when inaccuracies in the maps were brought to its attention.

I believe you now need to issue an appropriately worded supplementary letter that:
1. errors appearing in the published maps drawn to your attention after your letter was published were regrettably incapable of being corrected thereby necessitating their withdrawal and the textbook from sale.

2. McGraw Hill’s decision to do so was justified.

Please give this letter your serious consideration and let me know what you intend doing.”

No response has been received to this and two subsequent e mails.

Misleading maps — like misleading statements - allowed to go unchallenged - soon become accepted as gospel truth if repeated often enough in text books and in the media.

Anti-Israel websites peddling the “Palestinian narrative” and refusing to publish comments seeking to correct unsubstantiated and untrue statements are increasing.

Jewish Voice For Peace does itself no credit in aligning with these insidious web sites by maintaining its deafening silence and knowingly propagating these totally discredited maps.

Trump Targets Obama And Clinton Betrayal Of Israel

[Published 30 April 2016]

Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech has created expectations that he will match Marco Rubio’s pledge to stand by the commitments made by President Bush to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Bush’s letter dated 14 April 2004.

Rubio made his unequivocal pledge on 3 December 2015 at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum during his unsuccessful race to secure the Republican Party’s endorsement as its Presidential nominee:
“I will revive the common-sense understandings reached in the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter and build on them to help ensure Israel has defensible borders”

President Obama and his then former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did everything in their power to wriggle out of those Bush commitments — despite their having been overwhelmingly endorsed by the Senate 95-3 on 23 June 2004 and by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 24 June 2004.

Trump clearly had Obama and Clinton’s betrayal of Israel in his sights — when stating:
”... your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place.”

The Bush-Congress endorsed commitments made in that 2004 letter undoubtedly represent such an agreement.

President Bush’s letter acknowledged the risks Israel’s proposed unilateral disengagement from Gaza represented - and assured Israel that America:
1. Would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan other than the Roadmap envisioned by President Bush on 24 June 2002.

2. Would maintain its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders,

3. Was strongly committed to Israel’s well-being as a Jewish state.

4. Understood that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.

5. Accepted as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

6. Acknowledged that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, that all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution had reached the same conclusion
Sharon’s successor - Ehud Olmert - had neither forgotten nor overlooked the critical significance of Bush’s commitments when agreeing to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority - telling an international audience of world leaders at Annapolis on 27 November 2007:
“The negotiations will be based on previous agreements between us, U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the road map and the April 14, 2004 letter of President Bush to the Prime Minister of Israel.”

Gaza by then had become a de facto terrorist State with Hamas firmly entrenched as Gaza’s governing authority.

Israel had since its disengagement been subjected to a sustained barrage of thousands of rockets and mortars fired indiscriminately into Israeli population centres from Gaza by a bewildering variety of terrorist groups and sub-groups who would have had no chance of operating so freely from Gaza if the Israeli Army had remained there.

President Obama’s attempt to disavow Bush’s commitments was first orchestrated by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - as this report on 6 June 2009 disclosed:
“Since coming to office in January, President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Israel to halt all settlement activity in Palestinian areas, a demand rejected by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israelis say they received commitments from the previous US administration of President George W. Bush permitting some growth in existing settlements.
They say the US position was laid out in a 2004 letter from Bush to then Israeli premier Ariel Sharon.”

Clinton rejected that claim, saying any such US stance was informal and
“did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

Clinton — doubling again as Obama’s attack dog — made Obama’s intentions clearer on 25 November 2009:
“We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

Bush’s letter never mentioned “agreed swaps” — signalling trouble for Israel if Obama himself were to confirm Clinton’s latest statement.

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

Michael Oren — Israel’s Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 — called for Bush’s commitments to be resuscitated on 15 January 2015:
”... it’s time to revive the Bush-Sharon letter and act according to it.”

Others are making similar demands.

Trump is responding with his clearly articulated message.

Keep agreements made with your allies — don’t ditch them. Loyalty will always trump expediency.

Obama and Clinton’s shameful betrayal of Israel in this sordid affair seems set to be targeted by Trump.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Palestine - France Embarks On Flight Of Fancy

[Published 22 April 2016]

The announcement by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that France will host a meeting of ministers from 20 countries in Paris on May 30 to try and relaunch the Israel-Palestinian peace process seems to be yet another flight of fancy that is destined to end up where the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap presently find themselves after decades of fruitless negotiations.

Who those 20 countries are that will attend such a meeting will make fascinating reading.

The other 173 member States of the United Nations should be miffed at not being invited to enjoy the sights, sounds, food and wine of Paris as it seeks to put behind it:
1. The devastating Islamic terrorist attack on 13 November last that claimed the lives of 130 people and wounded 352 others.

2. The assault on a police station on 7 January last by a jihadist wearing a fake explosive belt attacking police officers with a meat cleaver while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. He was shot dead and one policeman was injured. The ISIS flag and a clearly written claim in Arabic, were found on the attacker.
Ayrault said the conference aimed to prepare an international summit in the second half of 2016 which would include the Israeli and Palestinian leaders — acknowledging that:
“The two sides are further apart than ever,”
He then proceeded to issue this mantra that has almost become commonplace in trying to end the Jewish-Arab conflict:
“There is no other solution to the conflict than establishing two states, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, living side by side in peace and safety with Jerusalem as a shared capital.”

The French Foreign Minister needs to understand there are other solutions - one involving the allocation of sovereignty of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) between Jordan and Israel — the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine — who have since 1946 and 1948 respectively enjoyed sovereignty in 95% of the territory once called “Palestine”.

Ayrault has reportedly said the discussions would be based on the 2002 Saudi peace initiative — approved by the Arab League but not Israel.

That decision in itself will guarantee the failure of the French initiative.

There is no mood in Israel to commit national suicide — which the Arab peace initiative unashamedly seeks.

Ayrault adopts an air of typical Gallic condescension as he intones:
“We have to explain to the Israelis that settlement activity is a dangerous process and that it puts their own security in danger.”

Maybe the newly-appointed Foreign Minister should look at the rapidly expanding Islamic settlement activity taking place in France and address that threat to France’s security before he seeks to interfere in Israel’s affairs.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who brokered a previous round of Israel-Palestinian peace talks that collapsed in April 2014 gave the French proposal a guarded welcome when he visited Paris in March:
“Not any one country or one person can resolve this. This is going to require the global community,it will require international support,”
Kerry is right but at the same time he is wrong.

What Kerry and President Obama continue to fail to acknowledge are the firm written commitments made to Israel by former President George Bush on 14 April 2004 —overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress.

Were Obama and Kerry prepared to rally the global community to get behind the Bush-Congress commitments and take Abbas dragging and screaming to the negotiating table —maybe some movement towards a resolution of the conflict could eventuate.

Pushing the 2002 Arab Initiative whilst ignoring the 2004 Bush-Congress Initiative is destined to become an exercise in futility and certain failure.