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.