Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

Palestine - Continuing Jew-hatred Must Exact A Heavy Price


[Published 20 November 2014]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Syria Hysteria Dooms Obama's Plan To Destroy ISIL


[Published 21 September 2014]


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

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

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

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

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

The President is wrong on both counts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”
Really?

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.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Palestine - Internet Intifada On Free Speech Intensifies


[Published 14 April 2016]


An increasing number of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel websites are banning comments made by me in response to articles or readers’ comments published on their sites.

These websites have:
1. Simply not posted my comments or

2. Deleted all published comments – including mine - when factual errors pointed out by me cannot be successfully challenged or denied - thereby exposing the unquestionable venom and hate being spewed out on these websites
The latest novel attempt to blatantly silence me recently reared its ugly head when I attempted to respond to this reader’s offensive and unsubstantiated comment:
"Wow — “smug” is the perfect word for this effing Zionist.

Great post — thank you!

Go BDS! Go every other effort to expose and dispose of the criminally psychotic ideology Zionism and its every adherent! Viva Palestine!"

My response was not published.

Mysteriously however another even more offensive comment was posted by the same reader responding to my unpublished comment:
"David Singer, I found your:

RIP Palestine. All this nonsense could have been avoided had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN Partition Plan or created a second Arab state in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – between 1948 and 1967 after all the Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza had been driven out by six invading Arab armies.


The Arabs need to step up to the plate and accept the consequences of those decisions which have caused so much grief to Jews and Arabs since."

at my incoming e-mail site. Now, why should the already dispossessed, scattered Palestinian polity — you know the stats: at least 750,000 cleansed from their land, up to 500 villages razed by Zioterrorists by 1949 — have accepted an illegal move engineered by Zionist schemers (who bragged of “having it all” even then) and foisted on the fledgling UN (the GA at that) in November 1947? The Palestinians wanted justice and their own independent state then and they’ve steadfastly sought justice and fulfillment of their legitimate aspirations ever since. “nonsense,” bullxxxt!

Enough, already, of your “singing,” Singer."

Well might you ask - how did my unpublished comment make its way into this crude reader’s email box without it being published on-line first?

The saga does not end there.

I then endeavoured to post the following response:
"You state:

“The Palestinians wanted justice and their own independent state then and they’ve steadfastly sought justice and fulfillment of their legitimate aspirations ever since”

The Palestinian Arabs could have had their own independent State in 1947 in a much larger share of former Palestine than is available to them now under any negotiated settlement in 2016 - if they had not rejected the UN Partition Plan.

Do you agree?

You are also silent on the fact that they could have also had their own independent State in all the West Bank and Gaza and even East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 when not one Jew lived there and Jordan and Egypt were the occupiers. That could have happened with the stroke of an Arab League pen.

Do you agree?

Those golden opportunities will not return.

The Palestinian Arabs and their Arab brethren in the Arab League have blown it well and truly.

They will have to settle for a lot less than 100% of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem if they want to make peace with Israel.

Do you agree?"

These comments have not been published.

Suppressing free speech on these insidious websites must be continually exposed and roundly condemned.

Deliberately manipulating these hate-filled websites perpetuates an unchallenged aura of lies and distortions that are misleadingly and deceptively influencing readers’ opinions on the Arab-Jewish conflict.

Palestine - Internet Manipulation Fuels Anti-Israel And Jew-hatred


[Published 6 April 2016]


Internet manipulation of readers’ comments in response to articles published on overtly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish web sites is allowing those web sites to spew out their venom unchecked and uncontrolled.

Freedom of speech on these web sites is non-existent - and its absence is playing a large part in influencing the opinions of those who visit these sites and see no readers’ comments that act as a counterbalance or rebuttal to the article published or readers’ comments supporting such articles.

Such manipulation has until now taken either of the following forms:
1. Simply not publishing a reader’s comment

2. The editor can claim to exercise editorial control of what appears on his web-site – and there is nothing you can really do about it.
I received this treatment when seeking to comment on the decision by McGraw Hill to trash the remaining copies of a text book “Global Politics: engaging a complex world “ – after four maps of “Palestine” in 1946, 1947, 1948-1967 and 2000 were subsequently determined by McGraw Hill to be inaccurate and misleading.

My comment detailing why McGraw Hill’s decision was justified was not published.

This rejection motivated me to write an article “Palestine – Internet Intifada Denies Free Speech” - which was published on many web sites - and subsequently went viral.

Publishing readers’ comments – overwhelmingly anonymous - that do not address the subject matter of the article but comprise general comments repeated over and over again - such as “ethnic cleansing”, apartheid” and “stealing Palestinian land” - denigrating and delegitimising both Israel and Jews.

A web site using both of these manipulative practices in tandem represents a web site where only the Arab narrative of the Jewish-Arab conflict is presented and the Jewish narrative is deliberately suppressed and excluded.

Now a far more serious form of manipulation to those outlined above has been exposed - involving the initial publication - but subsequent deletion - of readers’ comments some considerable time after they have first been published.

Again – I have been the recipient of this highly offensive and objectionable practice in relation to the identical comment posted by me supporting McGraw Hill’s decision on another anti-Israel and anti-Jewish web site.

Two comments were initially posted by two other people on this website criticising the McGraw Hill decision to trash – and were published on 20 March and 26 March. So far – no problem.

My comment was published on 29 March – no problem.

My comment drew a very virulent and hate-filled response from an anonymous third reader on 29 March – resulting in the exchange of a further seven published comments from each of us to the other - ending on 2 April with the following post by me:
“You seem intent on not wanting to answer this one simple question:

“Do you consider the maps withdrawn by McGraw Hill to be inaccurate and misleading because they did not show the Negev to be “desert bedouin land” as you yourself have claimed?

All you need do is answer “Yes” or “No”.

That is not too hard for you is it?”

Imagine my complete surprise - when I visited the site the following day to see if a response had been posted – to find that all eleven comments published between 20 March – 2 April had been deleted by the web editor and the comments section totally removed.

Luckily I had taken a photo shot of all eleven comments posted.

Otherwise you might not have believed it possible that hostility and antagonism towards Israel and Jews could stoop to such low levels.

Beware hate-filled Arab propagandists who want to conceal the truth at any cost.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Palestine - Politics Precede Humanity In Brussels Bombings



[Published 3 April 2016]


The European Union has been increasingly expressing its growing antagonism towards Israel by
1. imposing specific labelling laws for goods produced by Jews emanating from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)

2. building structures in Area C of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) without consent or authorisation by Israel - which exercises full administrative and security control over this area under the Oslo Accords to which the European Union is a signatory.
Positions such as these taken by the European Union – coupled with a growing tide of Jew-hatred in Europe during the past decade - create an atmosphere of hostility towards the Jewish State and can legitimise public expressions of opinion in Europe that would otherwise have been deemed politically incorrect and subjected to widespread criticism.

A case in point seems most likely to have occurred following the tragic events in Brussels on March 22 when 32 people were killed and 340 wounded in two terrorist attacks at Brussels Zaventem airport terminal and the city’s underground metro system.

Belgium’s federal hotline - set up by the Belgian Interior Ministry to take calls after these attacks - has fired an operator who told a caller that Israel does not exist and should be called Palestine instead.

The caller told the operator that he was a volunteer for the city of Antwerp’s Jewish Coordination Committee.

Their message was recorded and the full English translated transcript follows:
XXX: Good afternoon, my name is XXX, I am a volunteer in the Jewish coordination committee of Antwerp. We are contacted by persons… we have 2 persons of the Jewish community that were hurt in the attacks in the airport



Crisis Centre: Yes sir



XXX: They are prepared to be transported back to Israel. Our volunteers are busy with it and take care of everything but we received information from the hospital that we need special papers from the police that they can be released. Is this correct and to who should we ask that? Can you tell me more about that?



CC: That is effectively.. I will take a look. So … they go back to Palestine.

XXX: Not Palestine, Israel.



CC: Yes, but that was before Palestine, of course. OK



XXX: Could you repeat that again, please? What is the name?



CC: That … Palestine.



XXX: Can I get your name, please?



CC: Of course, Zakaria.

XXX: And you know only Palestine?

CC: Sorry?



XXX: You don’t know Israel, only Palestine?



CC: I know the Jews went to there, that Palestine received (opvangen) them and that there is a war between Israel and Palestine, of course. And the occupation… that’s what’s on the news of course.



XXX: Can you help me with the question I have, or not?



CC: Naturally, of course. Thus they go back to Palestine and ask that they could get an attestation. Voila, it is noted.



XXX: Can I have you name again, I didn’t understand it well.



CC: Zakaria



XXX: Zakaria?



CC: That is correct.



XXX: Zakaria what? What is your last name?



CC: I am not obliged to give it.



XXX: OK



XXX; Thank you very much.



CC: You’re welcome. Bye

Jac Vermeer – CEO of IPG - the company which had the contract to run the hotline for the Belgian Interior Ministry - issued this pathetic apology:
“We wish to apologize to all members of the Jewish community and to the victims and their families in Israel,”

No expression of outrage has been issued by the Belgian Interior Ministry or the Belgian Government.

Not a peep from the European Union or European Commission.

The PLO and Hamas must be overjoyed.

Palestine - Internet Intifada Denies Free Speech


[Published 27 March 2016]


Many Palestinian websites are stifling free speech by refusing to publish comments answering anti-Israel articles published on their sites.

The latest example is an article written by Rania Khalek on Electronic Intifada

Responding to the decision by McGraw Hill Education to destroy all copies of its text book Global Politics: engaging a complex world - containing the accompanying maps - Khalek claimed:
“The maps, which appear in chronological succession on page 123, show Palestinian land loss from 1946, one year before Zionist militias initiated the displacement of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from historic Palestine, to the year 2000, by which point Palestinian land had been reduced to a handful of tiny non-contiguous enclaves in the occupied West Bank and a sliver of Gaza.”

I endeavoured to post the following comment in response on 21 March pointing out the misleading nature of these maps:
“Map 1:
The heading - “Palestinian and Jewish Land 1946” - is misleading for the following reasons:
(i) The map excludes Transjordan which in 1946 still comprised 78% of the territory of the Mandate for Palestine until granted independence by Great Britain in May 1946.

(ii) The land described as “Palestinian land” misleadingly implies legal ownership by the Palestinian Arabs of that land when in fact about 90% of it was State land under British Mandatory control and legal power of disposition.

Map 2:
(i) The legend “Palestinian land” is misleading.

(ii) The legend should have said “proposed Jewish State” and “proposed Arab State” - the terms used in the UN Partition Plan.

Map 3:
The heading “1949-1967” is misleading.

The map should have shown the unification of the West Bank with Transjordan between 1949 and 1967 and the change of name of Transjordan to Jordan in 1950.

It should also have designated the Gaza Strip as being under Egyptian military administration between 1948-1967.

Map 4:
One can only wonder why the year 2000 was chosen. Why not 2015 after Israel had already withdrawn from Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank in 2005 and dismantled many illegal outposts?

In any event the legend “Palestinian land” and “Israeli land” is again wrong and misleading in so far as it relates to the West Bank. The land there should have been shown as Areas “A”, “B” and “C”

As maps designed to be taught to students they are totally lacking in accuracy and ignore basic facts in their compilation.

Designating land as “Palestinian land” in any event implies that such land belongs to the “Palestinians”. Since there were no persons designated as “Palestinians” until the 1964 PLO Charter defined that term—the use of the term in maps before then smacks of an attempt to re-write history.

Mc Graw Hill had no option but to discard these maps”

My comments have not yet been published - and comes at a particularly sensitive time as Electronic Intifada Editor Ali Abunimah - a US citizen - has recently received a visa from the Australian Government - after waiting two months - to speak at a four day Marxism Conference and at other venues in Australia.

Abunimah posted the following tweet thanking the thousands who had petitioned the Australian Government supporting the grant of his visa:
“I’m so grateful to every person who stood up for free speech. Delighted that I just received my visa for Australia. See you Down Under!”

4:44 AM - 16 Mar 2016

Perhaps my comment inadvertently slipped through the cracks as Mr Abunimah was busy packing his bags for his visit to Australia.

Free speech means free speech for all Mr Abunimah.

Stand up, be counted, publish my comment.

Clinton Silent On Honouring Bush-Congress Commitments To Israel


[Published 20 March 2016]


Marco Rubio’s withdrawal from the Presidential race this week will not relieve Hillary Clinton from affirming or disavowing the following pledge made by Rubio during his failed campaign:
“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,”

The terms of Bush’s letter - dated 14 April 2004 - were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 on 24 June 2004.

The letter backed Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza and promised to support Israel’s following positions in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority over the previous 11 years:
1. Israel would not cede its claims to all of the territory captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War

2. Millions of Palestinian Arabs would not be resettled in Israel and

3. Israel must be recognised as the state of the Jewish people.
Israel’s insistence on these conditions had been major stumbling blocks in the PLO rejecting Israel’s offer to withdraw from more than 90% of the West Bank during negotiations brokered by President Bill Clinton in 2000/2001.

The Bush Congress-endorsed letter had put America squarely in Israel’s corner.

Elliott Abrams — Middle East Affairs point-man at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009 — had no qualms about the significance of the Bush letter — when 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”.

President Obama however sought to change the goal posts laid down in the Bush letter with this statement 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.”

Glenn Kessler pointed out at the time:
“Indeed, Israelis and Palestinians have held several intensive negotiations that involved swapping lands along the Arab-Israeli dividing line that existed before the 1967 war - technically known as the Green Line, or the boundaries established by the 1949 Armistice agreements. (Click here for a visual description of the swaps discussed between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008.)

So, in many ways, it is not news that the eventual borders of a Palestinian state would be based on land swaps from the 1967 dividing line. But it makes a difference when the president of the United States says it, particularly in a carefully staged speech at the State Department. This then is not an off-the-cuff remark, but a carefully considered statement of U.S. policy.”

Given the chaos in Syria since Obama’s statement, the birth of Islamic State in 2014 and the continuing unstable political and security situations in Gaza and the West Bank— mutually agreed land swaps as a concept have become just another missed opportunity whose time has expired.

Michael Oren—Israel’s Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 was moved to make the following call in January 2015:
".. it’s time to revive the Bush-Sharon letter and act according to it.”

Will Clinton so act — if elected America’s 17th Democratic President — to honour a former Republican President’s commitments to one of America’s longstanding allies that go far beyond personal partisan politics?

Her answer is eagerly awaited.

Palestine - Trump Must Blow His Own Trumpet With Greater Clarity


[Published 12 March 2016]


One of the world’s greatest negotiators - Donald Trump - has walked straight into a political minefield when telling the GOP presidential debate in Miami last Thursday how he would resolve the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict:
“I will tell you, I think if we’re ever going to negotiate a peace settlement … I think it would be more helpful as a negotiator, if I go in and say I’m pro-Israel, but at least have the other side know I’m somewhat neutral to them so that we can maybe get a deal done,”

How can Trump be “somewhat neutral” to the “other side”?

Who indeed does Trump consider to be “the other side”?

If the “other side” is the PLO - Trump would have to renege on the following non-neutral positions adopted by his predecessor President Obama that any new Palestinian Arab State:
1. Be non-militarised

2. Recognise Israel as the Jewish State
Trump is certainly not bound by Obama’s position on these contentious issues and abandoning them would certainly be open to him. Israel however will not forego these demands which it has consistently stipulated during the last eight years are essential prerequisites for advancing any possible settlement of the conflict.

The only result of Trump’s neutrality on Obama’s position will see any peace settlement between Israel and the PLO becoming impossible to achieve.

Trump would also need to shred commitments binding America made by the last Republican President - George W Bush - to Israel on 14 April 2004. These commitments were overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress 407-9. They were given to support Israel’s unilateral disengagement and total evacuation from Gaza - and included:
1. Like Obama - committing to Israel’s well being as a Jewish State

2. Settling Palestinian Arab refugees in any new Palestinian Arab State rather than in Israel.

3. Israel having secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

4. Recognition it was unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.
Obama tried to downplay his obligation to uphold these American commitments but still was unable to broker an Israel-PLO agreement. Any attempt by Trump to follow in Obama’s footsteps would similarly fail.

More seriously however it would signal a gross betrayal by a Republican President of a former Republican President’s Congress-endorsed commitments to a loyal friend and ally that would send America’s reputation and integrity for honouring commitments made by it to other nations quickly sinking to rock bottom.

Rubio has already agreed to honour these Bush commitments. Trump’s stated neutrality position seems to indicate he might not.

Trump’s neutrality could be construed quite differently, however, if the “other side” is not the PLO.

Direct negotiations between Jordan, Egypt and Israel to replace the moribund Israel-PLO negotiations could allow Trump to adopt a “somewhat neutral” stance because Israel has had signed peace agreements with Egypt since 1979 and Jordan since 1994.

Peace is far easier to accomplish with States already at peace with each other than with a hostile non-State group pledged to destroy the other party to the negotiations.

CNN and Fox’s blanket coverage of the primaries over the coming weeks gives those interviewing Trump ample opportunities to get him to explain how he hopes to become “somewhat neutral” and with whom.

The interviewers may need to be “somewhat confrontational” in their questioning.

Trump needs to blow his own trumpet with greater clarity by providing more detail on how he hopes to succeed where previous Presidents have embarrassingly failed

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Palestine - Rubio Challenges Clinton Support For Israel


[Published 6 March 2016]


Marco Rubio has directly challenged Hillary Clinton — and every other Presidential candidate — to honour the commitments given by President Bush to Israel on 14 April 2004.

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum Rubio said:
“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 Bush’s letter — overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress — supported Israel’s proposed unilateral disengagement from Gaza - stating:
“As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”

Israel’s Prime Minister - Ehud Olmert - who succeeded Sharon - had neither forgotten nor overlooked the critical significance of Bush’s commitments when agreeing to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority before 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.”

It didn’t take too long thereafter for these Presidential commitments to be downplayed by Bush himself and his advisors.

In an editorial - published on 14 May 2008 - former Jerusalem Post editor - David Horovitz - revealed Bush’s shameful efforts to minimize the letter’s significance - following Bush’s meeting with a group of Israeli journalists at the White House:
“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, however, has been known to minimize the significance of this four-year-old letter. Just last week, for instance, she told reporters that the 2004 letter “talked about realities at that time. And there are realities for both sides….”

... Bush’s National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley has also given briefings to the effect that Israel had tried to overstate the importance of a rather vague letter…

“Bush did not at first realize that I was referring to the 2004 letter. Hadley, who was also in the Oval Office, had to prompt him. “Okay, the letters,” the president then said, remembering.”

Bush was clearly reneging on his unequivocal commitments to Israel just six months after Olmert sought to rely on them.

Israel by then had already paid a high price - Gaza having become a de facto terrorist State with Hamas firmly entrenched as Gaza’s governing authority. Israel had 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 has also disgracefully attempted to subvert his predecessor’s commitments for the last seven years - aided and abetted by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who reportedly laid the groundwork on 6 June 2009:
“Since coming to office in January, President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Israel to halt all settlement activity in Palestinian areas, a demand rejected by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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

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

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

Clinton — doubling as Obama’s attack dog — 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.”

Clinton’s blatant disregard of Bush’s commitments - which had never mentioned “agreed swaps” - signaled trouble for Israel if Obama indeed confirmed Clinton’s statements.

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 — former Israeli Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 — has called for Bush’s commitments to be resuscitated:
.. it’s time to revive the Bush-Sharon letter and act according to it.”

Rubio has to his credit so reacted.

Motherhood-statements supporting Israel by the remaining candidates vying to become America’s next President pale into insignificance compared to Rubio’s coming out and pledging to honour Bush’s Congress-endorsed commitments to Israel.

Clinton - and for that matter Sanders, Trump, Cruz and Kasich - must do likewise - or allow America’s reputation as a trustworthy and reliable ally to be forever trashed.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Palestine - End The West Bank Refugee Gravy Train


[Published 28 February 2016]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 10, 2016

Syria - End The Diplomatic Doublespeak, Start Getting Serious


[Published 20 February 2016]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meaningless gobbledygook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Palestine - France Signals Surrender To PLO And Muslim Pressure


[Published 13 February 2016]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Published 6 February 2016]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ban had dug himself an even deeper hole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Union Becomes Irrelevant In Resolving The Jewish-Arab Conflict


[Published 25 January 2016]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Palestine - Obama's Ignorance Becomes His Nemesis


[Published 14 January 2016]


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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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


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

Question the political wisdom - but not its legitimacy.

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

Palestine - European Union Drowns In Sea Of Inconsistencies


[Published 5 January 2016]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 30, 2016

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


[Published 28 December 2015]


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

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

These attacks occurred both in Israel and the West Bank.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Casting a live vote always beats a dead end.

European Union Suffers Continuing Backlash Over Racist Labelling Laws


[Published 23 December 2015]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The EU is considering an appeal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Israel - European Union In State Of Disunion


[Published 16 December 2015]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They constitute clear “stigmatized warning decals”.

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

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

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

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

Palestine - Israel Sheds PLO As Negotiating Partner


[Published 9 December 2015]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UN Security Council Must Get Serious On Destroying Islamic State


[Published 25 November 2015]


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

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

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

The result:
1. Russia with Iran and Hezbollah

2. the 62 nation coalition led by America

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Israel's History Trumps European Union Labelling Laws


[Published 23 November 2015]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The EU has opened a can of worms.