Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's the INCITEMENT, stupid...

From JCPA Daily Alert, 24 Oct 2014:

Abbas' Fatah Honors Jerusalem Hit-and-Run Terrorist - Elhanan Miller

Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement published a poster Thursday celebrating Palestinian terrorist Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, who killed three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun and injured eight other Israelis in a hit-and-run car attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday. 
"The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem," 
read the notice, posted on Fatah's official Facebook page. (Times of Israel)

Hamas Confirms Driver in Jerusalem Attack was Group Member - Qais Abu Samra

The Palestinian driver who ran over and killed an Israeli baby and injured eight other people in Jerusalem on Wednesday was a member of Hamas, the group said Thursday in a statement. (Anadolu-Turkey)
    Ya'alon: Terror Attacks Result of Palestinian Education System

    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday in Washington: 
     "For the Palestinians, the conflict will not end at the 67' lines. The heart of the conflict is the lack of desire to acknowledge us and our right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinian educational system and rhetoric are the causes of the events occurring in Jerusalem."
    "Yesterday we saw the result of this in the murder of a baby girl in Jerusalem by a young man with a Hamas background and a history of security offenses. Why did this happen? It happened because in PA preschools, children as young as three are taught, for example, to wear an explosive belt in order to kill Jews. As long as the situation is like this, and young Palestinians are taught to kill Jews, there will not be real peace here."  
    (Jerusalem Post)

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Aid to the Palestinians: A Case of Flagrant Discrimination

    From BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 275, 22 Oct 2014, by Prof. Hillel Frisch*:

    Aid for Gaza

    The disproportionate dispensation of international aid to the Palestinians is discriminatory and biased. 

    • The Palestinians receive considerably more aid per capita than the economic aid offered to African states; and 
    • international aid to the Palestinians indirectly abets Palestinian Islamist terrorism.

    If officials in any developed country would dispense aid to their citizens the way the international community dispenses aid to the Palestinians, they would be placed behind bars for blatant discrimination if not racism. This would clearly be the verdict of any court that compared international aid to the 4.2 million Palestinians (World Bank estimate), to Ethiopia, a western ally, and other African states.

    The facts of this discrimination are beyond dispute. In 2013, Ethiopia received 3.2 billion dollars in financial aid. The Palestinians in 2013 received approximately 2 billion dollars in aid, and this was before the last round of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

    International Economic Aid to Palestinians compared to African States (2013)

    ...Ethiopia’s population is twenty times even the most generous estimate of the combined populations of the West Bank and Gaza: 94 million Ethiopians compared to 4.2 million Palestinians. This means that the average Palestinian receives fifteen times more aid per capita (US$476) than the average Ethiopian (US$35)! (See table)

    But the discrimination does not end there.

    The second golden rule in allocating resources in most developed countries is that you benefit proportionately the citizens who are poorer and suffer more hardship. Thus, not only do richer citizens proportionately pay higher taxes, they receive proportionately less allocations or services for the taxes they pay.

    Applying this golden rule to our comparison would show that Ethiopians are far needier than the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza – and by a considerable amount. The GDP per capita in Ethiopia is US$500, one of the lowest in the world. In the West Bank and Gaza combined, the GDP is US$2,800. There are no authoritative figures for the GDP per capita for Gaza, but even it were only half of the total average for the West Bank and Gaza, the GDP per capita in Gaza would be nevertheless, three times higher than that for the Ethiopians. Yet, once again, the Ethiopians receive only one-fifteenth the aid the Palestinians receive, though they are over five times needier.

    Just imagine if it were discovered that residents in the Upper East Side received fifteen times more services from the state and the City of New York, than, let’s say, the residents of Harlem.

    Yet, the most disturbing aspect in this ongoing project of blatant discrimination is that Ethiopia is a state that actively participates in the war against terrorism. For example, it is the largest contributor of troops to the peace-keeping force in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops along with troops from other African states risk and lose their lives in the long war against Harakat al-Shabab, a murderous militia affiliated to al-Qaeda. The Palestinians, in contrast, produce terrorism. Hamas, the rulers of Gaza and arguably the largest political force amongst the Palestinians, has been engaged in indiscriminate acts of terror ranging from suicide bombings to missile launchings for over twenty years.

    International aid to the Palestinians, albeit indirectly, abets Islamist terrorism. The billion dollars Abbas spends on Gaza, at least one-third of which is provided by international aid, finances the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Battalions in Gaza who belong to Fatah, a movement President Abbas heads, and which launches rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers. It also lets Hamas off the financial hook in governing the Gazan population in order to devote almost all of its resources to fighting the Islamist war against Israel and in paying the salaries of 25,000 teachers they hired after taking over Gaza in 2007. These teachers have since been indoctrinating school children with the jihadist ideology.

    This blatant discrimination in the dispensation of international aid repeats itself in the comparison between aid to the Palestinians and Liberia, which may be comparable to the Palestinians in population but by no other human welfare indicator. Take life expectancy; in Liberia is stands at a devastating 60 compared to a respectable 73 for the Palestinians. A comparison between the Palestinians and Kenyans, which like Ethiopians, fight against terrorism rather than produce it, reveals the same picture (See table). The recent conference which promised US$5 billion for Gaza reconstruction only makes the issue of the discriminatory and disproportionate aid to the Palestinians even more salient.

    What explains this largess towards the Palestinians?

    Much of it can be explained by the belief both amongst the Europeans and the US, the major providers of aid (many of the wealthy Gulf States are too busy financing terrorist organizations elsewhere), that economic aid buys peace and quiet. However, some of the discrimination might be due to perceptions that Africans are less worth the effort, perceptions that might be called ‘racist’.

    President Obama has recently embarked on the difficult task of forging an alliance against the Islamic State. Much easier, but no less necessary, is to make sure that international aid, in which the US is a major contributor, avoids rewarding actors that undermine his efforts in the war against terrorism, like many of the Palestinians, instead of discriminating against states like Ethiopia and Kenya who are on the front lines in the battle against extremist Islamic movements.

    *Prof. Hillel Frisch, a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is a professor of political science and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Iran Threatens To Attack Israel Should US Strike Assad

    From FDI, Wednesday, 22 October 2014, by Ben Pattison:

    Washington’s resolve to oppose Assad while attacking Islamic State (IS) has prompted Iran to threaten to attack Israel if the US attacks Syria...

    On 11 October, Iran’s deputy foreign minister made clear the government’s decision on a US-led attack on the Assad regime in Syria: should Damascus be targeted by the US or its allies, Iran will strike Israel. Assad seeks Israel’s destruction and maintains his power because of Iranian capital.

    Israel and Iran have an inimical relationship, with Tehran having openly advocated Israel’s total destruction and Israel relentless in its opposition to Iran’s nuclear program. Prior to Iran’s statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the world’s media, assessing the West’s possible nuclear-concessions towards Iran as a reward for their support in defeating Islamic State (IS). Netanyahu decried the international climate of diplomacy stating
    ‘I’ve heard in the press that people are saying… Let's reward Iran for fighting ISIS… What for? They are going to fight ISIS anyway’. 
    As IS’s conquest of Shi’ite Islam is a stated goal of the Caliphate, Netanyahu is right: Iran will fight IS to ensure its own survival. Naturally, as Netanyahu perceives, it will attempt to configure the ensuing international diplomacy to suit its long-term interests.

    Earlier in October, a weapons testing facility thirty miles from Tehran was reported to have exploded, either deliberately or by accident, killing at least two Iranians. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not been given access to this site since 2005, leading analysts to believe that it is a warhead-detonation experimental facility. Israel denied responsibility for the explosion and Iran, fearing the embarrassment of having to admit to potential Israeli breaches of their security, declared the incident an accident.

    Since Israel is adamant that Iran’s nuclear program has more than just civilian aspirations, it is possible that Israel pre-emptively targeted the site....

    For IS, possessing a nuclear arsenal is undoubtedly in their interest. This makes the defeat of Iran a key goal and another reason for Israel to want to limit Iran’s nuclear programme.

    During talks in New York last week, officials from Tehran sought permission to keep and upgrade their centrifuge capacity.

    In his speech, Netanyahu exposed the ruse of a peaceful Iranian nuclear programme:
    ‘17 countries around the world… have civilian nuclear energy. They don't have one centrifuge. Because the centrifuge you really need is for one thing: not for civilian nuclear energy, but for making a bomb; for military use’.
    The USA has long called for the Assad regime to be dismantled, perceiving it to be a client of Iran. Tehran’s propping up of the Shia sect known as the Alawites (Assad’s ethnic group) came as a response against united orthodox Arab (Sunni) aggression towards the Shi’ite Islamic State’s revolution in 1979. After Israel and the USA, Saudi Arabia is Iran’s chief ideological opponent and a militarily and financially strong adversary.

    Seeking to establish Iran as the leader of a united Shia Muslim community across the region, the Ayatollahs have funded and armed groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and other groups in Yemen and Bahrain; they also fund Shia doctrine world-wide (much like the Saudis fund Wahhabism).

    The question now, however, is whether Iran believes it could feasibly attack Israel.

    Nakhijevan in Azerbaijan, on the border with Iran and under 800kms from Tehran and the Iranian nuclear facility of Natanz, now houses a squadron of Israeli fighter aircraft, with drones known to embark from there on intelligence missions. The Israeli presence on Iran’s border is tactically prudent, enabling swift retaliation should Iran strike Israel.
    [Also see Israeli Drone Caught Spying on Iran ‘Took Off from Nakhijevan’]

    ... The situation is now clear. ... attacks on Syria will only add another dimension to a very convoluted war.

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Hezbollah is facing a formidable Sunni threat.

    From JPost, 18 Oct 2014, by JONATHAN SPYER:

    As the Syrian civil war spills over Lebanon’s border, Hezbollah finds itself facing a formidable Sunni threat.

    Hezbollah is under pressure as the consequences of its ongoing intervention in Syria have come back to bite the terrorist organization.

    There are increasing indications that the sectarian war raging in Iraq and Syria is now moving irrevocably into Lebanon.

    The Shi’ite group is currently seeking to shore up its legitimacy by reminding its constituents, and other Lebanese citizens, of the role that gains it the most domestic sympathy – resistance against Israel. It is likely the strike [against Israel] at Mount Dov last week was part of this effort.

    It is also, in its propaganda, somewhat oddly trying to assert that Israel and the Sunni jihadis of the Nusra Front and Islamic State are allies.

    All this activity comes as the Nusra Front is demonstrating its ability to hit at Hezbollah across the border with increasing impunity.

    Attacks by Sunnis in Lebanon are not new, and similar incidents have taken place throughout the Syrian civil war.

    The longstanding tension in the Tripoli area between the mainly Alawi, pro-regime inhabitants of the Jebel Mohsen neighborhood and the mainly Sunni, pro-rebel Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood is continuing.

    Hezbollah, in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), managed to stem a bombing campaign by the Sunnis in the Shi’ites’ heartland of southern Beirut in the middle of 2013.

    And tensions between Hezbollah supporters and the local Salafi leader Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir in June 2013 ended in pitched battles and the destruction of Assir’s local power.

    The current tension, however, differs from previous episodes.

    It does not involve Hezbollah fighting much weaker local Sunni forces. This time, the movement is clashing directly with Syrian Sunnis.

    The current phase began with the seizure of the Lebanese border town of Arsal in August by members of both the Nusra Front and Islamic State. They left with a number of captured Lebanese soldiers, some of whom have since been executed.

    The LAF then tried to crack down on local support for the jihadis in Arsal, carrying out a large raid on the town in September, arresting hundreds accused of being Nusra Front members or for supporting the movement.

    More importantly, most of the individuals in the crackdown were not Lebanese Sunnis but rather members of the 1.5 million Syrian Sunni refugees, now in Lebanon.

    The Nusra Front then struck back hard in an operation whose stated goal was to “avenge Syrian refugees whose tents were burned” during the crackdown on Arsal.

    Hundreds of fighters of the organization attacked from across the Syrian border, forming a line from Baalbek up to Arsal itself.

    The attack wasn’t directed against the LAF, but against Hezbollah’s positions.

    The attackers were eventually defeated (or the battle was intended to be a hit-and-run attack, depending on who one chooses to believe). But the jihadis fought a two-hour pitched battle with Hezbollah fighters near the village of Britel.

    The Nusra Front overran a Hezbollah position, killing at least 11 of the movement’s fighters.

    The Sunnis filmed the attack, as well as its aftermath. The jihadis can be seen moving backwards through the Hezbollah position, removing equipment, nonchalantly ignoring the corpses of dead defenders.

    The Britel battle represents an eruption into Lebanon of a wider campaign, in which Hezbollah and other pro-Assad forces have been desperately trying to clear out the Sunni jihadis from the Qalamun mountain range along the border and seal the line between Syria and Lebanon.

    The Nusra Front and its allies are trying to establish a connecting route between Arsal and al-Zabadani, west of Damascus, long held by the rebels.

    The fight for Qalamun has turned into a grinding affair for Hezbollah, costing the lives of many of its fighters, while it never quite seems to end. The Britel losses indicate the failure of the pro-Iranian bloc’s efforts to finish this fight, and show that the direction of events, for now, at least, are in the Nusra Front’s favor.

    But the wider implications and challenges of the intensification of cross-border Sunni activity are political.

    As its casualties in the seemingly unending Syrian war continue to mount, Hezbollah needs to redouble efforts to explain to its constituency why this sacrifice makes sense and how it fits into the movement’s more familiar justifications for its existence.

    Hence the increase in public statements by top officials, including leader Hassan Nasrallah.

    Nasrallah paid a rare visit to Bekaa this week. In his speech, he sought to link the fight with the Sunni jihadis to Hezbollah’s war with Israel.

    “Victory will be the ally of the mujahideens in their fight against takfiri [apostate Muslims] and terrorist groups, the same way it was their ally in the confrontation against the Israeli enemy,” Nasrallah said.

    Interestingly, the Hezbollah leader didn’t stress the military campaign in Bekaa, but rather boasted of the attack in the Mount Dov area, which he said showed “the resistance, which is always vigilant, will protect any attempt to attack Lebanon or its people.”

    Pro-Hezbollah publicists, meanwhile, are seeking to color in this picture with claims that Israel and the Nusra Front have reached an understanding with one another and are cooperating against Hezbollah, as Jean Aziz, a columnist at the pro-Hezbollah al-Akhbar wrote in a recent article.

    These statements and claims notwithstanding, the main concern for Hezbollah and its supporters is the effect that the Nusra Front’s offensive into Lebanon is having on the delicate balance between the Sunnis and Shi’ites in the country.

    Since the internal political and military conflict in 2008, with the humiliation of the mainly Sunni March 14 Alliance by Hezbollah and its associates, it looked like the Lebanese Sunnis were finished.

    The Shi’ites, because of their political and demographic strength, achieved a clear dominance. The underlying concern of recent events is that this balance may be shifting.

    There are 1.5 million new Sunnis in the country. For a country with a population of less than five million, this is a major shift.

    A number of articles in the Lebanese media this week have reflected the widespread sympathy felt among many Sunnis for the Nusra Front, which is widely felt in both Lebanon and Syria to be less extreme and more local in its orientation than Islamic State.

    It is noteworthy that the Nusra Front mentioned the desire to avenge an affront against the refugees as the main goal of its Bekaa offensive.

    All these topics point to a possibly emergent, new strategic challenge for Hezbollah – namely the emergence of a new, powerful, Sunni Islamist opponent, one possessing some popular legitimacy, considerable military ability and a capacity to operate across borders.

    Hezbollah appears to be aware of this threat and is currently attempting to formulate its response to it. This is a new and emerging front in the sectarian war that has already consumed Syria and Iraq. It remains to be seen if the Shi’ite Islamists of Lebanon will succeed in resisting the challenge from their Sunni opponents.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    "Recognising" a culture of hate and death

    From Arutz Sheva, 18 Oct 2014,  by Mark Silverberg:

    In a spectacular display of ignorance, moral illiteracy and malice, the Swedish parliament voted in favor of unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state in early October.

    Then, on October 13th, a group of backbench British MPs succeeded in obtaining a symbolic, non-binding vote in the British House of Commons to the effect “that the Government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution towards supporting a negotiated two-state solution”.

    Similar parliamentary votes on Palestinian statehood are expected shortly in Ireland, Spain, Denmark, France and Finland.

    These votes disregard the realities of the conflict. If the Palestinians would:
    ● recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people (which would mean acknowledgment of the character and permanence of Israel, and is thus rejected outright);
    ● accept demilitarization of Gaza and the 'West Bank';
    ● change their culture of hatred by amending their founding documents that proclaim their intention to annihilate Israel;
    ● forego their unconditional and non-negotiable position on their absolute “right of return” to Israel;
    ● cease incitement against Jews and Israelis in their schools, newspapers, mosques, media, summer camps, TV programming and educational system;
    ● cease portraying Palestine on their maps as including the State of Israel;
    ● cease their acts of murderous violence across Israel; cease justifying violence against Israelis as a legitimate form of political action;
    ● cease naming tournaments, marketplaces and streets after Palestinian “martyrs" whose claim to fame is that they murdered Jewish "occupiers" of Palestine (meaning Israelis);
    ● cease firing thousands of rockets into Israeli population centers;
    ● cease building terrorist tunnels into Israel for the sole purpose of kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians;
    ● cease referring to Jews as “the descendants of apes and pigs”;
    ● cease providing payments to the families of suicide bombers;
    ● cease embracing as ‘heroes’ released Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis;
    ● cease attempting to bring war crimes charges against Israeli officers and officials at the International Criminal Court;
    ● cease insisting that the UN Security Council impose a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the 'West Bank';
    ● cease playing the victim on the international stage and begin taking responsibility for their own failures, and cease promoting the apartheid, racist idea that any future Palestinian state will be “Jew-free” (as Mahmoud Abbas said in 2010), ........

    then recognition of a Palestinian state based on a two-state solution would become feasible.

    At this moment in time and for the foreseeable future, however, there is no serious evidence that the Palestinian leadership (be it Fatah or Hamas or both) want a state of their own that will live in peace with Israel as a Jewish state which rests on land they consider to be a sacred part of the Islamic ummah. In fact, there is ample evidence that they will treat anything they get as a staging ground for further attacks on Israel until it has been annihilated or subjugated to Islamic rule.

    Despite the fact that the British resolution was non-binding and may have been motivated more for internal political purposes (conflicts between the British Labor Party and the governing Conservative Party), formal recognition of a Palestinian state (should it ever come to pass) would be a disaster for many reasons:

    1. The Palestinians, despite numerous historical opportunities, have consistently refused to accept a Palestinian state (unless it includes the state of Israel). That is, their negotiation stance is contingent not on compromise but on struggle until victory.

    2. The Palestinians have never been able to set up the infrastructure of a responsible state that would include transparent governance, a fair judicial system and a competent administration. Anything short of this would be a recipe for another failed Arab state.

    3. The Oslo treaty is quite clear that resolution of borders and other issues must come through direct negotiations between the parties. Unilaterally declaring a state (as the British and Swedes have done) effectively undermines the treaty that committed both sides to a negotiated settlement between the two parties. That is, imposing Palestinian demands upon Israel using European or American pressure effectively destroys the Oslo treaty and undermines the peace process. In honor-shame Islamic cultures such as that of Palestinian society, if a foe (Israel) is forced to make concessions, it is seen as a sign of weakness and encourages further demands for further concessions.

    4. It is a certainty that any Palestinian state so created will become a militant jihadist state controlled initially by Hamas and, later, quite possibly by ISIS. As the 2007 Hamas coup in Gaza showed, and as polls continue to show in the wake of Operation Defensive Edge, Hamas would end Fatah control over the 'West Bank' within months. This is what the Swedish and British parliaments have in fact endorsed in the name of “peace”.

    5. With 48 Muslim majority states in the world (including 22 Arab states) - most of them failed states, none of them true Western-style democracies, and most of them belligerent - why on earth would the Europeans want to establish yet another guaranteed failed state? Given the current Palestinian leadership, establishing a formal state with all the rights that come with statehood (the right to govern, diplomatic immunity, a standing army, defined borders, an air command, sovereign control over land, territorial waters and air space, the right to collect taxes, and the capacity to enter into treaties with other states and to join specialized UN agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Law of the Sea Treaty, and the International Criminal Court) would be madness.

    More importantly, this new “state” would be ruled half by a terrorist group (Hamas) and half by an unelected administrative entity (Fatah) whose last election occurred years ago. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate - and both are correct.             

    6. Forgetting the fact that the Palestinians have been offered a state on numerous occasions over the past 70 years, there are plenty of other ethnic and religious peoples who have a far greater claim to statehood in the world - peoples who maintain their own language, their own religion, and in many respects, their own history - peoples that include the Kurds, Tibetans, Tamils and Chechens. To favor formal statehood to a group that shares the same language and religion as 22 other Arab states sets a dangerous precedent.

    7. As ISIS expands its murderous Islamic juggernaut across Iraq and Syria and threatens Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia and eventually Israel, Europe and the U.S., Western recognition of another failed state (Palestine) would represent a major victory for radical Islamist forces in the Levant to establish a new base of operations in Palestine that would allow them to use state status, rights and diplomatic immunity to further their global Islamic crusade

    8. Israel is the West’s only truly reliable ally in the Middle East. Establishing a jihadist, genocidal Islamic enemy with full state powers on her borders would not only sow the seeds of a new war with a jihadist-controlled Palestine, but would guarantee the collapse of other moderate Arab nations with whom Israel is currently allied in its war against the jihadists.

    None of those speaking for the creation of a Palestinian state appear to have taken any of these critical issues into account. The countries who voted (and will vote) for a Palestinian state have done nothing to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. They have only sown the seeds of further war. The responsibility for the escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rests with the Palestinians who continue to turn their backs on peace.

    Palestinian national identity is predicated on winning a zero-sum struggle with Zionism, not on a vision of a state of their own. Rather than take the many opportunities offered to them to build a future for their children, they have refused to relinquish their embrace of a culture of hate and death.

    Consequently, eminently sensible proposals regarding borders, Jewish communities in the 'West Bank' and even Jerusalem are rendered irrelevant. What Britain, Sweden, France and the other European countries refuse to recognize is that no peace is possible until Palestinian society makes the compromise it has been unwilling to do for nearly a century – to share the land.

    When will John Kerry leave us in peace?

    From Times of Israel, 17 Oct 2014:

    US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during an Eid reception to mark the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage on October 16, 2014, at the State Department in Washington, DC (photo credit: State Department/Flickr)
    US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during an Eid reception to mark the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage on October 16, 2014, at the State Department in Washington, DC (photo credit: State Department/Flickr)

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday called for a resumption of the Israel-Palestinian peace process, saying the talks were vital in the fight against extremism. 

    “It is imperative that we find a way to get back to the negotiations,” Kerry said at a State Department ceremony marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

    ...He said the unresolved Israel-Palestinian conflict was fueling recruitment for the Islamic State jihadist group.

    “There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” Kerry said.
    “People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity,..”..

    From Times of Israel, 17 Oct 2014:

    ...Writing on Facebook, [Economy Minister Naftali] Bennett, who heads the nationalist Jewish Home party, a major coalition member, linked to an article about Kerry’s remarks, commenting in Hebrew that 
    “Even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian, someone will always blame the Jew.”

    Gilad Erdan on July 8, 2013. (photo credit: Flash 90)
    Gilad Erdan on July 8, 2013. (photo credit: Flash 90)

    Likud minister Erdan, thought to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pick to become Interior Minister, also blasted Kerry on Facebook, asking sarcastically whether anybody truly believes Islamic State fighters would put down their arms if Israeli-Palestinian talks were restarted.

    “I actually respect Kerry and his efforts, but every time he breaks new records of showing a lack of understanding of our region and the essence of the conflict in the Middle East I have trouble respecting what he says...” 
    Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked also expressed dismay over the statement.

    This is not the first time Kerry has been criticized by members of Israel’s ruling coalition.
    In January, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was quoted calling Kerry “inexplicably obsessive” and “messianic” in his efforts to coax the two sides into a peace agreement. Ya’alon said Kerry has “nothing to teach me about the conflict with the Palestinians.

    “All that can ‘save us’ is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace,” Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted him saying at the time....

    England's Vote for Hamas: An unforgiveable act of mega-spinelessness

    From American Spectator, 17 Oct 2014, by Hal GP Colebatch*:

    I am half-English, half-Australian...

    I have been prouder than I can easily say of England’s past. I saw, close up and with horror, the corruption of many of its institutions under Tony Blair while living there in 1998-99. I arrived just in time for the surreal madness of Princess Diana’s funeral. My book, Blair’s Britain, was one of the first to try to expose a strange, dream-like malaise, of which Blair’s “cool Britannia” was near the essence. Blair’s Britain was chosen by the London Spectator as a book of the year and quickly sold out though for some reason was not reprinted.

    ...The recent vote, 274-12 by British MPs to recognize the Hamas regime ... (with 450 or so spineless abstentions, including that of its mega-spineless Prime Minister) a cause not only for disgust, but for unutterable shame. ... this is treason to everything that is fine and noble in the spirit of England.

    Make no mistake: for at least some of the movers of the resolution it was not about the rights of the Palestinians: it was about Jew-hatred. Consider the statement of Richard Ottoway, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, that despite having been “a friend of Israel long before I became a Tory,” its recent policies had “outraged me more than anything else in my political life’” Not much pretense there that the vote was prompted by hopes that it would somehow contribute (Who knows how?) to a peaceful,  two-state solution. No suggestion that by its rocket-attacks on cities Hamas had forced Israel to retaliate.

    And then there were the degenerates of ISIS and the televised beheadings of the innocent and the machine-gunning of helpless prisoners, forced to dig there own graves. The girls carried off in hundreds to sexual slavery. Yes, I know Hamas and ISIS are not exactly the same, but they are connected, and the beheadings and machine-gunnings are a pretty clear sign of what Israel could expect if the Islamic fanatics and perverts somehow gained the upper hand. This is not a matter of esoteric knowledge but of obvious and well-known fact, such as it would seem unnecessary even to state. 

    This is one of those times in history when, as Chesterton said, evil is not done furtively in dark corners or by moonlight but glorifying itself in the full light of the noonday sun. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Hamas to dissociate itself from ISIS, let alone do anything to help resist it..

    The British Union of University Students, incidentally, has also just passed a resolution not to condemn ISIS, lest this be taken for Islamophobia. This is the action of people not merely mistaken but somehow biologically deficient, like apologists for, or deniers of, the Holocaust.

    Hamas has shown its savage ruthlessness by its general use of its own people as human shields. Its charter calls for the extermination of the Jews and it has never shown interest in a peace treaty.

    This, like ISIS, is sheer evil, undisguised, like Nazism or Stalinism, the inveterate foe of what Churchill, at the time of the Battle of Britain, called “Christian civilization.“ Israel knows, to quote Kipling:
    We asked no more than leave
    To reap where we had sown,
    Through good and ill to cleave
    To our own flag and throne …
    The terror, threats, and dread
    In market, hearth, and field --
    We know, when all is said,
    We perish if we yield.
    As for the rest of us, and for the gentlemen of the House of Commons in particular, there are the words of another poet, the great Australian James McAuley, written at the time of the Soviet butchery of Hungary in 1956: (I quote from memory):
     “Suddenly upon the horizon rears up this great staring mask of blood and lies, and the question: ‘What are you going to do about ME.’” 
    At this moment England’s Parliamentary democracy stinks.

    Perhaps the one potentially good thing to have come out of this disgusting business is that it has shown Israel and its many English friends in and outside Parliament, how deeply the anti-Semitic (or whatever you wish to call them ) tentacles have penetrated into public life, and highlighted the need for a really determined pushback.

    There is, at this particular time, only one other thing to do. And it is not to pass resolutions that aid Hamas in its objective of the total destruction of Israel.

    In World War II about 80 Members of the British Parliament died fighting Nazism. No other legislative body had such a brave record. Is it beyond hope that those men’s honor may be reclaimed?

    About the Author
    *Hal G.P. Colebatch, a lawyer and author, has lectured in International Law and International Relations at Notre Dame University and Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and worked on the staff of two Australian Federal Ministers.