At a time when the most egregious lies about Israel are being devoured eagerly by most of the world, here is a voice of reason. Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, writing in The Times this week, said:
If Israel goes down, we all go down
By José María Aznar
For far too long now it has been unfashionable in Europe to speak up for Israel. In the wake of the recent incident on board a ship full of anti-Israeli activists in the Mediterranean, it is hard to think of a more unpopular cause to champion.
In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.
In an ideal world, no state, let alone a recent ally of Israel such as Turkey, would have sponsored and organised a flotilla whose sole purpose was to create an impossible situation for Israel: making it choose between giving up its security policy and the naval blockade, or risking the wrath of the world.
In our dealings with Israel, we must blow away the red mists of anger that too often cloud our judgment. A reasonable and balanced approach should encapsulate the following realities: first, the state of Israel was created by a decision of the UN.
Its legitimacy, therefore, should not be in question. Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technology.
Second, owing to its roots, history, and values, Israel is a fully fledged Western nation. Indeed, it is a normal Western nation, but one confronted by abnormal circumstances.
Uniquely in the West, it is the only democracy whose very existence has been questioned since its inception. In the first instance, it was attacked by its neighbours using the conventional weapons of war. Then it faced terrorism culminating in wave after wave of suicide attacks. Now, at the behest of radical Islamists and their sympathisers, it faces a campaign of delegitimisation through international law and diplomacy.
Sixty-two years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a moment’s peace.
For years, the focus of Western attention has understandably been on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. But if Israel is in danger today and the whole region is slipping towards a worryingly problematic future, it is not due to the lack of understanding between the parties on how to solve this conflict. The parameters of any prospective peace agreement are clear, however difficult it may seem for the two sides to make the final push for a settlement.
The real threats to regional stability, however, are to be found in the rise of a radical Islamism which sees Israel’s destruction as the fulfilment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony. Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at large.
The core of the problem lies in the ambiguous and often erroneous manner in which too many Western countries are now reacting to this situation. It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle East.
Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.
Israel is our first line of defence in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If Israel goes down, we all go down.
To defend Israel’s right to exist in peace, within secure borders, requires a degree of moral and strategic clarity that too often seems to have disappeared in Europe. The United States shows worrying signs of heading in the same direction.
The West is going through a period of confusion over the shape of the world’s future. To a great extent, this confusion is caused by a kind of masochistic self-doubt over our own identity; by the rule of political correctness; by a multiculturalism that forces us to our knees before others; and by a secularism which, irony of ironies, blinds us even when we are confronted by jihadis promoting the most fanatical incarnation of their faith.
To abandon Israel to its fate, at this moment of all moments, would merely serve to illustrate how far we have sunk and how inexorable our decline now appears.
This cannot be allowed to happen. Motivated by the need to rebuild our own Western values, expressing deep concern about the wave of aggression against Israel, and mindful that Israel’s strength is our strength and Israel’s weakness is our weakness, I have decided to promote a new Friends of Israel initiative with the help of some prominent people, including David Trimble, Andrew Roberts, John Bolton, Alejandro Toledo (the former President of Peru), Marcello Pera (philosopher and former President of the Italian Senate), Fiamma Nirenstein (the Italian author and politician), the financier Robert Agostinelli and the Catholic intellectual George Weigel.
It is not our intention to defend any specific policy or any particular Israeli government. The sponsors of this initiative are certain to disagree at times with decisions taken by Jerusalem. We are democrats, and we believe in diversity.
What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel’s legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel’s vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defence of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.
Israel is a fundamental part of the West. The West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.
José María Aznar was prime minister of Spain between 1996 and 2004.
- British naval and counter-terrorism expert Peter Cook on the #flotilla: Israelis with paintball guns were lynched, take a look and. (Channel 4 – UK):
- Footage from the Gaza Flotilla – How Violence Breaks Out:
- Flotilla Passengers Fire Live Ammunition at IDF Soldiers:
- The Turkish boat activists meant violence – watch how they use hoses, stun grenades and metal rods against the Israelis – remember, 5 of the 6 boats docked peacefully – those on the 6th were aggressive:
- “Daniel in the Lions Den”: Violence of Flotilla activist supporters in LA:
And here are some vital facts:
Reproduced from: Standwithus.com
- Israel transfers about 15,000 tons of supplies and humanitarian aid every week to the people of Gaza.
- Lawyers representing the family of Gilad Shalit, the kidnapped Israeli soldier held in isolation, had asked the protestors to take aid for him, they refused.
- Israel offered the ship to dock in Ashdod port and they would transfer the aid to Gaza. This offer was made again and again – they refused.
- Israel has said that it will deliver any humanitarian aid that was in the boats to Gaza, as it does daily.
- Israel left Gaza in hopes of peace in 2005 and in return received more than 10,000 rockets and terrorist attacks. Israel has sought peace and compromise with its neighbors for all of its 62 years and it will continue to do so.
- Israel maintains a maritime blockade to ensure that weapons are not brought in by Hamas to use in attacks against Israel.
- In the past, terrorist sympathizers have used aid deliveries to smuggle items like potassium nitrate in sugar sacks and used it to make bombs. Israel cannot afford to let goods get to Hamas unchecked.
- Five boats were boarded, the protestors complied and they were safely let to shore.
- One boat – the Mavi Marmara – did not comply. That is the boat where the violence took place.
- This was meant to provoke – it was funded and organized by a Turkish Islamist organization (IHH) that has links to fundamentalist jihadi groups. The ship was flying under the Turkish flag.
- Those on board carried out pre-planned violence, armed with knives and metal bars, each soldier being attacked by a mob of a dozen extremists. They threw one soldier off the top deck of the ship.
- The Israeli government maintains that allowing the illegal flotilla to reach Hamas would have opened a corridor of smuggling of weapons to Gaza and resulting in civilian deaths.
- Using the Arabic term ‘intifada,’ Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said “We call on all Arabs and Muslims to rise up in front of Zionist embassies across the whole world.
- As the flotilla made its way to meet him in Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said this week: “If the ships reach Gaza it is a victory; if they are intercepted, it will be a victory too”.
- Turkey permitted the Marmara to fly under its flag. Turkey knew that the IHH (Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation) had organized the Flotilla, and supports the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas, several Jihadist organizations in Bosina, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere, and has ties with Al Qaeda.
- But Turkey did not prevent the Flotilla from disembarking and attacking Israel’s sovereign right to protect itself from terrorists attempting to enter Gaza.
- Now Turkey is condemning Israel for the unfortunate casualties, and is leading the charge to condemn Israel at the U.N. It is Turkey that should be condemned by the United Nations for its role in this brutal trap set for Israelis.
- Hamas is responsible for the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis. Their racist charter calls for Islamic domination; their stance is unchanged and they repress any Palestinians that try and counter their regime.
- Any police force in the world would respond to aggression; the provocation is the reason for this regrettable outcome. No country would allow illegal entry of any vessel into their waters without a security check.
Please, help to get these FACTS out there!
Sadly, this news story didn’t even surprise me.
Via Totally Jewish:
Police have launched an urgent investigation into a horrific Facebook group that gave graphic details of anti-Semitic incidents perpetrated by its members against Ilford’s Jewish community.
The group, created by a student at Loxford School of Science and Technology, attracted more than 500 members in two weeks following its launch last month and featured teenagers boasting about engaging in anti-Semitic behaviour.
It featured messages from youths using language rife with spelling errors,
profanities and teenage colloquialisms.
One girl wrote: “Jews are the ones that killed prophets in the past. Dirty filthy scum-bags. No wonder they have the curse of Allah upon them. Burn Jew burn.”
Another stated: “OMG! ii Saw a Jew Todaii ii Swearr downn Weariingg Dahh Hatt He Lookedd At Me Liike Man Knowsz Me [sic].”
She went on to describe screaming obscenities at the man and rudely telling him to go away.
In a further disturbing post, a girl bragged about aggressively confronting
a Jewish woman in Argos after she was “looking at me“. She wrote: “Looool i Had a Fight Wif 1 Urgh in Argos [sic].”
The Jewish News was informed about the group, created by a student at
Loxford School, by a private investigator in Australia. It has since been
removed from the popular social networking site.
The group was described by a Community Security Trust (CST) official as “one of the most shocking things I have ever seen”.
A spokeswoman from Redbridge Council, speaking on behalf of Loxford School, said the school was contacted about the group and then immediately reported it to Facebook and the police.
The spokeswoman said: “The student concerned has been dealt with and the school has taken disciplinary action. There is an ongoing police investigation so we are unable to comment further.”
Ilford police confirmed it had “received an allegation regarding anti-Semitic material being published on a social networking website”.
A spokeswoman told the Jewish News that the police are investigating and inquiries continue.
Several comments on the vile Facebook site included references to Islam and the Quran as justification for targeting Jews.
One female youth wrote: “We hate Jews for the sake of Allah as he has told us to do in the Quran.”
The group page included offensive jokes invoking pejorative stereotypes about Jews and money as well as an anti-Semitic cartoon. There was also a link to a YouTube video entitled “Kill All Christians and Jews”.
In addition several members expressed anti-Israeli sentiment. There was a photograph of graffiti saying “Jihad 4 Israel”.
Mike Gardner, director of communications at the CST, said he was left
“utterly chilled” by the casual way that the youths displayed their
He said: “It shows how new media is now facilitating the most shocking
anti-Semitism among groups of youngsters, as if hatred and violence and
gross ignorance were all just a part of their normal lives.
“Anybody who wants to understand how anti-Semitism can be transmitted today should study this online group closely, but they will need a strong stomach
to do so.”
The CST, which is due to release its latest findings on anti-Semitism in the
UK this week, has previously reported 609 incidents in the first six months
of 2009, more than in any other entire year. A report released by the
Jewish Agency last month revealed that there were more anti-Semitic
incidents in Europe in 2009 than in any year since the Holocaust.
Mike Gapes, the local MP for Ilford South, urged the authorities to take
“very strong action”. Gapes told the Jewish News: “I am deeply concerned.
Incitement to hatred is a crime and we must stand very firm and take action
against anyone who incited racial or religious hatred. Anti-Semitism has to
Lee Scott MP for Ilford North also denounced the site, saying: “It is
shocking and I condemn it.”
A Facebook spokeswoman said that the group was removed because it breached the company’s policies. She said: “We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others.” She added that users should report groups that they feel violate Facebook’s rules.
Spencer Lewis, the headteacher of local Jewish high school King Solomon
said: “We have had no problems at all with Loxford that I am aware of and we have a very good relationship with the school.”
Why is anyone even surprised by this? The BBC and Guardian feed Brits a relentless diet of anti Israel nonsense. Our elected politicians meet with Hamas members. Israeli officials at present cannot even visit Britain without one Islamic group or another organising arrest warrants, under the specious guise of ‘universal jurisdiction’. (more on this later).
So why is anyone remotely surprised when British teenagers act on the messages they receive from the British media and British government…?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if things don’t improve for British Jews, I predict that in ten years, hardly any of us will remain. Like our fellow Jews in France, we will sadly and reluctantly be forced to leave.
I hope and pray that I am wrong.
I’m not sure why some people still dismiss the Iranian dream of destroying Israel. G-d knows Iran couldn’t be more open about it.
From Jihad Watch
The Iranians continue to breathe threats and murder, and the West continues to do nothing. “Senior Iranian Official Mohammad Hassan Rahimian: Our Missiles Can Cause ‘Big Holocaust’ in Israel,” from MEMRI, January 12 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Following is an excerpt from a statement by Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative in the Iranian Martyr Foundation, which aired on Al-Manar TV on January 12, 2010. Mohammad Hassan Rahimian: The economic siege and everything they have done against us… “The plotting of evil will hem in only its authors.” The outcome was the opposite. Before the war, we had no military equipment. We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary, to replace Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.
I recently read an excellent article over at the Investigative Project On Terrorism and the good folk there have kindly said I can re-post some of it here. It’s an important story – do read and then share this information. And do visit the IPT’s superb site!
The article details how one of Obama’s top aides cheerfully shared a platform with people promoting Jihad, Anti semitism, homophobia, and Islamic terrorism. This is an abbreviated version of the original piece; the extra emphasis in italics and colour are mine:
A top aide to President Barack Obama provided a keynote address at last weekend’s 46th Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) national convention, a gathering that attracted thousands of people and also featured anti-Semitic, homophobic rhetoric and defense of the terrorist group Hezbollah.
In her remarks, Senior Advisor for Public Engagement and International Affairs Valerie Jarrett noted she was the first White House official to address ISNA. She spoke in general terms about interfaith dialogue and cooperation. She praised her hosts for “the diversity of American organizations, and ideas that are represented and will be debated” at the convention.
And she openly invited ISNA President Ingrid Mattson to work on the White House Council on Women and Girls that Jarrett leads.
The ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-support conspiracy and maintains significant leadership ties to its foundation 28 years ago by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. A more pointed statement also would have stood as a powerful retort to extremist sentiments offered in other segments of the conference.
While many panels featured criticism of U.S. policy and law enforcement, one stood out for its hate-filled rhetoric, and ISNA officials should have seen it coming a mile away. During a “meet the authors” session, Imam Warith Deen Umar, former head of the New York state prison chaplain program managed to:
Argue that key Obama aides are “Israeli,” proving Jews “have control of the world.”
Malign the motives of Jews active in the Civil Rights movement.
Portray the Holocaust as punishment of Jews for being “serially disobedient to Allah.”Insinuate that Hurricane Katrina was a result of tolerance for homosexuality.
Umar’s radicalism is no secret. He previously hailed the 9/11 hijackers as martyrs who were secretly admired by Muslims. He has called for violent jihad. In a January 2004 speech, he urged people:
“Rise up and fight. And fight them until turmoil is no more and strike terror into their hearts. You think there is no terror in Quran? It’s called [word unclear] read it in the 56th Surah of the Quran. There’s no lack of translation, there’s no mistranslation There’s not one Sheikh says one thing, no, it’s very clear. When you fight, you strike terror into the heart of the disbeliever.’”
He has a website promoting a past book, Judaiology, which features an excerpt describing “the inordinacy of Jewish power.” Jews, he wrote, are “an amazing people who can steal you blind as you watch. If you discover the theft, they can put you to sleep. If you wake up to them, they can put you back to sleep with mind games, tricks of fancy, smoke screens, and magic. Henry Ford almost uncovered them.”
Other choice comments of his included:
“It’s against the laws of Allah and against the laws of the Bible for homosexuality. And if you think the Quran talks about harsh punishment from Allah, you should read what the Bible says. I don’t have the time to go into it, but it’s in my book. The Bible is very hard on, he says, Allah says that the land itself is doomed. You wonder why things are happening in America are going to happen? You think that Katrina was just a blow of wind?”
“My conclusion is that there should be more jihad,” he said. “But people don’t want to hear that. They’re scared.”
This is the man responsible for the Muslim chaplain program in New York prisons for 20 years. He was forced out of that job after his praise for the 9/11 hijackers became known. This is who ISNA chose to showcase in a “meet the authors” panel and provide an unchallenged platform for.
Umar shared the microphone with another author who did not spew out bigotry, but who did cast Hezbollah as an innocent player. Cathy Sultan described her book, Tragedy in South Lebanon: The Israeli/Hezbollah War of 2006, as a history of “the tragedy of the repeated incursions and wars in South Lebanon, the complexities of the Lebanese politics.”
She made no mention of Iranian funding for Hezbollah or Syrian meddling in Lebanese politics or its suspected involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Nor did Sultan describe indiscriminate Hezbollah rocket fire toward Israeli civilian communities, or the cross-border attack on an Israeli army base by Hezbollah that left three soldiers dead and two others kidnapped.
In response to a question, Sultan said: “Hezbollah still serves a role. I think that Lebanon is still under constant threat from its southern neighbor. And I see nothing wrong, as long as Hezbollah abides by certain rules and regulations; I see no reason why Hezbollah should not remained armed.”
The United States considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist group, and some experts consider it a bigger potential threat to the United States than Al-Qaeda.
The panel did not feature anyone with contrasting viewpoints to challenge Sultan or Umar. The program drew about 50 people, who sat passively during most of the remarks.
Umar’s books were available for purchase at the convention. Government agencies were represented with booths of their own, including the departments of Justice, State, Homeland Security, Commerce, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
In Cairo, Barack Obama said:
“Threatening Israel with destruction — or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews — is deeply wrong and a hindrance to peace.”
But somehow, partnering with a group that invites the same thing is okay?
With thanks to the Investigative Project On Terrorism for allowing me to re-post this material.
Visit the IPT by clicking
Those who seek to justify Islamic terrorism, often do so by stating that both Judaism and Christianity also have violent histories. Islam, they insist, is being ‘unfairly’ singled out, even though the other Abrahamic faiths are also inherently violent.
The two favourite and increasingly weary examples offered are the slaying by the Hebrews of the Canaanites (Judaism) and the bloody crimes of the Crusades (Christianity).
And this tactic by apologists for Islamic terrorism often works. It helps shore up the pervasive yet false premise that Islam is ‘just like other religions’. Or, to put it another way: it is not Islam that causes Islamic terrorism, but rather human nature.
One of the best responses I’ve read to this apologist tactic, comes courtesy of writer and expert on radical Islam, Raymond Ibrahim. Here is what he says on the issue of whether Judaism and Christianity also promote violence in the same manner as Islam (emphasis is mine):
“Such questions reveal a great deal of confusion between history and theology, between the temporal actions of men and the immutable words of G-d. The fundamental error being that Jewish andChristian history—which is violent—is being conflated with Islamic theology—which commands violence.
The Israelites’ violence is an interesting case in point. G-d clearly ordered the Hebrews to annihilate the Canaanites and surrounding peoples. Such violence is therefore an expression of G-d’s will, for good or ill. Regardless, all the historic violence committed by the Hebrews and recorded in the Tanakh is just that—history. It happened; G-d commanded it.
This is where Islamic violence is unique. Though similar to the violence of the Tanakh —commanded by G-d and manifested in history—certain aspects of Islamic violence have become standardized in Islamic law (i.e. the Sharia) and apply at all times. Thus while the violence found in the Koran is in fact historical, its ultimate significance is theological. Consider the following Koranic verses:
Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the pagans wherever you find them—take them [captive], besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due [i.e. submit to Islam], then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (9:5).
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger [i.e. Islamic law], nor acknowledge the religion of Truth [i.e. Islam], from the people of the book [i.e. Jews and Christians], until they pay tribute with willing submission, and feel themselves utterly subdued (9:29).
As with Tanakh verses where G-d commanded the Hebrews to attack and slay their neighbors, these Koranic verses also have a historical context. Allah (through Muhammad) first issued these commandments after the Arab tribes had finally unified under the banner of Islam and were preparing to invade their Christian and pagan neighbors.
In fact, based on the sword-verses (as well as countless other Koranic verses and oral traditions attributed to Muhammad), Islam’s scholars, sheikhs, muftis, imams, and qadis throughout the ages have all reached the consensus—binding on the entire Muslim community—that Islam is to be at perpetual war with the non-Muslim world, until the former subsumes the latter. (It is widely held that the sword-verses alone have abrogated some 200 of the Koran’s more tolerant verses.)
Aside from the divine words of the Koran, Muhammad’s pattern of behavior—his “Sunna” or “example”—is an extremely important source of legislation in Islam. Muslims are exhorted to emulate Muhammad in all walks of life: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern [of conduct]” (33:21).
In fact, based on both the Koran and Muhammad’s Sunna, pillaging and plundering infidels, enslaving their children, and placing their women in concubinage is well founded (e.g. 4:24, 4:92, 8:69, 24:33, 33:50, etc.).
This would be laughable if not for the fact that millions of Muslims will believe it. A new edict just published in Egypt has announced that the source of all the world’s pigs is – get this – Jews.
Yep. Jews – the very people who don’t consume pork – are the cause of the world’s pig population.
Well, glad we cleared that up…
The new edict was issued by Sheikh Ali Osman, a religious scholar from the Egyptian Waqf ministry, who stated that Jews are ‘cursed by Allah’, hence the appearance of all the pigs.
Due to their ‘jewish roots’, pigs are fair game and can be slaughtered, according to Sheikh Osman. Oh, and he adds that this accounts for why Islam bans pork, as well.
Some scholar. Judaism was, as most folk know, the first faith to declare that pork must not be eaten. The same prohibition is present in Islam purely because old Mohammed nicked a fair few things from Judaism!
There have already been claims from some Muslims that Jews are the ’cause’ of Swine Flu. But then, are any of us surprised at this lunacy? After all, Let’s Blame The Jews has been a favoured Muslim game throughout history.
Abu Izzadeen,one of Britain’s most radical Muslim preachers has been let out of prison early. Izzadeen, you may recall, was jailed for four and a half years last April for inciting and raising funds for terrorism.
Well now, doesn’t that just thrill you…? To know that yet more Muslim extremists will be at liberty to plot and plan the downfall of Britain as we know it?
Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said:
‘Abu Izzadeen and his organisation publicly call for attacks against those whom they see as enemies of Islam.Their ideology not only glorifies violent jihad but teaches their followers that taking part in suicide bombings is their duty as Muslims.
‘The early release of a hate preacher like Abu Izzadeen demonstrates that the British courts are still far away from understanding the very clear and present danger that this country is facing from militant Islamists.’
Izzadeen, and three other defendants now set for early release, are members of Al-Muhajiroun, one of the most radical Islamic groups. Though banned, it has apparently simply changed its name and continued preaching Jihad.
The defendants were prosecuted after preaching violence outside Regents Park Mosque in November 2004. . They urged their audience to join the fight against coalition forces and to donate money to insurgent groups. Izzadeen was also recorded voicing his support for Osama Bin Laden.
Izzadeen, who lives in East London, walked free on Saturday. His release has been celebrated on extremist Islamic websites.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘All offenders subject to probation supervision on release from prison have to adhere to a set of strict conditions.’