Monday, February 13, 2017

Settlements - Know the Facts

With thanks to Arlene Kushner for this informtion
With Prime Minister Netanyahu scheduled to meet with President Trump in a few days time, it is expected that the “settlements” will be one of their subjects of conversation. And so, it is a certainty that we are going to be encountering a good deal of media disinformation about the rights of Palestinian Arabs to a state.
Here are a few salient facts to help set the record straight:
The call by the PLO for a state that would extend from Jordan’s border to the 1949 armistice line is constructed out of thin air and flies in the face of historical and legal realities.
• The 1949 Armistice line has no legal standing at present. There is no way in which it can be said to be the western “border” of a Palestinian state.
• There is a doctrine of customary international law known as Uti Possidetis Juris. It states that emerging states presumptively inherit their pre-independence administrative boundaries. This means Israel has the borders of the Mandate, which immediately preceded it. That border is along Jordan on the east and includes Judea and Samaria as part of Israel.
The Oslo Accords (II) put no restriction on Israeli building in Area C (which is where all Israeli building is done). The Accords stated that the issue of “settlements” would be resolved in final negotiations.
• The Oslo Accords, which in any event have been materially breached by the Palestinian Arabs, speak about “a permanent status” agreement to be arrived at via bilateral negotiations. The Accords say nothing about a full and sovereign Palestinian state to be established in Judea and Samaria.
It is certainly theoretically possible that Israel, in honest negotiations with the PLO, might opt to grant the Palestinian Arabs a self-governing autonomy in a defined area within Judea and Samaria – a region to which Israel has solid claim.
At present, even this is not a viable alternative, not remotely a possibility, given the belligerence, the maximalist demands, and the fostering of terrorism of the PLO.
For more detailed information:

UK Funding for Anti-Israel NGOs

I wonder if British taxpayers really know where their taxes are going. And I further wonder what the UK reaction would be if Israeli money was being used to support Scottish indepence or other objectives not in line with U government policy.

Millions of shekels are provided by the UK government to a number of highly politicized NGOs - some of the funding is directly granted by government agencies, and other amounts are channelled indirectly by humanitarian aid groups, ostensibly for humanitarian purposes.

For example, Breaking the Silence has been receiving funds originating with the British government, via aid organizations, as follows (information taken from submissions to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits):
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor who gathered this information from public sources, , commented: "For many years, the UK, like other European governments, has streamed money to groups that polarize Israeli society, and for campaigns exploiting false allegations of 'war crimes'. The UK has recently been scandalized by such incendiary claims against its own soldiers, and British leaders will understand that funding similar NGO campaigns against Israelis is immoral." 

We Can’t Let Radical Islam Take Over The World

Based on article by Lior Akerman  Feb 9, 2017  

All Muslims are terrorists.’ “Islam will destroy the world.” “All the Muslims want to kill us.” What are we to make of these political slogans? Is every person who calls out Allahu akbar intending to kill people? Let’s take a step back and learn some facts.

Around the year 600 CE, the prophet Muhammad began spreading the principles of Islam among pagans living in the Arabian Peninsula, but left the Jews and Christians alone since they were considered Ahle-kitab, (people of the book), who believed in one god. The Koran praises the Jews, calling them God’s first choice, and the second chapter, verse 21-22, even says the Land of Israel was given to the Jewish people and that the Jews must never leave the land. Of course, you’ll never hear any ISIS or Hamas leader quoting this verse.

In its early days, Islam suffered from a number of internal conflicts, but the main rift took place in 632 CE when Muhammad died without having appointed a successor, and two groups split over whether its next leader should be chosen democratically, or Muhammad’s relatives should rule.

The Shi’ites believed that Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law Ali was chosen by Allah to rule, whereas the Sunnis believed Muhammad’s friend and adviser Abu Bakr was the Muslims’ rightful caliph. Following the Sunnis’ victory, the Shi’ites split off and settled in northern Saudi Arabia and what is today Iran and Iraq. The hatred between these two groups has become even more extreme than their hatred of the Jews; a great example of this is the long-standing war between Hezbollah and ISIS.

The common denominator between these radical Muslim groups is their desire to establish a religious Islamic caliphate throughout the Middle East. From their point of view, all the countries in the region are the enemy – Jews and Muslims alike (but the Muslims first and foremost). ISIS claims it has branches all across the Middle East and Africa, whose goal is to overthrow existing regimes and establish a caliphate in their place.

But we should stick to the facts. At its height, ISIS numbered over 25,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria, plus thousands more in Boko Haram in Africa and in Islamic State groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

According to current estimates, Hamas has 15,000 to 20,000 fighters in its ranks, as well as tens of thousands of supporters.

In the Shia camp, Hezbollah has about 35,000 regular and reserves fighters and has a circle of support made up by tens of thousands of volunteers. If we add up all these figures, we end up with hundreds of thousands of radical Muslim terrorists who operate throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, plus quite a large number of supporters.

There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Yet, less than 0.01% of them are actively involved in terrorism, and a little less than 0.1% of them support terrorist organizations.

And according to all data available, a maximum of 10% of Muslims support the religious struggle to obliterate all other religions and install an Islamic caliphate throughout the entire planet.

So how did we arrive at the point where people all around the world are impacted so greatly and live in such fear? The surprising answer to this question lies in the West, where people support democratic and pluralistic regimes. In universal justice and laws, in freedom and human rights. Islamic terrorists don’t care about any of these ideals, and when Western leaders display weakness, are fearful of using military might, and obey strict international laws regarding military actions and punishing terrorists, this only serves to encourage terrorist organizations.

They are only concerned about their own survival, and not about the future of the world. In this fashion, ISIS has operated unhindered for years now. Boko Haram has murdered tens of thousands of people in Africa without anyone batting an eye. And this is how Hamas has remained in power all these years despite its reign of terror. And thus the Western world sits powerless in the face of these terrorist organizations.

This situation is not irreversible, but it does require a change in mindset and an internalization of the reality, especially among EU countries. There needs to be cooperation by world leaders if we are to take back control from this relatively small number of terrorists who are wreaking havoc on civilians the world over.

Making a successful change would involve:-
-                   - imposing emergency regulations in Western countries,
-                   - carrying out legislative changes that would enable security and intelligence                                  forces to do their jobs properly.

-        Western militaries must engage in action without fearing legal restrictions. Intelligence gathering agencies must share intel and carry out preventive actions that would neutralize terrorist cells. All of this activity must be backed by international law enforcement agencies.  

We must understand that we will not survive unless we follow the proverb “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Since we live in a jungle, we must begin behaving like the savage tribes that live there. Otherwise, we will soon find ourselves turning into fodder for these murderous tribes.

It’s clear that Islam as a religion is not the problem, but only terrorists and leaders who are acting in the name of Islam. This threat has not taken over the world yet, but if we ignore what’s happening in front of our eyes and let more and more countries around the world crumple under radical Islam’s influence, the situation will continue to worsen significantly. We can’t let that happen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Palestinian Cause Is No Longer The Arabs' Primary Concern

Well, after two week's of moving home and unpacking, life is getting back to normal. So I can start  posting again.

From a MEMRI recent report:   Saudi Journalist: The Palestinians' Reliance On Armed Resistance Is Political Suicide; The Palestinian Cause Is No Longer The Arabs' Primary Concern

In his January 2, 2017 column in the official Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, titled "The Palestinians Have No [Choice] But Peace," journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh criticized Palestinian factions that advocate armed resistance, such as Hamas and radical left-wing factions, on the grounds that relying on such resistance and rejecting the option of peace is political suicide. He called on these factions to realize that the two-state solution is the only option that is feasible and is backed by most of the world's countries – especially given the existing circumstances, with the U.S. Congress expressing pro-Israel positions, and the Arab world, preoccupied with more pressing crises, no longer intensely concerned with the Palestinian cause. A stubborn insistence on armed resistance will only end up hurting the Palestinians themselves, he concluded.

Aal Al-Sheikh's column sparked diverse responses on Twitter, some supporting his opinion and others opposing it. The following are excerpts from his column, and a sampling of the reactions.

a) Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh: Only Political Ignoramuses Advocate Armed Resistance; The Two-State Solution Is The Only Feasible Option.

b) A user named 'Omar Abu Bakr tweeted: "Reasonable words, especially the claim that Arab attention has been diverted away from the Palestinian cause due to the Arabs' domestic problems and their opposition to the Iranian infiltration [of Arab countries]."

c) A Saudi called Al-Hussein Muti' wrote: "The main [message] of this article is that Hamas must openly declare its agreement to the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and forget the slogan 'from the river to the sea.'"

Escape Rooms of Israel

Escape rooms are physical adventure games in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape. Set in a variety of fictional locations, the games are popular as team building exercises.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why is This Court Ruling Ignored by the Media

This posting is a transcript of a blog by Israellycool and is worth reading in its entirety. but the BIG question remains  - why has this been ignored not only by the media but also  official sources.
Today in France 70 nations will come together in Paris and blindly ignore the legal ruling of a highly significant French court (Court of Appeal of Versailles) just a few years ago. They will most likely issue a statement which creates the impression that Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria are illegal.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that there hasn’t been a proper legal case to decide the legality of Jews living in the lands captured back from Jordan in ’67, specifically Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem. I was wrong! There was exactly such a case and, even though I’ve written about it, it has received almost no attention and been buried.
Here’s a very simplistic background on how western legal systems operate. In a Western country founded on Judeo-Christian principles, some form of elected body decides to pass and enact laws. Perhaps there is a foundational document (like the US Constitution) or centuries of history and a set of procedures and prior law on how stuff is done (the UK). One thing that unites all these systems is that new laws must be tested in court.
A law enters the books when the elected officials have all agreed on it, but until someone breaks the law or challenges it in some way, it isn’t fully tested.
Fortunately there isn’t a government for the entire world (and plans for such a monstrosity probably took a backward step when Hillary Clinton lost in November). The UN, as a club of dictators, despots and dastardly deed doers (with a sprinkling of decent, democratic states) certainly isn’t remotely close to a single government for the world that any sane person would submit to. The International Criminal Court in the Hague is also similarly problematic. International law, therefore, stems from a bunch of widely (but not universally) accepted treaties and agreements many nations have signed up to going back, in cases, hundreds of years and methods for deciding disputes are confusing.
But just as with nations passing laws, until a court hears a case based on the law, interpretation of that law isn’t set. That’s why there is such a thing as a “legal opinion”. In any given case there are two or more sides arguing that they’ve understood the law correctly and the other side is wrong.
That’s the situation with Israel’s status in territory it captured in various defensive wars since 1948. When I wrote “you can believe arguments one way or another, but you can’t yet say the matter of settlements is settled” I was overlooking one very important case from France in 2013 which I even wrote about back then! A week after the case concluded (with a resounding win for the Israeli side and a defeat for a PLO backed boycott effort) I wrote the following:
As we first reported here on Israellycool last week, a French court has confirmed some aspects of the legal situation regarding Israel and the hills of Judea and Samaria, especially around Jerusalem.
Now the larger news outlets have had time to think about this and get the opinion of greater legal minds than this humble blogger.
And the answer seems to be, it is a victory, but only if you didn’t know anything about international law and the specifics of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions.
Well I’d say that’s just about everyone on earth and doubly so for everyone who is deluded by BDS campaign lies!

Exactly as I noted then, the legacy media completely ignored this ruling or downplayed it because it didn’t fit their lethal narrative: Jews are illegal settlers in what was once their own land. Nobody in the hostile legacy media has referred to it since (try to google for it).

Jerusalem Light Rail

Jean-Patrick Grumberg (the original reporter I linked to back in 2013 on the story) has now re-published a more detailed account of the technicalities of the case which related to the building, in Jerusalem, of the light rail system which connects both predominantly Arab and Jewish neighbourhoods to the centre of Jerusalem.
The entire blog post is definitely worth reading (a few times) but here are the headlines:
In a historical trial carefully « forgotten » by the media, the 3rd Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles declares that Israel is the legal occupant of the West Bank*.
In the 90s, Israel bid for the construction of the Jerusalem light rail. The tender was won by French companies Veolia and Alstom. The light rail was completed in 2011, and it cross Jerusalem all the way to the east side and the « occupied territories » (more about this term later).
Following this, the PLO filed a complaint with the High Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) of Versailles France, against Alstom and Veolia, because according to PLO, « the construction of the tram is illegal since the UN, the EU, many NGOs and governments consider that « Israel illegally occupy Palestinian territories ».
Jerusalem Light Rail - In blue

First and foremost, the Versailles Court of Appeals had to determine the legal rights of Palestinians and Israelis in West Bank. Their conclusion: Palestinians have no right – in the international legal sense – to the region, unlike Israel, who is legitimately entitled to occupy all land beyond the 67 line.

Why is this an historical ruling: it is the first international case since the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948.

The Court of Appeal does not deny the occupation, but it destroys one after another all the Palestinian arguments.

Israeli occupation does not violate any international law.

Propaganda is not international law.

Humanitarian law was not violated.

The PLO and the Palestinians were dismissed.

This is how Jean-Patrick concludes his post (which also includes the entire court decision in French).
The Court of Appeal therefore sentenced the PLO (and Association France Palestine Solidarité AFPS who was co-appellant) to pay 30,000 euros ($32,000) to Alstom, 30,000 euros to Alstom Transport and 30,000 euros to Veolia Transport.
Neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority nor the AFPS appealed to the Supreme Court, therefore the judgment has become final.
This is the first time that a Court has legally destroyed all Palestinian legal claim that Israel’s occupation is illegal.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Palestinians: A Strategy of Lies and Deception

by Bassam Tawil  •  January 13, 2017 
  • Abbas has lied twice. First, it is a lie that he is prepared to return to the negotiating table with Israel. In the past few years, Abbas has repeatedly rejected Israeli offers to resume the stalled peace negotiations.
  • Abbas's chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, claimed this week that his boss was ready to resume the peace talks with Israel in Moscow....Indeed, Abbas had "earlier" voiced his readiness to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow. But Abbas once again outlined his preconditions for such a summit... This means that Abbas has not abandoned his preconditions for resuming the peace talks with Israel. The timing of Erekat's announcement in Moscow is clearly linked to the Paris peace conference. It is part of the Palestinian strategy to depict Israel as the party opposed to the resumption of the peace talks.
  • Abbas has in the past reluctantly condemned some of the terror attacks against Israel. But these statements were made under duress, after being pressured by the US or EU.
  • In fact, his "condemnations" are nothing but political pablum, a sop to the West.
  • The Palestinian terrorist who rammed his truck into a group of young Israeli soldiers last week was doing exactly what his president urged Palestinians to do.
  • The Germans and French should not believe Abbas when he says that he condemns truck terror attacks in their countries. The scenes of Palestinians celebrating carnage in Jerusalem should serve as a wake-up call to the international community. The message of the call? That the overall Palestinian strategy – like the jihad strategy - is built on lies. Both continue to feature terror as one their main pillars.
  • What members of the international community do not seem to understand is that... [t]he terrorist who rammed his truck into a German Christmas market did not carry out his attack in outrage at a German settlement or a checkpoint. The terrorist who mowed down French people celebrating Bastille day was not protesting French "occupation." Abbas and his cohorts, like the terrorists in Europe, are part of just one big global jihad against all "infidels" – including them.
Full article can be read here.