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, March 20, 2016

Palestine - European Union Risks "Jew-hater" Label


[Published 24 June 2015]


The European Union (EU) runs the risk of being labelled “Jew-hater” - should it proceed with its plans requiring supermarkets and other retailers to label products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) differently from those made by Jews in Israel.

No matter what spin the EU uses to justify any such discriminatory labelling — the EU will be seen to be actively supporting the 2005 Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel — whose manifesto states:
“We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel ... We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel ...”

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

The BDS campaign regards the ending of all trade and economic relations with Jews living in Judea and Samaria as just the “first step” in its campaign of racial vilification, denigration and delegitimisation designed to ultimately dismantle the Jewish State.

The EU appears to be readying itself to help the BDS campaign achieve this “first step” — as the foreign ministers of 16 of the EU’s 28 member states have urged EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini to introduce the labelling regulations—stating in a letter dated 16 April that they:
“remain of the view that this is an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy, in relation to the preservation of the two-state solution. The continued expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and other territories occupied by Israel since 1967 threatens the prospect of a just and final peace agreement.”

These foreign ministers conveniently ignore that:
1. The two-state solution — as contemplated by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap — is dead and buried after fruitless negotiations and rejected Israeli offers made during the past 20 years have all come to nought. Any hope of peacefully resolving the competing territorial claims of both Jews and Arabs to Judea and Samaria under these negotiating parameters is a figment of the EU’s imagination.

2.The Palestinian Authority—Israel’s negotiating partner under Oslo and the Roadmap - no longer exists — having been disbanded by decree of Mahmoud Abbas on 3 January 2013.

3.Earlier two-state solutions were rejected by the Arabs:
(i) when that result could have been achieved with the stroke of an Arab League pen at any time between 1948-1967 or

(ii) when previously proposed by:
(a) Britain in 1923
(b) the Peel Commission in 1937
(c) the United Nations in 1947
Jews are residing legally in Judea and Samaria pursuant to the rights vested in the Jewish people under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

The EU labelling diktat — if it proceeds — will have very little economic effect.

Such EU action will however align the EU squarely with those BDS racists and Jew-haters who continue to drool at the prospect of Israel being replaced by another Arab and Islamic State.

The EU will indeed merit the “Jew-hater” tag - should its ill-considered and misconceived labelling action proceed.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

BDS - Sinister Hoax With Genocidal Intent


[Published 18 June 2015]


The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) instituted in 2005 by “Palestinian civil Society” against Israel and its civil society continues to attract people from all around the world—including Jews and Israeli Arabs - who support the campaign without realising its genocidal objective.

The BDS manifesto makes clear that its punitive measures are to be pursued until Israel ends:
“its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands”

These are code words effectively calling for Israel’s destruction since:
1. According to the PLO: "Israel is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab home land, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation."

2. According to Hamas: "Israel is an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it."

Those who have:
1. boycotted theatre performances by Israeli groups in Barcelona,
2. stripped supermarket shelves of Israeli food products in London,
3. marched in South Africa to protest Woolworths stocking Israeli made goods or
4. protested outside Max Brenner outlets in Sydney

are actually supporting a racist campaign that calls for the total elimination of the Jewish State.

However the European Union (EU) — mindful of the Jew-hatred endemic in the BDS campaign - yet anxious to appease its Arab trading partners and burgeoning Arab populations within its member countries — has targeted only the West Bank — presently working to enact measures requiring Israel to label products coming from Jewish settlements there - following guidelines established on 18 July 2013.

These EU policy initiatives are ostensibly based on the 1980 Venice Declaration — which stressed that:
1. Israel needed to end its territorial occupation of the West Bank
2. Israeli settlements constituted a serious obstacle to the peace process in the Middle East.
3. Jewish settlements established there - as well as modifications in population and property — were illegal under international law.

The EU position on the illegality of those Jewish settlements has now been totally discredited following the recent decision by Norway’s largest pension fund — KPL - to sell its shareholdings in Heidelberg Cement AG and Cemex SAB de SV - whose two Israeli subsidiaries are currently operating quarries established after 1967 in Area C of the West Bank.

Under the 1995 Oslo Accords Israel has sole civil and security control in Area C — comprising 60% of the West Bank where no more than 4% of the West Bank’s Arab population currently lives.

KPL first sought advice on the legal situation pertaining in the West Bank from the Oslo-based International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) - an independent institute focusing on good governance, peace and conflict, and international law.

The advice completely refutes the EU’s long held position.

Senior ILPI Partner Gro Nyusten — former Norwegian Foreign Affairs staffer, former Associate Professor of International Humanitarian Law/the Law on Armed Conflict at the University of Oslo, from 2008 Associate Professor at the Defence Staff University College in Oslo and former chair of the Council on Ethics of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global — advised KPL that:
1. international law does not provide “unambiguous answers”

2. it was “highly probable” that the operation under Israeli licence of the subject quarries was inconsistent with the requirements of the law of belligerent occupation

3. a case on quarrying activities in Area C went all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court - but was rejected because the court concluded that it raised issues that could only be resolved through political channels and not through the court

4. Occupation law did not prohibit Israel from making use of real property - but Israel’s role was restricted to that of a caretaker that must restore such property to the “occupied power” once the conflict has ended. Significantly Ms Nyusten failed to identify that the “occupied power” was Jordan - whose annexation of the West Bank in 1950 was declared illegal by every country except Great Britain and Pakistan.

5. The issue of whether Israel was entitled to open new quarries which did not exist before 1967 — was “controversial”.

6. The 1995 Oslo Accords (Oslo II) “presume” the ultimate transfer of Area C from Israeli to Palestinian control through so-called final status negotiations. Ms Nyusten however did not point to any provision in the Oslo Accords that supports this “presumption”.

Ms Nyusten’s legal opinion also failed to consider two territory-specific provisions in international law sanctioning the right of Jews to live in the West Bank for the purposes of reconstituting the Jewish National Home there — article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

In the end KPL — faced with no definitive international law to justify its decision to disinvest - concluded:
“that the ethical arguments carry the heaviest weight in this case”.

Ethics are not law.

EU decisions supposedly based on judicially determined principles of international law were exposed as myths that can no longer be legally or politically sustained.

The BDS hoax is set to swallow many more well-intended people into its Jew-hating vortex.

The EU could suffer a similar fate with the introduction of its labelling policies — no longer being able to rely on non-existent international law to camouflage that decision — whilst opening itself to the charge it is supporting a genocidal campaign designed to dismantle the Jewish State.

Common sense will hopefully prevail.

Beating The BDS Jew-haters


[Published 11 June 2015]


Recently, a group of 52 Harvard students - of all backgrounds and faiths - visited Israel for 10 days during the Harvard Israel Trek 2015

Sometimes the impact of such a trip cannot be expressed in prose - but can only be captured in poetry.

What follows is a poem - posted on the Harvard trek blog by Oliver Marjot - a British PhD candidate studying Medieval Latin at Harvard - that reflects his transformative experience.

Oliver expected that the Trek would confirm his reasonable European certainty of Israel’s arrogant oppression. That’s not quite the way things turned out.

Oliver’s Poem eloquently answers those who continue their vicious attempts to denigrate and delegitimize Israel by exhorting the boycott and isolation of Israel, its people, products, commercial enterprises, medical breakthroughs, academics and artists:
“To my newfound Love,

I came to you, Israel, wanting to hate you. To be confirmed in my reasonable European certainty of your arrogant oppression, lounging along the mediterranean coast, facing West in your vast carelessness and American wealth. I wanted to appreciate your history, but tut over the arrogant folly of your present. I wanted to cross my arms smugly, and shake my head over you, and then leave you to fight your unjust wars.

I wanted to take from you. To steal away some spiritual satisfaction, and sigh and pray, and shake my head over your spiritual folly as well. To see the sad spectacle of the Western wall, and bitterly laugh at your backward-looking notion that God sits high on Moriah Mount, distant and approachable. I wanted to smirk in my Protestant confidence, knowing that God is with me, even if you refuse to turn to him, standing instead starting blankly at a wall of cold stone, pushing scribbled slips of paper into the Holy mountain, not daring to raise your face, and ask with words.

I wanted to see your sights, to bask in your sun, to tramp my feet over your soil, to swim in your seas, to eat the fruit of your fields. I wanted to be amazed, to be interested, to be engaged. I wanted.

I didn’t realise you were broken as well as wealthy, fragile as well as strong. I didn’t realise that you suffer from a thousand voices clamouring in your head, and that some of those voices care about justice and democracy, and that some of them love their neighbours. I didn’t realise that a thousand enemies press on your borders, hoarding instruments of death, as chaos and darkness and madness consume the world every way you look. I didn’t realise that you care about your past - that some of those voices of yours treasure the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob every bit as much as I do. I didn’t realise. Nobody told me. Or maybe they did, and I refused to listen

I didn’t expect to fall in love with you. Your beauty caught me like a hook. Seeing you, I see what Solomon saw when he wrote about his Beloved. I see that homeland that Jesus loved. The lush green of your Galilee, the stark strength of your desert, the bare whiteness of your Judean hills. I love the Hebrew you speak, the churches your wear like flowers in your hair, the proud golden dome that crowns your head. I love the strength of your soldiers, the warmth of your sun, the joy of your songs, the peace of your kibbutzim.

This cold Boston air is a mockery of your spring warmth, and in this vast sprawl of concrete and red brick it’s no exaggeration to say that I yearn for your troubled horizons, your ancient hills. I’m not ashamed to say it. I love you.

I’m sorry I had to leave you. I know I have no right to love you. What’s ten days compared to a year, a childhood, a lifetime? Or the five-thousand year lifetime of a people? I know that you won’t remember me, that you probably barely even registered my short time with you. I’m sure my love means nothing to you amid the whispers of a million other lovers, and you’re so very far away.

But I will come back to you. I will. I’ll leave these busy, harried, Western shores, and come to you, to the East. I’ll learn your Hebrew, I’ll share your troubles, I’ll breath your air, I’ll walk in your fields again.

I will. I will.

Until then, Israel, mon amour, my love. Until then, shalom.”

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) started in 2005 by “Palestinian Civil Society” falsely claims that Israel is persistently violating international law — whilst that Society’s Government — the Palestine Liberation Organisation — continues to reject substantive segments of international law formulated over the last 95 years legalizing Jewish self-determination:
”The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. 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. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.”

The European Union — threatening to join these racist-inspired, Jew-hating BDS campaigners — is being well and truly conned.

Think again Europe. A Harvard student has — so should you.

Russia Demands American Capitulation To Help Eradicate Islamic State


[Published 4 June 2015]


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on America to end its attempt to remove Syria’s President Assad from power in return for Russia’s co-operation to militarily confront Islamic State.

Lavrov reportedly told Bloomberg on 2 June 2015 :
“The U.S.’s “obsession” with [Syria’s President] Assad isn’t helping in the common fight against the threat from Islamic State…

People put the fate of one person whom they hate above the fight against terrorism. Islamic State can go “very far” unless stopped, and air strikes alone “are not going to do the trick

If people continue to acquiesce with what is going on and continue to acquiesce with those who categorically refuse to start the political process until Bashar Assad disappears, then I’m not very optimistic for the future of this region…”

America is part of the Friends of Syria core group known as the London Eleven that has been assisting rebel forces in Syria attempting to overthrow Assad.

Assad – backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah – has rebuffed such attempts during four years of horrendous conflict that has so far seen over 220000 Syrians die, four million citizens made refugees and another 7.6 million internally displaced.

A report published by the UN in March 2015 estimated the total economic loss since the start of the conflict was $202bn and that four in every five Syrians were now living in poverty - 30% of them in abject poverty. Syria’s education, health and social welfare systems are also in a state of collapse.

America apparently intends to ignore Lavrov’s sage advice and continue to pursue its Syrian policy to oust Assad.

Marie Harf - a U.S. State Department spokeswoman told reporters in Washington that:
"we’re certainly not going to coordinate with a brutal dictator who’s massacred so many of his own citizens.”

“That’s just an absurd proposition. That’s certainly not going to happen.”

Lavrov’s comments come at a time when Islamic State - already controlling a large part of Syria and Iraq covering an area greater than the United Kingdom - continues to make further advances – recently seizing the city of Ramadi 110 kilometers west of the Iraqi capital – Baghdad - and capturing the strategic northern Syrian city of Palmyra – a World Heritage listed site containing the monumental ruins of one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.

Islamic State reportedly controls up to 80 per cent of oil fields in Syria and has destroyed and also sold looted antiquities in Hatra, Nimrod and Mosul to acquire a major source of its funding - sometimes for seven figure sums.

The American led coalition of some 62 States – meeting in Paris this week - has proved totally unable to stem the advance of Islamic State in its stated objective of restoring the Islamic Caliphate and Sharia law wherever it seizes territory.

Graeme Wood – a contributing editor at The Atlantic – sums up Islamic State’s vulnerability:
"If it loses its grip on its territory in Syria and Iraq, it will cease to be a caliphate. Caliphates cannot exist as underground movements, because territorial authority is a requirement: take away its command of territory, and all those oaths of allegiance are no longer binding.”

Only a UN sanctioned military force can hope to achieve this objective.

Obama and Putin need to urgently do a deal that sees:
1. A UN led process on the political future of Syria being undertaken without first removing Assad

2. UN Security Council Chapter VII Resolution passed under Article 42 of the UN Charter authorising military action against Islamic State.

Senseless head-butting needs to give way to sensible brain-storming.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Palestine - Netanyahu Goes For Gold In Shoot-Off With Obama


[Published 28 May 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s appointment of former United Nations ambassador Dore Gold to head up Israel’s Foreign Ministry - ensures that Israel will be confronting President Obama as he continues attempting to deviate from the commitments made to Israel by his predecessor President Bush in a letter dated 14 April 2004 to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Bush Commitments).

The Bush Commitments acknowledged the risks involved in Israel unilaterally disengaging from Gaza and evacuating the 8000 Jews who had established 21 settlements there over the preceding 35 years whilst additionally agreeing to remove another four settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

President Bush assured Israel of the following:
1. the United States remained committed to President Bush’s vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap.

2.The United States would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan.

3. Palestinians would have to undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that included a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

4. The United States reiterated its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

5. The United States was strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.

6.It seemed clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.

7. 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.

8. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would 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 was realistic to expect that any final status agreement would only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
President Obama has attempted to subvert the Bush Commitments by proposing Israel withdraw from part of the West Bank and cede part of its own sovereign territory to the Palestine Liberation Organisation in exchange for the area of the West Bank to be retained by Israel - as announced by President Obama in May 2011:
”... the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. 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.”

President Obama seems to have given up on the strong parliamentary democracy demanded by President Bush being established in the West Bank and Gaza - having failed to back up a recent call by another former American President - Jimmy Carter - for such elections to be held in the West Bank and Gaza - which would be the first held there since 2005.

Until such a democracy is established America should not expect any negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation to lead to anywhere but the dustbin of history.

Dore Gold well appreciates the significance of these Bush Commitments and the obligation of Obama to remain bound by them - stating in debriefing.org on 9 June 2009 -
“For example, it still needs to be clarified whether the Obama administration feels bound by the April 14, 2004, Bush letter to Sharon on defensible borders and settlement blocs, which was subsequently ratified by large bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. Senate (95-3) and the House of Representatives (407-9) on June 23-24, 2004. Disturbingly, on June 1, 2009, the State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, refused to answer repeated questions about whether the Obama administration viewed itself as legally bound by the Bush letter. It would be better to obtain earlier clarification of that point, rather than having both countries expend their energies over an issue that may not be the real underlying source of their dispute.”

Writing in Jewish Current Issues on 3 June 2009 Rick Richman noted that the State Department had refused to confirm the Bush Commitments on 21 occasions during the previous week.

Richman then asserted:
“Since Israel met its obligations under the disengagement deal, the U.S. can no more rescind its agreement and commitment than it can restore the lost world of Gush Katif, or the lost security of southern Israel, or the lives that thousands of rockets traumatized, or the property that was destroyed.

Israel ended up having to fight a war in Gaza because of the disengagement. The least the United States can do is meet its own obligations.”

Michael Oren - former Israeli Ambassador in Washington and now a newly elected member of Israel’s governing coalition - called for the resuscitation of these Bush Commitments during his election campaign in January.

The Obama administration needs to clear the air and remove any doubts or concerns that it is trying to surreptitiously vary the Bush Commitments.

Let the shoot-off with the reluctant and recalcitrant Obama administration begin.

Europe Rapidly Becoming Fertile Recruiting Field For Islamic State


[Published 14 May 2015]


Islamic State now has the potential to break out of Syria and Iraq and into the heart of Europe without a shot being fired in anger by the Europeans to repel Islamic State’s stated aims of re-establishing the Caliphate and with it the supremacy of Islam world-wide.

This previously dismissed possibility has become an emerging reality with the record flow of hundreds of thousands of Moslems into Europe by boat in 2014 - seeking asylum as their homes and lives in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan,Yemen and Lebanon have been reduced to rubble by ongoing and continuing conflict over the past four years.

Ironically - and alarmingly - the possibility of some of these asylum seekers already being Islamic State believers - whilst others become potential recruits in pursuing these Islamic State goals - comes at the same time as Europe is actively seeking to restrain its own already radicalised Moslem citizens from leaving its shores to join Islamic State forces in its ongoing campaign of territorial conquest throughout much of the Arab world.

What was thought to be fantasy just twelve months ago has been turned on its head with the recent publication of the following statistics by Eurostat - the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg - whose task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions within the European Union (EU):
1. Asylum seekers from Syria seeking refuge in the 28 EU countries rose from 49980 in 2013 to 122115 in 2014 - which equated to 20 % of the total of asylum seekers from all non-member EU countries.

2. In the same period asylum seekers from Iraq jumped from 10740 to 21310 whilst Afghani asylum seekers rose sharply from 26125 to 41370.

3. Of the 68400 Syrians actually granted protection status in the EU - more than 60% were recorded in two Member States: Germany (25700) and Sweden (16800).

Many of these desperate asylum seekers become possible candidates for being persuaded that their lives have been turned upside down by Europe’s failed policies in Syria and Iraq and that their hopes for real salvation rest in actively supporting the objectives of Islamic State.

Europe’s failure to prevent more than 200000 deaths that have occurred in Syria and Iraq alone in the past four years with the destruction of many towns and villages into heaps of rubble and the consequent displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis - both internally and externally - is an easily told story that will gain much sympathy with many of these asylum seekers - even as they are being welcomed and absorbed into their European host countries.

France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are part of a group called the London 11 - whose other members are Egypt, Jordan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, Turkey,United Arab Emirates and America.

The London 11 has since 2012 expressed its support for the Syrian opposition in its attempt to rid Syria of President Assad. Supplying arms and financial support has clearly proved insufficient to halt the carnage.

On 10 November 2014 Senior Officials of the London 11 met with Syrian National Coalition Leader Hadi al- Bahra.

The best the London 11 could do was:
“demonstrate collective and united support for the moderate opposition led by the National Coalition, as they fight a two-front war resisting the brutality of the Assad regime and fighting extremists including Daesh (Islamic State)”

Many European countries form part of the American led coalition which has also failed to effectively halt the progress of Islamic State.

Europe remains a sitting duck whilst it passively sits on the sidelines uttering pious platitudes.

Carter Causes Consternation With Election Call For Palestinian Arabs


[Published 7 May 2015]


Former US president Jimmy Carter has created a stir with his call for Palestinian Arabs to hold elections to end the internecine struggle between Hamas and the PLO in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza.

Speaking at a joint news conference with PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah - after cancelling his stop in Gaza where he was supposed to meet Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – Carter – now a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders - declared:.
“We hope that sometime we’ll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank,”

No Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections have been held in over a decade - even though Abbas’s term in office as President expired in January 2009 – a position he continues to fill without any constitutional authority to do so.

In 2006 - a year after Abbas was elected as President - Hamas overwhelmingly won the one and only election ever held in Judea and Samaria. The PLO refused to accept its electoral defeat and a year afterwards Hamas violently ousted Abbas’s Fatah faction from Gaza and seized control there.

Carter’s call can be seen as timely – given the current stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and the PLO and the distinct likelihood they will not be resumed.

Indeed one could see Carter’s election call as the most constructive contribution he has made to peace in the Middle East since his following statement in Time Magazine on 11 October 1982 concerning Jordan and Jordan’s late monarch - King Hussein:
“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”

This viewpoint would be just as applicable in 2015 to Jordan’s current monarch - King Abdullah – who is trying to distance himself from any involvement in the future of Judea and Samaria even though Jordan was the last Arab country to occupy those territories between 1948-1967..

Elections would enable the long-suffering Arab populations in Gaza, Judea and Samaria to have a say in their future after having been under the tyrannical dictatorships of Hamas and the PLO for almost ten years.

Ironically there are those who argue against holding such elections because they are worried that Hamas will again be triumphant – resulting in greater upheaval and unrest than currently exists.

Respected commentator Khaled Abu Toameh puts it thus:
“Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes.”

Toameh presumes that only Hamas and the PLO will contest any such new elections.

Given their woeful performances over the last ten years - any such new elections would hopefully spawn the emergence of political parties other than Hamas and the PLO with markedly differing viewpoints and policies – perhaps even parties calling for Jordan to enter into negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty of Judea and Samaria and even Gaza between their respective States.

Keeping people in a perpetual state of silence by denying them any say in their future is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

When people vote – they bear the consequences of the Government they elect.

Carter the Elder has spoken. What says Obama the Younger?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Palestine - Sharon's Ghost Returns To Haunt Obama


[Published 29 April 2015]


Michael Oren – one of seven members of the recently formed Kulanu party elected to Israel’s new Parliament – seems destined to play a pivotal role in torpedoing President Obama’s proposals for a two-state solution aimed at resolving the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Agreement has reportedly been reached between Israel’s Prime Minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon for Kahlon to be appointed Finance Minister. Fellow Kulanu members - Yoav Galant and Eli Alalouf - will serve respectively as Housing Minister and Environmental Protection Minister.

Still unannounced is the replacement for Tzipi Livni - who headed the Israeli team in peace talks with the PLO - but who now seems destined to enter into Opposition. These peace talks have remained in a state of suspended animation since April 2014 – despite intensive American efforts to have them resumed.

President Obama’s proposals – first enunciated in 2011 – were re-stated as recently as July 2014 by White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon at the Ha’aretz Israel Conference for Peace:
“A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. While the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel.

Negotiations should therefore result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. 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. Any peace agreement will require robust security provisions that safeguard Israel’s security. And the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in an independent, sovereign and contiguous state.”

The idea that Israel should be required to make mutually agreed land swaps for territory it retains in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) was never stipulated or mentioned in the letter given by President Bush to Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 April 2004 – whose terms were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day. (“American Written Commitments”)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had declared at the Annapolis International Conference convened by President Bush on 27 November 2007 that any resumed negotiations:
“will be based on previous agreements between us, UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Roadmap and the April 14th 2004 letter of President Bush to the Prime Minister of Israel.”
Michael Oren – Kulanu’s diplomatic voice and former Israeli Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 - recently called for these 2004 American Written Commitments to be resuscitated:
“A decade ago, in April 2004, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received a letter from American president George Bush, Jr. recognizing Israel’s right to build in long-standing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem like Talpiyot-East and Ramot. Furthermore, Israel was now allowed to build in settlement blocs crucial for Israel’s security, and in which some 80% of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria reside […] According to the Bush-Sharon letter, these areas will remain within Israel’s borders in any arrangement arrived at with the Palestinians […] it’s time to revive the Bush-Sharon letter and act according to it.”

Obama is going to find it impossible to impose his land swap proposals – if Oren has any say.

Sharon’s ghost has tantalisingly returned to haunt Obama.

Islamic State Morphing Into Global Gehenna


[Published 13 April 2015]


Growing support for - and pledges of allegiance to - Islamic State by diverse Islamic terrorist groups world-wide are now creating horrific humanitarian problems for Christian communities in many countries—some far removed from the Middle East.

30 such groups have so far been identified:
al-I’tisam of the Quran and Sunnah [Sudan]—Aug. 1, 2014 — Support
Abu Sayyaf Group [Philippines]—June 25, 2014 — Support
Ansar al-Khilafah [Philippines]—Aug. 4, 2014 — Allegiance
Ansar al-Tawhid in India [India]—Oct. 4, 2014 — Allegiance
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) [Phillipines] — Aug. 13, 2014 — Support
Bangsmoro Justice Movement (BJM) [Phillipines] — Sept. 11, 2014 — Support
al-Huda Battalion in Maghreb of Islam [Algeria] — June 30, 2014 — Allegiance
Heroes of Islam Brigade in Khorasan [Afghanistan] — Sept. 30, 2014 — Allegiance
The Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria [Algeria] — 30 Sep. 2014 — Allegiance
Jundullah [Pakistan]—Nov. 17, 2014 — Support
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) [Pakistan] Statement —Sept. 24, dated Sept. 12, 2014 — Support
Islamic Youth Shura Council [Libya] — June 22, 2014 — Support
Jaish al-Sahabah in the Levant [Syria] — July 1, 2014 — Allegiance
Faction of Katibat al-Imam Bukhari [Syria] — Oct. 29, 2014 - Allegiance
Jamaat Ansar Bait al-Maqdis [Egypt] — June 30, 2014 — Allegiance
Jund al-Khilafah in Egypt [Egypt] — Sept. 23, 2014 — Allegiance
Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna in Baalbek [Lebanon] — June 30, 2014 — Allegiance
Islamic State Libya (Darnah) [Libya] — Nov. 9, 2014 — Allegiance
Shura Council of Shabab al-Islam Darnah [Libya] —Oct. 6, 2014 — Allegiance
Mujahedeen Indonesia Timor (MIT) [Indonesia] — July 1, 2014 — Allegiance
Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSCJ) [Egypt] — Oct. 1, 2014 — Support
Tehreek-e-Khilafat [Pakistan] — July 9, 2014 — Allegiance
Okba Ibn Nafaa Battalion [Tunisia] — Sept. 20 2014 — Support
Mujahedeen of Yemen [Yemen] — Nov. 10, 2014 — Allegiance
Supporters for the Islamic State in Yemen [Yemen] — Sept. 4, 2014 — Allegiance
al-Tawheed Brigade in Khorasan [Afghanistan] — Sept. 23, 2014 — Allegiance
Supporters of the Islamic State in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques [Saudi Arabia] —Dec. 2, 2014 — Support
Ansar al-Islam [Iraq] — Jan. 8, 2015 — Allegiance
Leaders of the Mujahed in Khorasan (10 former TTP commanders) [Pakistan] — Jan. 10, 2015 — Allegiance
Boko Haram [Nigeria]— March 7, 2015 — Allegiance

71 Chadian soldiers have reportedly been killed and 416 wounded in less than three months of fighting to crush Boko Haram. Chad has sent about 5,000 troops to fight alongside soldiers from Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon against Boko Haram whose Nigeria-based insurgency has increasingly spilled-over into neighbouring nations.

Some 13,000 Nigerians have been killed and 1.5 million have fled their homes since 2009.

Other Islamic terrorist groups can be expected to join their ranks.

President Obama’s pledge to degrade and destroy Islamic State heading an international coalition of 62 like-minded nations - is looking increasingly ineffectual as Islamic State rapidly morphs into a global Gehenna.

President Obama declared on 23 September 2013:
“The United States will continue to work with the entire continent of Africa and around the world to make sure that we are dismantling these networks of destruction.”

A Chapter VII Security Council Resolution is urgently required authorising the use of a UN military force to eradicate these “networks of destruction” that are now uniting into a ruthless killing machine dedicated to restoring the Islamic Caliphate.

Only an internationally-sanctioned force replacing Obama’s coalition can stem the tide.

President Obama needs to get that Security Council Resolution rolling.

Nuclear Knockout Not Nearly Nailed


[Published 8 April 2015]


President Obama seems to have been unduly optimistic in triumphantly proclaiming the success of the P5+1 talks with Iran in Lausanne.

Speaking from the White House President Obama announced:
“Today, the United States — together with our allies and partners — has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

There was only “an understanding” — not even a piece of paper initialed by representatives of all the parties to the long and complex negotiations - that President Obama could wave to the waiting media setting out what that “understanding” was.

It did not take long to discover the reason explaining the absence of such an initialled document.

It turns out there are in fact two pieces of paper — one prepared by each side — but neither signed or agreed to by the other:

1. Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

2. Iranian Fact Sheet on the Nuclear Negotiations which was only published in Farsi — but has been subsequently translated into English - for which there does not appear to be an official Iranian Government translation.
The first and simplest question one needs to ask is — in what language will the final authorised version of the agreement be actually framed?

Will it be English or Farsi or both?

Can the nuances of language be properly translated from one language into another language so that the meaning of the words is absolutely identical in both versions?

Was this very basic issue even addressed at the Lausanne negotiations? No mention of it appears in either of the above documents.

Who is going to draft the agreement — supposed to be ready for signing on 30 June — the P5+1 or Iran?

The appearance of these above two documents supposedly recording their “understanding” have already revealed wide gaps in each party’s understanding of their understanding.

It can be reasonably concluded that the parties were indeed miles apart and that there is a lot more negotiating to do before a draft agreement can even be produced for discussion purposes — let alone signed in final form.

The differences between the two documents are stark on issues of major importance — as the Wall Street Journal points out:

On sanctions:
“The U.S. says sanctions relief will be phased, suspended, and tied to Iran’s compliance with the terms of the deal. Iran says the sanctions, once the final agreement is sealed, will end more quickly.”

On stockpiles:
“Iran says it will limit enrichment and its stockpile for 10 years, the U.S. says 15.”

On inspections:
“U.S.: The IAEA will have regular access to Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as the supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran: The fact sheet doesn’t specifically mention access to facilities or inspections, but does say Iran would, on a voluntary and temporary basis, implement an “additional protocol” on access to nuclear facilities, “for the sake of transparency and confidence building.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reportedly held marathon negotiations through the night that ended after 6 a.m. on the morning of April 2, as they tried to overcome final gaps for a political accord on an Iran nuclear deal.

The result — two very different documents presenting two very different perspectives of what each side has taken away from the negotiations.

President Obama expressed his thanks:
“to our tireless — and I mean tireless — Secretary of State John Kerry and our entire negotiating team. They have worked so hard to make this progress.”

Progress?

The President must be joking.

Palestine - Obama Admits Defeat On Renewed Negotiations For Two-State Solution


[Published 2 April 2015]


President Obama has finally admitted the death of any renewed negotiations for a two-state solution between Israel and the PLO for the next several years - telling the media on 24 March:
“there still does not appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a Palestinian state even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time — which was always the presumption.”

President Obama has apparently accepted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s contention that such negotiations are not possible whilst conflicts involving radical Islam rage in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

President Obama had until now placed his faith in such negotiations:
“Now, I have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties.”

The rise of Islamic State in June 2014 has created a new ballgame and new dynamic.

Islamic State’s possible spill-over into Gaza and the West Bank cannot be ignored by Obama when Israel is being requested by Obama to withdraw from part of the West Bank and cede part of its own sovereign territory to the PLO in accordance with President Obama’s vision enunciated in May 2011:
”.. the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. 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.”

Abandoning territory as Israel did in Gaza in 2005 — will require ironclad security guarantees.

President Obama’s pledge to degrade and destroy Islamic State is a work in progress that could take up to three years — as Secretary of State John Kerry openly admitted last September at a NATO Summit attended by President Obama and himself.

Six months later Kerry’s assessment has been thrown into serious doubt by Syria’s President Assad — who in a rare interview with 60 Minutes on 30 March declared:
"Actually ISIS [Islamic State] has expanded since the beginning of strikes — not like some Americans want to sugar coat the situation - to say that it is getting better, ISIS [Islamic State] is being defeated and so-on. Actually No — they have more recruits. Suggested estimates say they have 1000 recruits every month in Syria and Iraq. They are expanding in Libya and many Al-Qaeda affiliated organisations have announced their allegiance to ISIS.”

Israel cannot possibly be expected in these circumstances to negotiate with the PLO on establishing secure and recognized borders as stipulated by President Obama and Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 — until Islamic State is finally degraded and destroyed.

President Obama has announced he is going back to the drawing board.
“the evaluation that’s taking place is specific to what happens between the Israelis and Palestinians going forward. We’ll continue to engage the Israeli government as well as the Palestinians, and ask them where they are interested in going and how do they see this issue being resolved. But what we can’t do is pretend that there’s a possibility of something that’s not there. And we can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years.”

President Obama should — in such evaluation process - seriously explore the possibility of first demanding that President Mahmoud Abbas call Presidential and parliamentary elections in Gaza and the West Bank — last held in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Let democracy replace these repressive dictatorships.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Palestine - Words Matter But Their Meaning Matters More


[Published 24 March 2015]


“Words matter” - White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters this week.

Regrettably Earnest was being less than earnest in failing to point out that words can also have several meanings — which can result in people failing to actually communicate with each other because each has a different understanding of the words he is using.

As a lawyer with extensive experience in drafting agreements — I have found the most critical part in any agreement is the definition of terms used in those agreements - so that the parties are in no doubt at all as to the meaning of the words they are using.

The so-called “two State solution” has gone nowhere in the last 20 years for precisely this reason.

The parties to the negotiations - including America on its own and as part of the Quartet — have been talking at cross purposes without first agreeing on the meaning of the terms they are using.

Take the following terms - and their suggested possible definitions:
1. “Palestine” — means “the territory known today as Israel, West Bank, Gaza and Jordan being the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine dated 24 July 1922.”

2. “Palestinians” — means
(i) “those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there.
(ii) Anyone born after 1947 of a father qualifying as a Palestinian under paragraph (i) - whether inside Palestine or outside it”


3. “West Bank” means “the term used since 1950 to refer to the territory known as “Judea and Samaria” since biblical times and comprising the territory that came under Israeli military government control in 1967”

4. "Oslo Accords 1" - means "Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or short Declaration of Principles(DOP) dated 13 September 1993

5. “Oslo Accords II" - means "Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip commonly known as Oslo II or Oslo 2 dated 25 September 1995"

6. “Oslo Accords” means “Oslo Accords I” and “Oslo Accords II”

7. “Bush Roadmap” means — “the two-state solution”

8. “two-State solution” — means “the Performance Based Roadmap To A Permanent Two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June 2003, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July 2003 and 17 September 2003 Quartet Ministerial statements.”

9. “Quartet” means “America, European Union (EU), Russia and the United Nations(UN)”

10. “Jerusalem” means “all of the area that is described in the appendix of the proclamation expanding the borders of municipal Jerusalem beginning the 20th of Sivan 5727 (June 28, 1967), as was given according to the Cities’ Ordinance.”

11. “Palestinian Authority” means “The Palestinian National Authority established in 1994 following Oslo Accords 1 and disbanded on 3 January 2013”.
To the legally uninitiated this may sound like a lot of detailed, unnecessary and technical drafting — but its purpose is quite clear — to ensure when the parties to this dispute use any of the above terms - their meaning is unmistakably clear.

The proof is in the pudding.

Do President Obama and his Press Secretary — Josh Earnest — agree with the above definitions when they utter these commonly used terms almost daily?

Do Israel’s Prime Minister — Benjamin Netanyahu — and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agree with these definitions?

Do the media? Do you?

If indeed there is any disagreement — then the parties need to first reach agreement on their meaning - before they can even think of talking to each other.

Unless everyone is singing from the same hymn book - the music will sound frightfully discordant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Israel Teeters On Cusp Of Security Suicide


[Published 15 March 2015]


Economic issues have been identified as the top issue in the forthcoming Israeli elections to be held on 17 March - with security issues trailing far behind.

The polls are confidently predicting a four seat difference in favour of the Zionist Camp over the current Likud-led Government and the possibility of a new Zionist Camp Government being formed.

Zvi Zhariyha pointed out on 15 January:
“In Israel’s proportional representation system, in which parties are awarded seats in parliament based on the proportion of the vote that they receive, the ranking of the candidates on the slate becomes all-important as seats are filled from the top of the list. Top spots on the Labor list went to MKs with a social-justice and economic agenda, including former journalist Shelly Yacimovich, and Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, who were both prominent in the 2011 social justice protest movement.

Yacimovich finished first in the party vote, which will place her in the third spot on the slate, behind Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, the leader of Hatnuah, which is running on a joint ticket with Labor. Shaffir finished just behind Yacimovich, granting her the fourth slot .."
"

Two of these top four Zionist Camp candidates have expressed viewpoints that are distinctly anti-Zionist.

Prime Minister—in-waiting - Isaac Herzog — according to respected analyst Sarah Honig — has voiced opposition to the term “Jewish State”:
“The Jewish state expression is entirely mistaken,” he says recurrently (and we have a recording to prove it: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9nHlX19roA) “because it creates the impression of a nationality that enjoys excessive privileges.”

Were US Secretary of State John Kerry somehow able to get Israel and the PLO to the negotiating table again — then this long standing Israeli demand — supported by President Obama - and the Congress since 2004 — would ostensibly fall by the wayside under a Government led by Herzog.

Sarah Honig further points out:
"Stav Shaffir, for example, refused to share a podium with the Likud’s Yoav Kish because he is a reserve fighter pilot. She also thinks that “Hatikva is a racist national anthem.”

It’s not our say-so. Journalist Asher Schechter wrote a book on the 2011 demonstrations in which Shaffir was a key mover (Rothschild — the Chronicle of Protest, published by Kibbutz Hameuhad/Sifriat Hapoalim). On page 96 Schechter describes Shaffir’s vehement opposition to singing Hatikva. She was so emotional about it that “she burst into tears and yelled out that Hatikva is racist.”

Another Zionist Camp likely member of the Knesset—Merav Micaheli - told Galei Zahal
“women should not at all send their kids to the army when there is a continuous occupation for over 40 years. The regime in Israel doesn’t make the effort to solve this in other ways, so it’s necessary to stop being prepared to send children to the army.”

Sarah Honig has identified two other candidates likely to pop up as Zionist Camp representatives in any Zionist Camp Government:
Zoher Bahalul (who declares: “our Palestinian identity is stronger than the Israeli”) or the ultra-leftist Prof. Yossi Yonah (who confessed: “Zionism doesn’t express what I am”).

Veteran Ha’aretz journalist — Gideon Levy — has also delivered a withering attack on the Zionist Camp:
“This camp knows only how to trick and mislead, in the best of its tradition.”

Economic issues also topped security issues by a country mile in the 2013 Israeli election — yet Netanyahu still emerged as Prime Minister.

With 14% of the voters still undecided - they could re-elect Netanyahu again - figuring out that improvements in economic and social justice conditions aren’t worth a shekel if you are not alive to enjoy their undeniable benefits.

Netanyahu Puts Behaviour Change By Iran On Negotiating Agenda


[Published 9 March 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – addressing the American Congress - has made behaviour change by Iran an essential pre-requisite to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 – France, Germany, United Kingdom, China, Russia and the United States.

Those negotiations - designed to curb Iran procuring a nuclear bomb - have a deadline expiring on March 24.

The threat Iran’s behaviour poses to peace and security in the Middle East and the world’s oil supply was starkly laid out by Netanyahu:
"Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back[ed] by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back[ed] by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply."

Iran’s past attacks on Americans did not escape Netanyahu’s notice:
"Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan".
Netanyahu spelled out Iran’s ever-increasing quest for domination and influence outside its own national borders:
"In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow"

So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.
Netanyahu warned against the P5+1 agreeing to any 10 year moratorium on Iran gaining a nuclear bomb - without imposing strict conditions requiring an end to such behaviour by Iran:
"Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.

Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children.
We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could produce many, many nuclear bombs."

Netanyahu’s solution to preventing this catastrophe occurring requires Iran meeting three conditions in any concluded negotiations – each enthusiastically endorsed by a standing ovation from the Congress as Netanyahu declared:
"First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. 


Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.


And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state."

Behaviour change by Iran has thus been firmly put on the negotiating agenda – and overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress – with Netanyahu warning:
"If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.

If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted.

If Iran doesn’t change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.



If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country"

Significantly Netanyahu stressed that these three conditions would represent:
"A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally".

The P5+1 must ensure that Iran abandons its belligerent behaviour – or terminate the negotiations.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Netanyahu Flies Into Washington On A Wing And A Prayer


[Published 2 March 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington this week is going ahead despite unsuccessful attempts from far and wide to shoot him down in flames before he was even airborne.

President Obama’s unsuccessful attempt to stop Netanyahu’s visit by claiming breach of protocol — represents an ugly attempt to deny Netanyahu his right to freely address the Congress — the very nerve centre of the world’s leading democracy.

Netanyahu has not been deterred by many Democrats threatening to boycott his speech.

At least 30 House Democrats and 4 Democrat Senators will not be on hand to hear what Netanyahu has to say concerning the threat to world security and peace posed by Iran’s implacable march towards producing a nuclear bomb and its threat to use such a bomb to eradicate the State of Israel.

Netanyahu has ignored the entreaties of a panoply of American Jewish groups and Israel’s opposition parties pleading he cancel his visit:
“When there is something that is connected to our very existence, what do they expect the prime minister to do, bow his head and accept something that is dangerous in order to have good relations? I think the relations are strong enough to overcome the disagreements, and that Iran with an atomic bomb is much more dangerous than one disagreement or another [with the US].”

American-Israeli relations were irreversibly intertwined when the Congress - voting 407-9 — and the Senate — voting 95-3 - overwhelmingly endorsed the commitments made by President Bush in his letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004.

Among those commitments was an unequivocal declaration that:
“The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.”

Netanyahu’s address will fortuitously take place on the eve of the Jewish Festival of Purim when Jews remember the foiled plot in Persia (now Iran) in the 4th century AD:
“to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

Netanyahu has observed:
“it is the same Persia with a regime that is waving the banner of destroying the state of the Jews. The means by which they intend on implementing this threat is with many atomic bombs.”

Netanyahu will be flying into Washington accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to the United States — Ron Dermer — and all Netanyahu’s top advisors.

They will—in the words of that famous World War II song - be:
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer
Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer
With our full crew on board
And our trust in the Lord
We’re comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

As for trusting in the Lord — Obama and those churlish Senators and Congressmen who don’t have the decency to listen to what Netanyahu has to say — might well recall the following words from Psalm 83:
1.“O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
3 They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against your treasured ones.
4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
5 For they conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant

The Jews have long memories of past attempts over many centuries to exterminate them — as Jew-hatred once again spreads its evil roots around the globe.

The ancient Jewish Book - Ecclesiastes — proclaims:
“there is no new thing under the sun.”

Pray President Obama heeds Netanyahu’s message.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Islamic State - Egypt Wakes Up - When Will America And Russia?


[Published 24 February 2015]


Whilst the American—led coalition continues its largely ineffectual air strikes in Iraq and Syria — Islamic State has spread its barbaric tentacles into Libya with alarming rapidity.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for:
1. Attacking Tripoli’s downtown luxury hotel in January - the Corinthian - which left 11 dead

2. The brutal mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Christian Copts

3. A multi-pronged suicide attack that killed at least 45 people in the town al Qubbah in Libya’s east.

4. Seizing the university in Sirte - deposed dictator Muammar Gadaffi’s hometown.
Egypt’s President - Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi—has called for intervention by the United Nations:
“What is going on in Libya could change this country into a breeding ground that could threaten the whole region, not only Egypt. Egypt, the Mediterranean Basin and Europe have to deal with this problem because the mission was unaccomplished, was unfinished by our European friends. We abandoned the Libyan people as prisoners to extremist militias.”

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was told this week by Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri:
“Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build our national army’s capacity and this would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons ... so as to deal with this rampant terrorism,”

The Security Council ignored his plea — and with good reason.

Libya currently has two Governments — one located in Bayda and the other in Tripoli. In November 2014 Libya’s Supreme Court held the Bayda Government to be illegal and unconstitutional - a decision ignored by its two principal backers - the United States and the European Union.

Removing the arms embargo — in force since 2011- would mean new shipments of arms could risk ending up under Islamic State’s control.

U.N. special envoy to Libya - Bernardino Leon - has said that Islamic State and other militants can only be defeated with a united Libyan government in place that has strong international support.

Any expectation that the United Nations can mediate between these rival Governments to forge a unity government to end ongoing hostilities and divisions in Libya is fanciful.

Leon himself has frankly admitted the immediate threat Libya faces from Islamic State:
“In Libya, Islamic State has found fertile ground in the growing post revolution political instability, capitalizing also on the weakness of state institutions and state security sector,”

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has also acknowledged Libya’s parlous situation.
“What we are seeing today in Libya is a double threat: it is a threat of a country that is breaking apart and of a country where Daesh (Islamic State) is taking power and infiltrating,”

President Obama’s urgently needs to rethink his September 2014 assessment that Islamic State:
1. Is not Islamic

2. Is not a state but only a terrorist organisation with no other vision

3. Can be degraded and destroyed by an American-led coalition
Professor Deborah Lipstadt has succinctly summed up President Obama’s continuing political blindness:
“He has bent over backwards to try to separate [Islamic State] from Islam, Sometimes people try to keep an open mind. And when you have too open a mind, your brains can fall out.”

Islamic State continues to morph as groups such as “Province of Sinai “ — creating mayhem and havoc in the Egyptian desert area neighbouring Israel and Gaza - swear allegiance to it

Islamic State will continue acquiring territory whilst military action remains unauthorised by a United Nations Security Council resolution.

America and Russia must both be brain dead in ignoring Islamic State’s increasing threat to their vital respective interests in the Middle East.

Palestine - European Union Causes Peace Process And Quartet Meltdown


[Published 16 February 2015]


Revelations that the European Union (EU) has been acting illegally in funding and facilitating the construction of more than 400 unauthorised buildings in areas in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) under exclusive Israeli control — signals the end of:
1. negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation under the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2003 Bush Roadmap and

2. the role of the Quartet - America, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union - as mediator in those negotiations
The Daily Mail - in exposing the EU’s bizarre behaviour - reported on 6 February that:
“Official EU documentation reveals that the building project is intended to ‘pave the way for development and more authority of the PA over Area C (the Israeli area)’, which some experts say is an attempt to unilaterally affect facts on the ground. Locally, the villages are known as the ‘EU Settlements’, and can be found in 17 locations around the West Bank. They proudly fly the EU flag, and display hundreds of EU stickers and signs. Some also bear the logos of Oxfam and other NGOs, which have assisted in the projects.”
The EU through its spokesman- Shadi Othman - attempted to justify such conduct by reiterating the EU’s unilateral opinion as to the final outcome of the currently stalled negotiations:

“We support the Palestinian presence in Area C. Palestinian presence should not be limited Areas A and B. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory which eventually will be Palestinian land.”

Why Israel’s approval was not first sought before the EU surreptitiously undertook such activity - remains unexplained.

Representatives of the Quartet — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov , United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson (representing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon) - met in Munich on February 8 — two days after the European Union’s illegal actions were exposed - but no mention was made of the EU’s devious conduct nor was there any call for it to be immediately halted.

The remaining three Quartet members have - by their silence - clearly signalled they condone such illegal conduct by the EU and support its continuation.

Hypocritically - the Quartet Representatives declared:
“Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.”

It is hard to conceive any action more likely to undermine trust or prejudge final status issues than the Quartet’s failure to condemn the EU’s own aberrant behaviour and call for an immediate halt to its illegal activities in the West Bank.

The Quartet Representatives repeated their mantra:
“A sustainable peace requires the Palestinians’ aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security to be fulfilled through negotiations based on the two-state solution.”

The parameters under which those negotiations were being held between Israel and the PLO have now been well and truly consigned to the dustbin of history as a result of the EU’s disgraceful conduct — joining so many other failed proposals made since 1920 aimed at ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.

The Quartet has been found sadly wanting and is clearly out of tune - abandoning any sense of impartiality or propriety in aligning itself with one party to the dispute.

Israel’s Prime Minister - Benjamin Netanyahu - has now directed that action be commenced to demolish these illegal EU structures.

The Quartet has been totally compromised - the peace process and its intricate negotiating structure irretrievably ended.

Back to the drawing board for yet another new proposal…...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

United Nations Security Council Abandons Humanity


[Published 9 February 2015]


In a supposed show of unity by the world powers against Islamic State - the United Nations Security Council is reportedly preparing to adopt a legally binding resolution intended to choke the terrorist group’s ability to trade in oil, antiquities and hostages.

As it pontificates on the terms of the Resolution – the Security Council completely ignores the Report of another United Nations organ – The Committee on the Rights of the Child - released on 4 February – which depressingly confirms the following litany of suffering visited on children, women and minorities in Iraq by Islamic State:
1. The systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive;
2. The very large number of children killed and severely injured as a result of the current fighting - including by air strikes, shelling and military operations by the Iraqi Security Forces
3. Deaths from dehydration, starvation and heat in conflict affected areas
4. The high number of children abducted by Islamic State - many of whom are severely traumatized from witnessing the murder of their parents and are subjected to physical and sexual assault.
5. “Markets” set up by Islamic State selling abducted children and women attaching price tags to them
6. Sexual enslavement of children – particularly from minority groups - detained in makeshift Islamic State prisons - such as the former Badoush prison outside Mosul.
7. The executions of teachers and health personnel
8. Recruitment and use of children especially children in vulnerable situations such as refugee children, children with disabilities, children who have lost their parents and children in street situations being used as:
(a) Suicide bombers
(b) Human shields in order to protect Islamic State facilities from airstrikes and being frequently forced to witness brutal acts of torture and killing
(c) Informants - for manning checkpoints or as bomb makers for armed groups -in order to support their families
(d) Some recruited children being trained in kidnapping
(e) Children as young as 12 or 13 undergoing military training organized in Mosul by Islamic State which is reportedly also giving children the responsibility to guard and arrest individuals
(f) Children and families belonging to minority groups, in particular Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabean-Mandaean, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi’a, Assyrian, Baha’i, Alawites - who are being systematically killed, tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, cut off from humanitarian assistance by Islamic State in a reported attempt to suppress, permanently cleanse or expel, or in some instances, destroy these minority communities.
The Committee could only urge Iraq to take all necessary measures to rescue children under the control of Islamic State and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Islamic State fighters must be laughing their heads off at the thought.

Regrettably the Committee did not see fit to damn the Security Council for its continuing failure to authorise and institute military action by the world body against Islamic State under Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter.

Instead we now have the prospect of yet another proposed totally ineffectual Security Council resolution talking about oil, antiques and hostages – the third in a series of resolutions on Islamic State that are worthless in ending the barbaric atrocities listed above.

Russia’s veto remains the obstacle to passing a Security Council Resolution authorising the use of military force.

Russia was eventually persuaded to join America in sponsoring a Security Council Resolution calling for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.

A similar diplomatic effort is needed to destroy Islamic State.

There are many diplomatic inducements and trade-offs that can be explored including:
1. Easing current sanctions on Russia
2. Restoring Russia’s credit rating
3. Compromising on Syria and Ukraine
The human suffering caused by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria must be stopped in its tracks without further delay.

Meantime the Committee on the Rights of the Child has invited Iraq to submit its next Report by 14 July 2020 which should be:
“in compliance with the Committee’s harmonized treaty-specific reporting guidelines adopted on 1 October 2010 (CRC/C/58/Rev.2 and Corr. 1) and should not exceed 21,200 words (see General Assembly resolution 68/268, para. 16). In the event that a report exceeding the established word limit is submitted, the State party [Iraq] will be asked to shorten the report in accordance with the above-mentioned resolution. If the State party is not in a position to review and resubmit the report, translation of the report for the purposes of consideration by the treaty body cannot be guaranteed.”

The Committee has also invited Iraq:
“to submit an updated core document in accordance with the requirements of the common core document in the harmonized guidelines on reporting, approved at the fifth Inter-Committee Meeting of the human rights treaty bodies in June 2006 (HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6, chap. I). The word limit for the common core document is 42,400 words, as established by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/268 (para. 16).”

Will Iraq still exist in 2020?

The United Nations and its diverse organs have become the world’s laughing stock as they engage in verbal gobbledygook, pathetic platitudes and mutual back-slapping - whilst doing nothing of substance to end the suffering of millions of human beings around the world.

What has to happen before the United Nations Security Council comes to its senses and gets really serious about degrading and destroying Islamic State?

Obama Honouring Presidential Commitments Trumps Protocol


[Published 2 February 2015]


The furore engendered by House Speaker John Boehner inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3 — supposedly in breach of Presidential protocol - marks the first step in Congress flexing its muscles to persuade President Obama to re-think his concerted attempts to undermine the written commitments made by President Bush to Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his letter dated 14 April 2004 - as overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day (“American Written Commitments”)

Those 2004 American Written Commitments to Israel have become even more critical in 2015 — as a completely changed political environment sees America:
1. leading negotiations with Iran on curbing Iran’s nuclear program
2. heading a coalition of 62 States seeking to degrade and destroy Islamic State
3. forming part of the London 11 countries backing the unsuccessful bid to oust Assad from power in Syria
4. witnessing the shredding of the 2003 Bush Roadmap calling for the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan - as PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas chooses instead to travel the road leading to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.
These American Written Commitments were made to support Sharon’s decision to unilaterally disengage from Gaza — which Israel duly honoured in 2005 — when the Israeli Army and 8000 Israeli civilians left Gaza — many after living there for almost forty years.

Israel’s disengagement brought Hamas to power in Gaza’s one and only election - which has since seen three wars, thousands of deaths and casualties, property destruction running into billions of dollars and 11000 rockets being indiscriminately fired into Israeli civilian population centres.

Those American Written Commitments assured Israel that the United States:
1. Would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan other than the Roadmap envisioned by President Bush on 24 June 2002.
2. Reiterated America’s steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders,
3. Was strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.
4. Understood that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
5. Accepted as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
6. Acknowledged that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, that all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution had reached the same conclusion
President Obama and his administration have sought to circumvent these American Written Commitments — thereby encouraging continuing Arab rejectionism of Israeli peace overtures whilst souring the American—Israeli longstanding relationship.

Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly took the first steps to repudiate these American Written Commitments 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 made Obama’s intentions clear — when she stated 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.”

This blatant disregard for the American Written Commitments - which had never mentioned land swaps -signalled trouble for Israel - if Obama ever confirmed Clinton’s statements.

Eighteen months later Israel’s worst fears were realised when President 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.”

Israel’s curt response came the same day:

Mr. Netanyahu said in a pointed statement just before boarding a plane to Washington that while he appreciated Mr. Obama’s commitment to peace, he:
“expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of American commitments made to Israel in 2004 which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”

These American Written Commitments cannot be unilaterally revoked or varied — if America is to retain any international credibility for honouring agreements it makes with other States.

Israel — and Israel alone — must determine where its secure, recognized and defensible borders are to be located under these American Written Commitments.

Obama will hopefully get this unequivocal message when Congress welcomes Netanyahu to address it — protocol or no protocol.