Monday, February 28, 2011

Obama, Hillary Working Hard to Prop Up Human Rights Demons at the United Nations

For Immediate Release:
Contact:Anne Bayefsky
February 28, 2011

Why are President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton working
so hard to rescue the U.N. Human Rights Council?

Click here to see the article by Anne Bayefsky today on Fox News.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration are on an urgent rescue mission – for the United Nations Human Rights Council. Clinton is not in Geneva today to do something about human rights. She is in Geneva to protect the administration’s investment in the U.N. human rights organization’s top body, which only six months ago welcomed Libya as a full member and only three months ago passed it through its meaningless “universal periodic review” process, touted as its number one monitoring procedure.

Saving the Council’s reputation will be no mean feat. After all, the U.N. has spent years promoting Libya as a human rights authority figure – it was president of its Human Rights Commission in 2003 before being elected to the “reformed” Human Rights Council. Clinton’s trip assumed such urgency because President Obama made the decision to join the Council the flagship of his U.N.-focused foreign policy.

That decision is also in very big trouble for something that happened Thursday of last week and has traveled below the radar screen as the Council and the rest of the U.N. system try to cover-up their support for Qaddafi all these years.

The explicit reason that the administration joined the Council was to engage “from the inside” in a reform process. When the Council was created in 2006 by the General Assembly, it was given five years to review its progress and reform anything found lacking. On Thursday, that review process came to its conclusion – and today Clinton tried to do everything possible to hide its abysmal failure.

The Council has two obvious flaws. Number one it has a standing agenda that governs all of its operations, with ten items on it. One is dedicated to condemning the state of Israel and one is for the remaining 191 UN countries that it might be interested in should it ever decide there was another “human rights situations that require[d] the Council’s attention.” The singular effort to use its so-called human rights system to demonize the Jewish state has been a roaring success. Half of its special sessions on specific countries and half of all its resolutions and decisions critical of any state condemn Israel alone.

Palestinian Arab Self-Determination

Eli E. Hertz
28 February '11

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its Advisory Opinion in the matter of the construction of the "wall" in Judea and Samaria, cites the right to self-determination as a fundamental right almost two dozen times, always in the Palestinian context, never in the Jewish framework.

The Bench even takes the liberty to interpret what Israel's recognition of "Palestinian rights" in a legally-binding accord [Camp David] meant, basing its own interpretation on a declarative statement of sentiment by the United Nation's General Assembly. With no reliance on legal standing, the ICJ says:

"The Israeli‑Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995 also refers a number of times to the Palestinian people and its "legitimate rights." ... The Court considers that those rights include the right to self‑determination, as the General Assembly has moreover recognized on a number of occasions [see, for example, resolution 58/163 of 22 December 2003]."

The ICJ turns General Assembly recognition - this time a March 2004 Resolution recognizing "The right of Palestinian people to self-determination"[1] - into the basis for a legal opinion, ignoring the powers vested [or not vested, as the case may be] in the General Assembly under the UN Charter.

It is instructive to compare such "instant recognition" to the way the Jewish People's right to self-determination, totally ignored by the ICJ, was anchored in a series of genuine international accords.

The British objectives in "mentoring" a national home for the Jewish People under the "Mandate for Palestine" were not based solely on the 1917 Balfour Declaration. While international support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was set in motion by this landmark British policy statement, international intent rested on a solid consensus, expressed in a series of accords and declarations that reflected the "will" of the international community, hardly the product or whim of a colonial empire with its own agenda.

The Mandate itself notes this intent when it cites that the Mandate is based on the agreement of "the Principal Allied Powers" and declares:

"Whereas recognition has therefore been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstructing their national home in that country." [Italics by author]

A June 1922 letter from the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, Winston Churchill, reiterated that:

"The [Balfour] Declaration of 1917 [was] re-affirmed by the Conference of the Principle Allied Powers at San Remo and again in the Treaty of Sevres" ... "the Jewish people ... is in Palestine as a right and not on sufferance. That is the reason why it necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historical connection."

In his first Report of the High Commissioner on the Administration of Palestine 1920-1925 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, published in April 1925, the most senior official of the Mandate for Palestine, the High Commissioner for Palestine, underscored how "international guarantee[s]" for the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine were achieved:

"The Declaration was endorsed at the time by several of the Allied Governments; it was reaffirmed by the Conference of the Principal Allied Powers at San Remo in 1920; it was subsequently endorsed by unanimous resolutions of both Houses of the Congress of the United States; it was embodied in the "Mandate for Palestine" approved by the League of Nations in 1922; it was declared, in a formal statement of policy issued by the Colonial Secretary in the same year, 'not to be susceptible of change;' and it has been the guiding principle in their direction of the affairs of Palestine of four successive British Governments. The policy was fixed and internationally guaranteed."

From Israel: Standing Tough

Arlene Kushner
Arlene from Israel
28 February '11

The international community is forging ahead with those plans to advance "peace negotiations": Later this week, Quartet representatives hope to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials, in Brussels. The goal of these meetings is said to be determination of the position of each side with regard to core issues. Then it is hoped that agreement can be reached on how to resume negotiations.

According to an article in Haaretz, Prime Minister Netanyahu is still debating about whether to send his chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho to this meeting.

His concern is that of being unduly pressured by the international community to restart negotiations based on the '67 armistice line (erroneously referred to as a border). A Quartet summit is scheduled for two weeks from now in Paris, and he is worried about an official statement coming from that meeting.


Currently, Netanyahu is attempting to determine more precisely the purpose of the Brussels meeting via contact with the US administration. He will then call a meeting of the Septet (the inner cabinet of seven) before making a decision.


And so now I think is the appropriate time for us to deliver a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu. He needs to know that he has enormous support if he will stand strong in making decisions that protect Israel's rights. Implore him not to cave to international pressure. Remind him that he must believe in Israel's value to the international community.

Please! Keep this very short and very direct, in a gracious manner. No speeches, no history lessons.

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)

E-mail: and also (underscore after pm) use both addresses


Then, if you are inclined, please send a similar message to the following members of the Septet. This must be done today, if they are meeting tomorrow. Indicate that you are writing with regard to the Septet meeting on Tuesday, at which there will be a discussion about Quartet involvement in the peace process.

In all instances, when faxing from the US: 011-972-2 followed by the regular seven digits.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Fax: 02-640-8921 E-mail:

Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai
Fax: 02-666-2909 E-mail:

Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon
E-mail: (no fax number available)

Minister Benny Begin
E-mail: (no fax number available)


I continue to suspect that the PA will prove to be such a stumbling block to Quartet attempts to bring them to the negotiating table that no advance will be made. They have already decided to go another route (see below).

However, as it continues to be the tendency of the international community to lean on Israel first, there is no need to take unnecessary chances. Pressure on Israel is precisely what the PA would prefer.


Fatah has come out in opposition to the attempts by PA Prime Minister Fayyad to promote unity with Hamas. This is according to Amin Maqboul, secretary-general of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, as cited by Khaled Abu Toameh.

The party, explained Maqboul, objected to two matters in particular: that Fayyad said unity would be declared before all issues were resolved (I had thought that rather strange when he said it, and an indication of Fayyad's desperation), and that Fayyad was willing to allow Hamas to continue to control Gaza (a key stumbling block between the parties previously -- this was Fayyad providing Hamas with huge incentive).

Fayyad is an independent, and not a member of Fatah. Fatah has let it be known that it is within the party's jurisdiction, and not his, to determine reconciliation with Hamas.

Fayyad's rush to unity was motivated, I believe, by the desire to get them to permit elections in Gaza -- something they've said they would not allow until the dispute with Fatah was resolved. Fatah, you see, is in something of a bind. Elections are past due, which makes everything a bit illegitimate (although almost everyone turns a blind eye to this). There is however, no way to allow all Arabs in Palestinian areas to participate in voting as long as Hamas is blocking the way. The election would be very truncated if held under such circumstances.

Fayyad, who has said he is aiming for a Palestinian state by September, was hoping for PA elections by then, to maximize legitimacy.

Of course, the fact that Fayyad's approach to the matter of unity was considered unacceptable by Fatah does not mean they won't have their own approach.

Stay tuned...


Caroline Glick's piece from last Friday, "Playing Israel's good hand," makes several important and highly relevant points.

First of all, she emphasizes precisely the message I've suggested be delivered to Netanyahu:

"As our region is consumed by the flames of rebellion and revolution, the challenges and threats Israel faces multiply by the day. In these new and trying times, our leaders must shed their failed concepts of statecraft based on weakness and adopt new ones founded on strength."

This is THE message that members of our government must hear.

She also takes a closer look at the PA-US relationship:

"The revolution in Egypt happened just after the PA was thrown into a state of disarray. Al- Jazeera’s exposure of PA documents indicating the leadership’s willingness to make minor compromises with Israel in the framework of a peace deal served to discredit Fatah leaders in the eyes of the Israel-hating Palestinian public.

"In the wake of the Al-Jazeera revelations, senior PA leaders escalated their anti-Israel and anti- American pronouncements...

"The shift in the regional power balance following Mubarak’s fall has caused Fatah leaders to view their ties to the US as a strategic liability.

"If they wish to survive, they must cut a deal with Hamas. And to convince Hamas to cut a deal, they need to abandon the US.

"...the likes of Abbas and Fayyad understand that no matter what they say or do, the West will probably not abandon them. Europeans need them to continue carrying out their political war against Israel because that is what their constituents demand. US leaders will continue to support them because they follow Europe’s lead.

"On the other hand...PA leaders have to bend over backwards to appease Hamas and Iran if they wish to survive.

"...not only are the Palestinians unwilling to pay any price for maintaining Western support for them.

"They are willing to initiate ugly confrontations with the US and humiliate Obama in order to win the approval of Hamas and Iran.

"Facing this reality, Israel’s best bet is to initiate a few confrontations of its own to demonstrate its strategic importance to the US and Europe.

"With the conflagrations raging in the Arab world essentially making its argument that a strong Israel is imperative for the West, Israel should be going on the offensive against the Palestinians and the international Left that supports them."

But Netanyahu isn't doing this -- he's too busy being a "team player" and trying to avoid confrontation. Thus is the message to him recommended above extremely timely.


"The Good News Corner"

Especially because we must emphasize reasons to be proud of Israel, I would like to share some lovely observations.

The first is by Charles Moore, writing in The Telegraph (UK):

"It is often said that anti-Israeli feeling is growing in the West because Israel does not, despite its claims, live by Western values. I sometimes wonder if the opposite is the case: Israel, because of the constant threat to its existence, reminds us of the high cost of defending our freedoms. And that, to Western wishful thinkers, is intensely irritating."


And then, from the Harvard Crimson, of all places, comes a piece by Lee M. Hiromoto, "My Israel":

“'Discrimination is built into Israel.' Zionism 'has at its core the replacement of one people with another.'
"These were two claims I heard at a law school panel discussion on 'boycotting the Israeli occupation'... As the speakers attempted to ascertain the best practices for attacking and dismantling the State of Israel, I thought back to the four years I spent there before starting law school last fall.

"The Israel I experienced differed starkly from the fascist dystopia of which the panelists spoke. That Israel, my Israel, hopes for peace with its neighbors and respects the rights of minority groups, sometimes to a greater extent than the U.S. does.

"My military service as a dual citizen gives me great respect for Israel’s deep yearning to co-exist with its Arab neighbors...

"As part of my service, I visited hospitals in Jerusalem where Palestinian children, with Israeli military coordination, receive critical dialysis treatments several times a week (such treatment is unavailable in the West Bank). I saw a Jewish Israeli surgeon, an Apache pilot in the Israel Defense Forces reserves, treat Palestinian, Iraqi, and African children in an intensive care unit. At the crack of dawn I welcomed Palestinian workers to the Israeli community of Qedar outside Jerusalem, where they worked with their Israeli neighbors for much higher wages than they would earn in a Palestinian city.

"The upshot here is that Israel doesn’t have to let thousands of Palestinians, many of whom still deny Israel’s basic right to exist, into its communities for medical care or work (as happens every day). But Israel does."


In line with the above, see this video about Rambam hospital, in Haifa, which treats 700 Palestinian Arab children every year. In this film we see a charming little girl from Gaza whose life was saved by Israeli doctors who did emergency brain surgery on her:


Israel has just brought 23 of the 33 Chilean miners, who had been trapped underground for 68 days, to Israel, with spouses. Guests of the Ministry of Tourism, they were given an opportunity to visit Christian sites, in order to celebrate their faith and offer thanksgiving.

“It is a great honor for us to be here, because the God who rescued us from the bowels of the earth is the God who brought us here, and we are so grateful,” said miner Jose Enriques.

Marc Israel Sellem


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

see my website

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Hamas Co-Founder Mahmoud Al Zahar shares his thoughts

28 February '11

From IsraeliGirl: is a recent speech of Mahmoud al-Zahar. Hear the words of the co-founder of Hamas as he refers to the Jews "they became corrupt, committed crimes, stole and plundered, did every forbidden thing... I ask myself and the leaders of Europe and the USA, why do we support the Jews? Is it because they are persecuted people? That lie has already failed.."


In times of change it's very easy to turn to hate and incitement to rally your people. As the region struggles for freedom and democracy we in urge you all to remember that Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups do not represent freedom.

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Controversial New Olympic Logo (In the beginning....)

In the beginning.......

1st Youtube and commentary
June 6, 2007

The new logo for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games was launched in by Sebastian Coe and a team of London 2012 ambassadors.

The spiky logo, a stylised image of the number 2012, is part of a £500,000 branding of the Games. Sebastian Coe, chairman of the 2012 organising committee Locog, said at the design's launch in north London that it was part of a desire to encourage young people to get involved in the event.

Described by its designers as "youthful and exciting", the emblem cost £400,000 to produce and features four striking blocks of colour that spell out the number 2012. The emblem also includes the Olympic Rings and the word 'London'.

The logo, which comes in magenta, pink, orange and green, is the first in recent years not to include a reference to the host nation's national colours or flag. Although it incorporates the word "London", it lacks the implied patriotism of the Beijing 2008 or Athens 2004 logos, which used red and white, and blue and white respectively.

Chris Bray, director of Logo Design, one of Britain's most experienced oldest graphic design companies, , said: "I don't understand what it is ... oh I see ... it makes a rather pathetic 2012. Well that's rubbish isn't it?"

His feelings were echoed by the design guru Stephen Bayley, founder of the Design Museum, who said: "It is a puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal. It is feeble. It was a wonderful chance to do something magnificent and it was a waste of resources."

However, with a little bit of imagination, well maybe ......

Nov. 11,2010

Here we go...... Iran complains that London 2012 Olympic logo spells "Zion"

Click here as Elder of Ziyon brings us the latest details.

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Absence of outrage

Michael Coren
QMI Agency
26 February '11

Where's the fire directed (falsely) at Israel as despots kill, torture?

In 2002, the Israeli army entered Jenin in the West Bank as part of their reaction to the second Intifada.

Numerous terror attacks had been launched from the town, including the killing of innocent women and children. There was heavy resistance, but by the end of the engagement 52 Palestinians were killed, almost all of them members of the military. Twenty-three Israeli soldiers were also killed.

Within hours of the battle, Jenin was described as a massacre, and newspapers, television shows, human-rights groups and even governments were condemning Israel as having committed a war crime.

The BBC claimed almost 200 Palestinians had died and the Palestinians themselves assured the world the number was many times that estimate. CNN conducted an interview where its audience was told 500 unarmed Palestinians were dead.

The usual hysterical demonstrations took place, where Muslim radicals and leftist activists took to the streets in Europe and North America, and liberal media expressed incredulity at the sadism of Israeli soldiers. Then the detailed reports appeared, revealing most of the figures were untrue and no massacre occurred.

This was the verdict of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, hardly friends of the Jewish state.

I write this because in the past few weeks we have seen genuine massacres and gruesome brutality. Thousands of people have now been murdered by Arab and Iranian governments and Arab and Iranian soldiers. In Libya, ordinary mourners attending the funerals of people shot dead in the streets were themselves targeted by snipers.

In Bahrain, the police and army killed unarmed people merely asking for the right to vote. In Egypt there was the execution of demonstrators, the torture and beating of protesters, and the kidnapping and murder of apolitical Christians — this occurred during the so-called secular revolution, but was hardly mentioned in the media.

In Iran, a psychotic regime once again shot down ordinary people in the street; in Tunisia, there was gross violence and fatal shootings; and in Yemen, Jordan and Syria, political dissidents were arrested and have disappeared. Note that while some of these governments are pro-western, this cannot be said of Iran, Syria, or Libya.

Yet where are the massive street protests in Europe’s large cities? Where are the calls to boycott countries? Where are the labour unions demanding action? Where are the student groups using words like “apartheid” and “Nazi”? Where are the moralistic editorials condemning Arab intolerance, Islamic barbarism and the need for Arab countries to be banned from international sporting, cultural and literary events?

All of that is said about Israel, whether it engages in conflict or not. When it responds to the slaughter of its children, it is labelled a terrorist state, and when it allows its people to settle in lands that are historically Jewish, the religion of Judaism is spoken of as archaic. Retired Israeli generals travelling to London or Madrid to raise money for handicapped children are told they may be arrested on landing, Israeli athletes are promised death if they dare to appear alongside “civilized” rivals.

The bigots, the blind, the barbarous and the bullies have formed a coalition. Know them and expose them, before it’s too late.

Read Michael Coren’s blog at

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Is J Street pro-peace?

Jason Edelstein
Israel Opinion/Ynet
Published: 02.27.11,7340,L-4034916,00.html

Op-ed: J Street’s embrace of fringe elements, BDS supporters exposes its true character

J Street, which prides itself as the “pro-Israel, pro-Peace” movement, has organized an annual conference that shatters the validity of this characterization. By hosting speakers like political activist Mustafa Barghouti, a leader in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, and Michael Sfard, who promotes lawfare cases against Israeli officials, J Street demonstrates that the term “pro-peace” no longer applies to the organization.

By opening its doors to “one-staters” and BDS activists, the organization has been left with no relevant identity and has disappointed individuals who wanted a strong, “center-left” voice on US-Israel-Palestinian relations.

A year and a half ago, J Street was in a different position. The October 2009 conference included center and center-left politicians and government officials. A total of 148 Members of Congress served on J Street’s host committee and 44 members of Congress attended the Gala Dinner. General Jim Jones, President Obama’s National Security Advisor, addressed the conference.

By Washington benchmarks, J Street was quickly achieving significant and mainstream influence. However, that conference also marked the beginning of political missteps and PR disasters, causing J Street to lose both momentum and key supporters.

In 2010, The Washington Times revealed that J street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami lied about George Soros’s three-year, $750,000 contribution. J Street also lied about its role in facilitating “meetings between members of Congress and South African Judge Richard Goldstone” to promote his report on the Gaza war. Notably, the report’s conclusions about casualty claims in Gaza have been discredited.

Similarly, careful research has revealed the true nature of many J Street partners: Anti-peace, anti-two-states. In February 2010, J Street co-sponsored a congressional mission to Israel with Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). CMEP’s website features the “KAIROS Palestine Document,” which explicitly promotes BDS against Israel, a movement whose leaders call for the elimination of Israel.

Later that year, J Street and J Street U organized a “number of events around the country featuring UNRWA’s Gaza Director John Ging, who expressed support for flotillas to Gaza one week before the “Free Gaza” flotilla initiated a violent confrontation with the Israeli navy, resulting in nine deaths.

J Street’s latest misstep – opposing an American veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel – caused Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) to disassociate himself from the organization and note that J Street it not “a smart, credible, politically active organization that is as aggressively pro-peace as it is pro-Israel.”

De-legitimization fans welcome

Unfortunately, the 2011 conference speakers show who remains in J Street’s tent. Mustafa Barghouti takes part in BDS activities, uses “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” rhetoric, and refers to “Israeli Bantustans” and “Ghettos.” He also has proclaimed that “there’s no use in meetings with Israelis and there is no peace partner in Israel.”

Another speaker, Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voices for Peace (a misleading name in its own right), is actively involved in the BDS movement and vigorously defends the legitimacy of hate-filled, if not anti-Semitic, BDS campaigns. Vilkomerson also states that “Jewish Voice for Peace cannot be enthusiastic about US-brokered peace talks that actually perpetuate the occupation.”

J Street’s conference also will host Michael Sfard, the legal representative for Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and many other Israeli NGOs. Sfard promotes lawfare cases against Israeli officials, and has testified as a paid expert witness on behalf of the PLO in a lawsuit brought by victims of terror attacks perpetrated by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. He also is a member of the “Support Committee” for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a mock court putting Israel and its allies “on trial.” The framework, in keeping with the “Durban strategy,” calls for “existing legal actions and campaigns in the context of BDS to be stepped up and widened within the EU and globally.” Sfard also “testified” at this kangaroo court.

These speakers and their organizations engage in activities that work against peace and mutual understanding. More specifically, they participate and advocate in the de-legitimization campaign conceptualized at the 2001 Durban Conference. Ironically, J Street claims to oppose this campaign, but now provides a platform for its leaders.

J Street’s conference is the manifestation of its trend towards these fringe positions, thus forcing out Rep. Ackerman and many others who shared his views on the US-Israel relationship. The conference has been relegated to a gathering of Jeremy Ben-Ami’s NGO network, including New Israel Fund, where he served as communications director, and Yesh Din, with which he is closely associated.

J Street’s tag line led with “pro-Israel,” but was most identifiable with the “pro-peace” camp. J Street should reach out to members of Congress and others in the pro-Israel community and state that it no longer will build relationships and provide credibility to Israel’s de-legitimizers. There is nothing wrong with being “pro-Israel, pro-Peace.” J Street is neither.

Jason Edelstein is communications director of Jerusalem based-research institution NGO Monitor

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The debauching of the LSE

Melanie Phillips
26 February '11

The Times (£) reports that half the board of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics, which has received money from Libya among other Arab dictatorships, has called for a boycott of Israel, the one democracy in the Middle East.

It figures.

Now, apparently, there are some red faces:

The university has already been urged by its own dons to give up the £300,000 it received from a foundation headed by the son of Colonel Gaddafi. Howard Davies, the LSE director, is said to have told academics this week that he was ashamed of the institution’s links to the dictatorship.

Questions have been emerging about the LSE’s wider reliance on finance from authoritarian regimes. One of its lecture halls has been named in honour of a sheikh reputed to have promoted anti-Semitic material.

An academic source said the university has become nervous about being seen as anti-Israel because of a threat to donations from American alumni.

Fresh concerns are focused on the LSE’s Middle East Centre. The body was designed to promote impartiality, academic freedom and the strengthening of links with universities in the region. But critics point out that two of the four-strong management group are campaigners for an academic boycott of Israel.

Martha Mundy, an anthropologist, is co-convener of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine. John Chalcraft, a politics expert, argued for boycotting Israel in a debate at the LSE last month. The motion was defeated. The centre was set up with £9.2 million which came partly from the Emirates Foundation, which is chaired by the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, a member of the ruling Royal Family. Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister when it was established in 2006, attended the signing of a ‘memorandum of understanding’.

Students objected to the subsequent naming of a lecture theatre in honour of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the late UAE ruler. Their union said: ‘To name [the theatre] after a dead dictator with suspected links to Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism is completely beyond the pale.’

Professor Mundy told The Times that the centre took extreme care to maintain the highest standards of scholarship and non-partisanship. She said she had called for ‘academics to avoid, as individuals, work with Israeli academic institutions, not with individual Israeli academics’.

An appreciation of satire is clearly not one of Prof Mundy’s strongest suits.

Note that there is no question of the LSE being embarrassed because what it has done is totally immoral. No question of it being shame-faced because of the way it has destroyed all claim to dispassionate scholarship and the pursuit of truth. A belated fit of conscience? Hardly. LSE Director Howard Davies appears rather to be embarrassed only because the balloon has finally gone up over Gaddafi’s tyranny. And the LSE is apparently only nervous about being seen as anti-Israel

because of a threat to donations from American alumni.

That so? Wonder to what particular ethnic group that particular gem is supposed to refer? Just in case anyone might run away with the idea that the Arab lobby might have a rather bigger impact, eh?

Thus not just the LSE but swathes of the British academy have debauched the very notion of education, having lent themselves to libelling, delegitimising and demonising the victim of genocidal aggression in the Middle East while pocketing funding from the Arab world from which this poison unremittingly pours. This gross corruption of academic standards, and with it the mindset of the intelligentsia, sits at the very heart of the British derangement over Israel. It is truly a disgusting spectacle.

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Quotes of the day (two, from one excellent analytical article)

Arnold/Frimet Roth
This Ongoing War
27 February '11

The "liberal" son of the embattled Libyan tyrant Muammar al-Gaddafi

"...appeared on Libyan television to say that his father's gunmen would fight to the last bullet to keep the Gaddafi crime family in business, a promise he is keeping. The thinking behind so many who flattered him was that the only issue in the Middle East worth taking a stand on was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the oppression of Arabs by Arabs was a minor concern."

This comes from a thoughtful op-ed by Nick Cohen in the Guardian: "Our absurd obsession with Israel is laid bare: The Middle East meant only Israel to many. Now the lives of millions of Arabs have been brought to Europe's attention"

Same article, second quote:

"The European Union, which did so much to export democracy and the rule of law to former communist dictatorships of eastern Europe, has played a miserable role in the Middle East. It pours in aid but never demands democratisation or restrictions on police powers in return. That will have to change if the promise of the past month is to be realised. If it is to help with democracy-building, Europe will need to remind itself as much as the recipients of its money that you can never build free societies on the racist conspiracy theories of the Nazis and the tsars. They are and always have been the tunes that tyrants sing.

The full Guardian article is here.

We're not so naive as to think the immoral pouring of vast resources into the maw of the Palestinian Arab kleptocracy is going to change just because it turns out that this is no way to build a democratic society that respects basic human values and human rights.

Nor is there any reason to think that those who watched over a period of decades what the Arab tyrants and other forces of repression in the Islamic world have wrought will do some soul searching and reach operative conclusions. The world and international relations have never worked that way.

At best, we're hoping that people who express strongly-held opinions about the events that shape our day to day life in this special region will possess the intellectual honesty and good sense to pause; to at least acknowledge that somewhere in among the torrent of images and reports and data pouring out of Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Iran, Oman, Syria, Lebanon and the others in these past tumultuous weeks there are some kernels of insight and even truth that deserve some examination.

Then again, this is the Middle East.

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The Importance of Being Rosalind Levy

Adam Levick
CiF Watch
27 February '11

Back in November 2010, I wrote a post about the disproportionate number of anti-Israel letters published in the Guardian. Nothing much has changed on that front, of course, but a belated comment recently appeared on the defunct thread from a signatory of one of the letters mentioned in the article – a Ms. Rosalind Levy.

Rosalind Levy:

I am disappointed to see that you neither got my full name nor any of my affiliations : (Labour Party, Amnesty, Co-op, JFJFP, JBig).
I am furious to be described as anti Israeli, I am not. I am anti the current government in the same way that I am anti the current government of Zimbabwe. I am anti the shitty things that the administration does, particularly because as a jew it is assumed they are done in my name and I support them. David Beauvais has said it for me.

Had the (self-Googling?) Ms. Levy bothered to click upon the supplied link to the original letter as published in the Guardian she would have seen that her name appears there exactly in the format in which it was reproduced in the post: Ros Levy. Complaints should therefore be addressed either to the Guardian or to herself for signing it in that way.

As for Ms. Levy’s ‘affiliations’, they too were not mentioned in the original letter and to be frank, it really is just too tedious to waste time investigating the background of every one of the handful of members of such insignificant fringe groups as JfJfP, JBig and such like, particularly as the same names tend to crop up like mushrooms after the rain whenever a new one of these groups is launched. However, seeing as Ms. Levy herself has brought the subject into the public arena, let’s take a closer look at some of her objections.

The core argument she presents is the following:

“I am anti the current government in the same way that I am anti the current government of Zimbabwe.”

Leaving aside the repugnant and unserious comparison of Israel to Zimbabwe, that argument can of course only begin to hold water on the day that we see Ms. Levy’s signature on the launch of JfJfZ (Jews for Justice for Zimbabweans) or JBzg (Jews for boycotting Zimbabwean goods). Naturally, one doubts that the prefix ‘Jews for’ would make any impression whatsoever in campaigns relating to any subject other than Israel – maybe Ms. Levy should ask herself exactly why that should be the case.

In addition, Ms. Levy has been busy signing a plethora of anti-Israeli letters and petitions for several years – long before the current Israeli government came to office – and so her claim to be ‘anti the current government’ is obviously dishonest.

One also wonders whether Ms. Levy has used her affiliation to the discredited Amnesty International to try to get the subject of Zimbabwe discussed at least once at the UN Human Rights Council (I appreciate that it must be very difficult to find a time-slot in among all the relentless discussion of Israel, but even so…) or to get some much-needed balance in their reporting so that the number of reports and press releases might actually reflect the regions of the world with the greatest abuses of personal liberties and worst loss of life.

Likewise, Ms. Levy’s declared ‘affiliation’ to the Co-op could maybe prompt her to demand from that company that its bank cease to provide services to ‘Viva Palestina’ which, contrary to British law, has provided material and cash aid to a proscribed terrorist organization which targets Israel’s civilian population – a clear and evident war crime.

(Read full "The Importance of Being Rosalind Levy")

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The Guardian Aligned Itself with the Autocrats on Israel

Alana Goodman
27 February '11

This headline in the Guardian commentary section may have caused some to do a double-take this morning: “Our absurd obsession with Israel is laid bare.” Sadly, it wasn’t the title of a long-overdue introspective editorial by the Guardian staff. But it was something almost as good — an excellent column by Nick Cohen about how the Israel-centric view of the Middle East has been discredited by recent events. And there was really no better place for it to be published than in the Guardian’s exceedingly anti-Israel Comment-is-free section.

The Guardian’s predilection for over-the-top anti-Israel commentary has been well-documented. It’s editorial board has taken views similar to Hamas’s on the peace process, it has published letters applauding terrorism against Israelis, and it recently printed a highly offensive cartoon of President Mahmoud Abbas dressed up like an Orthodox Jew.

And while Guardian editors may equate their anti-Israel views with anti-imperialism, Cohen points out in his column that the demonization of Israel has actually helped keep the autocratic leaders of the Muslim world in power:

Far from being a cause of the revolution, antagonism to Israel everywhere served the interests of oppressors. Europeans have no right to be surprised. Of all people, we ought to know from our experience of Nazism that antisemitism is a conspiracy theory about power, rather than a standard racist hatred of poor immigrants. Fascistic regimes reached for it when they sought to deny their own people liberty. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the forgery the far-right wing of the decaying tsarist regime issued in 1903 to convince Russians they should continue to obey the tsar’s every command, denounces human rights and democracy as facades behind which the secret Jewish rulers of the world manipulated gullible gentiles.

The Guardian has been one of the loudest and most reliable mouthpieces of anti-Israel propaganda in the media. Perhaps Cohen’s column will finally cause readers to pause and consider who is actually benefiting from the paper’s editorial slant.

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Deciphering German foreign policy toward Israel and Iran

Benjamin Weinthal
JPost International
02/27/2011 03:43

Analysis: The so-called German-Israeli ‘special relationship’ is clouded by Berlin’s tight relations with Tehran.

BERLIN – In the span of 48 hours last week, the German Foreign Ministry supported a Lebanese sponsored UN Security Council resolution which condemned Israeli settlement construction as “illegal,” and its top diplomat, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran at a time when the US and many EU countries are seeking to isolate Iran’s leaders as pariahs.

How to make sense of what many critics say is a flurry of German anti-Israel UN activity coupled with their claims of a callous posture from the country’s Foreign Ministry toward the Iranian regime’s violent repression of its country’s pro-democracy movement?

Let’s first dissect the UN vote. The Jerusalem Post learned from Israeli diplomatic sources before the UN vote that Yoram Ben-Zeev, Israel’s Ambassador to Berlin, was under the fairly certain impression that the Germans would join the Americans and prevent another diplomatic assault on the Jewish state at the UN. While Germany is not a permanent member of the Security Council, the Federal Republic, like Lebanon, is a non-standing member of the Council. There are currently 15 Security Council members, of which 14 voted against Israel.

Israeli diplomatic officials said they wish to remained unnamed because of the high sensitivity associated with the UN vote.

When asked about the German vote on Monday, an Israeli diplomat in Berlin declined to comment on the strong assurance that Germany would fall in line with the US veto. The diplomat, however, played down Germany’s backtracking, and chalked it up to EU policy conformity against the construction of Israeli housing in the disputed territories.

According to a Ha’aretz last week, Germany’s decision to join the UN diplomatic attack on Israel prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to express his displeasure and disappointment with Germany’s vote during a Monday telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. An unnamed “senior German source” leaked the content of the conversation.

According to the German source, Merkel responded to Netanyahu, saying “How dare you,” and “You are the one who disappointed us. You haven’t made a single step to advance peace.”