There are several reasons to welcome George Bush's re-election. Aside from his firm resolve in dealing with international terror, his decision to sideline Yasser Arafat has been a triumph of realism. In addition, his administration will not ignore Tehran's emerging nuclear aspirations. Our policy of engagement with Iran's rogue regime, with its links to international terrorism, has been ineffective and if military action becomes necessary, I hope our government will support its ally both politically and militarily.
MORE MURKY MYTHOLOGY 02 September 2004
Ms Maccoby’s tirade against Israel is sadly based on outdated and erroneous revisionism. Her view that the Palestinian Arabs were ‘reluctant to give away half their country’ is puzzling as there never was a Palestinian country to be given away. Instead Palestine was a former administrative unit of the Ottoman Empire, transferred legally to the mandatory control of Britain, who had an internationally recognized obligation to facilitate a Jewish homeland. The resultant state was less than 20%, and not 78%, of the original mandate area. Ms Maccobi misses the point about Palestinian ‘reluctance’. The Palestinian Arab leadership rejected every attempt at partition, even when the proposed Jewish state was a tiny enclave, as in the Peel proposals. Clearly, one square inch of Jewish sovereignty in this area was anathema to the Arab leadership. The charge of ethnic cleansing in 1948 is equally fallacious for, as even Benny Morris admits, the flight of Palestinians before June 1948 resulted from numerous complex factors resulting from the war. While undoubtedly true that the IDF cleared some Palestinian villages out of military necessity, it is absurd to think that this was tantamount to a plan of aggression against the indigenous population. The real ethnic cleansing, of course, would have resulted from an Arab defeat of Israel. We should all welcome a meaningful peace process but this will not be achieved by believing a distorted reading of the past.
UN IS A THEATRE OF THE ABSURD 27 August 2004
We may be in the middle of our ‘silly season’ but at the United Nations, there is no other season to talk of. Despite finally condemning the iniquities in Sudan, the UN’s main focus this summer has been the Israeli fence. How truly pernicious, we are told, for a country to prevent mass murder on its own doorstep! The one thing that Israel can never complain about is inconsistent treatment. After all, it has been consistently denied a voice on the Security Council and has never properly sat on a UN regional body. It has been branded a racist state while simultaneously accused of the blood libel. Israel bashing has become the number one hobby of the General Assembly, which scarcely gets called in emergency session for anything else. If Israel did not exist, it would be necessary to invent her. The plethora of anti Israeli resolutions has stemmed, not from the unbiased perception of Israel’s pariah status, but from an insatiable Arab-Third World bloc intent on delegitimising the Jewish state. This reflects an Alice in Wonderland mentality where black is white, true is false and reason is irrational. This is not so much the United Nations as ‘Utter Nonsense’. But then could there be a more appropriate description for the duplicitous, self serving hypocrisy that infects this body? It is time for the men in grey suits to come to their senses. Until then, their organization will remain a ‘theatre of the absurd.’
NUT TIT FOR TAT 30 April 2004
The national union of teachers deems it appropriate to criticise Israeli policy during their conference. Israel should reciprocate, and offer to debate our government's proposals for drug testing in schools.
KILROY-SILK AND THE BBC 20 February 2004
The real issue with Robert Kilroy Silk's sacking is not freedom of speech but the BBC's integrity as a public service broadcaster. As Jenny Tonge found to her cost, people in responsible public positions cannot expect to use their freedom of speech with impunity. If Kilroy had written a genuinely racist diatribe, the BBC would surely have been right to oust him for violating standards of objectivity and impartiality. However, the article, though clumsily written, was primarily intended as a criticism of Arab governments rather than the imperfections of Arab people. His comments hardly appear motivated by race hate. In this light, Kilroy's sacking appears unjust, dangerous and foolish. However, the BBC could and should have acted against Tom Paulin after his outrageous incitement to the racial murder of American Jews. By refusing to do so, the BBC is guilty, at best, of double standards and, at worst, of pandering to a dubious pan Arabist agenda in which expressions of anti semitic prejudice matter less than the milder criticism of Arab states. Either way, the spotlight must now fall on the BBC's integrity rather than on Kilroy's views.
IRAN'S REJECTION OF AID 02 January 2004
Iran’s rejection of Israeli aid following the earthquake is a predictable manifestation of Islamic fanaticism. By refusing help from a country with a proven record of international disaster relief, Tehran has put its hate inspired ideology before basic humanitarian considerations. Repellent anti semitism has long been fundamental to Islamic extremism and in Iran, it is a springboard for policy than civilian suffering. Those clear sighted Palestinians, who have long been used as pawns by their Arab brethren, should see a familiar pattern of behaviour here.