CRISIS CAUSED BY TEDDY BEAR 13 December 2007

Dear Sir,

”Britain has also enjoyed close relations with Sudan for many years based on our mutual respect for each other's religious and cultural values.” These were the words of David Miliband last week in a rather shabby and craven display of appeasement. Just what ‘respect’ did he have in mind, one wonders? Did he respect the fact that a dedicated teacher was arrested and imprisoned under Sudan’s grim sharia laws, and then needed protection from a frenzied mob? Did he really think that Britain had anything in common with a fascistic regime that had committed genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur? Yet these were the depths of prostration to which he was prepared to sink. No doubt the Miliband supporters will produce their own counter blast. We had to win over Sudanese hearts and minds, they might say, as any assertiveness by our government, any expulsion of diplomats or any threat of force, would only have encouraged more aggression from Khartoum. Hence the sickening, gutless statement mentioned above. But this is a tragically misguided view. The Sudanese regime, like all Islamist governments, thrives on our weakness, not our strength. They believe that as long as we offer a lily livered response to intimidation and barbarism, they have a free hand to defy the world over Darfur. In other words, they will show the very same kind of defiance that you get every day from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. British ministers think that if we are nice enough to our enemies, they will eventually give in to our entreaties. Sadly, appeasement always carries a heavy price.

IRVING & GRIFFIN AT OXFORD UNION 30 November 2007

Dear Sir,

The Oxford Union’s students should be hanging their heads in shame after allowing David Irving and Nick Griffin to address the Union. Their decision has brought this great academic institution to its knees with one savage, self inflicted wound. President Luke Tryl tried to justify his invitation by arguing that denying these two a platform would make them free speech martyrs. This is a wholly misguided observation. Irving and Griffin will continue to claim ‘martyrdom’ for as long as they are (rightly) denounced as extremists spouting pernicious drivel. And they are perfectly free to spout pernicious drivel so long as they do not flout our incitement laws. What Mr. Tryl ignores is that denying these men a platform at Oxford is very different to censoring them. As Julian Lewis MP rightly remarked: “It's not an issue of free speech to offer someone a privileged platform from a prestige organisation." The Oxford Union should be hosting speakers who respect the rigour of academic debate, not those who denigrate it. Irving is a proven ‘falsifier’ of history and a manipulator of the historical record. Nick Griffin has described the Holocaust as a ‘Holohoax’ and written a pamphlet alleging Jewish control of the British media. Both men are trapped by their own paranoid conspiracy theories in which ‘malevolent’ Jewry plays centre stage. They are utterly divorced from reality and rational argument and scarcely deserve to parade their warped views on such a respectable stage. But instead of grasping this point, these irresponsible, lazy students have chosen the Bollinger path of misguided liberalism and enhanced the standing of two leading fascists. Their actions have irreparably tarnished the reputation of a renowned institution.

PESSIMISM OVER ANNAPOLIS 01 November 2007

Dear Sir,

The latest round in the interminable saga known as ‘the Middle East peace process’ will soon descend upon us, courtesy of the proposed Annapolis peace conference. But can any sane person imagine that this will herald the end of the conflict? Certainly we can all agree that Palestinian life is miserable and that the status quo cannot continue. But if the Palestinian President’s signature is Israel’s best guarantee of security, this conference will be an exercise in futility. Abu Mazen remains adamant on the bogus ‘right of return’ for Palestinians, an absurdity given that this confers refugee status on 4 million people when only a tiny fraction ever left ‘Palestine.’ We know, and he knows, that implementing this right of return will lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state. In this sense, he is little different to Yasser Arafat. But even if Mazen dropped this ludicrous claim, his commitment to a two- state solution would be fraught with problems. Hamas would ultimately view a peace settlement as an act of apostasy and exploit a heaven sent opportunity to weaken Israel further. And after the events of June, when Hamas overran Fatah in Gaza, Mazen can hardly posture as a reliable bulwark against Islamists. Were there to be a Hamas inspired coup in the West Bank, Israel would face Islamists on its Eastern, Western and Northern borders. Under these circumstances, the Arab peace pledges would be as worthwhile as Hitler’s signature on the Munich agreement. Abu Mazen is a man we can trust, so we are told. Why then has he failed to stop the ferocious anti-semitic incitement pouring out from Palestinian schools and newspapers? These are, after all, the engines of hatred that have bred a generation of malevolent suicide bombers. Is the President powerless to intervene, or is he merely indifferent? Neither answer seems palatable. But even if the Israelis had a serious peace partner, there remains the threat from Iran. We have ample evidence from the last year of how Iran’s terrorist proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, can inflict grave and sustained damage on the Jewish state. In any military showdown with Iran, its fanatical president would hardly refrain from causing maximum havoc on every front possible, effectively scuppering any peace deal. As usual the optimists will hail Annapolis as a breakthrough for both sides. But until the Arab and Muslim parties address the root cause of this conflict, namely their own intransigent rejection of Jewish sovereignty in the region, this peace conference, like all the others, will grind to a halt.

AHMADINEJAD AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 11 October 2007 Dear Sir There are times when one can only weep at America’s self-inflicted wounds. The invitation extended by Columbia University to President Ahmadinejad last week is a case in point (Jewish News, 2 October). In a statement issued before Ahmadinejad’s appearance, University President Bollinger defended the controversial invitation by saying it was necessary to confront beliefs, ‘many, most or even all of us will find offensive and even odious’. But this only works when someone plays by the rules, and Ahmadinejad does not. His answers to questions on the Holocaust, Israel, homosexuality and nuclear weapons were characterised by euphemism and evasion. Instead of repeating his view of the Holocaust as a myth, he merely said there was a need for ‘research’ and asked why the Palestinian people were ‘paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with.’ He did not repeat his desire to see Israel ‘wiped off the map’ but had the gall to describe his ‘solution’ to the ‘Palestinian plight’ as a ‘humanitarian and a democratic proposal.’ He condemned the refusal to grant Iran nuclear status so long as the US and other powers had nuclear weapons. Far from being held to account, Ahmadinejad merely played on people’s hatred of the Bush regime and its support for Israel. Furthermore President Bollinger hardly considered how his ferocious (but justified) introductory remarks would play out in the Islamic world. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency on 1 October, the ‘behaviour of chancellor of Columbia University showed who advocates peace and who is looking for hostility and sedition.’ No doubt this speech will add to the regime’s ammunition of propaganda against the West. President Bollinger can cite the First Amendment all he likes. But to give a soapbox to a ranting demagogue and religious fanatic, at a time of heightened tension between the USA and Iran, was self indulgent liberalism of the most harmful kind.

HOPES FOR PEACE ARE MISGUIDED 28 June 2007

Dear Sir,

A week after the Hamas coup in Gaza, a number of optimists have suggested that the two state solution is finally on the cards. Despite Palestinian and Arab rejectionism going back 60 years, most notably in 1999-2000, the belief still persists that a negotiated settlement can be made between Israel and the current Fatah leadership. But this strategy is rather short sighted in light of recent events. Abu Mazen is moderate in only an artificial sense. While not espousing the destruction of Israel for Western ears, he repeatedly promises his people a ‘right of return’ as part of the peace process. This is also a key part of the Saudi peace plan which he accepted. With 4 million alleged refugees returning to Israel, it won’t be long before the Zionist dream judders to a grinding halt and Israel becomes just another Arab state. Meanwhile in the ‘moderate’ West Bank, children go to nurseries, preschools, classrooms and summer camps to be indoctrinated in Jew hatred and jihadist warfare. Nothing is done to stop this grotesque form of child abuse which only serves to recruit more terrorist murders. Above all, the ‘moderate’ Abbas has conspicuously failed to stamp out the Hamas menace in Gaza. Even if he wanted to destroy his rivals with all the weapons at his disposal, his forces are simply not up to the task. In any case, the option for a two state solution is no longer in Palestinian hands. The Middle East’s two leading rogue states, Syria and Iran, increasingly call the tune in the territories, with Hamas merely another front in Iran’s battle with the West. Some reports even suggest that the Iranians ordered the takeover two weeks ago to distract attention from its nuclear program. There can be no long term solution to the disputed territories without ending the threat from these two regimes.

LEBANON REVEALS DOUBLE STANDARDS 31 May 2007

Dear Sir,

The Lebanese army's recent clash with Fatah-Al-Islam is highly significant. Left unchecked, these extremists would spread their lethal brand of religious fanaticism to other groups, destabilising the country and presenting a grave threat to the Lebanese government. Prime Minister Siniora's vow to 'eliminate the Fatah al-Islam phenomenon' demands the support of all the moderates who are seeking to eliminate the cancer of radical Islam. Yet despite the inevitable civilian casualties and the exodus of innocent Palestinians, there is little vilification of the Lebanese government. MPs are neither demanding a UN Commission of Inquiry nor denouncing 'disproportionate' tactics, civilian massacres or 'genocide'. Clearly this unbalanced and intemperate language can only be reserved for her neighbour to the south.

SAUDI PEACE PLAN IS A THREAT TO ISRAEL 18 May 2007

Dear Sir,

A lot has been made of the recent Saudi sponsored peace plan for the Middle East. The plan calls on Israel to withdraw entirely from the occupied territories, returning in effect to the 1949 ceasefire lines and allowing for the ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees. Israel would have to accept an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital for which, in return, she would receive ‘normalized’ relations with the Arab world. There is a slight hitch - it offers peace for everyone except Israel! In the first instance, the request for an Israeli pullback to the 1949 armistice lines is wildly unrealistic. These borders would invite attack from Israel’s rejectionist enemies, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Al Qaeda among others. As for the Palestinian refugees, the Arab peace plan offers no more than an apparently respectable formula for the end of Zionism. As of 2003 the number of Palestinian refugees on UNRWA rolls was in excess of 4 million and if Israel, in an act of national suicide, were to allow these Palestinians back, she would soon rapidly become another of the Middle East’s Arab states. As it is, this refugee figure is obviously bogus for it assumes that all the descendants of the original refugees are themselves refugees deserving of the same compensation and ‘right to return’. According to most historical estimates, the total number of Palestinian refugees from 1948 numbers no more than 700,000 and, as we know, most (though not all) were not even physically expelled by the IDF. The Arab plan says nothing about the more than 750,000 Jews who were forced to flee Arab countries after 1948. In any case the Hamas Government headed by Ismail Haniyeh has not signed up to the plan. So at a stroke, Israel is being asked to accept a Palestinian state on its borders, cutting deep into its territory, and which is headed by a government which not only seeks its destruction but which officially encourages the demonization of Jewry worldwide. Not such a great deal after all.

RICHARD BURDEN'S TALKS WITH HAMAS 22 February 2007

Dear Sir,

Mr Burden ought to have looked more closely at the Hamas charter before offering us his misguided advice. In section 13, which deals with peace conferences, you read the following: 'The so-called peaceful solutions...to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement'. It goes on to say, amid a torrent of anti semitic abuse, that 'renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion'. Hamas plays a clever, tactical game by offering an open ended hudna or ceasefire. By making an apparent gesture of peace, they are putting pressure on Israel to make concessions while buying time to rebuild their own shattered strength. No amount of wishful thinking or Western intervention will alter the fact that long term, Hamas remains ideologically committed to eradicating the Jewish state. After all, when you believe that the ethnic cleansing of the Jews is a divine command, you don't allow an inconvenient peace process to get in your way, especially one concocted by the 'Great Satan' overseas. For Hamas, the indulgence of some of our MPs is just another sign of the weakness, naivety and irresolution of the West, a conclusion that is increasingly hard to dispute. He ends his piece by saying that the challenge is to make peace between enemies, not friends. Here I can only paraphrase Prof. Daniel Pipes: one should never make peace with one's enemies, only one's former enemies.

INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICES 16 February 2007

Dear Sir,

Let’s start with the obvious. Firstly, the Independent Jewish Voices are not a persecuted body of dissenters. As far as I am aware, no one stops these individuals from disseminating their views, as any Guardian reader will tell you. Instead they are a group of disgruntled attention seekers falsely claming to be a stifled minority. Secondly, as one reads their advertisement, one is hard pressed to disagree with most of what they write. Which Jews do not hope that Israelis and Palestinians can live ‘peaceful and secure lives’ or that the Middle East can be free from racism? But this is a clever ruse designed to mask their real agenda. For these principles are ‘contradicted’ when Jewish groups ‘consistently put support for the policies of an occupying power above the human rights of an occupied people.’ If they are right, the battle against racism and for peace is undermined, not by the Islamists like Hamas and Ahmadinejad, but by the Israeli occupation. In effect, they are declaring that unless Jews actively and publicly oppose the Israeli government, they cannot claim to be committed to peace or anti racism, a charge that is as ignorant as it is obscene. It won’t be long before they call themselves ‘the new Jews.’ Far from being the victims here, this group seeks to victimise anyone who disagrees with them. As for their perspective on the occupation, the nuance is conspicuous by its absence. There is no admission that the perilous position of the Palestinians is largely self inflicted. There is nothing about the barrage of Palestinian rocket attacks following Israel’s handover of territory in 2005. They fail to grasp that the reason why there is no two-state solution, which Israel has offered, is that the Palestinian leadership remains intent on a one state solution, aided by the demonisation of Jews in the classroom and mosque and the promise of a ‘right of return’. It is wholly understandable then that the IJF’s one sided viewpoint finds little echo in mainstream Jewish opinion. I only hope it remains that way.

THREAT TO THE WEST OF MILIITANT ISLAM 01 February 2007

Dear Sir,

Charlie Wolf's analysis of militant Islam is right, especially when he concludes that it will not appeal to 'those who refuse to listen, understand and take heed of the threat'. Unfortunately, this covers a large and growing part of the British population whose hostility to President Bush and Israel has blinded them to the real threat of Islamism. Much of the public, and certainly the chattering classes, would have it that this insidious Islamist rage against the West is the result of grievances with our governments, grievances for which we should feel guilty and for which they deserve due redress. In this warped analysis, the triumvirate of evil consists of Israel as the chief culprit, together with the oil rich 'Great Satan' across the ocean, backed up of course by Mr. Blair in London. But this is to swallow the Islamists' own distorted account of events, and in or mode of post colonial guilt and political correctness, we are suckers for their lies. Foreign policy issues are neither here nor there for these extremists. In their utopia, the non believers will be submitted to Islamic law, gays will be executed, women beaten and democracy, freedom and the rule of law driven to extinction. The Islamists and their apologists are unappeasable, period. But try and persuade your average Guardian reader and you will likely run up against a wall of ignorance and denial.