Barack Obama’s Delivers Reassuring Speech to the Israeli People

March 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Middle-East Affairs 

This is President Obama’s recent speech to the Israeli people – one of the most reassuring he has made to Israelis during his presidency, explicitly acknowledging their right to a Jewish state living in security next to its Arab neighbours, backed by the strongest country in the world [the USA].

I don’t know what his true vision or policy is, but this will definitely improve his reputation amongst Israelis and American Jews who have been very anxious about him.

My only reservations are his comments insisting that the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, is a partner for peace. I am not so sure. To date, I feel that the only difference between the PA and Hamas is their strategy for eliminating Israel.

Hat tip: Israellycool – “President Obama’s Full Speech to the Israeli People”

Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid Dies

The former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has died in hospital at the age of 69, after a prolonged illness. His presidency commenced after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1999.

Wahid’s leadership and policies attracted much controversy amongst Indonesians. Eventually, he was alienated within his own party and removed from office in 2001.

During and after his presidency, he promoted religious and ethnic tolerance. He wrote a seminal article published in the Wall Street Journal on December 30, 2005 titled “Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam” in which he called on “people of good will of every faith and nation” to unite to defeat the ideology of religious hatred that underlies and animates terrorism. He advocated for relations with Israel. When the Iranian government held a Holocaust Denial Conference in 2006, President Wahid convened a counter conference in Bali to promote the true historical view.

Aspiring Egyptian Book Burner Loses Bid To Head UNESCO

Long-serving Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny has lost his bid to become the new Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – UNESCO. The position was instead won by former Bulgarian Minister Irina Bokova, who received a majority of the final vote 31-27, amongst the 58 delegates.

Farouk Hosni’s campaign was hampered by a threat he made in the Egyptian parliament last year to personally burn any Israeli book he found in Egypt’s famous Library of Alexandria.

According to the linked article, “Critics also said that Mr Hosni was unfit to be UN guardian of culture because he censored books and films and stifled media freedom to support the authoritarian Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak”.

In true Arab Muslim style, he blamed his election loss on a “Jewish Conspiracy, cooked up in New York”.

Crazed Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi to tell UN to Abolish Switzerland

A year ago, Gaddafi’s youngest son, Hannibal Gaddafi, and his wife were arrested in a Geneva luxury hotel after beating two servants with a belt and a coat-hanger.

According to a New York Times article, “Hannibal Gaddafi had previously been busted in France and Italy for beating a woman and fighting a cop, and once for driving drunk down Paris’ Champs Elysee at 90 mph  – the wrong way.”

How do you think Hannibal’s dad Muammar reacted? By issuing an apology to the Swiss? By taking some perks away from his son? By paying compensation to the beaten servants?

No, of course not! He reacted like a typical Arab Dictator – he threw a tantrum like a 3-year old boy – that is, a 3 year old boy with money and autocratic power. Gaddafi’s regime did the following:

  • Recalled Libyan diplomats From Switzerland
  • Suspended visas for Swiss citizens
  • Withdrew funds from Swiss banks
  • Blockaded the Tripoli office of the Swiss food company Nestlé

And the Old Arab Favourite trick:

  • Threatened to cut off oil deliveries to Switzerland.

Oh and also they kept two Swiss businessmen as ‘guests’ [hostages] until Libya received an apology for poor little Hannibal’s arrest.

Now as you can imagine, such financial pressure can even crack most principled of people, especially the Swiss who are known for their love of other people’s gold. Two weeks ago, Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz travelled to Tripoli to issue a grovelling apology, hoping to pacify madman Gaddafi and get their businessmen back.

In true Arab style, Libya reneged and the businessmen are still there. Now Merz, having made a fool out of himself, is apparently facing calls for his resignation from outraged Swiss citizens.

But that’s not all. Gaddafi is still angry as hell and he now plans to demand the dissolution of Switzerland when he next addresses the United Nations. If Gaddafi can sway enough of his fellow Arab, Muslim and African dictatorships, maybe he’ll muster a UN majority to pass a Switzerland dissolution resolution.

After all, similar tactics got Taiwan kicked out of the UN in 1971, and get Israel criticised every other week for defending itself from destruction at the hands of its Arab Muslim Neighbours. That’ll teach the Swiss who’s boss!

Another Example of the Herald’s Poor Middle-East Journalism

In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, there was an article on two Arab families who were evicted for squatting in two properties in Jerusalem, after a court ruled that they were not the owners.

The Herald article, written by middle-east correspondent Jason Koutsoukis, completely ignored the evidence and judge’s reasoning for this judgement, instead preferring to use cheap emotive descriptions to portray the Arabs as victims of ‘Club-wielding’ Israeli police and noting that there were ’19 minors’, as well as quoting other peoples’ smears and criticism of Israel.

For a mainstream newspaper, this shows a complete lack of journalistic standards and readers deserve better.

Regrettably, when it comes to Israel, this is the norm for the mainstream media, and this explains why ordinary people, who have not gone out of their way to research Middle-East history, can easily be manipulated to be hostile to Israel – the only Western, democratic state in the region and a historic ally of Australia.

Should We Help Egypt Go Nuclear?

The biggest Australian engineering firm Worley Parsons, an ASX-listed company, has just won a $160 million contract to help build Nuclear Power Plants for the Arab Republic of Egypt.

According to a Bloomberg article, the contract will provide “engineering and advisory services” including  “training Egyptian nuclear engineers, advising on which technology to use and best construction locations”.

I have very strong reservations about this deal.  Egypt is an Arab-Muslim country. At the moment, the current Egyptian Government is somewhat friendly to the West and uses overwhelming force to prevent its home-grown Islamic fanatics taking control, but this could change overnight.

There are many different designs for electricity-producing nuclear reactors, some of which are designed to avoid producing weapons-grade nuclear fuels as by-products. A the moment, I have no idea what sort of design Worley Parsons plans to recommend to the Egyptians.

My fear is that the reactors could be converted to allow production of weapons grade nuclear fuels, or that Egypt will learn enough to be able to build new reactors specialised for this purpose. The last thing we need is another Islamic regime with nukes.

Netanyahu’s Speech

June 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Middle-East Affairs 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu made a fantastic speech that succinctly addressed the history and realities of the Arab-Israeli conflict and provided a framework for a settlement with the Palestinians. A copy can be found here

This speech was remarkable in what was conveyed, namely that:

  1. The conflict is about the constant Arab rejection of self determination for the Jewish people in their historic homeland.
  2. Exploding the popular media myth that the main Arab gripe is about the territories captured by Israel in 1967 following the 6-day war, when in fact Arab hostility against Jews in Mandatory Palestine began in 1920, long before the modern state of Israel was established.
  3. Exposed the folly of the belief that unilateral withdrawals bring peace, by recounting the aftermath of the complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, resulting in the Islamic terrorist group Hamas taking power and launching missiles against Israel.
  4. Israel accepts the realisation of an Arab Palestinian state provided that the Arabs accept the reality of the Jewish state.

To Prime Minster Netanyahu, I say Bravo!

Female Egyptian Lawyer Advocates Sexual Harassment of Israeli Women

November 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Middle-East Affairs 

This has to be one of the most sickening things I have see for a while:

In a media interview, a female Egyptian Lawyer, Nagla Al-Imam, recommends that Arab Men Should Sexually Harass Israeli Women, as a tactic to achieve territorial gains in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Nagla Al-Imam actually advises Arab men to tell Israeli Women that they should “leave the land so we won’t rape you”.

See the video here:

This was provided courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute’s TV Monitoring project, MEMRI TV, who work tirelessly to translate Middle-Eastern newspapers, radio and television broadcasts into English, so that people in the West can see what people in that part of the world truly think, and not what the cowardly mainstream media choose to report.

I say to Nagla Al-Imam and other fanatics like her: human rights are UNIVERSAL and nobody, regardless of political belief, race or religion deserves to be subject to such humiliating and degrading treatment.

Your actions will only set back the cause of Women’s rights in the Arab-Islamic world and promote hostility towards Arabs in Western countries.

I would expect prompt condemnation of her statements from Human Rights Watch and Feminists groups around the world, but I am not holding my breath.

Arab Squatters Imprisoned After Defying Court Order to Vacate Property

The above could be the alternative headline for the emotionally-charged article written by Fairfax Middle-East correspondent, Jason Koutsoukis – “Crunch time as family fights to keep home from Jewish settlers

In summary, a Palestinian Arab man, Khalil Hanun, was imprisoned after refusing to vacate a property that a court ruled, was owned by somebody else. Oh, and the other party happened to be Jewish.

In any normal country, when a squatter or bad tenant refuses to leave following an eviction order, would this person not expect to be arrested, fined or imprisoned? And would this normally be considered newsworthy? No it wouldn’t, but standards are different when the action involves Israel.

The only valid, objective questions essential to resolving this matter are:

1. Did the group of Jewish people purchase the property from the Ottoman Turk authorities who were sovereign at the time? Yes or No?

2. Under what law or capacity did the UN Relief and Works Agency act when giving the Palestinian Arabs  possession of the land, considering that it was occupied by Jordan at the time?

The answers to these two questions are sufficient to determine the outcome of this case, without introducing emotive racist or nationalist arguments.

But if Mr Koutsoukis were truly interested in balance, he may also have wished to mention the following:

  • Jersualem was a united city until one half was captured by Jordan (formerly Transjordan) during the 1948 war, following their decision to take part in the Arab attack on the newly declared state of Israel. Jordan annexed the area in 1949, but this was not internationally recognised, except by Pakistan and Great Britain.
  • The area, Sheikh Jarrah, was historically a Jewish neighbourhood until Arab rioters drove them out in the 1920’s. Jordan drove out the Jewish inhabitants from the remaining part of Jerusalem under their control during the 1948 war.
  • Israel recaptured Jerusalem at the end of the 6-day war in 1967, many of the neighbourhoods that were rebuilt are in fact former Jewish areas.

I do not know all the facts, so I will keep an open mind. I wish Mr Koutsakis and his ilk would do the same.

Updated 8:09pm, 19-8-2008: Other sources on the net refer to them as the ‘Al-Kurd family’.

Bangladeshi Editor May Be Executed for Advocating Ties with Israel

The Jerusalem Post reports – a Bangladeshi newspaper editor, Salah Choudhury, is on trial for sedition charges, largely for advocating ties with Israel. If he is found guilty, he may face the death penalty.

In November 2003, he was arrested at the airport, as he was leaving Bangladesh on his way to a conference in Israel promoting co-existence between Muslims and Jews, and has been imprisoned ever since.

His has been accused of being “anti-Islamic” and “defaming Bangladesh”. Anti-Israel sentiment is strong in this impoverished country, despite the fact that Bangladesh has little to do with Israel, neither sharing any borders, nor being an Arab country.

I hope those civil rights advocates in the mainstream media who rush to defend the rights of captured Al-Qaida members and other fanatics, may spare just a few words for Mr Choudhury.

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