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Letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon: Alan Baker, Aug. 15, 2014 — It is with considerable sadness and disappointment that we write this letter to you, in the name of thousands of lawyers associated with the Legal Forum for Israel.
Appeasing the Mob? That Ain’t Kosher: Stephen Pollard, National Post, Aug. 20, 2014 — Terrorism takes many forms. But whether it is Islamist extremists on the streets of London or beheadings in Syria and Iraq, it has one common thread: It is designed to instil such fear that a society or community changes its very way of life.
ISIS and Hamas: The Double Standard: Arsen Ostrovsky, Huffington Post, Aug. 20, 2014 — Hamas and ISIS are two sides of the same Islamic terror coin, yet while the West has rightfully united in condemnation and action against ISIS, it has applied a different standard towards Israel, who has been faced with the incessant terror of Hamas.
The Death Knell Sounds for the Christians of Iraq: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Aug. 19, 2014 — In just a few weeks the government of Iraq lost control of most of Western Iraq and Northern Iraq.
Dear World (Video): Youtube, July 28, 2014
It’s Anti-Semitism, Stupid: Efraim Karsh, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2014
It's Britain, So the Anti-Semitism Is More Refined: Brendan O'Neil, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 15, 2014
The Battle of our Century: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Aug. 14, 2014
Aug. 15, 2014
It is with considerable sadness and disappointment that we write this letter to you, in the name of thousands of lawyers associated with the Legal Forum for Israel. We heard and read with amazement and incredulity your recent statements accusing Israeli forces of violating international humanitarian law, and especially your statement of 12 August 2014 questioning of Israel’s respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality, and your call for an “investigation into the repeated shelling of UN facilities harboring civilians”. We find these statements by you to be nothing less than shocking, deceitful and totally inaccurate.
We know that you have been fully briefed, and are well aware of the circumstances that have given rise to the hostilities between Israel and the Hamas terror organization, including the mass barrage of rockets fired by Hamas at Israel’s civilian centers, and the extensive offensive tunnels under Israel’s sovereign territory.
We also know that you are fully aware of the extraordinary lengths to which the Israeli forces have gone in order to ensure that all targets are legitimate military targets, and to fully observe the principles of distinction and proportionality – to the extent of suffering casualties because of this. We know that you are fully aware of the repeated warnings given to civilians to distance themselves from those structures used by Hamas for purposes of combat. We know that you are fully aware of the fact that Hamas, as a matter of its basic operational procedure, deliberately and willfully uses its civilians and its civilian structures, whether schools, hospitals, mosques or private homes, in order to shield its rocket emplacements, weapons manufacture facilities, tactical planning and operation centers and its stocks of rockets and other weapons. You are fully aware of the fact that they do this deliberately in order to generate civilian casualties, as part of their propaganda warfare.
Yet despite your knowing all these facts, you have nevertheless found it necessary to play along with the Hamas tactics and to arbitrarily and falsely accuse Israel of violating humanitarian norms, and you have even determined “that these attacks should be investigated and those found responsible will bear the consequences of their actions.” We have great difficulty in understanding the reasons for this deliberate and false deceit on your part. As Secretary General of the United Nations, we would have expected you to live up to the principles set out in the UN Charter requiring you and your staff to “refrain from actions which might reflect on [your] position as international officials responsible only to the Organization.” To lay the blame so blatantly and falsely on Israel, while totally ignoring the continued, willful and indiscriminate aggression by Hamas against Israel’s citizens, its utter disregard of humanitarian norms, and Hamas’s cynical violation of the basic rights to life of its own civilian population, you are undermining and discrediting your own position as Secretary General, as well as undermining the guiding principles set out in the Charter, and discrediting the organization.
We are shocked at your utter disregard of the fact that the very UN premises of which you accuse Israel of attacking, have been cynically abused by Hamas and used as store-houses for ammunition, and launching pads for rockets. Rather than falsely accusing Israel, one might have expected that as the executive head of the UN, you would have admitted responsibility of the UN for such abuse of its facilities, and instituted a thorough inquiry as to how and why UNRWA facilities were placed at the disposal of the Hamas terror organization, how and why the UN officials responsible for such facilities permitted this situation to occur, and why those rockets and other weapons that were discovered in such facilities were transferred to Hamas, for their continued use against Israel’s citizens. In permitting the storage of weapons, and in transferring such weapons into the hands of Hamas, the UN has in fact permitted itself to become accessory to the commission of war crimes…
Alan Baker, Ambassador (ret’), Attorney Nachi Eyal, Director, International Action Division, CEO, Legal Forum for Israel
National Post, Aug. 20, 2014
Terrorism takes many forms. But whether it is Islamist extremists on the streets of London or beheadings in Syria and Iraq, it has one common thread: It is designed to instill such fear that a society or community changes its very way of life. On Saturday, a branch of the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s removed all kosher food from its shelves over fears that anti-Israel protesters picketing outside would attack the shop. In its way, the store was both giving in to, and colluding with, a form of terrorism. In response to those protesters outside Sainsbury’s Holborn branch calling for a boycott of its Israeli goods, the manager ordered his staff to clear the shop of all its kosher goods. Clearly the manager is not the brightest spark in the firmament, since kosher produce — which is the only food observant Jews are allowed to eat — is not the same as Israeli produce (which is simply food produced in Israel). The kosher produce in the shop was apparently made in the UK and Poland, and had never been near Israel.
It’s easy to imagine what went through the manager’s mind: “Israelis, Jews – heh, they’re all the same. Let’s just get rid of this stuff pronto and keep the protesters happy.” According to the witness whose Facebook posting of the empty shelves revealed the story, a staff member then defended the move, saying: “We support Free Gaza.” I can think of no other description for Sainsbury’s behaviour than that it is a “hate crime”. How else should one describe the targeting of Jews — by removing kosher food from a shop — simply because of the actions of a foreign government with which they have no connection other than religion, and with which they may or may not agree? Worse, the idea that the best way to deal with a mob of angry anti-Israel protesters is to give them even more than what they want, by removing all Jewish produce in the hope that they will then go away, is not merely spineless. It is, in its broadest terms, exactly the response that terrorists seek. Some hapless Sainsbury’s spokesperson issued a statement saying that the company was “an absolutely non-political organisation,” and went on: “It was an isolated decision made in a very challenging situation.”
Challenging. What a wonderful word that is, designed as a catch-all to excuse all sorts of inexcusable acts. So – given how challenging things are in Iraq at the moment – presumably Sainsbury’s will be removing all halal goods from its shelves because Islamic State is slaughtering Yazidis. No? You mean Sainsbury’s does not believe all British Muslims should be punished for the actions of a foreign body with which they have no connection? Mistakes happen. But the way they are dealt with is usually more indicative of the way an organisation is run. And Sainsbury’s is refusing even to investigate the incident. Not that it is the only supermarket to have been targeted by protesters. Over the past few weeks, they have been attempting to shut all sorts of shops. Until Saturday, the main significance of the protests had been to show how resolute the retailers have been. In a Tesco in the Midlands, for example, also on Saturday, a group waving Palestinian flags burst in and threw produce from the shelves to the floor. The police were called. That is the only sensible response to intimidation. But for Sainsbury’s, it seems, the correct response to threats is to give in to them.
The mobs, of course, do not come from nowhere. The previous Saturday, a front-bench Labour MP, Shabana Mahmood, praised a protest against a Sainsbury’s branch in Birmingham that had been forced to close while the police restored order. She told marchers in Hyde Park that such direct action against any firm that did business with Israel was the way forward: “Just as powerful as our passion is the practical action we can all take to make our Government sit up and take notice.” She proclaimed: “We lay down in Sainsbury’s in Birmingham and closed down a store for five-and-a-half hours at peak time on a Saturday.” It is no surprise to see such direct action — mob rule, to be more precise — when the British government itself includes a party that refuses to take action against an MP (David Ward of the Liberal Democrats) who writes: “If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket? — Probably yes,” and which has a Business Secretary who has said he will impose an arms embargo on Israel should fighting recommence.
A pattern is emerging in which a form of anti-Semitism is becoming normalised — as if it were now acceptable to speak or even act against Jews as Jews, under the cover of acting against Israel. Two week ago, the Tricycle Theatre in north London decided that it would not be able to host the UK Jewish Film Festival, which had graced its screens for the past eight years. Not an Israeli festival, mind you — a Jewish festival. The reason? The festival has received a £1,400 donation from the Israeli government. The Tricycle has happily shown films from Russia, China and other nations with deplorable human rights records and made no demands over the funding of the films. But unless the British Jews who put on the film festival were prepared to divorce themselves from Israel, they would no longer be welcome, they were told. Over the weekend, the Tricycle caved in and reversed its stance, although the film festival will not return there until next year at the earliest…
Over the course of July, the Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism in co-operation with the police, recorded over 240 incidents – and they have been on a similar scale in August. The situation in Britain is not comparable to that in France, where there have been anti-Semitic mobs torching synagogues, but for many British Jews something poisonous has now entered the ether and anti-Semitism, the oldest hatred, is being normalised. Last week, my own newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle, conducted a straw poll of 150 Jews stopped randomly in the street. The results were not scientific. But fully 63% said they and their friends had, over the past month, discussed whether Jews have a future in Britain. That’s not, of course, the same as saying they would leave. But in 2014, how shaming that even one Jew feels that the discussion needs to be had.
Huffington Post, Aug. 20, 2014
Hamas and ISIS are two sides of the same Islamic terror coin, yet while the West has rightfully united in condemnation and action against ISIS, it has applied a different standard towards Israel, who has been faced with the incessant terror of Hamas. A chorus of world leaders, from President Obama, the UN Secretary General and Pope Francis — have all been rightfully outraged by the barbaric carnage we are witnessing from ISIS in Iraq. Even other arch-terrorists, like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, have called ISIS "a monster", while Osama Bin Laden, before he was killed, called for al-Qaeda to sever all ties with ISIS due to the group's "extreme brutality," saying that it could "harm al-Qaeda's reputation." They have sought to annihilate entire communities of minorities in Iraq, including the ancient Yazidis and Christians. Their tactics and methods have shocked all people with a shred of decency to the very core, including now their gruesome murder and public beheading of American journalist James Foley.
Today, ISIS makes Hezbollah and al Qaeda look like Mother Theresa. From the use of death squads, beheadings, rape and crucifixions, no one has been spared, especially not women and children. Simply put, their evil and depravity knows no rational bounds. Calling ISIS a "cancer", President Obama, with the support of other world leaders, instructed U.S. forces to conduct a military operation in order to prevent the "genocide" of the Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq, saying "the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye." However, in stark contrast, many of these same world leaders effectively question Israel's right to self-defense against Hamas, with President Obama having called for Israel to institute an "immediate and unconditional" cease fire, while at the same halting weapons sales to Israel, America's key ally in the region, as it faces a renewed bombardment of rockets from Hamas.
So, one begs to ask the question — what is the difference between Hamas and ISIS? Both organizations come from the same radical, murderous Islamic roots with a pervasive indifference to human life, freedom and democracy. Hamas is essentially Israel's ISIS — but funded by Iran, assembled on the border of the Jewish state and with genocidal intentions of destroying Israel and killing all Jews around the world. One need only read Hamas' own Charter and observe their methods, including using their own children as human shields, while openly professing to Israel "We desire death as you desire life," to see they are in word and deed made of the same terrorist cloth as ISIS. Just a few weeks ago, Hamas reiterated again, "Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive."
Yet, the double standards that exist between how the West has (rightfully so) approached the terrorist ISIS and Hamas-Israel conflict, is breathtaking. The UN Human Rights Council for example has recently ordered another one-sided 'Fact Finding Mission' against Israel. It would be better served by dropping this anti-Israel witch-hunt and instead focusing on what are the most egregious human rights violations in this region, such as the attempted genocide of Yazidis by ISIS. But don't hold your breath. Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning ISIS for "gross, systematic and widespread abuse of human rights," but has yet to call out Hamas for their gross human rights violations, including bombarding innocent Israeli civilians, using Palestinians as human shields, while also persecuting women, gays and Christian minorities in Gaza.
One may also ask where are all those so-called enlightened liberals who continue to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish State, but are silent in the face of Palestinian terror, or for that matter, the real oppressed people of Iraq? Hollywood stars Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz signed an open-letter castigating Israel and calling its actions against Hamas in Gaza "genocide." They too have been conspicuously silent as Hamas is firing thousands of rockets against Israeli civilians and an actual genocide is occurring in Iraq. Every Western leader, including Ban-Ki Moon and President Obama repeatedly call on Israel to exercise more "restraint," to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties. Taking aside for a moment that the Israel Defense Forces go to "unprecedented lengths" to avoid civilian casualties (many of which Hamas intentionally put in harm's way), you will seldom hear a world leader calling on President Obama or the West to exercise 'restraint' against ISIS. In short, the world seems to have one standard for the West dealing with terror, and a different one when it comes to Israel fighting terror. Is Jewish or Israeli blood really somehow cheaper?
Bayview Review, Aug. 19, 2014
In just a few weeks the government of Iraq lost control of most of Western Iraq and Northern Iraq. As the Army of Iraqi disintegrated, leaving to the Army of IS all that heavy weaponry (the very best of its kind in the whole world, paid for over two decades by the American taxpayer), mass executions, filmed by IS itself for us all to admire, were clearing the ground of any elements associated with the Baghdad regime. At this moment it became clear to most alert Iraqis on the path to Baghdad that the best way of demonstrating fidelity to the new Caliph Imam Abu-bakr al-Baghdadi and to the goals of his pretended universal regime was to resume the task that Muhammad had left to all Muslims – the neglect of which, according to all believers everywhere, is the essential reason for the humiliation that befell the World of Islam in the Twentieth Century: that is, the task of eliminating Jews and Christians.
Evidently only a few individuals have taken up the Caliph’s “invitation” to convert even though mass executions have occurred in many places already. Entire communities of Christians, people who had lived in the land between the Euphrates and the Tigris for many centuries prior to the happy day when the Angel Gabriel handed down the Qur’an to Muhammad, have been forced onto the road; their homes have been marked with the Arabic equivalent of the letter N (for “Nassarah” = Nazarenes or Christians), advertizing that Muslims are invited to loot. In an interview for the Lebanese LBC/LDC TV Channel, a Christian refugee from Iraq reports that his Sunni neighbours, now imagining themselves on an ascendant curve as the army that served the purposes of the Shia-dominated Maliki government, dropped all its weapons and ran away, cried out in chorus: “The land belongs to Islam and Christians should not live here.”…
The Assyrians: The great majority of Christians who live in Iraq today are called “Assyrians.” They probably do not descend from the Old Testament Assyrians –among history’s most blood-thirsty conquerors — but they most certainly are Christians and equally certainly have lived as a distinct population in the Middle East since the very beginning of the history of the Church – that is, for at least four centuries before the time of Muhammad. Their story began in one of the Christian kingdoms that on today’s map would be located partly in Syria, partly in Iraq. They were among several distinct national minorities still governed by the Ottoman Empire at the opening of the Twentieth Century and then set loose from that regime when the Allies dismantled the Ottoman Empire after 1922. Because the Assyrians were Christians, they were despised by all of the other national communities who competed with them for the privilege of founding a separate nation – among whom were the Arabs and the Kurds. The Twentieth Century leaders of the Assyrian communities in the Middle East imagined that since they were Christians and had indeed been Christians since long before any European nation had turned to Christian faith they would enjoy some sentimental advantage, to say the least, with the leaders of the Great Western Powers. But the days when the leaders of the Western Democracies openly identified themselves as “Christian” were already long gone and the days when their governments would pride themselves on never appearing to prefer the cause of Christians anywhere in the world had now begun.
Another major ethnic minority set loose by the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and seeking recognition as a State was the Kurds. These are about eighty million in number today; they are related to the Iranians and are mainly Sunni Muslims, but their leading politicians are considered as dangerously secular by the major religious establishments. We have to set aside the good press that the Kurds are receiving these days and recall that the Kurds of Britain’s Mandate of Mesopotamia (what is today Iraq) put themselves in August 1933 at the head of a military campaign to liquidate the Assyrians of Iraq, whom all sides hated because they were Christians. Several thousand Assyrians were massacred in the course of a few days…The Kurdish leaders of that time assumed that this heroic campaign to liquidate the only intact Christian community surviving in this region since the Turks had carried out their attempted genocide of the Armenians during the First World War would be accepted by the British and French colonial regimes and then by the post-colonial Arab regimes in Iraq and Syria as proof of their entitlement to a nation-state of their own. However, it was not until the Americans imposed their no-fly against Saddam Hussein’s dying regime after the first Iraq War in the late 1990s that the Kurds of Iraq achieved an Autonomous State-within-a-state in Iraq.
The Assyrian Remnant in Iraq: In Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the surviving Assyrians had looked to the dictator as their protector against popular hostility. Since Saddam Hussein’s fall, the small community of Assyrian Christians in Iraq has been reduced to something like half its previous numbers by the actions of Muslim mobs acting on the advice of their religious teachers. Even before the Islamic State got into the game a few months ago, there had been hundreds of Christians kidnapped and murdered by other Iraqis because of their Assyrian ethnicity and their Christian faith. Taken together, these acts have driven approximately 1 million Assyrians out of their homeland. Many thousands now languish in refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey, and Syria. Only about 450,000 Assyrians remain in Iraq. Now the Islamic State has put this remnant on notice of imminent extirpation.
An editorial in the Jerusalem Post notes: For months, the march of the militant Islamic State organization was ignored by the international community. It wasn’t for lack of knowledge. Islamic State bragged about its atrocities, posting videos of its fighters loading Shi’ite men onto trucks and making them dig their own graves. They bragged about stoning women for “adultery” and posted gruesome photos of executions and crucifixions…. The deafening silence from the West was similar to that which has greeted previous genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Sudan, where lip-service was paid too late for crimes that could have been prevented…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Dear World (Video): Youtube, July 28, 2014—Dear world, sorry that we established a country…
It’s Anti-Semitism, Stupid: Efraim Karsh, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2014—Let’s admit it: Israel can never win the media war against Hamas. No matter what it does, no matter how hard it tries.
It's Britain, So the Anti-Semitism Is More Refined: Brendan O'Neil, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 15, 2014 —Britain's leftists are patting themselves on the back for having resisted the lure of anti-Semitism.
The Battle of our Century: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Aug. 14, 2014—It began dramatically on Sept. 11, 2001. Our century is characterized by a lethal theological war in the house of Islam, with brutal consequences for the whole world, whether it be lower Manhattan or northern Iraq.
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