The good news is that we have a new ceasefire in the war between Hamas and Israel at the moment. It is an incredibly fragile one, and it isn't clear why Hamas have suddenly accepted the terms they rejected less than a month ago. One does wonder just who they think they're fooling celebrating 'victory' on what remains of the streets of Gaza. Their campaign has seen the destruction of their tunnels, the demolition of hundreds of homes, the waste of lives and the misery visited on their people. In return they have killed a few Israeli soldiers, a tourist to Israel, a baby and a small number of civilians. Gaza lies in ruins. If this is 'victory' in Arab eyes, it is a travesty of it. It isn't even a 'Pyrrihic Victory'.
I have some very strong views on the debate over the Israeli action against Hamas, which does not mean an automatic endorsement of Israel's actions, nor of those on the Hamas side. In part this is because I have friends in both camps, and I know that my support for Israel has alienated some in the UK. I am a firm believer in the fact that Israel has the right to exist, and to defend itself against those that wish to deny her that right. There have been a lot of 'wrongs' on both sides, but there is something far more sinister at work here as well. The main stream media seldom mentioned, until forced to (and then usually qualified by words such as 'alleged' and, 'unverified sources'), the daily bombardment of Israeli towns and cities from Gaza. They make even less mention of the humanitarian efforts the Israelis are making 24/7 in Gaza and in the 'occupied' West Bank, such as food supplies, medical supplies or the supply of fresh water and electricity to 80% of Gaza. Yes, the Israelis are blockading Gaza, and they have good reason to do so. Why should Hamas and the other terror groups be given carte blanch to import missiles, munitions and other war materials unrestricted? How is that likely to produce peace?
Listening to the likes of Jon Snow and others calling the Israelis war criminals, murderers and 'apartheid' promoters simply makes me angry, since it also betrays the fact that these people find they can excuse anything and everything Hamas, Fatah and all the other Jihadist groups do against Israel, but the dirty, nasty, land stealing, baby killing Jews deserve no sympathy, no justice and definitely no homeland. The insistence on a 'return to the 1967 boundaries' is a recipe for yet another conflict, yet another attempt to annihilate Israel. East Jerusalem is the very heart of ancient Judea. It has no direct connection with either the Prophet or the Quran (it is mentioned only once in the entire Quran), and though under the terms of the 1949 UN Agreement, Jews were assured access - that was very quickly denied.
Jewish visitors to the Wailing Wall were subjected to abuse, harrassment and stone throwing. The Jordanian Army turned the Old City and the Temple Mount into an armed camp. Their 'engineering' works destroyed huge amounts of archaeologiocal evidence of the old Judean city, Christian remains and, in particular, surviving parts of the Temple itself. All of this is a matter of record, as is the use, prior to 1967, of the Golan Heights to fire random artillery, rockets and missiles into Israel by state supported terror groups. Gaza is the site of the ancient Philistine cities and settlements, and it is also the site of the tombs of several of the Old Testament prophets. Once again, devout Jews wishing to visit those sites - again a 'right' enshrined in the 1949 Agreement - found themselves harrassed, excluded on flimsy grounds and eventually denied access completely.
There are two ironies here. First that had the Arabs accepted the proposal by the 1947 UN Commission, they would today have the West Bank, a larger 'Gaza' and all of the Negev. The Jews accepted the proposal, the Arabs did not, and prepared to 'throw the Jews into the sea'. Despite all the odds, and even the fact the British had armed the Arabs, and blockaded the Jews - the Jews won, the Arabs lost. And the second irony is that they are unable to recognise that their own unwillingness to find a solution is what continues the conflict.
Suporters of 'Palestine' (a fiction dreamed up in Whitehall and now perpetuated for ideological purposes) like Mr Snow et al refuse to actually read Hamas and Fatah literature. If they did they would have to confront the fact that it clearly states these organisations have only one goal - the total annihilation of Israel. So, in the meantime, they continue to play the propaganda game, promoting the 'genocide of Palestinians' at the hands of those evil Jews. In their minds Israel has no right to exist except as a 'province' of greater Palestine under the total control of Hamas or Fatah.
Were I Jewish, I know what my response would be.
The longer this conflict continues, the worse it gets. Hamas and Fatah are funded by the same shadowy figures who funded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and who are funding the ISIS thugs in Iraq and Syria. Mr Snow obviously doesn't read either the Hamas or the IS website either. Hamas is committed, in its charter, and in every publication, to the destruction of Israel, and the 'eradication of Jewish settlement' in ALL of Israel. The IS website declares categorically that the new Caliphate is to be 'cleansed' of Jews, Christians and Apostates. Perhaps Mr Snow, and his fellow supporters of 'anti-Zionism' (which seems to mean anything to do with Israel), would care to live in this Islamic 'paradise' when it is created. He may get the chance, since their long term objective is the reconquest of all the lands held by the Ottoman Turks at the height of their power - and that included most of Eastern Europe, the Ukraine, Crimea, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, what is now Slovakia and a lot of what is now the southern parts of the Russian Federation, all of North Africa - and lately they have added Spain, Portugal and Sicily to their list.
The level of destruction the Israelis have gone to in Gaza does concern me, but I am equally concerned by the fact that UNWRA premises are being used to store rockets by Hamas and by the very biased presentation of anything supporting the Israeli case. Worse, each time the UNWRA people find munitions, instead of having them impounded or destroyed, they pass them back to the Hamas leaders. Reports from Asian news agencies (now excluded and barred by Hamas) reported that Hamas had its military command posts set up inside hospitals, and beneath schools - all carefully NOT reported by the sycophantic western 'anti-Zionist' media and the UN's 'people on the ground'.
This is not the behaviour of 'neutrals' which the UN claims it is. I am also deeply concerned by the fact that Hamas fires its rockets from children's playgrounds, from schools and from hospitals. We have recently seen footage on TV taken from a helicopter of armed terrorists commandeering an ambulance and using it to reach their target. There are other reports, of captured and killed terrorists caught in or emerging from their tunnels on the Istraeli side of the border, armed with suicide vests, and with tranquiliser darts and drugs. The plan, apparently, being to get behind Israeli lines and kidnap civilians - no doubt to be beheaded on YouTube as ISIS do.
When will the likes of Mr Snow admit the truth of the fact that Hamas is using women and children as human shields, knowing full well that as soon as their 'shields' are killed by a counter strike, Mr Snow and his media pals will be on TV wringing their hands and crying that Israel makes war on women and children? Why do they not report that the last ceasefire was broken by Hamas continually while the Israelis held theirs? Israel offered an extension - Hamas replied with rockets, and then cried foul when their own missiles fall short and hit a hospital and two other targets on their own side. Why do the Western 'Liberal' media insist on holding Israel to a higher standard of conduct than the terrorists they are fighting? No matter what Israel does to try and ease the situation, or to provide humanitarian aid, the western media either ignore it, or downplay it. The Israelis are always reported as 'alleging' something (if not actually being accused of lying), and anything and everything the Hamas or Fatah spokesmen say, is absolute 'truth' - even when it can be shown to be manifestly false.
If talks break down, it is always Israel's fault, never the 'Palestinians'. It is always reported that 'Israel refused to negotiate' when, in fact, there were never any 'negotiable' points on the table from the other side either. If Israel does concede anything it is reported that 'it wasn't sufficient' or it 'doesn't measure up to expectations'. One could be excused for thinking that nothing other than the total surrender of the Israeli government, and the handing over of everything to the Palestinian Authority-Hamas will ever satisfy sections of the UK Media in particular. Their reasoning is that Israel has no right to exist at all, and this stems from the often quoted statistic that in 1920 'only' 6% of the land was owned by Jews. What that statistic does not show is that under the Ottomans, Jews were severely restricted in buying or owning land, and it got worse under the British Mandate. It also does not cover the fact that many Jews 'rented' land from Arab neighbours, nor is there any mention of the fact that from 1919 onwards there was a massive migration of Arabs to 'Palestine' as the British had named it.
Much is made of the claim that Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam. Yet it is mentioned ONCE in the entire Quran, and the supposed visit of the Prophet - on a winged horse, on the night of his death so he could 'ascend' to heaven from the Temple mount is a later 'tradition'. By contrast, it is the site of the Jewish capital until 77AD, and despite the best efforts of the Romans, the Arabs, Byzantines, Crusaders, Abbasids, Ottomans and just about everyone else, there has always been a Jewish presence here. This is verifiable by tax records (Dhimmi taxes), by orders from various governors and sultans and a long archaeological record (where it hasn't been deliberately destroyed by 'Palestinains' desperate to conceal it). An interesting comment from the Peel Commission, appointed to look into creating a 'Jewish Homeland' under the Hashemite Kingdom then being created to have control over the whole of what is today Israel and Jordan. The report states that the Arabs objected to the fact the 'Jews occupied all the best farmland' and wanted it confiscated and reallocated to them. The Commission felt obliged to point out that, until the Jews bought the land, it had been desert and sand dunes, and that the Jews had built irrigation systems, improved the soil and turned it into viable land for agriculture.
It is also forgotten that the UN Commission drew up plans to create a 'Two State' solution following the Arab uprising of 1936 - 39 against the British, and the conducting of a terror campaign against the Jewish population. This proposed dividing the country to create a long narrow 'Israel' along the coastal strip with a bulge inland toward Jerusalem, with a much larger 'West Bank' and a 'Gaza' double the present size. The 'West Bank' section would have included all of the Negev and Israels Gulf of Eilat port. Jerusalem would have belonged to no one and everyone, and would have been managed by an international council as a 'free city'. The plan was accepted by the Jews, and rejected by the Arabs - resulting in the 1947 - 48 war which saw the Arab side lose almost everything. The Egyptian army barely held onto the present area known as Gaza, and only the British Commanded and led forces of the Jordanian King succeeded in holding what is now the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Disgracefully, they immediately turned East Jerusalem into an armed camp and set about denying access to archaeological sites - many of which they destroyed. Until 1967 Jews had no access at all to their Holy sites in the West Bank, or the holiest of all - the Temple Mount.
It was recently said to me that 'someone has to tell the 'Zionists' to stop teaching their children to hate Palestinians'. Sadly, it isn't the Jews who actually teach this in their schools, that is what goes on in Palestinian schools - even those run by UNWRA. While I can understand the 'Palestinian' people's frustration and anger, the solution does lay in their own hands. If they genuinely want peace, they have to be prepared to make a few concessions themselves. Only by reining in the hotheads who see killing Jews as a national sport, can they hope to bring an end to retaliation. Only when the PLA and its police actually start treating those who murder Jews as criminals instead of heroes can they expect the Jews to take them seriously. We have to bring down the levels of hatred between to the two groups, and that has to start with dropping the labels. Not every Jew is a 'Zionist'. In fact, I doubt any of them are, but it is a term certain parts of the Western Media, and all of the Arab media, have come to equate to 'Nazi'.
As I see it, we are all the losers, whoever wins this battle. As long as the 'Palestinians' think they can get away with playing the 'victim' card to the sycophantic western media gallery, supporters and politicians, they will continue the struggle, and prolong the agony. Israel will not give up Jerusalem, regardless of whether the British Foreign Office calls it Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. The Israelis know that Mr Obama, with his Islamic sympathies, will soon be gone, and they will deal, as they always have done, with the realities and whoever comes next. They know they can depend on no one in the West, least of all the US and UK governments, both of whom have, at various times, tried to sell them down the river. They will not give up the Golan Heights either, since with an enemy occupying those, almost all of Israel is open to shell and rocket fire. Just today, there is new doubt cast on the UN 'Peace Force' stationed there, as the 'border crossing' has been seized by an al Qaeda splinter group affiliated to IS. I suspect the next move will be by IS to attempt to 'seize the Heights' for the Caliphate.
Then there is the question of 'settlements' - always portrayed by Hamas and the Western Media as being built on land 'seized' from Palestinians. In fact the 'settlers' have been buying this land from Palestinians (despite a decree from the PLA declaring this to be 'treason'), many of whom have taken the money and gone elsewhere (sometimes into Israel!) abroad. Many of those who have sold are Christians, desperate to leave because they are being persecuted by their Muslim neighbours and know what awaits them if Hamas or Fatah win. The best analogy with this is to consider a situation in which someone in England buys a house in North Wales and wants to live there. Suddenly his neighbours don't speak English, he can't get served in the local shop, his children are bullied, his pets terrorised, his rubbish bins go unemptied. Now, if he is a determined man, he finds other properties for sale in the area, invites, and assists, his friends to buy them, and soon the locals are complaining their land is being stolen and their country invaded. Who is to blame?
Something else never acknowledged in the western media is that Israel is the ONLY democracy in the Middle East. It is not a 'Theocracy' and everyone, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Arab or whatever, has a vote. There are even 'Palestinians' in the Knesset. Show me another Middle Eastern country where Jew, Christians and members of other faiths, or 'non-native' Muslims, have the same protections and rights. There isn't one. Much is made of the falling numbers of Christians in the 'occupied' territories - but the Israeli census shows that the numbers of Christians and other faiths is growing in Israel. The reason is not that hard to find when one looks at how Christians are treated elsewhere in the Middle East.
As with so much else in today's world, the whole conflict in Israel/Gaza has become completely polarised. Everyone is playing a game of all or nothing, and everyone - except, remarkably, the Israelis - is demanding that Israel must surrender security, land, peace to satisfy the 'Palestinians'. No one seems to be saying that peace negotiations are a two way affair, and that said 'Palestinians' must come to the table prepared to put aside their rhetoric and their weapons. Until they do accept that, I cannot see anyone achieving anything better than a stand-off.
As long as the supporters of 'Palestine' (which never existed between the Roman Empire's demise and the British occupation and Mandate) continue to foster the "Israel must surrender" rhetoric, there can never be a peaceful solution or settlement. As long as it continues on this path, we will continue to see these horrendous scenes, and as long as Hamas et al receive the acclamation and support of the Western Media and its 'Liberal' supporters, we will never see a willingness to negotiate. As long as that situation continues, we will all lose.
Oak Jozef in Wisniowa, Poland
2 hours ago