Monthly Archives: January 2011

If Egypt falls to the Brotherhood, Hamas could “go overseas”.

Hamas

Hamas

It needs no overstating that what happens next in Egypt is of crucial importance to not only Israel but the world.

It is obviously not right for the Egyptians to live under the yoke of oppression and poverty but as a people they need to draw lessons from the Iranian Revolution of 1979 so as to not go from one extreme to another.

In the rush for deserved freedom they could end up worse off.

In the 1979 Revolution Ayatollah Khomene’i was the figurehead behind which liberals, communists and religious Muslims coalesced to force out the Shah.

But once the Shah was ousted that coalition was soon quashed in a bloody Islamist coup, which led to the installation of extreme religious rule and a worse civil liberties situation than under the Shah.

Egypt is at a similar stage. The banned Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot, has not been actively calling its supporters on to the streets but their presence is casting a dark shadow over proceedings and they will make their play for power when the time is right.

If Egypt ends up like Iran then all bets are off. The Israel-Egypt peace treaty will be under serious threat and for the first time in 38 years the prospect of war between Israel and an Arab country will be rekindled.

Then there’s Hamas. The “siege” of Gaza by Egypt has been far more brutal than anything Israel has imposed.

But an Islamist Egyptian government, whether democratically elected or imposed by force, would allow Hamas freedom of movement through Egypt which would increase its access to Israel and the rest of the world.

An Israeli woman was murdered after the Gaza-Egypt border was breached by frustrated Gazans in February 2008 when a suicide bomber from Gaza crossed into Israel from Egypt.

Israel needs to complete the security wall that will run the length of its long border with Egypt as soon as possible.

Some argue that, unlike Al Qaida, Hamas’ terrorism is purely limited to attacks on Israel. But lack of international activity by Hamas could well be purely down to lack of opportunity due to it being hemmed in Gaza and cracked down on in the West Bank.

Hamas could take heart from just how successful the PLO was in bombing its way to the negotiating table.

Although the PLO attacked civilians in Israel 181 times between 1967 and 1979 between that same period there were at least 201 PLO attacks on aircraft and other civilians outside Israel, which, all told, involved attacks on the property and civilians of some 40 countries (Israel and Palestine – Assault on the Nations of Law, Julius Stone).

With freedom to operate freely through Egypt Al Qaida style international bomb attacks by Hamas could make Western nations pressurise Israel even more. Countries attacked might threaten to withdraw support for Israel if Israeli doesn’t acquiesce in making concessions that could compromise its own security.

In the same vein Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq after the Madrid bombings.

Hezbollah, which claims to be protecting Lebanon from Israeli aggression, “went overseas”. In 1992 it killed 29 people when it blew up the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and in 1994 87 died when it blew up the Jewish Community centre located in the AMIA building in the same city.

Although international warrants were issued for arrests of the perpetrators they are now safely ensconced in Iran. Hezbollah has denied involvement just as it is denying involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.

Hamas is an acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement”. “Palestine” does not feature in its name and it has never claimed any pretence that its terrorist operations were restricted to what it considers “Palestine”.

Unlike the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) at least Hamas is honest in that respect.

Palileaks, The Guardian and incitement to murder.

One can never accuse The Guardian of missing an opportunity to bash Israel and the Palestine Papers is no exception.

I don’t think that for a quick buck the paper should have published the secret Annapolis negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In yesterday’s paper Jonathan Freedland argues that the leaks will “prepare Palestinian public opinion for the painful concessions that peace will, one distant day, require” and are “already having a useful impact in Israel – prompting a clutch of influential figures to realise there is a partner on the Palestinian side.”

We will see but my imminent fear is for the Palestinian chief negotiators Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat and Abu Ala.

Although they were negotiating with the Israelis virtually the same terms that Yasser Arafat rejected back in 2000 The Guardian thinks it has got a real scoop.

But nothing was concluded. Just like in 2000, after seven years of negotiations, no deal was signed. Arafat was offered virtually the same deal on refugees, Jerusalem and the settlements as Abbas, Erekat and Ala seem to have agreed with Livni and co.

Although possible, it is doubtful they would have dared to sign the deal after the assassinations of President Sadat and Prime Minister Rabin at the hands of their own countrymen. Arafat couldn’t bring himself to do it.

So Freedland might be right that Palestinian public opinion is now prepared but at what personal cost to the Palestinians negotiators? Surely Abbas, Erekat and Ala had the right to decide the strategy of how to prepare the Palestinians for such huge concessions without The Guardian taking the decision out of these men’s hands and putting them at such great risk.

What risk was spelled out loud and clear also in yesterday’s paper by Osama Hamdan of Hamas.

Hamdan says:

“As an immediate response to these revelations, we in Hamas have begun a series of communications and meetings with Palestinian factions and prominent personalities to discuss practical measures. It is our responsibility to regain the initiative in order to protect our cause and isolate those who have betrayed it.”

We all know what Hamas means by “isolate”.

No Palestinian negotiator would dare step forward now.

And Palestinian academics like Ghada Karmi and Karma Nabulsi continue to pollute the cause of peace by perverting the words of UN resolution 194. So although it will never happen the Palestinians have bought the notion that they are refugees with a right to go to Israel and destroy it by force of numbers.

Naturally, on Monday The Guardian published an article by Karma Nabulsi, who talks of the right of return for “millions of Palestinian refugees”, and on Tuesday one by Karmi, The Right of return matters.

Yet, despite giving platforms to Hamdam, Karmi and Nabulsi Tuesday’s Guardian editorial has the cheek to submit that “A two state solution remains the only show in town.”

What a confused newspaper it is; it talks of a two-state solution while giving platforms to people committed to Israel’s destruction.

Or maybe not so confused. I’ve read some anti-Israel letters before but nothing like this one published yesterday:

“The revelations in detail (Report, 25 January) of the intransigent greed, the escape from decency, of Israeli governments in negotiation with our selected leaders of the Palestinians, serve one purpose among others. They provide a further part of what is now an overwhelming argument for a certain proposition. It is that the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within historic Palestine against neo-Zionism. The latter, neither Zionism nor of course Jewishness, is the taking from the Palestinians of at least their autonomy in the last one-fifth of their historic homeland. Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity, etc.”

If “the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism” isn’t incitement to murder then I don’t know what is.

I doubt The Guardian would publish a letter from someone condoning the 7/7 London tube bombings because British troops were in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time. Innocent Israeli men, women and children are fair game though.

Surely this must go to the Press Complaints Commission. It surpasses the boundaries of freedom of speech and is deeply racist.

“Please Allah, kill all the Jews.”

It is amazing what you hear at some universities these days.

Last night the SOAS Palestine Society showed a new film called, bemusingly, To Shoot an Elephant, which is an almost two hour documentary about activists helping Palestinian paramedics in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

The title seemed apt in that it was like watching tourists on safari trying to film a kill, except in the film’s case the kill were to be only young Palestinian children.

There was lots of tragic footage of dead Palestinian children moments after they had passed away in hospital. The footage was heartbreaking but inexplicable in its lack of respect for the privacy of the dead and injured.

We were also shown dead children in the hospital morgue.

Tragic scenes of dead and mutilated Israeli children used to occur regularly in Israeli hospitals until Israel built that so-called evil “apartheid wall”.

Israel also builds shelters to protect its children. Hamas doesn’t. That was very apparent from the film.

Although the lack of protective shelters was obviously not mentioned in the film as one of the main causes of civilian casualties it is so obvious that a biased audience is bound to miss it.

Before the film started we were warned that we will hear the term “Al Yahud” quite a few times, but although it means “Jews” in Arabic we should understand that in the Palestinian context it means Israelis.

This is because, apparently, when the Palestinians see a Star of David on an Israeli soldier’s uniform they see him as Jewish eventhough he is Israeli.

I tried to be open minded.

I accepted that explanation even after seeing one Palestinian, who had had his fruit stall damaged, refer to Jews as “dogs”.

However, then we came to a funeral where an Imam was saying prayers not for the souls of the dead children but for the murder of every Jew.

When, at the end, I objected to this scene I was merely accused of playing “the anti-Semitism card” or taking the words out of context.

Judging by the flags in the background the funeral seems to have been arranged by Hamas and, possibly, Hezbollah. Here are the words of the Imam and the clip:

Allah is the greatest.
He who thanks Allah will be rewarded.
Oh Allah, loosen your power and strength on the Jews. (Amen.)
Please Allah, kill them all…
And don’t leave any of them alive. (Amen.)
Oh Allah, with your great power. Allah!
We are asking you with your infinite power, dear Allah. Allah!
Please dear Allah, take revenge for our martyrs’ blood. Allah!
Please Allah, get rid of the Jews.
Bring them down.
They are not as powerful as you.
Please Allah, make the earth shake and destroy the pillars of their civilisation.
Please Allah, cast fear and terror into their hearts.
Oh Allah disperse them so they become lost once again.
Oh Allah, show us a sign.
Oh Allah, surprise them in a way they don’t expect.
Oh Allah, cast fear and terror into their hearts.

To Shoot an Elephant is coming to a university near you soon.

Remember, when you see the above scene that, despite what he is saying, the Imam only wants all Israelis dead, not all Jews.

And whatever you do don’t play “the anti-Semitism card”.

You have been told.

Jody McIntyre: “We will set the streets of London alight”

The Neturei Karta picking up some tips on Tuesday night.

The Neturei Karta picking up some tips on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night there was yet another of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s rallies to try to delegitimise Israel’s attempts to defend its citizens against Hamas’ rocket attacks.

Unsurprisingly, the PSC called the rally “Remembering Israel’s War on Gaza”.

First, Hugh Lanning, the PSC Chair, recited his poem (below). Then we rose for a one minute silence to remember the “1400 people slaughtered in Gaza”. Murdered Israelis were ignored:

They stole my land,
Burnt my orange trees,
Destroyed my house,
Took my water,
Bombed my country,
Killed my mother,
Took my job,
Starved us all,
Humiliated us all,
And I am to blame for I shot a rocket back.

So they stole more of my land,
Burnt my orange trees,
Destroyed my house,
Took my water,
Bombed my country.

Tony Benn (see clip below) then told us that “what we have in Palestine is an Israeli state which is, in effect, an American colony” and gave us this synopsis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The Palestinians had lived for thousands of years in Palestine.
The Balfour Declaration was to bring America into World War One.
“Rich Jews came in and they bought farm and land off the Palestinians”.
“The Jews settled in Palestine and then in 1948 they declared a state, got recognition and the Palestinians were driven out of their homes.”

From Jody McIntrye (see clip below) we got fighting talk.

McIntrye is the new darling of the far-left. He was profiled in the Observer recently in an article on internet radicals and was, inexplicably, pulled from his wheelchair by the police during the violent student riots in London, which gained him even more media exposure. He blogs at Life on Wheels.

He pulled no punches:

“Whether you are fighting against Millbank or Mubarak, if you are fighting for freedom, we are with you.”

And with reference to the recent self-immolations in the Arab world: “We must take inspiration from them this year when we set the streets of London alight.”

The far-left loves McIntyre, but not as much as they love the rapper Lowkey.

Lowkey (see clip below) gave us a lecture on why you should be proud to be an anti-Zionist and how anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.

His reasoning was that the French resistance against the Nazis was not because of anti-German feeling and objection to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was not due to anti-American or anti-British feeling. Similarly, anti-Zionism does not mean you hate Jews.

But he told us: “Israel today is every bit the supremacist state that Theodore Herzl intended it to be.”

It was Lowkey who played the meeting out with his rap anthem: “Free Palestine, Free Gaza”.

Sadly, George Galloway (who was in Beirut), Gerald Kaufman, Ghada Karmi, Jenny Tonge and Caroline Lucas, who we were promised, were absent last night but they sent messages of support.

Mohammad Sawalha, of the British Muslim Institute and who organises the Gaza flotillas, updated us on plans for the next flotilla, which is due to be launched from London to arrive in Gaza for the anniversary of the Mavi Marmara tragedy in May.

Meanwhile, this Friday night at the Trinity United Reform Church from 6pm to 10pm is the 6th Camden Festival for Palestine. Frank Dobson MP is due to be joined by Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, and Ivor Dembina, who is described on the flier as “Jewish stand-up comedian”.

And Ahron Cohen, of the Neturei Karta, is speaking at LSE on 1st February (room E171, East Building, 6pm-7.30pm.)

Cohen will talk on, surprise, surprise, “Are Judaism and Zionism incompatible?

Harry’s Place recalls that Cohen stated that the Holocaust would never have succeeded “if the victim did not deserve it in one way or another”.

Feel free to go and express polite disapproval of Mr Cohen.

Ghada Karmi calls for “the end of a Jewish state in our region”.

Shabbat Shalom from the Neturei Karta's Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss at PRC.

Shabbat Shalom from the Neturei Karta's Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss at PRC.

Ghada Karmi, an Exeter University lecturer, yesterday called for “the end of a Jewish state in our region” at the Palestinian Return Conference held at SOAS, London.

Israel claims that the PRC is affiliated with Hamas.

Karmi describes herself as Palestinian eventhough she has spent most of her life in Britain. The title of her talk was Ending the Naqba.

She said she regretted that so few people were at the conference (200 in an auditorium that holds about 450).

But instead of taking this as proof that people are not interested in giving up a Saturday to hear lies she insisted that until more people were engaged it would be difficult to change the situation for the Palestinians.

She blamed Israel’s crimes on the West: “The Zionist project would never have succeeded without Western complicity. Criminals might want to rob you, kill you, rape your daughters but normally they do not get away with it. Israel’s total impunity is so unusual today.”

She thought that a two state solution was impossible and was therefore disappointed that the Palestinian Authority is now calling for a Palestinian state to be recognised on the West Bank.

Instead she suggested going back to the roots of the conflict, which involved “dispossession and theft of a whole country. That a thief is allowed to get away with it and is still thieving and stealing is the basis of the conflict. The only way to reverse that is on the basis of rights and justice; that is the right of return of the refugees and the dispossessed and the exiles back to their homeland. If that were to happen we know very well that that would be the end of a Jewish state in our region.”

Karmi: “end of a Jewish state in our region” (at 20 mins 30 secs.)

This induced a rant (see clip below) from Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta. Farcically, Weiss refused to use the microphone as it was Shabbat although he was freely producing business cards from his satchel.

You can see Weiss telling Karmi not to confuse “Jewish” with “Zionist”. Karmi tried to wriggle out of it claiming that she had nothing against Jews or Judaism and that she had meant “Zionist state”, but that it was Israel’s fault for defining itself as “Jewish” in the first place.

Karmi: “I have nothing against Jews or Judaism” (at 4 mins.)

But Israel is a Jewish state!

After carefully trying to build an argument that the Palestinians had been wronged in 1948 it was finally clear that, for Karmi, the basis of the conflict is that there is “a Jewish state in our region”.

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, who is the author of Atlas of Palestine, spoke on the Mechanisms of Expulsion.

He referred to the “original sin” as being the Balfour Declaration and constantly compared the Israelis to the Nazis. He described how during the 1948 War Palestinians were made to dig their own graves before being shot dead. Others were shoved into concentration camps, which were referred to as “POW camps”.

He referred to all kibbutzim as “semi-military structures” and claimed that the reason for Israel’s existence was not to accommodate people but to create “the largest military base in the world” and if only these bases were removed then the Palestinians could return to their old homes.

He said that the people of Gaza are just “throwing projectiles” into southern Israel as a message to the people there to get out of their old homes.

He concluded that in this age of the internet no one can say they didn’t know about the “racism and apartheid” practised by Israel and, therefore, silence is tantamount to complicity with these crimes.

This farce was played out in front of the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Dr. Manuel Hassassian.

Full speech of Dr. Salman Abua Sitta at PRC.

Jewish state hate live from London today from 10am!

http://www.justin.tv/prc48#r=-rid-&s=em

Click the above link (well, copy and paste it like the old days) to watch live coverage of today’s “Ongoing Naqba” conference brought to you by the Palestinian Return Centre.

It’s at SOAS (where else?) and starts at 10am and goes on through to about 5pm.

It’s the inaugural event of “Palestine memorial week”, which starts today.

Subjects will be the Palestinian “refugees” (that’ll be the mysterious seven to eight million of them worlwide many of whom are citizens of other countries with good jobs), Israel as an “apartheid state” (despite many Israeli Arabs attending Israeli universities and being in the Israeli Parliament and judiciary), the (self-imposed) Nakba and the media.

Introductions will be given by Majed Al Zeer, PRC General Director, and Irish Minister Tom Kitt, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, (Hamas meeting) Andy Slaughter MP and John McHugo, Chair of Liberal Democrats Friends of Palestine.

First session will be chaired by Daud Abdallah. Dr. Salman Abu Sitta will speak on the Mechanisms of Expulsion. Professor Ghada Karmi will speak about bringing the Nakba to an end.

In the second session, Chaired by Jenny Tonge, Mads Gilbert will talk about Gaza and Ben White will speak on “Forceful displacement and expulsion in Israel”.

The third session, chaired by activist Ibrahim Hewitt, will be on international law and Palestine.

Hosam Hafez, Legal Expert (What the hell is a “legal expert” anyone?), will focus on Palestinian Rights under international law. Dr. Paul Larudee, founder of Free Gaza Movement and a human rights activist, will talk on strategic outlines of the solidarity campaign.

Former Labour MP Phyllis Starkey will focus on Lobbying for Justice and Rights. Rawan Al Damin, filmmaker, will speak about her documentary, “Al Nakba”.

PRC senior researcher Nasim Ahmed will take part in conference sessions (thank goodness for that as it wouldn’t be the same without Nasim!).

Boycott Israel motion defeated at LSE.

Israel Boycotter Dr. John Chalcraft (L), a reader in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE v Prof. Daniel Hochhauser (R), a consultant medical oncologist.

Israel Boycotter Dr. John Chalcraft (L), a reader in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE v Prof. Daniel Hochhauser (R), a consultant medical oncologist.

To boycott or not to boycott?, that was the question asked last night at The London School of Economics.

Arguing for the motion, This House Believes in an Academic Boycott of Israel, was Dr. John Chalcraft, a reader in the History and Politics of Empire/Imperialism in the Department of Government at the LSE.

Opposing the motion was Prof. Daniel Hochhauser, a consultant medical oncologist specialising in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.

Chalcraft gave a ten minute presentation. Hochhauser responded. Both then had a few minutes to sum up. A Q&A was then followed by some final words from each before the vote which strongly went Hochhauser’s, and Israel’s, way.

Somewhat bemusingly, Chalcraft started off by arguing that he wasn’t proposing a boycott of Israeli individuals but academic institutions. Hochhauser responded that academics cannot exist without institutions.

Then Chalcroft outlined how the Israeli government funds military research at Israeli universities, which helps the Israeli Army oppress the Palestinians.

Hochhauser responded that this is usual for any country which wishes to have a military defence. The British government makes grants to British universities for the same thing and there are no proposed boycotts of Harvard, Yale or Columbia Universities considering that many more people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than the rest of the Middle East.

Neither is China boycotted over Tibet, nor Turkey over the Kurds or the UK also over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chalcraft responded that there isn’t a boycott of American universities because it would not be an effective tactic, without expanding on what would be an effective tactic.

Hochhauser dismissed accusations of apartheid as over 20% of the students at Haifa University, The Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University are Arab Israelis and one of the judges that convicted Moshe Katzav was an Arab Israeli. But still, incredibly, Chalcraft referred to Israel as an apartheid state.

Hochhauser was also amazed that Chalcraft is a manager of the LSE Middle East Centre which is charged with developing “research and teaching on the societies, economies, polities, and international relations of the region, which includes Arab states, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

All very commendable but Chalcraft’s presence destroys the centre’s credibility.

It was, however, Hochhauser’s initial statement which, for me, made the biggest impact. He explained that as an oncologist he uses treatments for cancer developed at the Weizzman Institute and how detrimental any boycott of Israel would be for his patients.

It would have been interesting if someone had asked Chalcraft during the Q&A whether he would ever refuse an Israeli-developed treatment for himself.

The audience responded in Hochhauser’s favour when the vote was taken, which was all too much for one person who, reportedly, threatened an anti-boycott member of the audience on the way out.

It is worth listening to the audio of Hochhauser’s presentation below.

Audio recordings of all the debate:

Dr. John Chalcraft’s presentation at LSE boycott debate

Prof. Daniel Hochhauser’s presentation at LSE boycott debate.

Dr. John Chalcraft summing up for LSE boycott debate.

Prof. Daniel Hochhauser LSE boycott debate summing up.

Q&A, final comments and vote

Video recordings of parts of the debate:

Reset Stephen Kinzer.

Stephen Kinzer believes that the best way forward for America on foreign policy is for it to listen to its friends in the Middle East that share America’s basic principles.

One of those potential “friends” is Iran (sometimes you have to pinch yourself when you hear this kind of thing).

Kinzer, an American journalist and author, was at SOAS, London last night promoting his new book Reset Middle East, with its brand new cover (below) which includes Israel this time (always bound to add to sales).

Kinzer has great sympathy with Iran as a country.

He acknowledges its democratic history and even the love that the Iranian people have for everything American.

He told us that when he was standing in Shiraz, Iran all the Iranians shook his hand when they discovered he was American. When Sean Penn visited Iran Penn was asked by an elderly Iranian gentleman what it was like being married to Madonna.

Kinzer seems to have a rare easy access to Iran, unlike most.

I would love to visit Iran. The Iranians I have met have been the politest, warmest and most articulate of people.

But I can’t imagine walking the streets for too long before being picked up as a Mossad spy. Even in the UK I get accused of that (see clip).

An American woman has just been arrested on spying charges and Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal still languish in an Iranian prison after being picked up as “spies” when they hiked a bit too near the Iranian border.

I can’t believe I would escape the same fate, unless, like Kinzer, I can rustle up a book or two favourable to such an oppressive regime.

First, Kinzer likes Turkey because it is a longstanding NATO ally, is the most democratic country in the Middle East and has a booming capitalist economy. It is also becoming more religious under President Erdogan which proves its credentials to other Muslim countries.

And because it tried to do a deal with Brazil on Iran’s nuclear programme and also condemned Israel over the Mavi Marmara tragedy it won’t be viewed as America’s lackey.

And Turkey’s advice to America on Iran? Stop with the confrontational rhetoric and try to compromise more.

Second, Kinzer describes Iran as having an open, vibrant and democratic society; a society as democratic as its government is undemocratic.

But he sees America as the the main stumbling block as it is still angry over the Iranian hostage crisis of 30 years ago and, therefore, reacts too emotionally on Iran.

But, he continued, Iran, being an enemy of the Taliban and Al Qaida, is America’s way out of Iraq and Afghanistan as long as America can prove to Iran that it won’t use Iraq as a base from which to attack Iran.

So how to achieve peace with Iran?

Kinzer says America must conduct broader negotiations with Iran than just on the nuclear issue. And it must allow Iran to bring its concerns to the table.

Kinzer compares the America-Iranian animosity to that once between America and China and says the latter was far worse.

But he thinks that America doesn’t wish to sign a similar accord with Iran as it would make Iran a regional power (which, says Kinzer, it is anyway).

Oh, and there must be incorporated into any American-Iranian agreement a deal on human rights in Iran.

I pushed him on the latter point suggesting that I couldn’t see Iran giving way on that at all and that any deal with Iran would only entrench such a brutal regime. Surely, it is the human rights abuses that keeps the current regime in power. Without the economic control of the IRGC (Iranian Republican Guard Corps.) and brutality of both the IRGC and the basij militia the regime would crumble quickly.

In reply Kinzer, bemusingly, cited photos of liberated Iranian women from the fifties. He failed to address the brutal Ahmadinejad/Khamenei regime.

And eventhough America made peace with China that didn’t stop China going on to massacre hundreds of its own civilians in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and continuing to hang thousands of political opponents each year.

Similarly, an American peace with Russia hasn’t stopped the latter murdering anti-government journalists (Anna Politkovskaya shot dead on her way up to her appartment) and political dissidents (Alexander Litvinenko poisoned in London) and locking up its political opponents on trumped-up charges (Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in prison since 2005 and who have just had their sentences arbitrarily extended).

Kinzer lives in Disneyland. He should realise that once a brutal regime, always a brutal regime.

The Ahmadinejad/Khamenei regime really needs to be ousted before his nice theory on American-Iranian relations can take root.

Note to ASA: “Palestine” does not officially exist.

A few months ago, after one complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority banned the Israeli Tourist Office from advertising Israel’s most precious site, The Western Wall in Jerusalem, in adverts for Israel.

It was another example of how little the Israel-haters really care for the Palestinians because if Jerusalem suffers, the Palestinians suffer.

If people flock to Jerusalem they will spend money in the Palestinian businesses there.

Despite the facebook group Stop The UK Advertising Standards Authority creating an Israel Boycott with 7,345 members, many of whom complained to the ASA, the ban is in force.

It is unbelievable to think that Israel cannot advertise (see advert below) the most religious Jewish site in the world because the ASA has decided that The Western Wall is not a part of Israel.

Jerusalem is legally Israel and there is no scenario in which The Western Wall will not be a part of Israel.

People should not begrudge the Palestinians from advertising if it would contribute to sustained economic growth and encourage the Palestinian leaders to choose peace over violence and their desire to eradicate the Jewish state.

But if the ASA deems the ITO’s advert a misrepresentation then the same applies to the TravelPalestine advert in the National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine (top) (see Jonny Paul in The Jerusalem Post).

First, there is no land called “Palestine”. No where has this “land” ever officially been recognised. There is no binding United Nations Resolution that refers to “Palestine”.

Second, if Jerusalem isn’t a part of an existing country, Israel, then it certainly can’t be a part of a non-existent “land” called “Palestine”.

Third, “Palestine lies between the Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan River” is a complete denial of the Jewish state’s existence. This echoes the racist chant of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free” sung by anti-Israel activists.

Finally, the biggest misrepresentation of all must be that “Palestine” offers “stylish accommodation” and “fabulous restaurants”, seeing that we are continuously told that Israel brutally occupies “Palestine”.

It is only right and proper to complain to the ASA that the advert fails to mention such a “brutal occupation” seeing that it is referred to time and again by such eminent organisations as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Middle East Monitor and Muslim Public Affairs Committee etc.

Surely, these organisations wouldn’t be lying about the true state of affairs, would they?