Remembering Howard Grief

Howard Grief 19 April 1940 – 3 June 2013 kindly by Roslyn Pine.

I heard Howard speak at the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria conference in Hebron in July 2012. MK Tzipi Hotovely in background. See clip below.

I heard Howard speak at the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria conference in Hebron in July 2012. MK Tzipi Hotovely in background. See clip below.

The stone-setting took place of Howard Grief in Jerusalem on 2nd July. I would like to pay tribute to this extraordinary man and the unique legacy he left to the Jewish people in his book The Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law published in 2008, which was the product of more than 20 years of research.

It is a work of profound scholarship yet the documentation of the Jewish legal rights to the land set in an historical narrative make it a compelling read. Each titled chapter within it is a stand-alone with the first being the most important.

Howard Grief was a Canadian lawyer specialising in commercial law and litigation and whose passion and love for the land of Israel and the Jewish people set him on the path he was to follow.

He made aliya in 1989 with his Israeli wife and two young sons and whilst practising as an attorney in Jerusalem he was appointed legal advisor to Yuval Ne’eman, Minister for Energy and Infrastructure in the Shamir government, on matters pertaining to Israeli territorial sovereign rights. Ne’eman was a distinguished physicist who set up Israel’s space programme and discovered the existence of quarks, independently of Murray Gell-Man, and who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery.

Howard realised that Israeli sovereignty did not originate from the UN Partition plan of 1947, universally believed to be the instrument of international law that created Israel, but instead it was the San Remo Conference of the 24th and 25th April 1920 that invested sovereignty in the Jewish People through the representative Zionist organisations.

It was at San Remo, the continuation of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, that the Principal Allied Powers, the victors in the war against the Central Powers, set aside all of Palestine as the land designated for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home based on the historical connection of the Jewish People with Palestine.

The San Remo resolution was described by Lord Curzon, the British foreign minister of 1919, as the Jewish Magna Carta.

The Franco-British Boundary Convention of 23rd December 1920, which fixed the northern and north-eastern boundary of Palestine with Syria-Lebanon, made it clear beyond any doubt that Judea, Samaria and Gaza were to be integral parts of the Jewish National Home. Indeed, the maps of the cartographer and theologian George Adam Smith were to be used as the basis of the future borders based on the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Howard conducted his painstaking research from British government archives and the minutes of the San Remo conference, both in English and French, as well as numerous other original documents associated with that era.

His original research established him as the leading world authority on the subject and has been used in an Israeli government video explaining Israel’s rights to the territories.

On a personal note it was my good fortune to have met Howard and to have enjoyed his friendship during the last two years of his life.

In June 2011, whilst in Jerusalem, I phoned him with a view to him giving a lecture in London but he explained that his health would not allow it as he was on dialysis several times a week.

Nevertheless, despite his deteriorating health, he was busier than ever writing articles, giving lectures and responding to requests worldwide for his opinions.

He had presented a petition to the Canadian House of Commons on behalf of Canadian citizens regarding Israeli sovereign rights to the territories and was in the process of doing the same in America to Congress.

He had an ever growing emailing list and it was always a pleasure to read his latest missive addressed to “my dear correspondents”.

He had a marvellous pen that he used to great effect in his put-downs to those so-called legal experts, dilettantes he called them, who admonished Israel for her “illegal” behaviour.

My particular favourite was a letter on behalf of clients regarding demands from the European Former Leaders Group, including Chris Patten and others, to the President of the European Council that denounced Israel for its “illegal” settlement activity, including in East Jerusalem, and demanded that punitive measures be taken against it.

He admonished them for their “impudence” and their “complete and abysmal ignorance of Jewish Legal Rights to the Land of Israel” and then went on to inform them what these were in a concise summary.

In conclusion, Howard was a modest and gentle person who was never interested in his own ego and who spent his most productive years documenting Jewish rights to the Land at his own expense so that future generations would have the knowledge with which to fight the delegitimisation and demonisation of Israel that has now become common currency.

His passing is a great loss to all Am Yisrael. May he rest in peace.

This is cross-posted at CiFWatch and also by Jonathan Hoffman.

96 responses to “Remembering Howard Grief

  1. So, for you he was… Good Grief. I’ll get me coat

    • richardmillett

      why are you getting your coat? Isn’t it admirable that what he wrote was based on voluminous research in contrast to Yachad and JStreet’s shallow scaremongering?

      • Because with all due respect, this is flogging a dead horse and really just conjecture, like so much historical research. San Remo, 1920, is about as relevant today as Versailles 1919. Interesting for historical research about the decline of European empire – and a crutch for the Israeli far right and its supporters abroad – but ultimately not much more than that.
        We’ve moved on from European empire and colony and the notion that the European powers in their dying days have some kind of legitimate right to carve up the Middle East or elsewhere..

      • And as for JStreet or Yachad scaremongering…Seems Bibi’s accepted that they are right too. Funny that…

      • richardmillett

        Yes, I am sure Bibi accepts the views of an organisation that tweets (like Yachad did last night) an article advocating a “one state solution” and which describes Israel as “racist and apartheid”…

      • I think the point was, Richard, that it was a warning that Israel could become just that with a one-state solutuin, which is pretty much the view of Bibi and most other Israeli political leaders. But you, of course, know much more about Israel and its needs than they. I’m sure Israel’s leaders will eventually see the error of their ways and defer to your greater experience and knowledge. And not a moment too soon

      • Anyway, sniping exchange over, lets get back to the main point, to whit San Remo is relevant only as a document showing how European powers in decline mistakenly thought they could carve up the Middle East without reference to the indigenous populations therein.

      • richardmillett

        Except that it is part of the UN Charter and, therefore, international law. Anyway this is all superfluous as long as Hamas rules Gaza. We can see what the people of Gaza must feel about Hamas based on what the people of Egypt feel about the MB. The difference being that there is no way to overthrow Hamas. Hamas is here to stay and so there can never be a peaceful solution. Based on Yachad’s ridiculous tweeting Hannah cannot seem to acknowledge that little elephant in the room.

      • No way to overthrow Hamas? Really? They said that about Morsi a year ago. They’ll probably say that about the next mob elected in Egypt.
        If Yachad is ignoring elephants in the room, I think the far right and its supporters outside Israel want to ignore the almost majority of non Jews between the river and the sea. You want to continue sniping, בבקשה, קדימה.
        As for the UN charter, it’s observed more in the breach. And it’s a relic from when the world was ruled and carved up by the Europeans.

      • richardmillett

        Oh come on you know better than that. The army was always in the background in Egypt heavily funded by America. There is no separate army in Gaza to get rid of Hamas, sadly. The UN Charter is part of so-called international law and we know how much Israel’s attackers love to quote international law. The problem is you and Hannah want to give the Palestinians everything before they are even at the negotiating table. Let the Palestinians negotiate away settlements if they must instead of declaring in advance that they are “illegal”, which is contrary to the UN Charter, otherwise what will the Israelis have left to offer when they do sit down to negotiate? As for “outside Israel want to ignore the almost majority of non Jews between the river and the sea” that is what i mean by unsubstantiated scaremongering. Read the Million Person Gap study by Bar Ilan University to see how badly you are being misled:
        Please don’t tell me you and Hannah know better than BIU.

      • And if San Remo is part of the UN charter, then it’s in direct contradiction to that bit that endorses self-determination. It’s not for failed powers to determine for other nations’ their national direction

      • The whole BIU thang is merely a crutch for Israel`s far right and their supporters abroad. It’s not accepted by the Israeli government, the Israeli army and, he’ll, not even people like Tsipi Hotovelli and the Bayit Yehudi Party, which wants at least a semi withdrawal from the occupied West Bank in order to massage the number of non Jews Israel rules over.
        If you want to go down the route of big upping the UN perhaps you and your far right ilk can avoid cherry picking those bits you think help your cause. That’s what the your equally self-deluded/ing mirror images in the PAC/JFJFP do. Do you really want to continue the puerile sniping?
        We can also wait and see what the Gazatis do, instead of prophesying. As Daniel will no doubt confirm: since the days of the prophets, the power of prophesy has been given to fools and children. Other than that, perhaps you can prophesise which horses will come in first at Epson tomorrow. I’ll go down to Ladbrokes later

      • richardmillett

        “We can also wait and see what the Gazatis do” – well you are going to have a very long wait considering who they are governed by. When’s the next election in Gaza by the way? Oh, of course there won’t ever be one seeing as Hamas, like the MB, are a “one vote, once” party when they’ve finally managed to win an election.
        “you and your far right ilk” – what does that mean?

      • Regarding BIU, if I’ve said it once it bears repeating: I’m sure you and those who cling to it’s findings like a drowning man to a plank of wood would be happy to have free and fair elections of all the over 18s between the river and the sea to see just how accurate our use of statistics is.
        To paraphrase the immortal words of Harry Calaghan: “In all this excitement I’ve lost count of the number of non Jews in Israel, the west bank and Gaza. Is it 2, 3,,5 or 5.5 million? Well are you feeling lucky, punk? Well are you?”

      • richardmillett

        2.49m Palestinians in WB and Gaza according to BIU. Add that to 1.5m Israel Arabs that makes about 4m in total. What gives you precedence over BIU and what are your own sources then? I really am willing to see BIU proved wrong. I am not sniping as you keep suggesting. But where are your sources?

      • Sources? The Israeli PMO and CBS. Two former Israeli PMs. Sergio della Pergula, a world renowned demographer, not some fly-by-night politically motivated national religious university department. Are you really saying that they are wrong and are not working in Israel’s interests? Sharon, Bibi, Barak, even Lieberman? And why has even the Bayit Hayehudi come up with a plan to reduce the number of Palestinians under Israeli occupation? Why do the Kahanists want “transfer”? Because they fear a non-Jewish majority, that’s why.
        Let’s see, the Russians were governed by the KGB, the east Germans by the Stasi, the Romanians by the securitatae, Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge. Should I go on?
        Far right and that ilk? Because all you seem to come up with is propaganda from the one-stater Israeli far right to justify your position on the country.

      • richardmillett

        Do you have links to any studies please?

      • etc. Richard, why do you think that no Israeli government, not even Begin’s or Shamir’s,which were the most gung-ho and resolute abt Israeli sovereignty over the occupied territories, didn’t annex them? Ask yourself, were they less convinced than you? Were they less sure of Israeli rights there than you? Were they less aware of Israel’s security and demographic needs than you? Do you think Bibi, Barak, Hotovelli, Sharon, Habayit hayehudi even are more cavalier with Israeli interests than you? Really? Seriously?
        That BIU survey is just a hopeful punt to keep some people believing that time is on Israel’s side. That is all it ever was.

  2. Daniel Marks

    Joe’s rather cryptic comment notwithstanding and despite the remains of a somewhat irritating cough, I am truly savoring this summer break with the help of Richard’s most excellent blog.

    It seems that our faithful author is verily taking his devoted readers for a ride on a stupendous roller-coaster of modern Jewish history. If last week we studiously, analyzed and debated the Balfour Declaration, this week we have moved on to the granting of the British Mandate. Next week Trans-Jordan?

    Sadly I have little to add other than the fact that I was late for morning prayers today because I so much enjoyed hearing Howard Grief in my shower. When Grief deplored a previous speaker for talking of a sovereignty vacuum, calling this “nonsense”, I mused, “There but for the grace of G-d go I.” That had been my exact understanding of the position – indeed – there seems to be no limit to the length and breadth of my ignorance. But I know better now, and I shall order the book expeditiously, well as soon as I can decide between the hardback and softback.

  3. Richard, Thank you so much for your always insightful and moving posts. I had never heard of Howard Grief, but was so glad to learn of him and his work. Our current Canadian govt is a good friend of Israel. I do not think the same will hold if the Liberals come to power in our next elections.

    Incidentally, I presume you are aware of the UK customs mess over the attempted entry into the UK of American student Chip Cantor? Alex Myers

    • richardmillett

      Hi Alex
      Thank you very much. It was Roslyn Pine who wrote this piece. I just published it. Yes, we have heard about it. There is a video clip of Chip being interviewed with his father. It will be interesting to see what happens. I don’t think they are letting it go until there is a full explanation.

    • Maybe young Chip was a naughty boy and has come up with this excuse to cover up his behaviour?

  4. Yachad and Hannah Weisfeld are pretty much a clone version of J Street and Haaretz.
    UK’s Zionist Jewry Rejects British J Street Clone
    There is a single picture of a Yachad visit to an Israeli Jew’s grave. Whose grave is it? Baruch Goldstein’s.
    Lori Lowenthal Marcus
    March 1st, 2013

    • Really? Perhaps you can explain why an independent poll by the respected and agenda less JPR found that more than 70% of Uk Jews supported Yachads view on Israel and 52% even backed Israel talking to Hamas?
      That’s when the far right of the Zionist spectrum can barely get 10 people out to demonstrate against BDS.

      • richardmillett

        Joe, i think the question about talking to Hamas was conditional on something wasn’t it? I don’t know where to took in the links you sent me but in the JC this week Anshel Pfeffer quotes a new study written about in Haaretz that backs up your case. Who to believe?

      • The condition was a non-condition. The whole question was about Israel talking to Hamas if it would lead to peace. More than half were in favour. if those who answered positively thought there was no point in talking to Hamas they’d have answered in the negative. Anyhoo it’s moot. Israel already talks to Hamas. It’s called realpolitik.
        As for whom to believe… I prefer those who have at their hands real figures, not some politically motivated university department
        What was it every Israeli pm has said since Rabin? Things you see from here you can’t see from there.

      • richardmillett

        If it would lead to peace! exactly! i doubt Israel talks to Hamas. as for your other question about why no israeli has ever annexed the west bank you could also ask why are the palestinians negotiating with israel. if they had such a huge population why not just sit back and let the numbers speak for themselves?

      • The subtlety of if it leads to peace is, well, far too subtle. Again it seems that there’s a certain amount of straw clutching by those who want to misinterpret things they don’t ideologically like.
        Mate, if Israel didn’t talk to Hamas, Gilad would still be in Gaza and pillar of whatever would still be raging.
        There’s a very strong school of thought in the Palestinian body politic that believes in Sumood – that is, holding steadfast to the land and letting the numbers win.
        If Israel doesn’t pull it’s finger out, that school of thought will win. A two state solution is not a favour for the Palestinians, it’s an Israeli interest.

      • richardmillett

        Ok yes Gilad Schalit and pillar of whatever was brokered by egypt. That’s it though. You made it sound like it was ongoing. Anyway it wasn’t Israel who brokered Schalit but more like Gershon Baskin who seems to be claiming the glory all for himself. Well, exactly, so what’s in it for the Palestinians to negotiate if your figures are correct? It’s a lost cause. The Palestinians have won.

      • The deal to free Gilad Shalit boiled down to the exchange of

        one Israeli for 1,000 palestinians.

        Quality over quantity.

      • I wonder if 70% of UK Jews know “Yachads (sic) view on Israel”, I wonder what percentage of UK Jews could find Israel or Gaza on a map. I wonder about what that 52% of UK Jews thinks Israel should be talking with the Hamas. I wonder whether 70% of UK Jews know the difference between an aleph and a Swastika.

        I always get a particular kick when a UK Jew expresses his concerns about demography, It’s strange to recall that in 1945 there were about 450,000 Jews living in the UK and about 600,000 here, Today if the Jewish population of Israel has increased almost ten-fold, the number of UK Jews is about half. Between a third and a half young Jews intermarry, while those who marry Jews do so late and have few children. One fifth of UK Jews have disappeared since the 1990s and the only thing preventing the numbers being much worse is the growth of the ultra-orthodox community. In the words of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, “The Jewish community in England, as in other parts of Europe, is demographically unviable,”

        So, I thank you Joe for your kind concern, but if you’re popping down Ladrokes anyway, maybe ask them what the odds are that after you’re 120, they’ll be somebody left who knows how to say kaddish. If they offer you less than 10-1, you’re getting ripped off.

      • Do you honestly think Baskin and the Egyptians were working in a vacuum, without Israeli input? Really? Seriously?
        What’s in it for the Palestinians? They can be realistic too and they want a negotiated peace. What’s in it for the sumood people? The same that’s in it for the their Jewish one stater counterparts and those who think Israel has a right to rule the occupied territories. Ideological hubris.

      • richardmillett

        well of course they needed israeli input. although Gershon seems to be claiming the glory for himself. But Hamas got 1000 prisoners released. i’m glad for Gilad they did it but it wasn’t exactly a bargain for israel. As you know from their charter Hamas won’t settle for anything less than the whole of israel so i doubt there’s any ongoing dialogue. Please name me one non-sumood Palestinian leader? If people like you and hannah stopped going on about the settlements then maybe the Palestinians would get to the negotiating table. But you want settlements gone as a pre-condition so you are doing the peace process no favours. Yachad are doing no one any favours either.

    • Jewish Press? Isn’t that a Kahanist rag?

  5. Christopher Proudlove

    San Remo was unanimously ratified by the 52-member League of Nations and was taken on board by its successor, the United Nations. It is still international law and there are no bigger scandals than it now being ignored by the international community. Israel, and all those who support the Jewish Nation, have got to trumpet this loud and long to counter the false claims of Arabs to the Promised Land.

  6. Just to make it clear, this is what San Remo said:

    It was agreed –
    (a) To accept the terms of the Mandates Article as given below with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted in the process-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine; this undertaking not to refer to the question of the religious protectorate of France, which had been settled earlier in the previous afternoon by the undertaking given by the French Government that they recognized this protectorate as being at an end.
    (b) that the terms of the Mandates Article should be as follows:
    The High Contracting Parties agree that Syria and Mesopotamia shall, in accordance with the fourth paragraph of Article 22, Part I (Covenant of the League of Nations), be provisionally recognized as independent States, subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The boundaries of the said States will be determined, and the selection of the Mandatories made, by the Principal Allied Powers.
    The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
    La Puissance mandataire s’engage a nommer dans le plus bref delai une Commission speciale pour etudier toute question et toute reclamation concernant les differentes communautes religieuses et en etablir le reglement. Il sera tenu compte dans la composition de cette Commission des interets religieux en jeu. Le President de la Commission sera nomme par le Conseil de la Societe des Nations. [The Mandatory undertakes to appoint in the shortest time a special commission to study any subject and any queries concerning the different religious communities and regulations. The composition of this Commission will reflect the religious interests at stake. The President of the Commission will be appointed by the Council of the League of Nations.]
    The terms of the mandates in respect of the above territories will be formulated by the Principal Allied Powers and submitted to the Council of the League of Nations for approval.
    Turkey hereby undertakes, in accordance with the provisions of Article [132 of the Treaty of Sèvres] to accept any decisions which may be taken in this connection.
    (c) Les mandataires choisis par les principales Puissances allies sont: la France pour la Syrie, et la Grande Bretagne pour la Mesopotamie, et la Palestine. [The officers chosen by the principal allied Powers are: France for Syria and Great Britain for Mesopotamia and Palestine.]
    In reference to the above decision the Supreme Council took note of the following reservation of the Italian Delegation:
    La Delegation Italienne en consideration des grands interets economiques que l’Italie en tant que puissance exclusivement mediterraneenne possede en Asie Mineure, reserve son approbation a la presente resolution, jusqu’au reglement des interets italiens en Turquie d’Asie. [The Italian delegation, in consideration of large economic interests that Italy as a power possesses exclusively Mediterranean in Asia Minor, reserves its approval of this resolution until the settlement of Italian interests in Turkey in Asia.].

    All it is is a reiteration of the Balfour Declaration which I thought was particularly vague on many things, especially the issue of a Jewish national home. No one, not least the Zionist leadership itself had even agreed that it meant a Jewish state or even sovereignty. The Brits and the French certainly didn’t think so. At best they probably meant a protectorate.

    Then there’s the question of “in Palestine”. Where in Palestine? All of it? Parts of it? How much of it? Also, that’s pretty much as vague as UNSCR 242 and 338, where the whole territories/the territories debate still rages.

    Don’t you just love t’interwebby thing? It would have taken ages when I were a lad to retrieve such documentation.

  7. Joe M, I cant speak for British Jews.
    But if 52% want to talk to Hamas, then their pretty stupid.
    Maybe 52% of them want Jews to live under Sharia law too.

  8. Remember what Kahane said,
    I prefer an Israel hated by everybody than in Auschwitz loved by all.”
    Right now Chaim Ben Pesach who is the successor to Kahane has been barred from entering Israel by the cowards who run Israel.
    That includes Likud, Kadima and Labor.
    Chaim Ben Pesach wants to use all out force to stop these Arab terrorists from terrorizing Israel and Chaim Ben Pesach wants a death penalty to Arab killers.
    You can go on his site and the forum message board to see his views
    When your on the site, just click on General Discussion.

    Or just google, What if Chaim Ben Pesach Becomes the Prime Minister of Israel.

    Read this great article about him.
    Chaim ben Pesach a Jewish hero forbidden to make Aliyah
    August 6, 2012

    • Barry,

      Joe was quite right, you are a fake.

      I have known and know many Kach supporters and none of them would refer to their late leader as “Kahane” any more than a Habad hassid would call the Rebbe “Scheerson” or a Modern Orthodox Jew would talk about “Kook”.

      Here is a quote from the site to which you posted your link:

      “After his release and upon the completion of his probation in July 1983, Rabbi Meir Kahane again appointed Chaim to be National Chairman of the JDL…”

      You’re a fraud.

  9. The GREAT Pat Condell has a new video on YOutube.

    Our crippling fear of the truth

  10. Joe Millis.

    Do you really think you’re so original and that Israel’s/Jews’ enemies haven’t regurgitated that lie many times?
    And it’s been dealt with many times!

    Read Richard Meinertzhagen’s “Middle East Diary”. He deals with that question.
    He said that the British betrayed the law and their own policy on that subject
    and did everything they could to overturn the meaning and intent of the Mandate.
    What do you think the words “reconstitite their National Home” means?
    Why would the word “reconstitute” be used.
    Inter alia, the British cabinet meeting of 30 November 1917 minutes record that the intent was to create a Jewish state in Palestine…..all of Palestine.

    The reason that you question “which part of Palestine” is because your knowledge of the subject is so shallow/non-existent, that you sound like an infant sitting in on an A level physics class asking questions out of his depth.
    As a matter of interest, do you query the authenticity of the claims of Syria/Lebanon/Iraq to sovereignty?
    You should, they were created at San Remo at the same time as Jewish sovereignty… which is it…..sovereignty for all or none….you can’t pick and choose?

    • Tosca, many thanks. The initial point is that the declining European powers had no right to carve up the Middle East.
      The BD and subsequently the San Remo document do not mention what the Jewish presence would be. Even the zionists of the time hadnt decided on whether it would be a fully fledged state, an autonomy or a protectorate. The documents also do not say where in Palestine this as yet undefined entity would be.
      Cabinet discussions notwithstanding, this is what the end documents said.
      As for Syria/Jordan/Lebanon/Iraq, the same rule applies – hence the mess in those countries.
      Bottom line: the European imperial powers were in decline, the League of Nations inept and ill constituted, and it was in neither’s gift to carve up areas without recourse to the indigenous people of the region.
      That world was about to end.

      • Millis, what’ s the legal reference to the claims you make? Whose ruling are you basing your (idiotic) comments on? So tell us how borders of countries are agreed upon… is it by force or by agreement.
        And sorry, but it was the victors of the 1st world war who had the right to “carve up” the ME.
        BTW if u look at page 117 of Meinertzhagen’s Middle East Diary, you will see that not only were the Jews to re- constitute their homeland, but that the whole of Trans Jordan was promised to them, which Churchill gave to Abdullah from the Hashemites of the Hejaz totally illegally. Or maybe you know better than Meinertzhagem, who was only chief political officer in Palestine, amongst other very important positions he held?

  11. Hi Rich
    Here is the Yachad retweet of a Palestinian article pushing for a single state .

    Why on earth would she promote that ? Answers on a postcard @ # Trojan Horse

    • richardmillett

      Joe has already defended Hannah on that one. It’s the old “it’s a warning to Israeli about what could happen”. Yea, right.

      • Yeah right. So, sniping aside, what’s your vision? Do you actually have one? Or is it the case that actually there’s no big difference, if at all, between you and your minority group and the PSC/JFJFP mob. Just a loose coalition of extremists one-staters.

      • richardmillett

        my vision is the total evisceration of the hamas ideology so israel and the palestinians can then then sit down to negotiate a two state solution without PLO/Fatah officials fearing assassination by Hamas if PLO/Fatah agree a peace deal.

      • Thank you, Richard. It’s a start.
        Where would you place that Palestinian state? West Bank and Gaza? Jordan?
        And what about any Israeli MP’s fear of another Yigal Amir?

      • There already is a Two-State Solution.

        Israel on the West Bank of the Jordan River

        Jordan on the East Bank of the Jordan River.

    • Nice try, Harvey. It was actually a warning against the one state solution so beloved of you and your mirror images in the PSC/JFJFP. You and they are birds of a feather, equally pointless and hysterical.
      What’s your vision?

    • Bottom line, Richard, Garfield et al: you are the same as the extremists on the other side. Bit like the symmetry between the SWP and RDL/BNP.

      • Bottom line Millis,
        when you start accusing people of being extremist, or using other ad hominem attacks, you’ve lost the argument. By the way, the word “extremist” I’d meaningless unless you give it a definition.
        Very prolix aren’t you?
        It’s always the people who know the least who have the most to say.
        I wouldn’t normally bother to waste my time arguing with the likes of you, but I’m giving a bit of help to the well-intentioned on this blog.

  12. Sure Millis .
    No answer from Yachad to a direct question regarding whether they support a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank ie in the absence of an irrevocable Peace Agreement .
    Why not ?

    • Garfield, try again. Yachad are in favour of a negotiated deal. What’s your vision, mr Trojan horse for the PSC?

      • Garfield, did you notice the question mark at the end of the tweet? (There’s another one). Are you trying to mislead here? Very poor attempt.

    • And remember, Garfield your one stater position is a very small minority view among British Jews.

  13. Nice try yourself Millis . I’m in favour of a two state solution but not at any price . No so called RoR , Jerusalem undivided and land swaps to take into account major settlement blocs . Demilitarised West Bank with Israeli military presence in Jordan valley for 10 years . Thereafter an American led UN presence replacing it . This leading to an irrevocable peace accord with Arab / Palestine recognising Israels sovereignty and innate identity as a Jewish state with ethnic minorities the rights of which are protected under the state constitution .

    • About bloody time, Harvey. Define Jerusalem. Did your ancestors pray to Abu dis? Shuafat? Azariyyeh? Tzur Bakher or Wadi Joz? Oh and welcome to Yachad, you old anti-Zionist, you. Who knew.
      ברוך הבא

    • Just to clarify, Israel has no constitution.

      • The UK has no written constitution.

        And the UK is falling into anarchy. The UK has already had its suicide bombing attacks thanks to the blessings of The Religion of Peace.

    • And if not at any price, are you willing to allow it to fester until the one state solution becomes the only solution? Note, question mark. You’ve missed those in the past.

  14. Millis
    The difference is that Yachad are prepared to make those concessions on a unilateral basis ie in the absence of a final status irrevocable peace agreement . Much the same as Gaza .
    I facebooked the question twice while in conversation . Unfortunately the line went dead .

  15. harvey and Joe,

    Well, when you two guys decide under exactly which conditions you’re going ahead with the “two state solution”, don’t forget to tell us over here. When Harvey has the details of the demilitarization worked out and Joe has overcome all our demographic challenges, don’t forget to give us a bell.

    If we’re already talking demographics, could somebody please explain to me why the demographics of Anglo Jewry are so taboo on this blog. It sometimes seems that you guys are more concerned with our problems than yours, why is that? In years of reading this blog, hundreds of postings and thousands of comments you always talk about us, but you never talk about yourselves.

    Is it because it’s sexier to argue about exotic issues like the IDF and the Hamas than it is to contemplate the realities of Jewish education in the UK or the aging of Anglo Jewry? Or is it just that you guys have given up trying to solve your own problems so you’re having a go at solving ours instead? A wiser man than I once called these “Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews”

    I fully expect this comment to be ignored, as you carry on shooting the breeze about 2 State-Solutions, 1 State-Solutions, etc.

    Like I said, give us a bell when you’ve made up your minds.

  16. Actually, Daniel, you raise an excellent point. I believe that the British Jewish leadership has for far too long and too much focused on Israel while ignoring our own inherent problems in our own little corner of the world. The Israel debate has both hijacked and poisoned (see above) our internal discussion.
    I’m a Deputy on the Board of Deps, for my synagogue, and I have seen how it’s practically all Israel, Israel, and Israel. And it’s boring. We are, after all, the Board of deputies of British Jews.
    We have to sort out ageing, welfare problems, disaffected youth and declining communal engagement. And I plan in the next couple of years to bring those issues to the fore (after we sort out communal governance, the proposed disastrous merger with the unaccountable, unelected Jewish “Leadership” Council). The problem is that we have our own swivel-eyed loons and backwoodsmen and women who like the status quo.
    But thanks again for raising this issue

  17. I think that there was a time when many both here and there thought that secular Zionism, studying Hebrew, trips to Israel, Naomi Shemer, falafel, etc might serve as an alternative to authentic Judaism and that kids who could speak a little Hebrew and sing Israeli songs might not intermarry. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

  18. Right, a few points of my own. But firstly, I wish a long life to the family of Howard Grief, a scholar and intellectual of the highest calibre.

    1) The San conference and the League of Nations 1922 mandate (not the UN plan of Nov 1947) provide the strongest basis for Israel being the legal sovereign in the disputed territories. The UN partition plan, like the 1937 Peel proposals, represents an abrogation of those rights.
    2) No Israeli government has asserted this right to the point of annexing the West Bank. This area has therefore existed in a kind of limbo state. But since 1993 at the very least, there has been a consensus that Israel should forego the legal right to be sovereign by making a pragmatic compromise. Any proposed withdrawal would indeed be a negation on legal rights, not an acceptance of the view that the occupation is illegal. Hence the idea of a ‘painful compromise’.
    3) The idea that the Palestinians have some equal legal right to this area is wholly erroneous. Their right to self determination does not come from the League (which incorporates the Balfour Declaration’s commitment to respecting the rights of non Jews in Palestine) or resolution 242 which does not call for a Palestinian state. However, this is not an argument for the status quo either, hence the strong and long standing consensus in Israel for disengagement.
    4) No such consensus has been forged in Palestinian society. Instead Palestinians have been reared to believe that the Jews are usurpers, colonialists and deceivers. The Fatah charter is unchanged in its core rejectionism. Jew hatred is rampant. The glorification of terrorists is ubiquitous. Thus any and every negotiated peace plan, road map and political initiative is doomed to failure, unless a more pragmatic Pal leadership emerges (unlikely).
    5) The alternatives to a credible negotiated solution also seem unpalatable. All versions of the 1 state solution will fail because they hinge on the incorporation into Israel of a hostile polity that will negatively transform Israel or involve unpalatable decisions. And no one will accept the exodus of 2m Palestinians from the WB. Unilateral territorial surrender a la Gaza is equally fateful as the sudden withdrawals from both Lebanon and Gaza have both shown. A radicalised Hamastan on the West Bank could create mini Sderots throughout the coastal plain, encouraging future incursions that will be deemed illegal and a violation of international law. The only credible alternative would appear to be a bilateral partition between Israel and Jordan, with Israeli annexation of part of the West Bank to provide defensible borders. But this isn’t even on the cards.
    6) The current forces sweeping the region, in which jihadism is trumping more liberal forces, including those few who support western democracy (or more spurious versions thereof), are more sobering still. Even a deal with a more moderate Palestinian leadership could prove incendiary in the long term.

    Anyway, waiting for all the non rational responses.

    • Jeremy, with all due respect, neither the BD nor San Remo does anything of the sort.

      They were documents drawn up by waning European colonial powers in the twilight of their era.

      They are vague to the point of being meaningless, probably purposely so. They don’t define Jewish Homeland (and neither did contemporaneous Zionists). They don’t define what “in Palestine” means. They don’t define what they mean by “rights”.

      It was typical British diplomatic double-dealing designed to keep people on side. The BD and San Remo for the Jews; the agreement with Hussein for the Arabs. Then let them fight it out later, while we – the colonial powers – have to intervene because the natives aren’t mature enough.

      Still, great subject for historical research if you don’t take its intentions too seriously.

  19. Richard you state:
    ‘my vision is the total evisceration of the hamas ideology so israel and the palestinians can then then sit down to negotiate a two state solution without PLO/Fatah officials fearing assassination by Hamas if PLO/Fatah agree a peace deal.’

    The Fatah ideology is also rejectionist, like Hamas’
    . It is more the case that if a moderate Palestinian emerged who wanted a 2 state settlement, he would be assassinated by a Fatah extremist, not just a Hamas one. The Fatah ideology needs to be eviscerated, as well as the Hamas one. And quite how this is going to be achieved is the big question.

    • richardmillett

      Well, they would say the same about Israel as well. For instance, Yigal Amir. The Palestinian politicians would have to be fully protected, Hamas needs to be fully dissolved and there needs to be proper elections where the Palestinians can have a range of candidates to vote for. At the moment they are having Abbas imposed on them. Maybe they would vote in someone like Fayyad who seems to be trusted by the west as being reasonable. If Egypt can sort itself out democratically then the Palestinian people might want what they see.

      • Slight contradiction there, Richard.
        “Hamas needs to be dissolved and there needs to be etc etc…”

        The Palestinians wouldn’t have a full range of candidates if Hamas is fully dissolved.

        Democracy is taking the rough with the smooth and diplomacy is playing with the cards you are dealt, not those you wish you had.

        That’s why Israelis have a full range of opinions to vote for, from Balad to their mirror image the kahanists of the Ichud Leumani.

      • Richard,

        Egypt cannot sort itself out democratically. That is what this disgraceful military coup was about. One of the problems of the democratic system is that if you give an electorate the right to choose, by implication you have to accept their decision.

        Doubtless, I’ll be attacked for racism or worse still “generalizing”, but I’m really not sure that the Western democratic process is suitable for every culture.

        In Israel there is a town called Abu Gosh where quite a lot of my students live. Basically, there are two big families there (Hamulot) and though free and fair elections are held, they are basically just an opportunity to count which Hamula has more members. Issues are not discussed and nobody seriously considers who to vote for. You may hate your second cousin and know he’s an idiot, but it would never even occur to you to vote for anyone else.

        That is a microcosm of what would happen in Judea and Samaria, but for the fact that Abu Mazen will forever “delay” elections. Fayyad is a nice guy and I taught his son too, but I’d be elected president of the PA before he would.

        Regarding Egypt it’s much worse. The army don’t want to run the country and there is no realistic possibility of the Egyptian people choosing any secular or moderate politician. I think the West may very soon begin to pine for old Morsi. I’m old enough to remember the Camp David Accords, which I opposed, and we asked what would happen if one day a new regime arose in Egypt that invalidated the “Peace agreement”. It was explained to me that Egypt is too dependent on the US to be able to do so. The problem is that according to US law Obama can no longer provide aid to a militarily chosen government that has overthrown a democratically elected one.

        I can’t see anything good coming out of all this unrest and so I thank G-d for the strength of his army. I’m just waiting for some idiot from the Left to explain that because of the near anarchy in both Egypt and Syria, now is a golden opportunity (or a last chance) to “make progress” towards a Two State Solution.After all, as we’ve been hearing for 20 years, if we don’t do it now, it might be too late!

  20. ‘The Palestinian politicians would have to be fully protected, Hamas needs to be fully dissolved and there needs to be proper elections where the Palestinians can have a range of candidates to vote for.’

    But what if they voted for Hamas v2? Or another Islamist party? If they voted for a Fatah moderate like Fayyad (very unlikely as much polling recently showed stronger support for Hamas), that moderate would have to get past the militant wing of Fatah whose charter still calls for Israel’s destruction. By the way Fayyad had little credibility among Palestinians sadly.

    ‘If Egypt can sort itself out democratically then the Palestinian people might want what they see.’

    A curious comment. Egyptian elections produced the Muslim Brotherhood and we all know what happened next….

    • richardmillett

      Yes they produced the MB because the elections were too quick. they took place before a proper democratic structure was in place but more important the MB was the biggest and most organised opposition party, albeit banned, because they have been just that since 1928. There was no other party of any size to challenge the MB. Hopefully, now Egyptians will have woken up to what they voted in. I’m sure secretly the Gazans feel the same too but dare not express it.
      As for your first point, yes, that is why this islamist ideology has to be eviscerated before there can ever be true democracy, whether in Gaza, Egypt or even Turkey, where there is no proper freedom of the press. Otherwise women, christians and gays will continue to be oppressed and israel will risk being attacked. I believe it will also be easier to persuade Fatah to stop their hatemongering and to force them to the negotiating table without the knowledge they would be assassinated by Hamas if they ever agreed a two state solution.

  21. ‘I believe it will also be easier to persuade Fatah to stop their hatemongering and to force them to the negotiating table without the knowledge they would be assassinated by Hamas if they ever agreed a two state solution’.

    Again, questionable because you assume that the only reason that Fatah spout blood curdling rhetoric in their charter is because they are avoiding Hamas retaliation, thus that they are acting in self defence. But the difference between them is partly tactical (Fatah know that another violent intifada won’t pay dividends) and the issue of religion (ie Hamas is Islamist and Fatah is secular). They are ultimately both rejectionist and don’t forget that Fatah’s original charter (whose core guiding principles remain in place today) was produced some 25 years before Hamas was even around. As for Egypt, I think the basic issue is that there is a deep schism between those who want a theocratic state and those who don’t and more time for elections may not change this for a long time. Anyway, good post. Keep it up…

  22. The Arabs are barbarians who will slash a Jew’s throat in a minute without thinking about it.
    Jewish niceness, goodwill and restraint are utterly wasted on them. They will never change and their contempt for the Jews is indoctrinated into them from birth. They see the Jews as the descendants of pigs, apes and monkeys. Its all in the Koran. Nothing Israel does is going to make them love the Jews and Israel. There is no humane spirit in them waiting to be engendered.

    Nowhere in the Torah does it say for a Jew to be an idiot and say thank you when a vile people tries to murder us. Mohammed murdered the Jews when they did not accept him as a prophet and the muzzies have never stopped murdering.

  23. The Palestinians are always simmering to kill and hurt someone or something. There always outraged or wronged just because they murder innocent children or old people or bystanders. What is the world coming to, to mistreat such a people as this?

  24. The Palestinians will blow up the same hospital that gave them excellent care. The will try to blow up the power plant providing electricity from Israel. Their hate knows no end. Until they love their children more than they hate the Jews as Golda Meir said.

    Palestinians get more aid per capita then any people on earth yet they are always angry. All foreign aid should be cut off till they grow up. Tell these terrorist Pals stop firing missiles at civilians, and learn to be productive humans instead of moochers and terrorists.

    Hamas and Fatah are always ready to sacrifice women and children for their greed and hatred.

  25. Even a Rat in a sewer will care for it`s young, Yet the Palestinians use their women and children as human shields,.
    They have there children run across a field full of land mines. They probably tell them that if you blow up you will have 72 toys.

  26. No Jewish nation can be at peace when it is surrounded by Islamofascists. The question you should be asking is there a day in history when muslims have ever been at peace with non-muslims?

    Children Dying To Kill
    Eli E. Hertz
    Purposely Sacrificing Children
    Protecting our children is a universal trait that unites the Family of Man. But in Palestinian society, that standard has been turned on its head.
    Palestinian society abuses its children, teaching them to hate and kill themselves to kill others.
    Countless Palestinian parents support, encourage and praise the sacrifice of their children in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.

  28. There is no difference between Hamas and Fatah.
    Fatah are just better liars then Hamas.
    Fatah honors arch-terrorist by proudly listing his 61 murders
    Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
    July 25, 2013

    Fatah glorifies terrorist Abdallah Barghouti as “brave prisoner” because he prepared the bombs for suicide terror attacks that:
    – “killed 15 Zionists” at Sbarro restaurant
    – “killed 11 Zionists” at Moment Café
    – “killed 15 Zionists” at Sheffield Night Club
    – “killed 9 Zionists” at Hebrew University
    – “killed 11 Zionists” at the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall

    Fatah continues to follow Palestinian Authority policy documented by Palestinian Media Watch of honoring terrorists, among them Abdallah Barghouti.

    A picture glorifying 5 of the suicide bombings that Barghouti prepared explosives for and which killed 61 “Zionists” was posted by the administrator of the official Facebook page of the Mobilization and Organization Commission of Fatah. Terrorist Barghouti was honored as the “brave prisoner” and his attacks as “self-sacrificing activity” and “Martyrdom-seeking operations.” “Martyrdom-seeking operations” is the Palestinian euphemism for suicide bombings.

    Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences for preparing explosives for terror attacks in which 67 people were murdered – Sbarro restaurant (15 killed, Aug. 9, 2001), Sheffield Club (15 killed, May 7, 2002), Moment Café (11 killed, March 9, 2002), triple attack at Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall (11 killed, Dec. 1, 2001), Hebrew University (9 killed, July 1, 2002), and Bus 4 in Tel Aviv (6 killed, Sept. 19, 2002).

    Following PMW’s exposure of the visits this past May by PA TV to the homes of terrorist Barghouti and two other arch terrorists who between them are serving 166 life sentences, PA TV criticized PMW saying they are not terrorists but “heroes” and attacked PMW for calling them “terrorists”.

    Click to see further PMW documentation of PA terror glorification.

    The following is the full text of the official Fatah Facebook page:

    “The brave prisoner, Abdallah Barghouti, who has the longest [prison] sentence in the history of the Palestinian cause”

    Text on photo:
    “The free prisoner Abdallah Barghouti
    Personal information:
    Born in Kuwait in 1972.
    Married and father of one son and two daughters: Osama, Tala and Safa.
    Studied electrical engineering in South Korea.

    Date of arrest: March 5, 2003.
    His self-sacrificing activity: Planning a series of Martyrdom-seeking operations (i.e., suicide terror attacks) during 2000-2003:

    – The Sbarro restaurant operation in Jerusalem which killed 15 Zionists
    – The Moment Café operation which killed 11 Zionists
    – The Sheffield Night Club operation which killed 15 Zionists
    – The Hebrew University operation which killed 9 Zionists
    – The Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall operation which killed 11 Zionists

    Prison sentence: 67 life sentences.
    Recipient of the longest [prison] sentence in the history of the Palestinian issue.”
    [Official Facebook page of the Mobilization and Organization
    Commission of Fatah, July 22, 2013]

    Note: Abdallah Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences for preparing explosives for terror attacks in which 67 people were murdered: Sbarro restaurant (15 killed, Aug. 9, 2001), Sheffield Club (15 killed, May 7, 2002), Moment Café (11 killed, March 9, 2002), triple attack at Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall (11 killed, Dec. 1, 2001), Hebrew University (9 killed, July 1, 2002), and Bus 4 in Tel Aviv (6 killed, Sept. 19, 2002).

    Fatah Facebook page glorifies 1975 Savoy Hotel terrorists
    February 07, 2012
    From Palestinian Media Watch:
    Fatah has chosen to use its official Facebook page to glorify terrorists.

    Fatah’s page currently displays a poster with the pictures of 8 terrorists who carried out a terror attack on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1975, that was posted by the Fatah administrator.

    8 Israeli civilians and 3 soldiers were killed in the attack.

    Text on poster:
    “The Tel Aviv operation, March 6, 1975 ; The Palestinian passage to the homeland”

    The text under each terrorist’s picture reads:
    “The heroic Shahid (Martyr)” followed by the terrorist’s name.

    This is the official Fatah Facebook page as announced in PalArab media on February 1.

    The Fatah terrorists arrived by sea from Lebanon. They had intended to attack a different target, but they got lost and chose this hotel because it was the only building lit up on the street.

    The dead included two Swiss, a German, a Somali and a teenage boy from the Netherlands. The Fatah terrorists set off explosive charges when Israeli forces raided the hotel; one Fatah member survived and initially claimed to have come from Egypt (in order to frustrate any peace agreement between Israel and Egypt) before admitting that they came from Lebanon.

    Fatah took responsibility, saying that they wanted Israel to release some 10 terrorists from prison.

    These are the heroes of today’s “moderate” Fatah.

  30. Barry Meridian AKBAR!

    Don’t forget the 100,000+ dead in Syria (where are the Emergency UN Security Council meetings? Can’t blame Israel? Never mind. Carry on.).

  31. Barry.

    If you’re going to do us the great service of copying and pasting, you could at least delete phrases like; “Click to see further PMW documentation of PA terror glorification.” and “Text on photo”. Without a hyperlink or photo, they kind of give your plagiarism away and make you look a bit daft.

    Why not try to write something of your own? True, this would require research and even thinking, but in the long run, you’ll find it far more satisfying than the old copy-paste option.