Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Palestine - Continuing Jew-hatred Must Exact A Heavy Price


[Published 20 November 2014]


The slaughter of four Rabbis with axes, knives and guns whilst praying in a synagogue along with the serious wounding of six other Jews caught in this horrific blood bath — and the murder of a Druze police officer who went to their rescue — is the end result of endemic Jew-hatred:
1. Begun in the 1920 Jerusalem riots
2. Embodied in the 1964 PLO Covenant, and
3. Reinforced in the 1987 Hamas Charter

Arab Jew-hatred has continued unabated for the last 90 years since the Jewish people’s right to self- determination was unanimously endorsed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

Alarm bells warning of this week’s massacre should have sounded loud and clear when American Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel on 2 January following Israel releasing 26 long term Palestinian Arab prisoners convicted of murder and other serious criminal offences.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presciently told Kerry on that occasion:
“A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced [these] terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas says — how can he say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women — axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets — what’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-a-vis Israelis and vis-a-vis the state of Israel? So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case — I stress, at least in one case — those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.”
Among those 26 prisoners released were:
1. Yakoub Muhammad Ouda Ramadan, Afana Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad, and Da’agna Nufal Mahmad Mahmoud — convicted of stabbing Sara Sharon, 37, to death in Holon on January 20, 1993.
2. Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal — convicted of the ambush and murder of Shlomo Yahya, a 76-year-old gardener, in a public park in Moshav Kadima and stabbing him to death.
3. Barham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser — convicted for the murder of Morris (Moshe) Edri 65 — a former employer of Nasser who Nasser ambushed and stabbed in the back.
4. Muammar Ata Mahmoud Mahmoud and Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim — convicted of murdering Menahem Stern, a history professor at Hebrew University. Stern, 64, a winner of the prestigious Israel Prize, was stabbed to death while walking to work at the university’s Givat Ram campus on June 22, 1989.
5. Abu Hadir Muhammad Yassin Yassin — convicted for the murder of Yigal Shahaf — shooting him in the head as he and his wife were walking through Jerusalem’s old city toward the Western Wall.
Netanyahu then told Kerry to his face:
“In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the state of Israel. This Palestinian Government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media — the government-controlled media — in the schools, in textbooks, in kindergartens. You see it at every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel. This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement, towards reconciliation and peace.”

Kerry failed to address this virulent Jew-hatred motivating Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews - ignored the adulation afforded these convicted murderers by Abbas and remained silent on the rampant incitement conducted on a daily basis against Israel.

Instead — Kerry — apparently languishing in a time warp—sought to provide some comforting reassurance for Netanyahu with these incredibly inane remarks:
“On a personal level, last month I travelled to Vietnam on my first visit there as Secretary of State. And the transformation in our relationship—I was a young soldier who fought there—the transformation in our relationship is proof that as painful as the past can be, through hard work of diplomacy history’s adversaries can actually become partners for a new day and history’s challenges can become opportunities for a new age.”

Kerry’s words have turned out to be a massive misjudgement.

It is surely time for America and the European Union especially - and for the rest of the international community generally - to take stock and make clear that:
1. no further financial aid will be given in either Gaza or the West Bank
2. Abbas and his Government will be regarded as persona non-grata
Until:
1. the insidious Jew-hating provisions in the PLO Covenant and Hamas Charter are repealed
2. Government-controlled media and schools excise all references denigrating and demeaning Jews.
3. The PLO is prepared to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in any peace agreement signed by Israel and the PLO.
Failure to so act can only see the Jewish-Arab conflict spiralling out of control into a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Syria Hysteria Dooms Obama's Plan To Destroy ISIL


[Published 21 September 2014]


President Obama’s failed policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt and the West Bank do not bode well for the success of the President’s current plans to end the threat to world peace posed by the meteoric rise of both the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF).

That threat was articulated by UN Security Council Resolution 2701 - passed on 15 August - which expressed:
” its gravest concern that territory in parts of Iraq and Syria is under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) “

Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter—the Security Council strongly condemned:
“the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, numerous atrocities, mass executions and extrajudicial killings, including of soldiers, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks on schools and hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and obstructing the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education, especially in the Syrian governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo and Idlib, in northern Iraq, especially in Tamim, Salaheddine and Niniveh Provinces;”

America has subsequently acted as though Resolution 2701 had never been passed.

In his speech to the American nation on 11 September Obama declared:
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.”

The President is wrong on both counts.

Firstly — ISIL is Islamic — as its formal Declaration of Statehood on 29 June 2014 proclaims - and this following analysis asserts:
“The Islamic State is not only a terrorist group. It is an extremist, Islamist, political and military organization that holds a radical interpretation of Islam as a political philosophy and seeks to impose that worldview by force on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Expelled from al-Qaeda for being too extreme, the Islamic State claims to be the legitimate ruler of all Sunni Muslims worldwide. They have established what they regard as a state which includes large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, governed from Raqqa in Syria.

It advances a number of theological opinions to support its claims. Its adherents hold that they are merely practicing Islam fully, pronouncing those who disagree with them takfir (heretics).

This designation is used as religious justification for killing the Islamic State’s opponents”

Secondly - ISIL is a State - meeting the legal requirements of Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Thirdly - Obama’s claim that ISIL is recognized by no other government is irrelevant — as article 3 of the Montevideo Convention makes indisputably clear:
“The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states."

Obama’s false assumptions are a recipe for policy failure — as the goals enunciated by Obama in the same address clearly demonstrated:
“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
Destroying the UN condemned Al Nusrah Front did not rate a mention. A lukewarm response from 57 Islamic States to help defeat ISIL’s declared world threat to peace was not factored into Obama’s thinking.

Four days later an international conference held in Paris made it clear that Syria was not even part of the battleground where ISIL was to be confronted, degraded and destroyed.

Mouram Daoud—a member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria — an internal opposition coalition — opined that ISIL cannot be defeated militarily without Syria and Turkey’s backing:
“The US administration should first pressure the Turkish partner to stop the flow of jihadists through its airports and stop buying oil from IS. According to [United Nations] Resolution 2170, the US will not be able to strike IS sites in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government, which is eagerly awaiting this type of cooperation to restore its international legitimacy. But the US will not include the Syrian government in this war, and will not recognize the government either. This means that the US will stick to its decision to only provide weapons to the Syrian [rebel] factions.”

Obama’s mantra - first delivered in August 2011 - remains unchanged:
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Not even 200000 deaths and the creation of millions of Syrian civilian refugees since 2011 have produced any momentum for rapprochement between Obama and Assad that would enable Assad to extend - and Obama to accept - any invitation to confront ISIL in occupied Syria.

Any expectation that Assad and his backers — Russia, Iran and Hezbollah — will help Obama by destroying ISIL in Syria - is a pipe dream.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Yemen Crumbles,Iraq Stumbles,America Fumbles


[Published 25 January 2015]


There are some 60 States in the American-led coalition pledged to degrading and destroying Islamic State — but only 21 — regarded as “key members” were at the Conference in London on 22 January — which UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond described in these terms:
“Today, 21 key members of the global coalition met in London to review and discuss our efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL not just through military force, but by addressing the underlying narrative of the organization, its financing, its flow of foreign fighters, and by reasserting our commitment to Iraq. In total, over 60 countries have signed up to the global coalition, showing the international will and commitment to combat this threat.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry was at pains to clarify why the other 39 States had not joined the talk-fest:
”And all the coalition partners are continuing to make vital contributions .., and we mean all 60. Whether it’s sheltering refugees, training, advising Iraqi troops on the front lines, or speaking out against Daesh’s [Islamic State—Ed] hateful, false ideology, we appreciate the contribution of every single member, each of whom has chosen one line of effort or another.

But we also recognize the need to, as effectively as possible, be able to coordinate all of these contributions. And that’s what the small group that came here today set out to do. The small group will continue to meet on a regular basis and continue, obviously, to consult with the full 60 members of the coalition, who will meet again as a full membership.”

The non-participation of the world’s remaining 133 States in the American-led coalition did not escape Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s attention — as he wryly noted:
“Daesh is a terrorist organization. It knows no race, no religion, no region. It spares nobody, so everybody must be facing Daesh.”

Al-Abadi was therefore being more than a little cynical when he stated:
“that Iraq is not alone, the Iraqi people are not alone, but the entire world stands with Iraq.”

One can only ask - why then are these 133 reluctant States not members of the American - led coalition? Are they prepared to let the other 60 States do the heavy lifting for them whilst they just sit by and watch? Will they only be motivated to join the American-led coalition when Islamic State comes knocking at their door?

Pointedly the Joint Press Availability with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond and Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi - issued by the US State Department following the London Conference - made no mention of any discussion having taken place at the Conference concerning Yemen’s dramatic cave-in this week — resulting in the resignation of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after having being held captive following a concerted assault waged by Houthi rebels.

Yemen had been allowing the United States to wage counterterror drone strike operations targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen’s sovereign territory.

Membership of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State was respectively claimed by the perpetrators of two horrific massacres in Paris last week at the offices of publisher Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket - resulting in the murder of seventeen people whilst putting France on a state of highest alert to counter any further possible terrorist attacks in their wake.

The events in Yemen represent a spectacular collapse of President Obama’s policy for similarly countering Islamic State in Iraq - by training supplying and using Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State on the ground whilst the coalition counters Islamic State from the air.

President Obama laid out this policy on 10 September 2014 — citing Yemen as an example of how that policy was working:
“Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved — especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.”

Could Yemen’s fate herald the Iraqi Government’s possible collapse?

Al-Abadi ominously told the London Conference:
“Another issue, which is being discussed today, is the fiscal problem for Iraq. You know oil prices have dropped to about 40 percent of their level last year. Iraqi economy and budget relies 85 percent on oil, and this has been disastrous for us…

...We don’t want to see a reverse of our military victory because of our budget and fiscal problems and we have been assured that every member of this coalition will stand with Iraq in its fight against Da’esh “

How long will it take Obama to understand that Islamic State can only be comprehensively defeated by military action undertaken on the ground by a properly equipped and authorised United Nations international force?

Charlie Hebdomania Plunges World Into Whirlpool Of Islamic Violence


[Published 19 January 2015]


The sale of seven million copies of the magazine Charlie Hebdo featuring a front page cartoon depicting an image purporting to be that of Muhammad has brought forth its first bloody response from the Islamic world — Niger — where reportedly three people have been killed and six churches attacked and looted.

Riots and protests in Algeria, Somalia, Pakistan and Jordan have added fuel to the rapidly growing feeling of resentment and hostility that Charlie Hebdo has inflamed.

Niger’s President - Mahamadou Issoufou - was one of six African heads of state who attended the unity march in Paris last Sunday in the aftermath of the horrific massacres in the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket - that saw 17 people murdered in cold blood by terrorists identifying themselves with Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

Niger, Algeria, Somalia, Pakistan and Jordan are all members of the 57 States comprising the Organisation of Islamic Co-Operation.

President Issoufou — reacting to the outbreak of the violence in Niger - angrily declared:
“Those who loot these places of worship, who desecrate them and kill their Christian compatriots… have understood nothing of Islam,”

“Understanding nothing of Islam” could however be equally applied to those seven million readers (with possibly still more to come) who eagerly snapped up the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo—a publication that normally sells 60000 copies — supposedly in support of the right of “freedom of expression” — as proclaimed by French President Francois Hollande:
”...France has principles and values, in particular freedom of expression.”

Hollande had apparently abandoned the moral high ground he initially took on January 7 - following the attack on Charlie Hebdo — when he gave this response:
“France is in shock—the shock of an attack, because it’s a terrorist attack, there’s no doubt about that—against a newspaper that had already been threatened on several occasions and had consequently been under protection. At such times, we must stand together as one, show that we are a united country and that we can react properly, with firmness, but always with concern for national unity.“

Shooting civilians in cold blood in their offices and in a supermarket needed to be condemned and swiftly ended. No State can possibly permit such conduct within its borders nor can any such conduct be justified on any grounds whatsoever — no matter who or what is the target.

But was cocking your nose an appropriate response to the sensitivities and feelings of 1.4 billion Moslems around the world - 4.7 million of whom were estimated in 2010 by the Pew Report to live in France and comprise 7.5% of France’s population - by publishing another depiction of Muhammad contrary to what many Moslems believe to be the precepts of Islam?

Hollande seems to be whistling even further into the wind when he proclaims:
“There are tensions abroad where people don’t understand our attachment to the freedom of speech. We’ve seen the protests, and I would say that in France all beliefs are respected.”

How can Hollande claim that France respects all beliefs when his own Prime Minister is photographed holding a copy of the front page of the latest Charlie Hebdo magazine leaving the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysses Palace in Paris?

There surely is a big difference in supporting the freedom of expression whilst at the same time disagreeing strenuously with the views those people are expressing.

Would the better response have been to leave those seven million copies on the newsstand shelves unsold and its contents condemned for fuelling racial hatred?

Jewish citizens of France certainly don’t believe Hollande and have been voting with their feet in increasing numbers - following more than 20 anti-Semitic incidents — some fatal — committed against French Jews in the last twelve months. 7000 Jews left France and emigrated to Israel during that period.

Those Jews still remaining will view the following words of French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on 21 November 2014 last year with utter cynicism and disbelief after last week’s horror at the Kosher supermarket:
“Every time you feel the violence exercised against you, when you are afraid for your children, when you are worried about this rising violence, remind yourselves that the republic protects you and [you have] an interior minister who loves you and who is your friend,”

Hollande’s unity march - led by more than 40 international leaders locking arms in solidarity — should have concentrated solely on calling for the eradication of those responsible for the terrorist attacks — Islamic State and Al-Qaeda — rather than marching ahead of a sea of “Je suis Charlie” banners hoisted defiantly aloft behind them.

Collective international military action is undoubtedly needed to degrade and destroy these enemies of humankind engaging in unimaginable acts of violence all around the world and threatening its peace and security — including groups such Boko Haram, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah.

The message should be clear and unyielding — no State will tolerate under any circumstances the deliberate targeting of its civilians for any reasons whatsoever.

Hollande’s march should have been just the first stage of a world unity march by all world leaders to the United Nations in New York - demanding the passing of a Resolution by the UN Security Council to take military action against Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

Until 193 world States identify and eradicate their common enemies - Charlie Hebdomania will remain an incurable illness with frightening consequences.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Palestine - Mapping The Truth Erases A Long-running Fiction


[Published 12 January 2015]


The US State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs has featured a map on its website - which both rejects and corrects the misleading use of the terms “1967 boundaries” and “1967 borders” — which have never existed in relation to any territorial subdivision between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

The map makes clear:
1. There was a 1950 armistice line that separated Israel from the Gaza Strip
2. There was a 1949 armistice line that separated Israel from the West Bank.
The use of dishonest and untruthful verbiage such as “boundaries” and “borders” has been a major factor in causing what now appears to have led to an irretrievable breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) designed to create a second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan.

Absent from this State Department map is there any mention of these aberrant terms.

Instead the map seeks to present an honest and accurate position of the current territorial relationship that exists between Israel, the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria”) and Gaza.

PLO propaganda — aided by sloppy media journalism — have been the drivers in introducing these false and misleading terms into the political diplomatic lexicon.

This campaign of deception and media indolence can at least be traced back to October 2007 — when USA Today under a headline — “Abbas wants return to pre-1967
borders” — reported PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas telling Palestine TV:
“We have 6,205 square kilometers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We want it as it is.”

There were four “small” problems confronting Abbas — that he was not prepared to recognise - nor USA Today to question or challenge:
1. There had never been any pre-1967 borders—only the 1949 and 1950 armistice lines.

2. Those armistice lines had been agreed between Jordan, Israel and Egypt — long before the PLO came into existence in 1964.

3. The PLO in 2007 at best still only “had” about 40% of the West Bank it had obtained under the 1993 Oslo Accords. Israel “had” the other 60% - also granted under the Oslo Accords.

4. The Jews had a better legal claim to “have” at least that part of the West Bank they had lived in prior to 1949 — before being driven out by six invading armies - as well as those areas defined as State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes as stipulated by article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
Undeterred by these roadblocks - Abbas continued making these misleading demands - with Islam On Line reporting the following statement by Abbas on 9 December 2009 under the headline — “Abbas Names 1967 Borders as Precondition for Talks”:
“We will renew negotiations if the settlements are completely halted and the 1967 borders recognized as the borders of the Palestinian state,”

The New York Times obligingly gave credence to Abbas’s claims on 19 May 2011 with a story under a banner headline “Obama sees ‘67 borders as starting point for peace talks” followed by this misleading report accompanied by a supposedly accurate map showing the “Green Line Pre-1967 border”:
“A day before the arrival in Washington of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Obama declared that the prevailing borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — adjusted to some degree to account for Israeli settlements in the West Bank — should be the basis of a deal. While the 1967 borders have long been viewed as the foundation for a peace agreement, Mr. Obama’s formula of land swaps to compensate for disputed territory created a new benchmark for a diplomatic solution.”

Suitably emboldened with the New York Times unquestionably uttering the same nonsense as he was — Abbas sent a letter to the UN Secretary General dated 23 September 2011 applying for membership of the the UN.

Abbas—signing as “President of the State of Palestine [a non-existent legal entity—ed.], Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization”- brazenly repeated his earlier claims — this time seeking to implicate most of the international community in his fantasy.
“Furthermore, the vast majority of the international community has stood in support of our inalienable rights as a people, including to statehood, by according bilateral recognition to the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the number of such recognitions continues to rise with each passing day.”

Abbas was at it again in 2012—as BBC News reported him saying:
“Palestine for me is the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital. This is Palestine,”

With Abbas last week choosing the path of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in preference to resuming negotiations with Israel — he surely has succumbed to his own propaganda and sown the seeds for his own fall from grace.

He has shown himself unwilling to be bound by the procedures laid out in the Oslo Accords, the Bush Roadmap and Security Council Resolution 242 — the internationally laid down parameters under which an end to the Jewish-Arab conflict was to be negotiated and resolved.

An opportunity could now be opening for negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan - the parties to those 1949 and 1950 armistice lines — to try and transform them into lasting and permanent borders.

A little bit of intellectual honesty can go a long way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Remembering Australia's First Jihadist Attack - 1 January 2015


[Published 30 December 2014]


The Department of Veteran’s Affairs announced last March that the centenary of the Battle of Broken Hill on 1 January 2015 would not be formally commemorated by the Australian Government.

That decision will now be seen in hindsight by many as a wise one indeed — following the fallout resulting from the horrific Martin Place siege perpetrated by self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis just two weeks ago - that claimed his life and those of two innocent civilians.

However Nicholas Shakespeare has written a novella — ”Oddfellows” - based on this little known event — to be published by Random House in January - ensuring this centenary will not pass unnoticed.

Shakespeare has written a poignant article - “Outback Jihad” - in which he graphically describes what the locals call “The New Year’s Day Tragedy”:
“The tragedy was a desperate response, in the least likely spot, to a jihad announced on the other side of the world. On 11 November 1914 — 100 years ago this month — the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V, and caliph of all Muslims, who had earlier signed a treaty with Germany, declared a holy war against Great Britain and her allies, “the mortal enemies of Islam”. The Turkish sultan’s call overlooked the Christianity of his own allies in Germany and Austria-Hungary, and was virtually ignored by Muslims, save for some small-scale mutinies in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and in Broken Hill where two disaffected “Turks” decided to launch a suicide mission under a homemade Turkish flag. Their target: a train of 40 open ore wagons carrying more than 1200 holiday-makers…

At 10 am on 1 January 1915, the long and crowded train pulled away from the Broken Hill platform. It had been a town ritual since 1901: on New Year’s Day, the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, a friendly society founded to embrace education and social advancement, held a picnic 25 kilometres away at a shady creek in Silverton…
Less than ten minutes after leaving the station, the train slowed down, the driver having been warned that sand had drifted across the line. The engine stoker was standing out on the footplate when he noticed a red cloth fluttering above a white cart. His first thought: someone’s exploding defective ammunition. But he dismissed it. No one would be venturing out with a powder magazine on New Year’s Day…

... They chugged past. The driver noticed what looked like an insignia on the red cloth. What this was, he couldn’t make out. Then a breeze sprang up, the cloth unfolded, and the driver saw a yellow crescent, like a banana, and a star.

At that moment, a pair of white turbans bobbed up from the trench—dark faces, the tips of rifles—and the driver heard two gunshots. One bullet hit the sand, spitting dust against the engine. The second bullet struck the brake van, embedding itself in the woodwork…”

In the ensuing melee and mayhem that followed for the next three hours—six people (including the attackers) were killed and seven injured.

Shakespeare records:
“The two soldiers of Allah were not Turks, but British passport-holders from India’s north-west frontier, a region now divided between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

One was Badsha Mahomed Gül:
“Born in the mountainous Tirah region, Gül had come to Australia as a cameleer. When the camel business declined, he had worked in a silver mine until the outbreak of war, and was laid off after all contracts with the German smelters were cancelled…

Three days after the tragedy, a confession was discovered, tucked under a rock and written in a mixture of Urdu and Dari, in which, astoundingly, Gül claimed to have visited Turkey four times — and even to have enlisted in the sultan’s army…"

Gül’s accomplice was Mullah Abdullah:
”.. a disgruntled old cameleer with a limp. Aged 60, he had lived in Broken Hill for 15 years. Different skin colour, strange clothes, not Anglo-Saxon —boys laughed when he hobbled by and chased him down the street, throwing stones. He never retaliated, but several times complained to the police, who failed to act.”

Eerily reminiscent of Man Haron Monis and his numerous brushes with the legal system:
“He (Abdullah) was not trained as a priest, but he had priests in his family. In the absence of a religious leader, he had begun to take on that role in “Ghantown”, as the North Broken Hill camel camp was known.

As well as acting as imam, he served as the butcher of his community, slaughtering animals in the manner stipulated by Islamic law. The fact that he was not a member of the butchers’ union in the most unionist town in the country brought him into conflict with those who needed little excuse to treat a Pathan from north-west India as an enemy alien. The most aggressive of his persecutors was the local sanitary inspector, a short, mournful-looking Irishman called Cornelius Brosnan.”

Broken Hill’s current mayor — Winston Cuy — acknowledges there are sensitive issues in the incident such as religion and civilian deaths.
“Broken Hill will be recognising it. What are the words you use and how do you commemorate it?”

Christine Adams — Curator of the Broken Hill Sulphide St Railway and Historical Museum — provides a sensible pointer:
“We think that it needs to be treated with a certain amount of tact. It was two people, what they did was a terrible terrible thing, it wasn’t a nation”.

Islam Must Degrade And Destroy Islamic State


[Published 26 December 2014]


The impassioned plea by the father of a Jordanian F16 fighter pilot captured by Islamic State has shot down attempts by American President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to distance Islam from the Islamic State (ISIL).

Speaking to the media - the father of Islamic State’s star captive - 1st Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, - said:
“I direct a message to our generous brothers of the Islamic State in Syria: to host my son, the pilot Mu’ath, with generous hospitality. I ask God that their hearts are gathered together with love, and that he is returned to his family, wife and mother.

We are all Muslims.”

This desperate cry for mercy stands in stark contrast to what President Obama stressed at a media conference in August:
“Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.

They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.”

Cameron has been equally as strident:
“We should be clear: this is not the “War on Terror”, nor is it a war of religions. It is a struggle for decency, tolerance and moderation in our modern world. It is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.”

Abbott was eager to support Obama and Cameron’s statements — telling a media conference during the Martin Place siege in Sydney last week:
“But the point I keep making is that the ISIL death cult has nothing to do with any religion, any real religion.”

These Presidential and Prime Ministerial statements had followed a most explicit condemnation of Islamic State by Iyad Ameen Madani - the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — the collective voice of the Muslim world - representing 57 countries over four continents comprising 1.4 billion Muslims - the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.

As Vatican Radio reported on 25 July:
"In a statement, he [Madani] officially denounced the “forced deportation under the threat of execution” of Christians, calling it a “crime that cannot be tolerated.” The Secretary General also distanced Islam from the actions of the militant group known as ISIS, saying they “have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.”

Yet the simple plea of one distraught Jordanian parent pleading for his son to be set free - stressing that “we are all muslims” — will certainly sheet home the distinct unease being felt by non-muslims living in Sydney — still reeling from the Lindt Chocolat Café siege and subsequent shoot out in Martin Place killing two innocent civilians and the self-styled Islamic cleric who perpetrated the siege.

Such unease subsequently found the head of the Australian Defence League and two other people being charged over a brawl near a mosque in Sydney’s Islamic heartland—Lakemba.

The news that Sulayman Khalid, 20, was one of two men arrested on Christmas Eve as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation into the alleged planning of a terrorist attack on Australian soil — has only increased such unease.

As the Daily Telegraph reported:
“Khalid, also known as Abu Bakr, appeared earlier this year on SBS’s Insight wearing a jacket emblazoned with the Islamic State flag and stormed off the set when questioned about his support for IS fighters.”

France has this week also seen three supposedly “lone wolf” incidents allegedly involving “deranged” Muslim perpetrators in:
1. Nantes - when a van was driven into a crowd killing one and wounding 9 other shoppers

2. Dijon - where a man shouting “allahu akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic) injured 13 in a similar attack to that in Nantes

3. Tours - where an attacker - also yelling “allahu akbar” - was shot dead after stabbing three police officers
Meaningless OIC condemnatory statements designed to distance Islam from Islamic State are no longer sufficient.

Surely the time has come for the OIC to galvanise its member States into pledging unified Islamic military action to degrade and destroy Islamic State.

Such steps could include:
1. OIC resolving that all 57 member States join the American-led coalition of 62 States presently fighting Islamic State. Presently only 13 of those Islamic States have joined the coalition. Major Islamic States — such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Algeria, Pakistan and Nigeria remain uncommitted.

2. Making a unified Islamic approach to the United Nations Security Council by sponsoring a resolution calling for the use of armed force by the United Nations against Islamic State under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

3. Four Islamic States — Malaysia, Nigeria, Chad and Jordan — are members of the UN Security Council and provide an effective bloc to pressure the Security Council — particularly those States exercising a veto - into taking such action.

Growing Islamoparanoia needs to be contained - if rampant Islamophobia is not allowed to run riot.