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, 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.

Islamic State - The Bogeyman Haunting The Lindt Chocolate Cafe


[Published 19 December 2014]


The joint press conference given by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 16 December after the siege at the Lindt Chocolate café in Martin Place had finally ended - was particularly noteworthy for certain viewpoints expressed by Mr Abbott during that conference.

The Prime Minister - flanked by NSW Premier Mike Baird, Commissioner Colvin of the Federal Australian Police and Deputy Commissioner Burn of the New South Wales Police — made the following statement:
“It is pretty obvious that the perpetrator was a deeply disturbed individual, a long history of crime, a long history of mental instability and infatuation with extremism. It’s interesting that the ISIL death cult seems to attract people like that. I refuse to use the term Islamic State and I would strongly caution anyone, anywhere, from using that term, because that exults a movement which has nothing to do with any real religion and is a travesty of a true and just state. It is very wrong to identify the death cult that the individual concerned tried to associate himself with; it is very wrong to identify that death cult with any community or with any faith. The phrase that I like to refer to, uttered by my friend, Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia, of the ISIL death cult: it’s against God, it’s against religion, it’s against humanity.”

The Prime Minister’s description of the perpetrator - self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis — failed to mention his involvement - with his partner Amirah Droudis — in a long running legal battle defending charges arising from letters sent in 2007 to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Their cases and appeals have so far progressed through eight separate court hearings and appeals in which Monis and Droudis were separately represented by two different legal teams.

Funded at enormous public expense by Australian taxpayers — the matter first reached the High Court in 2012 leaving the High Court’s six judges who heard their case split neatly down the middle 3-3.

At this High Court hearing three QC’s, Five Senior Counsel, and 10 Junior Counsel appeared for Monis and Droudis, the Queen and the State of New South Wales - with the Commonwealth, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland intervening .

The latest hearing — a second Application for removal of all the proceedings to the High Court — was heard on 12 December 2014 by the High Court - comprising his Honour Chief Justice French and his Honour Justice Gageler — who refused the applications.

The matters are listed for mention in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal again on 12 February 2015.

The opinions of these legal teams regarding Monis’s alleged mental instability and ability to give instructions and comprehend what he was being told could prove most enlightening.

The Prime Minister’s comments exhorting people not to mention the term “Islamic State” fly in the face of the unpleasant reality that has developed since Islamic State and the restoration of the Caliphate were formally declared in June and has since reportedly attracted 80 recruits to its ranks from Australia.

Prime Minister Abbott’s attempt to downplay the threat to world peace and security constituted by the actions of Islamic State — as endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolutions 2170 and 2178 — constitute a serious error of judgement.

Mr Abbott’s “death cult” views were first expressed in September this year.

At pains to “de-islamize” the Martin Place siege—the Prime Minister stated at his joint press conference:
“We are a very united society. Yes, we have amongst us a few deranged individuals who may choose to try to wrap their psychoses in a political ideology. But the point I keep making is that the ISIL death cult has nothing to do with any religion, any real religion. It has nothing to do with any particular community. It is something to which sick individuals succumb and sick individuals exist in all communities and in all societies. This idea that ISIL is somehow spawned by any particular religion, frankly it’s probably even less true than saying that Catholicism spawned the IRA. They’re just completely separate things.”

Islam was clearly visible at the Lindt Chocolat café when Monis forced hostages to hold up a black flag that declared in Arabic script:
“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

“Islamic State” was also certainly at the forefront of his thinking.

In a video - shot while the siege was ongoing and posted to Facebook - Westpac executive and fitness business owner Marcia Mikhael relayed three requests by Monis including:
“One is for him to get an IS flag and he will release one hostage.”

New York Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism - John Miller — had no reticence in stating that the Martin Place siege had the hallmarks of Islamic State orders — telling the Daily Telegraph on December 16:
“You have to go back to September when ISIS put out the call through its official spokesman for people to attack in their own countries with what they have at hand.”

Viewing Islamic State as purely a death cult and not a well-armed and run State already occupying an area larger than England denies the reality of what this group poses.

The bogeyman in the Lindt Chocolate Café won’t go away because Australia’s Prime Minister wants to put the term “Islamic State” out of sight and out of mind.

Pope Calls On World To End Islamic State Barbarism


[Published 6 December 2014]


Pope Francis has considerably upped the ante in enlisting spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I — to sign a joint Common Declaration demanding an end to international indifference regarding Islamic State barbarism being perpetrated against religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.

The Common Declaration constitutes an impassioned plea on behalf of 1.2 billion Catholics and 300 million Orthodox Christians world-wide for concerted international action to eradicate Islamic State.

Whilst two seemingly indifferent Permanent UN Security Council members - Russia and China — and another 129 member States of the UN stand on the sidelines - an American-led coalition comprising the remaining 62 UN member States has been doing the heavy lifting confronting Islamic State outside United Nations authorisation — prompting the Pope and Bartholomew to declare:
“While recognizing the efforts already being made to offer assistance to the region, at the same time, we call on all those who bear responsibility for the destiny of peoples to deepen their commitment to suffering communities, and to enable them, including the Christian ones, to remain in their native land. We cannot resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who have professed the name of Jesus there for two thousand years. Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes. It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many.”

The Pope and Bartholomew have demanded this shocking state of affairs be met by:
“an appropriate response on the part of the international community.”

No nation should shirk from its duty to eradicate the threat Islamic State poses to the breakdown of world peace and security.
“The grave challenges facing the world in the present situation require the solidarity of all people of good will,”

Islamic State needed to be confronted by Muslims and Christians together:
“Inspired by common values and strengthened by genuine fraternal sentiments, Muslims and Christians are called to work together for the sake of justice, peace and respect for the dignity and rights of every person, especially in those regions where they once lived for centuries in peaceful coexistence and now tragically suffer together the horrors of war”

In a further pointed criticism of Russia — the Declaration stated:
“We also remember all the people who experience the sufferings of war. In particular, we pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony.”

The grim situation facing Christians in Iraq has been confirmed in a video released on the Orthodox Christian Network by Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad.

Canon White — who was ordered to leave Iraq for his own safety by the Archbishop of Canterbury — speaks movingly of the plight of Christians there. Around 250,000 have been displaced by Islamic State in the north of the country - all that remained from the 1,500,000-strong Christian population.

He said:
“Things were bad in Baghdad, there were bombs and shootings and our people were being killed, so many of our people fled back to Nineveh, their traditional home. It was safer, but then one day, ISIS — Islamic State. They came in and they hounded all of them out. They killed huge numbers, they chopped their children in half, they chopped their heads off, and they moved north and it was so terrible what happened.”

Islamic State forced Christians to convert to Islam on pain of death—Canon White added.

He told of the fate of a group of Christian young people:
“Islamic State turned up and said to the children, you say the words that you will follow Mohammed. The children, all under 15, four of them, said no, we love Yesua, we have always loved Yesua, we have always followed Yesua, Yesua has always been with us. They said, ‘Say the words.’ They said, ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry.”

Meanwhile US Secretary of State — John Kerry — was depressingly telling a meeting of the US led coalition that the limited military action being undertaken against Islamic State could see the Coalition’s commitment being:
“measured most likely in years…”

Kerry however left no doubt on the Coalition’s mission:
“Our coalition does not summon hate, but rather the courage to build a future that is based on shared interests, shared values, and a shared faith in one another.That contrast in goals marks the dividing line between barbarism and civilization, and it explains both why we dare not fail and why we will succeed.”

The dividing lines have been drawn - demanding that every member state of the United Nations declares on which side it stands and what it will contribute towards eliminating Islamic State.

The international community needs to shed its present indifference and unanimously take up the call of the Pope and Bartholomew to put an end to the horrors represented by the Islamic State and those who are flocking to fight under its flag.

Time to end this reprehensible international indifference — and time to stop crying.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Islamic State - Pope Calls For International Consensus


[Published 28 November 2014]


Pope Francis has made public his thoughts on the action necessary to counter Islamic State.

Speaking to Vatican Radio after his return from a visit to the EU parliament in Strasburg, he said:
“I never say all is lost, never. Maybe there cannot be a dialogue but you can never shut a door. It is difficult, one could say almost impossible, but the door is always open.”

Responding to a question about whether or not it would be possible to communicate with rather than fight the militants, the Pope said:
“I repeat what I have said: when you want to stop an unjust oppressor, you must do so with international consensus.”

Since dialogue is realistically impossible — only an international consensus expressed in a Security Council resolution under Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter can achieve the Pope’s clearly enunciated position.

So far two Security Council Resolutions have been passed — Resolution 2170 adopted on 15 August and Resolution 2178 adopted on 24 September

These two Resolutions were passed under the provisions of Article 41 of the UN Charter:
"The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."

Neither Resolution has acted as a brake to stop Islamic State in its tracks — let alone bring about its downfall.

An American led coalition has undertaken military intervention in Syria and Iraq to degrade and destroy Islamic State but its objectives have not succeeded by any stretch of the imagination.

The State Department has announced that over 60 coalition partners have committed themselves to the goals of eliminating the threat posed by Islamic State and had already contributed in various capacities to the effort to combat Islamic State in Iraq, the region and beyond.

The State Department outlined five areas of possible involvement by coalition members as formulated by Secretary of State John Kerry and recently resigned Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel:
1. Providing military support ;
2. Impeding the flow of foreign fighters;
3. Stopping Islamic State financing and funding;
4. Addressing humanitarian crises in the region; and
5. Exposing Islamic State’s true nature.

Not all coalition partners have participated in the countless aerial bombing attacks on Islamic State forces.

As at 6 November Australian fighter jets had flown 144 missions against Islamic State and dropped twenty-five 500-pound laser and GPS-guided bombs on 14 ISIL targets, with 11 destroyed and three damaged.

Belgium, France, Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom have also been involved in aerial strikes against Islamic State fighters.

However the two notable omissions from this international coalition ranged against Islamic State are China and Russia — both members of the Security Council holding the power to veto any stronger action by the Security Council up to now.

Such action is becoming increasingly urgent as an unknown number of foreign fighters flock to join Islamic State and a pledge of allegiance has been made by Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis— a Jihadi based organisation based in the Sinai Peninsula.

Islamic State head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared on November 10:
“We announce to you the expansion of the Islamic State to new countries, to the countries of the Haramayn [Saudi Arabia], Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Algeria,”

Baghdadi claimed them as new provinces under Islamic State.

This may indeed be all propaganda — but the Pope has clearly shown his concern.

The only real basis for international consensus rests on the Security Council passing a resolution under Article 42 of the UN Charter:
"Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations."

A Papal plea made directly to China and Russia to join in drafting a resolution under Section 42 could just prove to be the catalyst to persuade these two recalcitrant nations into authorizing military action under the United Nations Charter against Islamic State.

Having supported Security Council Resolutions 2170 and 2178 — China and Russia now need to go that extra mile to defeat what they have already declared to be a grave threat to international peace and security.

Russia’s President Putin has a chance to come in out of the cold caused by his growing international isolation over Crimea, Ukraine and Syria. China would enhance its international reputation enormously by acceding to the Pope’s request.

A Papal miracle is within reach.