“Dershowitz’s latest two-state proposal is a masterpiece of logical inconsistency, with oxymorons being surpassed only by non-sequiturs.”

“A [Palestinian] state is liable to be an arrowhead directed at the very heart of Israel with all the force of the Arab world behind it…. this is the terrible danger involved in the establishment of a third independent sovereign state between us and the Jordan River – Amnon Rubinstein, former Meretz MK and education minister, Haaretz, 1976”

What is it about the Palestinian issue that induces the total eclipse of common sense in otherwise ostensibly intelligent people?

How long can two-staters cling to disastrously failed concepts? How long can they obdurately adhere to patently unfeasible policy proposals? How long can they continue to mouth meaningless mantras that fly in the face of painfully evident facts? How long can they go on resolutely ignoring reality – no matter how ruinous the consequences?

How long can they maintain the mendacious masquerade that their futile pursuit of fatal fantasy somehow validates their absurd claim to the moral and intellectual high ground?

How long will it take until intellectual integrity asserts itself and compels them to admit error?

These irksome questions keep pushing themselves into my mind whenever I encounter an new declaration of support for the two-state notion by people of the stature of Alan Dershowitz.

The Cognitive War Against Israel in the Settlement Debate: Richard L. Cravatts ****

“…..does anyone doubt that once the Palestinians, aided and abetted by mendacious Western elites, diplomats, and an anti-Israel international community of supporters, have purged Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem of all Jews, that new calls will then arise accusing Jews of “occupying” more “Arab” lands in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Tiberias, or Haifa?”

No sooner had retired Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy issued an 89-page legal opinion that seemed to confirm the legality of West Bank settlements, than the Obama administration chimed in with a well-worn criticism of the report’s findings, the long-held view that the presence of Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria violates international law. Levy’s committee had found that “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and that claims that they exist in violation of international law are baseless.

But Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s office wanted no part of the report’s findings. “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts,” said her spokesman, Patrick Ventrell. And, he added, the State Department was “concerned about it, obviously.”

The problem with this defective diplomacy, as is often the case when Israel is concerned, is that operates in what Melanie Phillips has called “a world turned upside down,” where the perennial victim status of the long-suffering Palestinians trumps any sovereign rights of Israel regarding its borders, security, and even its survival in a sea of jihadist foes who yearn for its destruction. The settlement debate has also been hijacked by the Arab world and its Western apologists who, willingly blind to history, international law, and fact, continue to assign the blame for the absence of peace on the perceived offenses of occupation and Israeli truculence. Thus, Secretary Clinton and her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, have both referred to the nuisance Israel causes by letting Jews live in the West Bank, against the wishes of the Palestinians who view that territory as once and forever theirs, as “unhelpful” in seeking a viable solution to Palestinian statehood.


According to Al Ahram, Egyptian journalist Adel Al-Gogari, 56, died on Wednesday night while discussing the crisis in Syria during a live televised broadcast on Iraqi Al-Hadath private channel in Media Production City, Cairo. Al-Gogari, editor of Egypt’s Al-Anwar newspaper and Al-Ghad Al-Arabi magazine, suffered a blot clot following an intense phone debate over Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime with Brigadier-General Hossam, a member of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who Al-Gogari had called a “fugitive soldier.” Al-Gogari, a Nasserist, also accused the FSA of being funded by Israel during the show.

Al Ahram reports that Al-Gogari was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

The late journalist’s family announced on Facebook that they will receive condolences on Friday in his birthplace Abu-Suweir city in the canal governorate of Ismailia.

AMAZING ISRAEL: DISCOVERY OF A PROTEIN TECHNIQUE FOR NEW CANCER TREATMENTS Israeli Researchers have discovered a protein that is central to delaying cell death, which “could lead to new approaches to treating cancer.” The findings, led by Hebrew University graduate student Chen Hener-Katz and involving a collaboration between Prof. Assaf Friedler of the Hebrew University and Prof. Atan Gross of the Weizmann Institute, were published […]

DEROY MURDOCK:EPA IN WONDERLAND…HOW DO YOU GET FINED FOR NOT USING A FUEL THAT DOESN’T EXIST? (HUH?) Why does America’s economy feel like an SUV that is running on fumes? The Obama administration’s laughably rigid enforcement of a Baby Bush–era ethanol mandate typifies today’s regulatory climate. When Uncle Sam governs with a tire iron in his hand, U.S. companies wisely pull off the road and pray for new management. The Environmental […]



Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood said Friday it will boycott upcoming parliamentary elections in protest over recent changes to the kingdom’s election laws, which it says fall short of opposition demands.

A boycott would deal a blow to King Abdullah II, who has made his reform campaign the centerpiece of efforts to stave off protests similar to those that have toppled other rulers in the region’s so-called Arab Spring.

Islamists have made gains all over the Middle East and show increasing strength in Jordan, where regular street protests over the past 18 months have called for wider public participation in politics and restrictions on the king’s absolute powers.

Analyst Labib Kamhawi said the Brotherhood’s announcement marks the start of political interaction with the government, but warned of looming trouble if the demands are not met.

“The government must either change the elections law again to absorb the opposition, or it risks trouble and a total disengagement between the regime and the people,” he said.

The elections, expected at the end of the year though no date has officially been set, are critical to the king’s campaign. He has changed 42 articles, or one-third of Jordan’s 60-year-old constitution, giving parliament a say in appointing Cabinets — a task which used to be his sole prerogative.

“The government left us no choice but to boycott the elections because it did not show any seriousness toward real reforms,” Brotherhood spokesman Jamil Abu-Bakr told The Associated Press.

Abu-Bakr, however, said the Brotherhood — Jordan’s largest opposition group — may reverse the latest decision if the government promptly acts on its demands. “We will leave that discussion until a time when the government undertakes serious and real efforts toward reforms,” he said.


This week a three-person committee appointed in January by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu started handing out its 89-page report on settlements and the legal status of Israel’s presence in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). The committee was led by Edmund Levy, a retired Supreme Court justice, and also included Alan Baker, a former ambassador to Canada and legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, and Tchia Shapira, a former deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court.

The report’s (summarized here) conclusions on the most basic level are consistent with what any fair, informed consideration of the issue will indicate. First, Israel is not an occupier in the West Bank; second, what the 1949 Geneva Convention said about population transfers—in response to Nazi occupations in World War II—does not apply to Israel’s circumstances in the West Bank; and third, “according to international law, Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered illegal.”

The reasons are straightforward. In the Palestine Mandate of 1922, the League of Nations granted Jews the right to “close settlement” of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean—including, of course, the West Bank. While, according to the terms of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution, the Jewish leadership was willing to forgo its right to parts of the land where a Palestinian state was to be established, including the West Bank, the Palestinian and Arab side emphatically rejected the partition plan and instead launched a war to strangle the newborn state of Israel in its cradle.

When the dust cleared from that conflict, Judea and Samaria were in the hands of Jordan—which had conquered them as part of a violent aggression aimed at eradicating another state. Jordan’s rule there from 1949 to 1967 was never recognized by any world body, or by any individual countries other than Britain and Pakistan. In the 1967 Six-Day War—in which Egypt, Syria, and Jordan again tried to wipe out the Jewish state—Israel instead conquered the West Bank back from Jordan. In 1988 Jordan formally renounced all claim to the territory.


Nick Gray is Director of Christian Middle East Watch. Read his blog and follow him on Twitter @CMEW2

The various campaigns by British BDS groups have been noisy and sometimes messy, but in practical terms, they have been a complete failure

It seems to be an up and down time in the world of the Israel boycotters right now. A recent BDS success was the decision by the Co-Op to boycott goods from Israel (more on that later), but in the US the Presbyterian Church (USA) declined to pass a divestment vote against Caterpillar and others in their General Assembly.

Sadly, the BDS-o-meter comes back up again with this week’s decision by the Synod of the Church of England to recognise the hugely unbalanced work of the EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) in presenting the situation in Israel and the Territories from an almost completely Palestinian perspective to British churches.

In general terms the various campaigns by British BDS groups have been noisy and sometimes messy, but in practical terms of effective boycotts they have been a complete failure (most recently at Shakespeare’s Globe, where they failed to stop Israel’s national theatre company performing).

It is easy for Israel-supporters and indeed anyone who wants to see the Middle East reported in a fair and balanced way to be discouraged by the claims of the various NGOs and charities advocating boycotts, but the reality of the economic dynamic between Britain and Israel should lift our spirits and encourage us.

Following the last general election, the coalition government commissioned a white paper to ascertain how best to rescue the British economy and kick-start growth. “Trade And Investment for Growth”, published in February 2011, looked across the global economic scene to find potential trading partners and nations to work with in promoting trade, innovation and jobs.

Of the 62 action points to be implemented “vigorously and actively”, near the top was: “Encourage a stronger partnership between British and Israeli companies in innovation, high technology, and science”. Besides being recognition of Israel’s top place in the world in innovation and tech industries, this is a huge blow to the hopes of effective boycotts and sanctions held by the BDS campaigners.

SWEET IRONY: EUROPE SWITCHES TO COAL: PETER GLOVER Which raft of energy policies gets proven ‘greener’ results? The anti-fossil fuel regulatory regimes of socialist Europe or those set by the ‘evil’ capitalists in the Bush White House? Is it the anti-fossil fuel, cap-and-trade regulatory regimes of socialist Europe? Or is it the path of technological innovation set by the ‘evil’ capitalists in […]

ANOTHER GLIMPSE INTO DELUSIONAL BRITISH ATTITUDES TO ISRAEL: HADAR SELA Recently, The Commentator offered some insight into attitudes towards Israel within the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Further illumination was available this week when Matthew Gould, the British Ambassador to Israel, spoke at a sub-committee meeting in the Knesset in Jerusalem. There is much in the Ambassador’s speech (which, obviously, reflects the attitudes of […]