Friday, 9 December 2011

Israeli democracy is as healthy as ever

On Wednesday, William Hague decided to wade into domestic Israeli politics by slamming a proposal to limit the funding of NGOs by foreign governments. According to Hague, the bill would have the effect of "undermining the democratic principles" upon which the State of Israel was founded.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

York 'may tie with Hebrew University'

Students at York University will vote next week on whether to link up with Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

A referendum was initiated by politics student Jacob Campbell, who said he wanted to stand up for Israel and curb anti-Israel and antisemitic activity on British campuses.

Read the rest here.

UPDATE: For the result of the referendum, see here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The EU has thrown Israel under the bus (again)

DEAR SIR,

On Monday, the EU accused Israel of subverting the Middle East peace process by building in east Jerusalem. Despite the fact that the Quartet has called on Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks without preconditions, the EU alleged that construction “runs counter to ... the Quartet’s efforts to restart negotiations”. As well as being untrue, this accusation will provide the Palestinian Authority with yet another excuse not to come to the table. Unless Britain wishes to remain complicit in the perpetuation of this conflict, we must leave the EU and pursue our own foreign policy instead.

JACOB CAMPBELL, York
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

On the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street Fascism is Thriving in Today's Britain


Today marks 75 years since the infamous battle of Cable Street when thousands of East End residents rallied against fascist leader Oswald Mosley and 5,000 of his uniformed followers. The event was testament to the admirable spirit of East End Londoners.

Sadly, however, our society is still not free from fascism. Many, including former  cabinet minister John Denham,  have drawn comparisons between the 1936 Mosley rally and the English Defence League March earlier this year in a Muslim area barely a stone’s throw from Cable Street.

However, while many members of the English Defence League do come across as little more than fascist thugs with their Hitler salutes and skin heads, there is a more dangerous fascist threat.

Fascism is an apt label for the ideology subscribed to by many thousands of Islamic extremists living in Britain today who hold contempt for liberty and democracy, hate the Jewish people and do not respect the rights of women. That this ideology is alive and well is proved all the time by the organisation Student Rights who point out instances of Islamic extremists being invited onto university campuses. These individuals are commonly addressing lecture theatres in leading academic institutions all over our country, attempting to warp vulnerable young minds.


This fascist threat comes in a different form to that experienced 75 years ago.Where once it was men in black shirts, riding horses, showing a physical presence on the streets of London. Now fascism thrives in an academic environment where not to accept its presence would be “closed minded”.  But as we have tragically found out, British universities are quickly becomming the breeding grounds for potential one day terrorists.
Mirroring modern guerrilla warfare , fascists have taken to covert means to spread and strengthen their ideology, and only organisations like Student Rights are standing up to fight today’s fascist threat.

For more information about Student Rights go to http://www.studentrights.org.uk/

Friday, 30 September 2011

Human Rights Lunacy: Police Wrong to Detain Dangerous Sheikh... Because They Didn't Explain The Reasons in Arabic!

Sheikh Raed Salah has won compensation for being wrongly detained in Britain due to procedural impropriety on behalf of the law enforcement services.

Theresa May wished to detain the pro-Palestian activist who had been making a 10 day visit. The Home Secretary feared he might pose a danger to the peace because of his radical views including his conspiracy theory that Jews were warned to leave the twin towers before the 9/11 attacks while thousands of Muslims working there perished.

The issues at the heart of the legal case, which considered the legality of the attempted detainment of Raed Salah, were: (1) whether it was right to attempt to deport Raed Salah given he intended to return home anyway; (2)whether Raed Salah could be dealt with under the guidelines for dangerous foriegn national prisoners; and finally, (3) whether the reasons given to Raed Salah for his deportation adequately explained to him.

This third argument was very important to  the judge, Hon. Mr Justice Nicol , who felt that it was wrong of the police not to have immediately informed Raed Salah of the reasons in his native tongue, Arabic. By not doing so the judge felt that Sheikh Salah's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated. Justice Nicol said there "had not been a prompt explanation of the reasons for his detention in a language which he could understand".

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tony Blair the Neocon

The newspapers are reporting today that Tony Blair is no longer respected by Palestinian groups in his role as a Middle East Peace Envoy. The PLO have drawn up a motion to declare Blair a persona non grata because of his perceived 'pro-Israel' bias. Mr Blair will not be helped in defending this accusation of bias by stories that have been coming out over recent weeks about Blair using his position to aid Israeli companies, and an alleged affair with an Israeli tycoon.

One group you wouldn't expect Blair to receive much sympathy from are those on the right of the political spectrum. To name a few of their grievances, British conservatives and small 'c' liberals,  see Blair as a socialist who pretended to be on the side of business; a corrupt prime minister whose Chancellor spent excessively and a man hell bent on a policy of multi-culturalism which made social cohesion a thing of the past in Britain.

However, when it comes to foreign affairs Blair has a pretty right wing track record. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq became all about ensuring democracy and liberalism in very religious Islamic societies. This approach was what Blair called "liberal interventionism" but it is what Americans call "neoconservative". It was here that Blair and Bush were almost always on the same page.

Ivring Kristol famously declared that "A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality". Blair's rhetoric on the problem the world faces from radical Islam is very strong and would indicate that he has indeed been mugged. In his book My Journey, Blair writes about the dangerous level of sympathy Islamic terrorists receive from Muslims of all levels of faith and observance- not just radicals.

The Palestinians plan to oust Blair from his role and unsurprisingly right wingers don't seem to be rushing to his defence. But if Blair does go, and a new envoy comes along who is more acceptable to the Palestinians, conservatives might actually miss him for once.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Oslo Accords are dead, and the Palestinians killed them

The Oslo Accords are dead. They are no more. They have ceased to be. They’ve expired and gone to meet their maker. Bereft of life, they rest in peace. They’re pushing up the daisies. They are history. Off the twig. Kicked the bucket. They’ve shuffled off their mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! These are ex-accords!

Read the rest here.

UKIP ally slams Palestinian "propaganda offensive"


During a European Parliament debate on the Middle East, Dutch MEP Bastiaan Belder spoke up for Israel by condemning the Palestinian Authority for its "propaganda offensive" at the United Nations last week. Mr Belder is one of the 27 members of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group in the European Parliament, of which 9 UKIP MEPs form part. UKIP leader Nigel Farage is also President of the EFD. Below is a rough translation of Mr Belder's speech.

Thank you, madam president.

Following the recent Palestinian propaganda offensive in the General Assembly of the United Nations at the end of last week, we’ve come back to the raw reality of Israeli-Palestinian everyday relations. The reality is a fundamental lack of any credible partner for peace on the Palestinian side for the Jewish state of Israel.

Last Friday in New York, Mahmoud Abbas didn’t speak on behalf of Hamas. Nor did he negotiate on behalf of Hamas when it comes to Palestinian membership. The political effects of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas remain to be seen.

The EU calls for democratisation in the Arab world. What we see happening in the West Bank, however, is just the opposite. What legitimacy does the Palestinian Authority still have after the third postponement in a row of Palestinian presidential elections?

There is a fundamental lack of trust in Mahmoud Abbas as a peace partner. One reason for this is his systematic refusal to publicly welcome the idea of a two-state solution with an Israeli and Jewish state. And I say this to all the governments of the European Union.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Socialist Admits the Left are too Cosy with Anti-Semites in Today's Guardian

Today's Guardian (26/09/11) contains an article about the shameful links between anti-Semites and socialists by trade unionist Andy Newman. Newman intelligently goes through examples of heroes to those on the left who are not merely opposed to Zionism but are, in fact, full of hatred towards Jews.

Newman gives the example of the Jazz musician Gilad Atzmon who is venerated by leftists including the Socialist Workers Party. Atzmon has written about the differences of "Jewish Marxism...which...is there to mould Marxist dialectic into a Jewish subservient precept".

By admitting that anti-Semitism, dressed up as anti-Zionism, is a real problem that the left has to face, Newman does not teach us anything new, but he should be applauded for criticising his political allies. Left-wing movements around the world would do well to heed Newman's call.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

"Judea & Samaria" versus "The West Bank"

DEAR SIR,

The names “Judea” and “Samaria” are not rejectionist (‘Palestinian statehood: A game of chicken’, 23 September). They are the proper historical names for the territories which lie between sovereign Israel and the Jordan River, and can even be found in the text of the UN Partition Plan of 1947. The term “West Bank” was coined during the region’s 19-year long illegal occupation by Jordan in an Orwellian attempt to write the Jews out of its history. But it is an absurdity: how can an area of land over 40 miles in width be classified as a riverbank? Furthermore, it’s rejectionist.

JACOB CAMPBELL, Gosport
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Saturday, 24 September 2011

RIP Peace Process (1993-2011)

DEAR SIR,

It is a testament to the woeful preponderance of the Palestinian narrative in the Arab-Israeli discourse that even a great conservative institution like the Daily Mail reports that “Israeli ministers are threatening to rip up the Oslo accords” if the Palestinian Authority takes its statehood bid to the United Nations later this week (‘Palestinian anger at U.S. over Israel talks fuels crisis bid for statehood recognition at UN’, 18 September).

The Israeli government has not threatened to rescind the accords; it has merely warned that any unilateral action on the Palestinians’ part will constitute a total renunciation of all prior agreements with Israel. Every treaty signed between the Israelis and Palestinians since 1993 has been predicated upon the explicit understanding that any future settlement between the two parties will be arrived at through bilateral negotiations.

If the Palestinian Authority goes to the UN on Friday, it is they alone who will rip up the Oslo accords – and in doing so they will be setting the peace process back by nearly twenty years.

JACOB CAMPBELL, Gosport
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Friday, 23 September 2011

Van Rompuy: "EU is the Fatherland of Democracy"

In an incredibly conceited statement, Van Rompuy claims the EU is the fatherland (and to be P.C. he adds motherland) of democracy.

To demonstrate this point he highlights his very own appointment as President of the Council. Where once the Presidency was taken up by the head of one of the member states, it is now headed by an independent figure. Van Rompuy says this means where before the President acted in his or her own nation state's interest, now the President acts on behalf of all of Europe.

This begs the question, if the EU Council President's Office is now so legitimate that it can objectively represent the whole Union, could Van Rompuy along with Baroness Ashton put together a common foreign policy towards Palestine's statehood bid?  The newspapers from the last few months indicate that they tried and failed.

The question is not: when will the EU hold the level of democratic legitimacy to be capable of representing all member states on the world stage, rather, the question is, will it ever?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Europe Seeing Dangerous Increase in Social Hostilities Relating to Religion

At a fascinating meeting of the Henry Jackson Society in a House of Commons Committee Room yesterday, Dr. Brian Grim talked about the worrying findings of his new book: The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Cambridge Uni. Press, 2011).

Dr Grim highlighted the startling rate at which social hostilities relating to religion are increasing in Europe based on his research looking at the years from mid-2006 to mid-2009. Five of the 10 countries around the world that had a substantial increase in social hostilities were in Europe: Bulgaria, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. These hostilities relate to all sorts of events which now feature commonly in the news in these countries: attacks against places of worship, violent demonstrations held by religious groups and terrorist attacks.

There can be no doubt the root of this problem in Europe is bad policy. The high rate of immigration into Europe, coupled with the high degree of movement between people in Europe is having a devastating effect upon the extent of social cohesion in various European nations.

UKIP has the right policy in this area. To curb this rise in social hostilities, we must reduce the number of immigrants coming to Britain from Europe and the wider world. This is the only sensible policy to protect minority communities and religious freedom.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Free Gilad Shalit - 25 Today


Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas terrorists, is 25 years old today. This is his sixth birthday in captivity, denied his basic human rights under international law for over five years.

After half a decade, it is easy to lose hope. But it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that Gilad is not forgotten. Keep up the pressure on the international community to demand his immediate release by doing whatever you can to raise awareness of this ongoing war crime.

Don't let Gilad Shalit spend another birthday in a Hamas dungeon.

Monday, 15 August 2011

British Taxpayers Swindled by New EU Bailout

DEAR SIR,

Why is it only through a solitary Israeli news agency that I learn of the latest EU bailout? British taxpayers are once more to have their pockets picked to raise €22.5 million for the Palestinian Authority, whose profligacy and corruption has left it unable to pay its army of bureaucrats. The media silence over this story is particularly distressing because among those on the PA’s payroll are the families of suicide bombers and over 5,000 terrorists in Israeli gaols. I sincerely hope that the Daily Express will condemn this multi-million euro swindle.

JACOB CAMPBELL, Gosport
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Friday, 12 August 2011

Anyone Fancy Another Economic Bailout?

The European Union has a habit of doing things when they are least popular. At a time when the word “bailout” leaves a bad taste in the mouth, the EU has decided to commit itself to a further bailout fund – this time for the Palestinian Authority.

Read the rest here.

Friday, 29 July 2011

UKIP FOI in Independence Magazine!




UKIP FOI had a featured article in July's Independence Magazine! UKIP FOI Press Officer Jacob made an excellent case for why UKIP must stay true to its Middle East Policy and why more UKIPers should get involved with UKIP Friends of Israel.

There might have been a little controversy, to be expected, however, UKIP FOI clearly declares that it is not part of the party, rather merely recognised by the party like many other interest groups. Today's professional political parties contain a wide variety of interest groups with all types of stances!

We believe that the existance UKIP Friends of Israel is an expression of pluralism, a liberal value which the UK Independence Party is firmly based upon. We don't want one European superstate but a variety of independent nation-states existing in their own right!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Raed Salah is a Threat to National Security

DEAR SIR,

Much ink has been spilled over the arrest of Raed Salah by British police. But this issue ought to be relatively uncontroversial. Salah is a religious fanatic who accuses Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread, believes homosexuality to be “a crime” and has suggested that 9/11 was perpetrated by Israel.

He has also served five months in prison for assaulting a police officer. No Ghandi he; and certainly not the sort of person the liberal left should be championing.

Admittedly, none of this is grounds for Salah’s arrest and deportation. But the fact that he is a convicted money-launderer for a group classified in the UK as a terrorist organisation, Hamas, surely warrants his swift removal from the country.

Never mind Theresa May’s concerns about “the public good” or community cohesion – Raed Salah is a threat to national security.

JACOB CAMPBELL, York
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Friday, 1 July 2011

Talking with the Muslim Brotherhood is an Outrage

DEAR SIR,

Your call for the US and Israel to accept “new realities” in Egypt seems disturbingly similar to the realpolitik that is at least partly responsible for the current mess (‘Leading article: New realities rightly acknowledged’, 1 July). First the US propped up the pro-Western dictatorship of Mubarak, so now it must make amends by propping up an anti-Western dictatorship of the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Brotherhood is a coalition of Islamic extremists with no interest in democracy. Indeed, the extent of their involvement in “shaping a new and more democratic constitution” will likely be in making it as undemocratic as possible. Groups like these have no legitimate role to play in any serious democracy, least of all one as volatile as Egypt’s.

There is nothing contradictory about democratic states outlawing groups whose only interest in the political process is in undermining it. Egyptian reformers ought to look to the shining example of Germany, who in her struggle for democratisation in the post-war period banned communist and fascist parties and was all the better for it.

A foreign policy built upon shifting “new realities” is one which neglects the one constant reality: that liberty is universal in its appeal. If we really care about the Egyptian people, we must ostracise their would-be oppressors and offer every assistance to groups whose commitment to democracy is genuine.

JACOB CAMPBELL, York
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Fatuous "Freedom" Flotilla

DEAR SIR,

What exactly is the point of Alice Walker’s decision to participate in the “Freedom Flotilla II” (‘Alice Walker: Why I’m joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza’, 25 June)? She says that her ship, The Audacity of Hope, will carry only letters “expressing solidarity and love” for the people of Gaza. Does Ms Walker not realise that letters are not proscribed under the Israeli blockade?

JACOB CAMPBELL, York
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Friday, 24 June 2011

UKIP FOI One Year Anniversary Newsletter Needs YOUR Submissions

In the near feature, UKIP FOI is going to be distributing a newsletter in light of our one year anniversary since we were launched at the 2010 Autumn Conference.

If you would like to submit an article, please send it attached to an email to ukipfriendsofisrael@gmail.com

Best,

Julian,
Director

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Arab Spring Is Bad News for Israel

On Tuesday I attended a talk given by Professor Benny Morris at a House of Commons Select Committee Room. Benny Morris had been invited to speak by the Henry Jackson Society on the subject of the implications for Israel of the so-called’ Arab Spring’. Benny Morris is a leading Israeli historian and a Professor of Middle eastern History at Ben-Gurion University in Israel as well as the Kennedy-Leigh Fellow at the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford University. He has written a number of bestselling books and his articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and journals.

The Select Committee room hosting the event was dotted with MPs and Peers who had slipped into the event to hear Morris’s views on the escalating revolutionary situation in the Arab World.

Morris proposed two chief consequences of the Arab Spring for Israel, both negative. First, Israel would suffer as a result of international attention being directed away from Iran and towards the Arab world. Morris proposes that the particular form of Islam adopted by the Iranian leadership is so extreme that any success for Iran in achieving nuclear weapons would be absolutely fatal for Israel. If the West continue to concentrate on Libya, Syria and other such countries undergoing revolution and does not focus sufficiently on Iran, a nuclear war could be a serious possibility.

Second, Morris suggested that the Arab Spring will bring a more severe threat to the existence of Israel from the neighbouring Arab countries which undergo revolution. Although countries like Egypt and Syria appear to be under the influence of democratic transformers, the likelihood is that any elections will give new power to extremist groups, notably the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the umbrella organisation which is made up of groups such as Hamas, the internationally recognised terrorist organisation in control of the Gaza strip.

Thus, the Arab Spring poses two new severe threats to the existence of Israel. Morris did also highlight the need for Israel to be strong in offering a two-state solution and show the international community Israel wants peace.

However, for me at least, the fundamental conclusion of Morris’s speech must have been that the future of Israel depends upon Western intervention and pressure on the region to prevent the success of extremists, particularly in Iran, but also in the rest of the Arab world.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Renouncing the Oslo Accords - who whom?

DEAR SIR,

You report that, in the event of a UN vote on Palestinian statehood, Israel will retaliate by renouncing the 1993 Oslo Accords and all agreements signed thereafter (‘Israel warns Palestinians all deals are off if UN vote goes ahead’, 17 June). In the same way that your report also mentions that the negotiations of last September failed “after Israel refused to extend a temporary and partial freeze on settlement construction”, Israel is unfairly portrayed as the stubborn child who throws its toys out of the pram at the slightest provocation.

The explicit intention of the Oslo Accords was that any future peace settlements between Israel and the Palestinians would be arrived at “through the agreed political process” – that is, through bilateral negotiations. If the Palestinians go ahead with their bid for statehood at the UN, it is they who will be renouncing the Oslo Accords, not Israel. So when Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would “no longer be committed” to past agreements, it was a statement of fact, not a threat.

JACOB CAMPBELL, York
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel

Saturday, 28 May 2011

NUS President Right to Criticize Palestinian Policy

The president of the National Union of Students Aaron Porter should be applauded for speaking out against the new policy of the NUS to pursue "freedom for Palestine" and the end of the occupation of Gaza. Porter does not criticize some of the rather controversial ways in which the NUS intends to achieve its new policy, including sending members on a flotilla to Gaza in cooperation with pro-Hamas groups like Viva Palestina. Rather, he highlights the fact that the policy will have negative effects for Jewish students on campus. This is true.

The NUS leadership contains many individuals who support the policy and would consider themselves pro-Palestine activists. I do not necessarily criticize them for this position. Yet, the main reason that many, and it seems to me most students are interested in the NUS is because an NUS card gives you access to discounts at almost every high street shop. Nevertheless, the NUS is supposed to represent students and while it is fair enough to say most students are opposed to tuition fees, is it really fair to say that most students want Israel to immediately pull out of Gaza? Do most students have nearly enough education on the matter to make a fully informed decision?

It is likely that most students do not see the NUS as an organisation that would adopt such a highly controversial campaign. I fear students on campus will jump on board a “human rights campaign” which they really know little about but act on good faith that the NUS has adopted a sensible campaign which reflects the views of the majority of students. As a consequence anti-Zionist activism on campus will increase and this undoubtedly makes campus a more uncomfortable place for Jewish students to be.

However, there is an even more worrying way in which the NUS policy could influence the behaviour of students on campus. The NUS will be working with groups like the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and while they criticise Hamas, they are very happy to work with Viva Palestina who are pro-Hamas. It is inevitable NUS pro-Palestinian activists will come into contact with pro-Hamas groups and this will help to legitimise Hamas among students. I can think of little worse for Jewish students than Hamas leaders becoming the Che Guevaras of the Palestinian cause.