30 December 2014

Federal grant for jihadist recruit

From: The AustralianDecember 31, 2014, by: MARK SCHLIEBS and EAN HIGGINS:

SA Pics
Samir Atwani at Canterbury Boys High in Sydney.

A TOP Sydney school student was praised by Arthur Sinodinos and given $2000 by the federal government shortly before flying out of Australia to join Islamic State’s propaganda unit in Syria.

It is unclear whether Samir Atwani, who graduated from Sydney’s Canterbury Boys High last year after receiving a university admissions score of 96.25, used any of the government prize money to travel to Syria, where he became a video editor for the proscribed terrorist group.

Last week, The Australian revealed the man, now identified as Mr Atwani, had been studying electrical engineering at university but abandoned the degree when he went to Syria sometime in the past six months. He is now based in Deir Ezzor province. Mr Atwani was a high-achieving student at Canterbury Boys High, which former prime minister John Howard attended as a boy.

...One of the teenager’s closest friends said yesterday Mr Atwani, along with his online profiles, vanished in August, despite the teenager doing well at university, where he had started an engineering degree.

Mr Atwani is understood to have been born in Australia into a family descended from the [Arab] refugee community in Lebanon who fled Israel after the creation of the Jewish state.

Mr Atwani’s friend said the budding video editor had gone to Lebanon for some weeks with his father about 18 months ago, where they visited Palestinian relatives. He said Mr Atwani had ­occasionally mentioned Islamic State videos and praised them — not for their content, but for their high production quality.

...This month, Mr Atwani told The Australian he had volunteered to be in the media unit after Islamic State sought volunteers with experience in video production, and described watching an alleged “spy” being beheaded as “satisfying”....

08 December 2014

Tony Burke cancels Palestine speech

LABOR frontbencher Tony Burke has pulled out at the last minute from giving an address to the inaugural general meeting of the lobby group Labor for Palestine, after learning that the organiser of the event supported boycotts and armed conflict against Israel.
Hours after telling The Australian that Mr Burke would give the speech at Lakemba in Sydney’s west tonight, a spokesman for the member for Watson in Sydney’s southwest said there was uncertainty about whether the event was going ahead. “Tony is not attending,” the spokesman said.
The decision came after The Australian highlighted the fact that the contact person for the event was Fahad Ali, a medical student at Sydney University who has been known as a leader of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel and lauded by prominent pro-BDS academic Jake Lynch.
Mr Ali last night confirmed Mr Burke had cancelled his speech after the revelations provided to his office by The Australian, but said he would proceed with the event anyway.
He said he did not support an immediate campaign of violence against Israel, and did not condone the rocket attacks by Hamas, but did support what he said was the right of Palestinians to “self-defence” and “armed resistance”.
Mr Burke’s spokesman said the frontbencher supported a two-state outcome pursued through peaceful means.

Mr Ali recently appeared on his Facebook page under a flag of a terrorist group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is not proscribed in Australia but is on the list of terrorist organisations against which Australia imposes financial sanctions under a UN Security Council resolution.

26 November 2014

Slaughter in a Synagogue has changed Jerusalem

by Alex Ryvchin, the Public Affairs Director at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.




The medieval Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi wrote of Jerusalem, "it is a golden goblet full of scorpions." On Tuesday, 18 November 2014, we learnt just what he meant. A sacred site in the holiest of cities was drenched with the blood of pious men.

The four men murdered inside the synagogue were scholars and teachers, untainted by violence of any kind. They were men of community and family, standing in solemn, reflective prayer in a place of worship.

The timing of the attack was calculated to coincide with morning prayers when the synagogues of the holy city overflow with the devout.

At the very moment when the attack began, the congregants in the synagogue were about to recite the Amidah, the central prayer of Jewish liturgy for the last 2,000 years. It calls on a merciful and compassionate God to forgive sins, heal the sick and bring an end to the exile of the Jewish people. It asks God to allow the ingathering of the Jewish exiles back to the land of Israel, rebuild Jerusalem and restore the Kingdom of David to usher in the period of the Messiah. It concludes with a prayer for universal peace. The Amidah is recited silently and while standing, preferably facing Jerusalem, or if one is in Jerusalem, facing the Temple Mount.

Upon entering the synagogue, the terrorists would have encountered at least ten men, being the quorum required for public worship, standing silently, with eyes closed. The worshippers were wrapped in tallit, the traditional Jewish prayer shawl, and some were wearing teffilin, a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah affixed to the forehead and upper arm with leather straps. These items symbolise the dedication of mind and body to God in observance of the commandment in Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

Silence and serenity would have enveloped that house of prayer as in synagogues throughout Jerusalem and the world, interrupted only by the sounds of whispered prayers and of the gentle, rhythmic swaying of upright men deep in meditative prayer.

The son of one of the murdered men, Rabbi Kalman Levine, described how his father was reciting the Shema prayer when he was killed. The Shema is the holiest phrase in Judaism, is said twice daily, and in morning prayers it typically precedes the recital of the Amidah. "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." It is a declaration of faith and Jewish identity.

The Austrian neurologist and survivor of Auschwitz Viktor Frankl wrote of the "beings who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." They were also the final words on the lips of the four Rabbis in the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue in Har Nof.

A police officer attending the scene said that the murders were remarkable for their savagery. The victims were hacked to death with an axe and a meat cleaver and shot repeatedly from point blank range as the terrorists shouted "Alla hu'akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic). Witnesses outside told of survivors running out with "half their faces half missing."

The Rabbis all lived on the same street in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Har Nof where the massacre took place. Har Nof is in western Jerusalem within the pre-1967 territory of Israel. The murdered Rabbis leave behind a widow each and a total of twenty four children to be raised without fathers.

The most eminent of the four was Rabbi Moshe Twersky. A renowned teacher and scholar, Rabbi Twersky was the scion of a celebrated dynasty, the son of a Harvard professor of Hebrew literature and the grandson of the great Rabbi Soloveitchik, considered to be the greatest rabbinical scholar of the late twentieth century.

The last to die was Sergeant Major Zidan Saif, a thirty year old Israeli-Druze traffic policeman. Saif was the first officer on the scene of the attack and was shot in the head by one of the terrorists. Video footage of the final moments of the attack shows Saif's selflessness and heroism and the moment when one of the terrorists runs towards the policeman and shoots him in the face from close range. Saif leaves behind a young wife and a four-month-old daughter. At Saif's funeral, attended by the Israeli President and thousands of mourners of all denominations and faiths, Saif's father-in-law recalled a "heroic man who sacrificed himself for his homeland." A man who was "worried about his baby, wanted to be near her and would hug her for hours."

A reporter from the Israeli television network, Channel 2, went to the Arab neighbourhood of Jabel Mukaber in the south-eastern pocket of the city, where the two terrorists had lived, to gauge the reaction of the Palestinian residents to the atrocity. The reporter said he could not find a single person to condemn the attack. Instead, the murders were praised and celebrated.

The Jordanian parliament observed a minute's silence - in honour of the terrorists. Palestinian media was awash with cartoons and graphics lauding the slayings. Hamas called the attack "heroic." Several employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), employed as teachers by the U.N., praised the murders as "wonderful revenge" and prayed for the terrorists to be accepted in "paradise" as "martyrs." On the streets of Gaza and in the West Bank, sweets were handed out in celebration and loudspeakers used for calls to prayer were blaring words of praise for the murderers.

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the murders, albeit in rather tepid language. Abbas's supporters - such as Palestinian Legislative Council member, Najat Abu-Bakr, and Fatah Central Committee member, Tawfiq Tirawi - declared that Abbas's condemnation of the murders was only for diplomatic purposes, and not sincere. United States Secretary of State John Kerry said that the attack was the "pure result of incitement" by Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, which for days before the attack had been declaring "days of rage" and urging resistance to "Jewish contamination" of Jerusalem.

From habitual Israel-haters elsewhere there was silence, or else the usual weasel words about "the cycle of violence," which drew a false moral equivalence between the measures Israel is forced to take to protect its people against armed, violent terrorists and the murder of holy men in a house of prayer.

Israel is no stranger to terrorist attacks against civilian targets, but this particular attack was especially abhorrent. The victims were killed as Jews and for being Jews. They were selected to die because they were the most Jewish, while doing the most Jewish thing - praying in a synagogue.

The attack targeting a place of sanctuary has again exposed the vulnerability of Israeli society. The murderers were sending a message that they plan the same fate for Jews as has been suffered by Christian and other non-Muslim religious communities throughout the Arab Middle East.

Jews outside Israel, including in Australia, have grown accustomed to heavily guarded Jewish communal centres and places of worship. But Israel was supposed to be different. Israel was the safe haven where Jews could pray and congregate in peace and security. Even the Guardian for once overcame its generally hyper-critical attitude towards Israel to state in an editorial: "The sight of prayer shawls drenched in blood stirs the bitterest memories. They are the images of a pogrom. The floor of a house of prayer was turned red."

Indeed, this attack must be understood as an assault on the freedom to practice one's faith freely and peacefully access sacred holy sites. This is a right that Israel has been fighting to secure since its creation.

In November 1947, the Palestinian Arab leadership responded to U.N. General Assembly resolution 181 (II) - calling for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two States for two peoples - by declaring and commencing a civil war against the country's Jewish population. This was followed by a full-scale military invasion of the country by the armies of neighbouring Arab states. Against the expectations of most, the Jews prevailed. Egypt, Syria and Jordan signed armistice agreements with the new Jewish state of Israel.

Under the agreement with Jordan, the city of Jerusalem, which resolution 181 had recommended become a corpus separatum (separate body) under international control, became another of the post-war world's divided cities. Jews and Arabs both rejected the idea of an internationalised Jerusalem. Israel was recognised as the controlling authority of the western part of the city and the Jordanians occupied the eastern part, including the walled Old City and within it, the holy basin.

The Jordanians guaranteed freedom of access for all faiths throughout the Old City and its holy sites. This commitment was violated from the beginning. The Jordanians denied all access to Jerusalem's holy sites to the Jews. 55 synagogues and seminaries in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City were either sacked, desecrated or entirely destroyed by the Arab Legion. The entire Jewish population was ethnically cleansed from the area. Free access to Jerusalem's holy sites for all people was only achieved after the Old City was captured by Israel in the 1967 war following yet another attempt by Israel's Arab neighbours to wipe it off the map.

On 19 June 1967, Israel's foreign minister, Abba Eban told the U.N. General Assembly that while for the period of Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem, "there has not been free access by men of all faiths to the shrines which they hold in unique reverence ... Israel is resolved to give effective expression, in cooperation with the world's great religions, to the immunity and sanctity of all the Holy Places."

Just weeks after the conclusion of the war, Israel passed legislation to guarantee freedom of access to all holy places and to protect them from "desecration and any other violation or anything likely to violate the freedom of access of members of the different religions to the places sacred to them."

Israel had control over all of Jerusalem and the West Bank and was free to administer the Old City and the spiritual treasures within it as it saw fit. Yet in an extraordinary act of good faith demonstrating its commitment to free and open worship, Israel agreed that the administration of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque would remain with the Waqf (Islamic religious authority). Surrendering effective control of Judaism's most sacred site was a truly remarkable gesture, contrasting starkly with the gross abuses that had been committed by the Jordanians.

Currently, the only impediment to free worship in Jerusalem, except during riots and other disturbances, is the prohibition on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the site of the First and Second Temples within which were located the Foundation Stone and the Holy of Holies. Freedom of access and worship has endured unaltered since 1967 and despite the existence of a fringe movement in Israel which calls for a lifting of the prohibition on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, a sentiment that cannot be suppressed in a free society, the status quo established in 1967 has not changed and Israeli leaders have consistently refused to alter the current arrangement.

The great tragedy of the Jerusalem synagogue terrorist attack will not soon be forgotten. It was felt by Jewish people well beyond the municipal borders of Jerusalem. It was an attack on the ability of Jews to access their holy places and to pray freely in their holy city. The murders at Har Nof have transformed Jerusalem. The intrusive apparatus of security will once again constrict the city as new measures are introduced to protect the lives of civilians.

Herein lies yet another tragedy. The murders are a blow to the very possibility of any kind of negotiated peace. Israel has on three separate occasions made offers to the Palestinians which would have included Israel and a Palestinian State sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem without physically redividing the city. The predominantly Arab neighbourhoods of the city and the surface of the Temple Mount were proposed as a part of the Palestinian State. It is unlikely that Israel will ever renew that proposal. Such an arrangement presupposes that both Jews and Palestinian [Arabs]s in the city could be safe and secure without being physically separated. That prospect now seems more distant than ever.

25 November 2014

Senator Bullock slams boycotters, media bias and double standards

See this Post by Senator Joe Bullock of his Adjournment Speech in the Australian Senate, 24 November 2014. Also see Senate Hansard, Tuesday, 25 November 2014, p.83.

Transcript of the speech [my emphasis added - SL]:

Adjournment  - Terror Attacks in Israel

Thank you Madam Acting Deputy President,

Last Tuesday, two Palestinian terrorists entered a Jerusalem synagogue armed with a pistol and meat cleavers, killing four Jewish worshippers and critically injuring several others.

The victims were Moshe Twersky, Arieh Kupinsky, Kalman Levine and Avraham Goldberg.

All of them committed no greater sin than going to pray at their house of worship and of course, being Jewish.

My thoughts are with the families of the victims - and in particular, their twenty-four fatherless children – but they are also with all citizens of Israel and with the entire Jewish community.

We’ve seen repeated attacks on Israel from all sides. We’ve seen the continued and unrelenting campaign of terror and of rocket attacks by groups like Hamas.

Beyond Israel itself, there is a rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe and across the world. There is an increasing belligerence by groups and individuals promoting ideas such as ‘Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions’. Media bias, whether by omission or commission, influences the reporting of events in the Middle East including the military action in Gaza.

And there are the double standards of many in our community who claim to be interested only in “human rights” but whose real agenda is to attack Israel.

Too many public voices, even here in Australia, rush to condemn Israel – but are nowhere to be heard when attacks like these are committed. 

The climate this creates is unbalanced and fertile ground for anti-Semitism.

The entire Jewish community quite understandably feels under attack, unsafe and on edge. Jewish leaders in my state of Western Australia, as well as national figures and organisations, have expressed to me their concern with events here, abroad and of course in Israel. And they are right to be concerned.

But they are by no means without friends.

Let me put on the record my strong support for the State of Israel and my condemnation of these attacks.

Let me also put on the record my strong support for the Jewish community in Australia.

There’s a grave danger in false moral equivalence, in assuming all sides of a conflict are equally at fault.

Israel is a modern, secular, tolerant liberal democracy, hardly immune from error but nevertheless a shining beacon of democracy in a region with precious little of it.

Its enemies are thuggish, brutal and committed to the destruction of that nation, its citizens and in many cases all Jews everywhere.

The BBC World News report of the attacks stated,
“In the Gaza Strip, some people distributed sweets to celebrate. Hamas, which controls Gaza, and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, praised the attack.”
Those who would praise murder and terrorism are not worthy of a single groat of support, in this country or any other.

Australia must stand firm against any temptation, however nicely phrased or emotionally delivered, to take the side of such people against Israel, or to allow any hint that anti-Semitism is acceptable or somehow justified by one’s opinions on the Middle East.

The Jewish community is experiencing increased incidents of anti-Semitic behaviour. In my state of Western Australia where anti-Jewish graffiti was recently found scrawled across the fences and gate of the local Jewish primary school.

Jewish people report increasing numbers of physical and verbal attacks on them, even here in our supposedly enlightened and tolerant country.

These acts and words are legitimized by those leaders in our community who publicly denigrate Israel and who make no secret of their support for Israel’s enemies.

This can’t be allowed to stand.

Those who know what is right must be willing to speak up and say so. I am not Jewish, but even an old Protestant like me knows that,

Terror is never excusable.

Murder is never justified.

Any movement committed to violence must be opposed.

Anti-Semitism is wrong.

Delegitimising Israel’s very existence is unacceptable.

On the occasion of these horrific crimes in Israel, it would do all of us good to examine what we can do to show solidarity and support for the Jewish community both in the Middle East and here in Australia.

I would like, Mr President, to end on a note that is at once both tragic and heroic.

This most recent attack did not claim four victims, but five.

A young police officer, responding to the scene, was critically injured and later died of his wounds in hospital.

This police officer was not Jewish. Rather he was a young man of the Druze community, an Israeli citizen, serving his fellow countrymen regardless of race or creed and making, ultimately, the supreme sacrifice for them

In the midst of violence, division and attempts by far too many people to cause us to hate others on the basis of their race, this young police officer stands as a symbol not just of Israel’s multicultural society, but of the better angels of humanity.

May he be an example to us all.

22 November 2014

Who has blood on their hands?

BDS campaigners in Perth proudly report that their recent "demonstration was visible and striking as protesters wore red gloves...."

Of course they were trying to malign Israel, as usual.

But the gesture, as usual, simply supported those who literally have blood on their hands.

Aziz Salha waving his bloody hands after the lynch of 2 IDF reservists in Ramallah in 2000

Read more: 2 Palestinians charged with involvement in 2000 Ramallah lynching of IDF reservists | The Times of Israel

The Australian armchair, first-world hippy-activists in the hysterical, hateful boycott-Israel campaign may think the're morally superior to most Australians. 

And they may get a smug satisfaction from their circus antics in the streets of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

But for Israel, this is a war of life and death, against implacable enemies who have violently tried to prevent Jews immigrating to their ancient homeland since the 1920s, and to destroy the Jewish homeland since its re-establishment in 1948.

The boycott rent-a-crowd claim that the "occupation" is the root of all evil. But Israel retains control of some territory it captured in several defensive wars only because it must, in order to defend itself. 

In pursuit of peace, Israel has returned over 90% of captured land, including the Sinai, South Lebanon and Gaza. 

In return, corrupt Arab despots have used that land to establish societies based on lies, incitement, hatred, terrorism and international aid, against the interests of their own people. 

The boycott campaign simply serves the interests of those despots and terrorists. It seeks to extract more and more unilateral concessions from Israel without expecting any peaceful reciprocating measures from her Arab neighbours. Its ultimate aim is to dismember Israel and destroy it.

Boycotters support terrorists. So who has blood on their hands.....??

Terror: the enemy of Palestinian statehood

From The AustralianNovember 22, 2014, by Shmuel Ben-Shmuel:Terror: enemy of Palestinian statehood

Israeli police officers carry the coffin of colleague Zidan Saief, 30, a member of Israel’s Druze minority.
Source: AFP

OVER recent months the streets of Israel, particularly in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, have been the stage for a grotesque theatre of violence perpetuated by a ruthless band of Palestinian extremists.

The victims of this horror have been ordinary citizens, like you and I, going about their daily lives.
While travelling to work, running errands and even in the simple, innocent act of prayer their lives have been shattered. Civilians have been injured and murdered in stabbings, hit-and-runs, shootings and explosions.

This new wave of terror began in a most repulsive manner: with the killing of Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old girl murdered when her and her parents were deliberately run down.

Those that have lashed out so violently against my compatriots have done so in an attempt to fracture the continuity of life in Israel. Their aim is to make violence and fear so omnipresent, so unbearable in the national life of Israel that the resolve of our country, of our people, might collapse.

The recent attack on the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue was a demonstration of a most depraved and vicious evil, the likes of which exceed previous horrors. Four rabbis and a Druze police officer were killed in an act of peaceful worship, sacred texts were stained with blood. This incident pushed the turmoil in Israel to a new level of repugnance.

Israel and Australia both live under the perpetual threat of lone-wolf attacks and home-grown terrorism, with both militant Palestinians and Islamic State drawing their evil from the same well of hatred. As such, I welcome Australia’s recent leadership of the UN Security Council.

At a meeting of the UNSC this week Australia brought the focus of the council on to the topic of countering terrorism. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop contended that in order to adequately address terrorism, the UN must work together to learn from, and support one another in efforts to root out the perpetrators of radical violence. I applaud this initiative of Australia’s, because Israel for decades has been one of the most consistent victims of radical religiously motivated violence, but we cannot fight it alone. As Bishop remarked, radical Islamic terrorists “are an affront to Islam. All of us, including Muslim communities themselves, must do more to negate the violent extremist narratives of terrorists and denounce radical preachers of hate in our midst”.

Israel sits at the frontline of the terrorists’ threat and to curtail their radical dystopia from consuming the civilised world a strong and prosperous Israel is vital. This is why free and democratic countries, like Australia, should forge a strong alternative narrative of their own, that can counter the narrative of violence stoked by militant Palestinians and Islamic State. To recognise that an attack on Israeli citizens is an attack on the same fundamental ideals upon which countries like Australia were built: this is the narrative that will demonstrate to Islamic extremists that when they attack Israel — when they desecrate peaceful faith — they attack a camaraderie of nations that will not tolerate violence as a political tool.

We rely on your friendship. This year’s violence has not defeated us, but the people of Israel need to be consoled by solidarity from abroad so that they can trust in the international system to help protect them. Israelis need the international community to be emphatic in condemning the incitement of violence and to encourage Palestinian leadership to curtail violent extremism in their own ranks. The cause of Israel should be the cause of every peace-loving democracy.

Also, Muslims that desire a sustainable statehood for Palestinians should loathe and abhor the recent murder of Israelis as much as anyone else, for, in addition to being an affront to our common humanity, it only damages their aspirations.

Make no mistake; those that employ terrorism as a means of furthering political Islam are the greatest enemies of Palestinian statehood.

The people who live among this conflict need to be able to give their leaders the space to lead. That bands of disgruntled and radicalised Palestinians continue to take matters into their own hands, motivated by blind hatred and anger, only impedes the ability of our leaders to act with the measured clarity that is required.

*Shmuel Ben- Shmuel is the Israeli ambassador to Canberra.

It's TIME for the ABC to improve the integrity of its news and current affairs coverage

From The Australian editorial, November 21, 2014:
...On Wednesday, [Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull] delivered a stinging critique of the ABC ...

Previous pointed criticisms clearly fell on deaf ears. So it has come to this. The ABC must now demonstrate it can

  • focus on its charter, 
  • absorb modest budget cuts and 
  • improve the integrity of its news and current affairs coverage.

The primary function of the ABC is to be a market failure broadcaster — filling the gaps that commercial organisations don’t or can’t cover in news, sport and entertainment.

In recent decades, the ABC has strayed from its core mission. It has not used its generous taxpayer funding wisely.

It must speak for all Australians, especially outside the major cities, and reflect its unique characteristics. 

Instead, the ABC has opened a new frontier of mobile and digital services to compete with commercial providers, who themselves face new competition and have been forced to cut costs.

That is why Mr Turnbull’s intervention is welcome. 

He announced $307.7 million in cuts to the budget of the ABC and SBS over a five-year period. This represents a modest $254m, or 4.6 per cent, in savings at the ABC. Mr Turnbull challenged decisions by management, overseen by the board, to run a scare campaign claiming several programs were at risk. It is nonsense to suggest these savings place Lateline, state versions of 7.30 or even Peppa Pig at risk. This would be a lazy solution. Mr Turnbull is right to point out that savings can be absorbed by streamlining administrative back office functions and curbing excessive management salaries with no impact on programs. Mr Turnbull urged management to demonstrate its abilities and to innovate and drive productivity gains — just as commercial operators are doing.

Most importantly, the minister flagged his intention to write to the board under section 8 of its act advising it to remove Mr Scott as editor-in-chief. He rightly noted that coupling the roles of managing director with editor-in-chief is now unworkable. 

Mr Scott has demonstrated repeatedly that he has not adequately enforced proper standards and accountability in news and current affairs coverage. The board has been indifferent to the need to enforce objectivity, balance and fairness in its reporting. With such a lack of interest by the board in enforcing the ABC’s statutory obligations, Mr Scott has not been held accountable for the failure to perform his duties adequately.

It is now incumbent upon the board and management, including Mr Scott, to accept the minister’s intervention over efficiency, accountability and editorial direction, and to act on it. 

If the ABC does not, the minister would have no other option but to remove the board and put in place a team that will.

21 November 2014

Australian Ambassador donates blood at Jerusalem hospital after terror attack

From JPost, 19 Nov 2014, by Greer Fay Cashman:

Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma giving blood at Hadassah on Wednesday.
Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma giving blood at Hadassah on Wednesday.. 
(photo credit:PR)

“That’s what people in Australia do in response to a major human tragedy” he told The Post. 

Shocked and outraged by the massacre at the Kehillat Bnei Torah Synagogue in Jerusalem, Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma felt that he do something in response. The only constructive thing he could think of was to donate blood. “That’s what people in Australia do in response to a major human tragedy” he told The Jerusalem Post.

So on Wednesday he drove from his home in Herzilya Pituah to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem where he also enquired about the condition of the wounded.

After donating blood, Sharma went to the Har Nof neighborhood and visited the scene of the previous day’s carnage.

The synagogue had been cleaned up, but just being there gave him a sense of what had taken place, he said.

He also spoke to some of the congregants, including several who usually attend morning services, but who for some reason were not at prayers on Tuesday morning when the massacre occurred.

20 November 2014

Reject the BDS movement

From the ABC's 'The Drum', Nov 21 2014, by Glen Falkenstein:

Sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians will only be achieved through ongoing talks and economic cooperation, which is why we must reject the BDS movement...

Tensions are rising in Israel and the Palestinian territories following recurring terror attacks and incitements to violence. Australia can play a constructive role by condemning both extremism and destructive elements like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which has no role at all.

In Jerusalem on Tuesday, four Rabbis and one Police Officer were killed and several others injured when two men wielding axes, knives and a pistol attacked congregants in a local synagogue. On Sunday, riots erupted in East Jerusalem with firebombs hurled at security forces after a Palestinian bus driver was found hanging inside a bus, with suicide being the most likely cause of death according to police.

... these sorts of attacks are likely to continue. Incitements to violence from Hamas and other extremists will only fuel tensions.

Coupled with the BDS campaign, which seeks to alienate and distance peace-seeking moderates within the Palestinian Authority and Israeli government, this incitement will lead to increased divisions between two parties that require ongoing talks and long-term economic co-operation for a sustainable peace.

Other campaigns like the anti-normalisation campaign discourages Palestinians from visiting or even talking to Israelis. In May of this year, the Palestinian co-ordinator of a joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial day service for victims of conflict was targeted by the campaign for the apparent "normalisation" of relations with Israel.

The (BDS) campaign, supported by Hamas, calls for the untenable division of the Israeli and Palestinian economies, both of which currently have a significant degree of interaction and will likely continue to do so following the creation of a Palestinian state. Moreover, BDS has been responsible for widespread extremism and virulent anti-semitism.

Last month in South Africa, students supportive of the BDS movement placed the severed head of a pig in the kosher meat section of a Cape Town Woolworths. Others in the BDS movement said it was done with "the good intention of helping the people of Palestine", the same movement that makes an intellectually baseless comparison to apartheid which has been labelled "a malicious lie that does huge damage to the peace process."

Pro-boycott protesters in Sydney earlier this year, objecting to a court order banning them from protesting outside the Israeli Film Festival, attributed the ban to a Jewish conspiracy. Boycotting a film festival will not advance peace, it will only inhibit understanding of different cultures, undermine economic co-operation and promote an extremist, marginal view.

Johnny Rotten, of Sex Pistols' fame, said as much when asked whether he would play in Israel:
"I play to people. Jews are people too ... If you alienate the public in that way then anything you do in music is corrupt and utterly politically just confused."
Unfortunately, Australia recently saw a member of the Federal Government endorse BDS. Western Australian MP Melissa Parke broke party ranks, becoming the only member of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party to do so, tabling a petition urging Australia to join BDS.

WA Labor Senator Glenn Sterle had this to say in response:
The member supports boycotting Israeli and Jewish businesses and in her speech praises the BDS movement headed by Mr Barghouti, who has said on a number of occasions that he wants an end to the Jewish state. His BDS movement is not an opposition to settlements, it is an opposition to Israel's existence.
... It is quite disgraceful that the member for Fremantle would support a movement that would isolate a liberal democracy with the intention of its ultimate dismantlement.
BDS not only seeks to end discussion and interaction with Israeli culture, but goes further in denying the legitimacy of Israel's right to exist, as articulated by Philip Mendes writing for the ABC:
The fact remains that the core agenda of the BDS movement is anti-semitic. The movement does not seek Israeli/Palestinian peace and reconciliation and/or the enhancement of Palestinian national and human rights by means of a two-state solution. Rather, it seeks to eliminate the existing Jewish State of Israel, and replace it with a new national state dominated by an Arab majority.
Bill Shorten, federal Labor leader, stated:
The Labor Party opposes the BDS campaign - it has no place in our society. I stand for engagement with Israel at every level. Peace in the Middle East will only be achieved by the parties negotiating a mutually equitable outcome.
Engagement with Israel at every level and arriving at a permanent end to the violence we have seen over the past weeks will require both ongoing diplomatic co-operation with Israel and the facilitation of discussions with the Palestinian Authority to achieve a sustainable outcome.

The BDS campaign has no hope or interest in achieving any of these goals or in building an economic future for the region. Australia has a role to play here. Anyone who signs up to BDS doesn't, and should know better.

18 November 2014


From a STATEMENT, 19 November 2014, by  Robert Goot AM SC, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:

We are shocked and appalled by the terrorist attack on Tuesday morning, which targeted Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Har Nof, a neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Five people were murdered by the terrorists, Ghassan Abu Jamal and Uday Aby Jamal, who stormed the synagogue armed with a gun, meat cleaver and axe, during morning prayers, a time when synagogues throughout the capital are full of congregants.
  • Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 
  • Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 
  • Rabbi Kalman Levine, 
  • Rabbi Moshe Twersky 
were killed instantly during the attack. Twenty four children are now without fathers.
  • A fifth victim, Zidan Sayif, a policeman from the Druze village of Yanuh-Jatt was shot in the head while protecting a colleague and succumbed to his wounds several hours later. Zidan is survived by his wife and seven-month-old daughter. 
Six others were seriously injured in the attack.

The Australian Jewish community shares the sorrow, grief and anger caused by this barbaric crime and we pray for the souls of the murdered and for their families to be granted strength at this terrible time.

We thank the Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma for his immediate, unequivocal and heartfelt condemnation of the terrorist attack and for his support for the people of Israel in this difficult time.

We are also appalled by the events that immediately followed this attack. In Gaza, mosques broadcast words of praise for the terrorists through loudspeakers, while sweets were handed out on the streets to celebrate the crime. There were similar scenes in the West Bank. A cousin of the terrorists told journalists that the family “shouted with joy” upon learning of the attack and the “martyrdom” of the “heroic” terrorists. Whilst we acknowledge the condemnation of the murders by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, we condemn the contradictory statements of Fatah representatives, applauding this vicious and brutal attack on Jews as Jews.

We echo the sentiments of US Secretary of State John Kerry who stated that the attack was “the
pure result of incitement."

We wish long life to the families of the victims. May the memories of their loved ones be a
blessing. We pray that peace can swiftly and permanently return to the holy city of Jerusalem.

10 November 2014

Bob Carr’s ludicrous epiphany

From The Australian Editorial, November 11, 2014:

FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr has just become patron of Labor Friends of Palestine. 

Writing for [The Australian] at the weekend, Mr Carr revealed he’d had an epiphany on Israel. He argued that the nation had “gone from secular to religious”. As well, Mr Carr claimed that fanatics in Israel’s government were promoting “apartheid”, fostering one set of racially based laws for the Jewish minority and an inferior set for the Palestinian majority.

As pleas for attention go, this was both spectacular and pitiful. For someone who has had an abiding interest in international affairs, is a boastful student of history and, with Bob Hawke, launched Labor Friends of Israel in 1977, something is wrong and seriously out of kilter.

If this were only a random display of relevance deprivation syndrome by Mr Carr in his dotage it would be sad. But the one-time premier of NSW is a consummate operator, with an eye for a headline and a nose for mischief.

We cannot say what is in his heart, but his analysis is deeply flawed and deserves to be exposed

In some ways Mr Carr is falling into the Left’s posture trap of late that has seen Labor MP Melissa Parke in lock step with the ratbags of the sorry boycott, divestment and sanctions cavalcade that lays the blame for the ills of the Middle East on Israel

On the other flank, of course, are the rabid Holocaust deniers. It’s an ugly pincer movement that is trying to assault not just a vibrant democracy but the only functioning one in that troubled region.

Far from being a polity of fanatics, Israel is a pluralist, if sometimes rowdy and passionate, state that does not discriminate against Palestinians; its laws are ethnically blind. 

An incendiary term such as apartheid does Mr Carr no credit, drawing a parallel between two systems, histories and struggles that are unrelated.    

Palestinians have lived well in Israel and have enjoyed all the rights of normal citizenship. Some have pointed to the dividing wall on the West Bank as an act of hostility, but Israel has an obligation to protect its children from the clear and present threat of attack. No one wants to see atrocities such as car bombs at school bus stops, but this is the grim reality for Israelis.

Mr Carr wrote that the kibbutz was once the symbol of Israel, now it is the settlement. He will recall that in good faith Israel withdrew from some settlements in 2005, handing Gaza to the Palestinians. This did not improve life for Palestinians. Rather, it gave Hamas a handy site to launch its rockets at Israel.

Like our major political parties, The Australian supports a two-state solution in the Middle East. But it is not going to happen when one side works in tandem with a terrorist group that wants to wipe Israel from the face of the planet. 

It is a matter of deep shame that the Palestinian people have been used by militants as human shields and are seen as expendable for an extremist cause; ordinary Palestinians, too, have been poorly served by their politicians. In truth, their cause has gone backwards.

They have been on the cusp of progress often, only for hope to be extinguished. In the first Oslo Accord in 1993, Israel offered Palestinians a generous deal; this was repeated, in various forms, in 2000, 2005 and 2008.

Foolishly, these olive branches were rejected or met with hostility. 

A homeland has slipped beyond the reach of Palestinians. 

Mr Carr is not naive; he knows history and politics. Once a prominent friend, he has done Israel — and the cause of lasting peace — a disservice.

The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel

bds book
The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel,” released on [3 November 2014], includes essays from more than 25 international scholars who take a cold look at the future of Israel and the impact of the academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
It tackles tough issues that many have found impossible to confront until now, like the role of antisemitism in calls for the abolition of the Jewish state. According to Amazon, “This book for the first time provides the historical background necessary for informed evaluation of one of the most controversial issues of our day…”
The book was edited by Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm and includes essays from Martha Nussbaum, Russell Berman, Michael Bérubé, Kenneth Stein, Jeffrey Herf and Paul Berman.
AMCHA Initiative cofounder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin’s chapter, “Interrogating the Academic Boycotters of Israel on American Campuses,” takes a critical look at the individual faculty who support and promote the academic boycott, what ideologies motivate the boycotters, how they have used their university positions to promote the boycott and stifle criticism and which university conditions allow for, and often encourage, this behavior.
Rossman-Benjamin’s research found that of the 938 boycotting faculty, 86% are in the humanities or social sciences. Only 7% are affiliated with engineering and natural science and 4% with arts. 

The research found seven primary ways that faculty promote the boycott of Israel on campus: 

  1. Incorporating pro-boycott material into course curricula;
  2. hosting academic conferences about boycotting Israel; 
  3. advocating for the boycott on official university websites; 
  4. using departmental resources to sponsor student BDS events; 
  5. advising pro-Palestinian students to engage in boycott activity; 
  6. infiltrating the academic senate to promote the boycott among academic colleagues and to ensure that boycotting faculty are protected from criticism, and 
  7. creating faculty advocacy groups under the guise of defending academic freedom but whose true mission is to promote the boycott.
Rossman-Benjamin also cited three university conditions that open the door to this behavior: 

  1. The vagueness of academic freedom; 
  2. the unwillingness of administrators to enforce existing university policies and 
  3. the common practice of encouraging political activism by humanities and social sciences departments. These departments often incorporate the pursuit of “social justice” into their mission statements. Instead of being reminded to be objective in their teaching, the boycotter is likely to be applauded by his or her departmental colleagues. 
Rossman-Benjamin calls for public pressure from students, parents, alumni and donors as the most effective method to prevent professors from abusing their access to vulnerable students and university resources to promote personal propaganda.
Some excerpts from the chapter:
Predominantly hailing from the humanities and social sciences, many of the academic boycotters are involved with the study of Race, Gender, Class or Empire, and seem to be motivated by ideologies which divide the world into oppressed and oppressor and are linked to social movements which pursue social justice for the oppressed by combating the perceived oppressor, in this case Israel. One possibility is that all four areas represent ideological paradigms…making it a short ideological leap to seeing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the same binary terms.
Academic boycotters have found multiple points of entry for advancing the boycott of Israel on their campuses, including in the classroom, conference hall, and campus square, on the university website, and through the academic senate. Faculty boycotters have also created advocacy groups to defend the right of faculty to continue using university resources to promote BDS. The boycotters’ efforts have been facilitated by the activist focus of some departments in the social sciences and humanities, the lack of clarity about (and misrepresentation of) academic freedom, and the unwillingness of administrators to enforce university policy and state and federal laws that would curb the behavior of the boycotters. The net result is that many universities are at risk of becoming bastions of political hatred directed against Israel, and inhospitable to Jewish students who identify with the Jewish state.

The problem is not with these faculty taking such public positions, something they are entitled to do both as US citizens and as faculty members engaged in extramural expression of their political opinions. The problem arises when such political convictions become so fanatical that classroom instruction becomes coercive, students’ rights to express alternative views are compromised, or discussion becomes intimidation. That is a problem universities need to face with a level of courage and honesty little in evidence now.

09 November 2014


From the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, 9 November 2014:
The 12 month period ending 30 September 2014 saw a 35% increase over the previous year in antisemitic incidents involving threats or acts of violence, according to the annual Report on Antisemitism in Australia published by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).
...“Although Australia remains overwhelmingly a safe and secure place for Jews to live in, these figures are a very conservative representation of the levels of antisemitism that exist here”, according to the report’s author, ECAJ Research Officer, Julie Nathan. “The figures do not include a very large number of antisemitic publications in the general media, online and in social media which do not rise to the level of a clear threat to harm people or property. There is also much anecdotal evidence of incidents which go unreported”.
Nathan said that “the most disturbing trend was the tripling in the number of reported physical assaults in which anti-Jewish hatred was manifest”. These included the assault of five Jews in Bondi in October 2013, the assault of a Melbourne Jewish man during the 2014 Gaza conflict, and other reported assaults on Jews which were not highlighted in the media.
Included in the ‘harassment’ category were several serious incidents of attempted assault where projectiles, such as a golf ball, full can of drink, and eggs, were thrown at Jews, but missed their target.

The other major trend over the previous 12 months noted by Nathan was the “mainstreaming” of antisemitism, particularly through the publishing, airing and hosting of antisemitic content by mainstream media organisations.

“The ABC Four Corners Facebook pages on the “Stone Cold Justice” program in February hosted vile anti-Jewish comments for up to five weeks before the posts were finally removed in the face of complaints from the Jewish community”, according to Nathan. “During those five weeks, the Executive Producer of Four Corners went on the record to deny there was a problem, assuring the public that moderating had occurred on a daily basis and that everything possible was being done to ensure that offensive posts were deleted as soon as possible. That was clearly not the case”.

Another example of antisemitism in the mainstream media pointed to by Nathan was the Le Lievre cartoon which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 26, “It presented a racist stereotype of a Jew reminiscent of the anti-Jewish cartoons for which the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer was notorious in the 1930’s,” she said. “The Herald, to its credit, published a prominent public apology, but only after being in denial for 10 days about the intrinsic racism of the cartoon”.

Nathan was also highly critical of the “orchestrated publicity” surrounding the release of Bob Carr’s autobiography, and his claim that ‘the Melbourne Israel lobby’ exercises undue influence on Australian government policy. “Since Carr went public with that claim, a far-Right group has distributed antisemitic leaflets in Sydney’s eastern suburbs where there are high concentrations of Jewish residents, including Holocaust survivors. One leaflet actually says that its neo-Nazi authors agree with Bob Carr. Carr should have foreseen that his comments would fuel outlandish conspiracy theories and encourage the activities of racist groups. He has made his own singular contribution to the convergence of the far Left and the far Right on antisemitism.”

Drawing a connection between antisemitic publications in the mainstream media and the overall spike in antisemitic incidents, Nathan added
“racist violence does not occur in a vacuum. It is words, when given free reign, which create the poisonous atmosphere in which racially-motivated violence is generated. Words incite hatred, and hatred breeds violence.”
Nathan said that the ‘mainstreaming’ of antisemitism had sounded a warning that Australia’s free and tolerant society is under threat.
“If one form of racism becomes acceptable in public discourse, it is only a matter of time before other forms of racism become equally acceptable. It’s a question of whether or not we want Australia to become that kind of society”.

Labor's Melissa Parke: Whitewashing Antisemitism

From Canberra Times, 7 Nov 2014 , by Peter Wertheim and Alex Ryvchin*:

Melissa Parke: whitewashing antisemitism

Perhaps it was the pig's head placed in the kosher section of a Johannesburg supermarket by anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists last week. Or maybe it was the denial of Jewish self-determination inherent in the stated goals of the BDS campaign.

Whatever it was, something compelled Melissa Parke to rise in the Federal Parliament to "dispel some of the misunderstandings" about BDS, or in other words, to whitewash its all too evident anti-semitism.  

In her attempt to distinguish between hatred for the Jews as a people and hatred for Jews as a people with a national home, the Labor Member for Fremantle relied on the views of former UN-official Richard Falk.

Falk is known as a "9/11 conspiracy theorist", and was denounced, including by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for vile comments blaming the Boston terrorist attack on "the American global domination project" and "Tel Aviv."

So extreme are Falk's views that the Palestinian Authority requested that he step down from his position as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories because they considered him to be a partisan of Hamas and opposed his deeply offensive references to the Holocaust.

To build the case for BDS, Parke also quotes Peter Slezak, of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network. Just hours after a bus-load of Jewish primary school children were threatened in Sydney with having their "throats cut" and were subjected to shouts of "Heil Hitler" and "all Jews must die", Slezak declared that
"Jews are fair game because of their influence and militant support for crimes of [the] Jewish state."...
The dishonesty and extremism of what Parke calls the "official BDS campaign" is evident.

The founder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, claims  Palestinians have a "right to resistance by any means, including armed resistance," and denies that the Jews are a people or have a connection to the land of Israel.

Other leading figures in the movement have openly asserted the campaign's purpose of destroying Israel. As'ad Abu Khalil stated that "justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel," while Ahmed Moor put it in ever plainer terms, asserting that "BDS does mean the end of the Jewish State."

Parke's speech in support of BDS is symptomatic of the same psychosis for which Richard Falk has been roundly condemned. It places all the ills of the Middle East, if not the world, at the feet of Israel. 

Parke even goes so far as to link the scourge of militant Islam with the actions of Israel and implies that BDS is part of the solution. What connection Israel has to the marauding jihadists consuming much of Africa and the Middle East, Parke does not tell us. Israel's only involvement in the Syrian tragedy that  spawned IS and which has claimed, in just a few years, far more lives than the Arab-Israeli conflict has in over six decades, is to smuggle wounded Syrian civilians across the border and heal them free of charge in Israeli hospitals.

Every party in the Federal Parliament and in the State or Territory parliaments has rejected the anti-Israel BDS campaign, and leaders of the Coalition, Labor and the Greens have denounced BDS publicly more than once.  

More importantly, Australians have shown no tolerance at all for the fringe groups that picket chocolate shops, university centres that try to exclude Israeli academics, or local councils that seek to spend ratepayers' money on anti-Israel crusades.

Parke's public endorsement of a campaign that is at best dishonest and at worst racist, will disgust all people of goodwill ....

It should also serve as a sharp reminder that we mustn't be taken in by self-appointed advocates for human rights like Parke and Falk. Too often they are found attempting to divert our eyes to the actions of Israel, a liberal democracy with a vibrant tradition of internal debate and dissent. All the while the voiceless victims of egregious crimes elsewhere are ignored, because for Melissa Parke, they just don't make it on to her ideological radar.

*Peter Wertheim is the executive director and Alex Ryvchin is the public affairs director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the peak representative body of the Australian Jewish community.

04 November 2014

Sorry, Tony: UNSC 242 says borders are negotiable

From AIJAC, 4 Nov 2014, by Aharon Shapiro:

Tony Walker's recent column "First Principles in the Middle East" (AFR, October 25 - subscription required) resurrected a specious claim about UN Security Council Resolution 242 - the blueprint passed in November 1967 that created the land-for-peace formula for peace between Israel and its neighbours.

Walker claimed that the "Lack of the definite article ‘the' before the word ‘territories' has been misinterpreted by Israeli propagandists to argue [UNSC 242's call for Israeli withdrawal] does not extend to all territories occupied in 1967."

In making this claim, Walker in effect rewrites history. 

Not "Israeli propagandists" but the people involved in drafting the language of the resolution itself themselves said UNSC 242 did not require Israel to withdraw from all ‘the' territories occupied in 1967.

More importantly, Walker ignored the historical record - easily traced through a selection of archival sources from newspaper accounts of the day - which showed that UNSC 242 was passed only after at least three other drafts were rejected: 
(I) A US draft that was said to have been more explicit in its language that Israel need not withdraw from all of the captured territories; 
(II) An Indian draft that explicitly demanded Israeli withdrawal from all of the captured territories; and 
(III) a Soviet draft that surfaced at the last minute and was scrapped, that reportedly would have been somewhere between the UK version that was passed and the Indian version.

The fact that India's draft calling for a full withdrawal was pointedly rejected over this demand would be proof alone that the only ones who have clearly "misinterpreted" Resolution 242 are those on the anti-Israel side, not the pro-Israel camp (or "Israel propagandists", in Walker's pejorative view).

When considering interpretations of a historical document like UNSC 242, a natural place to begin would be the stated intent of the drafters themselves. In 2007, The Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) assembled a collection of footnoted quotes by the drafters of UNSC 242, starting with then-UK Ambassador to the UN Lord Caradon, then-US Ambassador to the UN Arthur J. Goldberg, then-US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Eugene Rostow, then-British Foreign Secretary Baron George-Brown and then- Senior Adviser on International Law to the United States Mission to the United Nations J. L. Hargrove.

All of them said, some on numerous occasions, that UNSC 242 was written intentionally in such a way as to allow for modified boundaries.
On the other hand, any solid argument that UNSC 242 does not demand Israel's total withdrawal from all of the territories captured in 1967 should scrutinize first and foremost the document itself.

Such an analysis has been conducted on many occasions over the years. In 2011, Ruth Lapidoth, a Senior Researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and Professor Emeritus of International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as well as the 2006 recipient of the Israel Prize, published a landmark paper on UNSC 242 for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)'s Jewish Political Studies Review.

The well-sourced, 11-page analysis is a standout and should be required reading for anyone wishing to fully understand exactly what UNSC 242 says and does not say regarding withdrawal. In the paper, Lapidoth also examines the issue of whether the resolution was intended to be binding or advisory, and whether it gave more weight to earlier Palestinian claims regarding the refugee issue.

Understanding UNSC 242 through the newspapers of its era should begin at least a week prior to the passage of the resolution, when the UK was trying to build a consensus for a compromise resolution aiming to reconcile two opposing drafts.
On November 15, 1967, in an article titled "A British attempt at compromise", The Guardian (UK) wrote:
Lord Caradon is trying to get general acceptance by all Security Council members of a British compromise draft resolution on the Middle East. The British delegation believes that a draft must be acceptable to the entire council membership -the four Great Powers and the 10 nonpermanent members-if it is to be accepted by the parties directly concerned. If the British draft materialises it will involve some shift in the positions of both Israel and the Arabs. Each of the draft resolutions at present before the council- one submitted by India, Mali, and Nigeria, the other by the United States-is acceptable to only one side. The three nation draft... calls for unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops from all territories occupied during the June conflict... Lord Caradon is scheduled to speak [tomorrow], and if he cannot produce an actual draft he may well ask for an adjournment for further private negotiations.
On November 17, 1967, an article in the Washington Post by the highly respected journalist Robert Estabrook made very clear to readers the difference between the British draft of the resolution, which was ultimately accepted, and the Indian draft of the resolution, which was ultimately rejected. Interestingly, Estabrook reported that, behind the scenes, the Arabs were coming to terms with the fact that their push for a resolution that would call for a total withdrawal would not prevail.
The most controversial portion of the British resolution is the language referring to withdrawal of Israeli armed forces "from territories occupied in the recent conflict." The measure omits the qualifying phrase "all the territories" as stated in the Indian resolution, which has been supported by the Arabs and the Soviet Union. On this and several other points the British draft parallels the American resolution. But the British measure is more concise and omits mention of efforts to curtail the arms race. Like the American, it would give the U.N. special representative a broad mandate in this case "to establish and maintain contacts with the states concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles of this resolution." A Soviet diplomat said earlier today that his delegation found the British effort unacceptable. But other delegations did not regard this as the last word from Moscow and predicted that the Russians would ultimately go along with anything the Arabs accepted. Arab ambassadors were ambivalent in their comments on the British resolution, although they liked it better than the American. One noted with approval that the Israelis have been irritated with Britain. Essentially the Arabs are weighing whether this is the most explicit language they can expect to get on Israeli withdrawal. Some are ruefully aware that they could have had language more in line with their wishes in a Latin American resolution that they rejected in the General Assembly last summer.
In an editorial published November 22, 1967 on the eve of the passage of UNSC 242, The Guardian noted in passing in an editorial "Elusive terms in the Middle East" that the resolution would make final borders negotiable.
...the clause about territorial integrity might be modified, although it already leaves a fair degree of latitude about eventual boundaries...
In its report from November 23, 1967, The Times (UK) reported how India became the first country to impose its own interpretation of the resolution - in effect refusing to accept that its own version had not been accepted. The UK's Lord Caradon responded by telling them that was India's choice, but it would not change the fact that the wording of 242 was carefully chosen (emphasis added).
While the resolution now adopted stands on its merits, it was not passed without any reservation. For India, Mr. G. Parthasarathi said it was his country's understanding that the resolution would commit the council to the principle of total withdrawal by Israel from all the territories occupied by it since June 5, 1967. In other words, he said, the draft committed the council to the withdrawal by Israel from Gaza, Sinai, Jerusalem, west Jordan, and Syria. Speaking next. Lord Caradon said that every delegation had of course the right and the duty to state its own views and its Government's policies. But the resolution did not belong to one side or the other, or to any country. It was the outcome of intensive consultations with all. "Therefore, only the resolution will bind us, and we are sure its wording is clear."It was noteworthy that both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to give priority to the British motion over those which had been tabled earlier in their names, and then went on to vote for it.
After reading through the stated intent of the drafters of UNSC 242 in their own words, as well as tracing the road to passage through the newspapers of the day, Walker's claim that only "Israeli propagandists" believe that UNSC 242 does not call for a total withdrawal from the territories captured in Israel's defensive war of 1967 cannot be sustained.

In conclusion, the question needs to be asked why should it still matter, almost 50 years after it was passed, whether UNSC 242 required Israel to withdraw from all of the territories it captured in the Six Day War or not.

Setting aside the issue of the Golan Heights and concentrating only on the West Bank, it matters a great deal, for if UNSC 242 had demanded of Israel a withdrawal to the armistice lines of 1949, the Palestinians would not need to negotiate with Israel over final borders.

Clearly, as shown here, the historical record unequivocally illustrates that UNSC 242 didn't make such a demand on Israel. Rather, it asked of Israel and its Arab interlocutors to directly negotiate over final borders as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.