11 January 2015

Australian Muslims are statistically more likely to engage in jihad than to enlist in the Australian Defence Forces.

From the SMH, 11 Jan 2015, by Paul Sheehan:
<i>Illustration: michaelmucci.com</i>
Illustration: michaelmucci.com

When French president Francoise Hollande addressed the nation on Friday in the wake of terrorist attacks that left 20 dead, he uttered the predictable mantra:
"These fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion".
His comment is understandable given that France has more than five million Muslims, a stagnant economy, 24 per cent youth unemployment and endemic social alienation among young Muslims.

His comment is also nonsense. A de facto world war is under way and it has everything to do with Islam. It is not thousands of lone wolfs. It is not un-Islamic conduct. It involves thousands of Muslims acting on what they believe is their religious duty to subjugate non-believers, as outlined in the Koran.

And the problem is growing, not contracting. There was once a tradition among young Australians to travel overland from Singapore to London. That route has become a hell-hole:

Pakistan is dangerous. Afghanistan is a no-go area. Iran is an oppressive theocracy. Iraq is disintegrating. Syria is a disaster area. Lebanon is dangerous. In Turkey, for the first time, Australians travelling to Gallipoli will be going under a security alert.

All these Muslim countries used to be safe for transit. The intimidation being practised in the name of Islam by a small minority is a by-product of something much larger – the state-mandated conservatism that is systemic in the majority of Muslim societies. Most of them are dictatorships, monarchies, theocracies or failed states.

An investigation by Kings College London and the BBC World Service found that in a single month, November 2014, 5042 people were killed by jihadists in 664 separate attacks across 14 countries. That is one death every eight minutes.

It is ongoing. On Thursday, the Islamist group Boko Haram (which translates as "Western education is forbidden") is believed to have murdered  up to 2000 people in Nigeria. These crimes, far greater in scale than those in Paris, received only a fraction of the attention.

In the 35 years since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, at least a million people have been killed in tens of thousands of jihad attacks, religious civil wars or wars between predominantly Muslim countries.   

In France, a form of dissimilation (to borrow a term from phonetics) is taking place. About 40 per cent of young Muslims are unemployed and thousands have embraced radical Islam as a form of social retaliation.

Surveys have found that between 16 and 21 per cent of respondents in France hold positive views of Islamic State. Given that France has more than five million Muslims, the social catchment of sympathy for jihad is about one million people.

This explains why France has 751 special security zones, an endless sequence of violent incidents involving young Muslim men, anti-Semitic incidents have become routine and Muslims represent 60 per cent of the prison population. Two of the three jihad killers in Paris had served time in prison.

France and Australia are linked by the past week's events. Both countries have been drawn into an asymmetrical global jihad, fed by notoriety and thus self-sustaining.

In Australia, the pressures are much less severe in the Muslim diaspora but there are self-evident problems.

Here is a statistic to ponder: 
Australian Muslims are statistically more likely to engage in jihad than to enlist in the Australian Defence Forces.

As at June 30, 2014, there were 57,036 permanent members in the ADF, plus 24,028 in the reserves. When I asked Defence Media how many ADF personnel were Muslim, I received this response:

"As at 26 October, 2014, 100 ADF members have declared they are of Islamic faith … The reporting of religious faith is voluntary and, as such, the data provided may not be a fully accurate representation."

With about 500,000 Muslims in Australia, representing 2.1 per cent of the population, there would be about 1200 Muslims in the ADF if they served on a per capita basis. Instead, the number is miniscule, about 0.2 per cent.

In contrast, 20 Australian Muslims have been killed in fighting in the Syrian civil war, an estimated 60 are still in the combat zone, another 20 have returned from Syria, and an estimated 100 more have provided support for jihad. These figures are from the federal government.

Another 20 Muslims are serving prison terms in Australia for serious terrorism offences or are facing terrorism charges. Two more Muslims, Man Haron Monis and Abdul Numan Haider, were killed during attacks in Australia in which they both invoked Islamic State.

Obviously, if 220 Australian Muslims are known to have engaged in jihad or supported jihad, it follows that 500,000 Muslims, or 99.95 per cent, have not.

Equally obvious, the diverse Muslim diaspora cannot be treated as a dangerous monolith, given that Muslims are the primary victims of oppression by Muslims and the overwhelming majority of Muslims either prefer the peaceful precepts of the Koran or are not highly religious.

But the calculus of terrorism relies on the leveraging of small numbers. It only took three jihadists to occupy 90,000 French police and military personnel, at enormous cost to the state, with enormous global publicity. That will have been duly noted by jihadists.

Australia's security agency has thus become extremely busy. Last financial year, ASIO conducted 159,000 security assessments. This helps explain why the Lindt Café killer was taken off the watch list.

Because of the leveraging of small numbers, the deaths of 22 Australian Muslims in the cause of jihad represents serious social capital. In per-capita terms, it the equivalent of more than 1000 Australian soldiers being killed in Afghanistan. This dwarfs the death toll of 43 Australian military personnel killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the past decade, regarded as a heavy social cost.

In these terms, 22 is a large number and 220 is a very large number.

Goodbye France.

An opinion by Dr Ron Weiser AM:

Je Suis Charlie, Je Suis Ahmed, Je Suis ?????

I was waiting for another Je Suis to spontaneously erupt from the good people of France.

But it did not come, maybe tomorrow, maybe not...........not the French word for Jewish or the names of even one of the innocent people going about their erev Shabbat shopping in a kosher store in France.

Je Suis?????

And no, the real problem is not the Moslem population of France, nor even the Jihadist element of that population.

Blaming them allows the French an excuse.

The real problem is France.

Even before this latest atrocity French Jews were making aliyah in record numbers.

Thousands and thousands – 8,000, 9,000 in 2014 alone.

For the first time in the history of the modern state of Israel, more Jews are coming on aliyah by choice from a democratic country than from your typical country of distress.

Is this because French Jewry is more Zionistic than say the Jews of Australia?

Is this because the aliyah shaliach in France is so effective?

It is because something is so broken within French society – the non Moslem 90% of the population - and within the leadership of France, that Jews are fleeing for their lives – literally.

A France that is rotten to the core.

A hypocritical country that thinks that mouthing slogans of liberty and equality make it so.

A country that snobbishly looks down on the State of Israel and waves its wand of moral equivalence over her. Where an Israeli Arab is safer walking any street in Israel dressed in any religious garments he or she chooses, than a Jew in France walking around in a kippa.

A France that only a few days ago voted in the UN Security Council for a Palestinian State without any safeguards or guarantees at all that a Jewish State alongside it would be part of the deal.

A France whose actions do not immunise it from the Jihadists in any case.

Thank G-d for Australia.

And what a delicious and fitting irony.

That of all people, of all people, Bob Carr must be kicking himself for pushing so heavily for Australia to have a seat on the UN Security Council and then for that seat to be used byAustralia to demonstrate the moral clarity Prime Minister Abbott and Foreign Minister Bishop did with that magnificent vote, the final vote of Australia’s term as Security Council member.

I wrote in an earlier piece of my disbelief when during a debate I heard in Israel last year on the situation of French Jewry which included one of their leading representatives, he stated that there was no anti-Semitism in France.

I was equally shocked two years earlier when another leader of French Jewry publically blamed Israel for causing French Jewry’s problems (the problems they claim they do not have), more or less along the same lines as a so called leading light of British Jewry.

There are many lessons to be learnt.

Not the least of which is to recognise a problem when it exists.

And to not excuse an act of fundamentalist terrorism as that of a crazy criminal.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he wants the people of France to know that the United States "stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow" after this week's terror. He told a crowd in Tennessee that "we stand for freedom and hope and dignity of all human beings, (and) that's what Paris stands for."

He is wrong – that is not what Paris stands for at all.

The kidnapping and torture of Ilan Halimi in 2006; the terrorist murders of Jews in Toulouse in 2012; and the attack in May at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in which four people were murdered and for which a man with French and Algerian citizenship was arrested tested Paris.

What did Paris stand for then?


A few nice words.

Does French Jewry feel safer today?

French President Hollande summed it all up so so terribly wrong.

He called the attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket an act of anti-Semitism.

Of course it was, but in French terms that is not so horrible after all and has happened before.

Until the French leadership and the French people regard the attack on the kosher deli just as they regard the attack onCharlie Hebdo AND use the same terms – an attack on French values, on the French way of life and on France itself – we should call them out on their moral failings.

And until then, goodbye France.

05 January 2015

A Rogues Gallery of Australian Politicians

The following Australian politicians signed the anti-Israel declaration to "call on all Australian politicians to condemn the ongoing Israeli military bombardment and invasion of Gaza. ... to support an immediate cessation of hostilities and a ceasefire deal which includes an end to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories and to the blockade of Gaza [and] ...to also support the United Nations Human Rights Council's decision to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem..."

The organisers for this piece of terrorism-supporting propaganda are Melissa Parke and  Lee Rhiannon
    1. Maria Vamvakinou MP, Labor (VIC)
    2. Melissa Parke MP, Labor (WA)
    3. Laurie Ferguson MP, Labor (NSW)
    4. Alan Griffin MP, Labor (VIC)
    5. Sharon Claydon MP, Labor (NSW)
    6. Adam Bandt MP, Greens (VIC)
    7. Barbara Perry MP, Labor (NSW)
    8. Andrew Giles MP, Labor (VIC)
    9. Paul Lynch MP, Labor (NSW)
    10. Jamie Parker MP, Greens (NSW)
    11. Lynda Voltz MLC, Labor  (NSW)
    12. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, Labor (NSW)
    13. David Shoebridge MLC, Greens (NSW)
    14. Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, Greens (NSW)
    15. Dr John Kaye MLC, Greens (NSW)
    16. Jeremy Buckingham MLC, Greens (NSW)
    17. Jan Barham MLC, Greens (NSW)
    18. Senator Claire Moore, Labor (QLD)
    19. Senator Nick Xenophon, Independent (SA)
    20. Senator Christine Milne, Greens (TAS)
    21. Senator Lee Rhiannon, Greens (NSW)
    22. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens (SA)
    23. Senator Larissa Waters, Greens (QLD)
    24. Senator Janet Rice, Greens (VIC)
    25. Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens (VIC)
    26. Senator Penny Wright, Greens (SA)
    27. Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens (WA)
    28. Senator Scott Ludlam, Greens (WA)
    29. Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens (TAS)
    30. Senator Sue Lines, Labor (WA)
    31. Tammy Franks MLC, Greens (SA)
    32. Graham Perrett MP, Labor (QLD
    33. Senator Anne Urquhart, Labor (NSW)
    34. Terri Butler MP, Labor (QLD)
    35. Julie Owens MP, Labor (NSW)
    36. Lisa Chesters MP, Labor (VIC)
    37. Senator Gavin Marshall, Labor (VIC)
    38. Senator Anne McEwen , Labor (SA)
    39. Senator Carol Brown, Labor (TAS)
    40. Senator Doug Cameron, Labor (NSW)
    41. Cassy O’Connor MLA, Greens (TAS)
    42. Senator Jan McLucas, Labor (QLD)
    43. Lynn MacLaren MLC, Greens (WA)
    44. Jill Hall MP, Labor (NSW)
    45. Jackie Trad MP, Labor (QLD)
    46. Malcolm Fraser, former Liberal Prime Minister
    47. Shane Rattenbury MLA, Greens (ACT)
    48. Yvette Berry MLA, Labor (ACT)
    49. Bronwyn Halfpenny MP, Labor (VIC)
    50. Tony Piccolo MP, Labor (SA)
    51. Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent (TAS)
    52. Senator Lisa Singh, Labor (TAS)
    53. Khalil Eideh MP, Labor (VIC)
    54. Lee Tarlamis MP, Labor (VIC)
    55. Johan Scheffer MP, Labor (VIC)
    56. Katrine Hildyard MP, Labor (SA)
    57. Janine Freeman MLA, Labor (WA)
    58. Amanda Fazio MLC, Labor (NSW)
    59. Mary Porter MLA, Labor (ACT)
    60. Ian Hunter MLC, Labor (SA)
    61. Stephanie Key MP, Labor (SA)
    62. Maree Edwards MP, Labor (VIC)
    63. Adam Searle MLC, Labor (NSW)
    64. Sylvia Hale, former Greens MLC (NSW)
    65. John Gazzola MLC, Labor (SA)
    66. Katy Gallagher MLA, Labor (ACT)
    67. Ian Cohen, former Greens MLC  (NSW)
    68. Kelvin Thomson MP, Labor (VIC)
    69. Anna Burke MP, Labor (VIC)
    70. Senator Kate Lundy, Labor (ACT)
    71. Carmel Tebbutt MP, Labor (NSW)
    72. Sharon Knight MP, Labor (VIC)
    73. Jo Vallentine, former Senator for Nuclear Disarmament Party and Greens (WA)
    74. Marg Lewis MLC, Labor (VIC)
    75. Mark Parnell MLC, Greens (SA)
    76. Dee Margetts, former Greens Senator (WA)
    77. Simone McGurk MLA, Labor (WA)
    78. Jo-Ann Miller MP,  Labor (QLD)
    79. Senator Sam Dastyari, Labor (NSW)
    80. Kerry Nettle, former Greens Senator (NSW) 

02 January 2015

There is no war between Israel and a nonexistent nation

From The Australian, 3 Jan 2014, by Gerard Henderson:

IN mid-December I travelled from Jerusalem to Ramallah for meetings inside the territory presided over by the Palestinian Authority. I was accompanied by an able young diplomat who heads the Australian Representative Office in Ramallah.
All was quiet on the border between the area of the West Bank presided over by Israel and that governed by the PA. Despite some tensions between the administrations in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas had decided to continue the security agreement that exists between the PA and Israel. This protects both entities from terrorist attacks from Islamists including those who express allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

So it came as some surprise when ABC News Breakfast presenter Beverley O’Connor introduced a segment on the Middle East on Thursday with a reference to what she termed the “Israeli-Palestinian war”. O’Connor later referred to the “very costly and brutal conflict between Israel and Palestine that seems to have no end”.

Contrary to O’Connor’s editorialising, there is no war between Israel and Palestine. Nor has such an entity as Palestine ever existed. Jordan was in control of the area between Israel and the Jordan River between the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the 1967 war, which saw Israel occupy the area. In almost two decades Jordan did not establish a state of Palestine.

... no elected Israeli leader, on the right or the left, will agree to the creation of a Palestinian state without a watertight security agreement.

In Australia’s last vote in its two-year position on the UN Security Council, the Abbott government opposed a resolution proposed by Jordan, which set a three-year deadline for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 “green line”. The Jordanian resolution also provided for the creation of a Palestinian state.

In this instance, Australia’s position was identical to that taken by Barack Obama’s administration. The Jordanian resolution failed to take into account that a peace process in the region could not be established by UN fiat. It can be agreed to only among the existing parties.

A glance at the topography of the region suggests that Israel may not be able to defend itself if a return to pre-1967 borders were agreed to without concessions. At the end of 1966, Israel shared a border with a state administered by Jordan that prevailed over East Jerusalem including the Old City. It is difficult to imagine that any democratically elected government in Israel would agree to an antebellum situation that could see Hamas on Israel’s doorstep.

Australia’s decision to vote in agreement with the US in the Security Council on the Jordanian resolution is not an example of Tony Abbott slavishly following Obama. Not at all. Australia has been a strong supporter of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Also, the policy has been essentially bipartisan.

Australia’s support for Israel started when Labor’s Ben Chifley was prime minister. It continued after December 1949 under the Coalition prime ministers Robert Menzies, Harold Holt, John Gorton and William McMahon. Gough Whitlam was not as friendly to Israel as his predecessors, but his government lasted only three years. Malcolm Fraser is one of Israel’s most high-profile critics. But he did not manifest such a position during his nearly eight years as prime minister. Labor prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating were supportive of Israel, as was John Howard. Kevin Rudd essentially continued this position, as did Julia Gillard.

Viewed in this light, the position taken by the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister reflects established policy. Moreover, it makes good sense.

It is fashionable among the left intelligentsia in the West to blame Israel for all the problems in the Middle East. However, the appalling civil war in Syria, which has seen about 200,000 Muslims killed by other Muslims, has nothing to do with Israel. Currently, authorities in Jerusalem want to see reconstruction in Gaza following Israel’s recent war with Hamas aimed at destroying missile sites and attack tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border. Neither Egypt nor the PA is supportive of this proposal, due to the hostility of the governments in Cairo and Ramallah to Hamas.

It is likely that the tension in the Middle East, as it affects Israel, will continue for some time. A long-term settlement seems a long way off. But this does not suggest a war between Israel and the Palestinians as depicted by O’Connor.

About 20 per cent of Israel’s population is made up of Muslims and Christians. Both groups enjoy full democratic rights. What’s more, as Arab-Israeli citizen Khaled Abu Toameh pointed out in The Australian yesterday, there is a lack of democracy in the PA areas on the West Bank — particularly with reference to female critics of Abbas.

While in Israel, I visited the Ziv hospital close to the Lebanese-Syrian borders, where Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and other minorities work together. Here, Melbourne-born doctor Michael Harari looks after victims of the Syrian civil war who have been brought to the hospital by the Israel Defence Force. There were adult male and child victims. According to Harari, no one asks details about the patients. They receive the best attention possible. At the Ziv hospital, there is no war between Israelis and Palestinians or, indeed, Syrians. It’s a symbol of hope in a troubled region.