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Friday, December 3, 2010

From the House of Commons . . .

Interesting commentary from a good friend, regarding the Speech in the UK:

It's worth noting that, as he points out, no member of the British Royal Family has EVER set foot in Israel, even
though they have visited hundreds of countries, including Arab ones, BECAUSE IT WOULD GIVE THE JEWISH STATE LEGITIMACY IN THE WORLD. (furthermore, our President, Obama, who has been all over Europe, Asia and the Middle East, has NEVER visited the Holy Land, presumably for the same reason!)

From the British House of Commons..............

Speech to the Friends of Israel Initiative.
Monday 19 July 2010

Andrew Roberts, Member Parliament

I would like to speak to you today as an historian, because it seems to
me that the State of Israel has packed more history into her 62 years
on the planet than many other nations have in six hundred. There are
many surprising things about this tiny, feisty, brave nation the size
of Wales, but the most astonishing is that she has survived at all. The
very day after the UN declared Israel a country in 1948, five Arab
countries attacked, and she has been struggling for her right to life
ever since. And that is what we are here for today, to reiterate
Israel's right to self-defense, inherent in all legitimate countries.

From Morocco to Afghanistan, from the Caspian Sea to Aden, the 5.25
million square miles of territory belonging to members of the Arab
League is home to over 330 million people, whereas Israel covers only
eight thousand square miles, and is home to seven million citizens,
one-fifth of whom are Arabs. The Jews of the Holy Land are thus
surrounded by hostile states 650 times their size in territory and
sixty times their population, yet their last, best hope of ending two
millennia of international persecution, the State of Israel has somehow
survived. When during the Second World War, the island of Malta came
through three terrible years of bombardment and destruction, it was
rightly awarded the George Medal for bravery; today Israel should be
awarded a similar decoration for defending democracy, tolerance and
Western values against a murderous onslaught that has lasted twenty
times as long.

Jerusalem is the site of the Temple of Solomon and Herod. The stones of
a palace erected by King David himself are even now being unearthed
just outside the walls of Jerusalem. Everything that makes a nation
state legitimate-- bloodshed, soil tilled, two millennia of continuous
residence, international agreements ,argues for Israel's right to
exist, yet that is still denied by the Arab League. For many of their
governments, which are rich enough to have economically solved the
Palestinian refugee problem decades ago, it is useful to have Israel as
a scapegoat to divert attention from the tyranny, failure and
corruption of their own regimes.

The tragic truth is that it suits Arab states very well to have the
Palestinians endure permanent refugee status, and whenever Israel puts
forward workable solutions they have been stymied by those whose
interests put the destruction of Israel before the genuine wellbeing of
the Palestinians. Both King Abdullah I of Jordan and Anwar Sadat of
Egypt were assassinated when they attempted to come to some kind of
accommodation with a country that most sane people now accept is not
going away.

"We owe to the Jews," wrote Winston Churchill in 1920, "a system of
ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural,
would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in
fact the fruits of all wisdom and learning put together. The Jewish
contribution to finance, science, the arts, academia, commerce and
industry, literature, philanthropy and politics has been astonishing
relative to their tiny numbers. Although they make up less than half
of one percent of the world population, between 1901 and 1950 Jews won
14% of all the Nobel Prizes awarded for Literature and Science, and
between 1951 and 2000 Jews won 32% of the Nobel Prizes for Medicine,
32% for Physics, 39% for Economics and 29% for Science. This, despite
so many of their greatest intellects dying in the gas chambers."

Civilization owes Judaism a debt it can never repay, and support for
the right of a Jewish homeland to exist is the bare minimum we can
provide. Yet we tend to treat Israel like a leper on the international
scene, merely for defending herself, and threatening her with academic
boycotts if she builds a separation wall that has so far reduced
suicide bombings by 95% over three years.

It is a disgrace that no senior member of the Royal Family has ever
undertaken an official visit to Israel, as though the country is still
in quarantine after more than six decades. Her Majesty the Queen has
been on the throne for 57 years and in that time has undertaken 250
official visits to 129 countries, yet has not yet set foot in Israel.
She has visited 14 Arab countries, so it cannot have been that she
wasn't in the region. Although Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice,
is buried on the Mount of Olives because of her status as Righteous
Among Gentiles, the Foreign Office ordained that his visit to his
mother's grave in 1994 had to be in a private capacity only. Royal
visits are one of the ways legitimacy is conferred on nations, and the
Coalition Government should end the Foreign Office's de- facto boycott.
After the Holocaust, the Jewish people recognized that they must have
their own state, a homeland where they could forever be safe from a
repetition of such horrors. Putting their trust in Western Civilization
was never again going to be enough. Since then, Israel has had to fight
no fewer than five major wars for her very existence.

She has been on the front line in the War against Terror and has been
fighting the West's battles for it, decades before 9/11 or 7/7 ever
happened. Radical Islam is never going to accept the concept of an
Israeli State, so the struggle is likely to continue for another sixty
years, but the Jews know that that is less dangerous than entrusting
their security to anyone else.

Very often in Britain, especially when faced with the overwhelmingly
anti-Israeli bias that is endemic in our liberal media and the BBC, we
fail to ask ourselves what we would have done placed in their
position? The population of the United Kingdom of 63 million is nine
times that of Israel. In July 2006, to take one example at random,
Hezbollah crossed the border of Lebanon into Israel and killed eight
patrolmen and kidnapped two others, and that summer fired four thousand
Katyusha rockets into Israel which killed a further forty-three

Now, if we multiply those numbers by nine to get the British
equivalent, just imagine what we would do if a terrorist organization
based as close as Calais were to fire thirty-six thousand rockets into
Sussex and Kent, killing 87 British civilians, after killing
seventy-two British servicemen in an ambush and capturing eighteen.
There is absolutely no lengths to which our Government would not go to
protect British subjects under those circumstances, and quite right
too. Why should Israel be expected to behave any differently?

In the course of researching my latest book on the Second World War, I
recently visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. Walking along a line of huts and
the railway siding where their forebears had been worked and starved
and beaten and frozen and gassed to death, were a group of Jewish
schoolchildren, one of whom was carrying over his shoulder the Israeli
flag, a blue star of David on white background. It was a profoundly
moving sight, for it was the sovereign independence represented by that
flag which guarantees that the obscenity of genocide which killed six
million people in Auschwitz and camps like it -- will never again
befall the Jewish people, to whom the rest of civilization owes so much.

I said at the start that I was speaking to you as an historian, and so
I say: No people in History have needed the right to self-defense and
legitimacy more than the Jews of Israel, and that is what we in the
Friends of Israel Initiative demand here today.

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