Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Jeremy Corbyn & the 7 Dwarfs

A group of 7 MPs have just announced their resignation from the UK Labour Party, setting up a so-called Independent Group. This has been long expected. (See in particular my 3/8/18 post Lord Balfour Sabotages Britain's Labour Party. )

One of them, Angela Smith, in the course of a BBC television panel discussion of racism in the UK, blurted out all we really need to know about the 7 dwarfs: 'The recent history of the party I've just left suggests [racism] is not just about being black or... a funny tinge... but... the Jewish community equally."

No surprise then that 5 of its members, including Smith, are "supporters" of Israeli embassy front group, Labour Friends of Israel. Palestinians, presumably, in addition to the crime of not buckling to the Zionist project in their ancestral homeland, could also be marginalised as "funny tinged."

This mix of racism and Zionism, of course, will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the Zionist movement, and, in particular, those notorious words of its founder, Theodor Herzl: "The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends."

And just look at how the congenitally Zionist Guardian (to focus on just one establishment media outlet) leapt on the 7 dwarfs' bandwagon, leveling yet more false smears of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn and his party. This, for example, is from today's editorial:

"It is no secret that many, probably most, Labour MPs wish someone other than Jeremy Corbyn was leader. Many Labour MPs wish that Mr Corbyn would make the case for Britain in Europe, and that he did not equivocate about antisemitism in the party."

And this is from an opinion piece by Labour peer, Andrew (Lord) Adonis:

"Corbyn must treat antisemitism as an evil to be ruthlessly defeated. No one who expresses prejudice against Jewish people or the existence of Israel - including those who try to hide behind semantics when we all know exactly what they are talking about - has any place in our party. Corbyn has too many supporters and allies who are antisemitic. They must leave the party and Corbyn should require them to do so. Corbyn must give a speech deploring not just 'all forms of racism' but the particular horror of hatred of Jews." (If Corbyn doesn't want the Labour split to worsen, he has to listen, Andrew Adonis, 19/2/19)

But then what would you expect from the Guardian?

It should never be forgotten that the renowned editor of the Manchester Guardian (as it was known in 1917), C.P. Scott, editorialised, on the occasion of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, that "the Jews... have succeeded in establishing the beginnings of a real civilisation [in Palestine]," and were "making the waste places blossom as the rose," while "the existing Arab population... is small and at a low stage of civilisation... " (See my 2/7/17 post The Balfour Declaration Centenary: 4 Months to Go.)

Scratch the 7 dwarfs - or 5 of them at least - and you'll get racism and/or Zionism. Scratch the liberal Guardian and you'll invariably get a Zionist perspective on Palestine.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Macron Smears the Yellow Vests

France's dispossessed are now being smeared by their president:

"The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has condemned antisemitic abuse of a leading intellectual by gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protesters and said it would not be tolerated. Police intervened to protect philosopher and writer Alain Finkielkraut after he was targeted by a group of protesters on the fringe of a demonstration in central Paris on Saturday, according to videos posted on social networks. 'The antisemitic insults he has been subjected to are the absolute negation of what we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate it,' Macron tweeted... Several protesters shouted 'dirty Zionist', 'we are the people' and 'France is ours', according to a video broadcast by Yahoo! News." (Macron condemns antisemitic abuse during gilets jaunes Paris protest, Agence France-Presse, 17/2/19)

This, of course, comes from a president who has falsely labelled anti-Zionism "a reinvention of anti-Semitism." (See my 27/4/18 post Trump's French Poodle.)

So, was the eminent philosopher, absent the adjective, falsely accused of being a Zionist?

It seems not:

"Parallel to Finkielkraut's denial of the existence of a black people comes his denial of the existence of a Palestinian people. Melding Sartre's 'the anti-Semite creates the Jew' with Golda Meir's 'there is no Palestinian people,' Finkielkraut regards the Palestinians merely as an epiphenomenon of Israel.' 'Is there anything in Palestinian identity,' he asks in his book of dialogues with Peter Sloterdjik, 'besides the refusal of Israel?'" (Race in Translation: Culture Wars Around the Postcolonial Atlantic, Robert Stam & Ella Shohat, 2012)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

'I Was an Occupier & All That Entails'

In a time of accelerating US regime-change criminality - first Iraq, then Libya, then Syria, and now Iran and Venezuela - it's timely that we be reminded of just what the Anglo-American invasion and occupation (dressed up by president George W. Bush and his neocon operatives as Operation Iraqi Freedom) was really all about.

Nico Walker, a former US army medic in Iraq, now doing time for armed robbery, has just produced his first book, Cherry, a novel, of which he says in interview: "The military parts are the ones that most closely mirror my experience." (Nico Walker: 'I needed to show how bad Iraq was', Killian Fox, theguardian.com, 17/2/19). Here's an excerpt from that interview:

"It was something I didn't want to lie about. I needed to show it for how it really was and dispel any myths. It was a pretty bad experience. We had been told there was this existential threat [to the Iraqis] we were supposed to prevent and it turned out not to be the case. Going there, you find out you're the problem. It seemed like we were trying to provoke as much fighting as we could... I don't want to give this wrong idea that I was some kind of pacifist or observer - I was an active participant. Maybe not to extremes, but I certainly didn't try to ever stop anything and I endorsed whatever was going on just by being there. I look back on it and think, wow, I was an occupier and all that entails."

Walker goes on to say: "Compared with what I'd been doing in Iraq, robbing banks seemed like kids' stuff. Obviously it was wrong; I realise this now."

There you have it - an army of jackboots, sent to Iraq on a pack of lies, which turned the place upside down and inside out. Remember this when you read your next installment of recycled regime-change propaganda from the Washington Post and New York Times in the Sydney Morning Herald, or from the Times and Wall Street Journal in the Australian.

[See also my 18/7/08 post Enlist Now! for an extract from that wonderful Iraq War expose (The Deserter's Tale) by another US soldier, Joshua Key.]

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Classic Greg Sheridan

They fuck you up, your mum and dad,
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

Philip Larkin

***

For you who do not know him - him being Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of Murdoch's Australian - this is really all you need to know:

"Israel is a small, clever, tough, extraordinary nation - a land of limitless impossibilities, as they say. And it has had giants among its leaders: David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, legends of diplomacy like Abba Eban or Shimon Peres, and legendary military heroes like Moshe Dayan. Netanyahu stands shoulder to shoulder with them At a time when Western politics in many nations is falling apart, he has been the seemingly indispensable national leader for a decade, winning four elections. He is known for his national security policies but he has also presided over the birth and development of the so-called Start-up nation, the progenitor of Nasdaq listings and patents and hi-tech everything." (Closing act in the age of Netanyahu may lie ahead, 16/2/19)

Now Greg's suffered from Exodus syndrome, like, FOREVER, and it's his Dad and Auntie Poppy who are largely to blame for setting his juvenile brain in this form of adamantine concrete at a tender age.

As he explains in his autobiography, appropriately titled When We Were YOUNG & FOOLISH: A Memoir of My MISGUIDED Youth" (2015): "My family was always pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Dad often told me that if Christ was the saviour, the Catholic religion was true, and if he wasn't the saviour, then the Jewish religion was true... Auntie Poppy always told me I must never forget that the Jews were God's chosen people... Dad and Auntie Poppy were always pro-Jewish and pro-Israel." (p 22)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Look Who's Not Coming to Dinner

Murdoch columnist Janet Albrechtsen has hit on a new form of anti-Semitism - declining to attend "Shabbat dinners" organised by Vic Alhadaff of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (aka "the Jewish community").

Under the rubric of "building tolerance and respect," anyone who's anything in the political arena has apparently flocked to feed. All except one nefarious group that is. But I'll let Planet Janet take it from here: 

"There was a Shabbat dinner for Liberal Party leaders and members... There was a dinner the year before for Labor politicians, members of Young Labor and union leaders. Another one included many members of the Chinese community and other civic groups. Yet another dinner involved people and groups who help settle new immigrants. You get the picture You would be hard-pressed to find more genuinely inclusive events. These are non-political. Yet still the Greens have, for years, refused to be part of these dinners." (Greens have two faces and one is the ugliest of bigots, The Australian, 13/2/19)

You get the picture.

And this is supposedly because "the Greens have a history of out-and-out organisational bigotry towards the Jewish community," and "that is anti-Semitism." (ibid)

Oh dear! But there's one little matter Planet Janet's not letting her readers in on here. While she accuses the NSW Greens of having two faces, she ignores the fact that Vic Alhadeff wears two hats, functioning on the one hand as the representative of a Jewish community organisation in an open, multicultural society, while on the other as an unabashed lobbyist for the apartheid state of Israel.

This obvious conflict of interest came to the fore when the former NSW Liberal premier Barry O'Farrell controversially appointed him Community Relations Commissioner in 2013, an appointment which soon came undone the following year when, at the height of that year's Israeli killing spree in Gaza (aka Operation Protective Edge), Alhadeff sent an incendiary, pro-Israel email to Australia's Jewish community, which, in the understated words of a Sydney Morning Herald editorial at the time, "betrayed the sensitivity of his role as CRC chairman." (See my 28/7/14 post Vic Alhadeff: Multicultural in NSW, Monocultural in Israel.)

Thankfully, the NSW Greens at least, know a soft propaganda exercise when they see one, and have the courage to give it a miss.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hands Off Iran

February 11 marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which toppled the US-backed dictatorship of the Shah, whom the US had installed after overthrowing the democratically-elected government of prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953.

Trump, of course, bent on a reprise of the 1953 coup, used the occasion to tweet his tender concern for "the long-suffering Iranian people":

"40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future."

In response Iran's foreign minister simply spelt out the facts:

"#40YearsofFailure to accept that Iranians will never return to submission. #40YearsofFailure to adjust US policy to reality. #40YearsofFailure to destabilise Iran through blood and treasure. After 40 years of wrong choices, time for @DonaldTrump to rethink failed US policy."

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Homework is All

And today's use of the anti-Semitism smear is:

"Democratic politician Ilhan Omar has apologised after party leaders condemned her use of 'anti-Semitic tropes' in suggesting US congressional support for Israel is a result of campaign donations." (Democrat apologises for 'anti-Semitic tropes', AP/Sydney Morning Herald, 13/2/19)

To be specific, Omar's 'offence' came in the form of a tweet to the effect that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) "was paying US politicians to support Israel." (ibid)

Her apology read, in part: "Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes." (ibid)

Really, it's beyond sad to see progressive, pro-Palestinian, rookie politicians like Omar, who have merely spoken the truth, grovel in this way.

Instead of the 'education' she speaks of here, wouldn't it have been better for her (and others like her) as a young activist, before choosing to embark on a political career in the United States, to educate herself by reading Mearsheimer & Walt's definitive 2007 study The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy?

Had she done so, rather than grovel after the inevitable attack from the AIPAC mob and/or its dupes, she could simply have tweeted the following extract in response:

"AIPAC's success is due in large part to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda and to punish those who do not, based primarily on its capacity to influence campaign contributions. Money is critical to U.S. elections, which have become increasingly expensive to win, and AIPAC makes sure that its friends get financial support so long as they do not stray from AIPAC's line." (p 154)

In this game, it's really all about homework.

(FYI, read my 3/11/16 post Clinton Emails Reveal the Hold of Zionist Money Over Democrats.)