Monday, August 29, 2016

Lest We Forget the King-Crane Commission

97 years ago, yesterday, an American fact-finding mission to the Middle East, known as the King-Crane Commission, released its report (28/8/1919) on the wishes of the former Arab subjects of the Ottoman Empire in Greater Syria (today's Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan) and Iraq.

Needless to say, Anglo-French-Zionist machinations ensured that none of its eminently sensible recommendations were acted on. In fact, the report was suppressed... and the rest, sadly, is history.

Here is the Commission's recommendation on Zionism and Palestine:

E. We recommend... serious modification of the extreme Zionist programme for Palestine of unlimited immigration of Jews, looking finally to making Palestine distinctly a Jewish State.

(1) The Commissioners began their study of Zionism with minds predisposed in its favour, but the actual facts in Palestine, coupled with the force of the general principles proclaimed by the Allies and accepted by the Syrians have driven them to the recommendation here made.

(2) The Commission was abundantly supplied with literature on the Zionist programme by the Zionist Commission to Palestine; heard in conferences much concerning the Zionist colonies and their claims; and personally saw something of what had been accomplished. They found much to approve in the aspirations and plans of the Zionists, and had warm appreciation for the devotion of many of the colonists, and for their success, by modern methods, in overcoming great natural obstacles.

(3) The Commission recognised also that definite encouragement had been given to the Zionists by the Allies in Mr. Balfour's often-quoted statement, in its approval by other representatives of the Allies. If, however, the strict terms of the Balfour Statement are adhered to - favouring 'the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people', 'it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine' - it can hardly be doubted that the extreme Zionist programme must be greatly modified.

"For a national home for the Jewish people is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish State; nor can the erection of such a Jewish State be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission's conferences with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase.

"In his address of July 4, President [Woodrow] Wilson laid down the following principle as one of the four great 'ends for which the associated peoples of the world were fighting': 'The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned, and not upon the basis of the material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.' If that principle is to rule, and so the wishes of Palestine's population are to be decisive as to what is to be done with Palestine, then it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine - nearly nine-tenths of the whole - are emphatically against the entire Zionist programme. The tables show that there was no one thing upon which the population of Palestine were more agreed than upon this. To subject a people so minded to unlimited Jewish immigration, and to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle just quoted, and of the people's rights, though it kept within the forms of law.

***

"The Peace Conference should not shut its eyes to the fact that the anti-Zionist feeling in Palestine and Syria is intense and not lightly to be flouted. No British officer, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist programme could be carried out except by force of arms The officers generally thought that a force of not less than 50,000 soldiers would be required even to initiate the programme. That of itself is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist programme, on the part of the non-Jewish populations of Palestine and Syria. Decisions requiring armies to carry out are sometimes necessary, but they are surely not gratuitously to be taken in the interests of serious injustice. For the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a 'right' to Palestine, based on an occupation of 2,000 years ago, can hardly be seriously considered."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Another Israeli Genius

More Zionist claptrap from the Guardian:

"I'm a historian... I grew up in a small industrial suburb of Haifa, in Israel. As far back as I can remember I was interested in big questions. Who are we? What are we doing here?"

Thus spake Yuval Noah Harari in Yuval Noah Harari: 'We are quickly acquiring powers that were always thought to be divine' (Tim Adams, 27/8/16)

Come on, Yuval, it's not rocket science:

Who are we?

'We' are Israeli Jews. We came to Palestine from Europe, under British protection, colonised the place, trained and armed for the inevitable showdown with Palestine's indigenous Arab population, drove them OUT in '48, and called the place Israel.

What are we doing here?

Heaps:

Keeping the '48 Palestinians OUT.
Keeping the so-called Israeli Arabs DOWN.
Occupying the West Bank Palestinians.
Blockading those in the Gaza Strip.

"Just as the 19th century created the working class, the coming century will create the useless class. Billions of people are likely to have no military or economic function." (ibid)

Military or economic function?

Very very interesting word order there, Yuval.

PS: The Guardian has given Harari yet another thumbs-up with Forget ideology, liberal democracy's newest threats come from technology & bioscience (John Naughton, 28/8/16). Enough already!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Poodles Pyne: Finding Inspiration in All the Wrong Places

Poodles Pyne is now arguably the only politician on Planet Earth ever to have claimed that he was inspired by Benjamin Netanyahu:

"Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will lead a government push to secure Australia as the Asia-Pacific maintenance and sustainment hub for the Joint Fighter F-35 warplane, according to Defence sources... In a speech to defence industry figures last week in Melbourne, Mr Pyne said he wanted Australia's defence industry 'to become a major pillar of our economy'. He said he had been inspired by meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told him France's decision under Charles de Gaulle to stop supplying high-tech arms to Israel had forced the tiny nation to develop its own domestic industry capability. 'Now Israel's defence industry is one of the great success stories of their economy', Mr Pyne said in the speech." (Pyne push to secure local hub for JSF maintenance, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 25/6/16)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Now What Was That About Kremlin Influence in US Politics?

A mind-blowing riff/update to Mearsheimer and Walt's The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy (2007) by mondoweiss.net's excellent Philip Weiss:

"Over the weekend there was a lot more talk about Donald Trump... loving Russia, and about how Vladimir Putin wants Trump to win. 'The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this campaign for some time,' Hillary Clinton's campaign manager said on ABC. The Russian influence must be true because it's all over our media; but you can be sure it's only half true because they're saying it so loud. The other half of the truth is that Russia is going to lose, big (because the media are talking about it and because Trump is going down). And the media have a guilty conscience, because they know the US power structure is beholden to Israel, but they can't talk about that foreign influence.

"No one talks about the hand of Israel; but Hillary Clinton promises her biggest donor, Haim Saban, whose one issue is Israel, that she'll work against the boycott campaign and she'll meet Benjamin Netanyahu in her first month of office: the same Netanyahu who tried to undermine our president's signature foreign policy achievement by speaking and lobbying Congress under the president's nose, Netanyahu who said that America could be easily moved, Netanyahu who pushed the Iraq war in 2002 to transform the Middle East, even as Hillary Clinton was voting for that war.

"The latest batch of Clinton emails show that then Secretary of State Clinton was shuffling her schedule to meet with big Clinton Foundation donors who care about Israel. 'I'm on shuttle w Avigdor Libermann... I want to stop by to see hrc tonite for 10 mins,' wrote one of them.

"When Donald Trump tried to take a 'neutral' position on Israel, Hillary Clinton told the leading Israel lobby group AIPAC that he had 'no business' being president and she was going to take the relationship with Israel 'to the next level.' "When Bernie Sanders tried to stake out a neutral position on Israel, Clinton's catspaw at the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, complained privately, 'The Israel stuff is disturbing.' Or as Anne Lewis, Clinton's political guru who is also a Zionist, said, 'The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel.'

"Both Clinton, this summer, and Obama, four summers ago, squashed the party's grass roots when they made a move to change the party platform on Israel, because the nominees worried about losing big Jewish Zionist donors - whose influence over the Democratic Party is 'gigantic' and 'shocking,' JJ Goldberg and Stephanie Schriock of Emily's List said this spring.

"So Clinton made sure that the word 'occupation' didn't appear in the platform, in this the 50th year of the occupation. Just as Neera Tanden, the Clinton aide who heads a Democratic Party thinktank, censored articles that were critical of Israel; and a few months later the authors of those articles were no longer employed by her thinktank; and meantime Tanden kissed up to Benjamin Netanyahu, at the very time he was undermining President Obama on the Iran deal, and months after he had used racist appeals - 'Arab voters are coming out in droves' - to win another term.

"But let's talk about Russian influence.

"It has now been 10 years since The Israel Lobby paper was published in London - not here, because it couldn't be published here. Notwithstanding the article and book's impact, it's a shadow impact; everyone in the shadow of the establishment has read it and everyone in the establishment has read it too, but with a plain brown cover on it, as Colin Powell's former chief of staff joked. Because to be in the establishment you must deny its importance. The Atlantic, which commissioned and killed the original paper, continues to publish Jeffrey Goldberg, who once served in the Israeli military, and who helped give us the Iraq war with bad reports in 2002, and who tried to undermine the Iran deal and who calls the fascistic defense minister Avigdor Lieberman by his nickname 'Yvet' and the milquetoast centrist Yitzhak Herzog by his nickname 'Boogie.'

"And everyone in American public life calls the fascistic prime minister of Israel by his nickname, Bibi. Including PBS. I don't know what Vladimir Putin's nickname is, and I don't want to know.

"The central idea of the Israel lobby is simple and it has been confirmed a hundred times but the media will never report it directly. Here it is: United States support is an existential issue for Israel; but non-Jewish voters and leaders cannot be counted upon to love Israel on their own, and therefore the tiny American Jewish community must speak in one voice and (unified checkbooks) persuade American leaders that it's in the US's best interest to do so.

"Israel supporters confirm this idea again and again. 'What keeps me up at night is the dependence of Israel on the United States' - Abe Foxman. 'American Jews had a deferential attitude toward Israel. They saw their job to support Israel, to provide Israel with financial and political support it asked for' - Dov Waxman, scholar. 'Jews don't like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States... American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say no, we don't want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel' - the late neocon godfather Irving Kristol. 'We [Jews] don't need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel... because the essence of Zionism is... you [Jews] shape your destiny, you don't let others do it' - perennial White House aide and peace processor-charade leader Dennis Ross.

"So the Emergency Committee for Israel, a group started by Kristol's son Bill, gives Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton nearly $1m so he could become Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton after just 2 years in the House and then lead the charge against the Iran deal.

"But let's talk about Russia's influence.

"Israel's influence has distorted our politics for nearly 40 years. Tom Friedman told a British interviewer that George W Bush abandoned the peace process because he saw his father take on the Israel lobby and lose a second term. Tom Friedman said the Congress is 'bought and paid for' by the Israel lobby. Tom Friedman told an Israeli interviewer that if you put 25 neoconservatives on a desert island in 2002, we wouldn't have had an Iraq war.

"But Friedman never wrote about the lobby head on, a dereliction of duty if ever there was one. It is just too embarrassing or hurtful to talk about the role of Zionist Jews in US public life. The idea has to be suppressed because a) we all know that there is a dual loyalty element implicit in Zionism and talking about the lobby brings up the whole international-Jew canard; and b) the lobby has been effective by working behind the scenes as a 'nightflower,' so its purpose is defeated when people talk about it and everyone gets to weigh in. But if you don't talk about it, then everyone just accepts it as the given of the American power structure, which is where we are now. Chris Mathews is constantly doing Irish Catholic identity politics when Irish Catholic Americans come on his show, but he's afraid to say boo about the powerful pro-Israel Jews who own/run his employer Comcast, the largest media company in the country...

"From the start, empowered Jewish journalists denied that there was a lobby or it was powerful. Jeffrey Goldberg told the Center for Jewish History that it was no different from the ball-bearings lobby. David Remnick made the joke that if there wasn't an Israel lobby, Osama bin Laden would be able to go back into the construction business. And meanwhile he was publishing Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting about Saddam's links to Al Qaeda and Saddam's acquisition of WMD that helped the US get into Iraq. Why did Goldberg push this stuff? Was it out of concern for Israel? There's never been an accounting.

"And three years after his Osama joke, Remnick gave an interview to a Hebrew publication in which he acknowledged that the American Jewish community had sustained the occupation:

How long can you expect that they [US Jews] will love unconditionally the place called Israel? You've got a problem. You have the status of an occupier since 1967... Sorry it can't go on this way. The Jewish community is not just a nice breakfast at the Regency.

"But like Friedman, Remnick doesn't publish this analysis under his byline. It's out of the side of his mouth. He knows there's a price to be paid. With the exception of Yousef Munayyer, Remnick publishes Zionists - people like Ari Shavit, who works for AIPAC and lobbies Jewish kids on campus, and David Makovsky, of the AIPEC spinoff WINEP, who has said that checkpoints won't be so burdensome when Israel uses 'appropriate biometrics' for Palestinians in those lines. The magazine's go-to reporter on Israeli political trends is Bernard Avishai, who's very good, but let's be clear - a cultural Zionist.

"If you don't like Russia, you can surely still make your way in public life, but if you don't like Israel, it's a CLM, as they say at Goldman Sachs. Career Limiting Move. When Jim Clancy accused pro-Israel groups of doing 'hasbara,' or PR, around the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, he lost his job at CNN. When Jimmy Carter accused Israel of practicing apartheid, he got attacked on air by Wolf Blitzer and Terry Gross and was exiled from the Democratic Convention.

"And four reporters at the New York Times have had kids in uniform for Israel, including columnist David Brooks, the go-to pundit on NPR and PBS who said after his dozenth trip to Israel that he is 'gooey-eyed' about Israel. And the New York Times bureau chief in Israel lives in an addition to a house that was stolen from a prominent Palestinian journalist in 1948; and that journalist's daughter the physician and activist Ghada Karmi has written and spoken about visiting that house to try and overcome her pain; but one thing you can be sure of: That story won't be in the New York Times. Josh Marshall will tell you all about Russia influencing Trump, and meantime he names his baby after an Israeli war hero, but ho hum.

"But let's talk some more about the Kremlin.

"The media is all about how much money Paul Manafort got from the Ukrainians, but the media won't tell you that the two guys advocating the bombing of Assad in the New York Times work at a thinktank, WINEP, that the Israel lobby group AIPAC spun off, and one of those authors has called for American Jews to be 'advocates for Israel,' not for Palestinians. It won't tell you that Sheldon Adelson regrets wearing an American uniform, and wished he was wearing an Israeli uniform.

"It will never put all the facts together and name the trend, as I'm doing here right now, out of my back pocket. So I remember that Samantha Power once described the Israel lobby as 'a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import,' and as a result had to make the execrable rabbi Shmuley Boteach her consort in the rightwing Jewish community, so as to get the lobby's approval for her appointment to the UN job.

"And that Chuck Hagel once said that 'the Jewish lobby intimidates people' on Capitol hill, and he almost didn't become Defense Secretary because of that, and his grilling by the Senate resulted in a Saturday Night live sketch that didn't air in which Hagel was asked if he would 'fellate a donkey for Netanyahu.'*

"That's one good thing, everyone's now in on the joke. Even if the media can't discuss it, everyone knows it. Our system is rigged.

"But enough about all that. Let's talk about Russian influence." (Let's talk about Russian influence, 23/8/16)

[*See my 14/2/13 post USrael: The Movie.]

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Australian Values

"We don't need burqa-clad ladies telling us 'well, what are Australian values anyway?'" asserts the Q Society of Australia Inc: Upholding Australian Values guide to 'Australian values'. (Q on: Australian values)

I see. I wonder what the Q Society would make of this:

"High school student Lily, 17, from Lismore, in north-east NSW, says posting explicit photos or sex videos online is 'pretty normal' behaviour among her peers. 'I get asked for nudes all the time and give them out. It's how people connect these days,' she says. 'The girls take them to show to their boyfriends or to have some fun. Guys love to take pics of their dick. It's how people show off what they've got to offer, like advertising. I know girls who will deliberately have sex in public places with boyfriends and then talk about it in the playground with their friends - no one talks about it as a bad thing'." ('It was terrifying', Peter Munro/Rachel Olding, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/8/16)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Who Are You Staring At?

Just as well Benjamin Netanyahu wasn't an IDF conscript, and Odeh Bisharat, a Palestinian, in the wrong place at the wrong time:

"Two days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu hosted members of the Haaretz editorial staff for a closed conversation that lasted four hours, during which he spoke without interruption. 'Spoke' is a rather restrained understatement; Netanyahu lectured, preached, demanded and overwhelmed; he showed videos, slide presentations, maps, tables, and minutes. He scribbled a self-portrait, with an elongated nose and beads of sweat; he pounded on the table, raised his voice, lowered it, leaned forward and back in the meeting room, wrote on the board and erased. At one stage he approached my colleague Odeh Bisharat so angrily that I feared for his safety." (An overwhelming one-man theater performance by Benjamin Netanyahu, Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 17/8/16)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Not Happy, Sophie McNeill!

Good God, what is wrong with the ABC's Middle East correspondent, Sophie McNeill?

Can't she see that Gaza isn't blockaded by Israel, but cradled in its loving embrace?

Can't she see that the West Bank isn't occupied by Israel, but liberated, as only it knows how?

Can't she see that it's not Israel, but the Palestinians themselves who are their own worst enemies?

Not according to the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Committee (AIJAC):

"In the last 16 months or so since McNeill started as Middle East correspondent, she has filed many stories that look at Palestinian suffering in Gaza, where her coverage focuses on the 'blockade' or, indeed, on the West Bank, where the focus switches to 'occupation'. Individually and over time, her body of stories do not deviate from reflecting the attitude and bias that Israel is predominantly responsible for Palestinian suffering." (ABC admits Gaza report errors, The Australian Jewish News, 19/8/16)