Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Morrison Postpones the Apocalypse

Apparently, it's just way too expensive:

"The Morrison government is expected to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel's legitimate capital following a cabinet meeting today, but may delay the relocation of Australia's embassy from Tel Aviv. Senior government sources have confirmed a final decision was made by cabinet's national security committee last night... It is understood the cost of relocating the embassy, with estimates of up to $200 million, was a factor in deliberations... " (Cost may delay Israel embassy move, Simon Benson, The Australian, 11/12/18)

Mind you, it's not like he wasn't hot to trot on this one:

"The Jewish lobby had been consulted about the potential move long before the [Wentworth] by-election, with the Prime Minister long having a conviction on the issue." (ibid)

It's just that he was in a terrible bind. While raring for the Rapture, had he not staked his political reputation on being a fiscal conservative?

Meanwhile, in case you've forgotten, the Devil, as always, is in the detail:

"Labor MP Michael Danby, who has been deeply involved in the issue, has said Mr Morrison could move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel's capital but leave the embassy shift 'until some progress in negotiations with Palestinians'."

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Frydenberg Declaration

As federal environment minister, Lord Frydenberg had reportedly decided to hand Queensland's Moreton Bay wetlands, the ancestral homeland of sundry shorebirds and waterfowl, to the Walker Corporation.

Citing Mammon's ancient promise to the Capitalist people, the Corporation, it seems, had convinced him that, without Capital, the birds would never in a million years have built anything as vibrant as 3,600 apartments, a hotel, a convention centre or a marina, and that the development would "form a rampart of Capital against the natural world, an outpost of civilization as opposed to the barbarism of nature."

The Corporation, moreover, had apparently secured from him a declaration that his government "view with favour the establishment in the Moreton Bay wetland of a national home for the Capitalist people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Capitalist communities in the wetland."

Sunday, December 9, 2018

What a Payne!

While wetting herself over the failure of Trump's anti-Hamas stunt to pass muster in the UNGA on December 6 ("egregious and ongoing violent acts of the terrorist organisation Hamas"), and mere days after Australia voted with USrael, Liberia, Marshall Islands, and Nauru against the following UNGA resolution in favour of a two-state solution ("a comprehensive, just and lasting peace based on relevant UN resolutions... an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967... unwavering support for the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders"), Morrison foreign minister Marise Payne declared that "Australia supports a two-state solution that allows Israel and a future Palestinian state to exist side-by-side, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders." (Payne's swipe at UN over Hamas, Simon Benson, The Australian, 8/12/18)

Go figure.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

More Morrison at the UN

Seriously now, how hard is this?:

In a 6 December draft resolution, Comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, "the [General] Assembly reiterates its call for the achievement, without delay, of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on relevant United Nations resolutions. It also reiterates its call for an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, including of East Jerusalem, and reaffirms its unwavering support for the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders." (General Assembly adopts text reiterating call for comprehensive Middle East peace, after failing to pass resolution condemning actions by Hamas in Gaza, un.org/press)

For Morrison's Australia way too hard, since it lined up with Israel, the United States, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Nauru to vote against, while 156 countries voted in favour and 12 abstained.

Could anything be clearer? Morrison's Australia does not believe in the application of UN resolutions/international law when it comes to the Palestinians, supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and rejects a two-state solution. Any talk to the contrary by Morrison & his minions back home in Australia is therefore pure deception.

Finally, on the same day, Trump's US tabled Activities of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. Had this text passed, it "would have had the Assembly demand that Hamas and other militant actors... cease all provocative actions and violent activity." (ibid)

But not, you'll note, the world's most innocent bystander.

87 countries voted in favour to 57 against, with 33 abstentions - which is to say 90 countries couldn't bring themselves to vote for it.

Needless to say, Morrison's Australia...

Friday, December 7, 2018

Morrison at the UN

"The General Assembly today [30/11/18] concluded its annual debate on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East by adopting six resolutions... " (Calling for final peace settlement of Israeli Palestinian conflict, General Assembly adopts six resolutions on Middle East, un.org/press release)

The first, Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, "calls for intensified efforts by the parties... to conclude a final peace settlement. It also calls upon Israel, as the occupying Power, to comply strictly with its obligations under international law and stresses the need for an immediate and complete cessation of all acts of violence." (ibid)

So how did Australia, which is to say our Christian Zionist, Netanyahu-backed PM Morrison, vote on this most unremarkable resolution? No surprises:

While 156 nations voted for it, with 12 abstentions, Australia lined up with Israel, the United States, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Nauru to vote against it.

The second, Jerusalem, "reiterates that any action by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void." (ibid)

Clearly a slap in the face for all who want Apocalypse Now, Morrison's Australia just couldn't help itself:

While 148 nations voted for it, with 14 abstentions, Australia lined up with Israel, the United States, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Guatemala to vote against it.

The third, The Syrian Golan, "declares that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and demands that Israel withdraw from the territory." (ibid)

As you'd expect, Syria's Golan Heights would be a mere bagatelle for those who believe that Greater Israel runs from "the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates":

While 99 nations voted for it, with 66 abstentions, 10 voted against it. These were (cut & paste).

There were, of course, 3 others, "dealing with the United Nations system's own provision of support to the Palestinian people" - Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat, and Division of Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat - but these need not detain us here. You know how, and with whom, we voted on them. Just cut & paste, OK?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Who Invented the 'Terror Tunnel'?

Why, Hamas and Hezbollah, of course! Everyone knows that. Especially the Murdoch press:

"The Israeli military launched an operation yesterday to 'expose and thwart' tunnels built by Hezbollah that it said stretched from Lebanon into northern Israel... 'We see Hezbollah's activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty,' said military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus. 'This activity is another example of the negative effects of Iranian entrenchment in the region'." (Israeli troops unleash on Hezbollah tunnels, AP, The Australian, 5/12/18)

The world's most innocent bystander could never, in a million years, dream up such a fiendish thing as the dreaded 'terror tunnel'!

Oh, wait:

"An explosion was heard* by the Coldstream [Guards] in [their] Citrus House [headquarters] emanating from a building across the road, opposite the gate. The dead body of a man was found near the entrance of a tunnel which began in the basement of the building and led in the direction of Citrus House... The Coldstream Regimental History states: 'The IZL [Irgun Zvai Leumi] had decided to blow up Citrus House'... Terrorist tunneling had been discounted by those who thought they knew, because the predominant sandy nature of the earth was considered a barrier to any such operation." (A Captain's Mandate: Palestine 1946-1948, Philip Brutton, 1996, p 99)

[*12/6/47]

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Saving Morrison's Bacon

O what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to take our marching orders from Benjamin Netanyahu*:

"Scott Morrison is leaning heavily on the nation's most senior bureaucrats, and a top-secret panel of 'wise elders', to find a way through the political and diplomatic minefield he created by suggesting Australia could move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem... Conversations with more than a dozen members of the bureaucracy, cabinet, and the foreign policy policy and defence communities suggest the Prime Minister has ordered a whole-of-government review... The head of the Department of Foreign Affairs Frances Adamson, Defence boss Greg Moriaty... Attorney-General's boss Chris Moraitis are involved, while spy agency ASIO and the Office of National Assessments have input too.

"Unusually, once the review has been completed it will be handed on to so-called 'wise elders', including former Defence and Foreign Affairs boss Dennis Richardson and former chief of the defence force, Sir Angus Houston, to further examine the implications and consider the regional and domestic ramifications... Once the additional advice is received from the 'wise elders', the national security committee of cabinet will examine the issue before the full cabinet makes the final decision, expected before Christmas.

"A senior source in the foreign affairs community summed up the challenges for those leading the review: 'They will recommend doing something... to preserve the dignity of the Prime Minister. It will be some sort of compromise,' the source said. Another member of the foreign policy establishment said the government 'would be working overtime to find anyone in DFAT who thinks moving the embassy is a good idea' and 'they will be looking for a face-saving measure'. One of the compromise solutions being canvassed is the establishment of a small consulate in Jerusalem, rather than an embassy, that could be upgraded to the status of full embassy in the future. Another option would be to announce a firm intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem at an ill-defined date, when other outstanding issues, such as Palestinian statehood, are resolved.

"The prospect of a total backdown on the proposal - which would preserve the status quo - is considered unlikely at this stage. A spokesman for the Prime Minister declined to comment." (Morrison taps wiser heads on Israel embassy, James Massola, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/12/18)

[*See my 18/11/18 post Morrison's 'Circle of Trust'.]