Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Only in Today's Australian

A slimeball of 'quality' Murdoch journalism from British radio presenter, journalist and author, Libby Purves, OBE ('for services to journalism'). Purves' racist, Islamophobic bile is beautifully complemented by her hilarious cocking-up of the Arabic language:

"The likelihood is that the vast majority of material being hurled into the limelight by the insouciant Julian Assange will not reveal any actual treacheries or scandals. It will consist mainly of what diplomats call 'frank assessments'. And while Britain can probably forgive and forget a few frank assessments... there is real fear that the touchier countries around the world will be outraged. Especially in the Muslim nations, where it seems to be all right for pretty senior voices to refer to us as kuffa* (non-believers), dogs, infidels, etc, whereas the slightest reservation about anything Islamic is considered an atrocity second only to the Crusades." (Leaking 'frank assessments' a risk to peace, The Times/The Australian)

Batten down the hatches! It's the Danish cartoons all over again!

[*kuffa is the Arabic word for edge, seam, hem, border. The word our 'quality' journalist was looking for was kuffar]

Once a Sow's Ear...

... always a sow's ear.

My last post touched on the subject of Israel's attempts at rebranding itself. Such attempts are doomed to fail. Even The New York Times' Israel-friendly Jerusalem correspondent, Ethan Bronner, admits as much:

"'There aren't many other places in the world where white people with guns tell brown people what to do', said Ethan Bronner, The New York Times correspondent in Israel, today as he tried to explain Israel's image problem in the international press. Bronner was on a panel discussion on the subject of Israeli Hasbara at the Eilat Journalism Conference. He said that even if in Israeli eyes [my italics] the state of Israel is not colonialist, for foreigners its actions are very similar to colonialism. Therefore, said Bronner, especially in Europe, which went through a comprehensive de-colonization process over the past century, but also in the US, there is a principled [my italics] problem with Israel's image. Bronner also pointed to a specific example: International coverage of the IDF takeover of the Turkish [sic] flotilla to Gaza: 'You're starting from an inferior position', he said, 'because most people don't understand why you're trying to prevent the equipment from reaching Gaza. It's clear why you're trying to prevent weapons from getting there, but unclear why other equipment is banned. And when you try to stop it, 9 people are killed. It's not good. It doesn't look good. You have a lot of catching up to do if you want to argue that some of the people on the boat were really nasty'. Lilach Sigan, editor of Globes daily magazine, asked Bronner why the international media only dealt with Israel's actions around the Turkish [sic] flotilla and did not devote sufficient coverage to the Turkish and IHH connection. 'We're not perfect', she pointed out, [but] 'the problem is that the focus is only on Israel's mistakes [my italics] and not on the mistakes of Hamas and the suffering they inflict on the Palestinians'. After Sigan's statement elicited applause from the audience, Bronner replied: 'Nine people died. Who shot the 9? Not Turkey. That's the story. If no one had been killed on the flotilla, nobody would have cared about it. Nine died. That's the main thing. Those are the first 15 paragraphs'." (Translated from the Hebrw as How to wink in English, Oren Persico, The 7th Eye, 21/11/10 - found at Yes, NYT's Ethan Bronner actually said this on-record, Didi Remez, 972mag.com, 22/11/10)

Nevertheless, as if the current flood of Zionist bullshit swamping the ms media and the internet isn't enough, Israel is about to launch yet another propaganda offensive - in Europe:

"The Foreign Minister is planning to initiate a new public relations campaign in a number of European capitals [London, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Paris, The Hague, Oslo, & Copenhagen] early next year. The campaign, which will make extensive use of professional advocacy and public relations experts by Israeli embassies in Europe, aims to also use as many as a thousand people in each country, who will be willing to volunteer to spread Israel's message... Each ambassador was instructed to prepare... a list of at least 1,000 'allies', who will be routinely briefed by the embassy for advocacy and public relations. These 'allies' will have to be willing to take action on behalf of Israel, through support demonstrations and rallies, in publishing articles in the press, etc. Among the types of persons that will be sought to assist in the campaign will be members of the local Jewish community, activists in Christian organizations, journalists, politicians, intellectuals, academics and activists in student organizations. The novelty of this campaign is that it will not rely on the work only of Israeli diplomats and volunteer supporters, but on professional lobbying and public and public relations companies hired by the embassies... The professional lobbyists and PR agents will be provided with materials from the embassies, which will be produced by a special team at the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry team will produce 3 types of materials: political messages on the peace process, the settlements, etc will be encapsulated; 'branding' messages which will position Israel in specific areas of activity, such as technology, economy, tourism, etc; and messages about problematic developments in the Middle East which are not directly related to Israel, such as human rights in Iran or Syria, Hezbollah's takeover in Lebanon, etc. The ministry has also instructed the ambassadors in those 9 capitals to focus their activities on organizing groups of influential persons from those countries to visit Israel. The ambassadors were also instructed to hold, at least once a month, a high profile public event." (Liebermann urges Europe embassies to use 'allies' in PR efforts, Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 28/11/10)

Monday, November 29, 2010

She's Green Alright

What follows is an interesting insight into rambamming US-style from the website green LA girl. The rambammed, Siel, describes herself as "an environmental writer and activist" and her website as "my personal blog about eco-friendly, sustainable living in Los Angeles."

Reading the following extract from her post, Israel, image, and lactose intolerance (4/5/09), it's obvious that our green LA girl is indeed excruciatingly so - at least when it comes to the dynamics of the Middle East conflict, of which there is zero reference in her post. What fascinates, though, in her description of rambamming foreplay, is the flickering awareness that something isn't quite right, an awareness unfortunately snuffed out by some quality wining & dining at day's end:

"After an uneventful 14-hr flight I'm now in Israel! I'm here with 3 other American journalists on a clean tech tour organized by the America-Israel Frienship League, self-described as a 'non-sectarian, non-political, not-for-profit organization strengthening ties between the people of the United States and Israel'. The League organizes a whole bunch of such trips for differenent American groups every year - and is very open about its goals: To show that there's more to Israel than the Middle East conflict. Basically, Israel's trying to change its image - to rebrand. I've already developed mixed feelings about these efforts, which seem necessary because the general perception of life in Israel is skewed, but [they] also make me queasy at times. For example, I could empathize when one tour organizer talked about how people around the world think of pasta when they think of Italy, but guns when they think of Israel - and how she felt this image did not at all reflect what living Israel was actually like. I felt less comfortable when a government employee involved with this rebranding process went so far as to say it's more important for Israel to be perceived well, than to be right - and that perception is what was of great importance, politically or otherwise. This comment I found strangely chilling, if very LA. I also found the candor with which everyone talked about this rebranding effort - Yes, the word rebranding was actually used, and plans to announce a new tagline of sorts ('like New York's Big Apple'') were discussed - very refreshing... These conversations, BTW, happened over dinner at a Chinese restaurant near Tel Aviv... The meal included everything from sushi rolls to what looked like mini empanadas to made-from-concentrate lemonade to a rich chocolate souffle to what I believe was a lamb-and-veggies stirfry. One of my fave things about Israel so far: The kosher restaurants, which are very convenient for a lactose-intolerant person like me."

How many of our own rambammed* even have Siel's flickering awareness that something's not quite right here? [See my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Miranda Does Israel

I've already covered Daily/Sunday Telegraph 'journalist', Miranda Devine's recent Jewish Board of Deputies' rambamming in Israel in my posts Dear Miranda... (31/10/10) and Dear Miranda... 2 (6/11/10). Those wishing to know more, however, might be interested in her "chat" with this week's Australian Jewish News. Some quotes and my commentary:

Miranda writes that, during her 5 day junket, "[w]e met rabbis, journalists, students, peace activists, Israeli settlers, Palestinians in east Jerusalem and in a West Bank refugee camp, and Israelis from the highest level of government."

Alas, for dedicated students of rambamming such as myself, Miranda's we is never disclosed. Nor do we learn the names and affiliations of those rabbis, students, or peace activists. As for the Palestinians in east Jerusalem and the West Bank refugee camp, it seems that their story was obviously insufficiently compelling to make the chat.

Of the journalists, so-called, Miranda mentions only The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh, whom she praises for his use of the expression "balance of terror," cited as an example of his "rare insight into both sides of the conflict" Precisely how this Cold War term, implying nuclear parity, applies to the Palestinians and their Israeli overlords is anybody's guess, but hey, credit where credit's due for Miranda's admirable devotion to recycling, given that, in reporting an earlier chat with Abu T in May, she also alluded to his "rare insight into both sides of the conflict." (Why 'balance of terror' feels safer than the peace process, SMH, 13/5/10. See my 19/5/10 post A Real Journalist.)

No, the only ones who really matter in Miranda's chat are those Israelis from the highest level of government, such as Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon whose rare insight (accompanied, no doubt, by the famous Israeli Nu, zeh barur, lo? shrug*) is that in an age of "instant food," everybody wants an "instant peace" already. Unfortunately, Miranda's trip was so "packed," she simply didn't have the time to ask him how long peace would take given that the occupied Palestinians have been hanging out for it since 1967. [*Nu, it's clear, no?]

No time for questions while a chopper is waiting to whisk you off to Israel's Stalingrad, the smoking ruin which was once the town of Sderot: "We flew by helicopter south to Sderot, where dozens of Israelis have been killed* and wounded in the past decade by rockets fired from nearby Gaza. We saw burned-out missiles, piled in neat stacks at the back of the police station, and labelled with the date they arrived. One bore the previous week's date. People are starting to return to the town after the rockets slowed in 2008, but you can understand the fear Israelis have, with a hostile Hamas-controlled Gaza in their midst, and the future prospect of a similar threat in the West Bank." [*9 killed, according to sderotmedia.org.il (What you need to know about Kassams)]

Yes, folks, Nu zeh barur, lo? The other side of the balance of terror eternally twirls its moustache and gleefully rubs its bloody hands together as it plots the next fiendish mini-Holocaust, while the Israeli side cows in fear at the orgy of destruction to come: "And here you see why the Gaza blockade exists, as Israel's enemies boast that smuggled Iranian-built rockets can reach Jerusalem, or shoot down planes at Ben Gurion Airport." Of course, if only Miranda had had the time, she'd have read the documents recently obtained, after a long court battle with the Israeli government, by Israeli NGO, Gisha - Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, which reveal that the blockade has bugger all to do with security and everything to do with what Israel has been perpetrating on the Palestinians since before she was even a gleam in her father's eye: a deliberate and systematic policy of collective punishment, in this instance taking the form of "a policy of deliberate reduction" of basic goods, including food and fuel. (gisha.org) Well... she would, wouldn't she?

Asked what she learnt from "the mission" and if her views had changed, Miranda reveals a startling optimism. She was, she opines, "more optimistic about a two-state solution along the 1947 borders before I went to Israel."

So, while her fellow pundits' reference point is the 1967 Green Line, implying a Palestinian state on just 22% of historic Palestine, Miranda valiantly sticks to the borders proposed by the UN in 1947, implying a Palestinian state on 46% of Palestine! Ah, but that was before she went to Israel where her eyes were miraculously opened: "We flew in a helicopter over the country and saw how tiny it is - just 18 kilometres at its narrowest point between the West Bank and the Mediterranean coast, its most populated and vulnerable territory." So, stuff the 47... err... 67 'borders', let's go whole hog!

But, just as Miranda's vision could do cinemascope, so too could it do microscope: "We stood on a hill above Gaza and saw the rubble on top of a plateau where Israeli settlements had been razed." She's looking down on the Gaza Strip and the only rubble she can see is that of razed Israeli settlements? Now that's what I call focus!

From razed settlements to crazed settlers: "Later we met some of the settlers further north at Gush Etzion. While I admired their enterprise and courage, I saw how difficult it would be to persuade these people, some of whom had only arrived from the US or Russia in the last 10 or 20 years, to leave land they have felt connected to for 3000 years." Courage? Miranda admires the courage of those who already have a home, but choose, on the basis of some twisted ethno-religious fantasy, to avail themselves of Israel's racist and discriminatory Law of Return and become spear carriers for the colonisation of the land of another people. Oh, yes, and do it while protected by one of the world's most powerful military forces possessed of the very latest in state-of-the-art American weaponry. Felt connected for 3,000 years? Yes, Miranda, the tooth fairy lives.

But there's more! Miranda on the Australian media's coverage of the Middle East: "The left-leaning media, in particular, is unashamadly slanted against Israel, in my opinion, without a real grasp of the wide range of views among Israelis, all of which are enthusiastically promoted by their own media." My God, where to begin? Here we have baseless assertion piled on baseless assertion: 1) that Australia has a left-leaning media; 2) that this is unashamedly slanted against Israel; 3) that Israelis hold a wide range of views (on what exactly?); 4) that these are reflected in the Israeli media; 5) and that it's the alleged left-leaning media's inability to grasp 3) and 4) that results in anti-Israel bias. To point out only the bleeding obvious with respect to assertions 3) and 4), if Israeli thinking is really so wonderfully diverse, how come it never seems to translate into even so much as a dent in Israel's ongoing colonisation of Palestine?

On the other hand, maybe "[p]art of the bias... may stem simply from the natural tendency of the media to support the underdog." Hello? The underdog? Whatever happened to the Palestinians as the major half of the balance of terror equation?

Finally, "I think I present reasonable, fair-minded opinions similar to those held by most Australians, but I often do so in a provocative or unpredictable way. You don't have the luxury of politely sitting on a fence when you write a newspaper column twice a week." IOW, to hell with homework, critical thinking, and considered opinion, just shoot from the lip.

How Zionist are The Greens?

"If we wish to found a State today, we shall not do it in the way which would have been the only possible one a thousand years ago. It is foolish to revert to old stages of civilization, as many Zionists would like to do. Supposing, for example, we were obliged to clear a country of wild beasts, we should not set about the task in the fashion of Europeans of the fifth century. We should not take spear and lance and go out singly in pursuit of bears; we would organize a large and active hunting party, drive the animals together, and throw a melinite bomb into their midst." (Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State, 1896, pp 93-94)

Yeah... right, Theo. And today your large and active hunting party is called the IDF. It has driven the bears into a small (Gaza) strip of land and routinely throws bombs of all varieties into their midst.

Which talk of bears brings me to The Greens:

"I have just received a circular letter from Michael Danby MP in support of Martin Foley as the Labor candidate for Albert Park in the forthcoming state election. It's a perfectly good letter, outlining Mr Foley's excellent track record and promising more of the same in the future. But why did Mr Danby have to ruin it by adding this PS: 'Remember if you vote Liberal, your preferences could go to the anti-Israel Greens political party'? Well, of course they could. But where's the evidence that The Greens, which has many Jewish members, is 'anti-Israel'?" Steve Brook Elwood, Vic (The Australian Jewish News, 26/11/10)

Well?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Wit & Wisdom of The Angry Arab

The latest gems from The Angry Arab News Service, polished by Yours Truly:

"Some people, both Easterners and Westerners, often observe that Arabs blame too many of their problems on Israel. I say that we should blame Israel far more than we do. Its dirty hands are involved in just about every injustice, war, sedition and fragmentation in the Middle East. And there has never been any fight for justice anywhere in the region in which Israel has not been on the side of the oppressors, the abusers and the killers." (5/11/10)

"As I was reading yet another favorable review of an Israeli author in The New York Times this morning, I thought: Has there ever been an Israeli author who hasn't been reviewed favorably in the US press. Just one? And have you noticed that, no matter what an Israeli writes - poetry, fiction, speeches, or hate speech - he/she gets rave reviews in the US? I mean, I'm dying for just one Israeli book to be citicized in the US. Only one. And have you noticed that every review by an Israeli, no matter how warmongering and terrorist his background or his present, contains at least one or more words about his/her 'anguish'? Oh, I get it now. Is it anti-Semitic to review an Israeli author unfavorably in the US? PS: Do a google search of the words 'Israeli' and 'anguish' and tell me what you find." (17/11/10)

"Tel Aviv University's Middle East & Islamic Studies (& Hate) Association of Israel is launching a new journal on Middle Eastern women. (Sharqiyya) This is like the Nazi Party launching a journal on Jewish studies, or the South African apartheid regime launching a journal on African studies, or the Bush Presidential Library launching a journal on peace studies. Such audacity on the part of a racist and terrorist regime! What will this journal be carrying? Confessions of jailed female Palestinian prisoners extracted under torture? Of course, I shall be providing no links." (18/11/10)

"I reported yesterday that The Middle East & Islamic Studies (& Hate) Association of Israel is launching a journal devoted to Middle Eastern women. I am told that they found a token Arab, Mahmoud Yazbak, to sit on its board. I don't know the guy but I assume he's one of these: Stand up, Mahmoud! Sit down, Mahmoud! Good boy, Mahmoud! Now, come and have your treat.

"I have just received an advance copy of the first issue. Most juicy! Here are the feature articles: 1) How to torture Arab women, Israeli-style 2) Discover how Israeli troops sexually harass Arab women 3) Why Golda Meir is a model for women the world over: learn all about her orders to bomb women and children in Palestinian refugee camps 4) The anguish of female Israeli soldiers when they torture and kill Arabs." (20/11/10)

"I was just thinking: Practicing Muslims pray 5 times a day. I curse Israel at least 50 times a day." (21/11/10)

"Here is the secret recipe for Sabra Hummus obtained recently by The Angry Arab: 1 cup hummus; 4 cups tahini; 5 cups crushed cockroaches (must have wings); 3 heaped spoonfuls of rat feces; 4 cups of *** from the trash can of a sitting Israeli prime minister; 3 cups of vomit from an Israeli soldier fresh from his killing spree; 3 spoonfuls of Ariel Sharon's bedside drool; a pinch of sand from the nearest street. Enjoy boycotting Sabra Hummus." (25/11/10)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Burning Question

How come 'lost Roman tribes' look like Romans...

"Genetic testing of villagers in a remote part of China has shown that nearly two-thirds of their DNA is of Caucasion origin, lending support to the theory that they may be descended from a 'lost legion' of Roman soldiers... Many of the villagers have blue or green eyes, long noses and even fair hair, prompting speculation that they have European blood." (Genetic tests may prove theory of China's lost Roman legion, Nick Squires, Telegraph, London/ Sydney Morning Herald, 25/11/10)

... but 'lost Jewish tribes' are indistinguishable from their fellow countrymen?

"A 19-metre-tall Jewish menorah... rises from a mountain overlooking the city of Manado, courtesy of the provincial government. Israeli flags decorate motorcycle taxi stands, one near a six-year-old synagogue... Long known as a Christian stronghold and more recently a home to evangelical and charismatic Christian groups, the Manado area in northern Indonesia has become the unlikely setting for increasingly public displays of pro-Jewish sentiments as people have embraced the faith of their Dutch-Jewish ancestors... They researched Judaism at an internet cafe in Manado, turning to Google for answers... 'We're just trying to be good Jews', said Toar Palilingan, 27, who, wearing a black coat and a broad-brimmed hat in the ultra-Orthodox style, led a Sabbath dinner at his family home recently with two regulars. 'But if you compare us to Jews in Jerusalem or Brooklyn', said Mr Palilingan, now also known as Yaakov Baruch, 'we're not their yet'." (Indonesia's novice Jews turn to Rabbi Google, Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times/Sydney Morning Herald, 24/11/10)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From Israel With Love

Chinese drones? Shock, horror! We'll all be rooned!:

"China is ramping up production of unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] in an apparent bid to catch up with the US and Israel... The US and Israel are the world leaders in developing such pilotless drones, which have played a major role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and which analysts say could one day replace the fighter jet." (China's drones could soon challenge US, Jeremy Page, The Wall Street Journal/The Australian, 23/11/10)

Those cunning oriental untermenschen! How the heck could they have caught up with USrael on this? Well...

"On Monday morning, after weeks of undercover investigation, an elite police investigative unit detained the CEO, owners and some of the employees of the EMIT company under suspicion that they illegally sold military technology to the Chinese government. Detectives from the police's International Serious Crimes Unit detained the suspects for further questioning, and after doing so, made public allegations describing a web of forgeries and lies through which the suspects allegedly conspired to sell the sensitive military technology - including the Sparrow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - to the east Asian superpower.

"The Kadima-based company is suspected of selling UAVs without receiving governmental clearance to do so, and of exporting military-related research to Chinese sources. They were also suspected of forging documents in order to export the equipment from Israel. Police would not say whether EMIT's founder and managing director, Ephraim Menashy, was or was not the lead suspect in the case. Menashy was the chief pilot and the test pilot for the UAV MALAT division of Israel's aviation industries during 1981 -1991. The company's CEO is suspected of bypassing export laws by claiming that he was lending the Sparrow UAV and its accompanying equipment to China in order to display it at a weapons exhibition. According to police allegations, once the CEO's actions were uncovered, he began a deliberate campaign to destroy evidence, including changing and forging contracts that he had made with the customers in question. Attorney Devora Hen, who was representing EMIT, said in an interview on Army Radio Monday that 'The CEO denies all of the incidents ascribed to him, and especially the way in which they were presented in the press'. The Sparrow, released in 2004, is, according to the EMIT company, already in use by an Asian navy. Among its features are superior surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and remote warfare operations. EMIT is one of the world leaders in the development of UAVs, and works with Israel Aircraft Industries, Elbit and other top Israeli military developers, as well as US-based Kollsman and Canada-based Oerlikon Contraves. EMIT designs, develops and manufactures cost-effective UAV systems, specialising in avionics, autopilot systems and full size and compact GCS (ground control stations) with up to 200km communication range. This is not the first time that an Israeli company has run into legal and diplomatic problems over UAV sales to China. In 1994 IAI sold China Harpy drones, a killer UAV that hovers over enemy anti-missile batteries and radar systems and then destroys them by diving into them. The scandal surrounding that sale still plagues US-Israel relations, especially in the field of military technology cooperation." (Man questioned for illegal UAV sales, Rebecca Anna Stoil, The Jerusalem Post, 22/5/06)

For more on the (ever-spreading) joy of drones see my posts The Big Picture (3/11/10) & Supping With the Devil (19/5/08).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Behind the ASIO Assessment

An example of the obscenity which is Australia's treatment of asylum seekers:

"Sumathi Rahavan never predicted the Kafkaesque situation that awaited her young family when she boarded the Australian Customs boat, Oceanic Viking, last year. The [Tamil] Sri Lankan has given birth as an immigration detainee, been branded a national security risk by [the] Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and now faces 24-hour surveillance with 3 guards watching over her family, which is being held in detention indefinitely. Her husband, Yogachandran Rahavan, [is] also declared a national security threat by the spy agency... The saga began when Mrs Rahavan decided to join her husband in Australia, bundling their daughter Atputha, 6, and son Abinayan, 3, on to what was to become the most politically charged boatload of asylum seekers under the Rudd government. In its haste to end a diplomatic stand-off with Indonesia, the Australian government offered all refugees on Oceanic Viking a special resettlement deal. As refugees, the government cannot return the Rahavans to possible danger in Sri Lanka. But because ASIO assesses them a security risk, the family cannot be settled in Australia... The reasons ASIO has for its suspicions may never be revealed. The agency's decisions in immigration matters are not reviewable. Mr Rahavan adamantly denied he was involved with the Tamil Tigers separatist group and said he did not know why he could be considered a risk... At Villawood [Detention Centre], the Rahavans are watched 24 hours a day. Emails are blocked and phone calls must go through immigration staff who type in 'approved' numbers and confirm who is on the line before passing the phone over. 'There's all the time - 24/7 - two officers inside the house', Mr Rahavan said. 'There is a Serco vehicle and officer, who watches us 24/7 through the window'. Some family members are authorised to visit and others not." (ASIO ruling puts asylum seekers in no man's land, Yuko Narushima, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/11/10)

You can be sure that lurking somewhere behind ASIO's non-reviewable assessment of these Tamil victims of Sri Lankan genocide is a 'terror expert'. My guess is the ubiquitous Rohan Gunaratna (See my 20/10/09 post Exporting Zionism 2).

James Petras' penetrating analysis of the breed is hard to beat:

"The Terrorist Experts (TE) project the violence of the rulers, their conquistadorial ambitions, their greed to seize land and resources, and their savage destructive impulses onto their victims while the responses of the victims, the survivors, are clothed in the rhetoric of pathological behaviour. The really clinical pathologies are to be found, however, in the minds of the verbal assassins - who cannot decipher the causal relation between the repeated rapes and tortures committed by their patron-states and the desperate cries and attempts at self-defence of the excluded, displaced, and exploited, or arrive at any appropriate moral conclusion. Almost all the terror experts have a chronic psychological blindness to the systematic and comprehensive violence inflicted by the West and Israel on particular groups. Today it is the 'Arabs'; at other times it is all insurgents who respond to imperial violence with violence." (The Power of Israel in the United States, 2006, pp 148-149)

"The TE simply pronounce their diagnosis of the armed resistance fighters: incurable psychopaths, extremely dangerous when at large. The politicians dictate the commands: capture, confine, torture, or kill. The Special Forces break through doors in the middle of the night, cut throats, or take prisoners. The prison commandants establish the rules of 'interrogation'. The guards torture. This is a very coherent international division of labor, in which the TE play an important part in elaborating the rationale. They ply a mortally and scientifically justified war-unto-death of the 'untermensch', the 'inferior' peoples, the 'fundamentalist Arab Muslims', the 'suicide bombers', the 'Terrorists'. A common language is spoken between the TE and their state patrons, and then promoted in and by the mass media." (ibid p 152)

Those Were the Days My Friend

"Australia's foreign spy agency has closed 6 of its international intelligence stations in 8 months, including the crucial Baghdad post, despite pleas from the US to keep it open... In recent years Baghdad has been [the] Australian Secret Intelligence Service's largest station and has played a vital role in the collection of foreign intelligence... ASIS was formed in 1952 with a staff of 9 and a budget of 218,000 [pounds]. It collects overseas intelligence through the cultivation of foreign sources - 'agents' - and other forms of espionage. But in recent years some of the agency's stations have done less spying and more liaising between the government and the American and British intelligence agencies, which run many agents in the Middle East. Like the other 5 intelligence agencies in Australia, ASIS was rescued from gradual decline by the events of September 11, 2001. It has grown by 344% since then from a budget of $54 million in 2001-2002 to $240 million in 2010-2011, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute." (Spy bases shut down to 'save money', Dylan Welch, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/11/10)

Ah, yes, the Baghdad post, shit... the liaising! What a buzz. Maaate, will we ever see its likes again?:

"For a few wild months, the HVT Bar served as the secret social hub for American spies in Iraq. It opened without fanfare late one night in early May 2003, shortly after the American-led invasion, in a distant corner of the newly captured Saddam Hussein International Airport. The saloon was dark and dingy, hidden in a grubby two-room guardhouse. Inside, a brace of captured Iraqi grenade launchers and assault rifles adorned one world, like souvenir hockey sticks in a sports bar. Lightbulbs dangled from the ceiling, casting harsh shadows, and hard rock pounded from speakers. The air buzzed with backslapping camaraderie and whispers of intrigue; it smelled of rank sweat and cigarette smoke. The liquor was cheap, the beer ice-cold, and the white wine, by all accounts, the color and taste of camel piss. It was a dive of distinction.

"Few outsiders knew of the HVT Bar and, given the location, fewer still could get in. This was no surprise. It was the Central Intelligence Agency's private nightspot. The speakeasy pulsed in the heart of the Baghdad station, the CIA's newest overseas base and the center of a surreal secret world.

"The agency had decided to build the station, as it called its major outposts, in the airport compound previously reserved only for 'Very, Very Important Persons', meaning Saddam Hussein. The tyrant had not dared leave Iraq during his reign. But he built a majestic domed reception hall and opulent marble outbuildings to mark rare visits from Arab royalty and heads of state. The CIA, unchallenged rulers of the global intelligence netherworld, chose the regal VVIP complex as the spoils of a war for which it was largely responsible.

"Work bustled on all sides those first few weeks. Looters still ran free elsewhere in Iraq, ransacking ministries and pillaging factories. But inside the guarded CIA compound, technicians planted a lush high-tech jungle of antennas and satellite dishes. They uncoiled power lines and communications cables like tendrils across the gravel. Crews rushed to renovate offices and warehouses, kicking up thick clouds of dust. Late one afternoon, Army demolition experts destroyed a cache of Iraqi munitions discovered in concrete bunkers down the road. But they miscalculated badly and the deafening explosions shattered the panoramic windows in the VVIP lounge and sent people diving for cover. The plate glass was quickly replaced, but a week or two later, overeager engineers blew the CIA windows into shards again. Such was the price of progress...

"The US intelligence budget is classified, but presumably somewhere in the estimated $45 billion that Washington spent that year on spying on its friends and enemies - far more than Germany, say, allocated for its entire national defense...

"The HVT Bar rarely opened before 11 pm. but several dozen hardworking spooks usually packed the after-hours saloon: case officers, weapons analysts, code breakers, safe-crackers, linguists, British and Australian operatives, and of course, the CIA's covert ops teams. Known as Secret Squirrels, they had roared around Iraq in pickup trucks before and during the invasion, scouting targets, causing havoc, and having a swell time.

"According to 'rumint', or rumors intelligence, more than one affair caught fire in the gloom at the HVT (far more salacious rumint focused on a senior CIA official spotted flagrante delicto in the executive garage back home; it was the talk of the agency). Most HVT regulars simply let off steam around a football table, liberated from somewhere in Baghdad, which appeared one night in the back room. It proved so exhilarating that a loaded football fan fired his loaded Glock pistol in the excitement, puncturing the wall and nearly another player...

"Contract security guys known as knuckle-draggers served as volunteer bartenders. Many were retired former field operatives who earned their chops and their pensions in the squalid streets of Somalia or Kosovo or a hundred other places. Some had even survived the cutthroat corridors of CIA headquarters back in Langley, Virginia. The agency had surged for the war in Iraq - alarms clanged battle stations, all hands on deck - and veteran troopers heeded the call. A CIA bar was an honored ritual in the agency's cultish lore, a trophy in every war. In Afghanistan, after CIA paramilitary forces helped oust the Taliban, the new Kabul station proudly partied at 'The Talibar'.

"The HVT stood for High Value Target, the video game euphemism that US authorities bestowed on those they most sought to capture or kill. In time, one could even buy a souvenir T-shirt at the bar. It read HVT BAR in bold black letters on the front and showed Saddam and 3 of his top aides, their grizzled faces fanned out as 4 aces, on the back. Pentagon wags had listed the 52 most wanted Iraqis like cards in a deck. But the joke quickly lost its punch. Most of the key cards, including Saddam, the Ace of Spades, still roamed at large.

"By early summer, hundreds of American, British, and Australian intelligence officers were swarming into Baghdad. The majority set up shop at Camp Slayer, a bizarre sprawl of Arabian nights palaces and Hieronymus Bosch bunkers across the airport from the CIA station. It was a wondrous place. Intelligence teams moved into marble guesthouses, lakeside cabanas, and a fabulous former whorehouse. They hauled in plush carpets, garish paintings, and gilded thrones, plundered from the dictator's former digs. Most of the hooches had no electricity, air-conditioning, or running water, and a creepy colony of bats blackened the sky at dusk. But early post-Saddam Iraq felt like a carnival, and it was grand." (Curveball: Spies, Lies, & the Man Behind Them: The Real Reason America Went to War in Iraq, Bob Drogin, 2007, pp xvii -xx)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Taming the Internet for Israel

Imagine an Orwellian world where Zionist ideologues have succeeded in redefining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism and pressuring compliant governments into controlling what we read and view on the internet based on that definitional sleight of hand. Well, don't worry, they're working on it:

"Internet Service Providers (ISP) lack the knowledge and insight into racism to enable them to make an informed decision about whether a particular publication has crossed the line into racial vilification or harassment... The final decision about whether or not to allow an allegedly racist publication to remain on the net should not rest with them... The technical means exist to curtail cyber racism if not eliminate it altogether and to force website owners and ISPs to act with social responsibility if they will not do so voluntarily. Only if governments cooperate will it be possible to harness these technical means to deal effectively with cyber racism. As a starting point, countries could agree in a formal treaty to recognise and give effect to judgments delivered by one another's courts concerning specific racist publications. For example, the government of country A could undertake to order an ISP operating from its territory to ensure that certain content is not accessible to users of the internet located in country B if a court or tribunal in country B has found that the publication of the content in country B is in breach of its laws." (We can tame the cyber racism beast, Peter Wertheim, The Age, 19/11/10)

Of course, Wertheim's sinister 'opinion' piece is less than forthcoming. Ostensibly, his concern is cyber racism of whatever form: "The promotion of racism in the public domain undermines, and can ultimately destroy, the sense of safety and security of targeted people or groups and also adversely affect social harmony." The subjects of anti-Semitism and Israel are nowhere raised. It is only when we scan his appended bio that we learn that Wertheim is the executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and a recent attendee at an "Experts Forum on Combating Anti-Semitism in Ottowa." Even then, the casual reader might not be aware that the ECAJ is a component part of the Israel lobby in Australia.

To see where this supposed crusader against generic racism is really coming from, we need to take a look at The Ottowa Protocol on Combating Anti-Semitism, described as a "document which represents global co-operation in the fight against anti-Semitism." (cjnews.com) In that document, we read the following: "We are alarmed by the explosion of anti-Semitism and hate on the Internet, a medium crucial for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression, freedom of information and the participation of civil society." For all I know, what has been termed 'classical' anti-Semitism may well be surging on the internet, most likely as a spillover from the criminal behaviour of the 'Jewish' state. However, the worry with Wertheim emerges further on in The Ottowa Protocol when references to Israel begin to appear.

Incredibly, the following are cited as "contemporary examples of anti-Semitism": "Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg, by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour." "Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation." "Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis." Alas, the feeble disclaimer that "criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic... but singling out Israel for selective condemnation and opprobrium - let alone denying its right to exist or seeking its destruction - is discriminatory and hateful," will only reassure the gullible.

It is obvious that, if Wertheim had his way, the internet would become as much of a no-go zone for the truth about Israeli apartheid and genocide as the mainstream media.

Consider again his seemingly innocuous example: "[T]he government of country A could undertake to order an ISP operating from its territory to ensure that certain content is not accessible to users of the internet located in country B if a court or tribunal in country B has found that the publication of the content in country B is in breach of its laws."

Let's cut to the chase here. Just imagine: Australia, at the instigation of the Israel lobby and its useful fools in parliament, legislates that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Citing that legislation, an Australian court rules that a certain internet site is in breach of the legislation. The Australian government then prevails upon the country in which the site's ISP operates to block access to it by Australian viewers.

Brave new internet indeed.

Postscript (23/11/10): "Most students made no distinction between traditional anti-semitism and anti-Zionism." (Australian Jewish students report anti-Semitism, ynetnews.com, 17/11/10) I rest my case.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Australia First!

"US sick of asking Australia for troops," runs the front page headline in today's Sydney Morning Herald, citing "US officers." "Any discussion on [Australia taking the] leadership [in Oruzgan] [province, Afghanistan] is quickly terminated by Australian politicians," according to a "third source."

This, of course, is your run-of-the-mill stonewalling. But isn't that just a little old hat these days? Really, it's time to move on to an entirely new way of dealing with the US.

Now it's not as if we have to start from scratch, mind you. All we need do is take a leaf from Israel's book, and ask, What's in it for us? And I don't just mean what's in it for us? I mean what's really in it for us?

We should begin by demanding a $3 billion+ annual subsidy - the sort of thing Israel takes for granted, for example. To justify this our Washington lobby (and we will need to work on this) should bang on endlessly about Australia being America's strategic asset in the Asia/Pacific area. After all, it works with Israel in the Middle East. That nonsense of the PM's about Australia being America's best maaate in the region. I mean, that's sooo throw-a-shrimp-on-the-barbie, isn't it? Downright embarrassing! It's really got to go.

We should become the Asia/Pacific's mad dog, barking (mad) and lunging at every available opportunity. New Zealand our Judea! PNG our Samaria! (Plenty of Lost Tribes there.)

We should deem the entire region an existential threat and market ourselves as the only dinky-di democracy within cooee. Why, we could even grant all of Fred Nile's Christmases at once and declare ourselves 'the Christian state'... but I digress. Let's get back to the question of what could be in it for Oz in Oruzgan. Plenty... if Israel's our paradigm!

Now if, in exchange for a piddling 90-day halt to Israel's current rate of settlement metastasization in the West Bank, the US has to fork over $3 billion worth of stealth fighters and promise to shield Israel from adverse UN Security Council resolutions (for as long as they both shall live?), for a few more boots on the ground in Afghanistan, why the hell can't we get armed to the teeth for free just like Israel does?

Way to go!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Australian Stupid

Seen on a boofhead in a shopping centre recently: a white t-shirt bearing the words 'American Arrogant'. Wouldn't Australian Stupid have been more appropriate?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We Don't Know What Got Into Them

Oh dear!

"A major Jewish charity has apologised for publicising an upcoming event using obscene and offensive imagery. United Israel Appeal (UIA) NSW president Bruce Fink said using one image mocking the torture of prisoners in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and another that had the headline 'Suck my Billy's, C**t!' to promote a young adult event was deeply regrettable. Clearly, on this ocassion, the volunteers in Young UIA used some material that was inappropriate, and we took steps immediately to remove it once it came to our attention', Fink said." (UIA retracts offensive promotion, The Australian Jewish News, 12/11/10)

I wish to make five points concerning the above:

The first relates to the deliberate labelling of the Zionist UIA as 'Jewish'. This is par for the Zionist course: when you need a cover for Zionist criminality, reach for the 'Jewish' label. And when the great unwashed fail to properly distinguish between Judaism and Zionism, just howl anti-semitism. Works a treat.

The second relates to the fact that dumb blonde Australia grants the UIA, Israel's central fundraising organisation, tax-exempt charitable status. The mind just goes on boggling.

The third is that Israel, with its dictum that 'the only thing the Arabs understand is force' and its history of anti-Arab dehumanisation and torture, was arguably the primary ideological and practical force for what went on in Abu Ghraib, which helps explain the moral vacuum in which the Young UIA operate. The Lieberman generation?

The fourth is that, if an Arab/Muslim organisation had perpetrated such an 'advertisement', the Murdoch press and the shock jocks of radio and television would have dined out on it forever and a day. Typically, the matter was reported only in The Australian Jewish News.

The fifth is that the apartheid Zionist project is the ultimate obscenity. Young UIA's promotional material is just a chip off the old block.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love Story

Meet Karni Eldad, a woman in love...

"I've moved many times in my life. My father was a career army officer, so throughout my childhood we followed him around the country. I hated these moves - the packing and unpacking, the feeling of temporariness, the loneliness, the foreignness. So after I finished my army service, I swore that insofar as it depended on me, I would never move again. And indeed, I lived for years in the same apartment in Jerusalem, breathing the mountain air and clinging to everything that was permanent, a rock, a home, an anchor.

"Then, suddenly, I met the love of my life, and everything turned upside down. That, apparently, is what love does. My love grew up in Gush Katif in Gaza, and since the Jews were expelled from there, he hasn't had a home. He's a refugee. So ever since our marriage, we've been searching for a bit of land that would be ours - not mine alone - on which to build a house, a life and a family.

"There were many options. But we naturally wanted to move to a small, closeknit community, and we wanted a place where we could help reinforce the Israeli peoples hold on its land. In other words, we looked for a settlement.

"We visited many different hilltops, spent a lot of Shabbats being hosted at different places and talked to a lot of community admission committees. Some settlements deemed us too religious, others deemed us too secular. Perhaps this sounds like a children's story, where the moral is that we must accept everyone. But our story ended with the settlement of Tekoah.

"Tekoah is a mixed community of religious and secular Jews located in the eastern part of the Gush Etzion settlement block. Some 670 families live there. It has organic farms, a winery, an olive press. It also has the nicest people I have ever met. Not just affable, but really nice. They go out of their way to be nice.

"And it's lovely in Tekoah. It's quiet. The birds twitter amongst the pine and eucalyptus trees. From the window of our caravan you can see Herodian.

"It was very hard to leave Jerusalem. The move itself was very hard for me, and especially the fact that I was leaving the city I loved so much. I felt like a traitor. But on my last night, as the city's lights were blurred by my tears, I realised that Jerusalem didn't care. She has seen people like me coming and going for thousands of years. Who am I that I could betray her?

"We moved from a huge apartment to a tiny caravan, all of 45 square metres. Yet it is now our entire world, until we build our permanent home. We soon had it organised. Boxes annoy me. I needed to put down roots quickly, to call this place home quickly, to become attached, to settle.

"Tekoah's hometown prophet is Amos, who, according to the Bible, 'was among the herdsmen of Tekoah'. His prophecy of consolation, which comes at the end of his book, so precisely describes our situation, that when we read it, we realised we were in the right place.

"His words were uttered from these hills, from this land. And Amos said: 'And I will return my people Israel from captivity, and they shall build the abandoned cities and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof, and make gardens and eat the fruit thereof. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be uprooted from their land which I have given them, said the Lord thy God'.

"We have indeed returned to the abandoned cities where Amos once walked, and they are no longer desolate. Hundreds of children run along Tekoah's paths - some with sidelocks, some without, some with skullcaps, some without. They run to houses with gardens that contain vegetables and fruit, and they eat the fruit thereof.

"These children have roots. Those who planted them here planted them like fruit trees, for the long term. And we shall no more be uprooted from our land. We shall not be expelled, we shall not pack, we shall not leave. for thus God has promised us." (We were evicted from Gaza - we'll never leave Gush Etzion, Haaretz, 10/11/10)

Don't you just want to pinch her rosy cheeks?

Oh Puh-lease!

Robyn Williams: How did you make a nano Star of David?

Uri Banin: [I]n nanotechnology, one of the revolutionary ideas is to use chemistry not only to make the nanoparticles but also to incorporate them into devices... And to do that we are constructing nanoparticles which are more clever, more smart. It's a nanoparticle that not only has just a semiconductor material, which is the material that emits the light or a material which would be the components of a transistor, [but] also has a metallic part to it... We combined a nanoparticle which is made of copper sulphide and it is a highly faceted... very beautiful nanoparticle that we've made, about 14 to 20 nanometres in diameter, and then we've attempted to grow a metal on top of this nice nanoparticle in order to achieve this dual particle which has properties of combining a metal and a semiconductor together. And what we saw was a very interesting result which looked under the electron microscope like a nano Star of David. When you look up at this particle, which has a semiconductor of copper sulphide decorated by ruthenium, it really looks like the Star of David... We were of course fascinated by the actual structure that was formed. What happened was that it was a new growth made of a metal on a semiconductor particle because what we saw is that we actually decorate the edges of this particle. Instead of growing a metal island, the metal grew on the edges of the particles forming what looked from above like a Star of David, but in fact was a metal cage, a frame like a birdcage, but 100 million times smaller, surrounding this 20 nanometre particle, which was an additional benefit, discovering this in Jerusalem so close to Temple Mount." (Nanoparticles for diagnostics & light, The Science Show, Radio National, 13/11/10)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Send in the Clown

Unrequited Love:

"[Foreign Minister] Kevin Rudd gatecrashed the special ABC television broadcast with Hilary Clinton on the weekend, demanding a place in the heavily promoted event to share the limelight with the US Secretary of State, an official said... An Australian official familiar with the event said Mr Rudd had stridently demanded plans be changed to include him. 'The behaviour was disgusting and he deserves to be called on it', the official told The Age." (Rudd ruffles feathers to be in Clinton limelight, Daniel Flitton, Sydney Morning Herald, 10/11/10)

Pot Calls Kettle Black:

"Kevin Rudd yesterday warned China that its association with 'obnoxious regimes' such as Burma risked damaging its global standing." (Ties to rogue regimes hurting China: Rudd, Samantha Maiden, The Australian, 15/11/10)

Amnon Neumann: Arab Fighter

This post should be read in tandem with the previous post, Frank Lowy: Arab Fighter. It concerns events which took place during the campaign of ethnic cleansing, known to Palestinians as the Nakba (Catastrophe), undertaken by Zionist forces in Palestine in 1948. What follows are extracts from the testimony of Palmach veteran, Amnon Neumann, recorded at a public hearing organised by Zochrot* on 17/6/10. Neumann's unit operated in southern Palestine and the Negev:

The villagers' flight... happened gradually. I only know about what happened from the 'Iraq Suwaydan road, [through] Majdal, to 'Iraq al-Manshiyya... The villagers' flight started when we began cleaning these convoy escort routes. It was then that we started to expel the villagers... and in the end they fled by themselves. There were no special events worth mentioning. No atrocities and no nothing. No civilians can live while there's a war going on. They didn't think they were running away for a long period of time, they didn't think they wouldn't return. Nor did anyone imagine that a whole people wouldn't return. [The Zionist leadership under David Ben-Gurion certainly did. MERC]... The first time I entered Kawkaba and Burayr I was amazed by their poverty. There was nothing there. No furniture and no thing. There were shelves made of straw and mud, the houses were made of straw and mud. They lived there for thousands of years without any change, and the only thing that happened to them was the disaster of the Nakba in 'Tashah' [1948]. Because we didn't come to collect taxes, we came to inherit the land from foreigners. That was the foundation of our thinking. We drove them out because of the Zionist ideology. We came to inherit the land. Who do you inherit it from? If the land is empty, you don't inherit it from anyone. The land wasn't empty so we inherited it, and whoever inherits the land disinherits others. And that's why we didn't bring them back. It was everywhere, in the north and the south, everywhere. That's the most important point. The land wasn't empty as I was told when I was a child. I know it, because I lived with Arabs...

I was wounded and I went home, after April 1948, after they expelled the Arabs in Haifa... Our [Arab] villages, Yajur [2k north of Kibbutz Yagur] and Balad al-Sheikh [today part of Nesher], didn't exist anymore either. They were empty... And then I went back to the Negev and we did the same thing. At that time I didn't see anything wrong with it. I was educated to it just like everybody else. And I followed through with it faithfully, and if I was told things I don't want to mention - I did them without the least of a doubt. Without thinking twice. For 50 or 60 years I've been torturing myself about this. But what's done is done. It was done by order. And I won't go into that, these are not things that... (long silence)

Eitan Bronstein [of Zochrot]: You're saying it was a battle with armed people who were not the inhabitants of Burayr. but at the same time there were still residents of Burayr in the village? Amnon Neumann: Yes! EB: Yes, there are testimonies about a massacre having taken place in Burayr. AN: You've heard about it? EB: Yes... AN: I don't want to deal with it... There was also a second platoon with us in Burayr. One guy, an Egyptian Jew, came here and said - excuse me - 'I fucked her and shot her'. EB: Did you hear him say it? AN: No, I was told about this later. I didn't see him. And then they ran, the people who were there, and saw her, a 17-year-old girl. He had put a bullet through her head... Dan Yahav [Zochrot]: But they had washed her there, she was clean. AN: I didn't see and didn't ask. How do you know? DY: I'm telling you, I know. AN: This particular case? DY: Yes. AN: With this Egyptian? DY: Yes, yes. AN: I see you've done some reach. DY: They washed her, prepared her and then did what they did. (Silence) AN: I didn't know these details and I never wanted to go into the thick of things. DY: By the way, the IDF archive is unwilling to this day to open documents related to cases of rape. It's still [a matter of] 'Israel's security'. (Long silence)

Eitan Bronstein: But you can describe exactly this thing, how you as a soldier, you're shooting people who you see aren't shooting at you, how... how did you understand it back then?... That you had the full right to do it? AN: I didn't understand. I was 19. EB: So you just did it? AN: I was a fool and I didn't know. Yes. That's why I'm in such despair, because soldiers are always 19-20 years old, and they never sober up until they've been through four battles. That's the main point. And there will always be new 19-year-olds.

[*http://zochrot.org/index.php?id=844]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Frank Lowy: Arab Fighter

The saga of Frank Lowy, Australia's richest man, is coming to your TV screen tomorrow night - Family Confidential, ABC1 - and both the Murdoch and Fairfax presses are trumpeting the fact.

Judging by The Australian's coverage, this is what you'll get:

"The story Lowy had kept to himself for so long was the horrifying daily drama of his life as a 13-year-old Jewish boy learning to fight for survival in Hungary after the Nazi invasion. The family scattered, the yellow star, the ghetto, the bodies, the shootings, the narrow escapes, the misery, the humiliation, the scrounging, the desperate desire to live." (Holocaust truth set Lowy free, Jennifer Hewett, The Australian, 13/11/10)

"'People ought to know', Lowy shrugs. Just as he now knows that [his father] Hugo Lowy was beaten to death just after he got off the train at Auschwitz in April 1944... His father was killed immediately because he insisted on going back to pick up the bag containing his prayer shawl after guards took it away from him." (ibid)

Ditto for the Sydney Morning Herald:

"When Frank Lowy was 13 in wartime Hungary, his father left the family home one day and never came back... It would take 50 years... before he finally learnt what happened that day in March 1944, just after Nazi Germany invaded Hungary. All Lowy knew was his father had gone to buy train tickets to try to get his family to a safer place. Everything after that was blank: a mystery that had hung over him all his life. The stranger who Peter Lowy met in Los Angeles in 1991 knew the answer to the question his father had never asked aloud. Having been seized at the station and put on a train to Auschwitz, Lowy's father, Hugo Lowy, had refused an order from Nazi soldiers to surrender his prayer shawl and prayer books... so they could be burned. The soldiers beat him and left him to die by the side of the train wagon in Auschwitz. He never made it inside the camp. For most of his life Lowy could not talk about his childhood ordeal in Hungary, not even to family and friends. It took until this year... for Lowy to finally find some peace and hold a memorial service for him." (Sad secret of a famous son, Adele Ferguson, 13/11/10)

But there's another chapter of the Lowy story which the media show very little interest in - the period from 1946 to 1952 when he lived in Palestine/Israel. What exactly did he get up to then? I tried to shed some light on this in my 19/7/10 post Refugees, but let's see what Murdoch and Fairfax have to say this time around.

The Australian says only this:

"The Lowy association with Israel predates Australia. After the war, Lowy lefy Hungary for Palestine... He had been arrested by British soldiers on an old tub outside the port of Haifa, then part of British Palestine, and taken to a refugee camp in Cyprus for 6 months. After he arrived in Palestine as part of a quota, he fought for the underground and, after the establishment of Israel in 1948, for the Israeli army. 'The 6 years I spent there really freed me from the encumbrances of the Eastern European persecution', he says. 'You know - I was a free man, free-thinking, could do what I wanted, go where I wanted. It was a very productive time personally, particularly looking back... so by the time I got here, I was not a victim anymore'." (Hewett)

And this:

"A Holocaust survivor, he left Eastern Europe in 1946 to fight in the Jewish underground in what was then Palestine. Fighting Arabs during the day, he studied accounting at night." (Hearth & soul, Graeme Blundell, Weekend Australian Review, 13/11/10)

Fighting Arabs during the day, he studied accounting at night? Hm, as you would...

The Sydney Morning Herald says even less:

"Migrating to Australia from Palestine in 1952..."

From Palestine? Frank and friends are going to love that one.

We'll probably never hear the full story of Lowy's Arab-fighting days, although the memory retrievalists of that remarkable Israeli organisation Zochrot* recently managed to pull off a bit of a coup when they managed to coax Amnon Neumann, another old Arab fighter of the time, to talk about his memories of the very dirty war of 1948. Stay tuned for my next post.

[*"Zochrot 'Remembering' is a group of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948." zochrot.org]

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Diggers Who Died for Israel?

I've dealt before with the shameless Zionist appropriation of those bits of Palestinian history on which Australia has impinged, in particular the activities of the Australian Light Horse Brigade in southern Palestine against the Turks in 1917. A reading of my posts Anzac Day Special: Diggers Die for Israel (25/4/08) and Zionst Myth In-formation (1/5/08) should give you an idea of what I'm getting at. The Australian Jewish News has reported the latest episode in this conscious rewriting of history thus:

"Diplomats, civilian delegations and military representatives from around the world gathered in Be'er Sheva last Sunday to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the World War I battle that took place in that city. Defence attaches from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa, Austria, and Israel, together with high-ranking envoys from the United Nations international peacekeeping force in Sinai, joined the southern city's municipality for the day's events. The Battle of Be'er Sheva is famous for the charge of the Australian Light Horse Brigade, which played a pivotal role in enabling British forces to conquer the Ottomans and paved the way for General Edmund Allenby to take control of Jerusalem on December 11, 1917. The Australian victory... was commemorated in 3 separate ceremonies. The first, co-hosted by the Australian Embassy, the Be'er Sheva Municipality and The Pratt Foundation, was held in the Park of the Australian Soldier, a Pratt Foundation gift to the city... Australian Ambassador Andrea Faulkner said her country has a special bond with the Israeli city, not just because of the battle, but also because of similar climates and water scarcity. The Park of the Australian Soldier, she observed, was testimony of the contribution made by the late Richard Pratt to cement the relationship between Australia and Israel, while simultaneously commemorating history... Referring to both world wars, Faulkner noted that many Australians had fought and died in what is now Israel. Of the 774 fallen Australian troops buried in Israel, 175 are buried in Be'er Sheva, she said." (Diggers not forgotten, 5/11/10)

Note how the Battle of Beersheba becomes the Battle of Be'er Sheva. Note the level of Israeli involvement in this 'commemoration', and the rhetoric of Australia's ambassador to Israel. And note especially the role of convicted price-fixer Dick Pratt's 'Park of the Australian Soldier', explicitly designed as a pilgrimage site to cement the relationship between Australia and Israel. All grist to the Israeli propaganda mill.

What particularly concerns me in this post, however, is Faulkner's reference to the 175 Australian troops, presumably light horsemen, buried in Beersheba. The question arises: did they (or their Turkish opponents for that matter) really need to die? And the fascinating answer is: not if the Morgenthau mission had succeeded.

Now just an historical footnote, it is worth recalling that US President Woodrow Wilson sent a mission to Europe in June 1917 in an attempt to persuade Turkey to break with the Germans and conclude a separate peace with the US, Britain and France. Headed by Henry Morgenthau Sr, America's ambassador to Turkey from 1912 to 1915, it was intercepted in Gibraltar by Chaim Weizmann, Britain's leading Zionist interlocutor and 'father' of the infamous Balfour Declaration. Concerned that the success of the mission would result in the Turk's holding on to their possessions in the Levant, an outcome which would frustrate Zionist designs on Palestine, Weizmann persuaded Morgenthau to back off and terminate his mission.

And the rest, as they say, is history, including the deaths of those 175 Australian troops. Regardless of the success or failure of Morgenthau's mission, the fact remains that the leading Zionist of the day (and later first president of the state of Israel), Chaim Weizmann, saw nothing wrong with sacrificing the lives of Australian (and British troops) so long as he could get his hands on Palestine. Indeed, given his role in scotching the Morgenthau mission, those 175 Australian deaths may legitimately be viewed as sacrifices on the altar of the Zionist project.

As a more moral associate of Weizmann's, Harry Sacher, argued at the time: "To oppose the advocates of peace with Turkey meant possibly prolonging the war. 'I myself would not buy a British protectorate at the cost of prolonging the war by a single day'." (The Balfour Declaration, Jonathan Schneer, 2010, p 273)

What was that line of George Santayana's? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Wish is Our Command

Spotted on page 2 of today's Sydney Morning Herald, under the heading Clarification:

"An information panel with the Good Weekend story 'Project: Gaza' last weekend should not have said that Mohammed al-Dura died after being shot by the Israel Defence Forces. The events at Netzarim Junction, Gaza, on September 30, 2000, remain in dispute. The information was introduced during the production process."

Oh, really? One thing not in dispute is that the Herald is missing a spine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Words Behind Words

Read the following exchange between Senator Ludlam of The Greens and Mark Scott, Managing Director of the ABC at a Senate Estimates hearing on 27 October. It's classic fan dancing - on both sides. In the spirit of keeping it real, I've added the words behind the words, those that must have come to mind but never quite made it to the tongue, and those that never even got that far, in square brackets bold:

Senator Ludlam: Can you provide us with an update of whether the ABC has reconsidered its position [not to screen the Australian doco, Hope in a Slingshot,] and how you have gone about finding some other points of view to balance out the point of view in that documentary?

Mr Scott: We reviewed it and will not be showing it. I think when we first reviewed it there were questions as to the plurality of viewpoints, whether in fact it took a certain perspective [dared to portray Palestinians as human beings] and how under our editorial policies we would look to balance that [to nobble that] ... But it has been reviewed by our television division... I think finally the television division came to the view that it was not to the standard that they would want to acquire... They did not feel it was particularly compelling for the kinds of audiences that we would be seeking on ABC 1 [for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) crowd], and that was the final judgment on it.

Senator Ludlam: But it was initially accepted. You said the issue was quality, so it was nothing to do with the political view? [nothing to do with portraying the Palestinians as human beings?]

Mr Scott:... I think finally they came to that view irrespective of editorial policy issues. That was not finally the driving force in their decision. They finally came to a view that they just did not think it was a particularly compelling film. [They finally came to a view that they couldn't afford to upset AIJAC.]

Senator Ludlam: Are you aware that the producers have updated and edited the film to address the interpretation that they believe have been placed on it?

Mr Scott: I am not sure which edit they have seen, but I understood that they did review the film again... and tried to look at it with a fresh set of eyes. We have some new people in key roles in our television division [people who know who must be appeased, and who can safely be ignored] - a new head of factual, a new controller of ABC1 and ABC2. I am not quite sure whether the final sign-off has come, but they have decided to pass...

Senator Ludlam: [But] this one caught our interest in particular because it was [initially] accepted.

Mr Scott: I understand that.

Senator Ludlam:... Step us through how you balance this out. You commission or acquire what you call opinion content, which does express a certain point of view.

Mr Scott: Yes, and we do run them. We have run Richard Dawkins... Dick Smith. I will explain what we often do, though, if it is contentious and opinionated - and there is a place for opinion on the ABC. It is allowed. It is in our editorial policies. You want to have some debate. So what you often do... is have a discussion afterwards... [However,] I think the feeling was that this film was not up to the standard for that kind of treatment. [I think the feeling was that, with this film, we would only be throwing fuel on the fire if we followed it with a discussion. I mean, take that bloody Israeli propaganda piece Murder on the Med (or Collision Course as we called it), the Foreign Correspondent website was deluged with anti-Israel comments for days afterwards. A discussion after Hope in a Slingshot would've gone the same way. We simply weren't prepared to risk it. Anything for a quiet life as they say.]

Senator Ludlam: Can you advise, then, how the program Death in the Med - or Collision Course, I think it is also called - satisfied your editorial policies?

Mr Scott: Which one, sorry? [Death in the Med? What Death in the Med?]

Senator Ludlam: Death in the Med... Was there a forum that followed that one?

Mr Scott: I am not sure - what was that one about? [Nothing. I know nothing.]

Senator Ludlam: I believe they rioted in the UK when it was screened because it was seen to be...

Mr Scott: We did have some complaints around that program. [Oh, that Death in the Med!]

Senator Ludlam: Was there a forum after that one?

Mr Scott: No, there was no forum after that.

Senator Ludlam: I struggle to understand how on the one hand you can run opinion content... and on the other you have got an impartiality requirement...

Mr Scott: [It's all coming back to me now.] That was the one that we received 90 alleged complaints of pro-Israel bias. Yes, now I remember.

Senator Ludlam: [What the f... !] Were they complaints, or alleged complaints?

Mr Scott: They were alleged complaints. [Look, tree hugger, it's really very simple. If the complaint is about Israeli propaganda, it's not really a complaint, just an alleged complaint... Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.] But the program was viewed by audience consumer affairs, who advised that the program was balanced and that they believed those complaints were without basis... I think if we had come to an editorial judgment about that program, or our television or news division which is responsible for Foreign Correspondent had come to a view that this was opinion, rather than a topical and factual program or news program, then it would have needed a different treatment. That was not the judgment they came to about that program. It might be that some people who watched it have a different view, but that is the judgment of our television team and news team have had to make.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Israel: Going, Going, Gone

"You are pitiful, isolated individuals. You are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on, into the dustbin of history." Leon Trotsky

"There are signs that Israel's years are numbered. They became clear to me in 2006 when a bunch of youngsters in South Lebanon humiliated its arrogant army. The people of South Lebanon were most impressed by the cries and screams of retreating Israeli soldiers around Marun Ar-Ras. But for me, the signs of Israel's demise can also be seen in its clumsy and comical propaganda. I never thought I'd live to see Israeli propaganda mimic Ba'athist propaganda. These are signs that one relishes from a historical perspective. There are those who worry about the new Israeli (& US) insistence that Arabs recognize the permanent, Jewish character of the state. Are you kidding? This is another sign of Israel's demise. It shows real panic at the inevitability of its demise and the demographic trend. What will Israel do 50 years from now when the Jews in the 'holy land' are outnumbered by Arabs? No pledge of the Jewishness of the state will preserve it. Don't get me wrong: I don't believe Israel will be around in 50 years time. Then, you will most likely be landing at George Habash International Airport (formerly known as Ben Gurion Airport). I'm already discussing plans for a visit to Palestine after its liberation. I know what I'd do there." (As'ad AbuKhalil, angryarab.blogspot.com, 4/11/10)

"The secret of Zionist success lies in the manner in which it overcame the chief flaw in its design: it did not have a natural mother country to support its colonial project. By winning over the Jews in the Western diaspora, and galvanizing them to use their wealth, intellect, and activism to promote Zionist causes, the Zionists succeeded in substituting the West for the missing natural mother country. Over time, nearly every major Western country (including the Soviet Union) has offered critical help in the creation, survival and success of Israel. Most importantly, the two greatest Western powers, Britain and the United States, successively, have placed their military might squarely behind the Zionist project despite the damage that this inflicted on their vital interests in the Middle East.

"The United States has already paid dearly for its pro-Zionist policies since 1948. Over time, these costs would include the hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to Israel and its Arab allies, the alienation of the Arab world, an oil embargo, higher oil prices, the rise of Islamic radicalism, and several close confrontations with the Soviet Union in the Middle East. After September 11, 2001, under strong pressure from Israel - working in league with their neoconservative allies - the United States launched a costly but unnecessary war against Iraq. In turn, this war galvanized the Islamist radicals, giving them a new theater where they could engage the United States. The United States has financed this war - and the war in Afghanistan - by borrowing from China and the oil-rich Arabs. We must also add two other consequences of the Iraq War to the debit in America's Israeli account: the rise of Iran and the growing challenge to US hegemony in Latin America.

"The costs that the United States - and the rest of the Western world - might incur in the future are likely to be much greater. We can only speculate about these costs, or when they will come due. The repressive, pro-American regimes in the Arab world are not sustainable. When these unpopular regimes begin to fall, and are replaced by Islamist governments, it may become difficult for the United States to maintain its presence in the region. Indeed, it is likely that the United States itself or Israel might trigger this outcome with an attack on Iran. In the opinion of some, this is an accident waiting to happen.

"Should Israel wither away, the United States will bear much of the collateral damage of this collapse. The withering of the Jewish state could occur due to international pressures against its apartheid regime, a slow loss of nerve as Jewish settlers lose their 'demographic war' with the Palestinians, or loss of deterrence as Israel continues to engage in failed attempts to destroy the Hizbullah and Hamas. Israel and the United States have been joined at the hip for many years. In America's public discourse, the two have become more and more like each other: they are two exceptional societies, marked by destiny, chosen by God, created by brave pioneers, who have shaped and continue to shape their common destiny through territorial expansion and ethnic cleansing. Should the Jewish state wither away, its much larger twin may begin to wobble.

"Some consequences of the withering away of Israel might be easy to predict. Over the past century, the successes of the Zionist movement have galvanized many American Jews and Zionist Christians; they will now be disillusioned, in despair, confused, and angry. Probably, most Israeli Jews will want to migrate to the United States, which most Americans will be loath to refuse. Yet, this will give rise to frictions between some sections of Gentiles and Jews and may give rise to pockets of anti-Semitism. Tensions will also arise between Jews and Muslims. In all likelihood, the United States will experience growing conflicts among different sections of its population; there will be more racism, hate crimes, and, perhaps, worse. None of this will be good for America's image as a great country.

"Although the domestic fallout of the withering of the Israeli state will be serious, the more serious losses for the United States will flow from the erosion of its control over the oil-rich states in the Persian Gulf. It would be foolhardy to predict the contours of the new map that will eventually emerge in the Middle East and the Islamicate. Whatever new structures emerge, these transformations are likely to be violent. On the one hand, the fragmentation imposed on the Islamicate has created local interests that will seek to maintain the status quo. These local interests now will confront Islamist movements that seek to create more integrated structures across the Islamicate. These conflicts will be deeply destabilizing, as India, China, Europe and Russia may choose sides, each eager to replace the United States. Once the US-Israeli straitjacket over the region has been loosened, it will not be easy to fashion a new one made in Moscow, Beijing, Brussels or New Delhi. The Islamicate world today is not what it was during World War I. It is noticeably less inclined to let foreigners draw their maps for them." (Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism, M Shahid Alam, 2009, pp 218-220)

Lock Up Your Daughters!

Australians are a weird mob.

American troops, who routinely visit murder, rape, pillage and plunder on brown people - with Australian assistance of course - are welcome: "Australia has agreed to a major escalation of military cooperation with the US, including more visits by American ships, aircraft and troops and their forces exercising here regularly." (US forces get nod to share our bases, Brendan Nicholson, The Australian, 6/11/10)

But when brown people try to flee said murder, rape, pillage and plunder by jumping on boats and seeking refuge here, Australians are up in arms: "[Northam, WA] resident John Edwards, who lives 200 metres from the [proposed detention centre] site, also expressed concern about safety, saying the three-metre-high security fence would not prevent [asylum seekers] from jumping. 'If they jump that fence, they're going to steal my car, they're going to attack my wife and make their way to Perth and join with groups of their kind', he said." (Northam fires up over detention centre, watoday.com.au, 5/11/10)

Mr Edwards is worried about nothing, of course. However, when the Yanks arrive, I'd seriously advise him to lock up his wife and daughters.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guess Who Came to Dinner?

In spruiking his new book, Confessions of a Faceless Man, on the coup which replaced Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard, union heavy and Zionist hottie Paul Howes writes:

"The problems within the [Rudd] government... are now widely known. Ministers were not encouraged to debate ideas and Cabinet became a rubber-stamping committee. Those who did try to talk to the prime minister about the problems facing the government were so brutalised by their experiences that many never tried it again. Some cabinet ministers couldn't get a meeting with Rudd at all. Departmental secretaries were left waiting hours and hours for meetings, only to be told to come back the next day, when the charade would be repeated. I experienced this sort of treatment first hand, so I knew the increasing complaints from within the government were justified... The party became increasingly closed, and those within the wider labour movement who spoke out or disagreed on policy issues were marginalised and shut up. That culture needed to end. And that's at least partly why Julia Gillard became the leader of the parliamentary Labor party, and the Prime Minister. I believe that, as Prime Minister, Gillard is keen to ensure that debate is had and ideas are generated... that supporters of the party should be able to make their voices heard without the fear of appearing disloyal. After all, that's democracy... It seems to me that because the election had to be held so soon after the change of leadership, there was no opportunity to properly explain to the Australian people what exactly had gone wrong with the Rudd government. It's time now to confront the elephant in the room." (The elephant in the room, Paul Howes, The Sunday Telegraph, 7/11/10)

So cabinet ministers couldn't get a look in with Rudd, and parliamentary secretaries were kept dangling. The nerve of the man! Why, even His Highness, Paul Howes, got his knuckles rapped! And that, he says, was the elephant in the room.

But that wasn't the elephant in the room. This was the elephant in the room:

Some folk had no trouble getting to see Rudd. In fact, he not only invited them but wined and dined them as well: "When Kevin Rudd sat down to dinner in the Lodge with six leaders of the Jewish community this month several remarked at the trouble he'd taken: the PM had ordered kosher food, flown from Melbourne, for the event. It was a nice touch, but not enough. Rudd convened the dinner as a reconciliation with Australia's Jewry. He was the first prime minister to invite the Jewish leadership to address a crisis in relations since Malcolm Fraser after the outbreak of the first Lebanon War in 1982. But it was going to take a lot more than a kosher dinner to alay the anxiety, anger and frustration around the Lodge dining table... (What am I, chopped liver? How Rudd dived into schmooze mode, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/6/10) You can read the rest of Hartcher's account in my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy.

As for those [Laborites] who spoke out or disagreed on policy issues being marginalised and shut up, that wouldn't happen under Prime Minister Howes, now would it?

Well, yes it would. Take the courageous (and sadly the only) Labor dissent from the party line on the Middle East conflict by former Labor MP Julia Irwin. Hypocrite Howes condemned that out of hand as "a dangerous contribution to the foreign policy debate." (No hope of a fond farewell, Paul Howes, The Australian, 16/9/09)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Uberlibs

Hm... there's something about the Liberal Party. Can't quite put my finger on it though. Is there a pattern here do you think?:

"Processing asylum-seekers in 'idyllic' areas of Australia was like rolling out the 'red carpet' to people smugglers, Tony Abbott said yesterday. The Opposition Leader capitalised on community anger in the Adelaide Hills over the Gillard government's handling of plans for a new detention centre in the picturesque region... 'I don't get the impression from anyone in this room that this is not an open and welcoming community', Mr Abbott said before spending 90 minutes mingling and chatting with residents, including Holocaust denier Frederick Tobin. 'Tony and I go back a long time, but I am also a concerned citizen', Dr Toben said." (New centre rolls out the red carpet: Abbott, Michael Owen, The Australian, 4/11/10)

"NSW Election Funding Authority records show that Mr [Ashley] Pittard [who is seeking preselection for the safe NSW Liberal seat of Castle Hill] has donated more than $360,000 to the Liberal Party since 2007. The donations have been made both in his name and that of a company Stuka Ltd, of which he is the sole director and secretary." (Castle Hill Liberals man the ramparts in preselection stoush over wealthy donor, Sean Nicholls, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/11/10)

"The Liberal Party is scrambling to find a new candidate for a key country seat just days before the start of the [Victorian] election campaign after the original contender quit amid a race row. Mike Laker, who was running for the seat of Seymour, got busted by a Melbourne radio station spreading rumours the Victorian labor government was going to house 50 Somali families at a new housing estate in the electorate and give them free cars." (Liberal candidate quits after race row, Milanda Rout, The Australian, 1/11/10)

Dear Miranda... 2

Despite Sunday Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine calling for "feedback" on her column, Roadmap to peace heads down a dead end (31/10/10), which dealt with her recent Israeli rambamming, she hasn't bothered addressing any of the questions that I asked her in my 31/10/10 post Dear Miranda...

Absent a response, I guess I'll just have to assume the questions were either too hard for her, or that she has a closed mind, or that she's taken the vow of silence referred to in my 15/10/10 post Omerta.

Or - worst case scenario - maybe all three.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gillard's Education Revolutions

"My firm belief is that the future of our two countries will be determined by what is happening in the schools of each of our nations today." (Julia Gillard's November 2 speech in Jakarta: Australia will spend $500 million to upgrade Indonesian schools, Tom Allard, Sydney Morning Herald, 3/11/10)

Indeed.

In Indonesia, Prime Minister Gillard is hoping to extinguish sectarian fires: "Australia will spend $500 million building 2000 new schools in Indonesia and upgrading the curriculums of 1500 Islamic madrasas to improve prospects for Indonesia's youth and moderate the influence of the country's religious schools." (ibid)

In Australia, however, she's busy fueling sectarian fires: "Recently the PM, Julia Gillard, 'turbo-charged' the [National School] Chaplaincy Program [first introduced by John Howard] and prompted an unseemly rush to chaplaincy, even in the NSW government school system, which has historically eschewed mixing church and state. One of Gillard's key election campaign promises in August was to boost school chaplain numbers. Her $222 million pledge - more than double Howard's spend - is expected to result in federally funded chaplains at more than one-third of Australia's 10,000 government and non-government schools. Constitutional concerns about the separation of church and state... have been swept aside in the subsidy scramble." (With God by their side, Damien Murphy, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/10/10)

Not bad for a declared atheist, eh?

Oh, and as for Australia's future being determined by what is happening in our schools, I thought you might like a glimpse at where we might be heading with the PM's little $222 million sectarian feeding frenzy: "A couple living on the NSW north coast say they are scared to speak out against the chaplaincy program because their 8-year old son has been attacked at school. They wish to remain anonymous, but say that the local Christian lobby that applied for and secured funding for a chaplain did so without the knowledge of the general parent body. 'Since then, we've had to comfort our son on more than one occasion when he's come home upset after being told by other people that he'll literally 'burn in hell' because he does not share their religious beliefs or attend the same church', the father says." (ibid)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Big Picture

Here's the little picture:

"Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 11,000km away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbours until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops. Why? They refuse to comment. They don't even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? Somebody told them. Who? You don't know, and there are no appeals against the robot. Now imagine it doesn't end there: these attacks are happening every week somewhere in your country. They blow up funerals and family dinners and children. The number of robot-planes in the sky is increasing every week. You discover they are named 'Predators' or 'Reapers' - after the Grim Reaper. No matter how much you plead, no matter how much you make it clear you are a peaceful civilian getting on with your life, it won't stop. What do you do? If there was a group arguing that Pakistan was an evil nation that deserved to be violently attacked, would you now start to listen?

"This sounds like a sketch for the next James Cameron movie - but it is in fact an accurate description of life in parts of Pakistan today, with the sides flipped. The Predators and Reapers are being sent by Barack Obama's CIA, with the support of other Western governments, and they killed more than 700 civilians in 2009 alone - 14 times the number killed in the 7/7 attacks in London. The floods were seen as an opportunity to increase the attacks, and last month saw the largest number of robot-plane bombings ever: 22. Over the next decade, spending on drones is set to increase by 700%. The US Government doesn't even officially admit the program exists... But [the Obama] administration says, behind closed doors, that these robot-plane attacks are 'the only show in town' for killing suspected jihadis... True, the program has certainly killed some real jihadis. But the evidence suggests it is creating far more jihadis than it kills - and is making an attack on you and me more likely with each bomb.

"Drone technology was developed by the Israelis, who routinely use it to bomb the Gaza Strip. I've been to Gaza during some of these attacks. The people were terrified - and radicalised. A young woman I know who had been averse to political violence and an advocate of peaceful protest saw a drone blow up a car full of people - and she started supporting jihad and crying for the worst possible revenge against Israel. Drones have bombed much of Gaza, from secular Fatah to Islamist Hamas, to the brink of jihad. Is the same thing happening in Pakistan?" (Rise of the killer drones, Johann Hari, The Weekend Australian Magazine, 30/10/10)

And here's the Big Picture:

"Few Zionists would deny the escalating violence that has attended the insertion of Jewish colons into the Middle East. Mostly, however, the Zionists draw attention to the Arabs as the source of this violence and blame it on their rejection of Israel. Moreover, they maintain that Arab rejection of Israel is rooted in their ancient and religiously inspired hostility toward Jews. The Zionist movement in Palestine has generated endemic violence between Jewish settlers and Palestinians. Since 1948, this violence has repeatedly pitted Israel against the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. It has dragged Western societies, especially the United States, into ever widening and deepening conflicts with the Islamicate.* It is the thesis of this... book that the history of these ever-expanding circles of conflict and instability was contained in the Zionist idea itself. Instability and violence are integral to Zionism: they have flowed from its inner logic. They are not incidental to it." (Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism, M. Shahid Alam, 2009, pp 25-26)

"This study has employed a dialectical framework for analyzing the destabilizing logic of Zionism. We have examined this logic as it has unfolded through time, driven by the vision of an exclusionary colonialism, drawing into its circuit - aligned with it and against it - nations, peoples, forces, and civilizations whose actions and interactions impinge on the trajectory of Zionism, and, in turn, who are changed by this trajectory. It would be a bit simplistic to examine the field of interactions among the different actors in this historic drama on the essentialist assumption that these actors and their interests are unchanging. Instead, we need to explore the complex ways in which the Zionists have worked - and, often have succeeded - to alter the behavior of the other political actors in this drama: and, how, in turn, the Zionists respond to these changes. Most importantly, we need to explore all the ways in which the Zionists have succeeded in mobilizing the resources of the United States and other Western powers to serve their specific objectives. Consider a list of the political actors who have had more than a passing connection to the Zionist project and, who, at one time or another, have affected or have been affected by this project. First, there are the different Zionist factions, the Jewish diaspora, and, later, the state of Israel. These entities are overlapping, with the degrees of overlap between any two of them changing over time. The second set of actors consists of Western powers - especially, the United States, Britain, and France - the Christian Zionists especially in the United States, and the Soviet Union and its allies in Eastern Europe. Finally, there are actors who are direct and indirect victims of the Zionist project, those who have paid the costs of Zionist success. They form four concentric circles around Israel, including the Palestinians, the Arabs, the Middle East, and the Islamicate. These three sets of actors make up the dramatis personae in the unfolding tragedy of the Zionist project. Clearly, the number of actors involved, their variety, and, not least, the multilayered power commanded by the Zionists and their allies would indicate that Zionism is no sideshow. Directly, it has involved much of the Western world, on one side, and the global Islamicate on the other side, who will soon make up one-fourth of the world's population." (ibid, pp 213-214) [*Following Marshall Hodgson, 'Islamicate'... will refer to a society comprising mostly of Muslims.]