Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Team Australia's Best & Brightest

"It is a real honour to thank Frank Lowy - Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia's leading philanthropist, former director of the Reserve Bank of Australia, chairman of the Australian Football Federation, sometime head of the BRW rich list and dinky-di Australian - for his lecture and for his life."* Tony Abbott, 20/9/12

"The Australian newspaper is Rupert Murdoch's 'gift to our nation' Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told a gala dinner in Sydney to celebrate the publication's 50th birthday." (Tony Abbott praises The Australian as Rupert Murdoch's 'gift to our nation', AAP/Sydney Morning Herald, 16/7/14)

"A senior member of the Coalition has warned that corporate tax avoidance and the repatriation of profits overseas is 'the greatest financial challenge' facing Australia. Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan, a confidant of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said the government must secure the tax revenue base before spending on essential services is not impacted. 'If you're willing to turn a blind eye to billions of dollars going out the door and offshore, you're doomed in terms of providing what people expect from government: roads, schools and hospitals. This is the greatest financial challenge facing the Western world and if not addressed it could redefine sovereignty in the Western world'." (Government senator says corporate tax avoidance threatens services, Heath Aston & Georgia Wilkins, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/9/14)

"The usual culprits top the list again this year: Rupert Murdoch's Fox, Frank Lowy's Westfield and the host of real estate trusts listed on the Australian Securities Exchange." (Leaners avoid paying their fair share of the company tax rate, Michael West, Sydney Morning Herald, 29/9/14)

The usual culprits?

Now that's not a very nice thing to say about two of Team Australia's best and brightest (even if one calls Israel home and the other's now a Yank).

[*Transcript of the Hon Tony Abbott MHR Vote of thanks at the Inaugural Australian Multicultural Council Lecture, Parliament House, Canberra]

Inside Our Jewish Schools

The Australian Jewish News reported recently (4/4/14) on the publication of "a groundbreaking study," Intergenerational Challenges in Australian Jewish School Education," authored by Professor Zehavit Gross of Bar-Ilan University's School of Education and Professor Suzanne Rutland of Sydney University's Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies Department.

The AJN titled its report Is the 'Jewish' in Jewish Schools working? Given that these schools are overwhelmingly Zionist in orientation, a more accurate title would have been: Are 'Jewish' schools churning out uncritical Zionists?

Happily, the answer would appear to be no. Here are some revealing excerpts from the AJN's coverage:

"The picture [the authors] paint of contemporary Jewish adolescence is complex. The students are an empowered, tech-savvy, analytical and broad-minded bunch... [However] they want to discuss questions of 'why be Jewish' rather than being 'told how to be Jewish'; they want to explore the broader lessons of the Holocaust..."

Hm... broader than the following?

"So when you have difficulty understanding us (Israelis), think about the Holocaust. When you find yourselves searching for our motives, remember the Holocaust. When you try to understand the steps we take, consider the Holocaust."

I should bloody well hope so!

"[A] prevailing insistence on the dogmatic teachings of religion, perpetuating an archaic Hebrew pedagogy, and employing Israeli teachers with little understanding of Australian culture are all areas the academics flag as requiring urgent attention from the school leadership."

Israeli teachers?!  Hello?

"[T]he students are losing patience. 'We have learnt so much about Judaism that I actually hate it now,' one student protested. 'Jewish studies is a class that can be seen as a bludge... we do the same things every year,' another offered. One student reflected: 'We learnt about Amalekites. Our teacher said: 'It's the Jews' job to wipe out, if we could find the Amalekites, it is our job to wipe them out.' So I said: 'Hypothetically, if a Jew became Australia's prime minister and they were able to trace down Amalekites you would say it is okay to put them into gas chambers and do exactly what Hitler did? He said that he would personally do it. That is not okay with me'."

Amalekites?! Are they serious? Is it any wonder these kids are losing patience?

OK, now here's the biggie:

"Changing trends extend to the value attributed to Israel (students are increasingly critical of the Jewish homeland), and the perceived importance of learning the Hebrew language."

There's hope yet!

[*The Holocaust is the 'key' to Israel, Yosef Lapid, Jerusalem Post/Australian Jewish News, 28/4/06. See also my 12/4/10 post Sam Lipski's National Curriculum.]

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bin Laden Begs to Differ

You who do not read Murdoch's Australian will be pleased to know that, after remaining uncharacteristically silent throughout Jewish State's recent bloodletting in the Gaza Strip, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, foreign editor extraordinaire, has recovered his tongue from the proverbial cat, and is once more setting Australians straight on matters Middle Eastern:

"[T]he Australian debate [over future involvement in Syria] is bedevilled by three truly ludicrous myths peddled variously... by Greens, lefties, professional anti-Americans, and that great undifferentiated and largely uninformed cadre of general commentators on everything who figure so ubiquitously, and so repetitively, on the ABC. The myths are: that the rise of Islamic State in Iraq is a consequence of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq; that recent US counter-terrorist activities and aggressive actions in the Middle East have spurred the terrorist threat on; and that Israel remains the core issue, or the root cause, of the Middle East's problems. To believe these myths, you have to be taking something strange in your morning coffee, because they are not remotely supported by the facts. Professing, as opposed to actually believing, these myths offers a high level of psychological comfort, because they give you the two favourite pantomime villains of international politics: the US and Israel." (Debunking the myths about extremists' rise, 24/9/14)

Now I won't bore you with our resident Suppository of All Wisdom's discharges on the first two "truly ludicrous myths."

Let's proceed straight to the biggie, number three:

"The most important and destructive dynamic in the Middle East today is the sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia... Israel's role in the basic Shia-Sunni hostilities is absolutely zero." (ibid)

OK, far be it for me to contradict the "most influential foreign affairs analyst in Australian journalism." I'm just an amateur anti-USraeli after all.

But surely, if anyone were to do so, who better than the daddy of all SUNNI EXTREMISTS, Osama bin Laden, right? With "sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia" being "the most important and  destructive dynamic in the Middle East today," you'd expect that if anyone'd be oozing anti-Shia sectarianism from every pore, it'd be bin Laden, right?

Well, as much as I hate to break it to Greg and his fans, in all of bin Laden's 24 manifestos issued between 1994 and 2004 (and compiled by Bruce Lawrence in 2005 as Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden) there's not a whisper about the Shia, not a negative word about Iran, nothing FFS.

When it comes to USrael, however, the guy just won't shut up.

But then, what would bin Laden know about the Middle East compared with our Greg?

Related post: Here's looking at you, Greg (10/1/11)

Pathetic Victim of Ziocaine Abuse

Tanya (Once was Warrior) Plibersek, now a mere shadow of her former self:

Phoebe Roth: Our readers often express concern over your comments in 2002 when you described Israel as a 'rogue state' and Ariel Sharon as a 'war criminal'. Can you describe how your thoughts have evolved since this time?

Plibersek: I'm actually not going to go back over it, it's 12 years ago. I've been on the public record many times about it. I'm done. (Speaking from the Plibersek perspective, The Australian Jewish News, 19/9/14)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Awake, England! 2

"I've seen the vultures, filthy, stealthily approaching a dead donkey. They need not feed on donkey flesh today.

"How you love those humble folk, native Christians and native Moslems! How you love persecuted Jews! You and other nations proved that at Evian les Bains*, didn't you? You say 'all the nations did.' Yes, but under your sole control is the sovereign remedy proposed at Evian, to wit, that the victims of European meanness be sent to Palestine. In other words that the Holy Land of Christians, Moslems and Jews be liquidated to make a graveyard of all three.

"What of the world's pious pilgrims who would fain go annually to the one country of peace and sacred memories. Do you remember the stream? Why did you launch the devastating 'experiment'? Why do you continue it? Are you mystified by the changes in Palestine since 1916-17? Can you not detect each step that has led to the present ruin? Would you dare ask your neighbors? Will you ever find a more dependable friend or ally than the Arab, any Arab? Remember your vast Arabic learning, memories, scholarly works, statesmen, many highly trained Christian orientalists to this very hour? Do you remember and will you use?

"As the season of 'grapes' returns to Palestine, August and later, season of gladness, will you be treading the wine-press over there or what representatives of yours will be treading? Who will be under your feet? What color will your feet be?

"Have you assayed the necessity for all this? Have you reckoned with the end? Will you be proud of the result? Who as effectively as yourself has chastised the Holy Land and its rightful people? If you import another people there by any specious title will you chastise them the same way in the interests of PEACE: YOU, CAESAR: WHAT OF THE PAX BRITTANICA, LATELY, NOW? PEACE!

"Is it Palestine you dearly love, or Mosul, or India, or Suez, and even they, why do you love them so? Are you truly loving and loyal to England? You emancipator of the blacks! And your pride, the not-nice manner in which you bandy the word 'native'. Was that the reason for championing wholesale immigration of aliens with shreds of title 2000 years old!

"Are Palestinians bad people? Do you really think that these despoiled peasants are terrorists? Do you remember any terrors visited upon them since 1914? Do you remember the exultation with which they welcomed you and your message of fairness, of peace, of reverence in 1917? Some of your dead would remember and do. Are there not sufficient living living who remember, who worship, who understand?

"Besides the Palestine of place, there is the Palestine of dream with which all mortals may rightfully be concerned. When outsiders come to grips with the Palestine of place then strange iniquities ensue. Test this as you will at any time in the experiences of the past.

"What of the incongruity of the Foreign Office meddling with the Palestine of place, or the Colonial Office, or any bureau and I except none: then begins misery and mockery. The heart of the meddler becomes dry and hard; the very health of the native custodian of that soil goes glimmering to a sickness worse than the enterics of which we have knowledge.

"Where else in this troubled world are the faiths of mankind so inextricably bound? Where else is there so providential an opportunity for non-aggression? for noblesse oblige? Let the chaffering in Palestine real estate cease. Let the western bribery of the impecunious farmer of that country stop forthwith! Decency commands it.

"Holy cities, material shrines, are notoriously offensive when venal considerations obtain. Outsiders beware! When your patient dreams go on to the registry of real estate titles and you seek to close your fist over a parcel of ground for selfish gratification you have seared your soul beyond hope of sweetness or idealism.

"The sword may be offensive but the pen of the realist has been even more terrible a horror in Palestine, the Holy Land. Look at it today! Let those who know tell you how it was in the yesterday before the World War! What human would say that today could compare with yesterday? The Turk was a dreamer, a poet, a philosopher, a saint compared with certain so-called statesmen, certain political meddlers of the past twenty years. Read the travel literature of fifty or a hundred years preceding 1917, and con the reiteration of peccadilloes, amusing contretemps, despised chicaneries along the tourist routes, guides, shrines, pretense and crass materialism and then compare the atrocities of the last few years in European mal-administration in Palestine. The pre-war trivialities are as the errant ways of sparrows compared with the work of tigers, hyenas, and vultures." (Palestine Today, pp 14-22)

[*See my 2/8/13 post Misrepresenting the Evian Conference of 1938.]

Awake, England! 1

In my last post, I touched on the subject of the 1936-39 Palestinian uprising against British colonial rule and Zionist immigration.*

The brutal crushing of that 4-year intifada by the British army left Palestinian society so weakened that it lacked the stamina and resources to withstand the armed Zionist takeover of Palestine 9 years later, in 1948.

As a reminder of that struggle, the high point of Palestinian resistance to the British mandate and Zionist colonisation, I reproduce here the eloquent and impassioned 1938 protest by American archeologist and biblical scholar Elihu Grant (1873-1942), Awake, England!

Grant was a man who had lived among and studied the Palestinian peasantry prior to World War 1, writing a warm and sympathetic account of their society and customs, The Peasantry of Palestine, in 1907.

Written 78 years ago, Awake, England! is both a lament for the peaceful Palestine of Ottoman times and a cri de coeur at what Palestine has become under the British, with their policy of imposing a 'National Home for the Jewish people' on an unwilling, non-Jewish native population. This is simply referred to by Grant as the 'experiment'**.

Sadly, it also reveals how little has changed in the history of the Palestinians' agonisingly protracted struggle for self-determination in their ancestral homeland:

"England! Where thousands live who, or whose kindred, have served over there in decent Christian ways these scores of years, who know the East, the Arab, who have bred such as Lawrence of Arabia, Hogarth of the Bodleian, Palmer and Allenby... Now look at the thousands of photographs of your 'authorities' in Palestine, today, of evictions and dynamiting, with accompaniments of machine-gunning, bayonetting, tanks, planes, gas, bombs, and starvation. Some of your representatives you would not trust in your stable. Yet you let them carry your name and fame among the peasants of a usually peaceable land which you are turning into a daily horror, while you lift your palms upward and outward when the owner of a few feddans, a few tools, a cow, a pair of goats, perchance sheep and chickens, or a plot of vineyard, when he strikes in his misery at his tormentors paid from the taxes you wring from him.

"One of your scions, officer in a district, told me that one of his concerns was to obliterate the native guest-rooms in the villages, muddafiehs, humble centres of fraternity and democracy, because he considered them seditious, harmful to the empire. That is tearing the ewe lamb apart and not even eating it decently.

"I could draw you pictures and have before of scenes, places, and people in Palestine, as dear, simple, and sweet as any in your fair England. But that would be pre-war. And the resentment that has burned in those places recently is not a 'circumstance,' as we say colloquially, to what would have happened in Somerset if half of the wrongs had been perpetrated there by an insider or an outsider. One of your own assured me of this five years ago and Lo, and behold, your artistry of misery since!

"And consider the provocation in Palestine in twenty years past, in twenty months past. Even today I could point you to places in Palestine where your 'experiment' has scarce touched as yet and where you might observe a measure of the peace and kindness among the natives which we knew thirty or more years ago.

"A dear, good, saintly Christian from the midst of peace-loving England said to me concerning one of my own native pupils in Palestine 'We fear he is not loyal.' Loyal to what? To the Empire? To a tormentor that he was trained to view was a civilised force in the world long before it turned persecutor with its 'experiments' and to what end, native welfare? That savors of the remark of an Irish officer in service in Palestine to one of the native nobility there charged with office, a man educated and qualified by years of European training to serve any good cause or purpose in the Moslem East. Charged by this Irishman, with being too sympathetic with the peasantry of the district!! with being less than fully loyal to the despoiling busybody busy with his papers, white, or other shade. Remember a few years ago when a white paper showed merciful comprehension of the aggravated native state of affairs in Palestine that it was officially pigeon-holed? Under what pressure?

"Oh, England, you are not fair to the England we admired. You are not frank, you are not English: at least in Palestine. Do you shudder for Abyssinia, for Spain, for China? What about Palestine!?! There are those among the thousands in Syria, refugees from Palestine, or among the hundreds of good Palestinian brains in other countries who could help you learn a truer function for young educated Palestinians.

"Once it was the wawy (jackal) whose bark we heard in the vineyards. Now it would be the bark and rattle of deadly weapons. Once it was the hyena prowling for dead flesh. Now it is those who provide death daily for the contest, the race between the scavenger and the family of the dead who at their peril seek the bodies of their dead after the official strafing by your orders. Once it was the kilmy frangieh*** and veneration by those Easterners who admired you. Still it is the kilmy frangieh but with a difference in those 'holy fields!'

Concluded in my next post... 

[*See my 21/3/11 post Jogging Uri Avnery's Memory; **"It may fail. I do not deny that this is an adventure. Are we never to have adventures? Are we never to try new experiments?" Lord Balfour, House of Lords, 21/6/22; ***foreign word]

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Palestinian Quislings

Blatant Zionist propaganda in the Sydney Morning Herald from Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC):

"If the international community wants to ensure that any ceasefire agreement prevents yet another bloody Gaza conflict..."

Bloody for whom, Rubes?

"... like the one that ended on August 27, they should be listening to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas."

That's the PA 'president' whose term expired in 2009.

"He has repeatedly criticised Hamas for instigating and then prolonging the war and causing Palestinian suffering, lamenting how 'it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2000 martyrs, 10,000 injured'. Earlier he had asked of Hamas 'What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?..."

Here we go again.

Zionism's use of Palestinian quislings to counter and undermine Palestinian resistance to Israeli aggression is as old as the Zionist project itself.

Blanche Dugdale, Lord Balfour's niece, was a gentile Zionist groupie and confidante of Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann in the 30s and 40s. The following entry in her diary alludes to the conflict between the armed Palestinian resistance to British rule (& Zionist colonisation) from 1936-39, led by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, and the collaborationist opposition led by the Nashashibi clan:

"January 18th [1939] - London... home to tea - then was rung up by Peter Rutenberg, this moment arrived from Palestine. He has been very active there, pinning the moderate Arabs to our side by the usual methods. Fakhri Nashashibi is earning his keep by staying in Jerusalem and shouting aloud that the Mufti and his friends do not represent Palestine." (Baffy: The Diaries of Blanche Dugdale 1936-1947, 1973, p 119)

Sound familiar?

Another reference to Rutenberg and Nashashibi appears in Hillel Cohen's study Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948 (2008).

Writing on the February 1939 London Conference, convened by the British government to discuss Palestine's future governance and involving both Zionist and Palestinian Arab delegations, the latter drawn from the Mufti's Arab Higher Committee, Cohen notes that "the [Nashashibi] opposition had only token representation in the Palestinian delegation, and even that was achieved only after a tenacious struggle. Fakhri Nashashibi himself traveled to London on Zionist funding; it was his friend Pinhas Rutenberg who gave him 4,000 Palestinian pounds to pay for his trip." (pp 132-33)

And, just as the collaborationist Abbas criticises Hamas over Israel's latest wilding in Gaza, Fakhri Nashashibi "considered the [Palestinian] uprising of 1936-39 a 'counterfeit rebellion'." (ibid, p 265)

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Zionism's Giant Jewish Caliphate of 1919

Emma Meconi is a relatively recent addition to The Australian's stable of opinion writers.

Billing herself as a Greens voter, her latest piece begins thus:

"As a Greens supporter I am generally opposed to war and strongly objected to the military engagement in Iraq that began a decade ago. But this time the circumstances have changed and the threat to human life has escalated. Careful consideration is required of the new facts and an appropriate response must be implemented quickly. I believe Tony Abbott has made the right call to support military intervention in Iraq." (Islamic State's evil onslaught demands a military response, 20/9/14)

Surprise, surprise, Meconi even goes on to argue for "a new military engagement" in  Syria.

She concludes her piece as follows:

"War will be effectively a restoration process, cleaning away the rot and enabling a thorough rebuilding process to take place in affected areas."  (ibid)

A Greens supporter? Right...

It was the following sentence though that really caught my attention:

"The Islamic State... seeks to establish a giant caliphate in the Middle East and recruit believers globally to make their delusions a reality." (ibid)

It got me thinking about the Middle East's original sectarian entity, the Jewish State, the Zionist movement which spawned it, and the Zionist leadership's delusions of grandeur, evidenced in their post-World War 1 bid for a far larger Jewish caliphate than the one we find ourselves with today.

The following reference to the giant caliphate of Zionist dreaming and scheming circa 1919 comes from one of the best current histories of the Palestine problem, Adel Safty's Might Over Right: How the Zionists Took Over Palestine (2009):

"Chaim Weizmann summed up both the Zionist demands and the strategy at the [Paris] Peace Conference in the following way: the Zionists' demands were that 'the whole administration of Palestine shall be so formed as to make of Palestine a Jewish Commonwealth under British trusteeship, and that the Jews shall so participate in the administration as to secure this object'. Furthermore, 'The Jewish population is to be allowed the widest practicable measure of self-government and to have extensive powers of expropriating the owners of the soil.' The Zionist delegation proposed boundaries for the Jewish Commonwealth, which included parts of Lebanon, Syria, the whole of Transjordan and most of the Egyptian Sinai.

"The Zionists wanted considerably more territories than British Prime Minister Lloyd George's biblical formula 'from Dan to Beersheba' suggested. It had been on the basis of Lloyd George's biblical notion about Palestine that boundaries were proposed for the Jewish National Home. Foreign Office aides used Sir George Adam Smith's atlas of Palestine in the time of David and Solomon circa 1,000 BC as the basis for, as a British historian put it, 'the geographical, the physical, and the political obliteration of the Arabs who now inhabited that area nearly three thousand years later. There was a very awkward moment during this surely utterly fantastic scene in Paris, when [French leader] Clemenceau asked Lloyd George to show him where Dan was on the map - and Lloyd George was unable to'." (41-2)

Phillip Adams on the Indoctrinated

"The terrorists in al-Qa'ida and ISIS are deranged. So, sadly, are the kids with their matchboxes - and the occasional adult arsonists hiding among the 'first responders' in our volunteer fire brigades. A few, a very few will be identified and charged, and some will be convicted and lightly punished. Others will be sent off for psychiatric help. If only they could be accompanied by those Australians who are heeding the call of the so-called 'Islamic State'. The government is understandably concerned by the indoctrination of local youth who head off to Iraq or Syria, though we've not expressed concern about generations of young Australian Jews who've headed for Israel to join the army." (Up in flames, The Weekend Australian Magazine, 20/9/14)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knives & iPhones: The New WMD

Got the post-election blues? No more carbon tax to kick around anymore? Can't sell your dog of a budget? Popularity nosediving in the polls? The answer's simple. There's a tried and true formula: Wave the flag. Wear it even. Why not? Hang out with the top brass and the boys in blue. Wear specs. Makes you look more like a suppository of wisdom, less of a bogan thug. Strut the world stage. Tell Putin to step outside, mate. Start a war. Above all, concoct a security threat, divide and sow fear in the community. Works a treat:

"As all of you know, we live in an uncertain and changing world. I've often said that all citizens of a peaceful democracy like Australia shrink from reaching out to conflicts in other parts of the world, but what we've seen in recent times is these conflicts reaching out to us. As you all know, there are at least 60 Australians who are known to be fighting with ISIL and other terrorist groups in the Middle East. There are at least 100 Australians who are known to be supporting ISIL and other terrorist groups in the Middle East... As you know, a week ago, the terror threat level was officially raised and as I think all of you would now know, earlier this week a specific instruction came from a senior Australian ISIL operative in Syria to the local ISIL network to carry out what I've described as demonstration killings of Australian citizens. In order to disrupt this, there was a very large anti-terror event in Sydney yesterday. Some 800 police and security officials were involved, 25 premises were raided, 15 people were detained, one person has already been charged with very serious terrorist offences. Investigations are ongoing and the police expect further charges to be laid against other individuals... [T]he best way for people to respond to the threat of terror is to go about their normal lives. Terrorists want to scare us out of being ourselves and our best response is insouciantly to be fully Australian, to defy the terrorists by going about our normal business; by being the decent, peaceful, democratic, and tolerant people that Australians always have been and, as far as I am concerned, always will be... I do have to say, though, that the challenges that we face are more serious today than at any time in the past. We saw on the streets of London a year or so back the sorts of thing which some people would like to perpetrate here in this country, and it is a serious situation when all you need to do to carry out a terrorist attack is to have a knife, an iPhone, and a victim." (Tony Abbott, Joint Press Conference, Sydney, pm.gov.au, 19/9/14)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fools Rush In

A timely letter from Alison Broinowski*:

"Australia's absurd euphemism's for for war, such as 'forceful combat', are familiar from Howard-speak in 2003. Another familiar trick is producing a formal invitation. In the 1960s we put advisers first, then troops into Vietnam, and Menzies eventually extracted from Saigon a letter inviting them. If our Prime Minister now has an invitation from Baghdad that legitimises our presence, let him table it in parliament, together with his response ('Australia can't fight in Iraq without a resolution, says PM', September 17). But if Australia is also to attack Syria, pursuing Islamic State perhaps, what invitation will he produce for that? Unless we have a UN Security Council resolution for this war, and unless we believe there is an imminent threat to Australia, our involvement is illegal. Other countries know this and fear to tread where Australia rushes in." (Sydney Morning Herald, 18/9/14)

[*See my 28/7/10 post 'A Mature Democracy'?]

Head for the Hills!

Just so you know, Colonel Blimp (aka Jordan Kitts) is alive and well, lives in Albany Creek, Queensland, and writes letters to The Australian:

"A fanatical Islamic army sweeps across a river valley that has nourished civilisations for thousands of years. Its leader calls on the Muslims to unite under his leadership in preparation for world conquest and the subduing of infidels. The defeated are sold into slavery. Sound familiar? It happened in the late 19th century when Muhammad Ahmad proclaimed himself the Mahdi - the expected redeemer of Islam and the world. His armies emerged from the deserts of what is now Sudan to conquer Khartoum and seize control of the upper Nile valley. British vacillation allowed the Mahdist state to terrorise and enslave its neighbours for 15 years until new British leadership finally resolved to launch a military expedition against the Mahdi's successor. Serving in this expedition was a young Winston Churchill who later wrote a history of the Mahdists and the British expedition that destroyed them in the climactic Battle of Omdurman. In facing the threat posed today by the Islamic State, President Barack Obama and all Western leaders should be given a copy of Churchill's The River War to instruct them in how a liberal Western country should respond to a fanatical Islamist army bent on death, destruction and enslavement. I suspect the US will require better leadership before this lesson is learned."  (16/9)

As it happens, after reading Friday's Sydney Morning Herald, you'd have thought that Colonel Blimp's fanatical Muslim hordes were knocking on the gates of Sydney, and that the "climactic" Battle of Omdurman Sydney was imminent.   

Death, destruction & enslavement not being Herald reader Mark d'Arbon's cup of tea, this resident of Chittaway Bay responded appropriately in the circumstances - only to find that the reality didn't quite match the Herald's headline:

"When I opened the morning paper on Friday and read the headline 'Sydney under siege', I had the caravan hooked up to the four-wheel drive and was ready to head for the hills in less than 30 minutes. As a last farewell, I found a lookout and gazed towards the CBD, expecting smoke, flames and the distant screams of the dying. To my surprise, there was not a sign of the siege - no large engines of destruction, no bivouacked armies and importantly, no smoke, flames or screams. I have decided to await developments, at least until the small band of criminals that appear to have been the cause of the panic are either released or sent to trial. I await this with baited breath." (20/9)

As do we all, Mark.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shocking Evidence of Tanya Plibersek Under the Influence

The debilitating influence of Ziocane on Tanya (Once was warrior) Plibersek, opposition leader Bill Shorten's sidekick, is only too apparent in this lethargic response to a question about Gaza:

"Well, I think with over a thousand deaths and pictures every day of bodies being carried from rubble, including many, many children, I think the international community is very concerned with the level of civilian deaths and particularly the level of children who have been caught up in this conflict." (Tanya Plibersek speaks to Insiders, abc.net.au, 27/7/14)

How lame is that? When it comes to Jewish State's genocide in Gaza, Tanya can't even bring herself to name it as the perpetrator. Bodies are "carried out" of the rubble, but quite how they got there she cannot say. The once bright eyes glaze over and she just mutters vaguely about some "conflict" in which the victims have somehow been "caught up." And while that nebulous entity "the international community" may be "very concerned" (as usual), there's certainly no sign here that Tanya is. Clearly, the woman who once referred to Israel as a "rogue state" is not herself.

Once out from under, however, Tanya's a different person entirely:

"There are confirmed instances of IS engaging in widespread ethnic and religious cleansing, targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, human trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, and the besieging of entire communities... Australia and the world have a responsibility to protect and an obligation to act." (Iraq, Syria & the Islamic State: why Australia has an obligation to act, Tanya Plibersek, theguardian.com, 18/9/14)

What a transformation! Now there's a spring in her step and a sparkle in her eye. She has no problem naming Islamic State, rattling off its crimes, or calling for the entire world, including Australia, to act, NOW!

Nasty stuff that Ziocaine.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Israel's Victorian Campuses

Are Victoria's universities about to become Israeli-occupied territory?

Deconstructing Talks to halt uni anti-Semitism (18/9/14) by The Australian's Christian Kerr:

"University chiefs and Jewish community leaders have vowed to work together to tackle campus racism..."

Shouldn't that be alleged campus racism?

"... after talks organised by the Victorian government. The meetings follow a surge in anti-Semitism incidents at universities..."

Shouldn't that be an alleged surge in anti-Semitism?

"... since the recent round of strife in Gaza erupted in July."

Strife, FFS!  Only in The Australian.

"Liberal MP David Southwick..."

And co-convener of Victoria's Parliamentary Friends of Israel...

"... who convened the meeting with state Higher Education Minister Nick Wakeling, said the meeting had created a positive dialogue between university administrators and Jewish students."

Zionist students.

"'No student should feel like their university, a place of learning and development, is a hostile environment where they are targeted because of their race, religion or sexuality,' he said."

Of course not... but what about contesting their politics?

"The meeting discussed the formulation of a of a similar statement to the London Declaration on Anti-Semitism that has been signed by parliamentarians globally for universities."

I see, the Israeli government-generated document that incorporates "rhetoric and political action against the state of Israel" in its definition of anti-Semitism.* Right...

"Matthew Lesh, of the Australian Union of Jewish Students, praised the meeting."

 Matthew Lesh? Never far from the scene of...

[* See my 17/5/13 post The Tel Aviv Declaration on Combating Criticism of Israel.]

Israeli 'Democracy'

The Sydney Morning Herald's international editor, Peter Hartcher, is reliably shallow on the subject of the Middle East:

"One measure of [autocratic Arab rulers'] success was that while the number of democracies in the world trebled in the 30 years to 2005, none of the new democracies was in the Middle East, according to Freedom House." (Oppressed Arabs waiting for spring, 16/9/14)

Of course, you wouldn't expect Hartcher, a twice-rambammed journalist (2009/2011), to question Israel's much-trumpeted 'democracy'.

That's why the following perspective, by Israeli-Australian political scientist Marcelo Svirsky, is so useful. It comes from his fascinating new book, After Israel: Towards Cultural Transformation

"Ask any political scientist... to choose just one principle or practice as the litmus test of democracy. The overwhelming majority will say fair elections... This wide consensus is reflected, for instance, in the way in which popular empirical indices measure the presence and depth of democracy. Freedom House places the electoral process as one of its major categories for rating democracies... The Economist Intelligence Unit's 'Democracy Index'... also favours in its calculation of the index the qualities of the electoral system... This is not the place to discuss the extreme bias of these organisations because of the way in which they construct their methods. These are fundamentally questionable mainly because they compare regimes with a particular image of democracy consistent with empire's neoliberal values and interests. In their ideological constitutive assumptions and methods, these empirical systems of measurement fail to rank countries such as Cuba or Venezuela appropriately, while at the same time they are blind to the different variables that should be taken into account when assessing regimes such as Israel's... How Western 'democracy indices' manage to avoid measuring the fact that for nearly half a century Israel has held under military occupation about 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, has kept Gazans under siege since 2007, and discriminates against its 1.6 million Palestinians by ethnocratic means - this is a wonder that defies reason." (pp 181-82)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Sydney, 1948:

Hundreds of Sydney Jews rallied to praise the Jewish State (whose terrorists had been ethnically cleansing Palestine of its non-Jews) and proclaim their allegiance to it:

"Several days before the proclamation of the State the Zionist Federation received a cable from the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem advising us to hold a suitable celebration on Saturday evening 15th May when it was expected that the Jewish State would be proclaimed after the abolition of the mandate and the withdrawal from Palestine by Great Britain on that day. At its meeting on 12th May the Federation Executive decided to invite key workers and communal leaders to attend a high tea on Saturday at the Maccabean Hall... By seven in the evening there were over 400 people in the hall and the doors had to be closed against further entry with several hundred remaining outside. Short addresses were delivered by Horace Newman, Abram Landa, Jack Brass and myself giving expression to our overwhelming joy and pledging unstinting support to the Yishuv in the hard struggle which lay ahead." (Zion in Our Time: Memoirs of an Australian Zionist, Max Freilich, 1967, pp 206-07)

Sydney, 2014:

"[T]housands of Sydney Muslims rallied to denounce Islamic State [whose terrorists have been ethnically cleansing northern Iraq of its non-Sunnis] and proclaim their allegiance to Australia..." (Islamic State 'has betrayed our faith', Paul Maley, The Australian, 16/9/14)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Please Explain...

"Angela Merkel has vowed to combat anti-Semitism, speaking at a rally to condemn hate speech and a spate of attacks against Jews in Germany during the latest Gaza conflict." (Merkel's 'duty' to fight Jew haters, APP, The Australian, 16/9/14)

Work this one out if you can:

Israel conflates Judaism with Zionism and represents itself to the world as a Jewish state for Jews the world over.

Israel massacres the indigenous, non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine over and over again for their dogged refusal to give up on their ancestral Palestinian homeland.

And yet, mysteriously, no blame accrues to Israel when Jews as Jews come under attack.

Not only that: "Many Israeli flags and placards were raised at the rally..." (ibid)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Behind AUJS's Campus Offensive

In my 10/9/14 post AUJS Plays the Anti-Semitism Card, I reproduced a report from the Socialist Alternative paper Red Flag on the current campaign by the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) to sabotage Palestine solidarity activism on our campuses by making "unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism and 'targeting Jewish students'."

One of AUJS's ideological 'pillars' is Zionism: "AUJS subscribes to the Zionist ideals espoused in the World Zionist Organisation's Jerusalem Program. We seek to promote a positive image of Israel on campus... and to educate the wider student population about Judaism and Israel." (Our pillars, aujs.com)

Just so we're in no doubt what AUJS is all about here, here's the preamble to the WZO's Jerusalem Program: "Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, brought about the establishment of the State of Israel, and views a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel to be the expression of the common responsibility of the Jewish people..."

It goes without saying that, as a Zionist organisation, AUJS conflates Judaism and Zionism, a practice which allows it to play the anti-Semitism card whenever Israel or its behaviour is called into question.

AUJS also has friends in high places.

You'll remember Education Minister Christopher Pyne's tender concern for its operatives in Murdoch's Australian on August 29. (See my 6/9/14 post Pyne Whine Deconstructed.)

Then there's AUJS's recent (31/8-2/9) "political training seminar" at Parliament House in Canberra:

"The delegation of 40 students was addressed by some of the biggest names in Australian politics and beyond. The participating students are pictured with Josh Frydenberg [Liberal] MP." (The moment, The Australian Jewish News, 12/9/14)

And what a lovely pic it is too. Why, there's the beaming young Matthew Lesh, AUJS's political affairs director, seated right in front of Frydenberg, wanting only the great man's guiding hand on his shoulder.

According to one of Matthew's AUJS retweets (1/9), Frydenberg told the delegation: "You're at the front line, and what you do matters."  

The front line? An interesting choice of words, to say the least. Right after Operation Protective Edge (8/7-26/8) too

The front line of what exactly? Presumably, AUJS's campaign to divert attention from Israel's genocide in Gaza by attacking activists who dare to raise the issue on campus.

It's not only Lib who's stiffening the spines of AUJS's shock troops. It's also Lab. Just listen to Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, in another Lesh retweet:

"I would encourage Labor clubs to work closely with AUJS." (2/9)

Incredibly, even The Greens are in on the act, as yet another Lesh retweet indicates:

"Hearing from political staffers across Liberal, Labor and Greens." (1/9)

And we're expected to believe that AUJS are merely reacting to an upsurge of anti-Semitism on campus.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Herzl's Unquiet Grave

I couldn't let this one pass... The latest issue of The Australian Jewish News features an ad for the United Israel Appeal (UIA) with a portrait of Zionist godfather Theodor Herzl.

He left a legacy..., says the ad,

What about you?

You can connect your legacy to Israel forever 

The image of the brooding, bearded author of the 1896 pamphlet Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) got me thinking about Herzl's legacy, today's theocratic, militaristic 'Jewish state' of Israel.

Mindful of the twin threats of theocracy and militarism, the secular Herzl had asked in his pamphlet:

"Shall we end by having a theocracy?"

He answered confidently:

"No, indeed. Faith unites us, knowledge gives us freedom. We shall therefore prevent any theocratic tendencies from coming to the fore on the part of our priesthood. We shall keep our priests within the confines of their temples in the same way as we shall keep our professional army within the confines of their barracks. Army and priesthood shall receive honors high as their valuable functions deserve. But they must not interfere in the administration of the State which confers distinction upon them, else they will conjure up difficulties without and within."

Herzl must be turning in his grave right now.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

That's Not Chutzpah!

In the spirit of Crocodile Dundee...

Chutzpah is when a man kills both his parents and begs the court for mercy because he's an orphan.

That's not chutzpah! This is chutzpah:

"Tzedakah is about our interpersonal relationships, where we give of ourselves to others. Whether it is giving time or money, it is our effort to create a just world. With a focus on giving back to the Jewish community, and creating opportunities for tzedakah, United Israel Appeal... works to further the national priorities of the State of Israel and Israeli society. Special emphasis is placed on advancing weaker communities, nursing disadvantaged and marginalised youth, encouraging aliyah, implementing rescue operations and connecting young diaspora Jews to Israel and Jewish life.

"Operation Protective Edge has had a significant financial effect on the Israeli economy. The direct cost of fighting with current reserve forces was USD$35 million per day. This does not include costs associated with damages, compensation for loss of work and revenue especially in the south, the expected drop of 0.5% in the gross domestic product, and the loss of the tourism dollar in the country as well.

"Experts are predicting a total cost of over USD$2.2 billion dollars as a result of the war.

"Funds that are normally channeled towards supporting social programs have been diverted to the defence budget, conscious of the fact that presently, Israel and its citizens need help from the rest of the world."

From A thought for Israel, adv. placed by UIA Sydney in The Australian Jewish News supplement, Preparing for Rosh Hashanah 2014 (12/9/14)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Palestine Had No Chance

Prolific Zionist propagandist and scribbler Michael Burd - *sigh* - had the following letter published in yesterday's Australian under the incredible heading Palestine had its chance. In it, he seeks to divert the reader's attention from Israel's total contempt for international law and its serial violations of UN resolutions by trotting out the old Zionist saw that the Palestinians could have had a state of their own today if only they hadn't petulantly rejected the UN "umpire's decision" to divvy up Palestine between Jews and Arabs in 1947:

"Israel basher Jake Lynch (Letters, 11/9) claims Israel's occupation is the obstacle to peace ignoring the reality that when Israel pulled out of Gaza, it was reciprocated with even more terror attacks by Palestinians - which certainly doesn't give Israelis the confidence to make any more concessions. Lynch likes to cite international law and UN resolutions when it suits him. How about the original UN resolution 181 in 1948 [sic: 1947] declaring one state for the Jews and one state for the Arabs which to this day has never been accepted by the Arab-Muslim world? Had this umpire's decision been accepted by the Arabs, the Palestinians would have had their state by now."

The oft-repeated lies of Zionist propagandists such as Burd on the subject of Resolution 181 are easily exposed. A good place to start is with political analyst Jeremy Hammond's 2010 essay, The Myth of the UN Creation of Israel.

Hammond's paper makes it abundantly clear why no Palestinian Arab in his right mind could possibly have accepted UN Resolution 181, arguably the most outrageous and disgraceful resolution in UN history. As an appetizer, here is the conclusion to Hammond's essay:

"The partition plan put forth by UNSCOP [United Nations Special Committee on Palestine] sought to create within Palestine a Jewish state contrary to the express will of the majority of its inhabitants. Despite constituting only a third of the population and owning less than 7% of the land, it sought to grant to the Jews more than half of Palestine for the purpose of creating that Jewish state. It would, in other words, take land from the Arabs and give it to the Jews.

"The inherent injustice of the partition plan stands in stark contrast to the alternative plan proposed by the Arabs, of an independent state of Palestine in which the rights of the Jewish minority would be recognized and respected, and which would afford the Jewish population representation in a democratic government.

"The partition plan was blatantly prejudicial to the rights of the majority Arab population, and was premised on the rejection of their right to self-determination. This is all the more uncontroversial inasmuch as the UNSCOP report itself explicitly acknowledged that the proposal to create a Jewish state in Palestine was contrary to the principle of self-determination. The plan was also premised upon the erroneous assumption that the Arabs would simply acquiesce to having their land taken from them and voluntarily surrender their majority rights, including their right to self-determination.

"UN General Assembly Resolution 181 neither legally partitioned Palestine nor conferred upon the Zionist leadership any legal authority to unilaterally declare the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. It merely recommended that the UNSCOP partition plan be accepted and implemented by the concerned parties. Naturally, to have any weight of law, the plan, like any contract, would have to have been formally agreed upon by both parties, which it was not. Nor could the General Assembly have legally partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority for the creation of Israel to the Zionist leadership, as it simply had no such authority to confer.

"When the Security Council took up the matter referred to it by the General Assembly, it could come to no consensus on how to proceed with implementing the partition plan. It being apparent that the plan could not be implemented by peaceful means, the suggestion that it be implemented by force was rejected by members of the Security Council. The simple fact of the matter is that the plan was never implemented.

"The US, Syria, and other member nations were correct in their observations that, while the Security Council did have the authority to declare a threat to the peace and authorize the use of force to deal with that and maintain or restore peace and security, it did not have any authority to implement by force a plan to partition Palestine contrary to the will of most of its inhabitants. Any attempt to usurp such authority by either the General Assembly or the Security Council would have been a prima facie violation of the Charters's founding principle of respect for the right to self-determination of all peoples, and thus null and void under international law.

"In sum, the popular claim that that the UN 'created' Israel is a myth, and Israel's own claim in its founding document that UN Resolution 181 constituted legal authority for Israel's creation, or otherwise constituted 'recognition' by the UN of the 'right' of the Zionist Jews to expropriate for themselves Arab land and deny to the majority Arab population of that land their own right of self-determination, is a patent fraud.

"Further corollaries may be drawn. The disaster inflicted upon Palestine was not inevitable. The UN was created for the purpose of preventing such catastrophes. Yet it failed miserably to do so, on numerous counts. It failed in its duty to refer the legal questions of the claims to Palestine to the International Court of Justice, despite requests from member states to do so. It failed to use all means within its authority, including the use of armed forces, to maintain peace and prevent the war that was predicted would occur upon the termination of the Mandate. And most importantly, far from upholding its founding principles, the UN effectively acted to prevent the establishment of an independent and democratic state of Palestine, in direct violation of the principles of its own Charter. The consequences of these and other failures are still witnessed by the world today on a daily basis. Recognition of the grave injustice perpetrated against the Palestinian people in this regard and dispelling such historical myths is essential if a way forward towards peace and reconciliation is to be found." (jeremyhammond.com)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Whipping Up Fear & Loathing in the Abbottoir

"Suspicion, scepticism, resentment. These are the sentiments that best describe the reaction of Australia's Muslim community to the news Australia's terrorist alert level is poised to go from medium to high, the first such change ever." (Muslim leaders sceptical of threat, Paul Maley, The Australian, 11/9/14)

I wonder why?

Well, wouldn't you be suspicious, sceptical and resentful after reading the following?:

"A small number of Islamic radicals have 'settled plans' to conduct terrorist attacks in Australia, bolstering the case for the nation's spy chief to recommend an increase in the terror threat level, which could happen as early as tomorrow... The move will come a day after AFP counterterrorism officers conducted raids across Brisbane, and on the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the US..." (Terror attack 'plans' in place, Paul Maley/Cameron Stewart, The Australian, 11/9/14)

OMG... settled plans? Head for the hills!

But wait, what's this?:

"The Australian has been told that, while authorities are unaware of extremists 'bolting together' a bomb, ASIO and the AFP have identified a number of radicals with 'settled intentions' to perpetrate terrorist acts in Australia."  (ibid)

Uh huh. No settled plans but settled intentions. Tell me more:

"A counter-terrorism source said although the sort of plans being discussed were 'vague', the intentions were becoming increasingly serious." (ibid) 

I see, although the plans have been downgraded from settled to vague, the intentions have been upgraded to increasingly serious. Seriously

"'It's like (they're saying), 'we've got to do something, we can't go to Syria',' the source said. 'It's gone beyond bravado, they are seriously talking about it'." (ibid)

You couldn't possibly, like, make this stuff up. Wait, there's an idea...

A 'Logistics Problem'

From the Sydney Morning Herald's 9/11 editorial, The war on terrorism - 13 years on:

"There are logistics problems in supplying military training to... moderate Syrian forces - the ones who fought alongside IS at one stage."

From the Herald's 9/11 report on Syria, Obama ready to order strikes on Syria:

"On Tuesday, an explosion of uncertain origin killed nearly the entire leadership of the largest rebel group in Syria. At least 2 dozen senior leaders of Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist group, died in the blast, which came 10 days after it had distanced itself from al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front... When asked if there would be an official statement by the group on what took place, one of its surviving leaders said: 'No one is left to issue an official statement'." (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, New York Times, MCT)

Spot the moderate:

"Ahrar al-Sham is headed by an emir, known to outsiders only as Abu Abdullah. In the media, the organization has sometimes been represented by its Idlib-based military leader, Abul-Hassan. The group is funded by Islamist networks in the Persian Gulf, and prominant donors include sheikh Hajjaj al-Ajami, a salafi preacher in Kuwait who collects money for Syrian Islamist groups. Like Jabhat al- Nusra, it relies to some extent on non-Syrian jihadi fighters." (Holy Warriors: A field guide to Syria's jihadi groups, Aron Lund, foreignpolicy.com, 15/10/12)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

No Balls

Jules is "deeply concerned" by Israel's latest 1,000 acre West Bank land grab. Tanya is "disturbed."*

Sydney Morning Herald journalist Peter Hartcher once quoted an anonymous Australian official as saying that the Israelis have "got us by the balls."**

The guy was wrong. Australia has no balls.

[*Julie Bishop criticises Israel's decision to take over more West Bank land, Daniel Hurst, theguardian.com, 10/9/14; ** See my 11/6/10 post Those Irresistible Zionist Pheromones Again 2.]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AUJS Plays the Anti-Semitism Card

An important essay on the latest Zionist campaign to silence pro-Palestine activism on Australian university campuses from the Socialist Alternative paper Red Flag (26/8/14):

"Australian supporters of Israel have reacted to the growing hostility to the Gaza war with a hysterical campaign of slander and suppression against anyone who dares to criticise Israel.

"On 26 July the Sydney Morning Herald published a courageous opinion piece by Mike Carlton in which he wrote: 'The onslaught is indiscriminate and unrelenting, with but one possible conclusion: Israel is not fighting the terrorists of Hamas. In defiance of the laws of war and the norms of civilised behaviour, it is waging its own war of terror on the entire Gaza population of about 1.7m people. Call it genocide, call it ethnic cleansing: the aim is to kill Arabs.'

"Carlton predicted a 'customary torrent of abusive emails calling me a Nazi, an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, an ignoramus' for uttering such self-evident truths. They arrived on cue. The Australian Jewish News ran an editorial calling for a boycott of Fairfax papers. Intense pressure was placed on Sydney Morning Herald management. And within a week, Carlton was suspended, after which he responded in the only honourable way and resigned.

"While SMH management tried to claim Carlton was sacked because he responded with choice words to a few of the hundreds of emails defaming him as a Nazi, there is little doubt that if this were about any other issue, he would still have his job.

"Two weeks later, a billboard in Melbourne that read 'Apartheid: wrong in South Africa, wrong in Palestine' was pulled by publicity company Oohmedia! following a flood of criticism. Oohmedia! declined to reveal to Red Flag who the 'interested third parties' were that forced its change of heart, but the Zionist Federation of Australia, on its Facebook page, was open in claiming that its campaign made the difference.

"On the same day, the NSW Supreme Court banned Palestine Solidarity Activists from protesting outside the Israeli Film Festival in Sydney.

"This followed on from a campaign by Zionist hackers to shut down pro-Palestinian websites in Australia, including the Red Flag website, which was the victim of a DDoS attack that put it offline for several days.

"But the most extensive aspect of the campaign to suppress pro-Palestinian voices has been that waged on university campuses by the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), in some cases in alliance with university administrations and right wing student union officials.

"AUJS describes itself as the peak body representing Jewish youth. Its spokespeople are frequently quoted in the press as authorities on anti-Semitism. But AUJS is not an apolitical organisation. Its website proudly proclaims that it exists to 'promote a positive image of Israel on campus.'

"AUJS accuses its enemies on campus of conflating Zionism with Jewishness, and with turning criticism of Israel into hostility to Jews. In fact, conflating Judaism and Zionism is precisely the political goal of AUJS. Slandering supporters of Palestine as anti-Semitic is its primary method for 'combating anti-Zionism' and fulfilling the project, outlined in the AUJS constitution, of 'actively advancing the interests of Israel.'

"The Australian Jewish News is an unabashed mouthpiece of AUJS propaganda. On 15 August it published a highly defamatory article repeating AUJS accusations against Socialist Alternative, without even bothering to get a response to the entirely unsubstantiated claims. Even Murdoch's mouthpiece, The Australian, usually goes through the form of journalistic norms before printing its hatchet jobs.

"AJN's article claimed: 'There are fears for the safety of Jewish students at universities across Australia, following a spate of verbal attacks and harassment, which resulted in at least one student being too scared to go to classes and AUJS suspending activities at one institution. Members of the Socialist Alternative are believed to be behind much of the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic vitriol aimed at Jewish students, who have been accused of supporting 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' in Israel.'

"Socialist Alternative unequivocally rejects the accusations of anti-Semitism and that our student activists have targeted Jewish students. It is a vile slander based on bare-faced lies. It has become clear to us that AUJS has adopted a conscious strategy of encouraging its members on campuses across the country to make unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism and 'targeting Jewish students' as a means to sabotage Palestine solidarity activism.

"AUJS members have filed a flood of complaints describing pro-Palestine events as 'anti-Semitic', while lobbying university vice-chancellors to ban pro-Palestine activism on campus.

"They have managed to get the vice-chancellors of Monash and La Trobe universities to send emails to all students that implicitly attacked pro-Palestine activists. At Monash, individual Palestinian solidarity activists are facing 'misconduct hearings' that threaten their right to study at the university. At the University of Western Australia, the Socialist Alternative club is fighting deregistration following false claims orchestrated by student Zionists.

"These latest attacks follow a string of other incidents. AUJS spokesperson Matthew Lesh claimed on 3AW Radio in Melbourne that Jewish students were physically ejected from a Socialist Alternative meeting at Monash University because they were Jewish. This is completely false. Not only were Jews welcome and encouraged to attend, but the talk itself was given by a Jewish member of Socialist Alternative.

"A small group of organised Zionists attempted to disrupt the meeting. They gave up after being told the meeting was for supporters of Palestine and they were not welcome. There is nothing unusual in this. Socialist Alternative has in many previous instances barred right-wingers who have attempted to disrupt our meetings. Even if you don't agree with this policy, it has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism.

"If AUJS were honest, it would admit that its campaign is not driven by concerns about anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish students, but concern that the tide of opinion is turning against Israel's war on Palestinians.

"Socialist students have played an important part in this process. At Monash University, Socialist Alternative moved a motion in the student council condemning Israeli war crimes and occupation. Similar motions, including endorsements of the BDS campaign, were taken up and adopted at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Flinders University and Curtin University. A similar motion moved at La Trobe University was voted down in a heated council meeting.

"As Israel's crimes against humanity in Palestine are exposed to the world, support for the Palestinian cause will continue to grow. But if the last month is any indicator, this will also lead to ever more fanatical and dishonest campaigns by pro-Israel groups as they try desperately to defend the indefensible. It is crucial that these campaigns are resisted."

For a snapshot of the situation on US campuses, see 'Civility' is the Israel lobby's new weapon against free speech on US campuses, Ali Abunimah, electronicintifada.net, 7/9/14.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ICAC: What About Lowy?

"Voters deserve to know what private donors to political parties expect, and get, for their money." (Editorial: Endless questions only a federal ICAC can answer, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/9/14)

I couldn't agree more.

OK, so we know what Lib donor Brickworks got:

"Two weeks before the 2011 election, then opposition leader Barry O'Farrell announced a tax policy that benefited developer Brickworks while the company was allegedly bankrolling a researcher in his office and had secretly donated $125,000 to the Liberal campaign. As premier, Mr O'Farrell made good on the policy - to repeal a controversial property transfer tax - six weeks after the election." (Libs party favours, Sean Nicholls, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/9/14)

But what - harking back to my 8/9/14 post ICAC: Questions Arising - about Frank Lowy?

Darby & Joan

"Henry Kissinger has urged US President Barack Obama to 'launch an all-out attack' on terrorist group the Islamic State, warning that Americans have become 'bystanders' in the Middle East." (Australia ready as Kissinger calls for all-out attack, Toby Harnden/ Jared Owens, The Australian, 8/9/14)

The US a bystander in the Middle East?

Absolute rubbish!

The US has been aiding and abetting Israeli genocide and theft in Palestine ever since 1947. In fact, so close have these two rogues become over the years that they could fairly be described as the Darby & Joan of international politics.

Monday, September 8, 2014

ICAC: Questions Arising

What exactly is going on here?

"The Lowy family's Westfield Corporation made a $150,000 donation to the Liberal Party which ended up with the party's NSW branch, despite donations from property developers such as the shopping centre giant being banned. However, Westfield corporate affairs director Mark Ryan insisted to the Independent Commission Against Corruption yesterday that the donation, in December 2010, had not been made for the NSW election campaign 3 months later. The money went to the Free Enterprise Foundation, a Liberal-aligned trust. The commission has heard that the foundation was used to funnel illegal donations from property developers to the state election campaign. Mr Ryan said: 'To me it was a fairly straightforward exercise in making a donation to the federal Liberal Party. It was in accordance with what I would typically do in any given year, which is try to donate to both federal political parties in a fairly even-handed way'." (Westfield $150k 'for feds only', Mark Coultan, The Australian, 5/9/14)

My questions arising:

Why does Westfield, in the words of its corporate affairs director, "typically... in any given year... donate to both federal political parties"?

Does poor old Frank really need to throw money at LibLab to smooth the way for his shopping centres? I mean, would there be no more Westfield shopping centres - quelle horreur! - unless such donations were forthcoming?

Could there possibly be some other reason for such donations? Such as keeping LibLab sweet on Israel, for example?

Did the above donation, "which ended up with the [Liberal] party's NSW branch," have anything to do with the NSW Liberal government, under Barry O'Farrell (2011-14), making Israel core government business? (Concerning which, please read my 3/5/14 post NZW Inc.)

And - question of questions - why aren't mainstream journalists asking these questions?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Simple Simon, Again

Daily Terrorgraph journalist Simon Benson last came to my notice with a series of blatant propaganda pieces for Israel in 2012. (Click on the 'SB' label below and be amazed at what a little rambamming can do.)

Just to remind you, here's Benson back then:

"The difference is that one side fires indiscriminate rockets into civilian populations with the express intent on terrorising people or killing them. The other side seeks to defend itself and makes mistakes and kills innocent civilians." (See my 8/12/12 post Innocents Abroad.)

Now he's come up with this little gem in an admiring opinion piece on Tone's "tough stance against Russia":

"The last time the Australian Defence Force was deployed to a conflict that involved the West taking on Russia was World War 1." (Muscling up as a mid power, Daily Telegraph, 5/9/14)

That's right folks - Russia! And all this time you thought we'd been fighting the Germans.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pyne Whine Deconstructed


Christopher Pyne, The Australian, 29/8/14

"The growth of anti-Semitism in our universities is deeply worrying."

Pyne means that the growth in opposition to Israeli apartheid and genocide in our universities worries the Zionist movement and its parliamentary dupes no end.

"In the past months students at at least 6 universities have reported anti-Semitic bullying."

Meaning: Zionist students have misconstrued anti-Israel activism as anti-Semitism, either as a deliberate strategy to stifle opposition to Israeli apartheid and genocide in our universities, or because they've been hopelessly indoctrinated into believing that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism, or both.

"While the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians..."

This is how Pyne frames the slaughter of Palestinians by Israel's military machine.

"... may invoke emotive responses..."

But certainly not in Christopher Pyne.

"... there is no place for anti-Semitism."

He means there is no place for criticism of Israel.

"Students have been targeted physically and verbally just because they are Jewish."


"Recently five Jewish students were refused entry to a Socialist Alternative discussion on Israel because they were Jewish and were told 'only progressive-thinking people are allowed'."

OMG, practically a pogrom!

What I imagine happened - to the extent that anything happened at all - is that certain Zionist hooligans and provocateurs on a mission to disrupt turned up at a meeting on Israel's crimes in Gaza, were denied entry as known troublemakers, and so registered a complaint with the university authorities claiming they'd been excluded because they were Jews. Neat trick, eh?  (Actually, Abbott and Sheridan used to behave in similar fashion back in the 70s, although without, of course, playing the anti-Semitism card. See my 13/9/12 post Tony & Greg Do Monash 1.)

"In our universities, free speech is to be encouraged, but it does not extend to threats and physical harassment."

So being told that a meeting is for those with open, as opposed to closed minds, constitutes "threats and physical harassment"?


"I am not surprised that the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in Australia last year was the second highest on record."

Reported by whom? After all, you know how it goes: one Zionist's anti-Semite is another man's anti-apartheid activist.

"The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement has made anti-Semitism fashionable again."

Oh... I see... BDS!

So that's what all this nonsense about anti-Semitism is about!

There's more Pyne whine, of course, but I think you've got the picture.

Anyway, the next time you hear about an 'anti-Semitic pogrom' at some Australian uni or other, keep in mind it's probably just a bunch of spotty Zionists doing their bit to distract other students from the appalling reality of Israeli apartheid and genocide. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Look Who's Sponsoring James Jeffrey

"Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed Washington made a 'general request' to Australia for more military help in Iraq and says the beheading of a second American journalist 'abundantly justifies' intervention... Both the the US and Australian governments have downplayed any prospect of a return of Western combat troops to Iraq. But a former US Ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, said the Islamic State threat was so great that the US and its partners needed to be prepared to put 'boots on the ground' if that was needed." (US 'general request' for more military aid, David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/9/14)

I see... the US and its partners...

Hm... so who is James Jeffrey?

Well, for a start, he's a "fellow" at the pro-Israel think tank - think Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross, for example - the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).

He's on record calling for American military intervention in Syria:

"Shrinking from that responsibility could, in fact, bolster our detractors' self-confidence and embolden them: If Assad somehow survives, the rise in Iranian prestige and loss of ours could even prompt Moscow and Beijing, smelling blood, to up the ante against Washington." (Jeffrey: Should the United States intervene in Syria?, newsday.com, 25/4/13)

And he's a hawk on Iran:

"Nowhere else in the world is America more likely to deploy forces than in the Persian Gulf in opposition to Iran, and nowhere else is it of utmost importance that any potential confrontation be won decisively in the next 5 years than with the Islamic Republic." (Year of decision: US policy toward Iran in 2013, washingtoninstitute.org, 12/2/13)

So what sabre is he rattling over here?

"'We're in one of those defining moments in the Middle East - it's like after 9/11. These things have to work,' he said. 'And in the end, the United States, with or without Barack Obama, will put enough juice into it, including ultimately, potentially boots on the ground, to defeat ISIS'." (ibid)

And whose ears has he been in?

Those of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and her opposite number, Tanya Plibersek.

So who - and this is where it really starts to get interesting - is behind Jeffrey's visit?

"The former diplomat, who is visiting Australia as a guest of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said the militants were trying to draw the major powers in the Middle East into a Sunni-Shia sectarian war, and needed to be stopped." (ibid)

So why exactly are our humble Jewish community organisations, one billing itself as the "voice of the Jewish community of NSW," and the other as the "voice of the Australian Jewish Community," sponsoring a gent who's telling us that we'd better get ready to wade into Iraq... yet again?

Rally for Palestine 6

In our thousands, In our millions, We are all Palestinians


Protest Rally for the Children of Gaza, Sunday, 7th September, 1pm, Town Hall


From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Israel's Orgy of Destruction in Gaza

"An Israeli soldier has been spotted laughing and drinking in a bar wearing a T-shirt with the slogan 'Deployed, Destroyed, Enjoyed, Gaza 2014' emblazoned on the back." (Disgust as Israeli soldier spotted laughing and drinking in Jerusalem bar wearing a 'Deployed, Destroyed & Enjoyed Gaza 2014' t-shirt, Jennifer Newton, mailonline, 13/8/14)

"I have never seen destruction on this scale. In areas such as Shejaiah, Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis, in particular, everywhere you look is in ruins. Israel has, effectively, wiped large sections of these suburbs off the map.

"As the war began, Amos Regev, who edits the country's most-read newspaper, Israel Hayom, urged the Israel Defence Forces to 'return Gaza to the Stone Age'. From driving around Gaza, it looks as if he got his wish.

"On the 'rubble index' used in Gaza, this conflict is the worst of the recent 3 wars. Bill Corcoran, the chief executive of American Near East Refugee Aid, a Washington-based NGO, has just arrived in Gaza to assess the damage. 'According to the Palestinian Contractors Union, they carted away 600,000 tonnes of debris in 2009', he says. 'The latest estimate so far (for this war) is 22 million tonnes. Anecdotally, it seems that the previous targets (in earlier wars) were official Hamas facilities or government offices. This time the vast majority seem to be homes and factories.'...  

"Nothing has been spared - schools, hospitals, a medical centre for the elderly, the main power plant, water towers, shops and high-rise buildings. Lying among the debris of the Wafa Hospital is a contorted wheelchair and a large sign - 'the Wafa Hospital, destroyed by Israel'." (Welcome to Gaza, a land left in ruins, John Lyons, The Australian, 3/9/14)

Israeli Militarism

Noting that "Israel's accusation that Hamas is using civilians as human shields has grown increasingly strident as the war in Gaza worsens," the Guardian's Middle East correspondent, Harriet Sherwood, pointed out recently that:

"The separation between 'civilian' and 'military' in Gaza is much more blurred than with a conventional army - both physically and in the Gazan psyche. Hamas and other militants are embedded in the population. Their fighters are not quartered in military barracks, but sleep at night in their family homes. While it is not difficult to find antipathy to Hamas on the streets of Gaza in quiet times, most people defend their 'right to resist' - and under such sustained military attack, support for Hamas rises." (In Gaza, Hamas fighters are among civilians. There is nowhere else for them to go, 25/7/14)

After citing cases of the Israeli army's deliberate use of Palestinian civilians as human shields, Sherwood concluded her piece thus: "Meanwhile, in response to Israel's assertions that Hamas situates its military centres in civilian areas, some have pointed out that the IDF's headquarters, the Kiriya, is in central Tel Aviv, surrounded by a hospital, blocks of flats, shopping centres and offices."

While her report is a useful corrective to Israeli propaganda of the 'human shield' variety, that final paragraph on the Kiriya and its siting hardly touches the surface when it comes to the reality of just how blurred the separation between 'civilian' and 'military' in Israeli society really is:

"Militarism in Israel is pervasively visible, so it 'does not and cannot pass unnoticed by children in Israel. The military is present everywhere. Anyone whoever visited Israel could not help notice the great number of soldiers on the streets and in other public places' (Givol et al. 2004: 14). At any one moment, roughly half a million individuals are in active service (mandatory service, professionals and reserves combined), so civil life is not just constantly disrupted by the olive-green colour of soldiers carrying rifles and pistols - rather, it is woven through with these 'disruptions'. In fact, rather than being perceived as disruptions, they are the very material that makes up Israeli spatial reality. As ordinary pedestrians on Israeli streets and as consumers in shopping malls, at cinemas and in coffee shops, on public transport and in university classrooms and lecture halls - soldiers are everywhere; there are no purely civil spaces in Israel. 'Weapons are also to be found everywhere. Old tanks, machineguns and even fighter jets are placed in public places, quite accessible, sometimes especially accessible, to children' (ibid.: 15). For many years, an Israeli fighter plane has been placed in the main outdoor display area at the National Museum of Science in Haifa, where I worked; without a doubt, the plane is the most attractive exhibit for the thousands of children who visit the museum every year. Israeli militarism is not only visible, it is also pervasively audible, since cultural landscapes have visible and audible aspects. The strident rightfulness of key mainstream radio and television personalities that shapes the boundaries of public deliberation; the ever stormy political discussions at school and in universities, at home with family or friends; the distress caused by the sounds of the Remembrance Day siren and the collective sense of grief and sadness enhanced a thousand-fold by the unceasing torment of war songs that for 24 hours tell and re-tell of human loss and sacrifice; the sirens in the big cities that drill the civilian population every few months - together, all these assemble a time and a space of unavoidable sounds that nail us deeper inside a culture with very few moments of civilian life." (After Israel: Towards Cultural Transformation, Marcelo Svirsky, 2014, p 167)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What About Greg Sheridan?

The latest from The Australian's media editor, Sharri Markson:

"Media entrepreneur Eric Beecher said the rise of activism among journalists had highlighted the need for media organisations to form social media guidelines. While the profession once prided itself on objectivity and impartiality, there had been a rise in journalists, even political editors, expressing support for a political party or cause..." (Activism a threat to journalism, 1/9/14)

Markson cites the likes of Bernard Keane, Wendy Bacon, Margo Kingston and Mike Carlton, "all highly opinionated on political issues."

But really now, did she need to look for examples outside her own "highly opinionated" rag?

I can think of no better example of a political editor expressing support for a cause than international editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan's long and steamy love affair with Israel.

To date, I've written 161 posts alone - surely some kind of record - on Greg Sheridan, most exposing his propaganda for the worse-than-apartheid state.

Duet for Hypocrites

"The prospect of Australian participation in a war against Islamic State fighters in Iraq is edging closer with both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten in lockstep yesterday branding the militants respectively 'a death cult'* and 'an enemy of humanity'." (We cannot just watch: united front on Iraq, Mark Kenny, David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 2/9/14)


"In good conscience [Australians]... cannot leave the Iraqi people to face this horror, this pure evil alone."

Abbott, however, has no problem leaving the Palestinian people to face Israeli genocide alone because, as long as they refuse to acquiesce in the settler-colonial land-grab known as Israel, hey, they deserve what they get: "The problem in the Middle East is that... so many people are not prepared to accept Israel's right to exist."


"As things stand, doing nothing means leaving millions of people exposed to death, forced conversion and ethnic cleansing. I refuse to call this hideous movement 'Islamic State' because it's not a state - it's a death cult."

However, a Jewish State that's been ethnically cleansing Palestine of its non-Jews for over 65 years, hey, that's OK.


"The inescapable fact is that genocide is being perpetrated against defenceless people and we cannot co-operate with this evil by refusing to support the innocent."

Shorten, of course, has no problem with Israeli genocide being perpetrated against defenceless Palestinians because, despite every square inch of Israel being stolen Palestinian land, "every country's got the right to secure borders," don't you know?

[Quotes from: We cannot just watch: united front on Iraq, Mark Kenny, David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 2/9/14; Abbott backs Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas rockets, Jared Owens, The Australian, 31/7/14]

[*Did Abbott's mate, The Australian's Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, write this speech for him? See my 21/5/09 post Repeat After Me.]

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Islamic State's Wahhabi Roots 2

"'Abdul-Wahhab did not confine himself to a revolution in words. He also led, in alliance with Ibn Sa'ud, a violent campaign of forced conversion. In 1746... the Saudi-Wahhabi alliance declared jihad against 'the polytheists' [ie, other Muslims in Arabia and beyond]: for them, it was a war of Muslims against pagans... Najd was the first target for conquest. 'Abdul Wahhab did not live to see the conquest of Mecca; he died 12 years earlier, in 1791... The conquest of Hijaz was the most important, but the Saudi-Wahhabi alliance set its sights on the Shi'ites to the north in Iraq. 'Abdul-Wahhab would refer to Shi'ites as rawafid [rejectionists], which remains part of the current terminology in both Wahhabi and al-Qa'idah literature. What transpired in the campaign against the Shi'ites of southern Iraq, especially in the holy city of Karbala', which contains the burial site of Imam Husayn [grandson of the Prophet, and the great martyr of Shi'ism], was nothing short of a massacre. A Wahhabi historian tells the story:

'In the year 1216 [Hijri, 1802], Sa'ud... set out with his divinely supported army and cavalry and nomads from Najd, from the south, from the Hijaz, Tihama and elsewhere. He made for Karbala and began hostilities against the people of Al-Husayn... The Muslims [ie, the Wahhabis] scaled the walls, entered the city by force, and killed the majority of its people in the markets and in their homes. Then they destroyed the dome placed over the grave of Al-Husayn by those who believe in such things. They took over whatever they found inside the dome and its surroundings. They took the grille surrounding the tomb, which was encrusted with emeralds, rubies, and other jewels. They took everything they found in the town: different types of property, weapons, clothing, carpets, gold, silver, precious copies of the Qur'an, as well as much else - more than can be enumerated. They stayed in Karbala for no more than a morning, leaving around midday with all the property they had gathered and having killed about 2,000 people...'

"Thus we learn of 'holy war', Wahhabi style. Other campaigns of plunder, pillage, and mayhem followed. The attack on Mecca and Medina also included the destruction of the gravestones and tombs of close companions and wives of the Prophet. The Ottomans became concerned; the holy sites of Mecca and Medina constituted important sources of legitimacy of the Sultan... by 1819 an Egyptian army, sent to liberate the holy places by order of the Ottoman sultan, landed in Yanbu', and by 1819 the Sauds were defeated - they were pushed out of the Hijaz, and their capital [Dir'iyyah] was sacked... The House of Saud did not settle for defeat. They made various efforts in the 19th century to reclaim their past glory, but internal disputes and interfamily feuds prevented the family from establishing its control over the whole of Arabia or the holy places. That task was undertaken by the founder of the modern kingdom, King 'Abdul-'Aziz." (pp 63-6)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Islamic State's Wahhabi Roots 1

"People didn't notice, or noticed but did not want to mention [it] for obvious reasons: but a few days ago ISIS explained their practice, on Twitter, of destroying [the] tombs of prophets. They said that Muhammad ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab had done that. How many times do we have to tell you that the inspiration for these fanatics comes from the ideology of the regime you most like in the Middle East... after Israel." (Inspiration of ISIS, The Angry Arab News Service, 31/7/14)

So who is Muhammad ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab? The following notes are taken from As'ad Abukhalil's The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, & Global Power (2004)

"Wahhabiyyah, or Wahhabism, refers to the doctrine founded by Muhammad ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab (1703-92). The followers of the founder are known as Wahhabis... It is debatable whether the movement should be considered a reform movement. Some may look at it as a regressive movement in that it fights reforms in the name of fighting 'innovations'. Members of the movement do not call themselves Wahhabis, they simply call themselves Muslims, or muwahhidun [literally, unifiers, but it refers to those who insist on the unification of the worship of Allah] or Ahl (Community of) At-Tawhid." (p 52)

Abdul-Wahhab was born in the Arabian province of Najd. "His father... was a local judge belonging to the Hanbalite school of jurisprudence [one of the 4 Sunni schools of jurisprudence, the Hanbalite...is known as the strictest and most conservative, in a region not renowned for religious scholarship..." (p 53)

"In Medina, a center of great learning before it fell under the control of the anti-intellectual clerics of Wahhabiyah, he was introduced to the works of Ibn Taymiyyah (A.D.1263-1328), who influenced him a great deal... Ibn Taymiyyah was also a man of the sword: he fought the Crusaders and others in his lifetime, and observed that the foundation of religion is 'Qur'an and sword'... Today, Ibn Taymiyyah's thought and practice can be seen as a key philosophical predecessor of contemporary Islamic fundamentalism... His most important contribution to present-day militant ideologies, like those of Al-Qa'idah, is his belief that misguided Muslims - those who do not abide by (his interpretation of) Shari'ah (the body of Islamic laws) - should be fought as if they were infidels." (p 54-5)

Abdul-Wahhab "struck a firm alliance [with Prince Muhammad Bin Sa'ud, ruler of the town of Dir'iyyah] that remains at the core of the Saudi state to this very day: the alliance between the House of Sa'ud and the House of Ash-Shaykh [as the contemporary descendants of 'Abdul-Wahhab are known]. 'Abdul-Wahhab settled and began a campaign of jihad. Jihad means holy struggle in general, but here it refers to the holy war that the two men led in Arabia. Their war continued into the last century until the Saudi kingdom was founded." (p 58)

"The ideas of 'Abdul-Wahhab can be summarized by reference to tawhid, which had at least 3 meanings for him: the first refers to the exclusive quality of lordship of the world to Allah; the second refers to the exclusive association of the divine names and attributes with Allah only... and the third refers to the concentration of worship in God alone... But 'Abdul-Wahhab applied everything dogmatically, and any disagreements that he had with any other Muslims he easily and casually attributed to Satan... This explains the zeal with which 'Abdul-Wahhab, with the aid of the Sauds, went about waging wars, in the name of jihad, against Muslims in Arabia and beyond. For him, war against Muslims who were in error was not only permissible, it was 'obligatory'. Muslims who did not accept his doctrine were no longer to be considered Muslims but rather mushrikun [polytheists]." (pp 60-1)

"The alliance between the Sauds and 'Abdul-Wahhab has produced a politically quiescent and conservative school of political thought that urges obedience to the rulers, within a Wahhabi doctrine. 'Abdul-Wahhab forbade revolt against the rulers, regardless of the policies and conduct of those rulers... This has been the most useful element of Wahhabism for the House of Saud..." (pp 61-2)

To be continued...