Tuesday, March 31, 2015

LibLab & Core Values

I have no idea what came into the heads of the punters who read the following, but I, alas, could think only of one thing:

"Jihad Dib could have been a Lib. The new Labor MP for Lakemba was sounded out about joining the Liberals a few years back... Mr Dib said he joined Labor because he was drawn to the party's values..." (Labor's star principal Dib was courted by Libs, Miles Godfrey, Daily Telegraph, 30/3/15)

So WTF are these vaunted Labor values?

In the proverbial nutshell: opportunism, of course, and... Zionism.

Both of which, of course, make Lab virtually indistinguishable from Lib.

Speaking of which, allow me to remind you that reconfirmed NSW Premier Mike (Messiah) Baird had promised Sydney's Jewish community that, if elected, he would be leading a trade delegation to Israel. (See my 23/2/15 post Menage a Trois.)

Where else?

What's the guess that the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is even now tapping him on the shoulder and reminding him of his promise. Nor, I hasten to add, was this bizarre pledge of allegiance mentioned anywhere in the msm's NSW election coverage.

(Hey, maybe Messiah could make it a joint LibLab affair and invite Foley and Dib to tag along?)

The dismal fact is that, as in US politics, while Lib and Lab (state or federal) may differ marginally on this or that issue, they are both irredeemably in thrall to Zionism.

Monday, March 30, 2015

'An Audible Drawing In of Collective Breath'

I'm sure that Sam Lipski (then & now) actually thinks that the incident he describes below reveals more about Bob Hawke than it does about the 3,000 blinkered individuals listening to him:

"For the Jews of Australia, it was a night to remember. On May 17, 1988, some 3000 of them came to the Concert Hall at Melbourne's Arts Centre to celebrate, to pay tribute and to give thanks. On stage were 15 former Soviet refuseniks. Just months earlier... Mikhail Gorbachev had let them leave for Israel. Just days earlier they had landed at Melbourne Airport to a heroes' welcome from the Jewish community... But later in the evening, prime minister Bob Hawke punctured the mood of celebration. In an otherwise powerful and uplifting speech, Hawke included just one unsettling sentence. In it he drew comparisons between Soviet Jews and the Palestinians and black Africans under apartheid. There was an audible drawing in of collective breath. Then a turning of heads in disbelief. The remarks distressed the refuseniks, disappointed many of Hawke's admirers, and marked a turning point in Hawke's public views on Israel. With a few words, his public persona changed from the Jewish state's most passionate admirer in Australia to its sorely troubled critic." (On a night for refuseniks, Hawke brought Palestinian conflict to the party, Sam Lipski & Suzanne Rutland, The Australian, 28/3/15)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Death of a Zionist Mal-Meme

Hopefully, now that the Greens' Jenny Leong has decisively won the newly created seat of Newtown (encompassing inner Sydney, South Sydney, Petersham/Newtown and Marrickville) in the just-concluded NSW state elections, we can safely consign the malicious, Murdoch press-generated Zionist myth that support for BDS is electoral poison for the Greens to the dustbin of history.

For the story of the rise of this mal-meme, read my posts A Myth is Born 1-4 (29/3/11 - 31/3/11) and Fairfax Peddles the Marrickville Myth (11/11/12).

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Editorial From Kiryat Arba

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rhetoric has become more reasonable since his election victory. He apologised to Arab-Israelis for complaining they were voting in 'droves' on election day. He also claimed to support a Palestinian state, but not under current conditions."

So begins a most peculiar editorial in last Wednesday's Australian, Eight-state solution floated.

How "reasonable" is that:

Netanyahu during the election: 'The f...ing Arabs are voting, man the barricades!'

Netanyahu after the election: 'Sorry about that. I don't know what came after me.'

Netanyahu when asked about a Palestinian state: 'Palestinian state? What, now? Are you serious? The weather's f...ing terrible. Come back and see me when it's cleared up, OK?'

Now here's where it gets seriously weird:

"Within a week of Likud's victory, prominent Israeli academic and commentator Mordechai Kedar, a former Israeli Defence Forces spook, urged Mr Netanyahu to act on what is quietly referred to as the 'eight emirates' plan. In addition to Gaza in the east [!!!???], Dr Kedar and others advocate the creation of seven geographically separate and discrete Palestinian emirates on the West Bank."

"Emirates"?

Impoverished, besieged Palestinian bantustans spun as entities on a par with the wealthy Persian Gulf United Arab Emirates. Nice one!

The United Palestinian Emirates (UPE)?

Except they're not united. They're "separate and discreet."

Remember the good old days of the 'viable, contiguous Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital'? Gone with the wind. Once used to distract the easily distracted from dealing seriously with Jewish State in the Levant (JSIL) while Ziojihadis from around the world flocked to the Zionist Emirate, the formula has served its purpose and can now be safely dispensed with.

"These would be centred in Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Jericho and the Arab neighbourhoods of the city of Hevron."

Hello... "Hevron"?!!

WTF is writing this shit? Some fanatic in Kiryat Arba?

Now I knew that The Australian had long ago been taken over by Zionist dead-enders but I had no idea they'd set up an IDF-defended enclave in the editor's office and were now writing its editorials.

"Israel would control the rural space between them."

But of course. How could it be otherwise? Maybe the Palestinians in the "emirates" could be supplied by air (when not being bombed from the air that is).

"Nobody, Dr Kedar argues, can guarantee that a single Palestinian state in the West Bank would not fall to Hamas, endangering Israel's future..."

The only one that matters...

"Dr Kedar, known for his extremist views, once claimed the only thing that could deter a suicide bomber was raping his sister or mother."

What a mensch is Dr Strangelove Kedar!

"But regardless of whether his hawkish 'eight emirates' proposal gains traction..."

So caging the indigenous population of the West Bank in 8 urban ghettos emirates is merely "hawkish"?!

"... the prospect of a peaceful and sustainable two-state solution is bleak. Likud's official platform 'flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river' and any division of Jerusalem. It says Palestinians should be 'able to manage their lives freely in the framework of an autonomous regime' but not 'as a sovereign independent state'. The number of settlers in the West Bank is now more than 400,000 and Mr Netanyahu is encouraging more. They occupy 40% of the territory and a Palestinian state would involve massive disruption."

And that's it. Not a hint that anything's amiss here. Not an editorial eyebrow raised anywhere in the piece. Clearing settlers out of the places they've illegally occupied is simply not on. They should, therefore, be given free range and the Palestinians simply confined to ghettos.

I think we can safely conclude, absent a clarification, that that's now Rupert Murdoch's official position on the subject.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Netizions

Ever wondered about the identity and/or background of the charmless, trigger-happy Zionist grunts who ceaselessly patrol the internet, blazing away at anyone who dares to look askance at Israel?

I notice that the Red Rattler Theatre Facebook page is currently receiving their attention. You can read my 23/3/15 post Back to Marrickville for the context.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to record some of their blasts and see what Mr Google has to say about the authors of same. Brace yourself:

Shane Behling: Fucking NAZIS!!!!!!!!

As well as being a man of few (and usually upper case) words, Shane's a tweeter from Bakersfield, California. His twitter bio reads as follows:

"MARXIST=DEMOCRATS=TERRORIST all the same!"

!!!!!!!!????????

Harvey Garfield: Same racist attempt by The Tricycle theatre UK to ban the Jewish Film Festival last year resulted in mass protest outside the theatre. Sponsors dropped out and the Government Minister for Culture threatened to pull state funding. No idea why the Aussie community is writing letters. Hit this fascist entity in the pocket.

Hm... fellow Brit, Tony Greenstein, has this to say about the adorable Mr G at his blog:

"Now I have a slight knowledge of Harvey Garvey myself. Not only was he pictured dancing down Monmouth Street with his twin image Jonathan Hoffman and the EDL's Roberta Moore, but he is even more objectionable than his twin. This particular specimen of Zionist low-life, having no arguments of his own to make, has even tried to criticise my own views on Israel, not by reference to their own merits, but because my dead father would not have agreed with me! Only a thorough racist, Zionist or otherwise, would buy into this old 'kith and kin' argument that 'blood is thicker than water' therefore you should turn a blind eye to injustice carried out in your name by those whose religion/race you share.

"I even have knowledge of the violence of what Michael Shanahan describes as a 'rickshaw puller' who masquerades as a London cabby. At the anti-Habimah protests last year, I was taking a quiet stroll in the theatre, having appreciated how a Zionist troupe probably brought a whole new understanding to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (in fact, theirs was probably one of the worst interpretations imaginable - hackneyed and timeless) when I was set upon by a pack of hoodlums, including the said Harvey. As Garfield climbed onto my back, I heard a sudden thump on the floor where the schmuck landed. Immediately he started squealing and the Police detained me. However I then informed London's finest that in that case I wanted to press charges of assault against Harvey, and hey presto, I was released inside of 5 minutes as it dawned on even the most thick Met Inspector that little ol' me was hardly likely to want to take on 3 Zionist thugs at the same time!" (Tony Greenstein's Blog, azvas.blogspot.com.au, 10/12/12)

!!!!!!!!????????

Anne Skinner: Outrageous racist and discriminatory decision to ban Hillel, a NSW-based educational organisation, from your venue. Shame on you. Shame Shame Shame.

Now just in case you're under the illusion that travel and mind-broadening always go together, check out this little emission from Ms Skinner of Kalgoorlie:

"There is an old tenet that the bigger the lie, and the more often it is told, the more likely it is to be believed. The truth about the founding of the state of Israel and the history of the Middle East for the past 64 years has been virtually lost in the stampede of revisionist history that repeatedly omit vital context, and blatantly hostile editorialising masquerading as informed comment.

"Australians who receive only local media reports are unlikely to realise the extent of media bias against Israel in the press overseas. Yet these anti-Israel reporters are forming the opinions of millions of people worldwide and helping influence the policies of governments. Honest Reporting is combating the media assault on Israel with a two-pronged action - holding media outlets and journalists to account while the Missions inform and equip supporters to better defend Israel.

"I was privileged to take part in Honest Reporting's November/December Mission to Israel, organised in conjunction with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. It was an immensely valuable experience and I learned a great deal. All the speakers are experts in fields including politics, terrorism, media, population statistics*, settlement issues, defence, peace advocacy and aid to the Palestinians as well as Israel's international assistance and development projects. Mission participants can speak to the IDF officer responsible for sending aid into Gaza**, question an IDF officer as they view the security barrier, and visit the Golan Heights and Sderot for a first-hand look at the borders Israel must defend." (Honest Reporting/NSW Jewish Community/FOIWA Joint Mission to Israel, Friends of Israel Western Australia, foiwa.org.au, November 2013)

!!!!!!!!????????

[*!!!!!!!!????????; **!!!!!!!!????????]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Other Jihadis

"While Western intelligence agencies struggle to stop their citizens joining Islamic State, a small, yet growing, band of men and women have joined the other side. The cause has attracted a bizarre array of former soldiers, surfers, bikers, adventure-seekers, arms dealers and a handful of evangelical Christians who believe they are waging a crusade. Their motives are equally eclectic: revulsion at Islamic State's beheading of hostages, the collapse of the Iraqi army, boredom or the chance of combat after years in the army. Others liken their struggle to that of the British and US volunteers who fought fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

"Duncan, who joined the Royal Irish Regiment aged 16, says he was horrified as he watched reports last year of how Islamic State gradually took over parts of Syria before butchering its way across the border into Iraq. 'I was kind of getting restless,' said Duncan... 'It was going away from a so-called people's revolution in Syria to it becoming about Islamic extremism. And we were still throwing them arms. We were basically arming extremists.'

"Late last year, after contacting Jordan Matson, a US fundamentalist Christian fighting in Syria, he joined Syrian Kurds fighting for the YPG, or people's defence units... However, Duncan quickly realised that the YPG fighters he was with were 'as socialist as hell', an ideology that clashed with his right-wing views - so he went home to his fiancee. Undaunted he returned, joining up with a newly formed Assyrian Christian militia... in northern Iraq... Duncan is one of just seven foreign fighters with the [Assyrian] militia... a fraction of the 50 to 100 foreign fighters with the YPG...

"Tensions have flared. Duncan has especially been riled by one volunteer, a young American evangelical called Brett. 'He had long hair and this lip piercing, stalking about as if he's some sort of gangster, using Facebook as a dating agency,' Duncan said with disgust. 'He was calling himself 'soldier of Christ' and saying he sees it as a crusade. The Assyrians hated it. This fight isn't about religion. This is about everyone - Muslims, Christians, everyone - working together against one common enemy. This is about humanity.'

"Duncan is equally dismissive of other volunteers, many of whom he refers to as 'clowns and Muppets' seeking 'Facebook likes and five minutes of fame'. Others he calls 'Xbox warriors. They're young kids from the UK and US. They don't realise in war you don't get three lives. It's not this comfy game. You're sitting freezing your arse off. You're not getting fed properly, you're tired, you're on guard duty. They are a waste of time and dangerous.' (Crowd-funded idealists join 'defenders of humanity', Miles Amoore, The Sunday Times/The Australian, 24/3/15)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back to Marrickville

Not content with mauling Professor Jake Lynch last week, Murdoch's Australian has now turned to mugging... Marrickville's Red Rattler Theatre.

Take it away Christian Kerr:

"A Sydney theatre has refused a booking from a Jewish cultural group in a potential breach of race-discrimination laws. Hilel [sic], a not-for-profit Jewish educational and cultural organisation for students and young adults, approached The Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville... about hiring the venue for a series of performances dealing with the Holocaust. Their inquiry was dismissed with an unsigned email that read: 'Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine'." (No to Zionism: theatre rejects Jewish act, 23/3/15)

Quite right too.

Go to Hillel's website - hillel.org - and the first thing you encounter is an add for Taglit Birthright Israel offering free 10-day trips to Israel. Click on 'About' and you find "Our Vision: We envision a world where every student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel."

"NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff told The Australian, 'It's sad to see an artistic group practise outright discrimination and, worse, importing divisiveness based on conflicts taking place far from Australia."

Butter, as they say, wouldn't melt in this bloke's mouth. As Australia's leading Israel lobbyist he just couldn't help himself, whilst NSW Community Relations Commissioner (a bizarre Baruch O'Farrell appointment in 2013), sending (in the words of New Matilda's Chris Graham) "an inflammatory pro-Israel email to Australia's Jewish community just as the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza began to gather pace" last year, followed by (in the words of a subsequent Herald editorial) "a poor example of caveated contrition," followed by a resignation. (See my 28/7/14 Vic Alhadeff: Multicultural in NSW, Monocultural in Israel.)

"The Red Rattler management did not respond to a request for comment from The Australian yesterday."

How wise!

"The Greens-dominated Marrickville Council was at the centre of controversy in 2010 when it attempted to implement a policy supporting the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which explicitly equates the Jewish state with apartheid-era South Africa."

Hello, hello, hello. Is this a case of 'location, location'? Call me suspicious, but was Red Rattler chosen precisely because it's in Marrickville?

Watch this space...

Update (24/3/15): "A theatre in Marrickville has apologised for telling a Jewish group it could not hire the premises because it does 'not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine'... In an email to The Australian Jewish News tonight (Monday) it said the email 'does not reflect the values of the Community Board of of the Red Rattler Theatre.' The email, which is signed by the entire board of directors... went on to say that 'The Red Rattler condemns racism of any kind'." (Red Rattler apologises, jewishnews.net.au, 23/3/15)

Obviously, the board doesn't seem to understand the elementary difference between Judaism (a faith) and Zionism (the political ideology driving Israeli apartheid and genocide). Hillel, as indicated above, is clearly committed to the latter, in which case no apology was necessary.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

From Frackman to Fatah

If you get Dayne Pratzky - aka Frackman - you'll get Palestinian resistance:

"His original objections to CSG mining were purely personal. 'They just pissed me off. I remember it as clear as day, this guy jumping out of his car on my property, big hat, big handshake: 'G'day mate, we're going to put a well down the back of your place.' Like I had no say. I was like, 'Mate, f... off. I don't come into your lounge room and say, 'Hey, make me a cup of tea and get me an iced vovo'." (Battle grounds, Amanda Hooton, Good Weekend, 21/3/15)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Feel the Hate

Commentators couldn't help but reflect on the racism of Netanyahu's election day rally cry on Facebook:

"The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the ballot booths." (Netanyahu surges to 'great victory', Ruth Pollard, Sydney Morning Herald, 19/3/15)

How dare those 'Arabs' (actually the descendents of Palestinians who managed to escape expulsion from their homes and lands in 1948) use the ballot box against us! (And this despite decades of Israeli propagandists exploiting the Israeli 'Arab' right to vote as the sine qua non of Israel's alleged democratic character).

The only surprise, however, is that anyone should be surprised.

Whether it's Zionism's godfather, Theodor Herzl, writing of "spiriting the penniless [Palestinian Arab] population across the border" in his diary in 1895,* or the 1917 Anglo-Zionist Balfour Declaration fantastically dismissing the Arab Muslim/Christian population of Palestine (90% at the time) as Palestine's "existing non-Jewish communities," Zionism has routinely set its face against the presence Palestine's indigenous sons and daughters, ignoring, denying, confining, repressing or, circumstances permitting, driving them off their land and into exile as in 1948 and 1967.

In brief, Zionist settler-colonialism abhors the very existence of these people, casting them as an existential, even demonic ('Hamas death cult') threat to its control of their native homeland.

Which brings me to the subject of this post, Zionist hate speech. The term hate speech, of course, is one Zionist propagandists have made peculiarly their own, using it to describe practically any and every manifestation of anti-Israeli/anti-Zionist reaction to the crimes of the Zionist project in or beyond Palestine. Meanwhile, the fact that Zionists themselves indulge in hate speech, particularly but not always against the Palestinians, is insufficiently regarded. 

Keeping in mind The International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) definition of hate speech, namely, "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence," tell me if the following - hosted at the jwire.com.au website - doesn't fit the definition:

"At the beginning of the 20th Century, if one were referred to as a Palestinian, it was automatically implied that he or she was Jewish. Decades later Arabs cleverly commandeered the term 'Palestinian' and fools the world over, including Jewish fools, have bought the propaganda that 'Palestinians' have never forgiven the division of their 'country' by the UN. If there was such a country, who were its rulers, what was its currency, the questions are endless, but no one poses these types of questions to the Palestinian Authority.

"The facts are that there was no country called Palestine.

"Simply put, Palestine was a land mass administered finally by the British until the 1947 Partition Plan when only a part was allocated back to its century's [sic] old rightful owners, the Jewish people.

"Successive Israeli governments have never once opened their mouth [sic] in a convincing way to debunk the entire 'Palestinian' narrative and in the process appear to have discarded the Jewish heritage of the Temple Mount.

"So much for the profound: 'If I forget thee, O Jerusalem.'

"Does no one see the consequences of this tragic situation?

"It is time for Israel to act like a sovereign power in control of its own destiny and take unilateral action on many fronts, including the reclaiming of the Temple Mount before it is lost forever.

"In short, it is time for the gloves to finally come off." (The unfolding tragedy that is the Temple Mount, Gil Solomon, 15/3/15)

Some of Solomon's readers were sufficiently incited to comment as follows:

"I stood right at the entrance of the Dome of the Rock and prayed it would be demolished and the Temple rebuilt."

"You have, in the past, accused me, Gil, of 'touchy, feely' political views - well, sit back because it's just a matter of a few short years and Netanyahu and his people will be sitting pretty on land rightfully theirs."

"I most strongly object to the international community which demands that Jews share their land with a pretend people, saying not a word when those same aggressive, callous, lying pack of pretenders refuses to share a site holy to Jews and significant to mohammedans only on an interpretation of a dream."

You can feel the hate.

For another recent example of this kind of bile - appearing in The Australian Jewish News - see my 8/7/14 post Settler Haters Hate.

[*See my 4/1/13 post What Would Herzl Do?]

Friday, March 20, 2015

RIP Malcolm Fraser 1930 - 2015

"Former Australian Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has told ABC's Jon Faine that he shares former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr's take on 'the Jewish lobby'. Fraser appeared on The Conversation Hour to discuss his new book Dangerous Allies. The conversation switched to Carr's recent book Diary of a Foreign Minister in which Carr is critical of the Jewish lobby in Australia." (Carr finds a friend, jwire.com.au, 10/5/14)

Faine: Bob Carr has managed to upset a lot of people... with his memoir, saying that he thought the pro-Israel... lobby in Australia wielded too much power. What does Malcolm Fraser think of that?

Fraser: They certainly do.

That's how I began my 17/5/14 post The Truth Will Out: First Carr, Now Fraser.

Feel free to re-visit that post, read the full interview, realise its significance, and then mourn the passing of the only Australian PM (certainly post-war & probably pre-) to speak out honestly on this subject. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Netanyahu Won. Now What?

A must-read from Avigail Abarbanel:

"So he won and I have to say I am relieved. There will be no more endless cycles of pointless 'negotiations' with Israel pretending that some day it will agree to a two-state solution while continually escalating both settlement (colony) building and the maltreatment of the Palestinians.Now everyone will see that the Palestinians were right all along and that Israel has never been a partner for peace.

"There is no real political Left in Israel, and if the other side got to form a government, all we would have seen is more of the same. Now we'll see if the EU has the decency and conviction to enact proper sanctions. Then of course there is the US. The US Administration might stall for a while, but we'll see if they have what it takes to do the right thing. Israel is no friend to the US and the sooner they realise it the better.

"Israel is on a slippery slope of its own making. Get your popcorn, sit and watch. Israel is becoming more radicalised than ever before. Certainly much more than when I was growing up there. Of course I could be wrong - and I hope I am - but I think Israel's pathological siege mentality will now become more pronounced and more evident to outsiders. Israel has for a long time been readying itself for when the time comes to bunker down, live with austerity and give up the fancy lifestyle the country has become increasingly accustomed to in the last 20-25 years. They can do this.

"Israel has always prepared itself psychologically and economically for being isolated. All that openness to the rest of the world that Israel has enjoyed increasingly in the last generation or so, and Israel's acceptance by others, have always been seen as temporary in the eyes of most Israeli Jews. They had always expected it to end, and had the mentality of 'let's enjoy it while it lasts and make the most of it while we can'.

"Fundamentally, Israeli Jews believe that the world hates them because they are Jewish (in their minds it has nothing to do with colonialism or the Palestinians). So although Israel has brought its own situation upon itself, that is not how Israeli Jews see it. They believe things are 'happening to them' for no fault of their own. They expect isolation and have dropped all pretenses of pandering to the West and are behaving more in line with their true nature.* Even less radical people will become radicalised now in Israel. There will be even more propaganda and more brainwashing than ever before.

"Netanyahu really does represent most Israeli Jews even though some of them do not like him. But the reasons they do not like him are not what you'd expect. Most Israeli Jews identify with Netanyahu's perception and understanding of what the rest of the world is like and of the world's relationship with Israel.** After all, Netanyahu is a product of Israeli society just like I was, and believe me, when you have that kind of psychology and that incredibly effective, powerful propaganda machine all around you, it is easy to believe that what you see is really how it is. Israeli Jews have always lived in a psychological ghetto and it's that ghetto that I got out of back in 1991.

"Life will get very difficult for Jews in Israel soon enough, and many with dual citizenship will abandon ship. Those who remain will be the diehard fanatics and zealots who are dangerous because they might have the psychology of murder suicide. I believe that before it is over, things will get really bad there and extremely dangerous. Israel will become much more fanatic and extremist than ever before with a lot less inhibitions.

"I am therefore worried about the Palestinians and wonder how much more of this they could possibly take and what they can expect in the next few months and years. Israel isolating itself is much more dangerous for the Palestinians because world public opinion will no longer be a moderating factor on Israel's behaviour. And believe it or not, it did have a moderating effect. What you have been seeing so far and what Palestinians have been experiencing is not yet the worst. Gaza gives you the idea of what Israel has in mind for all Palestinians.

"So the message to those of us who support the Palestinians is to get ready to escalate our support. It is about to get very very tough. With Netanyahu at the helm the end of colonialism and occupation is nigh, but it about to get a lot worse before it gets better." (mondoweiss.net, 18/3/15)

[*"Likud's poor polling promoted a surge of frenzied campaigning from Mr Netanyahu, including what many have interpreted as a 'paranoid' Facebook post in which he accused a conspiracy of foreign governments and left-wing parties of trying to topple his government. 'Leftist activists and the foreign and international media are conspiring to get Tzipi [Livni] and Buji [the nickname of Isaac Herzog] elected via illegitimate means, using innuendo and foreign money,' Mr Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page. He warned: 'Those foreign organizations understand that if Tzipi and Buji are in charge, they will give up everything. They'll withdraw to the 1967 boundaries and they will divide Jerusalem'." (Benjamin Netanyahu plays the hardline settlement expansion card to capture right-wing votes, Ruth Pollard, Sydney Morning Herald, 17/3/15); **"Another Sderot local... says the possibility Iran will develop a nuclear weapon - the main issue that Netanyahu has focused on - could not be more important: 'I cannot sleep at night because of Iran and the ayatollahs who in every second sentence speak about their desire to destroy Israel... I will only sleep quietly when that threat is removed'." (Anger, fear for Israelis on the front line, Ruth Pollard, 16/3/15)]

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Anatomy of a Beat-Up...

... or how the Murdoch press transforms a pro-Palestine protest into a veritable anti-Semitic pogrom.

Last year, Associate Professor Jake Lynch, of Sydney University's Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies (CPACS), was embroiled in a Federal Court action brought by Israeli lawfare outfit Shurat Ha Din for the 'offence' of declining (Lynch is a supporter of the pro-Palestinian BDS movement) to sponsor an Israel academic. Lynch won the case with costs. Now he's just been accused, by the chairman of the Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), Dean Sherr, of ANTI-SEMITISM for allegedly waving a $5 note at a woman who had, in his words, "kicked him 'in the meat and two veg" for the 'offence' of filming a student protest (or 'fracas' in Murdochspeak) against a lecture by visiting British clanking Colonel - and United Israel Appeal star attraction* - Richard Kemp.

Hissed Sherr: "Waving money in the face of Jewish people screams of the classical anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews are obsessed with money."

Hinted Kemp: "I observed [Lynch] waving the money in the face of a Jewish student, a clearly aggressive and insulting act that seemed to invoke the stereotype of the 'greedy Jew'."

The incident has been the occasion for the Murdoch press to once again hound Lynch in a series of articles by the usual suspects, beginning with a piece in The Daily Telegraph of 14/3/15, Professor waved $5 at Jewish woman, by Taylor Auerbach.

This was followed by Sack call over BDS protest (16/3/15) by Ean Higgins in The Australian, in which Sherr was quoted.

In it, we learn that the university's vice-chancellor has launched "an investigation into [the] fracas," during which Lynch "criticised security guards [who] tried to remove the protesters," and that Kemp has written to the university's vice-chancellor claiming that "Professor Lynch and another pro-BDS academic 'were both apparently leading and encouraging the protesters'." It concludes with Lynch reportedly saying that "he held up the bank notes to warn a woman who he said kicked him in the groin that he would sue her if she didn't desist," denying "the action was anti-Semitic," and claiming that "the security guards had shown no interest in curbing her actions."

Uni faces calls for action on protest (17/3/15) by Christian Kerr in The Australian followed. In this a former Labor education minister (190-93) Peter Baldwin is quoted as saying "I visited a great many campuses and was more than once the target of student protest demonstrations. But I never experienced anything quite as repulsive as what I witnessed last Wednesday." Baldwin "warned of 'deeply sinister developments' that had created an 'increasingly poisonous' atmosphere for Jewish students" and "called on [the vice-chancellor] to 'commit to restoring a genuine climate of free debate at Sydney University in which all can participate without fear of intimidation." He concluded as follows: "You have a group who think they have a right of veto on what viewpoints are sayable. Who do these people think that they are, that they can adjudicate what points of view are allowed to be heard?... It warrants the university administration taking serious disciplinary action against those responsible."

On the opinion pages of the same issue, came Protesters disown their university values, by none other than clanking Colonel Kemp himself, in which he alleged that "a group of about a dozen people... stormed into the lecture and started yelling at me and the audience through a megaphone, accusing me of 'supporting genocide', and trying to shut down the lecture. The protesters occupied the lecture theatre, intimidated members of the audience and were intent on preventing the exchange of views my lecture was intending to facilitate. Two of the academics then joined them, one of whom I saw badgering an elderly woman who objected to him photographing her on his iPhone. When she tried to push the iPhone out of her face he grabbed her arm forcibly, and appeared to hurt her. When she retaliated physically, the academic - an associate professor - waved a $5 note in her face and the face of a Jewish student.... This protest had clear anti-Semitic undertones."

The above was apparently sufficient to set off an entire pack (10) of Zionist correspondents who barked and bayed on the letters page of today's Australian.

They were "appalled" at the "shocking spectacle."

They called on the university to show "leadership" and take "appropriate disciplinary action."

They invoked "1930s Nazi Germany" and "the events in Germany culminating in World War II."

They alleged that "demonstrators were hell-bent on being anti-Semitic" and were "rabid anti-Semites."

They accused Lynch of being "a lifelong Marxist" and the protesters of being "his university stormtroopers."

In short, just the usual for the letters pages of The Australian.

What will tomorrow's edition bring?

But why wait?

If you want the real story, rather than the Murdoch beat-up, head across to the New Matilda website and read Michael Brull's painstaking analysis (complete with videos) of the protest: Blaming the victims: what really happened at the Colonel Kemp Usyd Protest (18/3/15).

[*See my 23/2/15 post Menage A Trois.]

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

"If you're not careful newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." Malcolm X

Not hanging offences, I know, but...

Case 1:

"... so-called Arab Israelis - mostly ethnic Palestinians who complain of being treated as second-class citizens..." (Arab parties hold key to Israeli poll, Jamie Walker*, The Australian, 16/3/15)

Instead of "so-called Arab Israelis - mostly ethnic Palestinians" why not simply refer to them as what they are, namely 'Palestinian Israelis'?

Better still: 'Palestinian Israelis whose ancestors somehow managed to escape the great ethnic cleansing of 1948, known to Palestinians as 'the Nakba (catastrophe)'.

And what's with "who complain of being treated as second-class citizens"?

Maybe it's because they are second-class citizens, Jamie.

And that's simply because they're not Jews. It's called apartheid, actually, as your predecessor, John Lyons, once acknowledged: see my 2/5/12 post Consensus at Last.

Case 2:

"... Hartley, a strident political advocate for Palestine..." (The secret Murdoch file kept hidden by British government, Philip Dorling, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/3/15)

Oh, FFS!

Hands up anyone who's ever heard an Israel lobbyist/propagandist described as "strident" in the ms press?

Just as I thought... not a hand in sight!

[*So Murdoch's Australian has a new Middle East correspondent, replacing John Lyons. It's too early to say whether he can fill Lyons' shoes - or better! - let's hope the above infelicities are just a matter of finding his feet.]

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Real Zionists Eat Raw Onions

OK, so everybody's shocked at our PM chomping on a raw onion.

Not me, though. Call me psychic, but I've always suspected that there's more to Tony Abbott than meets the eye.

Still, I've kept mum on the subject until now because I know that no one would've believed me if I'd spoken out before. Let me explain:

a) He's English (originally).
b) He's a religious zealot.
c) He's a militarist.
d) He's a Zionist. (After all, didn't he once say: "When Israel is fighting for its very life, well, as far as I'm concerned, Australians are Israelis. We are all Israelis in those circumstances."? See my 18/3/12 post Abbott: We Are All Israelis.)

A pretty deadly combo, I know you'll agree.  Surely more than enough to satisfy the duck test.

You know: if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

However, even though, in my estimation, Abbott's long since passed the duck test, I've always maintained discipline and held out for one final proof before confirming what I've long suspected all these years.

And now, here it is: Abbott. Eats. Raw. Onions.

You know what that means, don't you? No?

He's obviously a dinky-di reincarnation of Orde Charles Wingate!

Orde who?

Read on:

"Major General Orde Wingate was the most controversial British commander of the Second World War, and can split opinion 70 years after his death... This is unsurprising: a man who ate 6 raw onions per day, ordered all his officers to eat at least one and who conducted press conferences in the nude while scrubbing himself with a wire brush is bound to leave an impression. However, much of the controversy runs deeper than this, stemming from his performance as military commander and leader, specifically during three episodes occurring late in a military career beginning with passing out from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in 1923, and ending in death in an air crash in Burma in 1944.

"First came the Palestine Arab uprising of 1936-1939, when Wingate, a captain on the Staff of General Headquarters in Haifa, was authorised... to train Jewish policemen in British-organised, counterterrorist units known as the Special Night Squads. Wingate, a passionate Zionist, politicized this mission, turning it into the backbone of a personal campaign for a Jewish state, deploying his Night Squads in politically explosive pre-emptive and reprisal attacks on Arab villages believed to be hiding insurgents and using 'robust' methods to extract intelligence from prisoners." (Orde Wingate & Combat Leadership, Dr Simon Anglim, medium.com)

I rest my case.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

If Only We Had Gaddafi to Kick Around Some More

Must-read: Libya, ISIS & the Unaffordable Luxury of Hindsight by Ahmad Barqawi

"'Who are you?' the late Muammar Gaddafi once rhetorically asked in a famous speech towards the end of his reign, (rightly) questioning the legitimacy of those seeking to overthrow his government at the time, calling them extremists, foreign agents, rats and drug-addicts. He was laughed at, unfairly caricatured, ridiculed, and incessantly demonized. A distasteful parody video poking fun at the late Libyan leader even went viral on social media. Evidently, the maker of the video, an Israeli, thought the Libyan colloquial Arabic word 'Zenga' (which means an alleyway) sounded so funny that he extracted it from one of Gaddafi's speeches, looped it on top of a hip-hop backing track and voila... he got himself a hit video which was widely (and shamefully) circulated with a 'revolutionary' zeal in the Arab world. We shared, we laughed, he died.

"But the bloody joke is on all of is. Gaddafi knew what he was talking about. Right from the get-go, he accused the so-called Libyan rebels of being influenced by Al-Qaeda ideology and Bin Laden's school of thought. No one took his word for it, of course, not even a little bit. I mean, why should we have? After all, wasn't he a vile, sex-centric dictator hell-bent on massacring half of the Libyan population while subjecting the other half to manic raping sprees with the aid of his trusted army of viagra-gobbling, sub-Saharan mercenaries? At least that's what we got from the visual cancer that is Al-Jazeera channel and its even more acrid Saudi counterpart Al-Arabiya in their heavily skewed coverage of NATO's vicious conquest of Libya. Plus, Gaddafi dressed funny. Why would anyone trust a haggard, weird-looking despot dressed in colorful rags when you have well-groomed Zionists like Bernard Henry Levy, John McCain and Hillary Clinton at your side, smiling and flashing the victory sign in group photo-ops, right?

"Gaddafi called them drug-addicted, Islamic fundamentalists. We know them as ISIS. It doesn't seem much of a joke now, does it? And ISIS is what had been in store for us all along; the 'revolutionary' lynching and sodomization of Muammar Gaddafi amid manic chants of 'Allahu Akbar', lauded by many at the time as some sort of warped triumph of the good of popular will (read: NATO-sponsored mob rule) over the evil of dictatorship (read: sovereign state), was nothing but a gory precursor of the future of the country and the region: the mass lynching of entire populations in Libya, Syria and Iraq, and the breakup of key Arab states into feuding statelets. The gruesome video of Colonel Gaddafi's murder, which puts to shame the majority of ISIS videos in terms of unhinged brutality and gore, did not invoke the slightest of condemnations back then. On the contrary, everyone seemed perfectly fine with the grotesque end of the Libyan 'tyrant'. Except that it was only the beginning of a new and unprecedented reign of terror courtesy of NATO's foot-soldiers and GCC-backed Islamic insurgents.

"The rapid proliferation of trigger-happy terrorist groups and Jihadi factions drenched in petrodollars in Libya was not some sort of intelligence failure on the part of Western governments or a mere by-product of the power vacuum left by a slain Gaddafi. It was a deliberate, calculated policy, planned and implemented by NATO and its allies in the Gulf under the cringe-inducing moniker 'Friends of Libya' (currently known as the International Coalition against ISIS) to turn the north African country into the world's largest ungovernable dumpster of weapons, Al-Qaida militants and illegal oil trading.

"So it is safe to say that UNSC resolution 1973, which practically gave free rein to NATO to bomb Libya to smithereens, has finally borne fruit, and it's rotten to the core. You can call the latest gruesome murder of 21 Egyptian fishermen and workers by the Libyan branch of Islamic State exhibit 'A', not to mention of course the myriad killings, bombings and mini-civil wars that are now dotting the whole country, which, ever since the West engineered its coup d'etat against the Gaddafi government, have become synonymous with the bleak landscape of lawlessness and death that is 'Libya' today. And the gift of NATO liberation is sure to keep on giving for years of instability and chaos to come.

"In a February 2011 interview with the Western media misinformation collective that is the BBC, ABC and Sunday Times, the late Muammar Gaddafi asked his condescending interviewers: Have you ever seen Al-Qaeda operatives? Have you heard all these Jihadi broadcasts? It's Al-Qaeda that's controlling the cities of Al-Baida and Darnah, former Guantanamo inmates and extremists unleashed by America to terrorize the Libyan people.' Darnah is now the main stronghold of ISIS in Libya.

"In a bizarre coincidence (or some sort of cosmic irony), the date on which ISIS chose to release its video of the beheading of Egyptian captives, thereby officially declaring its presence in the war-torn country with three oil fields under its control (approximately), marked the 4th anniversary of the start of the so-called Libyan revolution on February 15 2011. A more apt 'tribute' to commemorate the Western-instigated regime-change debacle in Libya could not have been made.

"But even long before ISIS became the buzzword, the acrid nature of a 'revolutionary' Libya showed in full, sickening splendor almost as soon as the old regime fell. Everything the late Gaddafi was falsely accused of doing was literally perfected to a chilling degree by the so-called rebels; massacres, indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, car-bombings, mass arrests, torture, theft of oil and natural resources... the lot. In 2013 two British pro-Palestine activists, on their way to Gaza with an aid convoy, got to experience first-hand the rotten fruits of the Libyan chapter of the so-called Arab Spring when they were abducted by a motley crew of Libyan revolutionaries-turned-warlords in the city of Benghazi and gang-raped in front of their father.

"Proponents of humanitarian interventions must be patting themselves on the back these days, now that Libya has completed its 'democratic' makeover from a country with the highest standard of living in Africa under Gaddafi's rule to a textbook definition of a failed state, a godless wasteland of religious fanaticism, internal bloodletting and wholesale head-lopping. In fact, Libya has become so 'democratic' that there are now two parliaments and two (warring) governments, each with its own (criminal) army and supported with money and weapons from competing foreign powers, not to mention the myriad secessionist movements and militias which the illegal coup against Gaddafi has spawned all over the country, while the free health care, education and electricity which Libyans took for granted under Gaddafi, are now mere relics of the past. That's the 'Odyssey Dawn' Libyans were promised, a sanitized version of Iraq sans the public outrage, neatly re-packaged in a 'Responsibility to Protect' caveat and delivered via aerial bombing campaigns where even the West's overzealous Gulf Co-conspirators Club (GCC), driven by nothing beyond petty personal vendettas against Gaddafi, got to test the lethality of its rusted, American-made military aircraft alongside NATO on the people of Tripoli and Sirte.

"This is what Gaddafi had predicted right from the get-go, and then some. The ephemeral euphoria of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions was just too potent and too exhilirating for us to read the fine print. Was it a conspiracy or true revolutionary spirit gone awry? It doesn't really matter now that ISIS has become the true legacy of Tahrir Square. 'They will turn Libya into another Afghanistan, another Somalia, another Iraq. Women won't be allowed out, Libya will be transformed into an Islamic Emirate, and America will bomb the country under the guise of fighting terrorism,' the late Libyan leader had said in a televised speech on February 22, 2011. More prophetic words were never spoken.

"America's 'clean war' Libyan prototype proved to be such a success that it was replicated with gay abandon in Syria. Paul Bremmer's 'Blackwater' death squads of old, which rained terror all over Iraq, are back - with an Islamic twist; bearded, black-clad, draped in explosives from head to foot, and mounted on convoys of Toyota Land Cruisers with an ever-expanding, seemingly borderless Islamic Caliphate (but never intruding on the Zionist regime's occupation of Palestine) in their sights.

"Every day, the Arab world awakes to a new video-taped atrocity, steeped in gore and maniacal terror courtesy of ISIS, and countless other 'youtubeless' and even more heinous crimes, courtesy of America's very own grinding, one-sided drone warfare. The entire region seesaws between machete beheadings and hellfire missile incinerations. Death from above as well as below. The War on Terror rears its ugly head once again, to bring into line those nasty terrorists that the West itself sponsored and funded in the name of democracy to destabilize 'unsavory' regimes - an unrelenting Groundhog Day that begins with the Responsibility to Protect and ends with the War on Terror, with thousands of innocent lives typically chalked up to collateral damage.

"This is exactly what Gaddafi foresaw, a Libya mired in utter chaos, civil conflict, and Western diktats, a breeding ground for Jihadi fundamentalism and extremism. Too bad we just laughed off his warnings to an Israeli-made parody tune. (counterpunch.org, 9/3/15)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Look, He's Actually Met Them, OK?

Who cares what Israel's political leaders actually say!

If Tony Abbott's Suppository of Wisdom, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, says they're OK, then dammit, they're OK, OK?

"Those [Arabs] who support Israel 'should receive everything; those against us... we must lift up an axe and behead them - otherwise we will not survive here'." (Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in PA calls for arrest, trial of Lieberman for saying disloyal Israeli Arabs should be beheaded, Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post, 9/3/15)

On meeting Lieberman, Sheridan found him "charming in a rough, Russian way," and "more open to compromise than many Israelis." (Israeli right-winger redraws the battle lines, The Australian, 17/12/07)

Oh yes, and he's definitely "not an extremist." (Israeli leaders mislabelled by foes, The Australian, 9/4/09)

"In the situation created in the Middle East any territory that will be evacuated will be taken over by radical Islam and terrorist organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will not be any withdrawals or concessions. The matter is simply irrelevant." (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Netanyahu says his past support for Palestinian state 'simply irrelevant', Lahav Harkov, The Jerusalem Post, 8/3/15)

Sheridan, who met Netanyahu in 2003 and recorded him saying that "[w]e have to put an end to 'Arafatistan' next door,"* has since breezily opined that he "will be no barrier to peace," and that the Palestinians will get "all the land of the West Bank and Gaza except for the large Jewish settlement blocks [sic]." (There may be the will but not necessarily the way, The Australian, 5/2/09)

[*Matured Netanyahu is ready to rule, The Australian, 13/2/09]

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

27/2 vs 9/11

Hm...

"Supporters of slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov dismissed suggestions yesterday that his shooting could have been motivated by Islamic extremism. Five men are in custody in connection with the February 27 shooting, and all of them are from the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, or other parts of the restive Caucasus." (Putin's rivals reject Chechen link to murder, AP/The Australian, 11/3/15)

Question arising:

Does this mean that Nemtsov's supporters will henceforth be dismissed as conspiracy theorists in the same way that Americans who reject the official story that Muslims were responsible for 9/11 are routinely dismissed as conspiracy theorists?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Mysterious Abu Joe 4

You've just gotta feel sorry for old Abu Joe:

"Joe Hockey said he was 'devastated' by an article on Fairfax Media front pages that he claims made him appear corrupt, which left his father in tears..." (Fairfax CEO threatened me, says Hockey, Leo Shanahan, The Australian, 10/3/15)

Poor bugger:

"Even his frail father, a refugee who had lost everything and rebuilt his life in Australia, expressed 'a brief doubt' during a phone call." (Fairfax and Treasurer square off over fundraising, Rick Feneley, Sydney Morning Herald, 10/3/15)

Hang on a minute... a refugee who had lost everything

Jeez, Joe, isn't playing the penniless refugee card a bit rich coming from you? After all, didn't you once say: 

"Leave the politics to the countries that are playing the politics. Don't bring the politics here. This is why people come to Australia - not to revisit all of the woes of another nation... Dad's just so unbelievably grateful that in 1947 Australia welcomed him and he sees himself as an Australian. Full stop." Joe Hockey, Sunrise, 16/11/12 (See my 8/8/13 post The Mysterious Abu Joe 1.)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Taking Liberties With Gertrude

Now I get poetic licence, OK?

After all, I've read the Zionist narrative - haven't we all? - more times than I care to remember. Whether it's Next Year in Jerusalem, Making the Desert Bloom or The Palestinians Left at the Behest of Their Leaders, I've paid my dues.

Not, you'll be relieved to know, that the following interview has anything to do with the Zionist narrative this time around.

Still, it is an interview with a veteran spinner of ripping Zionist yarns, and this has to have some bearing, surely, at least in this case, on the question of just how far from the historical record can a historical novel stray before the adjective becomes entirely redundant.

Related questions in this case include:

a) seriously now, would you trust someone to write an historical novel if you knew their recall of much more recent events was, to say the least, decidedly shaky?

and

b) is a credulous fan of the Zionist narrative really the best person to interview that someone? 

I hasten to add that I haven't actually read the 'historical' novel concerned. My problem here is solely with parts of the following interview with its author:

Geraldine Doogue: Gertrude Bell was a British historian and linguist, a mountaineer, an intrepid adventurer as well as a diplomat and self-acclaimed [?] kingmaker in a region where Western women were few and far between. This was in the early years of the 20th century. Her story's coming to the big screen soon with Nicole Kidman taking on her role in a film directed by Werner Herzog, and a recently-published historical novel is also helping to make her incredible story more widely known. The Australian columnist and writer, Alan Gold is the author of Bell of the Desert, a novel, and I'm delighted to say he's with me in the studio... Gertrude Bell was a woman ahead of her time. She was tall, whip-smart, and somewhat unconventional, as you write. How did you become interested in her story? (Bell of the Desert, Saturday Extra, Radio National, 7/3/15)

Alan Gold: It was obviously around the time of the great kerfuffle in Iraq...

kerfuffle (n): a commotion or fuss

Half a million deaths or more. Millions of refugees. A country in tatters? That's a kerfuffle?

Geraldine Doogue: Circumstances took her to Tehran as a young Oxford graduate, that's Tehran, Iran, and this is where she quickly became fascinated with the Arab world...

So the best place to develop an interest in the Arab world is... Iran?! Interesting.

Alan Gold: Why did [the British government] turn to this woman? Well, she had been in the area probably for 10-15 years before WW I, and what she'd done was, she'd used her time as an archaeologist, as an explorer, as an adventurer to go around, but because she was a woman she was able actually get inside the camps of the Arab chiefs, inside their tents. How was she able to? Because she did it through the wives. Because she befriended the wives, she actually gave status to the wives of the leaders of these Arabs and she not only showed them what a woman should do in the Western world, what perhaps a woman could do in Arabia, but she actually made them feel self-important and that gave greater importance to the chieftains.

Just think - where would these benighted creatures have been without Gerty? One thing I imagine she taught them was the perils and pitfalls of giving women the right to vote. After all, Gerty was a big supporter of the Anti-Suffrage League (1908-18).

***

Alan Gold: After the First World War... there was a virtual vacuum in that whole area, Mesopotamia... they needed a king. So [Gertrude] looked around for who would be a suitable king and she found a man who'd just been booted out of Syria as king of Syria by the French, and he was in exile in London. His name was Faisal.* She knew him very well so she went to London and said 'Listen, darling. I can make you king of Iraq.' He said, 'What's Iraq?' and she said 'Come and I'll show you.' He came out with her and she spent a year with him holding his hand going around all of Iraq, introducing him to all of the tribal leaders until eventually there was a plebiscite as to who should lead this new country and he was voted in as king by 98% of the people and that became the first kingdom of Iraq.

Dumb Arab! Just think - where would this benighted creature have been without Gerty? But here's the thing, is the above account really what happened? Iraqi historian, Ali A. Allawi has a very different take:

"By the end of December 1920, the approaches from British officialdom regarding Faisal's availability for a leading role in Iraq markedly increased. Apart from Lawrence's soundings, Lloyd George had asked Philip Kerr to elicit Faisal's views on Iraq, and Curzon sent Young to the same end. In both cases, Faisal's reply was adamantly insistent - perhaps disingenuously - that he would not consider the throne of Iraq as his brother 'Abdullah had already been nominated for the post... However, on the night of 7-8 January 1921, the matter of Faisal's availability for the throne of Iraq was officially broached. Kinahan Cornwallis, whom Faisal knew and trusted, had been asked by Curzon to approach Faisal and ascertain his position... Faisal was doubtful of 'Abdullah's prospects in Iraq... But [he said] if the throne remained unobtainable for 'Abdullah... then he would accept the nomination... On the same day that Cornwallis ended his visit to Faisal, 8 January 1921, Faisal set out to the country home of Edward Turnour, the Earl of Winterton... The guests included Lawrence, and the Conservative MPs William Ormsby-Gore and Walter Guinness. Winterton, an Irish peer, was a personal friend of Faisal and had served with the Northern Army in the march from Aqaba to Damascus. Faisal spent the weekend at Winterton's home, and there the conversation turned towards Iraq. Winterton, who had been primed by Curzon,  also broached the subject of Faisal's nomination for the Iraqi throne... Winterton's biographer describes a five-hour discussion between Faisal, Winterton and the other guests... 'Finally... Faisal agreed to become king of Iraq.... Convincing him was not an easy matter. He felt a deep bitterness about the way that he had been treated by the British and the French, and he made some wounding remarks about the British character generally'." (Faisal I of Iraq, 2014, pp 319-22)

Lawrence, Kerr, Young, Cornwallis, Turnour, Ormsby-Gore, Guinness... but no Gerty! And no 'What's Iraq?' either.

Allawi again:

"On 5 June [1921] Faisal revealed a cable from Major Marshall, the British Consul in Jeddah, advising him that the cruiser Northbrook would be arriving in Jeddah and would carry him and his party directly to Basra. On 12 June Faisal embarked on the Northbrook heading for Basra. On board with him were a group of prominent Iraqis who had taken refuge in the Hijaz after the collapse of the 1920 rebellion. They were now returning as part of the amnesty that had been declared by the British authorities in Iraq. They included the Sh'ia religious figure Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr, Yusuf al-Suwaidi, 'Abd al-Muhsin Abu-Tabikh, 'Alwan al-Yasiri, Rayih al-'Atiya and Ali Jawdat. Faisal also had his own group of advisers, including Rustum Haidar and Tahsin Qadri. Cornwallis, his newly appointed adviser... was also on the Northbrook... He had Faisal's confidence and was his trusted conduit for his dealings with the British authorities." (ibid pp 335-36)

A cast of thousands, but where was Gerty to hold his hand?

"The Ministry of Interior announced that 96% of the 'electorate' had assented to the election of faisal as king of Iraq." (ibid p 378)

What? Not 98? 

Alan Gold: At the beginning of the Gulf War when there was that terrible thing called shock and awe created by George Bush the first. What happened was the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein virtually disappeared which left Baghdad without government...

Is this really so hard? The Gulf War was waged by George H.W. Bush (aka George Bush senior) from 1990 to 1991; Shock & awe was perpetrated by George W. Bush (aka George Bush junior) in 2003.

Finally, I bet here's one quote from Gerty you're unlikely to find in Gold's book (or Herzog's film for that matter):

"By the way, I hate Mr. Balfour's Zionist pronouncement with regard to Syria. It's my belief that it can't be carried out; the country is wholly unsuited to the ends the Jews have in view; it is a poor land, incapable of great development and with a solid two-thirds of its population Mohammedan Arabs who look on Jews with contempt. I think myself they will ficher themselves pas mal of Zionist ambitions, which it would be an invidious task to try and force upon them. To my mind it's a wholly artificial scheme divorced from all relation to facts and I wish it the ill-success it deserves - and will get, I fancy." (Letters 25/1/18, gerty.ncl.ac.uk)

[*On Faisal see my 18/6/14 post Iraq According to the Herald.]

Friday, March 6, 2015

Deconstructing Q&A's 'Anti-Semitism' Segment 3

Finally, I'll focus on the contributions of the final three Q&A panelists: Jamila Rizvi, Editor-in-chief, Mamamia; Andrew Leigh, Labor MP; and Trisha Jha, Centre for Independent Studies.

Unfortunately, none of them engaged with the point raised by Miriam Margolyes - the role of Israel in driving attacks on Jews in Europe.

I'll spare you, therefore, the full transcript and merely paraphrase their not terribly enlightening comments:

Tony Jones: Jamila, I will just get you to reflect on the question asked at the beginning about the Ride With Me campaign and asked the question would anyone ride with religious Jews if they went in religious clothing into parts of Sydney.

Jamila Rizvi (taking Gordon's question at face value): It's all about the media. The media jumped on that story and ran with it. It was a 'good news' story. "I think the anti-Semitic attacks, which have been on the rise in Australia, have gotten less press because there is [sic] less stories to associate them with in the broader press."

Jamila must've been out to lunch when the Australian media went bananas over the boofheads-on-the-bus incident in Sydney in August last year.

Finally, just don't read those nasty comments on the internet!

Jamila, Jamila, you just don't get it. Where would Australia's Israel lobbyists be without them?

Tony Jones: Trisha, I'll bring you in, and, I guess, amid all the optimism, we probably should reflect on the fact that the same country that did those good things you're [Andrew Leigh] talking about also produced the Cronulla riots.

Trisha Jha: Cronulla? 'Not a good example of multicultural Australia.' The kind of fear that Erin was discussing, the kind of fear that I know Jamila has felt, and the kind of fear I have felt, is something Australia needs to work on a bit.

Well, yes. But I'd be most surprised if Erin Gordon's ever experienced such 'fear'. The trouble is that no one on the panel bothered to ask her.

Finally, Labor's Andrew Leigh was a great disappointment,* engaging in an incredibly long-winded homily on how good Australians really are deep down. The quip about talking under wet cement came to mind.

Happily, however, Miriam Margolyes had the last - highly relevant - word (which, with minor omissions, I reproduce here in full):  

I would like to say Jews in Australia have made a huge contribution... But I would like to see [them] make an attempt to influence the government of Israel not to bomb hospitals and children in Palestine and innocent people. If Australians saw that not all Jews behave in the way the Israelis do, maybe there wouldn't be this anti-Semitism. And let's make it absolutely clear: anti-Semitism is a rotten thing, an ignorant, stupid, horrible thing, as is anti-Muslim feeling. They have to be together.

[* In 2012, in defiance of PM Gillard, Leigh had drafted a motion to recognise Palestine as a non-member state observer at the UN - see my 1/12/12 post While You Weren't Looking.]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Deconstructing Q&A's 'Anti-Semitism' Segment 2

Tony Jones: Josh Frydenberg.

Josh Frydenberg: I'm worried about attacks on Muslims...

Oh really?

... just as I'm worried about attacks on Jews, but I don't think that the rise of anti-Semitism is about Israel, as Miriam puts it.

Well he would say that, wouldn't he?

I mean, the Jews were expelled from England in the 13th century, expelled from Spain in the 14th century, have had pogroms in the 17th, 18th and 19th century through the Ukraine and Russia, and, of course, we had the holocaust, which was the biggest extermination of a people. So this issue has been around long before the state of Israel. Now people do conflate Israeli policies [with Jews generally]...

Oh, you mean people like Netanyahu: "I feel that I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me, (and) of the entire Jewish people." (Brass warn Bibi of US speech 'dangers', George Carlstrom, The Times/The Australian, 3/3/15)

 ... and I don't agree with everything that Israel does...

Please cite just one (1) action of Israel's you've disagreed with in your 43 years on this planet.

... but I also will defend its ability to secure itself against some very hostile neighbours...

Hostile because they're naturally anti-Semitic or because European Jews took their land?

... and so I think there is a real dark cloud of anti-Semitism.

I see, nothing to do with any colonial takeover.

I don't see it in Australia as bad as it is in Europe, and we have seen it with attacks and killings at schools, at synagogues, from Copenhagen to Paris and elsewhere, and it is of great concern, and I'm pleased, I must say, Tony, that European leaders... are speaking out against anti-Semitism, and, recently, at the Auschwitz memorial service for the 70th anniversary of its liberation there was an unprecedented number of European leaders from Francois Hollande to the German president to the Polish president who all turned up to send a message not just about the atrocities of the Second World War but to say 'Never again', and they were saying 'Never again' against a backdrop of rising anti-Semitism in Europe.

Tony Jones: OK, so what do you say to the suggestion from our questioner that the hashtag #Hitlerwasright trended worldwide last year, and what do you see as being behind that?

Josh Frydenberg: Well, in Europe there were lots of demonstrations where it said 'Gas the Jews', whether it was in France, in Holland, and even, dare I say it, some of the messages on the placards that were held up in Australia during really anti-Israel, very violent anti-Israel protests, had to be seen to be believed...

Violent protests? Rubbish! Anti-Semitic placards? Rubbish! See my posts Slaughtering Them in Gaza, Smearing Them in Sydney (16/7/14) and Junk Journalism at the Herald (1/2/15) where I debunk these slanders.

So what is driving it? I think there is a lot of hate media that's coming out of the Middle East. People are being taught very young that Israel is always the source of all that is bad in that part of the world.

So despite Israel routinely invading, occupying, colonising, evicting, and murdering the natives, the latter think nothing of it until they're formally taught to hate it. Hm...

When we're seeing now [that] the greatest victims of ISIL being Muslims themselves, when we're seeing Syria burn, when we're seeing Egypt under military rule. When we're seeing Libya disintegrate as a state, who are the biggest victims of all this? They are Muslims, and it's got nothing to do with Israel.

I see. Leaving aside Israel's material contribution to the burning of Syria (See my 12/12/14 post A Side of Israel the World Too Rarely Acknowledges), and the fact that Libya simply disintegrated without any help whatsoever from NATO warplanes, maybe this Zionist apologist needs reminding of a time in postwar British history when Jewish terrorists, then waging a terror war against British civilian and military personnel in Palestine, provoked misguided Brits into targeting innocent English Jews:

"Since the anti-Jewish riots on 1-4 August [1947, sparked by the Irgun's hanging of two kidnapped British sergeants and the booby-trapping of their bodies in Palestine on August 1, 1947], Liverpool had seethed with hostility towards the Jews. The disturbances there had been more serious and prolonged than anywhere else. On the night of Saturday 2 August a Jewish-owned furniture-making factory was set alight by arsonists and extremely damaged. On the Sunday a clothing store in Myrtle Street belonging to a Jewish family was smashed up by a mob 'several hundred strong'. Other shops were damaged too. Twenty arrests were made over the weekend. Crowds gathered in the streets again on bank holiday Monday. They threw bricks through shop windows and looted the already battered clothing store. The damaged cabinet works was set on fire again. Police were forced to disperse mobs throughout the day and made two arrests for suspected arson. In an effort to calm the atmosphere the lord mayor made a statement to the local press condemning the riots as 'unfair' and 'unEnglish' because they hit at innocent Jews who had nothing to do with the events in Palestine. Whereas in other cities the ill-feeling over the murder of the two sergeants subsided, Liverpool continued to simmer. For weeks afterwards workers in the local abattoir refused to co-operate with Jewish butchers in the slaughter of animals according to the Jewish dietary regulations, forcing Jews to import kosher meat from Manchester. Jews were verbally abused in the streets and stones were thrown at their cars." (Major Farran's Hat: Murder, Scandal & Britain's War Against Jewish Terrorism 1945-1948, p 179-80)

Of course, had Frydenberg been around in Britain at the time, he woul've put it all down to anti-Semitism.

[See also my 6/7/12 post Anyone Remember the Stern Gang's London Offensive?]

To be continued...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Deconstructing Q&A's 'Anti-Semitism' Segment 1

As usual, what panelists say on Q&A often sorts the wheat from the chaff, particularly when the subject under discussion is Palestine/Israel. Monday's program only reconfirmed my contention. Herewith, a deconstruction in 3 parts:

Erin Gordon: After the Sydney siege, we were all heartened to see the #illridewithyou campaign...

Oh really?

However, I would like to ask the panel 'Who would ride with us, the Australian Jews, if we were to travel in particular areas of Sydney...

Such as?

... in our religious clothing.

Heard the one about the ultra-orthodox rabbi walking down Haldon St, Lakemba?

No?

Neither have I. 

Anti-Semitic attacks have risen 35% in the past year and physical incidents 200%.

You are now entering the realm of 'lies, damn lies and statistics'. Gordon doesn't say so, but her figures are taken from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry's Report on Antisemitism in Australia 2014, which uses the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism's bogus 'working definition' of anti-Semitism, illegitimately incorporating anti-Israel criteria.

IOW, an Israel lobby report based on an Israel-friendly definition of anti-Semitism. 

ECAJ's report is primarily concerned with alleged anti-Semitic comments ("increasingly open anti-Semitism associated with polemical attacks against Israel as part of the fallout of the Israel-Gaza war") arising out of perfectly valid commentary/analysis by journalists and politicians such as Peter Goers, John Lyons, Glen Le Lievre, Bob Carr and Malcolm Fraser. These comments are described as having increased by 35%, ie from 231 (2013) to 312 (2014).

As for "physical incidents" increasing by 200%, this is based on the same report's allegation that "physical attacks" have risen from 5 (2013) to 15 (2014). In the same part of the report, "abuse" is noted to have declined by 35% from 115 (2013) to 75 (2014), but as that doesn't buttress Gordon's argument, it's been conveniently left out.

(On the so-called new anti-Semitism, see my posts: The Tel Aviv Declaration on Combating Criticism of Israel (17/5/13); Criminalising Criticism of Israel (24/7/11); The Analogies That Got Away (25/4/09); Sheridan in Love 4 (17/5/09); Backman & the New Anti-Semitism (30/1/09).)

Why is there this precedent [sic] and yet we have received no widespread support from the general public?

Maybe because the public knows that the new anti-Semitism is really Islamophobia.

Is it not alarming to the public that the hashtag #Hitlerwasright trended worldwide last year?

Absolutely! But with apartheid Israel parading itself as the Jewish State what can you expect from the hoi polloi? 

Tony Jones: Miriam Margolyes?

Miriam Margolyes (taking the above question at face value): People don't like Jews.

In retrospect I'm sure Miriam meant 'some' people. After all, such an assertion flies in the face of her testimony in last week's Good Weekend (Miss Margolyes Mysteries, Jane Cadzow, 21/2/15): "Everywhere I go in Australia... people come up to me in the street and say, 'I love you!'"

"It's not comfortable to say that and it's not comfortable to hear it. After the holocaust, it was not fashionable or possible to be anti-Semitic because of the horrors that Jews experienced during the holocaust. But because of the actions of the State of Israel and the appalling treatment of the Israelis towards the Palestinians, and the settlements that have been built in contravention of United Nations rulings and the support that has been given by American Jews and Australian Jews to what is going on in Israel, anti-Semitism has again reared its horrific, ugly head and anti-Semitism is as unacceptable as anti-Muslim feeling.

Tony Jones: I am just going to go back to our questioner. Do you accept that response? I mean their appears to be blame levelled at the state of Israel for the rise in anti-Semitism.

Appears to be...?

Erin Gordon: I mean, Israel and Judaism, they are interlinked, but they are separate things.

So who routinely conflates the two, Ms Gordon?

Not every Jew supports everything that Israel does, like, but why should we still face some anti-Semitism that's going on in Australia, not in Israel? Why is that an acceptable level whereas the #illridewithyou campaign, just because of the incidents of a group of people in another country?

Miriam Margolyes: I think you are right to be furious about it and I would be, as a Jew and as a non-Zionist Jew. I am shocked that there are anti-Semitic outbursts but it hasn't got to the level that it did in France where people were killed. Remember that. And we have to just keep fighting it and demand that we be given the respect that all citizens should enjoy and a sense of safety that all citizens should enjoy, but you asked me why, and I think that is the reason. I think it is because of Israel.

Tony Jones: Can I just ask you a logical follow-up question? Is the rise in Islamophobia related to what happens in Arab countries?

Miriam Margolyes: I have no doubt that it is because of these murderous bastards and the terrible things they are doing. Of course people are going to react in the way that they do, but just the same an ordinary person would be horrified if they saw what goes on in Gaza and Palestine. It is unacceptable, and when you know that something is morally unacceptable you have to do something about it. Not to the level of murder. That is not acceptable.

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

France: On the Road to Criminalising Anti-Zionism? 2

Continued from the previous post:

"If we can say that the horrible actions of Islamic State are a perversion of the beliefs of the vast majority of the world's Muslims, can we also not say that Zionism is a perversion of Judaism? CRIF insists that the Paris attacks be labeled 'Islamist'. By the same logic, should we label Israel's crimes acts of 'violent radical Judaism'?

"While anti-Zionist Jews, secular and religious, have always insisted that Israel and Zionism do not represent them or their religion or cultures, politicians like Hollande reinforce the false and dangerous association between Jews as Jews on the one hand and Israel's violent racist colonialism against the Palestinians on the other. Some misguided youths, hearing these messages, may indeed believe Israel's claim that 'the Jews' are the enemies of the Palestinians and direct their anger or hatred towards Jewish targets. They may hear the Islamophobic diatribes emanating from many right-wing and liberal supporters of Israel and also conclude - falsely - that 'the Jews' are the enemies of 'the Muslims'. The message has to be clear always and is worth repeating: words or acts targeting Jews as Jews are never a form of solidarity with the Palestinians."

"In his address to CRIF, Hollande spoke about the 'Israeli-Palestinian conflict' in the bland terms of the defunct 'peace process'. He reaffirmed France's commitment to the fantasy of the 'two-state solution'... He offered not a single word of comfort or anger about the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza where there has been no reconstruction since Israel's summer attack devastated much of the besieged and impoverished territory. Hollande warned that those who do not learn from history are destined to relive it. Yet there was not one word of accountability or justice for the Israeli war crimes that left more than 2,200 people, including more than 500 children, dead in Gaza.

"Why are 1.8 million Palestinians, mostly refugees from present-day Israel, caged in Gaza under such abominable conditions in the first place? The answer is simple: their mere existence, the fact that they live and breathe as non-Jews, is considered a threat to Israel's self-declared identity as a 'Jewish state'. Palestinians are in a ghetto because of who they are and France's president has nothing to say about that.

"While French leaders are doing their best to pander to the prejudices of their audience, it is doubtful it will be enough. Richard Prasquier, the former president of CRIF, went on national television to say that Hollande and Valls had not gone far enough. CRIF's current president Roger Cukierman provoked anger from the French Muslim community leaders by declaring that 'all the violent attacks today are committed by young Muslims.' Cukierman also praised Marine Le Pen, leader of the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and traditionally deeply anti-Semitic National Front, as 'irreproachable'.

"Alas Hollande's ardor to combat racism was nowhere in sight when it came to the fanatical anti-Arab racism of Israel's leading political parties. CRIF heard no rebuke from the supposedly anti-racist Hollande for Cukierman's public embrace of Israeli ultra-nationalist politician Naftali Bennett, who boasts about how many Arabs he has killed and claims that Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land are 'protecting London, Paris and Madrid.'

"In his speech Hollande announced education reforms to reinforce the messages he gave to CRIF. But what France really needs to teach its Jewish and Muslim citizens is that contrary to Israeli claims, Israel does not represent Jews and that Israeli policies and Israeli crimes are not Jewish policies or Jewish crimes. The irony is that it might prove more difficult to convince French Jews and Christians of this than it is to convince French Muslims."

Monday, March 2, 2015

France: On the Road to Criminalising Anti-Zionism? 1

"French president Francois Hollande has said his government will soon announce a raft of tough criminal laws to crack down on anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and Holocaust denial. He made the announcement in a speech to CRIF, France's main Jewish communal body and Israel lobby group, on Monday. Hollande said that the Internet needed to be 'regulated' to suppress videos and even search results deemed 'anti-Semitic'. The president said the appropriate model would be the laws used to prevent the dissemination of child pornography. But the measures are likely only to make matters worse, among other things by criminalizing criticism of Israel and further conflating Zionism with Judaism...

"Hollande said that details of the draft law would be announced in the coming days by his prime minister Manuel Valls... Hollande promised that the laws would become more punitive, so that 'no anti-Semitic word or act goes without a response'... Only in passing... did Hollande mention that anti-Muslim hate attacks in France in January alone exceeded the entire number recorded in 2014. He did not announce any specific measures to combat this alarming phenomenon... Hollande did not consider that it was 'Western' interventions in Syria, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere that gave rise to the menace known as Islamic State...

"The president told CRIF that anti-Semitism has ancient routes, but asserted that 'a more recent source is hatred of Israel.' But if this is the case, who decides what is 'anti-Semitic'? If all anti-Israel and anti-Zionist statements will be considered anti-Semitic then hundreds if not thousands of publications in tens of languages will have to be banned by France. Hollande shared some disturbing statistics: in 2014 there were twice as many 'anti-Semitic acts' recorded as in 2013 and ten times more than before the year 2000. Lest I be accused of 'justifying' these acts, let me be clear: nothing, including Israel's crimes against Palestinians, justifies insulting or attacking Jews as Jews. But can it be a mere coincidence that 2014 was the year of Israel's latest horrific massacre of Palestinians in Gaza that was fully backed by the United States and most EU members, including France? Can it also be a coincidence that 2000 was the year the second intifada began and Israel launched a brutal crackdown that has since killed more than 8,000 Palestinians, often with weapons provided by those same states?

"What is the relationship between these facts? While Hollande insists that 'hatred' of Israel is a form of, or a 'source' of 'anti-Semitism', he does not acknowledge the role of Israel in generating the intense hostility sometimes misdirected against Jews. 

"The Palestinian national movement has always correctly insisted that its enemies are not 'the Jews', but rather Israel and the Zionist colonial movement. 

"Yet it is Israel that continues to insist that it acts in the name of Jews everywhere. 

"It is Benjamin Netanyahu who apparently considers himself not just prime minister of Israel but the leader of world Jewry. 

"It is Israel that has taken the symbols of the Jewish religion - including its most recognized one, the Star of David - and affixed it to uniforms and weapons of destruction and death that are used to carry out atrocities in Palestine and Lebanon. 

"It is Zionists who have taken holy scriptures and claimed that they provide a license for modern day Brooklynites and Parisians to violently steal land from Palestinian villagers. 

"It is Israel's government-financed settlers who torch Palestinian mosques and daub their walls with 'biblical phrases'. 

"It is Israel-government-backed religious fanatics who yearn - and plan - to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and replace it with a 'Jewish temple'. 

"It is Israel that used the Paris Grand Synagogue as a recruiting base for its army and it is Israeli army commanders who cite Hebrew scripture to justify laying waste to Gaza." (France must treat online 'anti-Semitism' like child pornography, president says, Ali Abunimah, electronicintifada.net, 25/2/15)

Part 2 tomorrow.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Guide for the Perplexed Jewish Uni Student

During Orientation Week at Australian universities, newly arrived Jewish students are likely to encounter and be encouraged to join the Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS).

So what's on offer?

An editorial in The Australian Jewish News explains:

"Fortunately, the benefits of belonging to AUJS don't only amount to defending Israel. What you get out of the organisation can be as simple as a bagel with a few Jewish mates between classes." (Applause for AUJS, 27/2/15)

Israel & bagels?!

Buyer beware!

If you're ever tempted to go to an AUJS outlet for your bagel and camaraderie, and the AUJS guy/gal asks, 'Do you want Israel with that?' you can always say, 'Thanks, but no thanks'.