Thursday, July 30, 2015

Go Back To Where You Came From

"'I just want to live a respectable life here as a human; I just say, welcome us,' Ammar Mershed says in one of the most moving scenes in the new series of the award-winning Go Back to Where You Came From... Mershed is a Palestinian refugee from Iraq, encountered by some of the opinionated group early in the first episode. He's a deeply sincere but jolly and hospitable man now working as a teacher's aide. His family has settled in western Sydney's Bankstown, part of the world's 5 million stateless Palestinians." (The turnaround, First Watch, Graeme Blundell, Weekend Australian Review, 25/7/15)

Graeme Blundell's sympathetic sketch of Palestinian refugee Ammar Mershed is most unusual for a Murdoch rag. What a pity it isn't longer.

If I may take the liberty of adding the missing details:

Back in 1948, the Mershed family was driven out of their Palestinian homeland by the fanatical forces of Jewish State in the Levant (JSIL) and never allowed back. In those grim days, if any Palestinian refugees were caught by JSIL gunmen trying to return to their homes and lands, they were labelled 'infiltrators' and simply shot out of hand. (Ditto today, 67 years later.) The family found their way, somehow, to Iraq, where Ammar was born.

Then in 2003, Ammar, now with a family of his own, was displaced yet again after a cabal of JSIL-linked US neocons, having risen to giddy prominence in the administration of George W. Bush, persuaded that dumbarse and his cronies that Iraq should be next on his to-do list after Afghanistan. And so Ammar and his family found themselves once more on the run.

Somehow they ended up in Australia, where occasionally he'd encounter racist bogans who'd tell him to go back where he came from. But what could he do? He couldn't tell them that he came from Palestine and would give his right arm to go back there if he could, because he knew that the idea of a refugee actually wanting to go back to where he came from was simply too hard for these mental defectives to understand. They'd just think he was nuts, or trying to be funny, and get even more aggro. And anyway, some of them had actually taken to waving JSIL flags at Reclaim Australia rallies.

So whenever these grubs crossed his path and shot their mouths off, Ammar had little choice but to grin and bear it, retreat to the safety of his public housing digs in Bankstown, focus on the little map of Palestine, lovingly carved from the wood of an olive tree, which hung on his living room wall, and say to himself: Next year in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Danby & Dreyfus Heart ALP's Palestine Resolution

Do you need to know anything more about this deplorable ALP resolution than the following?

"Bill Shorten's Victorian Right faction - the most pro-Israel group in the ALP - was claiming victory yesterday after the Labor conference passed a motion that stopped short of unilateral recognition of Palestine and rejected the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign... Victorian MPs Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus, who are both Jewish, issued a joint statement in support of the resolution, which was put up in place of two Left motions that were advocating a harder pro-Palestine line but were withdrawn." (Right hails anti-BDS motion as victory on pro-Israel front, Rick Wallace/Stefanie Balogh, The Australian, 27/7/15)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ALP Fiddles While Palestine Burns

My between-the-lines reading of Labor's latest position on Palestine:

The Australian Labor Party conference:

Affirms Labor's support for an enduring and just two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties, and reflecting the legitimate rights* and aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state.

This merely means that Labor supports the division of historical Palestine into a sectarian, Jews-only apartheid state on 78% + of its former territory, and a bantustan, or series thereof, on what's left over.

Deplores the tragic conflict in Gaza and supports an end to rocket attacks by Hamas and the exercise of the maximum possible restraint by Israel in response to these attacks.

The crushing Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza, however, is not deplored. (Notice here the recycling of that musty Zionist propaganda trope: Palestinians always attack and Israelis only ever retaliate. Moving from propaganda to reality, what is actually being said here is that, while Palestinian retaliation must end, Israeli attacks are fine - just so long as they don't make the headlines.) 

Supports a negotiated settlement between the parties to the conflict, based on international frameworks, laws and norms.

... but not countless UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

Recognises in government Labor retained its commitment to two states for two peoples in the Middle East and specifically:

*Did not block enhanced Palestinian status in the General Assembly;

IOW didn't vote for it.

*Restated the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory;

Really? Must've missed that one. All I can remember is Blinky Bill saying, "Middle Eastern issues are very complex..." (See my 9/6/14 post Israeli-Occupied Labor.) 

*Opposed Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, recognising that a just, peaceful and enduring resolution will involve a territorial settlement based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps;

That one too.

*Held that the settlements are illegal under international law.

What's with the bleeding obvious here? What's next? Labor held that water is wet?

Recognises that any resolution will be based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, a timeframe to end Israeli occupation, demilitarisation of Palestinian territory, agreement on a solution to Palestinian refugee issues, and resolution of the issue of Jerusalem's final status.

So only the proposed Palestinian bantustan is to be disarmed...

Agreement on a solution to Palestinian refugee issues? Issues? What f*****g issues?

Anyway, we already have a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. It's called UNGA Resolution 194 and calls on Israel to repatriate those Palestinian refugees wishing to return or compensate those who choose not to. After all, we voted for it when it was first moved on December 11, 1948.

And if that's not enough, there's also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Specifically, Article 13(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, AND TO RETURN TO HIS COUNTRY.

As for East Jerusalem, the resolution has already stated that it is occupied territory, so shouldn't it be calling for an end to same?

Recognises that settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace.

Labor calls on Israel to cease all such settlement expansion to support renewed negotiations toward peace.

Settlement expansion? Hang on - Labor has already acknowledged that Israeli settlements are illegal so shouldn't it be calling on Israel to DISMANTLE the bloody things, lock, stock and barrel?

Rejects the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Since BDS is merely a strategy to pressure Israel to

a) end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in 1967 and dismantle the wall;
b) recognize the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
c) respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

Labor needs to spell out why exactly it rejects BDS.

But, of course, it won't, because then it'd sound indistinguishable from Zionist dead-enders who mutter darkly about a Palestinian 'demographic time bomb'. Definitely not a good look that one. 

Condemns the comments of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, during the recent elections where he ruled out a Palestinian state, and further condemns his appeals to race during the campaign.

Oh, FFS, the Likud platform has always ruled out a Palestinian state, and Zionism is racism. And apartheid.

Recognises a lasting peace will require a future state of Palestine to recognise the right of Israel to exist.

What this actually means is that, for Labor, the onus is on the dispossessed and occupied Palestinian people to give their seal of approval to the continued existence of the apartheid, Jewish supremacist regime which usurped their ancestral Palestinian homeland

Recognises the special circumstances of the Palestinian people, their desire for respect, and the achievement of their legitimate aspiration to live in independence in a state of their own. This a cause Labor is committed to. If, however, there is no progress in the next round of the peace process, a future Labor government will discuss joining like-minded nations who have already recognised Palestine and announcing the conditions and timelines for the Australian recognition of a Palestinian state, with the objective of contributing to peace and security in the Middle East.

That's it??? That's what we're supposed to write home about??? That's the light at the end of the tunnel???

Pull the other, Labor!

[*I'm using the version of the resolution that appeared on the Guardian Australia website. I note that in the Australian of 27/7 there is no reference to Palestinian rights, only legitimate aspirations. WTF! Will the real resolution please stand up.]

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Two Questions for Joe Bullock

Joe Bullock (a Labor senator for Western Australia) has gone to the extraordinary length of publishing, in the Australian, a propaganda blast for Israel on the eve of this week's Labor conference (24-26/7/15), where the issue of Israel and Palestine is to be discussed.

In it, he asks, "Why the focus on Israel and Palestine?" and denigrates I/P-focused Labor colleagues as "obsessives" and "cranks." (ALP must support two-state Middle East peace process: A motion intended to undermine bipartisan commitment was foolish & reckless, 24/7/15)

The all-too-easy answer to his question, of course, may be discerned in my last post, Pardon My French (24/7/15).

As for the rest of us, the really interesting question is why a former union boss (up until last July, Bullock was state secretary of the right-wing Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association), should have taken the time and trouble to emit something on this of all subjects.

Here's a sample paragraph:

"It is fashionable now to say the Israeli settlements are the cause of all the trouble, or that Benjamin Netanyahu is a barrier on the path to piece. Yet while Israel will have to give ground on settlements... so too will the Palestinians have to let go of the fiction that all descendents of the original Palestinian people are themselves refugees, with a 'right of return'."

Now if Joe can ask 'why?', so too can I:

1) Joe, why have you taken it upon yourself to label the international law-backed right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel a "fiction," while ignoring completely the real fiction in the matter, namely that the likes of Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus (to name but two of your Labor colleagues) belong to a nebulous entity known as 'the Jewish people'; are part of a diaspora whose true home lies on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea; and can, should they so desire, migrate to Israel under the provisions of its apartheid (Jews-only) Law of Return?

2) And Joe, why does your cited paragraph bear an uncanny resemblance to the words of Israel's UN envoy, Ron Prosor?

"'UNRWA fuels false promises and gives grievance to dangerous myths. We have heard time and again that settlements are a major hurdle to peace. In these halls, no one will admit that the real obstacle is the so-called 'claim to return'... UNRWA is responsible for helping fuel this 'fiction' of the right of return to Palestinian children..." (Israeli UN envoy: UNRWA fuels 'fiction' of Palestinian 'right of return', Maya Shwayder, The Jerusalem Post, 20/5/14)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pardon My French

The Australian Labor Party conference is now in full swing and, according to this week's Australian Jewish News, frontbencher Tony Burke "is expected to propose a resolution stating that if 'there is no progress to a two-state solution, and Israel continues to build and expand settlements, a future Labor government will consult like-minded nations towards recognition of the Palestinian state'." (Labor Party set to debate Palestine recognition, 24/7/15)

Will consult like-minded nations?

That's it? That's the whole f*****g enchilada?

You have got to be f*****g joking?!!!

Here it is 2015, and we've had almost 100 f*****g years of Zionist predation in Palestine. Jesus Christ, there's barely any of it left in Palestinian hands!

Most Palestinians are still living in exile, warehoused now for 67 f*****g years.

And most of the rest have been living under military occupation for nigh on 48 f*****g years.

One lot are even bombed mercilessly every few f*****g years just to show them who's boss.

But consulting with like-minded nations is the best Labor can come up with?!!!

And even that's going too f*****g far for the hardcore Zionist fanatics in the Labor cult:

"Meanwhile, a leading group within the ALP - comprising Melbourne Ports MP Michael Danby; Mike Kelly, foreign affairs adviser to Shorten; shadow-attorney general Mark Dreyfus; shadow defence minister Stephen Conroy; and former NSW Labor Council secretary Michael Easson - is believed to be working on a formula to minimise a proposed change of direction by the ALP on Palestinian statehood." (ibid)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

First Colonel Kemp, Now Alan Johnson

There's no doubt about it, Sydney University, home to Professor Jake Lynch, the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies, and Sydney Staff for BDS, is being targeted by the Israel lobby.

First, there was Colonel Kemp*, and now, Alan Johnson:

"Apart from weapons, the way to defeat Islamic terrorism may be to engage in 'deeds of real opportunity' to win over young Muslims, such as an economic reconstruction 'Marshall Plan' for Gaza in exchange for demilitarization, according to leftist British political theorist Alan Johnson. He said social democratic movements in the West were operating in 'a kind of organised incoherence,' including slavishly attacking the traditional punching bags of Israel and the US... Professor Johnson, a senior associate at the British Labour-leaning think tank the Foreign Policy Centre, and a senior fellow at the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre [BICOM], was addressing a Sydney University audience." (Fight extremists 'with hearts and minds', Ean Higgins, The Australian, 23/7/15)

So "young Muslims" are going to be inspired by an end to Palestinian resistance and the transformation of the Gaza Ghetto into a pool of cheap labour for Israel? Hm...

If, on the other hand, Johnson had taken a different leaf out of US Secretary of State (1947-49) George Marshall's book, namely, that statesman's opposition to the partition of Palestine in 1947 and US recognition of the state of Israel in May 1948, there'd be no such thing as a USraeli "punching bag" today. (See my 12/10/12 post Mitt Romney is No George Marshall.)

So who's next at Sydney U?

[*See my 17/4/15 post The Trouble With Colonel Kemp.]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Price Israel?

We live in very strange times:

"Obama hammered the same no-deal point in a series of interviews this week, telling The New York Times: 'Our ability to sustain sanctions was not on the cards. Keep in mind that it's not just Iran that paid a price for sanctions. China, Japan, South Korea, India - pretty much any oil importer that had previously [imported] from Iran - found themselves in a situation where it was costing billions of dollars to sustain these sanctions." (Nuclear fusion, Paul McGeough, Sydney Morning Herald, 18/7/15)

IOW, pandering to Israel's obsession with Iran was costing the world billions of dollars. Amazing!

"On Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon confirmed the nation expects significant 'compensation' from the US in the form of a major new arms package after the Iran nuclear deal. Today, officials confirmed that they are mulling an 'unprecedented' package for Israel." (US preparing 'unprecedented' new arms package to Israel for Iran deal, Jason Ditz,, 19/7/15)

Unprecedented? You want unprecedented? I'll give you bloody unprecedented: never before, in the annals of history, has a vassal state led a superpower by the nose. Unbelievable!   

Monday, July 20, 2015

At Home With the Sheridans

Much more interesting than Greg Sheridan's predictable, Netanyahu-style denunciation of Obama's just-concluded nuclear deal with Iran in The Weekend Australian (A deal beyond belief) was his more personal piece for The Weekend Australian Review:

"Over three or four days we watched a gobsmacking 24 hours of [the crime series] Ray Donovan." (The Forum)

(For those not in-the-know, and I quote here from Wikipedia, "The show takes place in Los Angeles... where Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber)... works for the powerful law firm Goldman & Drexler, representing the rich and famous. Donovan is a 'fixer': in criminal slang, a person who arranges for bribes or payoffs of corrupt police or government officials, or other criminals, to enable a criminal to avoid punishment. Ray experiences his own problems when his father, Micky Donovan (Jon Voight), is unexpectedly released from prison, and FBI agents try bringing down Ray and his associates.")

What is it about Ray Donovan, I hear you asking, that can so deflect Australia's "most serious foreign affairs analyst," (or so the Australian's website hypes its foreign editor) from his intellectual labours? After all, is he not our dear leader's 'Suppository of All (foreign policy) Wisdom'?  And hasn't Tony Abbott muttered darkly that Daesh is "coming after us."

Quite frankly, in these dark days, you'd think he'd have better to do than waste his time with such nonsense.

But no, a mere whiff of Israeli pheromones, or in this case their audio-visual equivalent, and Greg Sheridan's out of it:

"One of its many clever tricks is to have almost all the significant roles played by big-time movie stars... Liev Schreiber (now there's an Irish name for you) plays an astonishingly powerfully played central character; Jon Voight as his father, almost equally so; while James Woods is repulsive as a truly ghastly gangster. One of the best characters is Avi, the former Mossad agent who is Ray's right-hand man. With his magnificent mellifluous Israeli accent, Avi is the most likable of all the gangsters, a soft-hearted mother's boy, the most emotionally in touch."

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Suggestion for Angela Merkel

"Politics is sometimes hard. You're right in front of me now and you're an extremely sympathetic person. But you also know in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are thousands and thousands and if we were to say you can all come... we just can't manage it."

That's what German Chancellor Angela Merkel said to Reem, a Palestinian teenager whose family faces deportation from Germany, on German television recently.

A bridge too far, Frau Merkel?

Well, how about you call on Israel to admit those thousands and thousands of Palestinian refugees in camps in Lebanon and elsewhere?

You could remind them that if Germany has done the right thing and made room for thousands of German/Israeli dual nationals,* the descendents of German Jews ethnically cleansed by the Nazis in the 1930s, Israel should do the same and make room for the descendents of Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces in 1948.

And you might like to add: 'No more nice, shiny German war toys until you do.'**

[*See my 25/10/09 post Treat 'Em Mean; **See Jews stream back to Germany, Donald Snyder,, 8/4/12.]

Friday, July 17, 2015

BDS: 10 Years On

From the Mondoweiss interview (9/7/15) with Omar Barghouti, author of the BDS manifesto, BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (2011):

"BDS has played a critical role in changing the discourse on the question of Palestine after more than two decades of a fraudulent 'peace process' that undermined Palestinian rights and served as a fig leaf for the expansion and entrenchment of Israel's regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

"Today, Israel recognizes BDS as a 'strategic threat' to its entire regime of oppression for several reasons. BDS is mainstreaming the quest for the UN-stipulated but long-ignored rights of the entire Palestinian people and is gradually and methodically succeeding in isolating Israel academically, culturally and, to a lesser extent, economically as well.

"Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid struggle, BDS is also succeeding in exposing the toxicity of the 'brand' Israel. The impact of the non-violent, Palestinian-led, global BDS movement has grown steadily since BDS was launched in 2005. But in the last two years it has accelerated for various reasons. When you plant seeds and nourish them with care and consistency, they will eventually yield good fruits. We are now beginning to harvest the fruits of 10 years of strategic, morally consistent and undeniably effective BDS human rights campaigning.

"BDS is winning the battles for hearts and minds across the world, despite Israel's still hegemonic influence among governments in the US and Europe.

"The impact of BDS at 10 is now recognized by top Israeli political, security and business leaders and even a former CIA director.

"A just published UN report shows that direct foreign investment in Israel has dropped by 46% in 2014 as compared to 2013. An Israeli co-author of this report has attributed this sharp decrease partially to BDS.

"A recent Rand study estimated Israel's economic losses in the coming 10 years if BDS continues at $47 billion. Thus the panic you see in Israel's establishment.

"Since June 2013, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has effectively declared the BDS movement a 'strategic threat' by assigning overall responsibility for fighting BDS to the ministry of strategic affairs.

"Israeli president Reuven Rivlin has recently characterized the academic boycott of Israel as a 'first-rate strategic threat' to Israel's regime of occupation and apartheid.

"The former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit is convinced that BDS has become a 'critical' challenge to Israel, while the former prime minister Ehud Barak admits it is reaching a 'tipping point.'

"Israel's election of the most extreme, far-right government in its history, shedding its last democratic pretenses and adopting unmasked colonial policies, will increase Palestinian suffering without doubt. But it will also enhance the already impressive growth of BDS.

"The BBC Globescan poll of international public opinion has consistently shown in the last few years Israel competing with North Korea in popularity around the world, including among Europe's largest nations."

Monday, July 13, 2015

Innocent Bystander

Notice how Israel is so out-of-the-picture in this sketch of Middle Eastern mayhem:

"Gunmen sworn to al-Qa'ida surge into battle under the noses of Israeli soldiers entrenched on the Golan Heights; in the Sinai, the Egyptians are still mopping up after an Islamic State offshoot killed dozens in an offensive that brushed the southern borders of Israel and Gaza. That troubled enclave, home to a largely Palestinian population of 1.8 million, continues to seethe a year on from the war with Israel that killed nearly 2300 people and left tens of thousands of homes in ruin, few if any of which have been rebuilt. If Bashar al-Assad's ruthless regime in Syria is on its last legs - as the Israeli military believes - the fall of the last Baathist dictator would further destabilise Lebanon, already buckling under the pressure of feeding two million refugees and keeping a lid on its own sectarian tensions. In the eye of the storm that has engulfed the Middle East, Israel commands a unique position to assess the chaos unfolding on each of its terrestrial borders and is warily assessing whether to enter a fight it has avoided so far." (It all comes back to Iran, says Israel, Jamie Walker, The Australian, 11/7/15)

You wouldn't know from reading the above that:

a) the al-Qaida gunmen in southern Syria are supported by Israel;

b) the Golan-Heights is occupied Syrian territory;

c) Gaza isn't "troubled," it's blockaded, starved and periodically savaged by Israel; 

d) the so-called "war" with Israel was just the latest in a series of genocidal Israeli onslaughts against an impoverished and ghettoised refugee population;

e) in the ruthlessness stakes, no Baathist dictator could possibly compete with Israel;

f) Israel's repeated invasions of Lebanon over decades have done more to destabilise that country than any number of Syrian, Iraqi or Palestinian refugees;

g) chaos in the Middle East has Israel's name written all over it.

h) see a)

Still, Walker's 'reportage' has its amusing side:

"Recently, one of Netanyahu's senior advisers talked this correspondent through the Israeli government's view of its volatile neighbourhood... Islamic State was a problem... but not a first-order one for Israel because the IDF would never run like the Iraqi army did last summer, and the jihadis had no illusions about the consequences of a direct confrontation... But Hezbollah was a different matter entirely. The fighters it had blooded in the service of Assad numbered in the thousands and they would end up facing Israel Israel with advanced weaponry and know-how."

So let me get this straight:

Asad's on his "last legs," despite help from Hezbollah.

Obviously, this is because the ferocious, unstoppable jihadis have Asad and Hezbollah on the run, right?

But Israel's more worried about Hezbollah than the jihadis...

I see...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

God Help Australia 2


Top 10 Independents (Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, 11/7/15)

1 Grey, E.L. James - Christian's perspective in new Fifty Shades of Grey erotica.*
2 Enchanted Forest, Johanna Basford - Colouring-in book that has a quest at its heart.
3 Secret Garden, Johanna Basford - Another treasure hunt and colouring-in book.
4 The Mindfulness Colouring Book, Emma Farrarons - The new way to relieve your stress.
5 Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom, Millie Marotta - Animals for you to colour or add to.
6 The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins - What deadly mischief does the girl see from the train?
7 Rivertime, Trace Balla - A boy and his uncle paddle down the Glenelg River.
8 The Eye of the Sheep, Sofie Laguna - Winner of this year's Miles Franklin award.
9 All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr - Winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
10 The Mandalas Colouring Book, Beverley Lawson - Mandala patterns for grown-ups to colour in.

*"When billionaire businessman Christian Grey first catches sight of a young college student called Anastasia Steele, she is sprawled on her hands and knees in front of him. Intrigued, Christian decides that Ana has the right stuff to be his new sex slave..." (From the review of Grey, Christine Cremen, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, 11/7/15)


"My wife is 68 and I am 73, and we are both retired and in reasonable health. I have an indexed pension from the NSW State Super Scheme (SSS) of $3000 a fortnight. My wife took her super as a lump sum and, after paying off our mortgage has $200,000 in term deposits, along with about $75,000 in other accounts and about $60,000 in other assets. We own our own home, debt free, and our one son is independent and has his own family. How much age pension (full or part) are my wife and I eligible for, as we have not so far made any claims? I have received conflicting advice about this. S.L." (Your Questions: What strategy should I pursue in the run-up to retirement? Money, The Sun-Herald, 12/7/15)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Protocols of The Elders of Anti-Zion

Did you know that Zaky Mallah is the least of Q&A's problems, according Labor's Shadow Minister for Israel, Michal Danby MP?

In a vitriolic tirade in this week's edition of the Australian Jewish News, this Zionist fanatic has branded Q&A an "awful program" that has "baited Australia's 120,000 Jews for too long." (Ratbags at Q&A, 10/7/15)

That's right, an awful, Jew-baiting program.

And that's because, he mutters darkly, it is run by nasties with "hardline political agendas, operating in the shadows, to distort the public debate, shifting it in a direction that only the 'enlightened vanguard' like them, appreciate."

Apparently, Q&A is a conspiratorial cabal, a kind of Elders of Anti-Zion, if you will. And here's the proof:

"How often do we see Jews with anti-Israel views being paraded on the program? Usually these unrepresentative types use their ethnicity [???] to bag Israel during flare-ups in the Middle East. They have little or no expertise in Middle East affairs. Miriam Margolyes is a primary example of this phenomenon... Many of these folks would normally be excluded by their inarticulateness, such as the obscure Israeli-born fanatic, Ilan Pappe. Q&A even disinterred British violinist, Nigel Kennedy, whom the BBC censored for making anti-Israel editorials during one of his concerts."

Disinter! Disinter!

Then there's "the infamous Lee Rhiannon, the far-left Greens Senator from NSW."

And then there's...

Oh dear, he's run out of names! Just Margolyes, Pappe, Kennedy and Rhiannon!

Some Jew-baiting conspiracy that was.

Given that a selective memory is de rigueur for your Zionist fanatic, Danby can recall the appearance of only one true believer on the show:

"My mate Austen Tayshus (Sandy Gutman) is the closest I've ever seen to one of the very few mainstream Jewish representatives to have appeared on Q&A." (By ms Jewish representatives, Danby means Zionists.)

So let me jog his memory with the following list of Q&A guests, Zionists all:  

Irving Wallach (former head of the Zionist Youth Council of Australia)

Josh Frydenberg ("I will defend Israel's ability to secure itself against some very hostile neighbours.")

Mark Dreyfus (Palestinian observer status at the UN? NO WAY!)

Greg Sheridan ("Israel still looks good, warts & all.") 

Christopher Pyne ("BDS creates disharmony btw Israelis & Palestinians.")  

Tony Abbott ("We are all Israelis.") 

Julie Bishop ("Which international law has declared settlements illegal?")

Julia Gillard (Palestinian observer status at the UN? NO WAY!)

Kevin Rudd ("Support for Israel is in my DNA.")

To name but a few...

And so, having run out of puff on the ABC's Q&A, he has to pad out his rant with the following reference to SBS:

"Isn't it ironic that it's taken a Coptic Christian like executive director Michael Ebeid for a great network like SBS to have resumed balanced programming in this area?"

And thereby hangs a tale:

For the sad and sorry story of how SBS was caned by the Israel lobby and its parliamentary dupes following the 2011 screening of that superb docu-drama on the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine, The Promise, just click on the relevant label below.

And for the story of how its managing director, Michael Ebeid, was sent to an Israeli re-education camp in 2012 and graduated with flying colours (white & blue to be specific), see my 8/12/12 post Innocents Abroad, under the same label.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Her Master's Voice

Former Labor PM Paul Keating was moved to say of his late mother Minnie Keating that "At the core  of [her forthrightness] was a manic commitment to honesty and truth and her utter contempt for humbug and sleight of hand. Her guiding light was that which was true and right and she instilled those values into each of us as children and as adults." (Keating farewells his mother and guiding light, Andrew Hornery, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/7/15)

I very much doubt that this could be said of the author of the following letter (2/7/15), Hillary Clinton. The letter is essentially a shameless pitch for funds from the Israeli-American billionaire and mega-donor to the Democratic Party, Haim Saban, who said in 2004 that "I'm a one issue guy, and my issue is Israel."

"Dear Haim:

"I am writing to express my alarm over the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction [sic] movement, or 'BDS', a global effort to isolate the State of Israel by ending commercial and academic exchanges."

No, you're not. You're merely parroting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, specifically his 2014 AIPAC speech, where he refers to "the so-called BDS," and tells his American agents that it's "morally wrong" and "simply the latest chapter in the long and dark history of anti-Semitism."

"I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority. I am seeking your advice on how we can work together - across party lines and with a diverse array of voices - to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel."

Which is just another way of repeating these Netanyahu tropes:

"Today the singling out of the Jewish people has turned into the singling out of the Jewish state."

"But the BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It's about making Israel illegitimate."

"As you know, BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace. I remain convinced that Israel's long-term security and future as a Jewish state depends on having two states for two peoples. But that outcome can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians - it cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions."


"BDS sets back peace because it hardens Palestinian positions and it makes mutual compromise less likely."

"I am also very concerned by attempts to compare Israel to South African apartheid. Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world - especially in Europe - we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. After all, it was only six months ago that four Jews were targeted and killed in a Kosher supermarket in Paris as they did their Sabbath shopping."

Ah yes, the anti-Semitism card. Netanyahu again:

"We have a boisterous democracy where everyone has an opinion... Those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot."

"BDS is the latest attempt to single out Israel on the world stage, but we've seen this sort of attack before, at the UN and elsewhere. As Senator and Secretary of State, I saw how crucial it is for America to defend Israel at every turn. I have opposed dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, the Human Rights Council, and other international organizations. I condemned the biased Goldstone Report, making it clear that Israel must be allowed to defend itself like any other country. And I made sure the United States blocked Palestinian attempts at the UN to unilaterally declare statehood. Time after time, no matter the venue, I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel - and that's what I'll always do as President."

Hillary or no Hillary, Democrat or Republican, covering Israel's nakedness in the UN Security Council with its veto, or voting NO in the General Assembly or other UN body, is simply what we've come to expect from USrael.

Most recently, at the 29th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, the US was the only country to vote NO against a resolution 'ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in' the Occupied Palestinian territories, a vote which followed the release of the UN Human Rights report on the 2014 massacres in Gaza.

"Now I am seeking your thoughts and recommendations on how leaders and communities across America can work together to counter BDS. From Congress and state legislatures to boardrooms and classrooms, we need to engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike."

And classrooms???!!! 

"I hope you will work with me on this priority. It was more than three decades ago when Bill and I took our first trip to Israel...

Do you remember our first rambamming, Bill?

Did the earth move for you too, Bill?

"... walked the ancient streets of Jerusalem's Old City, and fell in love with the country and its people. Israel became a special place for us, and I'm lucky to have had many opportunities to return and to make many dear friends there over the years. The Jewish state is a modern day miracle - a vibrant bloom in the middle of a desert. We must nurture and protect it."

Israel's a plant alright, a poisonous settler-colonial implant which continues to blight every inch of occupied Palestine:

"'When I arrived on my farm on Wednesday morning. I was surprised when I saw an Israeli farming plane crossing the border towards farms inside Gaza,' farmer Ahmed Badawi said. 'The plane started to spray unidentified chemicals. My farm is 400 metres from the border and I planted several kinds of vegetables. Two days [later] negative effects started to appear on the plants.' Mahmoud Dalloul, another farmer in a different area near the border, said that this was not the first time..." (Israel sprays Gaza farms with poisonous gases, again,, 20/4/15)

"I will be speaking out publicly on this issue in the weeks ahead, so I am eager to hear your perspective and advice. 

"With warm regards, I am 

"Sincerely yours, 

"Hilary Rodham Clinton."

And Hillary has written in her own hand:

"Look forward to working with you on this."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lest We Forget Gaza

A timely reminder from Palestine Action Net (PAN):

1 Year Ago July 7 - August 26, 2014


Collective Punishment in Violation of International Law

* "During the 51-day operation the Israel Defense forces carried out more than 6,000 air strikes in Gaza many of which hit residential buildings." (A HRC 29:52, June 2015)

* 20,000 tons of explosives were dropped: "equivalent to one of the atomic bombs dropped by the US on Japan in 1945." (The 51-Day War, Blumenthal 2014)

* "The commission (OCHA) investigated 15 cases of strikes on residential buildings across Gaza. Many of the incidents took place when families gathered for iftar and suhur, the Ramadan meals, or at night when people were asleep [...] increasing the likelihood that many people, often entire families, would be at home." (A HRC 29:52, June 2015)


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monoculturalism Masquerading as Multiculturalism

Break out the champagne! The Australian Jewish News has just been awarded 'Best Image of the Year' in the that section of the 2015 Premier's Multicultural Media Awards.

The criteria for the category reads: "An image that makes a strong statement or commentary on multiculturalism." (

The winning image, featured on the front page of the current issue of the AJN (An iconic image), shows a crowd of Zionists waving Australian and Israeli flags in a Dover Heights Park last August against a backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

At the time, you'll remember, Israel's death machine was busy 'mowing the grass' in the Gaza Ghetto, an exercise which involved the unleashing of 49,000 tank and artillery shells over a 48-day period on the captive population, and which led to the deaths of 2,251, the wounding of 11,231, the displacement of 100,000, the destruction of 18,000 homes, the partial destruction of 80,000, the flattening of entire neighbourhoods, and the crippling of Gaza's key infrastructure.

Precisely what the image had to do with multiculturalism is beyond me, depicting as it does a bunch of comfortable, privileged, white Australians who apparently had no qualms whatever about coming out in support of the mass slaughter of an impoverished, ghettoised, refugee population by the death machine of a war-mongering, ethnocratic, apartheid state.

And this under the bizarre delusion that Palestine/Israel is really theirs, a sort of exclusive, Jews-only Club Med based on Palestinian Arab dispossession and exile.

Said AJN national editor Zeddy Lawrence of the photo:

"We are tremendously proud of [photographer] Noel [Kessel]. His picture captured the spirit of the community during one of the most challenging episodes in its recent history. At a time when anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment were peaking, the image showed that we would not cower. Instead, we would stand up in public, as proud Jews, proud Zionists and proud Australians." ( The AJN's photo finish)

Words fail...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hound Dog Herald

The first anniversary of Israel's 'Operation Protective Edge' (8/7/14-26/8/14) is fast approaching.

As the body count soared, this appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald of August 12, 2014:

"   Like lambs to slaughter

"It's time to get to the root of the problem in Gaza. That problem is not the occupation. The problem is Hamas, an Islamic terror organisation which keeps using Gaza's civilians as sacrificial lambs.  
"Read Mark Leibler's article online at"

Reading it, the lyrics from the 50s R&R classic Hound Dog came to mind:

Well, they said you was high-class
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah, they said you was high-class
Well, that was just a lie
Well, you ain't never caught no rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine

Saturday, July 4, 2015

So You Think It's Tough Being a Woman in the Labor Party?

"Women face systemic, cultural and rules-based impediments to participation in the Labor Party, according to a landmark report that urges strengthening affirmative action requirements for selecting candidates, officials and union delegations, and imposing sanctions for failure to comply." (Labor's internal sexism revealed, Troy Bramston, The Australian, 4/7/15)

OK, so Labor's still too blokey for female candidates. But, hey, it could be worse, far worse.

What if the candidate is not only a woman but has also been critical - even ONCE - of Israel as well?

That's when the going really gets tough. That's when a sort of McCarthyite process kicks in: 'Are you now, or have you ever been, a Palestinian sympathiser?'

Think I'm exaggerating? I wish! Just click on the Julia Irwin, Rose Jackson or Tanya Plibersek labels below...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Those Rebels, That Hospital, Our Ambassador & His Wife

"Israel has established a standard of its own - it and its supporters have erected what is probably the most substantial propaganda apparatus in modern history (in all history, given technological facilitation?). The mythical Goebbels' operation was small fry by comparison. The Zionist enterprise out-rivals the Soviet Union's post-WWII Cominform, not least because the latter's members were anathema to Western establishments whereas the former has been taken to their bosoms." (Israel's cheer squad and Sydney University - Part 1, Evan Jones,, 18/6/15)

Jones is spot-on, of course. For me, his comments call to mind the Israeli practice of picking up, and patching up, Syrian 'rebels' a little the worse for wear after a hard day's work in the emirate-in-progress just across the border (along with a handful of injured kids, for reasons that will become apparent as we proceed).

Here, for example, is an extract from one of the more recent news reports on the business:

"Since February 2013... the Jewish state has provided medical care to injured Syrians. So far, 1,600 of them - most badly injured - have been treated in hospitals in northern Israel. The effort has produced uplifting stories of injured Syrian children saved by Israeli doctors. But the majority of patients have been young men of military age, and... their affiliation with the various rebel groups remains shrouded in secrecy.

"Since 1974, a United Nations peacekeeping force has been stationed in the Golan Heights to monitor the cease-fire line between Israel and Syria. For the past year, most of the peacekeepers have been stationed on the Israeli side after Nusra abducted a UN battalion from Fiji in Syria (they were later released). In their latest report to the UN, the peacekeepers mentioned several meetings along the border between armed Syrian rebels and Israeli soldiers. They saw the Israelis take injured Syrians into their vehicles and load rebel trucks with sacks. What was in those sacks remains unclear, but Israeli sources, speaking in an off-the-record briefing, say the contents included food and blankets for the winter. [LOL]

"The UN report doesn't specify which rebel groups the Israelis were helping... But the main force operating in the area, Israeli sources say, is Nusra.

[See my 12/12/14 post A Side of Israel the World Too Rarely Acknowledges.]

"What the Israeli military will say on record is that it is offering medical care to injured Syrians. Over the past year and a half, for instance, Israeli doctors in the Rebecca Sieff Hospital [aka Ziv Medical Centre] in Safed have treated around 500 of them..." (Inside Israel's secret war in Syria, Assaf Uni,, 18/6/15)

OK, so Israel's been patching up the limbs of those tearing Syria limb from limb... and handing over sacks of whatever to the anti-Asad lads. Nothing unusual there. In fact, it'd be newsworthy if it didn't have an iron in the Syrian fire.

What is unusual, however, is how the Israelis have been conducting their covert exercise in destabilisation and regime change in Syria (involving a de facto alliance with an al-Qaeda (AQ) affiliate, the Nusra Front, dear to the heart of our own Zaky Mallah, but proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Australian authorities) under the cover of an overt propaganda exercise, projecting Israel as a Good Samaritan, disinterestedly ministering to the medical needs of a traditional enemy.

And non-Israelis, it seems, have been instrumental in the latter effort. Non-Israelis like Australia's ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma and his lovely wife, Rachel Lord, for example.

Here's Dave: 

"In the town of Safed... the frontline of the conflict in Syria feels very close. At Ziv Medical Centre, without fanfare or publicity, they are treating a steady and growing stream of wounded Syrians... Ziv Hospital is a profound example of humanity and decency at its most compelling. It is Israel at its very best, and a side of Israel that the world too rarely acknowledges." (Origin no bar to Israel lifesavers, The Australian, 31/8/13) (See my 3/9/13 post Our Man in Tel Aviv 2.)

And here's Rachel:

"Barely 4 months into her new position as diplomatic spouse, the 37-year-old former human rights lawyer is on a crusade: She wants to make the world aware of the humanitarian work being done at a small Israeli hospital up north where close to 150 victims of the civil war in Syria... have received treatment in recent months. On Thursday morning, she and her husband, Dave Sharma, hosted the first big event to take place at their official residence... since arriving here this summer: a gathering of members of the diplomatic corps to acquaint them with the activities of Rebecca Sieff Medical Center in Safed... It was just a few weeks after they arrived in Israel, with three little girls, that lord and her husband first read in the papers about the medical treatment Sieff hospital was providing Syrian victims of the fighting in their country, all at its own expense. Lord, who had worked previously as a Syria expert in the Australian foreign service, was intrigued and immediately jumped at her husband's suggestion that they take a trip to the hospital to witness first-hand what was going on. 'There were children with limbs blown off, who could barely move, the same age as our girls.' As a mother seeing those kids... I was literally in tears...  It was a story about Israel, she mused, that is not often told. 'Israel tends to get lots of negative press. It's rare to hear stories about such incredible humanitarian work going on here'." (Ambassador's wife offers relief to Syria's civil war victims - and to Israeli hospital, Judy Maltz, Haaretz, 25/10/13)

In fact, Ziv Medical Centre has even become one of the pit-stops on the rambamming circuit for Australian politicians. (See my 10/6/15 post Is AIJAC Getting Its Money's Worth?)

You really couldn't make this stuff up: far from the prying eye, Israel's Operation X in Syria is lending God-knows-what material support to AQ, while Australian diplomats and politicians praise the work of its propaganda arm at Ziv Medical Centre as "a profound example of humanity and decency at its most compelling," and "incredible humanitarian work."

Meanwhile, down in Gaza...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Getting Them While They're Young

The Israel lobby is not going to take the new Palestine-friendly Bob Carr or NSW Labor leader Luke Foley's new directive* on rambamming lying down:

"The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has announced its new Berger Fellowship program designed to strengthen ties between the Jewish community and future political leaders. The 2015 program is for up-and-coming Labor Party members and has the support of the General Secretary of the NSW ALP.**

"The program has been developed to enable participants to:

*act as a vehicle for the Jewish community and Labor Party
*attend major Jewish community events
*provide advice on events of mutual interest

"The program culminates in a week-long study tour of Israel.

"Participants for the 2015 program are Darren Rodrigo - Office of Bill Shorten. Dave Latham, State Organiser, NSW Labor, Edward McDougall, Senior Advisor, Office of Steve Kamper [MP for Rockdale] and Trent Murray, Co-Convenor Australian Rainbow Labor." (New NSW program for up and coming politicians,, 30/6/15)

These guys don't miss a trick...

[*See my 1/5/15 post My Solution to NSW Labor's Rambamming problem;**Jamie Clements]