Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bad Seed

"Roger Waters and Brian Eno have hit back at Australian-born musician Nick Cave after he accused the rock icons of trying to 'bully' and 'censor' him, and other musicians, over his Israel tour [...] At the end of the day, [said Cave] there are two reasons why I am here [in Israel]. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people, and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who who wants to censor and silence musicians'." (Israel boycott stinks, says Cave as critics rage, Rob Moran, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/11/17)

Memo to Nick Cave:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: anyone - ANYONE - in 2017 who still doesn't get that the Zionist project in Israel is, and always was, a monstrous violation of the rights of another people, and acts accordingly, cannot possibly have anything of value to contribute to people or planet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Liberal Zionism & the Spirit of Things

In the beginning (of the Zioinist movement) was the word. And the word (in Theodor Herzl's diary for 12 June, 1895) was Genocide: "When we occupy the land... We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border..."

Hence Israel's spiriting of  penniless Palestinians across the borders in 1948... and again (into Jordan) in 1967.

But Gaza, into which Palestinians from across southern Palestine had already been spirited in 1948? What to do with them? Well, the only border to spirit them across was the Egyptian border... into the Sinai Desert.

And how to spirit them there? A re-run of 1948 perhaps? No, that'd be a PR disaster in 1967. Hmmm:

"'Perhaps if we don't give them enough water they won't have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.' That is what Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol said in 1967 about Gaza, as revealed in newly declassified documents from the time. Ofer Aderet of Haaretz reported... about this today... Eshkol, the leftist 'liberal Zionist,' was very willing to send Palestinians to the moon: 'I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon,' he said.

"As is widely known, the standard UN definition of genocide includes 'Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.'

"These newly declassified documents reveal that the genocidal policy was indeed there already in 1967... Indeed, Eshkol was aware in the months after the 1967 war of the 'suffocation and imprisonment' in Gaza in 1967... And he was quite clear about this being an instrument to effect Israeli strategy: '... precisely because of the suffocation and imprisonment there, maybe the Arabs will move from the Gaza Strip,' he said.

"Eshkol was also paraphrasing Herzl, when Eshkol told the cabinet he was 'working on the establishment of a unit or office that will engage in encouraging Arab emigration.' He noted that 'We should deal with this issue quietly, calmly and covertly, and we should work on finding a way for them to emigrate to other countries and not just over the Jordan [River].' [...] (From Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967, Jonathan Ofir, mondoweiss.net, 17/11/17)

Monday, November 20, 2017

And the Answer Is?

"How is this not the biggest story in the world? 'Now in its 11th day, the blockade on almost all of #Yemen's seaports, airports & land crossings prevents the entry of food, fuel, medicines and supplies, exposing millions of people to disease, starvation and death.' #YemenFamine" (Sophie McNeill tweet, 16/11/17)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Through a Glass Darkly

Comment by Yeah, Right, 14/11/17 on Revealed - Saudi Plan to give up Palestine - for war on Iran at moonofalabama.org:

The way in which this plays out is almost pre-ordained.
There is no way that a formal, signed document will exist that states that when-you-shaft-Palestine then we-will-attack-Iran.

What will happen instead is that Trump will broker that 'understanding' between Israel and Saudi Arabia. A nod and a wink, and maybe even a handshake.

But the Israelis will insist that the Saudis have to do that Palestine-shafting first, and in The Most Public Way Possible so that the House of Saud can't take it back. Trump will say that this is reasonable, and the dumb-ass Saudis will mull over it then say 'OK, sure, if the Yanks vouch for you then so will we'.

The Saudis will then dump on Abbas.
The USA will then heap congratulations on the Saudis.
The Israelis will shout Yipeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Palestinians will descend into a deep despair.

And then...... [sound of crickets chirping].

Saudi: Hey, when are you going to attack Iran?
Israel: We're working on it. Give us time.
USA: Hey, I thought we had an understanding!
Israel: We do, this takes a lot of planning.
[crickets]
[crickets]
[crickets]
Saudi: What gives, guys?
USA: When are you going to attack Iran?
Israel: We changed our mind. Bite me.

Let's get real here: the Israelis have a track-record of 'agreeing' to a quid-pro, then immediately pocketing the 'quid' while somehow, some way, never actually getting around to delivering on the 'quo'.

The Saudis will shaft the Palestinians.
The Israelis will then shaft the Saudis.
The Americans will fume (in private) but ultimately do nothing.

And years later there will be an off-mike recording of Netanyahu boasting about how he f**ked over the Saudis, and gleefully explaining that the reason why he could do that is because the Americans are at least as dumb-ass stoooooopid as, well, a Saudi Clown-Prince.

I mean, haven't we seen this movie before?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Beyond Chutzpah

Israel lobby pot calls China lobby kettle black:

"... Labor MP Michael Danby delivered a tough speech... warning of China's rise in 'hard power' and praising the 'pushback by Australia's democratic system' against softpower initiatives. Mr Danby accused China of 'Comintern-like activity' and said it had increasingly pursued efforts to influence the politics and economies of neighbours in Southeast Asia and the Pacific... Mr Danby criticised efforts of China's United Front Work Department to guide activities outside China, 'working with politicians and other high-profile individuals, Chinese community associations and student associations, and sponsoring Chinese language, media and and other cultural activities'." (China's agents of influence run for cover, Paul Maley/Rowan Callick, The Australian, 17/11/17)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Balfour What?

In a month rich with historical anniversaries, namely the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and the centenaries of the Bolshevik Revolution and Balfour Declaration.  The first two, of course, are done and dusted, history if you like. But the Balfour Declaration, just keeps on keeping on, a grinding, slo-mo genocide of the Palestinian people - for anyone with eyes to see.

Now here's the thing. Whenever of late I've tuned in to the ABC's Radio National, never religiously I might add, the Protestant Reformation and the Bolshevik Revolution seem to be under discussion in one context or another. But of the Balfour Declaration... nothing.

OK, thought I, maybe I simply missed instances of RN chatter on the Balfour Declaration.

So I thought I'd conduct a little experiment. I typed each event into the ABC search bar, selecting mentions over the preceding 3 month period. (Keep in mind that these mentions could have been anything from a news item to an entire program.) Here's what I found:

Protestant Reformation - 21
Bolshevik Revolution - 5
Balfour Declaration - 3

Go figure...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Anatomy of a Zionist Dupe

This piece, The rise & fall of Priti Patel, by French-Algerian journalist Nabila Ramdani is a devastating critique of the Priti Patels of this world, without whose amorality, stupidity and greed, it should always be remembered, Israel's fifth columnists could not as easily go about their largely below-the-radar business of manipulating and corrupting Western polities in Israel's interest:

"Ask former colleagues of Britain's deposed Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel what they really think of her and you can see why her ministerial career was so short lived. She was a far from popular ex-lobbyist for the tobacco and alcohol industries whose political objectives once included the return of the death penalty. Beyond describing EU social and employment regulations as 'a burden,' the fierce but muddled Brexit champion also declared that 'the British are among the worst idlers in the world.' Fellow MP Crispin Blunt rightly suggested that Patel's rise to power was the result of positive discrimination, saying she was a 'great British Asian representative in the Conservative Party' and thus accelerated to a top job.

"Patel's overall demeanor was that of a reactionary far-right, low-intellect egotist with little interest in doing anything for anybody except for herself, and those with large bank balances. Her abject lack of integrity was reflected in supremely reckless behavior during her 16 months in government. Most catastrophically - and of course most significantly - this included falling into the hands of Israeli powerbrokers who wanted to use their diminutive new 'friend' to advance their own interests.

"In this sense, the Patel scandal is a spectacular example of how Israel hones in on morally weak but well-connected figures to try to control British policy. Their manipulation of Patel was so blatant that it was illustrated by a Twitter photograph of the permanently grinning MP posing on the terrace of the House of Commons in London with Gilad Erdan, arguably the most abrasive security enforcer in Israel's ruling Likud Party. Erdan is a linchpin of Israel's attempt to destroy the increasingly successful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which fights Israel's appalling human rights record through peaceful economic action. Just as controversially, Erdan is in charge of the large-scale targeting of influential foreigners deemed antipathetic toward Israel. At the time of her happy snap with Erdan - early September - Patel was in fact meant to be a supporter of Palestinians too, not least of all because she had a P13bn plus aid budget designed to alleviate the suffering of the world's poor. Instead, what she sought to do was cut Palestinian aid.

"Her one-sided disdain for the principal victims of Israel's colonialist regime extended to spending no time with any notable Palestinians during her wretched 'private holiday' to the Middle East in August. She was too busy glad-handing allies, including Benjamin Netanyahu himself, as well as the Israeli prime minister's Foreign Ministry Director General, Yuval Rotem. There are no known minutes of of Patel's discussions with those responsible for some of the most lethal, repressive and cruel policies in Israel's recent history. Not only have they backed more illegal land grabs but were directly behind the 2014 attacks on Gaza which saw more than 1,500 civilians murdered, including 551 children and 300 women...

"Patel could still technically be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act for these unrecorded exchanges with men like Netanyahu...

"Rather than taking an interest in Palestine's smashed infrastructure, illegal imprisonments, including hundreds of boys and girls, and all the other abuses and breaches of international law that characterize Israel's ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, Patel was far more enthusiastic about buttressing the war machine that enforces it. With breathtaking cynicism, she suggested that British taxpayers' money should be diverted into the woefully misnamed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) - one that spends most of its time on the offensive, and which already receives billions of dollars from the US.

"Following massacres such as Gaza, the IDF is currently involved in a murky initiative to treat fighters escaping Syria's civil war on the Golan Heights, an area that Britain and the rest of the world do not even recognize as belonging to Israel. Despite this, Patel visited a field hospital on the illegally occupied Golan with military and political personnel, so breaking all established protocols. Patients in such medical facilities include Al-Qaeda and Daesh militants, who are patched up by the Israelis before returning to the conflict against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

"Patel's view that this kind of 'humanitarian work' by the IDF is a worthy recipient of British taxpayers' money would have had everything to do with the hold of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) had on her. The group's president, the peer Stuart Polack, set up at least 14 covert meetings for Patel in Israel and the UK. The Tory fixer is now refusing to answer questions about his role in the rise and fall of the dismal Patel.

"This lack of democratic accountability has led to numerous conspiracy theories, including claims by pro-Israel propagandists - some calling themselves journalists - that the British Government have been lying about what they knew about Patel's Israel visit, and her own rogue foreign policy. In the midst of such sinister scheming, the Patel denouement did not solely expose the inadequacies of a low-grade chancer whose ruthless ambition was by no means matched by her abilities. Far more importantly, it shed light on the outrageous manner in which the agents of Israeli hegemony operate at the heart of sovereign governments." (arabnews.com, 10/11/17)

Monday, November 13, 2017

A 'Guest' of the Kingdom

Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri, Samia Nakhoul, Laila Bassam & Tom Perry, Reuters, 11/11/17)

"From the moment Saad al-Hariri's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday Nov. 3, he was in for a surprise. There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as prime minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel.

"The move thrust Lebanon back to the forefront of a struggle that is reshaping the Middle East, between the conservative Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite revolutionary Iran. Their rivalry has fueled conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where they back opposing sides, and now risks destabilizing Lebanon, where Saudi has long tried to weaken the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Lebanon's main political power and part of the ruling coalition.

"Sources close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia has concluded that the prime minister - a long-time Saudi ally and son of late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 - had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah. Multiple Lebanese sources say Riyadh hopes to replace Saad Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon's top Sunni politician. Bahaa is believed to be in Saudi Arabia and members of the Hariri family have been asked to travel there to pledge allegiance to him, but have refused, the sources say."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Look What the Doogue Dragged In

More Geraldine Doogue-facilitated Zionist propaganda pedalled at the ABC (11/11/17):

Elisabeth Asbrink (Swedish journalist and author of 1947: When Now Begins): ... Johann von Leers is one of the people who then settled in Buenos Aires and he works on a paper there that is created in 1947 and becomes a very important link between the Nazis in Latin America and the Nazis in Europe, and the interesting thing... with him is that he also builds very strong connections to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was close to Hitler and close to the Nazi ideas*, and when Johann von Leers had to leave Buenos Aires he goes to Egypt, invited by the Mufti and there he becomes the chief propagandist against Israel, working for the Egyptian government. So here are ties going together, merging in a very strange way...

[Oh dear, what would the Zionists do without - drumroll! - the Mufti of Jerusalem!]

Geraldine (interrupting): So let's go to Palestine because you have a very strong link with this, and Britain, as you say in 1947, has spent 80m pounds in the previous 2 years trying to sort out what Churchill called "a senseless, squalid war with the Jews in order to give Palestine to the Arabs." So Britain, the colonial power effectively handed the challenge back to the UN and we're still very much dealing with the consequences. So when you look back at all this, what strikes you when you re-examine the history?

[Churchill, of course, was a Zionist, with zero regard for the Palestinian Arabs, but of course we won't go into that... ]

Asbrink: I learnt a lot reading about this and the process leading up to Israel's birth and I think the main insight is that Britain just backed down. They had created a situation for decades and then when it became too complicated and too expensive they just handed it over to the UN and said we don't want any part of the solution, just do whatever you want with it. And what did the UN do? They put together a committee and this had 4 months to solve the problem. Well, we know what happened and I follow this process so I think I also learnt that it was so much more random. It was never fixed...

[That's it? That's your main insight? No mention of the UN Charter-defying, Palestinian self-determination-violating UNGA Partition Plan? No mention of the American-Zionist arm-twisting of UN delegates to get it passed?]

Geraldine (interrupting): History's a lot less systematic when you examine it in the present tense, and in Egypt of course it spawned the Muslim Brotherhood - well, sort of, which was developing, and Hasan al-Banna, its founder, had an extra impact on history. What struck you when you re-examined it?

Asbrink: Well it surprised me that he was so decisive for what we're living with today He picks up this old word - jihad - which has sort of been sleeping and not being used and he inserts what he himself calls 'the art of death,' which actually is the love of death and the idea that dying is also a victory [...] and so this is a consequence of the way the British handled Palestine the way they did...

[No Nakba. No Palestinian refugees. Go straight to... jihadis!]

[*From the only book worth reading on this subject: "By focusing on Arab-Nazi ideological 'affinity,' writers have misrepresented the central goal of Arab nationalist cooperation with the Axis: the defeat of a common enemy." (The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin Al-Husayni & the Palestinian National Movement, Philip Matar, 1988, p 100)]

Friday, November 10, 2017

What's Behind the Patel Affair?

Although UK Tory minister and Israel luvvie Priti Patel has finally been booted by British PM Theresa May, Jonathan Cook speculates that there may be more to her assignations in Israel than meets the eye:

"Was Patel pursuing an 'alternative' policy towards Israel, or its neighbors? And if so, what was that policy, and did anyone senior to her authorise it? Her role in talking to senior Israelis bypassed the foreign office. Did she do so because officials there like Alan Duncan were seen as not sympathetic enough to Israel, and might try to sabotage it?... How does May, a fervent supporter of Israel, fit into this picture?

"Given British government secrecy, it will likely never be possible to provide definitive answers. But it is worth remembering that Israel, its still-powerful neocon allies in Washington and the Saudi regime are angling for the Israeli army to reverse the decisive gains Assad and his allies have made in taking back control in Syria in recent months.

"This week Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper that the Saudis were meddling yet again in Lebanese politics, forcing Hizbullah into greater political prominence, to provide the pretext for Israel to renew its confrontation with the Lebanese militia and thereby stoke a new war between Israel and Lebanon and Syria. In his words: 'Israel and Saudi Arabia are fully aligned in the regional struggle, and the Saudis cannot help but be impressed by Israel's increasing assertiveness to strike at Iranian threats in Syria... When the moment of truth arrives, Israel's allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing.'

"When the time comes, Israel will, as ever, rely on well-placed friends in western capitals to support and misrepresent its actions. Until her resignation, Priti Patel would undoubtedly have been one of those prominent champions of Israel helping out in a time of need." (From UK minister forced to resign over secret Israel meetings as questions continue to swirl, mondoweiss.net, 9/11/17)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Meet Planet Priti Patel

The government of PM Theresa May just gets better and better:

"Downing Street has admitted that International Development Secretary Priti Patel discussed with Israel the idea of giving the country British foreign aid cash. A Number 10 spokesman said a conversation had taken place between Ms Patel and Israeli officials, after it was reported that she had suggested funnelling money to the country's armed forces. Theresa May's spokesman highlighted that the country's army runs a hospital for Syrian refugees, but said the UK currently provides no financial support to Israeli forces and that there would be no change in policy.

"Any move to provide aid money to Israeli armed forces which have been engaged in bloody campaigns in Palestinian occupied territories, would prove hugely controversial in the UK. The admission heaps embarrassment on Ms May who was completely unaware that Ms Patel had met the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other key figures on her holiday to the country...

"The Downing Street spokesman said: '[Ms Patel] did discuss potential ways to provide medical support for Syrian refugees who are wounded who cross into the Golan Heights for aid. The Israeli army runs field hospitals there to care for Syrians wounded in the civil war, but there is no change in policy in this area. The UK doesn't provide any financial support to the Israeli army.'...

"Ms Patel only made Ms May aware of the meetings on Friday, more than two months after they took place, when reports began to emerge of talks she held with a politician and a disability charity..." (Priti Patel discussed giving British foreign aid money to Israeli army, Downing Street confirms, Joe Watts, independent.co.uk, 7/11/17)

What a credit to the Tories this woman is!

Not only is she a former tobacco and alcohol industry lobbyist, and a self-confessed Thatcher tragic, but one who, if the Parable of the Good Samaritan were applied to the Middle East, would have you believe that Israel, far from being the thief who stripped Palestine of her raiment, wounded her and left her half-dead, was actually the Good Samaritan:

"I have always been struck by the exceptional achievement that is the state of Israel. A country that has turned desert into fertile and plentiful land. A country that started with nothing, in a struggle for subsistence and survival and is now a world leader in technology and innovation. A country that despite the challenges of a turbulent region has become a democratic success story. A country that is at the forefront of the skills revolution, whether in technology, life skills, vocational skills, and is creating the most practical solutions to enhance the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in the world. The desire and responsibility to want to help others, coupled with a can-do attitude, is precisely the sort of Jewish Homeland that was dreamt by Herzl and was of course supported by the historic letter - the Balfour Declaration." (Priti Patel speech at third BICOM Jewish News conference - GOV.UK, 2/11/17)

Gooo Tories!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Oh-Puh-lease... 2

Mini book review in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald by Fiona Capp: Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War & Plea for Peace, Bana Alabed:

"For her first three years, Bana Alabed lived an ordinary, middle-class life with her family in Aleppo. Then bombs started exploding in her neighbourhood and everything changed. This child's eye view of the unfolding conflict in Syria brings home with great poignancy what it is like to have your childhood shattered by war. During the siege of Aleppo, her family's apartment is hit by a bomb and all they can do is crouch in their disintegrating basement and 'be stoned by the sky'. Bana's account is interspersed with letters from her mother, Fatemah, who writes eloquently of her guilt at being unable to shield her daughter from so much pain. Dear World is a moving antidote to compassion fatigue."

Note: Dear World: Inside the 'Bana of Aleppo' propaganda story (21stcenturywire.com, 29/9/17) is a sobering antidote to the warm and fuzzies should any of you succumb to this particular malady after reading the above.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Corbyn on Balfour

On November 2 this year, the moral and intellectual void at the helm of the British Conservative Party, PM Theresa May, declared for the Zionist entity in Palestine, just as, 100 years earlier, the wartime cabinet of David Lloyd George and Arthur James Balfour declared for the Zionist movement's statist designs on Arab Palestine.

Unfortunately, the British Labour Party's sole representative in the cabinet, George Barnes (Minister without Portfolio), concurred, laying the foundation for a century of bipartisan British support for Zionism, both in its pre- and post-state forms.

The current leader of the Labour Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, however, is (or appears to be) breaking ranks. Here's his official position on the Balfour centenary, delivered on November 2:

"Today marks the centenary of the British government's Balfour Declaration, which has shaped the modern history of the Middle East.

"The fact that this promise by what was then colonial Britain is celebrated by one side and commemorated as a disaster by the other reflects the continuing tragedy at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Balfour promised to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine while pledging that nothing would be done to prejudice the rights of its 'existing non-Jewish communities', a reference to the Palestinian Arabs who then made up 90% of the population.

"A hundred years on, the second part of Britain's pledge has still not been fulfilled, and Britain's historic role means we have a special responsibility to the Palestinian people, who are still denied their basic rights.

"So let us mark the Balfour anniversary by recognising Palestine as a step towards a genuine two state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, increasing international pressure for an end to the 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal settlement expansion and the blockade of Gaza.

"As many Israelis and Palestinians believe, there can only be a lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of a negotiated settlement that delivers justice and security for both peoples and states."

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Theresa May's 2 November Speech: Worse than the Balfour Declaration

Forget Sexminster, however diverting; the moral bankruptcy of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's government is nowhere on better display than in her appalling speech to guests attending a dinner in London on November 2, 2017 to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

That most "discreditable document," to borrow the words of J.M.N. Jeffries, "unlawful in issue, arbitrary in purpose, and deceitful in wording," was at least issued without the benefit of hindsight. However, despite 100 years of escalating genocide for the Palestinians, May's speech indicates that she has learnt ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about her country's starring role in this, the greatest of Britain's colonial crimes. As she makes abundantly clear in her speech, she is in fact "proud" of Britain's part in the creation of the State of Israel. ('Proud' is trotted out 3 times; 'with pride' twice.)

100 years of hindsight. 100 years in which to pause, reflect, learn, acknowledge, apologise and atone, and still she refuses to own the problem which Balfour, Lloyd George, Weizmann and the rest of the Anglo-Zionist cabal of 1917 bequeathed to the world.

May has thus delivered, if anything, a worse-than-the-Balfour-Declaration-speech, and, what's more, at an event heavy with symbolism, delivered it before the current incarnations of Lords Rothschild and Balfour.

Even worse, she's delivered it before a smiling, smirking Benjamin Netanyahu, the current incarnation of the arch-Zionist terrorist Menachem Begin, whose Irgun operatives blew up the seat of British Mandate Palestine's government, the King David Hotel, in 1946, with the loss of 91 British, Jewish and Arab lives. Netanyahu, moreover, is hell-bent, in sync with Irgun ideology, on realising the nightmare vision of an Arabrein Greater Israel, extending far beyond the Balfour Declaration's "national home for the Jewish people... in Palestine."

It's all here: Balfour's alleged "vision of peaceful co-existence," "leadership," and supposed regard for Palestinian "sensitivities" (I kid you not!); Israel's mythical "vulnerability" and "democracy"; the smearing of BDS and anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism; the hollow intoning of the two-state mantra; the faux balancing of illegal Israeli settlements with an alleged "Palestinian incitement"; falsified history; the invocation of Zionism's fictional "2,000-year dream" - with no mention whatever of the Palestinians' all-too-real, 100-year nightmare - and more.

Since PM May's truly shameful address constitutes nothing less than a re-affirmation of the Balfour Declaration, delivered in spite of the kind of hindsight unavailable to Balfour, it should be read in full, rather than in the form of mere media sound-bites. Here, therefore, is the official transcript (PM speech at Balfour Centenary Dinner - GOV.UK). The headings, interpolated comments, and highlightings are, of course, mine:

Lord Rothschild, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Chief Rabbi, distinguished guests, Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so pleased to be here with you tonight - and to be with you Lord Balfour on this special evening - as we mark the centenary of the letter written by your great-Uncle: which I believe to be one of the most significant letters in history.

A letter which gave birth to a most extraordinary country. And a letter which finally opened the door to helping make a Jewish Homeland a reality. It was a letter that is all the more remarkable when you consider its length, its context and its sensitivity.

First, it was exceptionally concise - just 67 words and one single sentence. In my experience such brevity is not typically a feature of letters from the Foreign Office!

Second, we should consider the context in which this letter was written. Let us cast our minds back to the time of 1917. In an era of competing imperial powers and with Britain still embroiled in the midst of the First World War, the idea of establishing a homeland for the Jewish people would have seemed a distant dream for many; and been fiercely opposed by others. Yet it was at this very moment that Lord Balfour had the vision and the leadership to make this profound statement about restoring a persecuted people to a safe and secure homeland.

[The Balfour Declaration says not a word about Jewish persecution, safety, or security, only the establishment of "a national home." The Zionist drafters of the declaration originally wanted "the National Home of the Jewish people" "reconstituted." They were not humanitarians, but nationalists, who wished to re-create an ancient tribal Israel, more mythology than history.]

Third, this was a letter that remains very sensitive for many people today - but it was not ignorant of those sensitivities. Indeed, Balfour wrote explicitly that: "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, of the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

[Balfour was so "sensitive" that he dismissed 90% of Palestine's population as "existing non-Jewish communities," and, in a 1919 memorandum, cold-bloodedly declared that "Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land."]

Thrice Proud

So when some people suggest we should apologise for this letter, I say absolutely not. We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel. We are proud to stand here today together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and declare our support for Israel. And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel. And as we mark one hundred years since Balfour, we look forward to taking that relationship even further.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu and I discussed in Downing Street earlier today, we want to deepen our links in areas where Israel is leading the world - in areas like agriculture, health, silence, technology and innovation. Israel is the true start-up nation and we are proud to be your partner.

Tears... for Israel

We also remain absolutely committed to Israel's security. For it is only when you witness Israel's vulnerability that you truly understand the constant danger Israelis face - as I saw on my visit in 2014, when the bodies of the murdered teenagers Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah were discovered. So I am clear that we will always support Israel's right to defend itself. And in a world where Britain and Israel increasingly face the same shared challenges and threats, I am just as clear that our security services will continue to deepen their already excellent co-operation to keep all our people safe.

A Great Deal of Pride in All We Have Achieved

So I believe we should gather here tonight with a great deal of pride in all that we have achieved - and all that Israel stands for as a symbol of openness, as a thriving democracy; and a beacon to the world in upholding the rights of women and members of the LGBT community.

But marking this centenary is not just about what has been achieved. We must recognise how difficult at times the journey has been - from the Jews forced out of their homes in Arab countries in 1948 to the suffering of Palestinians affected and dislodged by Israel's birth - both completely contrary to the intention of Balfour to safeguard all of these communities.

[Jews were not forced out of their homes in Arab countries in 1948. This was instead the fate of Palestinians at the hands of Zionist terror gangs in that year . Notice how May, a true Balfourian, euphemistically refers to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 as "affected and dislodged by Israel's birth," as though it were somehow a natural process. As for Arab Jews, they were deliberately uprooted by Zionist agents in the 1950s and brought to Israel so that they could occupy the stolen homes and lands (euphemistically dubbed 'absentees' property') of ethnically cleansed Palestinians.]

Lip Service

And we must, I believe, seize this opportunity to renew our resolve on what is still to be achieved. For sadly, Balfour remains unfinished business - as his fundamental vision of peaceful co-existence has not yet been fulfilled. And I believe it demands of us today a renewed resolve to support a lasting peace that is in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians - and in the interests of us all. So I am delighted to see US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross here with us this evening and, Wilbur, you can be assured of the full-hearted support of the United Kingdom for the efforts that the Trump administration is making to bring the parties together to reach that peace deal. A peace deal that must be based on a two-state solution, with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian State. And let us be honest with each other: there will need to be compromises from each side if we are to have a realistic chance of achieving this goal - including an end to the building of new settlements and an end to Palestinian incitement too.

BDS=Anti-Semitism

But as we work together towards Balfour's vision of a peaceful co-existence we must be equally clear that there can never be any excuse for boycotts, divestment or sanctions: they are unacceptable and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to them. Neither can there ever be any excuse for anti-Semitism in any form. Just as there is no excuse for hatred against Muslims, Christians, or anyone based on the peaceful religions they choose to follow, the place of their birth, or the colour of their skin. And yes, this means recognising that there is today a new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism which uses criticisms of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist. This is abhorrent and we will not stand for it. That is why the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of an international effort to create a new definition of anti-Semitism which explicitly calls out this inexcusable attempt to justify hatred. So let me be clear. Criticising the actions of Israel is never - and can never be - an excuse for questioning Israel's right to exist, any more than criticising the actions of Britain could be an excuse for questioning our right to exist. And criticising the government of Israel is never - and can never be - an excuse for hatred against the Jewish people - any more than criticising the British government would be an excuse for hatred against the British people. Put simply, there can be no excuses for any kind of hatred towards the Jewish people. There never has been - and there never will be.

All Holocaust, No Nakba

And let me say this too. We will never forget where that hatred and prejudice can lead. That is why it is right that the United Kingdom will have a permanent and fitting National Memorial to the Holocaust standing next to Parliament together with a learning centre that will teach the lessons of the Holocaust for society today and act as a voice against hatred in the modern world. And I am delighted that just last week, the cross-party United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation announced that Sir David Adjaye, Ron Arad and the landscape architects Gustafson Porter and Bowman have won the international design competition for the memorial and learning centre with their evocative concept design for this new national landmark at the heart of our democracy.

The Spirit of Balfour Lives On

In saying all of this I do not underestimate the scale of the challenges we face together. The challenge of fighting hatred in all its forms. The challenge of bringing people together. The challenge of fulfilling Balfour's vision of peaceful co-existence. But neither do I underestimate the scale of the prize that is at stake. I saw a glimpse of that prize just last Saturday when I attended a charity concert with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on London's South Bank - an orchestra that brings together young Israeli and Palestinian musicians as well as those from several other Arab countries to promote co-existence and intercultural dialogue. They were performing together raising money for the Jacqueline du Pre Tribute Fund which helps fund MS research. And through their shared love of music they escaped the divides of their history to come together for a united cause. In their actions, and in many others like it, the spirit of Balfour lives on. So let us tonight be inspired by that spirit. Let us recognise the contribution of Balfour in fulfilling what was once little more than a two-thousand year old dream for a persecuted people. Let us take inspiration from the vision he showed as we work together for that future where Arabs and Jews can live in peaceful co-existence. And as we look to that future, let us mark with pride what has been achieved with the creation of the State of Israel and - in Balfour's words - "a national home for the Jewish people."

Friday, November 3, 2017

Same Sex Marriage at Beersheba

For king & country? Nah. For the sons & daughters of Abraham, mate :

"Nearly 4,000 years ago, Abraham came to Be'er Sheba... Exactly 100 years ago, brave ANZAC soldiers liberated Beer Sheba for the sons and daughters of Abraham and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to reenter the stage of history." (Netanyahu's address at the 31/10/2017 memorial ceremony for the ANZAC troops who fought and died at Beersheba on 31/10/17, jwire.com.au)

Blood brothers, mate:

"This momentous occasion was a historic milestone in the natural kinship between our peoples."

And Bible-bashers to boot, mate:

"ANZAC soldiers... were retracing the footsteps of the heroes of the Bible... stepping on the verses of the Bible, and they knew it, and their clergy who spoke of this so movingly a moment ago, they knew it too."

Round two, mate:

"In the defeat at Gallipoli, two things were forged. One, the absolute resolve of the ANZAC forces to redeem their fallen brethren and establish this glorious victory here." 

Love at first sight, mate:

"And the second thing that was forged was the first meeting between ANZAC fighters and Jewish fighters, the first Jewish fighters who stood shoulder to shoulder with them in Gallipoli, the first Jewish fighting force in 2,000 years."

A National Home among the gum trees, mate:

"When I joined the Israeli army 50 years ago... I was given a broad hat. It was called an Australian hat... We also sat next to eucalyptus trees that came from Australia."

***

Yes, Bibi, even if they tag me a Christian Zionist, I'm going to say it: fulfilling history!!!:

"'The mad Australians', was a common description. Not so mad. Brave, heroic, turning the tide of history, making history, fulfilling history." (Turnbull's address)

Oh yes, Bibi, without the ANZACs Johnny Turk'd still be ruling the, er, your roost:

"That [taking of Beersheba] did not create the State of Israel, but enabled its creation. Had the Ottoman rule in Palestine and Syria not been overthrown by the Australians and New Zealanders, the Balfour Declaration would have been empty words."

I'm sorry, Bibi, I just can't contain myself any longer. I want to shout it from the rooftops! Izzy, Izzy, Izzy, Oi, Oi, Oi:

"But this was a step for the creation of Israel... and while those young men may not have foreseen, no doubt did not foresee the extraordinary success of the State of Israel, its foundations, its resilience, its determination, its indomitability against overwhelming odds, their spirit was the same. Like the State of Israel has done ever since, they defied history, they made history and with their courage they fulfilled history."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

100 Years of Balfour = 100 Years of Palestinian Dispossession

Exactly 100 years ago today the British war cabinet issued that most heinous of foreign policy documents, the Balfour Declaration. In its name, Britain unleashed wave after wave of European Zionist settlers (protected by British bayonets) on a defenceless Arab Palestine. This led inexorably to the eventual dispossession, in 1948, of Palestine's Arab inhabitants by Zionist terror gangs, bent on the creation of an exclusively Jewish, apartheid state.

The most relevant book on the subject is, of course, J.M.N. Jeffries' 1939 classic, Palestine: The Reality, thankfully reissued this year by Olive Branch Press in the US. It should be read by all serious students of the Palestine problem. Here is the summary/conclusion which follows Jeffries' forensic analysis of this appallingly racist, viciously colonial, document:

"These were its principal characteristics:

 1. Its publication broke our pledged word to the Arab race.

2. Its object was to establish the Jews in a privileged position in Palestine without the assent of the population...

3. It was written in great part by those who were supposed only to have received it, and was deliberately worded so that the truth might be hidden by it, its guarantees to the Arabs be useless and its promises intangible.

4. It was ostensibly a recognition of Zionist aspirations to return to Palestine under the sanction of historic rights, but in reality it was the published clause of a private bargain by which war-spoils were to be given in payment for war-help.

"There is relief in quitting this subject... But it is a pity that it cannot be lost from sight, and a greater pity that it has not yet been removed from our public records. Unlawful in issue, arbitrary in purpose, and deceitful in wording the Balfour Declaration is the most discreditable document to which a British Government has set its hand within memory." (pp 200-01)

Readers should also know that, in London today, when the prime minister of Perfidious Albion, Theresa May, sits down to dinner with her Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, to celebrate 'with pride' the November 2, 1917 issue of this "most discreditable document to which a British Government has set its hand within memory," they and their entourages will be toasting 100 years of Palestinian dispossession.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Fool for Zion

So strained is the concocted connection between Beersheba, 1917, and Israel, 1948, that even a gentile Zionist fanatic such as The Australian's foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, is forced to acknowledge the bleeding obvious:

"You cannot say that everything that followed that Australian victory [at Beersheba in October 1917] was caused by that victory." (Friends from birth, in The Australian's commemorative magazine, Beersheba: Legend of the Light Horse)

Yes, Greg, and water is wet, right?

But there's worse to come, far worse. You see, Sheridan's very next sentence reads:

"But everything that followed from it did indeed follow from it."

Seriously, have you ever read a more fatuous statement than that? Proof positive that only a complete fool bothers defending the indefensible.

Turnbull & Pratt's Beersheba Duet

The Pratt Foundation-funded magazine, Beersheba: Legend of the Light Horse, that came with last Saturday's Weekend Australian, begins with two editorials, on facing pages, the first by PM Turnbull, the second by the Foundation's Anthony Pratt (son of the late Dick Pratt).

Predictably, Turnbull's is a transparently Zionist propaganda brew, which conflates, in complete defiance of the historical record, the charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba (31/10/17), the Balfour Declaration (2/11/17) and the creation of the state of Israel (14/5/48):

"The charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba has inspired Australians for generations The veterans of the charge re-enacted it in Charles Chauvel's 1940 movie Forty Thousand Horsemen - a confidence booster for a beleaguered nation at war. As a young boy at boarding school in the early '60s I watched it again and again - we all imagined ourselves spurring our horses through the Ottoman fire, leaping across the trenches and onward to victory... Just weeks later, the Australians marched with General Allenby into Jerusalem, while in London the Balfour Declaration was signed, paving the way for the creation of the modern state of Israel. A century on, the city of Be'er Sheva is an oasis of technology and great practical ideas - a shining example of the best attributes of Israel and the Israeli people - ingenuity, resilience, and hard work. Today, Australia and Israel share these values. We have an unbreakable bond that is only getting stronger. As we honour the memory and sacrifice of the Anzacs of 1917, and in the years to come. Lest we forget." (Our unbreakable bond)

Apart from Turnbull's chronological confusion (the BD came before the takeover of Jerusalem), what is significant here is that in addition to his blatant fabrication of Australian and Palestinian history, he also appears to be embroidering on his own, personal history:

As Paddy Manning's biography of Turnbull, Born to Rule (2015), reveals, young Malcolm was packed off to a boarding school in 1963 at the age of 8. Curiously, in his editorial, Turnbull recounts watching Chauvel's Forty Thousand Horsemen "at boarding school in the early '60s...again and again." Now I can understand one of his teachers screening the film once, but "again and again"? WTF is going on here?

Quite apart from what repeated showings might imply about the teacher in question (some kind of obsessive military fanatic?), surely the inevitable chorus of 'Aw, sir, not again!' would deter any but the most foolhardy teacher from this practice. And as for Malcolm and his classmates imagining themselves "spurring our horses through the Ottoman fire, leaping across the trenches and onward to victory," Turnbull once disclosed that "I would struggle to find one positive memory of my time at boarding school... really it was a bleak, bleak period for me." (Manning, p 21)

As for Pratt's contribution, it reads like an echo of Turnbull's. (Or should that be the other way around?):

"Next Tuesday, October 31, 2017, Australia will mark the 100th anniversary of the victorious charge by 800 Lighthorsemen against the Turkish defences at Beersheba. The 'shock and awe' victory changed the course of Middle East history, and paved the way for Israel's establishment some three decades later. It's entirely fitting, therefore, that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will lead the Australian delegation at the Centenary commemoration services in Be'er Sheva, the modern Israeli city that has arisen around the former battleground, and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin will represent Israel. In honouring the historic moment for both nations, I'd like to note that the Light Horse Centenary also has a personal significance for the Pratt family. While the Centenary's opening ceremony... is to be in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Beersheva, the concluding ceremony will happen at the Park of the Australian Soldier, just a few kilometres away in the same city. The Park, a Pratt Foundation initiative to honour Australia's military involvement in the Middle East at critical times in Israel's history,* was opened in 2008... " (A proud legacy)

The fact is that the Pratt Foundation's 'Park of the Australian Soldier' is really all about Israel. The Park is an integral part of a Zionist propaganda initiative, whereby a moment of Australian and Turkish military history has been appropriated and misrepresented as somehow uniquely enabling (and legitimising) the much later installation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

It should be obvious to all that the capture of Ottoman Beersheba by Australian forces in 1917 is being manipulated to fit the false Zionist historical narrative, primarily with a view to ensuring ongoing Australian diplomatic support for a pariah apartheid Israel in UN fora.

Turnbull, who hosted Netanyahu in Sydney earlier this year, could now, arguably, be described as the most Zionist of all Australian prime ministers, and a sycophant of the worst kind.  And the irony is that it only seems like yesterday that he was slamming opposition leader Bill Shorten (who, like Turnbull, is currently partying in Israel) in federal parliament as "the great sycophant of billionaires," and accusing him, specifically, of "sucking up to [the late] Dick Pratt." That was back in February this year.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Has Paul Daley Dropped the Ball on Beersheba?

Today, of course, marks the centenary of the Battle for Beersheba, about which I have posted much under the label 'AIF'.

I will be dealing more with the politics of its Israeli/Australian 'commemoration' this week.

For now, however, let me recall the following words by Guardian columnist and historian Paul Daley (Beersheba: A Journey Through Australia's Forgotten War, 2009), written on this very day last year (See my 2/11/16 post Keep Your Eye on Beersheba):

"It will pay to listen closely and to be wary about what you might hear from the Australian and Israeli governments. Israel? It didn't exist, of course, at the time of the charge, which took place in what was Ottoman Palestine. But Israel has gone to some lengths to claim what happened as something of a formative step in its establishment [...] I realised how readily certain groups - not least Zionists, Christian Zionists and evangelicals, were appropriating the stories of the Australian Light Horse [...] Some historians of the Middle East and Palestinian groups were, rightly, angry at the conflation. Beersheba, you can be certain, will be evoked next year as testimony to the 'special' Israel/Australia relationship... Well, they ain't seen nothing yet, I fear... I'll be writing a lot more here about Australians in the Middle East during world war one." (Beersheba: we must keep an eye on how the story is told & interpreted, theguardian.com, 31/10/16)

Is it just me, or is the take-home message here: I know what the Zionists and their camp followers are up to here. I'm on their case, and I'll be keeping a watching brief on their distortions in the lead-up to the Beersheba centenary, and reporting back on same?

In fact, to my knowledge, Daley has written nothing since on the subject of Beersheba... until yesterday that is, and even then most of its content consisted of military minutiae. Buried in said minutiae was this faint echo of last year's fighting words:

"For decade after decade the critical Australian role in the Beersheba victory was little more than a footnote in military history... But such is the politics of remembrance that the centenary of the battle of Beersheba, which falls at the end of the third year of Australia's $600 million-plus world war one commemoration extravaganza, will finally have its moment. Politicians, of course, are wont to commemorate significant moments in military history for many reasons, not least to justify participation in contemporary conflicts. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull... and Labor leader Bill Shorten are due to attend Beersheba commemorations in Israel this week where the battle - and especially the charge - will be invoked as defining a special relationship between Canberra and Tel Aviv. The events will be marked with Australian flags and those of Israel, the modern Jewish state that did not actually exist until 1948." (Beersheba centenary: let's remember that story is not the same as history, theguardian.com, 30/10/17)

Again, is it me, or has Daley squibbed it? And why?

Monday, October 30, 2017

UK: No Consensus on Israel

The times they are a changin:

Corbyn and Arkush show how Balfour is marking the end of the British consensus on Israel by Robert A H Cohen, patheos.com, 22/10/17

"This past week Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn snubbed a dinner invitation from the Jewish Leadership Council while Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, sent an angry email to the UK ambassador to the United Nations. Arthur Balfour and his infamous Declaration are to blame for both incidents.

"It doesn't sound like much to get worked up about. But you should do. As the Balfour centenary year approaches its climax on 2 November, we're witnessing in Britain the fracturing of decades of mainstream political consensus over Israel and the gradual isolation of the Jewish communal leadership as it becomes ever more intolerant of Palestinian solidarity.

"Three weeks ago at the annual Labour Party conference, Corbyn's biggest applause line was not about Brexit or austerity but for this: Let's give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion and move to a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"t wasn't only because the 4,000 party members in the hall endorsed the sentiment that they applauded for so long. It was because they were fed up with the intimidation from the Israel lobby in the UK that attempts to turn every expression of Palestinian solidarity into an investigation about antisemitism...

"Corbyn has been a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for many years. So it was hardly surprising that he refused the JLC invitation to celebrate Balfour when Palestinians view the document as an historical betrayal of their rights. It would have been astonishing if the Labour leader had said 'yes'. And the JLC would have known that. That didn't stop the JLC chair, Jonathan Goldstein, from using the dinner refusal to accuse Corbyn of more anti-Jewish sentiment. But that was likely the plan all along: 'I do think it will not have been amiss for Mr Corbyn to understand that the Jewish community will have taken great heart and great comfort for seeing him attend such an event because it recognises the right of Israel to exist.' You can be sure though that Tony Blair or Gordon Brown would have accepted the invite if either of them had still been leading the Labour Party today. So times have certainly changed.

"Meanwhile, over at the Board of Deputies, there's been plenty of pointless bashing and feigned upset going on too in the last few days. The whole stop turns on a tweet sent by a member of the UK's UN Mission in New York which said: 'Let us remember, there are 2 halves of #Balfour, 2nd of which has not been fulfilled. There is unfinished business. @AmbassadorAllen #Israel'

"Whoever composed and sent the tweet was referring to the second half of the Balfour Declaration which follows the promise of a Jewish 'national home' with this reassurance: '... it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine...'

"The 'existing non-Jewish communities' were of course the 90% plus indigenous Arabs living in Palestine who were not considered even worthy of the slightest consultation on the matter. Also worth noting is that this anonymous majority of non-Jews were only being promised 'civil and religious rights' while the Jews were being promised national and political rights.

"President Arkush was furious though. He wasted no time in dashing off an apoplectic email rebuking the UK Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, and conveying his 'deep disappointment'. Arkush described the tweet as: 'unworthy, hostile, unbalanced, negative and evidently intended as criticism of the State of Israel'.

"It's worth a moment to examine Arkush's tweet critique because it turns out that: 'unworthy, hostile, unbalanced, negative' is a better description of the Board President than the UK's Mission to New York. Arkush is keen to give Ambassador Rycroft the standard Zionist history lesson in which all blame for the last 100 years of conflict rests squarely, and exclusively, with the intransigent and rejectionist Palestinians: 'First, the "civil and religious rights of all existing non-Jewish communities in [former] Palestine" (the terms used in the Balfour Declaration) are fully protected.'

"Well, that's hardly true in the 60% of the West Bank under total Israeli control for the last 50 years where the lives of Palestinians are administered under an apartheid regime. Nor can it be true for the 1.8m Gazans besieged by Israel by land, sea and air. And while the Palestinian citizens of Israel itself (20% of the population) have freedom of movement and democratic voting rights they are still discriminated against in a host of other ways.

"Arkush attempts another line of attack: 'Secondly, the United Nations offered the partition of Palestine between the Jewish and Arab communities more than once. The Jewish community accepted, the Arabs rejected it outright.'

"But why would the Palestinians have voluntarily offered to partition their land when they were still the majority in numbers and ownership but were being offered less than half the territory?

"Arkush tries again: 'Thirdly, the Balfour Declaration was no more or no less than a British Government expression of sympathy. It came 30 years before the UN vote to establish a Jewish homeland. If an Arab or Palestinian homeland was not established, that cannot be the fault of Israel, which did not exist, but would be a criticism of either the international community, or more fairly the Arab community who repeatedly rejected the notion of establishing their own country.'

"But the original tweet (if you remember that far back) doesn't mention Israel at all. It simply talks about 'unfinished business'. The responsibility to fix this does not rest solely with Israel or the Palestinians. The problem, as Arkush admits, was created internationally. It will need to be solved internationally too. And if the Balfour Declaration was nothing more than an 'expression of sympathy' why has its celebration becomes the touchstone of support for Israel and criticism of it a mark of antisemitism?

"Arkush then blames the Palestinians for all on-going rejection and violence: 'At Camp David the PLO was offered recognition of  Palestinian state on 95% of the West Bank. Yassar Arafat rejected it and responded by starting a cycle of violence which continues to this day.'

Much has been written about the so-called 'generous offer' made to Arafat at Camp David in 2000. It was no such thing...

"Finally, Arkush shows what's really bothering him. It's the mismatch in attitudes between the British Conservative government, on whom he can rely on for support to Israel, and the career diplomats in New York who actually understand what's gone on and have studied a bit of history and read the occasional book on the subject.

"'... the tweet is completely inconsistent with the United Kingdom's declared policy to mark, commemorate and celebrate the Balfour Declaration (all terms used by the Prime Minister and other Ministers in recent weeks). In just a fortnight's time a commemorative dinner is to take place to be attended by the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is deeply unattractive for the UK's Mission to the UN to strike a critical note and exposes the UK Government to a charge of hypocrisy.'

"Well, President Arkush, God forbig anyone should be leaving themselves open to a charge of hypocrisy.

"The problem for our Jewish leaders in the UK is that they have put all their Israeli eggs into one Conservative shape basket. And the current chaos of Brexit negotiations hardly makes the Tories look like the 'natural party of government'.

"However, in truth our Jewish leadership's mistake goes back much further. Signing up to be the puppets of the State of Israel's Foreign Ministry is where it all went wrong. The JLC, the Board, and indeed the Chief Rabbi, now look like nothing more than local adjuncts to the Israeli Embassy. Years ago, they should, and could, have taken on the role of critical friend to Israel and developed a nuanced Jewish diaspora position that held Israel to account for its excesses and campaigned for a genuine 2-state solution. But instead they opted to be local sub-contractors for Israeli propaganda. And now it's too late to turn back.

"So the Balfour anniversary year is turning out to be more revealing and significant than I imagined 12 months ago. At a national and political level there is now no agreement over Israel at Westminster. Meanwhile the formal Jewish leadership in the UK are painting themselves into a blue and white corner and looking ever more out of touch with a general public which is beginning to understand that Israel/Palestine is a conflict about human rights and not about terrorism. As for bullying national politicians and career diplomats over Israel that does not look like smart communal politics and certainly nothing like the Jewish traditional championing justice and compassion.

"The final two weeks of the Balfour anniversary year will show up further divisions on Israel across British public life. There are numerous speeches, rallies, marches, celebrations and protests planned across the country. They will prove that Britain no longer has a consensus on Israel."

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Back to the Good Old Days in Saudi Arabia

Well, I'll be...

"... Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on Tuesday that he wanted the kingdom to return to 'moderate Islam'... [His] remarks... indicated he is committed to combating extreme interpretations of Islam and to focusing on economic reforms...  'We are simply reverting to what we followed - a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions'.

"In a subsequent interview with The Guardian, the prince unexpectedly blamed Saudi Arabia's arch enemy, Shiite Iran, for the kingdom's turn towards Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative branch of Islam that is promoted by Riyadh both domestically and abroad. 'What happened in the past 30 years is not Saudi Arabia. What happened in the region in the past 30 years is not the Middle East. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, people wanted to copy this model in different countries - one of them is Saudi Arabia. We didn't know how to deal with it. And the problem spread all over the world. Now is the time to get rid of it,' he said." (Moderate Islam push seen as marketing ploy, Rick Noack, Washington Post/ Sydney Morning Herald, 27/10/17)

So, up until the Iranian revolution of 1979, the Saudis were practising "a moderate Islam open to... all religions," including, one presumes, the Shi'a branch of Islam?

Well, let's test this proposition by turning the clock back to 1927, a full 52 years before the Iranian revolution of 1979, to the good old days of the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud (1875-1953), and see just how "open" the KSA was to the religious practices of the Shiites in the east of the Arabian peninsula.

In 1927, Ibn Saud was having a spot of bother with those legendary Saudi moderates, the Ikhwan (brethren), so he convened a Congress in Riyadh which issued a fatwa. On the subject of the Arabian Shi'a, it had this to say:

"As to the Shi'a, we have told the Imam that our ruling is that they must be asked to surrender to true Moslems, and should not be allowed to perform their misguided religious rites in public. We ask that the Imam should order his Viceroy in Hasa to summon the Shi'a to Sheikh Ibn Bishr, before whom they should undertake to follow the religion of God and His Prophet, to cease all prayers to the saintly members of the Prophet's house or others, to cease their heretical innovations such as the commemoration rites performed on the anniversaries of the deaths of members of the House of the Prophet and all other such rites performed in error, and that they should cease to visit the so-called sacred cities such as Karbala and Najaf. They must also attend compulsorily at the Five Prayers in the mosques, along with the rest of the congregation, and Sunni Imams and muezzins, each with an assistant, should be appointed to instruct them. Shi'as must also be forced to study Sheikh Ibn Abdul Wahhab's Three Principles.

"Any places specially erected for the practice of their rites must be destroyed, and these practices forbidden in mosques or anywhere else.

"Any Shi'as who refuse to keep to these rules must be exiled from Moslem territory." (Arabian Days, Sheikh Hafiz Wahba, 1964, pp 135-36)

Back to the drawing board, Crown Prince...

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Palestinian Genocide

The Guardian has a piece by Gavin Haynes (26/10), The Stupidest thing a nation has ever done, in which he kicks off a discussion by citing 5 examples: The Trojan Horse; King Vortigan's mercenaries; Myanmar's nines; the Confederacy's cotton ban; and the Maginot Line. As of this morning it's garnered some 864 comments.

Predictably - this is Jonathan Freedland's Israel-friendly Guardian after all - the Balfour Declaration, even as it fast approaches its centenary of November 2 - wasn't on Haynes' list. However, it was cited twice, in the comment thread, the first time with 15 likes, the second with 20, more likes than most other examples, it should be noted. (Sykes-Picot, mentioned once, got 9 likes.)

Apropos the Balfour Declaration, one of the most interesting of the many essays currently appearing on the subject is Gideon Polya's 100th anniversary of Australian Beersheba Charge, UK Balfour Declaration & Palestinian Genocide Commencement

Deploying the UN Genocide Convention's definition of the crime of genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group," Polya sets out to show that what has happened to the Palestinian people since the British takeover of their homeland in 1917 fits this definition, and quantifies the genocide as 2 million deaths from violence (0.1 million) or imposed deprivation (1.9 million) since WW I.

By way of encouraging a reading of the whole, here is section 4:

Summary of the horrendous dimensions of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, the 50-year Occupation and egregious violations of Palestinian human rights: 

(1) The Palestinian Genocide commenced in earnest with the famine deaths of 100,000 Palestinians after conquest of Palestine in WWI by the British and the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACS).

(2) The violent killing of Indigenous Palestinians commenced with the 1918 Surafend Massacre by ANZAC soldiers.

(3) Since WWI there have been 2 million Palestinian deaths from Zionist violence (0.1 million) or Zionist-imposed deprivation (1.9 million).

(4) There are 8 million Palestinian refugees and all of the 14 million Palestinians are excluded from all or part of Palestine.

(5) Of about 14 million Palestinians (half of them children), 7 million are forbidden to even set foot in their own country, 5 million are held hostage with zero human rights under Israeli guns in the Gaza Concentration Camp (2.0 million) or in ever-dwindling West Bank Bantustan ghettoes (3.0 million), and 1.8 million live as Third Class citizens as Israeli Palestinians under Nazi-style Apartheid Israeli race laws.

(6) 90% of Palestine has now been ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Palestinian inhabitants in an ongoing war criminal ethnic cleansing that has been repeatedly condemned by the UN and most recently by UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that was unanimously supported (with a remarkable Obama US abstention but subsequently fervently pro-Zionist Trump America and Turnbull Australia opposition).

(7) GDP per capita is US$2,900 for Occupied Palestinians as compared to US$37,000 for Apartheid Israel.

(8) Through imposed deprivation, each year Apartheid Israel passively murders about 2,700 under-5 year old Palestinian infants and passively murders 4,200 Occupied Palestinians in general who die avoidably under Israeli Apartheid each year (this violates Articles 55 & 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that demand that an Occupier must provide life-sustaining food and medical services to the Occupied "to the fullest extent of the means available to it.").

(9) Apartheid Israel violently kills an average of about 550 Occupied Palestinians each year.

(10) Occupied Palestinians are deprived of essentially all human rights and civil rights by Apartheid Israel (e.g. Apartheid Israeli home invasions, beatings, executions, killings, exilings, mass imprisonments, seizures of land and homes, and population transfers in violation of the UN Genocide Convention and the Geneva convention).

(11) Nuclear terrorist, serial war criminal, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel determines that 74% of its now 50% Indigenous Palestinian subjects who are Occupied Palestinians cannot vote for the government ruling them (i.e. egregious Apartheid).

(12) US-, UK-, Canada-, France- and Australia-backed Apartheid Israel in its genocidal treatment of the Palestinians ignores numerous UN General Assembly Resolutions and UN Security Council Resolutions, the UN Genocide Convention, the Geneva Convention, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and many other aspects of International Law.

(13) Apartheid Israel has attacked 12 countries (including the US) and occupied 5 with 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries neighbouring and variously occupied by Apartheid Israel totalling 24 million.

(14) 5 million Occupied Palestinians (half of them children) are routinely blackmailed through torture or denial of life-saving medical care to spy on fellow Palestinians for Apartheid Israel.

(15) 5 million Occupied Palestinians (half of them children) are excluded by checkpoints from Jews-only areas and Jews-only roads.

(16) 50% of Israeli children are physically, psychologically or sexually (17%) abused each year but 100% of the 5 million Occupied Palestinian children (2 million in Gaza Concentration Camp, 3 million in West Bank ghettos) are subject to traumatizing human rights abuse by the serial war criminal Israel Defence Force (IDF).

(17) There is a 10-year gap between Israeli and Palestinian life expectancy.

(18) Theocratic Apartheid Israeli laws prohibit all but religious marriages and marriage between Israelis and Occupied Palestinians is effectively excluded (they are forbidden from co-habiting).

(19) Decent, anti-racist Jewish Israelis, as well as decent, anti-racist Jews worldwide, are grossly and falsely defamed by conflation of Apartheid Israel and its appalling crimes with all Jews, as in the false appellation 'Jewish State'.

(20) There is an ever-present threat expressed by Apartheid Israeli ultra-extremists of a neo-Nazi Final Solution in which the Indigenous Palestinians, who presently constitute 50% of Apartheid Israeli subjects, will all be expelled from Palestine.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Newie on Me

I'm used to Syria's president being routinely demonised by the msm ('dictator'/'tyrant'), and seeing his government referred to pejoratively as a 'regime' (another indication that the war in Syria is actually a regime-change war against Syria), but this is the first time I've read something like this:

"In the end, cats and dogs were feeding on shredded human flesh in the streets. But when the siege first closed in, life in Raqqa went on much as before. There were niggling court cases over property rights; Islamic State had its own bureaucracy. There were the public executions, and there were multi-million-dollar business deals with the Syrian regime... Abu Mahmoud, 50, an estate agent before the war, is one of those men who can see profit in a crisis. He was putting together a contract for Islamic State to sell $US5 million worth of concrete oil pipelines to the regime. Sadly for him, the deal finally collapsed when the caliphate's capital was surrounded. (Dogs ate the dead as noose tightened on ISIS stronghold, Richard Spencer, The Times, 21/10/17/ The Australian, 24/10/17)

Richard Spencer is a Middle East correspondent for Murdoch's The Times. To get some idea where he's coming from, see his 30/8/17 piece, Will the West confront the power of Hezbollah: While we have focused on defeating Isis in the Middle East, an old foe has grown even stronger.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Danby. Again.

After last week's expose of Michael Danby's wagging school to spend some quality time hanging with his Israeli mates, you'd think he'd give it a rest. But no:

"Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will raise the stalled extradition of former school principal and alleged sex offender Malka Leifer directly with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem next week in a bid to dramatically step up pressure on Israel over the issue. The move will be part of a broader bipartisan Australian push to to secure the extradition of Ms Leifer, who has claimed she is too ill to attend hearings in relation to her return to Australia to face 74 counts of child sex abuse while principal of an ultra-conservative Jewish school in Melbourne. An Australian political delegation, including Labor MPs Michael Danby, Mark Dreyfus, Mike Kelly and Gai Brodtmann has also sought to discuss the issue with Israel's Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on October 30, the day before Israel commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba in 1917... Australian authorities have been dismayed by the Israeli justice system which has, in effect, shielded Ms Leifer from facing justice in Australia." (Bid to extradite Jewish educator, Cameron Stewart, The Australian, 23/10/17)

Footnote: "Dismayed by the Israeli 'justice' system"? As well they should be. 'Israeli justice' is an oxymoron.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Meet Australia's Next Liberal PM

Sydney Morning Herald journalist Jacqueline Maley has written a profile of Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg for Saturday's Good Weekend. Tellingly, it is called Power play. In it, we learn that "he has his sights set... on politics' big prize: the prime ministership."

We also learn that Frydenberg has what it takes to win the 'prize' - he inhabits an elite politician's parallel universe:

"McQuie recounts a conversation among the [sheep] station's workers where Frydenberg couldn't understand how someone could survive on an income of less than $100,000 a year. 'He was like, Wow, good lord, how do you do that?' McQuie says Frydenberg was also impressed at the quiet resourcefulness of the stockmen. 'He said, All my political career I've been telling everyone how good I am, and what my strengths are,' recalls McQuie. 'He said, You guys are so capable, but you don't tell anyone about it'."

Given Frydenberg's vaulting ambition, and since Maley doesn't subject him to the pre-eminent litmus test for intellectual and moral courage in our time - the Palestine/Israel test - we particularly need to know where this product of Melbourne's Bialik & Mount Scopus Memorial colleges stands in relation to the Zionist entity.

While not perhaps conclusive, the following two quotes such that if she had put him to the test, the result would have been a clear, if not epic, fail:

- "I don't agree with everything Israel does but I also will defend its ability to secure itself against some very hostile neighbours." Josh Frydenberg on Q&A, 2015

- "We were with you [Israelis] 100 years ago around the anniversary we commemorate today with Anzac Day, we were with you during the Shoah and I was at Yad Vashem just a couple of days ago, we are with you today at the United Nations, we are with you today on the border with Sinai and Syria [where Australia has peacekeepers] and we will be with you for a long time to come." Josh Frydenberg, quoted in Frydenberg in Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 27/4/17

Hm... I think there's little room for doubt here: Josh Frydenberg is destined to be Australia's next Liberal PM, don't you?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Herald Finally Discovers 'Balcony Over Jerusalem'

John Lyons' Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir (1917) is the most important book ever written on the existence and modus operandi of Australia's under-the-radar Israel lobby since Antony Loewenstein's 2006 My Israel Question.

Curiously, although it's been in the bookshops since July, the Sydney Morning Herald has so far ignored it - that is, until yesterday. Instead of the merited full review, however (and for reasons best known to those responsible for the book reviews in the Herald's weekend Spectrum), it was relegated to the following mere mention:

"On the balcony of their house in Jerusalem, foreign correspondent John Lyons and his wife, Sylvie Le Clezio, watched history unfold. 'Our balcony became our private time machine. We could fast-forward from the biblical past to the troubled present. We could see tear-gas being fired at Palestinians and rocks being thrown at Israeli soldiers.' From this box seat, Lyons ventured out into the Middle East covering the war in Syria, the downfall of Colonel Gaddafi and the Arab Spring. But it his reporting on the slow-motion tragedy within Israel and the occupied territories, and the public relations war waged by the Israeli government and media to keep its citizens and the rest of the world in the dark that gives this engrossing book its spine and force. 'If the whole world could see the occupation up close, it would demand that it end tomorrow'." (Fiona Capp, In Short Non-Fiction)

It has to be said here: it isn't only "the Israeli government" that keeps us "in the dark" on this issue - it's also the gutless, self-censoring Fairfax press.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Michael Danby's Magical Mystery Tour

"Labor frontbenchers are losing patience with federal MP Michael Danby over repeated corrections he has made to his register of interests this week after it was revealed he went to Israel for speaking engagements while claiming to be too ill to attend parliament. Mr Danby has lodged three separate alterations to his parliamentary register to declare sponsored travel and other previously undisclosed interests since The Australian reported on Monday that he flew to Israel and Geneva in September last year for a busy round of scheduled conferences. Changes are meant to be lodged within 28 days of occurring, and knowingly providing false information risks referral for contempt of parliament.

"The Israel trip caused dismay in Labor ranks because Mr Danby had submitted a medical certificate stating he was unfit for parliamentary duties for a period that was later found to coincide with his travel. Bill Shorten has so far deflected media questions about Mr Danby's unsanctioned trip since The Australian's first report on the subject. However, he is reported to be not pleased after recently reprimanding the Labor MP for using his parliamentary allowance to fund an advertisement attacking the ABC's Jerusalem correspondent over her coverage.

"It is understood the Labor leader told Mr Danby this week to amend his parliamentary register so that it was correct, but the Labor MP since has been forced to make further changes because required information was missing or incomplete. Mr Danby submitted a brief change on Monday that said 'Economy fare Geneva - Ben Gurion 2 nights accomm.' The handwritten update was stamped by parliament's register on the day The Australian's first report on the subject appeared and several days after questions about Mr Danby's September 2016 travels were sent to him for a response. It did not name the trip's sponsor nor list any dates. A day later, Mr Danby replaced the update with another that said a pro-Israeli group, NGO Monitor, had helped pay for his overseas trip. This second update was worded differently: 'Economy flight Ben Gurion - Geneva 17-19 September 2016'. It reversed the order of Mr Danby's flight destination, no longer mentioned any sponsored accommodation and appeared to list Geneva travel dates when Mr Danby was still in Israel.

"Mr Danby then submitted a third register change, stamped on Wednesday, following reports in The Australian's Margin Call column that discussed interests including an undisclosed 20-year-old company directorship and a mortgage on a Fitzroy property.

"Resentment among Labor colleagues has compounded following confirmation that much of Mr Danby's Israel trip related to previously scheduled events, despite his claims to be ill. The Jerusalem Post said in its Grapevine column on September 13 last year that Mr Danby was in Israel and would hold a press conference at the Jerusalem Press Club 'on Sunday of next week'. The Post's advance notice said the press conference would be jointly hosted by Mr Danby and pro-Israeli lobby group NGO Monitor, which has Mr Danby as a member of its international advisory board. The column included details of how the Labor MP intended to speak out about an alleged scandal involving World Vision's aid operations in Gaza. Labor colleagues said yesterday that notice of a public event hosted by him in Israel 'on Sunday of next week' suggested the Labor MP's trip was pre-planned. One said yesterday: 'He's not looking like an accidental tourist here'." (MP anger over 'sick' Danby's world trip, Brad Norington, The Australian, 20/10/17)

But there's more:

"Labor's member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has stuck by his just-in-time approach to parliamentary disclosure all week. Yesterday he finally lifted the veil on a 20-year-old corporate directorship and a host of other freebies. It's been a game of catch-up for the two-decade federal parliamentary veteran, who has fleshed out detail on a trip last year to Israel while on sick leave from federal parliament and has now confirmed his directorship of mysterious corporate vehicle Roosevelt Nominees. The company was formerly known as Daroda Investments, which was created in 1997, just ahead of Danby's entry to parliament the next year. It hasn't rated a mention Danby's register until now. He stresses it's a 'non-trading entity'.

"Danby has also just revealed he's got shares in the once Aidan Allen-advised listed law firm Slater and Gordon... He also has membership in the Qantas and Virgin clubs. 'Membership automatically aquired (sic) when becoming an MP, the same as other MPs,' he told the Register of Members Interests yesterday. Better late than never. There's also news of the mortgage on his partner Amanda Mendes da Costa's home in North Fitzroy, which her mum lives in rent-free. No word though, on his lawyer wife's new job as a full-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Expect that in the 46th parliament - if Danby still has a seat by then." (Better late than never, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, The Australian, 20/10/17)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Like Pulling Teeth

"The Michael Danby disclosure story continues, one comically late update after another.

"Yesterday, Labor's member for Melbourne Ports fleshed out the details of his trip to Israel last year while on sick leave from federal parliament, finally revealing part of his trip had been funded by the Jerusalem-based Gerald M. Steinberg-founded NGO Monitor, which analyses and reports on the output of the international NGO community from a pro-Israel perspective.

"But still nothing on the convalesced Danby's mysterious corporate vehicle, Roosevelt Nominees, formerly known as Daroda Investments, which was created 20 years ago, before Danby entered parliament in 1998. Almost two decades on and it's yet to rate a mention on the register of members' interests. We were told last night that 'fast fingers' Danby was on the case, but the material was still to be processed by the registry office.

"And the paperwork shouldn't end there. Eventually there should be an update on Danby's Melbourne barrister wife Amanda Mendes da Costa's new job as a full-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, announced last month by Attorney-General George Brandis. The AAT reviews government decisions, with Mendes da Costa to be paid in the order of $305,000 a year for the job... As for the house that Mendes da Costa has in North Fitzroy, Danby tells us her mum lives in it rent-free. Still, there's a mortgage on it to Ian Narev's CBA that Danby perhaps may want to note. All in his own time.

"And what about the Qantas Chairman's Club membership and complementary Foxtel service that Danby has received but not disclosed? 'The electoral office has a Foxtel connection,' Danby told us. 'Like all MPs, I am automatically a member of the Qantas Club and it was not a sought membership.' That's an interesting interpretation of Privileges and Members' Interests committee chairman Ross Vasta's disclosure guidelines. Wonder what he makes of it?" (Danby's trip disclosure near dandy, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, The Australian, 19/10/17)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Danby Declines

"... Mr Danby has declined to say who helped fund his travels in September last year in a handwritten update to his parliamentary register of interests that was submitted hastily on Monday after The Australian asked questions about the trip. Nor has the Labor MP listed the dates for his sponsored travel and hospitality in the sparsely worded update that says: 'Economy fare Geneva-Ben Gurion 2 nights accomm'... Bill Shorten has refused to comment about Mr Danby claiming to be too ill to attend parliament and then leaving the country for speaking engagements... " (Danby fails to name donors, Brad Norington, The Australian, 18/10/17)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Zionising Palestinian & Australian History

Here we go again: more Zionisation of Palestinian and Australian history:

"Anticipating a visit to Israel by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for centenary commemorations of the charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba on October 31, the Times of Israel has reproduced a re-enactment photograph showing horsemen bearing the Australian and Israeli flags side-by-side. Quite apart from anything else the image is historically inaccurate since no such Israeli flag existed in 1917, nor the State of Israel itself. That would come 31 years later. (Australia's complicated contribution to the State of Israel, Tony Walker, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/10/17)

"Why such an ahistorical embellishment of a sacred event in Australian history should be necessary is a matter for the organisers, but it is difficult to escape a conclusion politics is involved... "

"Sacred"? When (not to mention why) did this event become "sacred."? If it ever did.

And no, it's not at all "difficult" to escape the conclusion that this event has been Zionised. (The word 'politicisation' doesn't even begin to call a spade a spade in this case.)

"It remains a stretch... to suggest that Beersheba was a midwife to Israel's birth."

Merely a "stretch"? Try 'utter bullshit'.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Not So Fine & Danby

"Danby is not a single-issue politician but is a strong supporter of Israel... " (Greg Sheridan, Its response to Danby lays bare ABC's hubris, The Australian, 14/10/17)

Apparently, last September, senior Labor MPs were looking everywhere for the shadow minister for Tel Aviv, scratching their pates and wondering, one to the other, where on earth he could possibly be, only to find he was on a Tel Aviv-related mission. Who'd have thought, they were heard to exclaim on this surprise finding:

"Federal Labor MP Michael Danby took a trip to Israel and pursued some of his favourite causes after allegedly telling his party back home that he was too ill to attend a sitting week of parliament. Mr Danby... made the trip in September last year during a two-week absence. He had supplied a medical certificate that stated he was unfit for parliamentary duties. The second week of Mr Danby's absence coincided with a sitting week of parliament. During that time he was in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, to attend a counter-terrorism conference...

"Senior Labor sources have confirmed Mr Danby's journey... was not sanctioned by the party leadership, and not known in advance. His leave was not related to representing Australia...

"A few days after attending the summit event... Mr Danby spoke at a media conference at the Jerusalem Press Club. The Jerusalem Post reported at the time that he had been invited by the pro-Israel group, NGO Monitor, to Jerusalem to address 'the recent World Vision scandal' which allegedly involved millions of dollars in aid money for Gaza that had been siphoned off to militant Palestinian group Hamas. 'If Australian money was spent on building (Hamas terror) tunnels, that is beyond the pale,' Mr Danby was reported as saying.

"Although some Labor MPs believed Mr Danby was at home in Melbourne and unwell at the time of his international trip, others thought he was on compassionate leave, spending time with his former wife, who had been seriously ill. When concerned senior colleagues called Mr Danby's mobile phone from Canberra during the parliamentary week to ask after his health, they were puzzled to hear 'international pips', they said... After further calls, they learned Mr Danby was in Israel and intended to speak out about World Vision at the Jerusalem Press Club. They attempted to persuade him not to hold the media conference, but failed.

"Senior Labor MPs have wondered how his activities could be described as parliamentary business when the House of Representatives was in session and he would normally be required to attend, if able. Questions have also been raised about whether Mr Danby's stand against World Vision, while consistent with the Israeli government's position, was in line with ALP policy. World Vision officials deny aid funds were wrongly diverted to Hamas. The manager of aid operations for Gaza has been in Israeli custody for 15 months pending a possible prosecution, with World Vision trying to secure his release.

"The Australian asked Mr Danby to comment on how he came to be abroad when he was assumed to be on sick leave during a parliamentary week. Mr Danby was also asked if any of his leave and accommodation costs in September last year were paid by sponsors, and if so, who paid. He was asked for comment on why a number of senior Labor colleagues were not aware of his overseas travel when parliament was sitting - until finding out during his absence. In response, Mr Danby told The Australian last night: 'I received medical advice to take a complete break and get away. I took that advice. Unauthorised release of private medical information is ethically wrong. None of us want our private health details released, especially when they're used to distort circumstances. No taxpayer dollars were involved in the trip.'

"Mr Danby's globetrotting in September last year was spread over three weeks, starting in Israel and including Geneva, where he spoke at a UN-linked NGO Monitor event on September 26... " (Shorten's 'sick' ally took trip to Israel, Brad Norington, The Australian, 16/10/17)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

He's Just Fine & Danby

Breaking: Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan has just come out swinging at the Little Red Book-carrying, green left ABC, in defence of his old mate, Michael Danby, Labor's shadow minister for Israel:

"Melbourne Ports is one of the two federal seats with the highest proportion of Jewish voters. Danby is not a single-issue politician but a strong supporter of Israel who believes the ABC does not report the nation fairly. Frankly no one could seriously contest that proposition." (Its response to Danby lays bare ABC's hubris, The Australian, 14/10/17)

But, Greg, think of it this way: Danby's strolling along the riverbank, right? And he sees Netanyahu and the Dalai Lama struggling in the water, right? We all know who he's going to rescue, right? Frankly, you couldn't seriously contest that proposition, right?

"A former chairman of the parliamentary joint standing committee on foreign affairs, he is an old-style social democratic internationalist with a passionate concern for human rights, free trade unions and the like."

C'mon, Greg, can the crap. He's an uber Zionist with a knee-jerk response to any criticism of Israel, however slight, and zero concern for Palestinian rights. Just like you, actually.

"The ABC is consistently biased against Israel in a similar way to the BBC and for similar reasons. The overwhelming majority of ABC reporters and general broadcast commentators share a fairly narrow spectrum of world view, ranging from the middle left of Labor to the green left."

OFFS, Greg, what planet are you on? I've been blogging away at this subject now for ten long years and, in all that time, I cannot recall a time when Israel's ever taken a hit from the ABC. Just the opposite, in fact!