Sunday, June 24, 2018

From the Horse's Mouth

Well, I'll be damned if Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation chief executive Simon Haines isn't conceding that our much-vaunted Western civilisation is "wicked, colonial, imperialist and racist":

"But normal academic processes will be followed, and the centre will have no power of veto. If the centre doesn't like the direction in which the university takes the course, it will withdraw. 'If we felt, three or four years into the degree, that this is not working out, the stories we are getting from the students [are] that most of the courses are pointing out that the West is a wicked, colonial, imperialist, racist... civilisation, we would say, 'look, we didn't give you the money to do that, we want something balanced'." (It may be academic, but it's talk of the town, Jordan Baker, Sydney Morning Herald, 23/6/18)

He just wants some balance, that's all...

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Time for a New Australian Party

Clearly, Australia needs a new political party. One unburdened by any pettifogging concern for the national interest. One that makes no bones about getting its inspiration and marching orders from afar. My suggestion is that it be called the Whatever Israel Wants Israel Gets Party (WIWIGP).

And this could be it in embryo:

"Senator Fraser Anning (QLD) [Katter's Australian Party] last night filed a Notice of Motion... to the effect that Australia will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of of Israel and move our embassy to the western side of Jerusalem... the motion was defeated in the senate today by 50-4... Dr David Adler, AJA [Australia Jewish Association] President said, 'It is an explicit core policy of AJA that Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel and the Jewish nation... AJA has worked closely with Senator Anning's office and support his motion. 'We want to recognise him as a friend of the Jewish people... It is an opportunity to put Australian senators to the test on this important matter of principle... ' [...] Dr David Adler told J-Wire: 'Obviously we are disappointed that the vote... was lost It appears that both major parties instructed their senators to vote no. We know that there are quite a few LNP senators that given a free vote would have voted yes'." (A motion to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital & to move the Australian embassy there, jwire.com.au, 19/6/18)

Senators Anning, Bernardi, Burston and Leyonhjelm are obvious founding father material, and WIWIGP is sure to grow like topsy as Liberal and Labor politicians, who orate endlessly about 'shared values' and 'unbreakable bonds', declare their true allegiance at last.

In fact, WIWIGP could end up as the largest party in Australia's federal parliament!

Finally, some honesty in Australian federal politics.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Foxtrot? Tommyrot!

How depressing are those book/film reviews in the msm which, inadvertently or otherwise, distort and cover up the reality of Israel's war crimes. (Of course, it goes without saying that Israeli books/films are virtually the only ones to make it into the msm.)

The latest specimen is Paul Byrnes' review of Israeli 'war' film Foxtrot for the Sydney Morning Herald. Herewith my gripes and grumblings:

"If a film makes war seem fun, you can pretty much know the director has never been near one. Samuel Maoz is an exception. He served in the Israeli Defence Force in 1982 during the Israeli occupation in Lebanon. It's clear that it was a shattering experience." (Painful portrait of war's deep scars, 21/6/18)

Yes, Paul, "a shattering experience" it was - particularly for the over 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians who got it in the neck (not to mention the more than 30,000 wounded) when Maoz and his mates blitzkriegged into Lebanon at the time. But we don't want to talk about the real victims here, do we, Paul?

"His first feature film, Lebanon, recreated the life of a tank crew on active duty. The whole film was set inside the tank, which was both technically daring and completely terrifying."

C'mon, Paul, seriously now, where else would you set an Israeli film? Except perhaps in a cockpit, or in the space immediately behind the sights of a rifle.

"Foxtrot is a different kind of movie, but just as scarifying. It steps back to dramatise what it's like for the family of an Israeli soldier when they receive news that he has been killed. That's the first act."

But emphatically not what's it's like for the family of a Palestinian blown away by an Israeli soldier.

"The second act takes place in the desert, where a group of young IDF soldiers man a lonely checkpoint."

Just a minute, Paul. You mean there's still some desert left in Israel - after over 100 years of making the desert bloom? Or are we talking about the Sahara or the Gobi here? Is that where Israel's borders are now? But seriously, the whole fucking point of your Israeli checkpoint is that it's set up with only one purpose in mind - to mess with the lives of occupied Palestinians (as in 'how many checkpoints does a Palestinian have to negotiate to get from occupied Bethlehem to occupied Jerusalem?'). Do you get my drift, Paul? Your Israeli checkpoint needs PEOPLE. Ergo, there is NO SUCH THING as "a lonely checkpoint," OK?

"A third act returns to the family, now in post-traumatic disarray."

Hey, Paul, was part of their "post-traumatic disarray" having their home demolished? Oh wait... that only happens to Palestinian families.

"Foxtrot has been hugely controversial in Israel... The right in Israel objected to the film's depiction of Israeli soldiers covering up evidence of a killing."

Noooo! The most moral army in world, lying? You're kidding me. I simply don't believe it.

"One of the soldiers is Jonathan... In one of the film's most surreal moments, Jonathan dances with his rifle as if it's a woman... making his comrades laugh... He's just a kid, horsing around, trying to entertain his pals and relieve some tension; he's also a bulwark, a defender of the nation."

Oh no, Paul. He's neither "bulwark," nor "defender of the nation." He's an OCCUPIER, pure and simple. Strewth, is it really that hard?

Apparently so. Paul Byrnes has given Tommyrot 4 stars.

On Crossing Lines

Where some people draw the famous 'red line' never ceases to amaze me:

"A line was crossed last week when Charles Sturt University students turned up at a 'politically incorrect'-themed party in costumes from three of the most horrendous episodes in history." (Ignorance or arrogance behind offensive outfits, Vic Alhadeff, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/6/18)

Golly, gosh, gee, isn't this the same Vic Alhadeff (chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies) who, as (LOL) NSW Community Relations Commissioner, just couldn't restrain himself from leaping to apartheid Israel's defence while it was busy dispatching Palestinian civilians in Gaza to kingdom come by rocket and shellfire, and, as a consequence, ended up resigning from the CRC position after coming under criticism? (See my posts Baruch O'Farrell's Poisoned Chalice (13/7/14), They Hardly Felt a Thing (14/7/14) & Vic Alhadeff: Multicultural in NSW, Monocultural in Israel (28/7/14) for the gory details.)

Not that Alhadeff considered himself to have crossed a line at the time. In fact, far from blaming himself for his decision to resign, he blamed "the reaction from some" (to his whitewashing of Israeli murder and mayhem) for constituting "a distraction to the work of the CRC."

Nonetheless, the Herald has no compunction whatever in hosting Alhadeff's humbug from time to time. For example, in the same piece we get the following gem of gems:

"[W]hen we lose sight of fundamental principles of decency and the lessons of history, we risk losing our moral centre and slipping into dangerous territory in which prejudice and bigotry are permitted to flourish."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Where's Israel?

I just love the annual Lowy Institute Poll and its 'Feelings Thermometer', don't you?

"Please rate your feelings towards some countries, with 100 meaning a very warm, favourable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling... "

"This year for the first time," says the Poll, in its gloss, Feelings towards other countries, "we have included in the same 'thermometer' question the three nations Australians have felt most warmly towards in the past: New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Each is very warmly regarded, and the separation between them is almost insignificant."

I just don't understand! Why isn't Israel included here?

After all, PM Harbourside Mansion (salary now almost $538,500) is on record as saying that we and Israel share the values of "ingenuity, resilience and hard work," and that "we have an unbreakable bond that is only getting stronger."

UNBREAKABLE, mate!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The War in Yemen: No Proxy Conflict with Iran

"Alongside their throttlehold over which reporters can visit what parts of Yemen, and thus what story they can tell, Saudi and Emirati investments in public relations, lobbying, think-tanks, and political consultants are shaping the narrative about their war there. Headline writers, pundits, Wikipedia, news correspondents, and even some so-called experts frame the asymmetric conflict as a 'proxy war.' Sunni nations led by Saudi Arabia are battling Shi'a Iran and its regional proxies, the story goes; the world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster thus appears as un-named collateral damage.

"The word 'proxy,' incongruously accompanied by the label of a 'civil war' between an 'internationally recognized government' and 'Iranian-backed militia,' rationalizes the unwarranted, unprovoked Saudi-UAE intervention in Yemen. Some headlines and stories reflect sloppy journalism and the tendency to mindlessly reiterate hackneyed tag-lines. However, make no mistake: big petrodollar spending around DuPont Circle systematically produces a story-line that exonerates the murder and starvation of Yemenis who are not even 'Shi'a' in the name of countering overblown Iranian influence.

"A proxy war is a clash between contending powers that do not engage directly in combat. Rather, rivals arm, train, and goad third parties in smaller countries to fight one another. The classic Cold War cases were civil or cross-border wars in Central America and southern Africa where communist or socialist forces battled US clients. In the big antagonism between patrons - the Soviet Union and the United States - the battlefield was in the so-called Third World. Some sources (like Wikipedia) characterize the Korean and Vietnam wars as 'proxy' conflicts, because the American objective was to defeat communist 'proxies;' but these conflicts, named for the places US forces engaged, are more commonly, and accurately, recalled as direct American interventions, or instances of American imperialism. Like scores of US interventions during the era of bipolar competition, they reflected a hegemonic urge to insulate friendly allies from popular revolutions, and to perpetuate dependent regimes.

"The US- and UK-supported Saudi and UAE dynasties and their hired analysts insist that their Yemeni adversary is a proxy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The inference is that Arab Gulf monarchies righteously resist Iranian - or Shi'a - influence in the Peninsula. Therefore, forty months of relentless bombing and blockade are justified as self-defense.

"Poppycock. Sure, the Houthi militia have ex post facto Iranian support - not in their several pre-2011 rebellions against the Salih government, but more recently. When they swept into Sana'a in 2014, with the turncoat support of Salih and his regiments, they instigated regular flights to and from Tehran. This infuriated the Saudi and Emirati governments, who ordered the bombing of Sana'a's runways and the indefinite shutdown of the airport. Improbably and irrationally, given the domestic roots of their grievances, the Houthis adopted Iranian slogans "death to America, death to Israel." PressTV and other Iranian propaganda outlets champion the Houthi cause.

"Civilian transport and propaganda do not, however, proxies make. The evidence of Houthis receiving Iranian arms despite the strangling Saudi-led, US-backed air and naval blockade is thin; the missiles they fire are low-tech and antiquated, mostly leftovers from the Soviet era. Iranians have not been filmed inside of Yemen. If anything, cries of 'Iranian-backed' grossly inflate Tehran's influence, and even that is more self-fulfilling after-the-fact prophesy than casus belli. No reasonable claim can be advanced that the Houthis take their marching orders or even their inspiration from the Islamic Republic. Two rather aside points in this regard: first, until recently the Persian Twelvers did not even consider the Zaydi Fivers as Shi'a; and secondly, the 'cold war' between Tehran and Riyadh is as much about republican vs. royal visions of an Islamic state as it is a denominational confrontation between the two great branches of Islam.

"Moreover, the 'internationally recognized government' has been in comfortable exile in Riyadh since March or April of 2015. 'Internationally recognized' is another way of saying that the so-called government of Abdarrubuh Mansur Hadi - often portrayed as a puppet - has no domestic mandate or following, only Gulf sponsors. These patrons, particularly Saudi Arabia, have a history of meddling in Yemen against popular movements and democratic impulses. Among other instances, the House of Saud backed the Zaydi Imamate against republican officers in North Yemen during the 1962-1970 civil war: then, and perhaps now, the fear of republicanism overrode any antipathy towards Zaydi Shi'ism. The Gulf patriarchies worried about uprisings in North Africa; the mass protests in Yemen in 2011 - led, incidentally, by women - caused genuine panic in the palaces.

"The most dangerous aspect of the 'proxy war against Iranian-backed militia' narrative is that is deflects attention away from indisputable war crimes. The Saudi-led coalition is now making a push on the strategic Red Sea port of al-Hudaydah, which has already been out of commission for three years and remains 'occupied' by Houthi rebels. Al-Hudaydah port and the governorate of al-Hudaydah lie along the Red Sea coastal plain known as the Tihama. The people of the Tihama, residents of fishing, herding, pottery-and-basket-making, and sharecropping communities who have already suffered disproportionately from Saudi-led bombing and the naval blockade, are dark-skinned Yemenis of mixed Arab and African ancestry. Spiritually, they identify with the Shafi'i denomination of Sunni Islam. Socially, they are the poorest of the poor. Politically, they have no sympathy for the Houthis, much less Iran.

"The victims of the coming - or current - onslaught are not 'proxies of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.' They are starving children under attack by filthy-rich monarchies wielding the most advanced weapons Britain and the United States have to sell." (War of aggression: the Saudi & UAE slaughter in Yemen isn't a proxy conflict with Iran, Sheila Carapico, juancole.com, 6/6/18)

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Suez Aggression Rides Again

It's back to 1956*, chaps, with Britain and France now key players in the Saudi/Emirati intervention in Yemen.

In addition to arming the Saudis, Britain (along with the US) has just vetoed a UNSC resolution designed to prevent a Saudi/Emirati attack on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. (See UN rejects plan for ceasefire in Yemen port, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 15/6/18)

As for the French, they've apparently deployed special forces to Yemen to bolster Emirati troops there. (See French special forces on the ground in Yemen, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com. 16/6/18)

These two imperial recidivists, you'll remember, accompanied Trump on his bombing run in Syria in April. Now they're at it again, this time in Yemen. When will they ever learn?

As Syrian MP Fares Shehabi tweeted on June 16: "In short, the UK, US & France are behind all of our nightmares and tragedies in the region! We don't have any positive collective memory of anything good they did for us! For a century all they did was conquer, destroy, divide, loot, abuse and terrorize our people!"

[*When Britain and France colluded with the Israelis to seize the Suez Canal and topple Egypt's president Nasser. See my 14/4/18 post Anthony Nutting Turns in His Grave.]

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Malcolm's Party

It has been said that the fish stinks from the head down. Well, you can smell the head of Australia's governing Liberal Party a mile away. Get a whiff of this:

Last year...

"Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the highest paid politician in the OECD... Mr Turnbull's base pay rose to $527,854 after the independent Remuneration Tribunal ordered a 2% pay rise for politicians last year, delivering him a $10,000 jump." (Turnbull's pay highest of any OECD leader, Eryk Bagshaw, The Sun-Herald, 27/5/47)

Next month...

"Malcolm Turnbull will pocket a pay rise of more than $10,000 next month after the independent Remuneration Tribunal decided to lift salaries for federal politicians by 2%... The decision will see the Prime Minister's annual income rise to $538,460... " ($10k top-up for Turnbull as pay lifted for MPs, Joe Kelly, The Australian, 14/6/18)

Then, of course, there's the awful stench of the party's rank and vile:

"The [Liberal Party's] council... voted, by a narrow margin of 43 to 31 votes, to relocate the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a highly contentious move opposed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop during the debate." (Liberal Party council votes to sell off the ABC, David Crowe, smh.com.au, 16/6/18)

Smelling salts, anyone?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

It Seemed Like a Jolly Good Idea at the Time

I introduced Thursday's post, Erin Go Brath, with a quote from Ronald Storrs (1881-1955), the British governor of Jerusalem from 1920-26. As indicated, the quote comes from his highly-regarded memoir Orientations (1937). It is obvious from the passage that, at the time of writing his book, Storrs was a starry-eyed admirer of the Zionist colonial project in Palestine. But, as the bloody reality of that project inevitably became apparent, the penny began to drop for him, as those wonderful, enterprising Zionist chappies of the 20s turned on Britain in the late 40s and went for its jugular.

Here's how Zionist historian Rory Miller concludes his essay Sir Ronald Storrs & Zion: the dream that turned into a nightmare (Middle East Studies, July 2000):

"For the Zionists the story [of British involvement in Palestine] concluded well with the birth of the State of Israel. For Storrs the story did not have such a happy ending. By the time of Israel's founding in 1948, Storrs' long-time interest in Palestine had crystallized into a loathing of Zionism. It had even turned into paranoia with Storrs concerned lest his public pronouncements on Zionism might result in his assassination by Zionist extremists and get him 'sterned off', as he liked to phrase it... Entries into his diary such as 'Palestine news is heartbreaking' and 'Palestine is worse than ever... I wish I could let my anxiety, even despair lapse into... indifference' evoke the bitterness, hostility and resignation of a man who had involved himself in the Palestine question for over 30 years. Indeed it is a private note made by Storrs when he was contemplating adding an addendum to the 1948 reprint of the final and definitive edition of Orientations that emotionally and eloquently best sums up the totality of his opposition to Zionism and his belief in the harm wrought by the Zionist experiment in Palestine by this time: 're-reading these chapters I compared what Britain had done for Zionism with what Zionism had done to the British, to the peaceful inhabitants of the Holy Land and to the Middle East, to Judaism and ultimately to world Jewry, to the fair name of the United Nations, to the Anglo-American relationship, upon which the future of humanity depends - then, in the speech of our book of common prayer - 'I held my tongue and spake nothing. I kept silence, yea even from God's* words, but it was pain and grief to me'."

[*The Book of Common Prayer actually says, 'good words'.]

Friday, June 15, 2018

New Kid on the Block?

On Wednesday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution (GA/12028) condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and asked UN chief Antonio Guterres to recommend an 'international protection mechanism' for occupied Palestinian territory. Only eight countries voted against the resolution: Israel, the United States, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo.

Much the same shameless Pacific line-up as usual, except that Palau's been replaced by the Solomons - a first time appearance as far as I can recall.

Now as it happens, the Solomon Islands' PM is currently visiting Australia, discussing "a new undersea internet cable between Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomons, which Australia is helping to fund." (Pacific 'pressured to cut ties with Taiwan', Primrose Riordan, The Australian, 14/6/18)

OK, if Australia is funding the thing, what's the Solomons' contribution? Just asking...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Erin Go Brath

"In spite then of non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews, [with the Balfour Declaration] world Jewry was at last within sight of home... No longer would the Jews remain a people without a land, in exile everywhere... Civilisation had at last acknowledged the great wrong, had proclaimed the word of salvation. It was for the Jews to approve themselves by action worthy of that confidence: to exercise practically and materially their historic 'right'. The soil tilled by their fathers had lain for long ages neglected: now, with the modern processes available to Jewish brains, Jewish capital and Jewish enterprise, the wilderness would rejoice and blossom like the rose. Even though the land could not yet absorb sixteen millions, nor even eight, enough could return, if not to form The Jewish State (which a few extremists publicly demanded), at least to prove that the enterprise was one that blessed him that gave as well as him that took by forming for England 'a little loyal Jewish Ulster' in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism." (Orientations, Ronald Storrs, 1937,  pp 357-58. Storrs was Jerusalem's first British governor.)

***

Following in the footsteps of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Cork City Council, the Dublin City Council, Galway City Council has declared its solidarity with the people of Palestine and support for the BDS movement.

Here is Galway's most excellent motion:

1. Since its violent establishment in 1948 through the ethnic cleansing of more than half of the indigenous people of Palestine, the state of Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights and has refused to comply with international law; noting also that Israel continues to illegally occupy and colonise Palestinian land, discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel, imposes an inhumane blockade and siege of Gaza and denies Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes, Galway City Council fully supports and endorses the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for freedom, equality and justice and commits itself to discontinue all business contracts it has with Hewlett-Packard, both HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for business and government services, as well as the HP spin-off DXC Technology as HP and DXC provide and operate much of the technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people. (Galway City Council adopts motion to boycott Israel, Micheal O Maoileoin, galwaydaily.com, 12/6/18)

Meanwhile, in the settler-colonial backwater known as Australia...

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Night Thoughts of a Western Civilisationist

Those baby boomers have a lot to answer for, it seems:

"Western civilisation is losing its pre-eminence because it threw it away in the 1960s. When the burgeoning demographic of Baby Boomers reached angry adolescence, they had found the truth in sex, drugs and rock and roll and making love not war. Being angry at the establishment was exciting. Many never learned another thing and, like Peter Pan, never grew up, especially those who taught humanities and social sciences in schools and universities. Their minds turned towards subjects where victimhood and identity politics determined intellectual content, and violence and intimidation became the medium of communication. These are the eternally young Philistines who are responsible for the Australian education system today. The Ramsay Centre is a wonderful antidote but it is fighting a war against a large barbarian enemy and will need more troops and a well-developed strategy to win. Rome fell because of the enemy at and within the gates - and the loss of civic virtue. The West faces China, Russia and militant Islam and this cancerous social disease of eternally young and stupid totalitarian toddlers inside. The new dark ages are a distinct possibility." (Letter of Jim Wilson, Beaumont, SA in The Australian, 29/5/18)

Only in the Murdoch press...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

AUJS is Joking, Right?

Hm....

"A female suicide bomber who killed dozens of Israeli soldiers has graced the front cover of a University of Sydney student newspaper, and Jewish students who complained about the cover have been 'condemned' for censorship. Hamida al-Taher killed more than 50 people, mainly Israeli military personnel, when she blew herself up in Southern Lebanon in 1985. The special edition of the University of Sydney's student newspaper Honi Soit, produced by the student women's collective a fortnight ago, put her on the cover and called her a 'martyr' in an issue dedicated to the struggle against 'Israeli colonisation'. The student queer collective's edition of Honi Soit on April 16 was criticised for having a picture of a petrol bomb on the cover and supporting a boycott of Israel. The Australasian Union of Students has called for an apology over the covers. 'They are particularly disturbing to Jewish students as they display a blatant disdain for Israeli victims of violence,' AUJS national political director Noa Bloch said." (Jewish students take aim at 'distressing' paper, Richard Ferguson, The Australian, 8/6/18)

WTF?

What is it that the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) just doesn't get here?

Maybe some capital letters will help:

A LEBANESE freedom fighter dies in an operation which kills ISRAELI troops occupying LEBANON, and is therefore hailed a martyr. But, for some strange reason, the AUSTRALASIAN Union of Jewish Students that's a no-no.

Now AUSTRALIAN troops have killed God knows how many TURKS, VIETNAMESE, AFGHANS and IRAQIS in TURKEY, VIETNAM, AFGHANISTAN and IRAQ respectively, and are honoured for their 'sacrifice' with an annual commemoration known as Anzac Day. But, presumably, the AUSTRALASIAN Union of Jewish Students has no problem with that.

Hope that helps.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Spartans in Afghanistan

The 'exploits' of an Australian death squad, operating until 2013 in Afghanistan are currently the subject of a major Sydney Morning Herald investigation. Central to the story is an officer known only as 'Leonidas', "who cannot be named for legal reasons." If 'Leonidas' isn't proof that Hollywood is far more than a US Weapon of Mass Distraction (as if that were not bad enough) but a form of spiritual pollution which plays havoc with the minds of the cretins who flock to its juvenile productions, I don't know what is:

"At the time (2009), he was part of an SASR [Special Air Service Regiment] patrol that was increasingly dividing the regiment. A warrior culture was being embraced by some special forces troops but loathed by others. It involved tattoos and a devotion to the Hollywood movie 300, which glorifies the fighting prowess of the ancient Spartans, and whose climactic moment involves an enemy soldier being kicked off a ridge. Several former SASR officers say this rock-star ethos emboldened certain soldiers to test the elasticity of the rules of engagement - rules that govern when a soldier can take a life. 'The regiment over time prided itself on being an organisation that broke the rules but not the law,' explains one former officer... 'What happened, though, was during the Afghan campaign, there was a group of individuals who believed they were immune from the law'... [In] the patrol Leonidas belonged to... sources say, junior members were pushed to kill rather than detain." (SAS's day of shame: war crime allegations: bound detainee kicked off cliff and executed, Nick McKenzie & Chris Masters, 9/6/18)

As a SMH reviewer wrote of 300 back in 2007: "Welcome to the new double-speak. Sparta as a metaphor for America, courtesy of Warner Bros, in which the politics of eugenics is reborn amid one of the most sickeningly violent and mindless films of the new millennium. Adolf Hitler would have been pleased: he may have lost the war, but his ideas live on in mystical, military propaganda like this, aimed at spotty boys in need of heroes. God help us. Of course, latent fascism isn't new in American military movies. It's just that it's rarely as politically naive as it is in 300. That's me being charitable. It's just possible the filmmakers intended it to be as inflammatory as it is. These are strange times and 300 fits the mood of a part of the West that would like to see the Middle Eastern barbarians bathed in their own blood. This is their kind of movie, complete with references to 'barbarians' and 'Asian hordes'. Perhaps the Klan has become a new demographic for Hollywood." (In the name of freedom, Paul Byrnes, 6/4/07)

The 'genius' behind this filth, director Zack Snyder, was quoted at the time as saying, "My feeling is if a movie's not sexy and fucking violent and fucking cool, then why go sit in the theatre? I look at the screen and half the time I'm like, 'I'm going to fall asleep. Somebody's going to have to kill somebody. Or fuck somebody.' A movie should kick you in the face." (Sympathy for the Spartans, Stephen Applebaum, The Australian, 21/3/07)

And guess what? Snyder's 'movie' did just that - to an innocent, handcuffed, Afghan shepherd, Ali Jan:

"[A] junior soldier described a scene he'd witnessed which was haunting him. It involved an irate and frustrated Leonidas grabbing one of the PUCs [Persons Under Confinement] and walking him to the edge of a cliff... Leonidas gave himself a short run-up then kicked the detainee. As he plunged, his face smashed into rocks. Then the injured man was executed, the junior soldier told his superiors. A second witness... has corroborated that story. He says he saw Leonidas kicking 'the hell' out of an Afghan detainee. The witness says this incident mirrored the climactic 'kick' scene from the Spartan movie, 300."

I really don't think I can take too much more of this Western Civilisation shit.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Get Thee to a Monastery!

Stop the search, John, Dreg, Tony! I've found just the place for the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. Heaps of room and like-minded inmates:

"A remote 800-year-old hilltop religious retreat in Italy is to become the latest in a wave of right-wing academies attempting to shape the next generation of populist leaders in Europe. The Trisulti monastery, about a two-hour drive southeast of Rome, is being converted by Benjamin Harnwell, a conservative Catholic ideologue from... England, who said he was determined to 'defend the Judaeo-Christian roots of society.' Boasting connections at senior levels in the Vatican, Mr Harnwell, 42, is also backed by former White House strategist Steve Bannon... " (Monks out, right-wing believers in, The Times/The Australian, 9/6/18)

Er... shouldn't that be Binyamin Harnwell?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hypocrisy Alert!

Dreg Sheridan, foreign editor of Murdoch's Israelian, currently has his knickers in a knot over the Australian National University and Sydney University's thumbs-down to the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. (This currently homeless entity, significantly, is chaired by former Liberal PM and warmonger John Howard and includes Tony Abbott on its board.)

The Australian National University's rejection of the Centre, he rants hysterically, "has shown us beyond doubt how illiberal, intolerant and anti-Western our big public universities have become... Western civilisation has a huge number of enemies at universities. Ramsey looks like a businessman preparing for a Rotary Club meeting when actually he has been invited to a knife fight. (Our universities are no longer seeking the truth, 7/6/18)

However, as Sheridan has earlier admitted, he and his bestie, Abbott, have been veritable purveyors of illiberality, intolerance and wilful ignorance since their own university days in the 70s: 

"No doubt the silliest thing we did at the [Australian Union of Students] conference was to attend a Palestinian film night. Because AUS was spending our money, we wanted to assert... our right to be there. So we heckled the film a bit." (The Tony that I - and others - remember was never violent at uni, The Australian, 12/9/12. See my 13/9/12 post Greg & Tony Do Monash 1.)

So instead of viewing the film with open minds and maybe learning something new, the pair attended with only one aim in mind - to prevent others from learning about Palestine. Apart from any other concerns (such as the Centre's potential for acting as a Trojan horse for the whitewashing and/or celebration of European/US imperial and colonial crimes, to take but one example), our universities are right to be wary of anything touted by such arch hypocrites as Sheridan and Abbott.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Don't Even Think About It

What makes Israel different from every other country on earth (apart, that is, from its cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Palestinians and other Arabs who stand up to its bullying) is that it is not a state of its citizens, but, in line with its 'Jewish state' Zionist ideology, the state of Jews all over the world - whether or not they wish to take up or refuse Israeli citizenship.

This, of course, means that while Jews get the red carpet treatment should they ever wish to avail themselves of Israeli citizenship, non-Jewish, indigenous Palestinian Arabs, whether evicted from their Palestinian homeland by Israeli forces in 1948 and 1967, or subjected to Israeli military occupation and the violence of Israeli settler thugs since 1967, haven't got a snowflake's chance in hell of ever being granted Israeli citizenship.

Yes, the Palestinian remnant, which escaped being ethnically cleansed in 1948, and which now constitutes 20% of Israel's population, are Israeli citizens, but of a distinctly inferior, second-class kind.

As it happens, one of the latter's MKs had recently dared to place a bill on the Knesset's agenda, calling for Israel "to be defined as a state of all its citizens." That is, mandating real equality between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs.

The result? "On June 5, the Knesset issued a press release stating that its Presidium (a group consisting of the speaker and deputy speakers) voted to disqualify [it]." (Israeli lawmakers kill 'equality of all citizens' bill before it is even introduced, Mohamed Mohamed, mondoweiss.net, 6/6/18)

Yes, Virginia, Israel is an apartheid state.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Serial Killers, Serial Liars

Gaza's Great March of Return began on March 30 this year. Israeli snipers shot 773 Palestinians with live fire that day. On March 31, the Israeli army boasted in a tweet:

"Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed."

That tweet was soon deleted, but not before Israeli human rights organisation Btselem captured it.

Now, it seems, the army that knows where every bullet landed is at a complete loss to account for the bullet that took the life of Razan an-Najjar:

"While the investigation into the killing of 21-year-old Palestinian nurse Razan Najjar by Israeli troops last week continues, the military has already offered a brief preliminary statement Tuesday, saying that no shots were 'deliberately or directly aimed towards her.' Yet the 21-year-old volunteer medic was shot in the back while trying to reach wounded protesters."  (Israeli army claims slain Gaza medic wasn't shot deliberately, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 5/6/18)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

'Anti-Semitic' Crimes & Punishments

1) 

Offence: Tamika Mallory did say to the US Centre for Constitutional Rights on Friday, "It's clear you (Israelis) needed a place to go - cool, we got that. I hear that. But you don't show up to somebody's home, needing a place to stay, and decide that you're going to throw them out and hurt the people who are on that land. And to kill, steal, and do whatever it is you're gonna do to take that land. That to me is unfair. It's a human rights crime."

(Tamika Mallory was co-chairwoman of the 2017 5 million-strong US Women's March against Trump last year and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2017.)

Punishment: Disinvited yesterday to be the keynote speaker at next week's Victorian Council of Social Service 'Good Life' summit in Melbourne. VCOSS said it was "concerned both by comments Ms Mallory made in recent days regarding Israeli-Palestinian affairs, and the capacity for these remarks to overshadow the Good Life Summit. An Andrews government spokesman said VCOSS had "made the right call." The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) "welcomed the council's decision." (Source: US activist dumped for 'Israel crime' claim, Richard Ferguson, The Australian, 5/6/18)

2) 

Offence: Saul Eslake did say in interview with The Saturday Paper on May 19,"Malcolm Turnbull said when he became prime minister he was going to lead a thoroughly liberal government. Now he's going to give the police the kind of stop-and-demand-ID powers that the secret police in the KGB in the Soviet Union used to have, or the Gestapo. It makes one want to puke."

(Saul Eslake is the former chief economist for ANZ and Merrill Lynch's Australian arm, and a refugee activist.)

Punishment: Forced to apologise to Holocaust survivors: "I accept that my reference to the Gestapo in this context was inappropriate, and I hereby apologise to you [ADC] - and through you to any Holocaust survivors or their descendants... for it." (Source: Eslake sorry for his ABF-Nazi comparison, Richard Ferguson, The Australian, 29/5/18)

3) 

Offence: Julian Burnside did retweet a photo of Peter Dutton dressed as a Nazi.

(Julian Burnside QC OA is a barrister, human rights lawyer and refugee activist.)

Punishment: Apology: "I would say that I am very sorry that some people were offended by the tweet. It is worth noting that I did not compare our present conduct with the events of the Holocaust, and I never would... I agree with the ADC that nothing in the world today is equivalent to the Holocaust... " (Source: letter re Peter Dutton on julianburnside.com.au, 30/3/18)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Getting to Know 'The Economist'

Every so often, the Australian republishes an editorial from the weekly magazine The Economist. Such is the wealth of mean and nasty material in Murdoch's broadsheet, billed on its masthead as The Heart of the Nation, that I have so far given the occasional Economist piece a miss. However, an Economist editorial (in the May 19 edition of The Australian), bearing the quite incredible headline Give Israel a reason to loosen Gaza chokehold, caught my attention, and, for my pains, I read on, only to discover that which I did not know before.

I won't burden you with too much of its sheer awfulness. The following three examples more than suffice:

1) "Gaza is a human rubbish-heap which everyone would rather ignore. Neither Israel, nor Egypt, nor even the Palestinian Authority wants to take responsibility for it. Sometimes the poison gets out - when, say, rockets or other attacks provoke a fully fledged war... "

Can you imagine a late 1940s editorial describing Europe's displaced persons camps as 'human rubbish-heaps'? It takes a special kind of human being who can look at Gaza today and describe it as a "human rubbish-heap." The same kind that talks of the need to periodically 'mow the grass' there, know what I mean?

Then there's the conceit that Israel, which created the Gaza Ghetto 70 fucking years ago, is not 101% responsible for its creation.

And finally, notice how the editorialist stands reality on its head, with Israel's barbarous, serial massacres in the Gaza Ghetto, each and every one triggered by an Israeli provocation, are spun as Palestinian "poison" provoking an Israeli response. This is nothing but the vilest victim-blaming.

2) "Every state has a right to defend its borders. To judge by the numbers, Israel's army may well have used excessive force... "

MAY WELL HAVE... ??? Seriously? Apparently, the use of US-supplied Remington M24 sniper rifles, firing 'butterfly bullets' (which "explode upon impact, pulverising tissue, arteries and bone, while causing severe internal injuries"*) against unarmed civilians protesting behind a prison fence merits only a "may well have used excessive force." One wonders what it it would take to get a clear admission of excessive force out of this bastard.

3) "If Hamas gave up its weapons, it would open the way for a rapprochement with Fatah. If it accepted Israel's right to exist, it would expose Israel's current unwillingness to allow a Palestinian state. If Palestinians marched peacefully, without guns and explosives, they would take the moral high ground. In short, if Palestinians want Israel to stop throttling them, they must first convince Israelis it is safe to let go."

Where does one even begin with this Zionist gobshite?

"If Hamas accepted Israel's right to exist..."? What, as a permanent, Jewish supremacist, apartheid state in Palestine? And note the outrageousness of "Israel's current unwillingness to allow a Palestinian state." Only NOW has Israel been unwilling to allow a Palestinian state? Really?

"If Palestinians marched peacefully, without guns and explosives..."? What does the editorialist think they've been doing all these weeks?

"If Palestinians want Israel to stop throttling them, they must first convince Israelis it is safe to let go."

Words fail me. This last is simply beyond belief. Up there in the victim-bashing stakes with the best of the worst.

I think I now know all I need to know about The Economist.

[*See Palestinians face explosive bullets, dangerous gas bombs, Mersiha Gadzo, aljazeera.com, 4/5/18.]

Monday, June 4, 2018

Shoot the Medics & Bomb the Hospitals

Unfortunately, Israel's murder of Gaza nurse Razan an-Najjar is not a first. In fact, since the Gaza protests began on March 30, it has been open season for Israeli snipers on Palestinian medics:

"While Israel has drawn criticism over its 'excessive' and 'disproportionate' use of force that has killed at least 114 unarmed Palestinian protesters and wounded more than 13,000 since March 30, many have also drawn attention to the Israeli army's targeting of medical personnel. During mass demonstrations on May 14, 17 medical personnel were injured by Israeli live ammunition, and one paramedic [Musa Abuhassanin] was killed, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health. Seven ambulances were damaged that day... Since the start of the Great March of Return movement on March 30, 238 health personnel and 38 ambulances have been affected, according to the World Health Organization. According to a new report by Safeguarding Health in Conflict, a coalition of NGOs, among the countries experiencing the highest number of attacks on healthcare, the occupied Palestinian territories is second only to Syria." (Palestinian medics struggle to provide healthcare amid attacks, Mersiha Gadzo, aljazeera.com, 29/5/18)

This, of course, should surprise no one familiar with modern Palestinian history. Targeting Palestinian (and other) health workers, patients, and facilities has always been a Zionist specialty. Take Israel's bloody siege of West Beirut in July 1982, for example:

"In West Beirut an orphanage, a home for the disabled and a mental home were all bombed. The children's hospital at the Sabra camp was hit and patients were killed; the Gaza hospital at the Bourj al Barajneh camp was bombed, and so were the 'Akka Palestinian hospital, the American hospital near the American University of Beirut and a hospital in the foothills of Aley. In one day seventeen hospitals were hit. The scenes inside these hospitals - further scenes from Goya or the Inferno - were complete pandemonium as the bodies of the dead and wounded were brought in. Administrators and doctors protested that their hospitals were clearly marked with Red Cross or Red Crescent signs. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, the Israelis also attacked its ambulances, cars, and volunteers, preventing them from evacuating the wounded and bringing food and medical supplies." (The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands, Jeremy Salt, 2008, pp 257-58)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Razan an-Najjar in a Nutshell

Razan an-Najjar, a 21-year-old mother, nurse, and 3rd (or maybe 4th) generation Palestinian refugee incarcerated in Israel's Gaza Ghetto, was murdered by an Israeli sniper on Friday while treating the wounds of her fellow refugees - who were demonstrating for the elementary right to return to their ancestral homes and lands, from which their forebears were ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces in 1948, and which lie on the other side of the Ghetto wire.

RIP, Razan.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Australia's Senate Hard at Work

So good to see our talent in the Senate hard at work serving Australia the state of Israel, and earning every cent of their near $200,000 p.a. salary.

Senator Leyonjelm, you'll remember, recently returned from the apartheid state, determined to put pressure on the Australian government to end our funding for the United Nations Relief & Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which, quite coincidentally of course, just happens to be on Israel's to-do list. (Parenthetically, given Evatt's role in the partition of Palestine in 1947, which gave the Zionists all the excuse they needed to go on the warpath and create the very problem UNRWA was set up to deal with, I'd say helping fund it is the least we can do for our part in this ongoing crime against humanity.)

But Leyonjelm's just an unproven, raw recruit in the ranks of those Australian senators who've got the hots for Israel. If you really want to see a master at work, check out Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz's latest (31/5) media release:

"Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has welcomed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's letter to the Palestinian Authority asking them to explain whether Australian aid funding is creating space within their budget to fund the so-called Martyr's [sic] Fund. Senator Abetz, a Member of the Australian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, has long advocated for the Australian Government to use its influence in an effort to end the Martyr's [sic] Fund which rewards the families of Palestinian terrorists who kill or harm Israeli citizens, including civilians. In 2017-18, Australia is providing more than $43 million in aid to the Palestinian territories. 'The Palestinian Martyr Fund [?] not only encourages murder and terror attacks, it is a major barrier to peace in the Middle East. The 'please explain' issued by the Foreign Minister is a strong and very welcome action that will hopefully apply pressure to the Palestinian Authority to end this murderous programme,' Senator Abetz said. 'Australia's strong defence of Israel in the United Nations shows a clear determination by the Government to back Israel as the only free and democratic nation in the Middle East. I am very pleased that the Foreign Minister has taken on board the representations made by myself and colleagues on this important issue which goes to the heart of our Australian values. Should the Palestinian Authority continue to fund murder and attacks through this or other PA funds, I am hopeful that the Australian Government will take the further step of pausing all Aid until the programme is eliminated,' Senator Abetz concluded." (Government issues 'please explain' to Palestinian Authority, abetz.com.au)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Spot the Loonie!

Bob Carr's tweeted (16/5/18) question "Is Washington in the hands of people who are clinically insane?" pretty much answers itself given the evidence he tenders:

"This quote from their ambassador to Israel, justifying the shift of the US embassy, would appear to present a prima facie case for institutional admission & a program of medication with longer term therapeutic attention: 'Well first of all, I would take issue with beginning the history lesson in 1947. Go back another 3,500 years. Go back to the Bible. I'll tell you an interesting story. One of the great commentators on the Bible, his name was Rashi, and he said, the reason that the Bible begins with the creation of the world is to create the chain of title from God directly to the Jewish people for the land of Israel, so that if the nations of the world say that the Jewish people don't own the land of Israel, they would point to the fact that God created the world and gave it to them'."

It's a virulent form of insanity called political Zionism, Bob. It's what's driving the Israeli settler movement. It's what's driving Israel. It's what's long been driving US policy in the Middle East. It used to fly pretty much under the radar, but it's now there for all who are paying attention to see.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

'If Michael Danby Had His Way... '

Labor's shadow minister for Israel, Michael Danby, is beside himself that former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr allegedly prodded Labor senators to ask questions in parliament about the prime minister's adviser on China:

"In response to the story on Monday about Carr enlisting Labor senators to ask questions about Mr Garnaut, Labor MP Michael Danby hit out at the former minister, saying his 'false-flag intervention gives chutzpah a new meaning'* 'Bob Carr is a pro-Beijing extremist paid by the pro-Beijing think tank, Australia China Relations Institute (ACRI),' Mr Danby said." (Turnbull's adviser targeted by spies, Nick McKenzie, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/5/18)

Typically, though, when it comes to Australian politicians travelling to Israel, being 'briefed' by God knows who while there, and returning home to 'push' the government to adopt Israel's every foreign policy whim and wish, Danby is noticeably silent:

"As a result of [senator Leyonjelm's] briefings on how Australian money for the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) is spent, Leyonjelm says he intends to push the government to cease funding the organisation." (See my previous post.)

I'll leave the last word on Danby to Bob Carr: "If Michael Danby had his way we'd be running a Cold War with China, the RAAF would be bombing Tehran and the Australian defence forces would be manning the Gaza fence." (Turnbull's adviser targeted...)

[*Actually, I thought Danby had given chutzpah a whole new meaning when, in 2016, he obtained sick leave from his parliamentary duties only to be found out (by colleagues concerned about his health) attending a conference in Israel. See my 20/10/17 post Michael Danby's Magical Mystery Tour.]

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Senator Leyonjelm's New Job

I know I've been lax of late in reporting the rambamming of our politicians. My laziness in this respect, however, should not be interpreted to mean that the practice is in decline. My only excuse is weariness of the whole damn business. I promise I'll try to keep up with this under-the-msm-radar business from now on.

Suffice it to say that no reckoning of the moral and intellectual degeneracy of Australia's political class would be complete without a reference to these endless propaganda junkets to the apartheid state.

Here are the names of the latest group of AIJAC Rambam Program junketeers, fresh from their 'study tour,' followed (or maybe that should be 'dogged') by their utterly predictable, inane and sycophantic 'report backs' to their AIJAC handlers. The star of the show this time around was obviously our lone Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjelm:

"Senator Leyonjelm said that while he has tracked events and political trends in the country very closely, the trip added 'considerable detail' to his understanding. He was struck by the size of Sderot, which he'd initially thought from news reports to be a small, isolated village rather than a fully integrated town, as well as the widespread agriculture in the Negev. He discussed his impression of Palestinian refugee camps, which he characterised as 'ramshackle' neighbourhoods rather than tent cities. 'I've seen worse,' he said, 'much, much worse in Asia and Africa.' As a result of his briefings on how Australian money for the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) is spent, Leyonjelm says he intends to push the government to cease funding the organisation. He maintained that as long as the Palestinian attitude towards Israelis is so hostile, there won't be a resolution of the conflict. He is dubious about the two-state solution under the current circumstances." (Politicians' impressions of Israel, jwire.com.au, 25/5/18)

It's apparently of no consequence to our 'close tracker of events and political trends in Israel' that those Palestinian refugee camps (and their inhabitants) have been in existence since 1948. Leyonjelm's deep ignorance of the history of the issue would, of course, preclude such knowledge. The really interesting bit here, however, is that he's come back with a job to do, unsurprisingly one quite integral to Israel's foreign policy agenda, namely the scuttling of UNRWA. Who needs an Israel lobby when you can get an Australian taxpayer-funded senator ($199,000) to do your work for you?

Trent Zimmerman (Lib MP for North Sydney) "said he also learned so much during this trip, although he had already fallen in love with Israel because of its rich history and spirit of innovation. The trip made him realise the 'security pressure' on Israel stemming from its tiny size and proximity of its enemies, and said that given the flaws in the Palestinian Authority 'the preconditions for a peaceful settlement just simply don't exist'."

I note that Trent's love affair with Israel, btw, is nowhere mentioned in his 2016 maiden speech.

Two other rambammed pollies, Rick Wilson (Lib WA) and Kevin Hogan (NSW National MP for Page), failed to 'report back.' Maybe they just went along for the ride.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Trump's 4th Century Fan Base

Need proof that Trump's demented Christian Zionist fan base hasn't moved on since the 4th century?

Here they are today:

"While video streamed on television of [Palestinian] protesters bleeding and dying on the ground, I noticed very quickly a stark contrast on my social media feeds, where relatives and friends back home seemed to rejoice in the chaos. The turmoil in Gaza, according to them, represented a full vindication of the decision [to move the US embassy to Jerusalem] and further proof that something otherworldly was taking place in Israel... Growing up in rural Indiana, I was raised on a steady diet of conspiracy theories and apocalyptic dogma. Objects as innocuous as the clouds in the sky or tasks as commonplace as boiling water were imbued with spiritual import. According to my family, Satan was as ever-present as the hum of the refrigerator, and every new day meant another opportunity to resist and battle him with the word of God. Going astray, or simply entertaining an impure thought, was tantamount to being damned to a pit of fire for eternity. Every Sunday we were reminded just how dire the battle was. Our preacher worked himself into a drenching sweat as he paced our church's stage, his dog-eared Bible in hand, his gaze turned toward the ceiling as he pleaded with the almighty father to forgive his doomed flock. There was no grey area when it came to salvation. You were either among the chosen or destined to suffer, and our fate hinged on our every decision." ('They see glory': Trump's evangelical base sees doomsday prophecy in Gaza violence - and they're thrilled, Jared Yates Sexton, alternet.org, 15/5/18)

And here they were way back then:

"This was another country and they did things differently there. It was a time when a monk might talk personally with Christ, walk with John the Baptist and feel the tears of a prophet fall from heaven onto his skin. The world then still glimmered with miracles: the blind were still healed, the faithful still resurrected from the tomb, the holy still walked on water... This was also a world of evil apparitions too, not just holy ones: a place where Satan might walk past you in the road and a demon might sit next to you at dinner; a world in which your immortal soul was in perpetual peril." (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey, 2017, p 13)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Corbyn's Convulsion

The Zionist smear campaign against British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn rolls on. The latest offensive came in the form of a leaked account of his meeting with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council at his Commons office 4 weeks ago:

"Jeremy Corbyn was 'too unemotional or too stupid' to understand claims that he has failed to combat anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, it has been claimed. The Labour leader is described as 'bored, uninterested and condescending' in a leaked account of his meeting with Jewish leaders last month to discuss the issue. It suggests he lacks the 'emotional or intellectual ability' to comprehend their demands for more action to tackle the problem. By contrast, he sprang into life with a 'convulsion' when told that his support for a 'two state solution' in the rift between Israel and Palestine meant he was a 'Zionist'." (Corbyn was 'too stupid' to tackle Labour Party anti-Semitism in meeting with Jewish leaders, Simon Walters, dailymail.co.uk, 27/5/18)

Leaving aside the Zionist conceit that anyone who doesn't kiss the Zionist ring is either inert or stupid (or worse), let me proceed straight to Corbyn's convulsion. This is how I imagine it:

Zionist: So you support a two-state solution?
Corbyn: Yes.
Zionist: Israel and Palestine, side by side?
Corbyn: Yes, yes.
Zionist: A Jewish and an Arab state?
Corbyn: Mmm.
Zionist: A Jewish state, eh? So you're a Zionist then?
Corbyn: CONVULSION

Corbyn was obviously too savvy to fall for this ploy. For the experience of another politician who did, check out my 30/5/15 post Richard Di Natale: The Fool Who Rushed In.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Jeez, Louise... 2

When was the last time you ever saw a review of a book by a Palestinian, or a Palestinian sympathiser, in the mainstream press? (A purely rhetorical question of course.)

But books by Israelis and Israeli sympathisers - now that's a different matter.

Some snippets from yet another fawning review by - *sigh* - Louise Adler of yet another boring book by -*sigh* - Amos Oz in the - *sigh* Weekend Australian:

"Writing about the Middle East may be considered timely, given the latest battles between the Israeli military and the citizens of Gaza." (Offering slivers of hope on Israel impasse, 26/5/18)

That's the opening sentence. If you thought the ubiquitous msm Gaza descriptor 'clashes' was bad enough, how about "battles"?

"Criticism of Zionism... is de rigueur in Israel... "

Bloody amazing! How do Israelis do it? Indoctrinated with Zionism since birth. And yet one and all, each and every day, tearing strips off it on street corners and over coffee cups. Why, even as the Israeli snipers on the grassless knoll pick off Palestinian protesters, journalists and medics on the other side of the wire in Gaza, they're...

"In the final essay [of Oz's new book, Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land], Dreams Israel Should Let Go of Soon, Oz argues that... There is justice and injustice on both sides in equal measure, and a two-state solution is the only way to ensure the continuation of a Jewish state and justice for the Palestinians. This will require compromise from both, and compromise is the antithesis of zealotry."

Headmaster to bully and his victim: Listen up, you two, I want you to apologise to each other and promise it'll never happen again, OK?

Run that shit about the "two-state solution" ensuring "justice" for Palestinians past me again. So "justice" for Palestinians means a demilitarised bantustan on 22% of their patrimony, minus this bit, that bit and the other, and the Palestinian refugees can go suck eggs? Seriously?

"Jews and Arabs are Semites... " Oh, really? Please read:

"The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim line is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history." (Abstract, A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages, nature.com, 8/10/13)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Give Israel an Inch...

... and it'll always take a mile.

Two recent examples of this iron law:

1) In 2016, Obama gave Israel a record 10-year $38 billion military aid package, which, btw, it only grudgingly accepted.  The deal is set to take effect about now, on condition is that the money be spent on US-made arms. (See my 14/9/16 post Bushama's Legacy.)

But now Israel wants it all - upfront - to spend on Israeli-made arms. (Source: Israeli MPs push Trump to let them use military aid on non-US equipment, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 21/5/18)

2) Just recently, as you know, Trump moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something Israel and its fifth columnists in the US have been urging for decades. Not good enough apparently.

Now, Israel wants the US to formally recognise the Israeli-occupied (since 1967) and -annexed (since 1981) Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli territory. (Source: Israeli intel minister says US will soon recognize Golan annexation, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 23/5/18)

Will Americans ever wake up?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Guilty... of Being a Palestinian

Rhetorical question: Could there possibly be a meaner, more miserable bastard in Australian federal politics than Peter Dutton? If further confirmation were needed, here it is:

"Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has intervened to overrule the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after it ruled that a Palestinian man once jailed for belonging to a terrorist group and planning to kill people in an attack inside Israel was entitled to move to Australia on a partner visa. The Australian has confirmed through a departmental source that Mr Dutton has cancelled the visa application of a man known in tribunal documents only as Mr Khalil, after deciding that he posed a threat to Australia's national security.

"The move to veto the AAT followed a review by the minister of a... tribunal ruling that disputed the fairness of the Israeli justice system and rejected a military court's finding that the 30-year-old man from the West Bank was part of a terrorist cell. Yesterday, Mr Dutton attacked the decision of the AAT and accused some of its members of not upholding community standards. He suggested a clean-out of members of the tribunal appointed by the former Rudd and Gillard governments." (Dutton steps in to reject terror cell man's verdict, Simon Benson, The Australian, 24/5/18)

Dutton, btw, was rambammed in 2008.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

As Netanyahu Salivates...

... Israel's most loved US president and his shiny new Christian Zionist Secretary of State are gearing up for a war with Iran:

"When the Trump administration withdrew fro the P5+1 nuclear deal, they began talking about a plan B.' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set out the US strategy post-deal this week, threatening the 'strongest sanctions in history' and setting out an incredibly broad set of 12 demands.* Despite Pompeo's insistence that the demands are 'basic requirements,' they are anything but, and analysts and former officials broadly agree that this leaves no room for new diplomacy between the US and Iran. Threats and demands are the tired old US strategy towards Iran, one that has failed for the better part of 40 years.

"The point of this is to go back to the pre-deal situation, when the US was threatening to attack Iran constantly on the slightest pretext. 'Plan B' ultimately has meant setting the stage for a massive US war with Iran. Trita Parsi was quoted as saying that 'plan B' was completely unrealistic and designed to fail, paving the way for 'plan C, which is most likely war.' This is in keeping with virtually everything the administration has said since withdrawing from the deal, and they seem to be laying the groundwork for such a war." (US 'Plan B' with Iran sets the stage for war, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 22/5/18)

[*Among them that "Iran withdraw [its] forces from Syria and end support for Hamas and Hezbollah...  Pompeo said... 'We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East." (US to 'crush' Iranian operatives, Carol Morello, Washington Post/Sydney Morning Herald, 23/5/18)]

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another Australian Intellectual Fails the Palestine Test

While Peter Singer parades as an ethicist, he apparently sees no problem in placing Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement, on the same level as the colonising, apartheid state of Israel - or in flaunting his profound (and inexcusable) ignorance on the Palestine/Israel issue on Monday night's Q & A:

Tony Jones: Now Peter Singer, you've been critical of both Hamas and Israel. So let's hear your...

Peter Singer: Exactly. I am critical of both... and I think the situation is a tragic one and it has resulted in the tragedy that we're talking about this time.

Tragic? It's a massacre, stupid.

But clearly there are extremists on both sides. And, you know, there was hope some years ago, when Rabin was prime minister... But, sadly, he was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli [1995] and hopes for peace went down.

Rabin? An Israeli war criminal:

As a Palmach commander in 1948, Rabin was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian towns of Ramle and Lydda.

As Israel's chief of staff in 1967, Rabin was asked by Israeli PM Levi Eshkol "what would happen if the Egyptians [then in control of the Gaza Strip] simply marched the [Palestinian] refugees [who had been there since 1948] - women and children in the vanguard - toward the border with Israel. Rabin said they would not do that, and if they did, as soon as the IDF had killed the first 100, the rest would go back to Gaza." (1967: Israel, the War & the Year that Transformed the Middle East, Tom Segev, p 524)

As defence minister in the Shamir government he oversaw Israel's ruthless suppression of the first Palestinian Intifada (1987-1991), with his infamous 'break their bones' policy.

As Israeli prime minister in 1994, following the massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque, Rabin had the opportunity to evacuate Hebron's particularly vile Israeli settler community from the city. Instead, in the words of Haaretz journalist Amira Hass, he "decided to continue with the traditional policy of pampering the settlers, and instructed the army to punish the Palestinians for the massacre with a prolonged curfew, restrictions on movement, the closing of shops and marketplaces, and criminal forgiveness for the violence of the settlers." (See my 28/2/15 post An Anti-Semite's Dream Jews.)

It is telling that Singer seems more concerned about the assassination of one Israeli war criminal than he is about the 114 innocent Palestinian civilians murdered on the Gaza border so far.

And since then... both sides have gone to extremes. Certainly, the Israeli government has gone to extremes and has not shown and has not shown signs of really being interested in negotiating peace or stopping settlements.

Negotiating peace or stopping settlements? Since when has any Israeli government been serious about either?

But on the other hand, you have to say, as far as Hamas is concerned... Greg [Sheridan] is right...

Sheridan is right? I can guarantee that Singer has never picked up a copy of the Australian and read any of Sheridan's sermons in praise of what he once called "the plucky country." Not once.

... - they are a terrorist organisation, they are firing rockets into Israel, they are openly trying to kill Israelis where they can, and they did reject offers of cooperation back when Israel left Gaza. So that's tragedy for the people of Gaza. And it's very hard to see a way out.

Terrorist organisation? Offers of cooperation? This is just the kind of stuff you'd expect to hear from your average brainwashed supporter of Israel.

Tony Jones: Let's go to the original question, which was asking about Australia's vote to reject the investigation into an incident which killed a large number of people and wounded thousands. What's your view on that?

Peter Singer: I would have liked to see an investigation, both into why Israel used live fire...

Why Israel used live fire? Seriously, has Israel ever stopped using live fire?

... and could not find a less lethal way of preventing people from attacking and cutting through the fence, but also why Hamas was inviting people to go to the fence when Israel had made it clear that it was going to use force to prevent people, that there clearly was a risk of live ammunition, of people being killed.

More regurgitated Israeli propaganda! Then this:

And why people would go there with their children and babies actually, you know, is mind-boggling to me. What kind of a person would you have to be to say, 'I'm gonna take my baby to this area where there's likely to be firing.'

A little research is apparently beyond Singer: "Leila [al-Ghandour's] family told media that the baby's mother had left the child at home to join the demonstrations. When the infant began crying her uncle took her towards the protest area in order to locate his sister. Reports on Palestinian social media said Leila had been in a tent away from the security fence when a tear gas canister was dropped by a drone." (Gaza protests: Eight-month-old baby 'dies from tear gas inhalation' after 'massacre' at border, Bethan McKernan, independent.co.uk, 15/5/18)

(APPLAUSE)

Bloody idiots...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hamas & the Great March of Return:

Israeli PR always goes into overdrive after its killers complete their latest massacre(s). As with the massacre on the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara in 2010, clipped, edited videos, sound-bytes, and texts appear in record time, constituting a smokescreen of victim-blaming. The aim, of course. is both to provide Israel's defenders with suitable talking points and to divert world public opinion from the bleeding obvious.

Hot off the presses is the following item, now flooding the internet and popping up in the msm rants of the pro-Israel pundits. Here it is, for example, in the always purple prose of our very own Piers Akerman: "[T]he ABC's attempted whitewash of the nature of the terrorist attack was demonstratively undermined by the co-founder of Hamas Mahmoud al-Zahar who told Al-Jazeera that the terror group was 'deceiving the public' when it spoke of 'peaceful resistance' before the violent protests began." (ABC hits a new low in biased reporting, Sunday Telegraph, 20/5/18)

Here's the original, as translated and edited by Israel's Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), an outfit that trawls the Arabic-language media, searching for items with potential (along with some judicious translating, cutting and pasting) for use as anti-Arab propaganda:

Host: Mr Mahmoud Abbas said that after all these years, Hamas is employing the same peaceful resistance that has been advocated by Fatah since day one and for many years. So why don't Fatah and Hamas agree on a united platform?

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: This is a clear terminological deception. When you are in possession of weapons that were able to withstand the occupation in the wars of 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014... When you have weapons that are being wielded by men who were able to prevent the strongest army in the region from entering the Gaza Strip for 51 days, and were able to capture or kill soldiers of that army, is this really 'peaceful resistance'? This is not peaceful resistance. Has the option (of armed struggle) diminished? No. On the contrary, it is growing and developing. That's clear. So when we talk about 'peaceful resistance', we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support. As for (Fatah's) 'peaceful resistance', it consists of rallies, demonstrations, protests, pleas, and requests, in order to improve the terms of the negotiations, or to enable talks with the Israeli enemy. This deception does not fool the Palestinian public. (Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar on Gaza protests: This is not peaceful resistance, it is supported by our weapons, memri.org, 13/5/18)

Assuming that we accept the veracity of MEMRI's translation and editing of the Al-Jazeera original, the first thing to note here is that Al-Zahar's words should be seen in the context of Hamas's rivalry with the Palestinian Authority and Abbas's Fatah organisation. One of the key differences between the two is that Hamas is still committed to the strategy of armed struggle against the Israeli enemy, while Fatah is not. Al-Zahar here is doing no more than defend the use of arms vis-a-vis Fatah's abandonment of them for 'peaceful resistance'. The "we" of the highlighted sentence above is somewhat ambiguous (perhaps even made so by the MEMRI translator), but seems to refer more to Abbas than to Hamas. It is Abbas then, not Hamas, who is "deceiving the public." In fact, in the very next sentence Al-Zahar says, "[T]his [the Great March of Return] is a peaceful protest... enjoying tremendous popular support," albeit "bolstered by a military force," none of which was used during the demonstrations. The concluding sentence makes crystal clear just whose deception we are dealing with here - Abbas's: "This deception does not fool the Palestinian public."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Simply the Best, Better than All the Rest

"Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has indicated Labor would have split from the US and backed a United Nations investigation into the killing of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza, arguing Israel's actions were damaging the country's reputation." (Albanese demands vote explanation, Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald, 21/5/18)

Really, if damage to Israel's reputation is Albanese's best argument for Australia voting (in the UNHRC) for an investigation into Israel's latest massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, I'd hate to think what his worst might be.

Dennis the Zionist Menace

Dennis Ross, you may remember, was Bill Clinton's Middle East 'peace' envoy. Mearsheimer and Walt see him as an integral of Israel's lobby in the United States, noting that, although Ross has "occasionally criticized specific Israeli actions," he "believes that the United States should give Israel substantial diplomatic, economic, and military support even when Israel takes actions the United States opposes" and that he "has devoted a significant amount of his professional life to encouraging this sort of support." (The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy, 2007, p 114)

Little wonder then at the Israel first content of his near 2-page spread in Saturday's Australian. Some gems - rebutted:

"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essentially one of two national movements competing for the same space."

No it isn't. The 'conflict' is essentially one of an indigenous people, denied self-determination in its ancestral home by the British, then set upon, driven out, or otherwise occupied, by a European settler-colonial movement - Zionism - introduced and fostered by the British." (Give them hope & peace, 19/5/18)

"In my talk [in 2005 to a few hundred Palestinians in Gaza before the Israeli withdrawal], I said that Palestinians had never been able to control their own destiny - the Arabs determined what would be done in 1948."

What rubbish! A US-manipulated UNGA set the scene in 1947 by disregarding the right of the Palestinians to determine the fate of their country and partitioning it into a Jewish and an Arab states. This, of course, gave the Zionist forces in Palestine the pretext they needed to overrun as much of Palestine as they could, and drive out as many Palestinians as they could, without any regard whatever for the borders laid down by the UN partition plan.

"Hamas said the protests would be peaceful even as it called them Demonstrations for Return - return to Palestinian homes in Israel."

To begin with, Hamas didn't organise the protests. And there is here the incredible suggestion that merely calling for the right of the Palestinians to return to the homes and lands stolen from them by Israel in 1948, and mobilising protests in support of that right, is enough to render those protests not peaceful.

"But, of course, those being mobilised don't have homes to go back to in Israel... "

And why is that Mr Ross?

"... and Israel is not the country it was in 1948."

Well, ain't that a COMPELLING reason for the Palestinians to kept in their Gaza Ghetto box?

"Hamas's leaders [want] to stigmatise Israel before the world as a way of also weakening Israel's ability to engage in self-defense and discredit it internationally."

So let me get this straight. Gunning down defenceless Palestinian protesters (we won't even mention journalists) with sniper rifles is self defence. And it's the protesters, not Israel's own actions, who are discrediting Israel. Right...

Ross pees on us but would have us think it's raining.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Gideon Levy: 'Israel is Set to Commit Horrors'

The next Nakba:

"The truth is that Israel is well prepared to massacre hundreds and thousands, and to expel tens of thousands. Nothing will stop it. This is the end of conscience, the show of morality is over. The last few days' events have proved it decisively. The tracks have been laid, the infrastructure for the horror has been cast. Dozens of years of brainwashing, demonization and dehumanization have borne fruit. The alliance between the politicians and the media to suppress reality and deny it has succeeded. Israel is set to commit horrors. Nobody will stand in its way anymore. Not from within or without." (From 60 dead in Gaza & the end of Israeli conscience, Haaretz, 17/5/18)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Israel's Contractors in the UN

The UN Human Rights Council has just voted (29 to 2, with 14 abstentions) for a Commission of Inquiry into Israel's 2018 massacres in Gaza.

It's important to know who those 2 are - the United States, predictably, and a certain other shitty little settler-colonial state known as Australia.

Of the 14 abstentions, the stand-out has to be the UK, which single-handedly created the Palestine problem over 100 years ago and, to this day, not only accepts no responsibility for its worst ever colonial crime, but chooses to avert its gaze from the latest killing spree by that shitty little settler-colonial, apartheid state in the Middle East known as Israel.

Well said:

"This was a chance to put principle before politics and Australia blew it. This was not about targeting Israel but targeting human rights violations. When security forces opened fire on protesters who pose no imminent threat, they must be held to account." Elaine Pearson, Human Rights Watch Australian director

Friday, May 18, 2018

Meanwhile, Back in the Sheridan Bubble

The Australian's foreign editor (and Tony Abbott's childhood bestie), Greg Sheridan, knows what "most people" don't:

"Donald Trump's move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is right in principle and will contribute to the cause of peace in the Middle East, though not in the way that most people think." (Trump injects some realism into Middle East, The Australian, 17/5/18)

(Err... so "most people" think it "right in principle" and that it "will contribute to the cause of peace"? OH, REALLY?)

But moving right along, the answer is:

"... because it recognises reality and communicates an important message to the Palestinian leadership - that they do not have a veto over any aspect of the US relationship with Israel, or of international moves generally relating to Israel."

Damn! And we (like the Palestinians of course) have been labouring under the illusion that they did have such a veto! Who'd have thought?

But those revelations from the Sheridan bubble are not what I wanted to highlight today. It's this one:

"No one thinks they can reverse the population movements that took place between India and Pakistan 70 years ago." Ergo, the Palestinian right of return is simply unrealistic.

First, the clear differences between the two events. All Indian parties (Nehru's Congress Party most reluctantly and Jinnah's Muslim League enthusiastically) consented to partition. The Palestinians did not. It was imposed on them by a UNGA bullied by the US into voting for it. Moreover, in India at the time both Hindus and Muslims were indigenous to the country, while in Palestine the indigenous population were facing a takeover of their homeland by a settler-colonial minority.

But the big problem with Sheridan's assertion is that, unlike India, Israel encourages immigration. Of Jews only, of course. Ergo, if it can find room for more and more Jews from wherever (not to mention 'lost tribes' from India, no less!), it's got no excuse for excluding indigenous Palestinian refugees. Other than racism, that is.

Bubble popped.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Cynical Alliance

Unfortunately, the bizarre phenomenon of Christian Zionism rarely makes it into the ms press, but since Christian Zionist kooks Robert Jeffress and John Hagee were an integral part of the recently concluded Barbie and Ken Kushner Doll gig in Jerusalem, they could hardly not get a mention somewhere in the reportage:

"On Monday, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and other leading lights of the Trumpist right gathered in Israel to celebrate the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, a gesture widely seen as a slap in the face to Palestinians who envision East Jerusalem as their future capital. The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don't convert will burn forever. Religions like 'Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism' lead people 'to an eternity of separation from God in Hell', Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor, once said. He was chosen to give the opening prayer at the embassy ceremony. John Hagee, one of America's most prominent end-times preachers, once said that Hitler was sent by God to drive the Jews to their ancestral homeland. He gave the closing benediction." (A grotesque spectacle and a Trump Square, Michelle Goldberg, New York Times/Sydney Morning Herald, 16/5/18)

(Goldberg's veiled terminology, "hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals" is curious. What's wrong with 'Zionist Jews and Christian Zionists'?)

Hagee, of course, is the high priest of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), hatched in Israel in 2005 and launched in the US in 2006. CUFI is "geared towards co-ordinating the efforts of America's myriad Christian Zionist groups and persuading the US administration to, in Hagee's words, 'stop pressuring Israel to give up land for peace'," and "would function as a Christian Zionist lobbying group on Capitol Hill." (Allies for Armageddon: The Ride of Christian Zionism, Victoria Clark, 2007, p 221)

To give you some idea of how a CUFI gig goes, here's Clark again:

"'God TV' was broadcasting the entire occasion live, worldwide. [Hagee] had video footage of the [Israeli] Vice-Prime-Minister Shimon Peres describing his activities on Israel's behalf as 'the best help Israel could have hoped for', and some more, of Benjamin Netanyahu, reminding everyone that 'the rise of the Jewish state would not have been possible without Christian Zionism'.  To cap it all, he had cheques totalling $7 million to donate to worthy Israeli causes, including half a million for the West Bank settlement of Ariel, a million for Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, and $3 million for an orphanage. And, as if all that weren't enough, he had a packed programme of entertainment in store for us. It kicked off with the 'Star Spangled Banner' and the Hatikvah, but that was only the start. Dancers dressed in stetsons, Davy Crockett hats and red neckerchiefs cavorted about the stage singing 'Next Year in Jerusalem'. Hagee Junior sang us a 'song of Zion'. Two soldiers, one in US army camouflage, the other wearing a prayer shawl over his uniform, walked to centre-stage, shook hands and embraced. The auditorium lights went off and the entire choir processed around the church with candles, while a God-like, disembodied voice boomed 'Every drop of Jewish blood is sacred'. Diana Hagee made a brief appearance dressed in the colours of the Israeli flag." (p 282)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ziobabbling Away

Zionist propaganda has been around for as long as perfidious Albion opened the door of poor, unsuspecting Ottoman Palestine to the Zionist hordes in 1918 and held it open for them for the next 30 years. And since then, that is since 1948, it has reached the veritable crescendo proportions we see today, with all the old propaganda tropes trotted out again and again, or merely updated for the times.

In short, there really is no excuse whatever these days for anyone with a pretense to journalistic integrity uncritically regurgitating this nonsense in the way the Sydney Morning Herald's editorialist has today. Here's the editorial's opening paragraph:

"Consider how much Israel had to celebrate on the occasion of its 70th anniversary this week. The achievements are impressive almost everywhere you look - in agriculture, science and innovation, medicine and technology and in the living standards Israel offers its citizens. Above all, Israel has created a vibrant liberal democracy in a region where autocracy and theocracy are the norm." (More pain in Gaza amid celebrations)

I'm sorry, but what half sentient being would bother reading on (and what follows is none too flash) after that?

Bishop & Wong on Gaza Massacres

Vile doesn't begin to describe this tweet by Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop:

"We express our deep regret and sadness over loss of life and injury during #Gaza protests. Australia urges Palestinian protesters to refrain from violence. Israel should be proportionate in response." (15/5)

And piss weak doesn't begin to describe this one from Australian shadow foreign minister Penny Wong:

"The deaths and injuries of Palestinian protesters in Gaza overnight are both shocking and tragic." (15/5)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today's Australian Protests for Palestine

60 defenceless Palestinian protesters were martyred yesterday, and 2,771 wounded, in Israel's 70-year-old Gaza Ghetto by US-backed, -financed, and -armed Zionist fanatics.

Why?

For simply upholding Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

PROTEST this latest Israeli massacre today.

Adelaide: Parliament House steps 5pm
Brisbane: King George Square 5.30pm
Hobart: Parliamentary Lawns 5.30pm
Melbourne: State Library 9.30am-1.30pm
Sydney: Sydney Town Hall 6.30pm

The Battle for Balmain

Like, O WOW. Just WOW:

"It's been seven long years since NSW Labor surrendered a treasured slice of its historical heartland to the Greens. Destined to be billed as the Battle for Balmain... the state election campaign of 2019 is shaping up as another litmus test for the parties' respective claims to the area as 'heartland' country. Labor invested its hopes in a fresh face, untainted by the scandals of its dying days in power, which saw it removed from government in 2011. Over the next year, Elly Howse - a 29-year-old feminist, inner west local and public health PhD student - will attempt to pull off a feat that has so far proved impossible for even veteran politicians. NSW Labor has never taken back a seat off the Greens once they have lost it." (Battle for Balmain as Labor places faith in young gun candidate, Lisa Visentin, Sydney Morning Herald, 14/5/18)

What's not to like? Go, Elly Howse!

Oh, wait a minute...

"Student recipients of the Rambam Fellowship come from Liberal, Labor Right, and Labor Left factions. For members of Labor Left who accept the Fellowship, the matter is particularly complicated as their actions contradict the faction's stance against Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Former USYD SRC President and recipient of the Rambam Fellowship Elly Howse was said to have taken part in a sponsored trip with strong anti-Zionist views, but returned home more sympathetic to Israel. Honi was unable to reach Howse for comment." (NUS Israel trips are no spiritual pilgrimage, Rafi Alam & Xiaoran Shi, Honi Soit, 19/8/13) (See my 1/10/13 post A Transformative Experience.)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Some Things Never Change

Yesterday, I quoted the lies of the Zionist fanatic Arthur Koestler back in 1949 to the effect that Israel had a virgin birth in 1948, untainted by any responsibility for the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. You'd think that by now - 2018 - with the wealth of evidence to the contrary uncovered by Israeli historians in Zionist archives, that'd be the end of the matter.

But then what's 'evidence to the contrary' to a Zionist fanatic?

"Then we had Randa Abdel-Fattah... who peddles the falsehood that Israel's establishment created 750,000 Arab refugees." (Sydney Writers Festival needs to right a few wrongs, Vic Alhadeff, The Australian, 12/5/18)

Alhadeff is the chief executive officer of the Jewish Board of Deputies.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Israel: Founded on a Pack of Lies

Brace yourselves, you'll be hearing a lot from the msm this week about Israel's so-called 70th 'Independence Day'.

Oliver Holmes' piece in the Guardian on Arthur Koestler, 'Stubbornly fighting for life': how Arthur Koestler reported the birth of Israel, notes that "Seventy years ago, Israel declared independence, and the Manchester Guardian sent the leftwing intellectual to cover the nascent state. But was he an altogether accurate witness?"

Since he was a hottie for Zionism at the time, the bleeding obvious answer would, of course, be a resounding no:

"Koestler began his Israel dispatches," writes Holmes, "in deserted Haifa... where, weeks before his arrival, he reported that most of the port city's 70,000 Arabs had fled amid fierce fighting with Jewish forces. Koestler's take was that 'it fell because the Arab population, though only slightly inferior in numbers and superior in arms, were utterly demoralised through the desertion of their leaders.' The Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary organisation that went on to become the Israel Defense Forces, had broadcast in Arabic the names of the deserters to demoralise the Arab gunmen, he wrote."

In short, Koestler was to the rabidly Zionist Manchester Guardian what Greg Sheridan is to the rabidly Zionist Australian," and his 'reporting' helped create the Zionist myth that, far from being the victims of a Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing, the Palestinian refugees were responsible for their own plight.

Holmes goes on: "Arabs featured only occasionally in Koestler's articles. 'The native Palestine Arabs,' he said, 'never fought seriously because they had no reason for fighting, having accepted the presence of the Jews with its economic benefit and the de facto partition as accomplished facts.' Travelling down the coastal road from Haifa to Tel Aviv, Koestler said his view was 'confirmed' by Arab farmers in Israel who he said were 'unmolested' while being treated 'with equanimity and trading produce with Jews'. It was not clear if he stopped to speak to them."

Unfortunately, that was the least of Koestler's lies. The following, from Koestler's Promise & Fulfilment (1949), combines Zionist lies with what must surely be the most venomous contempt for the Palestinian victims of Zionist ethnic cleansing ever penned by a journalist at the time:

"A few villages along the road are still populated by Arabs. Some of them are even working in the fields; and a little withered Arab woman is selling oranges to Jewish soldiers out of a basket on her back... But not for long. A few weeks later some Arab lads will start sniping from these villages at Jewish trucks on the road; the Jewish army will herd the villagers together, dynamite their houses, and put the young men into concentration camps; while the old ones will tie a mattress and a brass coffee-pot on the donkey, the old woman will walk ahead leading the donkey by the rein and the old man will ride on it, wrapped in his kefiye, and sunk in solemn meditation about the lost opportunity of raping his youngest grandchild." (pp 199-200)

Fortunately, at least one Zionist writer at the time, S. Yizhar, wrote honestly about Israel's crimes against the Palestinian Arabs in 1948. Yizhar's 1949 novella, Khirbet Khizah, completely destroys the myth that the Palestinians left their ancestral homes and lands for any other reason than to avoid being murdered by marauding Zionist terrorist gangs, bent on seizing control of as much of Palestine - without Palestinians - as they could get away with at the time. (78% as it happens!)

The Khirbet Khizah of the title is a fictional Palestinian village, typifying the fate of the hundreds of Palestinian villages ethnically cleansed and destroyed by Israeli forces in 1948:

"Yes, alas, of course - that was it! Why hadn't I thought of it from the start? Khirbet Khizah was ours. There were the questions of housing and immigrant absorption! Hurray for housing and absorption, in spades: We'll open a canteen, set up a school, and maybe a synagogue. Political parties will come here, and argue about all sorts of things. They'll seed and cultivate the fields, and grow crops. The Hebrew Khirbet Khizah! And who will remember that there was once here that other Khirbet Khizah, from which we evicted and inherited? We came, we shot, we burned, we blew up, we repulsed and shoved off, and we drove into exile. What the hell are we doing in this place?"