Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The UK Disease

It seems as though the drive-by smear of 'ANTISEMITE!', hurled relentlessly by Zionists at pro-Palestinian supporters of UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has now reached these shores, although emanating here from a most curious source:

"NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has issued a stunning call-to-arms to save universities from what he sees as the twin threats of international students and 'anti-Semitic' left-wing activists." (Stokes' speech takes aim at foreign cash, 'safe spaces', Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/10/18)

You really have to wonder who has been in Stokes' ear.

Remember when the term 'anti-Semite' meant anyone who hated Jews as Jews? Passe. It's now the Zionist weapon of choice for anyone who opposes Israeli apartheid and supports Palestinian rights.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Move to Jerusalem Fizzer

The mystery of the impact (or lack thereof) on Wentworth's Jewish voters of Morrison's proposal to move Australia's embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem, will probably, absent real, on-the-ground, investigative reporting, never be known.

However, for what it's worth, the Sydney Morning Herald of 20/10/18, in its Readers Panel section, pertinently asked: Should Australia move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? 

The results, in the form of a pie graph, read as follows:

NO 73%
YES 11%
UNSURE 16%

If 73% (89% if you include the 'unsure' category) of the Australian community feel this way, it merely underscores the deep disconnect between the lunacy of our Liberal Party ultras and the basic common sense of the people they lord it over - for now. Future Labor government, take note!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tomorrow's By-Election

So it’s come to this. An Australian citizen whose stint in Israel as Australian ambassador has been largely spent doing PR work for Israel, and who now has a business interest in the place, has emerged as the Liberal candidate in Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth, home to a population of which 12.5% is Jewish. In desperation that he might not make it across the line in the election, he and his boss, PM Scott Morrison, an avowed evangelical Christian, and for all we know a Christian Zionist, seem to think that by promising to throw in their lot with Trump, and relocate our embassy to West Jerusalem, that will do the trick. This must surely be the most brazen example of whatever-it-takes politics in Australian political history.

The to-be-hoped for outcome in the by-election will be that it all explodes in the face of the federal Liberal Party and Sharma beats a retreat, licking his wounds, back to his lair on the North Shore.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Great Moments in 'Judeo-Christianity'

It was good to see favourable reviews of Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir's latest film, Wajib, in both the Fairfax and Murdoch press recently. Just one sentence in Sandra Hall's review in the Sydney Morning Herald of 11/10/18, however, cries out for clarification:

"Because of a large concentration of Arab Christians, [Nazareth's] Palestinians were allowed to stay on after the Israeli takeover in 1948."

To begin with why is the genocidal onslaught undertaken against the Palestinians by Israeli forces at this time invariably glossed over with words such as, in this instance, "takeover," or 'displacement', or some other such euphemism? It's as though, despite the now decades of scholarly research on the horrors of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine's majority Arab (Christian & Muslim) population by Israeli fire and sword in 1948, the mainstream media still hasn't absorbed the fact, or are playing it safe by taking their cue from some Israeli style guide. Maddening!

The other thing about that sentence is that it gives the general reader the false impression that Israel's genocidaires bypassed Nazareth out of respect for the largely Christian population. The Zionist movement had (and has) no more respect for Palestinian Christians that it had (and has) for Palestinian Muslims. Both are Arabs, and their only role in the Zionist scheme of things is to make way for 'the Jewish people'.

Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, was only spared to avoid bad PR. As Israeli historian Ilan Pappe explains:

"Ben-Gurion did not wish the city of Nazareth to be depopulated for the simple reason that he knew the eyes of the Christian world were fixed on the city. But a senior general and the supreme commander of the operation [Operation Palm Tree], Moshe Karmil, ordered the total eviction of all the people who had stayed behind ('16,000', noted Ben-Gurion, '10,000 of whom were Christians'). Ben-Gurion now instructed Karmil to retract his oder and let the people stay. He agreed with Ben Donkelman, the military commander of the operations: 'Here the world is watching us,' which meant that Nazareth was luckier than any other city in Palestine. Today Nazareth is still the only Arab city in pre-1967 Israel." (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2006, pp 170-171)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Two Princes of Darkness

"Before becoming crown prince, Prince Mohammed visited the White House and forged a close relationship with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. The two are believed to be working on the administration's peace plans for Israel and the Palestinians." (Saudi crown prince's carefully managed rise hides dark side, Jon Gambrell, apnews.com, 12/10/18)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

School DaZe 2

In a 20/8/18 post, School DaZe, I drew your attention to a Sydney Morning Herald ad for a teaching position at Sydney's Moriah College. Among the criteria for the position was "an empathy with the Zionist ethos of our Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School is essential."

On 15 September, another such Moriah College ad appeared, but this time the word "Zionist" was conspicuous by its absence.

This could, of course, have been an oversight. Or could it perhaps be a sign of the times, namely that the term 'Zionist' has finally become something of a liability these days? First, there's the evidence of the eyes: the brutal treatment meted out on a daily basis to the Palestinians, with one Israeli outrage after another caught on camera.

But there's another aspect too. If we cut through the spin of Israel's defenders, who assert that Zionism is all about 'national self-determination for the Jewish people', or 'a national liberation movement' like any other, to the historical roots of the Zionist movement, we can see clearly that this is really a case of mutton dressed as lamb.

The fatal flaw in Zionist ideology can be seen in Theodor Herzl's The Jewish State (1896): The notion that the Jews are a 'people' or 'nation', as opposed to a faith community.

European nationalism was on the march back in the 19th century and, in many ways, it is understandable that the national idea was taken up by a segment of secular Jewish intellectuals as Zionism at the time. At the same time, too, the vast non-European world was the subject of a wave of European expansion, colonialism and settlement, with no regard whatever for the natural rights of existing non-European populations. The words of the Basel program, issued at the first ever Zionist conference in 1897, for example, tell us that "Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel [The Land of Israel], and urges the "settlement" there of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers."

The simple truth of the matter is that Zionism is a form of European settler-colonialism and, like all forms of settler-colonialism, could only proceed by riding roughshod over the rights of the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine," as the Balfour Declaration of 1917 dismissively referred to the 90% Arab majority population there.

So, no matter how much today's Zionists try to distance themselves from that fact, and dress up the term Zionism (as in, for example, the following Wikipedia entry on the subject: "Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel...the Holy Land or the region of Palestine," or as a national movement simply exercising its right of national self-determination), Zionism is really nothing more than a European colonial implant and impost on the indigenous Arab population of Palestine. This colonial-settler dynamic, with its complete disregard for the natural rights of the indigenous inhabitants of the land, is what lies behind the wanton cruelty of Israeli apartheid, occupation, and ethnic cleansing. Is it any wonder that, in a post-colonial world, the term Zionist has become a dirty word?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Nothing is Sacred

"Meanwhile they cut down, burned up, defaced and mutilated billboards." The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey, 1975

***

I can't resist this, even if it is off-topic:

"Speaking after visiting the Bathurst 1000 motor race, Mr Morrison said The Everest [horse race] was one of the biggest events of the year and generated 'massive opportunities' for the city and the state. 'Why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has?' he said. Mr Morrison... said he would 'put the Bathurst 1000 on the Harbour Bridge if I thought it was going to get more people there. It's just common sense and I don't know why people are getting precious about it'." (Racing boss puts blame on state, Garry Maddox, Sydney Morning Herald, 8/10/18)

So says our newly-minted neoliberal prime minister Scott Morrison, weighing in on the controversy over projecting advertising for this, that or the other time-wasting activity onto Sydney's landmark structures such as the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge.

Whether iconic or world heritage-listed, man-made or natural wonder, it matters not. To the neoliberal mindset everything is just a potential billboard.

As the High Priestess of the neoliberal cult, Ayn Rand, put it in her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged:

"Uncoiling from among the curves of Wisconsin's hills, the highway was the only evidence of human labor, a precarious bridge stretched across a sea of brush, weeds and trees. The sea rolled softly, in sprays of yellow and orange, with a few red jets floating up on the hillsides, with pools of remnant green in the hollows, under a pure blue sky... 'What I'd like to see,' said Rearden, 'is a billboard'." (from Here are 10 things I learned about the world from Ayn Rand's insane 'Atlas Shrugged', Adam Lee, alternet.org, 24/8/18)

The Australian poet Denis Kevans (1939-2005) once wrote a memorable poem from the perspective of an Indigenous Australian. It begins thus:

"Ah, white man, I am searching for the sites sacred to you, where you walk, in silent worship, and you whisper poems too, where you tread, like me, in wonder, and your eyes are filled with tears, and you see the tracks you've travelled down your fifty thousand years."

Kevans' poem was titled Ah, White Man, Have You Any Sacred Sites?

The answer to your question, Denis, is no, the neoliberal white man has no sacred sites.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The US Love Affair with Arabophobic Hate Speech

We hear a lot these days about 'hate speech', that is, to borrow from at least one definition, "speech capable of instilling or inciting hatred of, or prejudice towards, a person or group of people on a specified ground [such as] race, nationality, ethnicity, country of origin, ethno-religious identity, religion or sexuality."*

Correct me if I'm wrong but the term seems to have been largely monopolised by supporters of apartheid Israel to malign and marginalise anyone who questions not just the criminal behaviour of that entity, but the legitimacy of the Zionist project in Palestine and the ideology of political Zionism which underpins it.** The implication is that this latter group in particular - anti-Zionists - are borderline, if not actual, anti-Semites, and, ipso facto, engaged in hate speech.

By contrast, the blatant Arabophobia, which set in in the US following the creation of Israel in 1948, is generally overlooked, and rarely recognised for what it is: hate speech

By way of illustration, read this passage from Leon Uris' best-selling Zionist propaganda novel, Exodus (1958):

"[The final disaster in Arab history] was brought about by fellow Moslems as the mighty Ottomans gobbled up their lands. Five centuries of corruption and feudalism followed. A drop of water became more precious than gold or spices in the unfertile land. The merest, most meager existence was a series of tortured, heartbreaking struggles from birth to death. Without water the Arab world disintegrated into filth; unspeakable disease, illiteracy, and poverty were universal. There was little song or laughter or joy in Arab life. It was a constant struggle to survive. In this atmosphere cunning, treachery, murder, feuds, and jealousies became away of life. The cruel realities that had gone into forming the Arab character puzzled outsiders. Cruelty from brother to brother was common. In parts of the Arab world thousands of slaves were kept, and punishment for a thief was amputation of a hand, for a prostitute, amputation of ears and nose. There was little compassion from Arab to Arab. The fellaheen who lived in abysmal filth and the Bedouin whose survival was a day-to-day miracle turned to the one means of alleviating misery. They became Muslim fanatics..." (p 228)

Now read these words from the trailer of thriller/horror story director Brad Anderson's latest film, Beirut***:

"Two thousands years of revenge, vendetta, murder. Welcome to Beirut."

Nothing has changed in 60 years! Strange place, the US where trenchant criticism of Israel is deemed hate speech, but few, it seems, bat an eyelid at rampant Arabophobic hate speech.

*This definition comes from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) website. It differs, however, in one respect from other definitions of hate speech on the web (legaldictionary.net, merriam-webster.com, and dictionary.cambridge.org) in its inclusion of the term 'ethno-religious identity'. Try as I might I can only think of one group that conflates religion and ethnicity. Guess who;

**It is worth keeping in mind here Israeli anti-Zionist activist Uri Davis' distinction between Judaism as a confessional preference and Zionism as a political programme: "Judaism is not Zionism. Judaism, as a confessional preference, should be strictly an individual matter, and, generally speaking... should not be the concern of the law. Zionism, as a political programme, is a matter of public debate. As noted already... the political Zionist school of thought and practice is committed to the normative statement that it is a good idea to establish and consolidate in the country of Palestine a sovereign state, a Jewish state, that attempts to guarantee in law and in practice a demographic majority of the Jewish tribes in the territories under its control. Such individuals and bodies as are, for instance, committed to the values of open society, democracy and the separation of religion from the state; who, therefore, disagree with the political aims of this particular political programme, and who regard this programme to be a negative political programme, are anti-Zionist in the same sense that those who for many decades opposed the political programme of apartheid South Africa (which ended in 1994) were, and it is to be hoped remain, anti-apartheid." (Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within (2003), pp 11-12)

***Also on this film, see my 1/8/18 post One Movie Hollywood Will Never Make.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Trump Whisperers

Just to revisit the issue of rising petrol prices:

"The risk of a global energy shock is rising rapidly as the looming US sanctions on Iran and a rising US dollar combine to export layers of stress to the rest of the world. While the renewed US sanctions don't officially kick in until early next month they are already having a significant effect as Iran's customers scramble to find different sources of supply. Iranian oil production is falling quite rapidly... Trump, who sometimes appears to have trouble seeing the relationship between cause (his sanctions) and effect (the soaring oil prices) has accused OPEC of 'ripping off' the the rest of the world." (Rising oil prices, $US put pressure on energy costs, Stephen Bartholomeusz, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/10/18)

There is, of course, more to this msm story than meets the eye. But don't expect it to be spelt out in the corporate media. Sure, you'll hear some gibberish on the matter from Trump from time to time, but don't be deceived. It's those who are whispering in his ear that matter here, in particular US national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Bolton is a neocon - more accurately Ziocon - from the Bush era, and a long-time advocate for regime change in the Middle East, including, of course, Iraq. He has a record, like his fellow Ziocons, who became an integral part of the Bush administration, of wanting to topple Middle East governments opposed to Israel, and reconfigure the Middle East in its interests, stretching back to his association with neocon think tank the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in the 90s. Revealingly, in 2005, Bolton was awarded the Zionist Organisation of America's Defender of Israel award.

Netanyahu's obsession with Iran as a so-called existential threat to Israel also goes back decades. One only has to observe his theatrical sabre-rattling directed against Iran in the UNGA and other international fora, not to mention his unprecedented hold (through the Israel lobby) over both houses of the US Congress and his easy access to the president himself.

If you really want to understand why you're paying more for your petrol, mark these words of former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter from his 2006 book, Target Iran. (p 208):

"The conflict currently underway between the US and Iran is, first and foremost, a conflict born in Israel. It is based upon an Israeli contention that Iran poses a threat to Israel, and defined by Israeli assertions that Iran possesses a nuclear weapons program. None of this has been shown to be true, and indeed much of the allegations made by Israel against Iran have been clearly demonstrated as being false. And yet the US continues to trumpet the Israeli claims, and no individual more loudly than the US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton."

Friday, October 5, 2018

Max Brenner Goes Bust

Here's some heartening news:

"Upmarket chocolate and cafe chain Max Brenner's Australian business has gone into voluntary administration, citing rising costs and sluggish retail trade." (Chocolate chain Max Brenner collapses, Patrick Hatch, Sydney Morning Herald, 3/10/18)

What the Herald, of course, neglects to mention is that Max Brenner is a subsidiary of Israel's Strauss Group, a donor of "care packages" to Israel's Golani and Givati brigade commandos to "sweeten their special moments." (See my 25/5/13 post Why Boycott Max Brenner.)

The snipers currently deployed to gun down unarmed Palestinian demonstrators on the Gaza border come from these brigades. Don't even ask about those "special moments."

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thoughts on UK Labour's 2018 Conference

I may be reading too much between the lines here but rather than tackle Zionist influence in the UK Labor Party directly, and making crystal clear the fundamental distinction between anti-Semitism on the one hand and anti-Zionism on the other, Jeremy Corbyn's speech to Labour's annual conference seems to be an attempt at wedging the hostile Zionist elements in the party.

He sought early in the speech to reassure British Jews that they had his full support as a veteran anti-racist campaigner. Dismissing the Labour component of the Zionist smear campaign against him and his party as merely a "row," he targeted instead "Tory hypocrites who accuse us of antisemitism one day, then endorse Viktor Orban's hard-right government the next." In addition, he studiously avoided all mention of Israel (despite, perhaps inadvertently, using the Zionist fiction that Jews constitute a "people"):

"The Jewish people have suffered a long and terrible history of persecution and genocide. I was humbled to see a memorial to that suffering two years ago, when I visited the former Nazi concentration camp at Terezin. The row over antisemitism has caused immense hurt and anxiety in the Jewish community and great dismay in the Labour Party. But I hope we can work together to draw a line under it. I say this to all in the Jewish community. This party, this movement, will always be implacable campaigners against antisemitism and racism in all its forms. We are your ally. And the next Labour government will guarantee whatever support necessary to ensure the security of Jewish community centres and places of worship, as we will for any other community experiencing hateful behaviour and physical attacks. We will work with Jewish communities to eradicate antisemitism, both from our party and wider society. And with your help I will fight for that with every breath I possess. Anti-racism is integral to our very being. It's part of who you all are, and it's part of who I am. So conference, we won't accept it when we're attacked by Tory hypocrites who accuse us of antisemitism one day, then endorse Viktor Orban's hard-right government the next. Or when they say we are racist, while they work to create a hostile environment for all migrant communities. We can never become complacent about the scourge of racism. Race hate is a growing threat that has to be confronted. Not just here in Britain, but across Europe and the United States. The far right is on the rise, blaming minorities, Jews, Muslims and migrants, for the failures of a broken economic system."

The Palestinians came later in the speech, when he addressed foreign policy matters:

"And let me next say a few words about the ongoing denial of justice and rights to the Palestinian people. Our Party is united in condemning the shooting of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza by Israeli forces and the passing of Israel's discriminatory Nation-State Law. The continuing occupation, the expansion of illegal settlements and the imprisonment of Palestinian children are an outrage. We support a two-state solution to the conflict with a secure Israel and a viable and secure Palestinian state. But a quarter of a century on from the Oslo Accords we are no closer to justice or peace and the Palestinian tragedy continues, while the outside world stands by. As my great Israeli friend Uri Avnery who died this year put it: 'What is the alternative to peace? A catastrophe for both peoples'. And in order to help make that two-state settlement a reality we will recognise a Palestinian state as soon as we take office."

Underwhelming, yes, with its tired repetition of the two-state mantra. One wonders whether Corbyn here has made a strategic decision to stick with the international consensus, at least for the time being. Some joy, I suppose, could be had from his proviso of "a viable and secure Palestinian state," a formula clearly incompatible with Israel's expansionism in the West Bank and the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Most encouragingly, the conference is reported to have passed a near unanimous motion calling for an immediate freeze on UK arms sales to Israel. (See Defying Israel lobby Labour votes for arms freeze, Asa Winstanley, electronicintifada, 26/9/18)

Monday, October 1, 2018

In Case You Were Wondering

"The CEO of peak industry body the Australian Institute of Petroleum, Paul Barrett, said: 'The basic reason why [petrol] prices have gone up over the last six months is a tightening crude oil market driven by Iranian sanctions, Saudi tightness because of a war in Yemen, Venezuelan production going through the floor and disruptions in Libya." (Gouging fuels $1.2bn petrol costs hike, Sam Buckingham-Jones, The Australian, 1/10/18)

Go figure...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Great March of Return

"Israeli forces have killed 7 Palestinians, two of them children, and shot more than 90 others in one of the bloodiest days of a six-month protest movement along the frontier, the Gaza health ministry said." (Two children among seven people shot dead by Israel, say officials, Oliver Holmes, theguardian.com, 30/9/18)

"... one of the bloodiest days of a six-month protest... "

Think about that. Six months! 180 people dead so far. Thousands more maimed and wounded. And why? Because they simply want to exercise their inalienable right as refugees to return home.

If anyone can point me to a more sustained and heroic display of bodies-on-the-line under fire, I'd like to know about it.

Then there are their serial killers.

If anyone can point me to a more sustained, more mechanical response to unarmed protesters than that of Israel's snipers, I'd like to hear about it.

And while I'm at it, if anyone can point me to a more sustained silence on the subject of what have been weekly massacres of defenceless civilians in Gaza than that displayed by the Australian msm....

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dave Sharma: His Brilliant Career

2013

* "Australia's next ambassador to Israel [Dave Sharma] hopes to change what he says is 'a bit of a one-dimensional impression' of Israel among the wider Australian public." (Our man in Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 17/5/13)

Who'd have thought that burnishing another country's image was the job of an Australian ambassador?

* "Ziv Hospital is a profound example of humanity and decency at its most compelling. It is Israel at its very best, and a side of Israel that the world too rarely acknowledges." (Origin no bar to Israel lifesavers, Dave Sharma, The Australian, 31/8/13)

That, btw, was just the first of Sharma's opinion pieces celebrating the joy of Israel in Murdoch's Australian.

2014

* The highlight of Sharma's career as Australia's ambassador to Israel must surely have been his hobnobbing with Israel's housing and construction minister, Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi MP) in - wait for it - occupied East Jerusalem - which prompted Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat to write in protest to Australian officials at the time: "It should noted that diplomatic recognition of the situation created by the attempted annexation of our capital is a flagrant violation of international law... Australia's Ambassador to Israel meeting with Israel officials in East Jerusalem has the effect of attempting to legitimize the illegal situation on the ground and may be deemed as aiding, abetting  or otherwise assisting illegal Israeli policies... As such, Australia's actions are tantamount to complicity in ongoing Israeli violations  of the international laws of war." (Bishop rebuked over envoy's East Jerusalem visit, Daniel Flitton, Sydney Morning Herald, 17/5/14)

Remember, this happened years before Trump's decision to move the US embassy to [West!] Jerusalem.

And how do we even know about Sharma's shenanigans back then? Only because of Uri Ariel's crowing about his achievement in bagging him:

"In fact, nobody would have known  this meeting was happening, had if not been for a press release distributed by Ariel's bureau blatantly pointing out the fact that the talks between the two were taking place at the government compound in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Most of the international community does not recognize Israel's authority in East Jerusalem. Therefore, few diplomats or representatives of foreign nations - if at all - would come to an official meeting with Israeli politicians or government officials in that part of the city. Media outlets self-identified as right-wing and with Ariel's Habayit Hayehudi... were quick to publish that the meeting was taking place, presenting it as a sort of Australian recognition of Israel authority over East Jerusalem." (PA complains to Australia after envoy meets Israeli official in East Jerusalem, Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 15/5/14)

2018

* "And if the Liberals hold the seat of Wentworth with new candidate Dave Sharma, [PM Scott Morrison] will have one of the most brilliant young diplomats of recent decades joining an already powerful team in national security." (Morrison prepares to take his place on the international stage, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 15/9/18)

From Zionist dupe to "brilliant" diplomat in 4 years! Just wow! But how to explain how such a "brilliant" diplomat can put his foot in it to this extent: "Dave Sharma... has apologised for comments that teachers are 'underemployed'. 'School employees and teachers are similarly underemployed, working hours closer to three-quarters of a regular full-time job,' Mr Sharma wrote in an opinion peace for the Herald earlier this year. He apologize yesterday after receiving strong criticism for the comments from prominent Australian authors, educators and parents. 'I know teachers work really hard and around the clock,' Mr Sharma told the Herald yesterday. '[The article] was more provocative than it should have been; it was just meant to get people thinking about how schools are still a post-war institution even though life and families have moved on.' Mr. Sharma also wrote on Twitter this week that he owes 'all teachers an unreserve apology'. (Sharma sorry for insult to teachers, Pallavi Singhal, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/9/18)

* "Some of Sydney's wealthiest business leaders are lining up to throw money behind the new candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, who has been described as 'the Liberals' Obama... Billionaires James Packer and Solomon Lew threw their support behind Mr Sharma. He also had the backing of prominent Sydneysider David Gonski and Jewish leader Rabbi Levi Wolff from the Central Synagogue in Bondi. A senior Liberal said Mr Sharma's ability to draw significant donations would be 'eye-watering'." (Billionaires lining up to back 'Liberals' Obama', Alexandra Smith, Sydney Morning Herald, 15/9/18)

Alas, that Monday's (17/9) letters to the editor, while scornful of Sharma's backers, missed the point. As, for example, this, from reader Frank H Talbot of Riverview: "Billionaires lining up to back a candidate in Wentworth? Something wrong here. Lincoln said government should be 'of the people, by the people, for the people.' This sound more like 'of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy'."

* "Liberal Dave Sharma isn't just raising money from rich-listers for his Wentworth tilt. The entrepreneurial Sharma is also currently overseeing the raising of $10 million for an Israeli tech company - Shekel Brainweigh - which the former diplomat shares and hopes to list on the local stock exchange next month. Shekel Brainweigh - an outfit that makes weighing technology for grocery self-checkouts - is planning to float on the ASX on October 26. That is the week after the Wentworth by-election. What a busy candidate!". (Sharma weighs his options, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, The Australian Business Review, 28/9/18)

Happily, the above piece throws some much-needed light on Sharma's seeming star-crossed affair with Israel. Twelve-and-a-half percent of Wentworth's electors are Jewish, the bulk of whom would consider themselves to be pro-Israel to a greater or lesser degree. The electorate is, if you like, Sydney's Zionist central. Malcolm Turnbull, of course, bent over backwards to keep the Zionists there sweet, hosting a visit to these shores last year by Netanyahu, and visiting Israel in turn the same year.

Typically, what has been omitted from the msm coverage of Sharma's bid to step into the former prime minister's shoes as the MP for Wentworth is the Zionist connection. It is fair to say that he has been parachuted from his North Shore home into Wentworth largely in order to satisfy its Zionist faithful - not, as the msm would have us believe, because he is some kind of pin-up boy for billionaires, Jewish or otherwise (Packer being a mate of Netanyahu's btw). Yet again, a lazy, cowardly, self-censoring Australian msm has failed to make this Zionist connection clear in its coverage.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dear Readers

I won't be blogging for at least another month. MERC

Israeli War Criminals in the West Bank

"Most [Israelis] are not, like, evil and malevolent toward Palestinians": Yuval Noah Harari.

No, but there are enough who are to provide the subject matter of reports like this, from a Norwegian International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer, Kristin Foss, who describes an Israeli army POGROM on the Palestinian village of Kafr Qaddum in the occupied/colonised West Bank. Note that I've reproduced here only the climactic part of Foss' testimony:

"The shooting had been going for about one and a half hours before it started to calm down. Apart from some tear gas inhalation there had been no injuries at this point. When things were calm, I was approached by a senior citizen, asking if we could help him. He had gone out to his driveway earlier. He was going to get into his car to pick up his wife. He hadn't noticed that his driveway was full of Israeli soldiers. The soldiers stole/confiscated his car and keys, and parked it in the middle of the road as a makeshift shield. As it was calm, we agreed to accompany him to speak to the soldiers and to ask for his car back. There was no shooting, nor stones being thrown at this point. The old man, Anna, and I started walking towards the soldiers with our hands in the air. I had my camera phone in one hand. The man walked surprisingly fast and was soon with the soldiers, whilst Anna and I stopped some 20 metres behind, still with our hands up. I am filming at this point.

"One of the soldiers shouts something at me in Hebrew, I don't understand, but I shout back that the man just wants his car back. Then he shouts that it is dangerous. I shout back that it is only dangerous because he is pointing a machine gun at me. One shot is fired as I am shouting, then another shot is directed at me, and hits me in the abdomen. I would say from approximately 20-30 metres. There is absolutely no doubt I was targeted and shot at deliberately." (A statement from the Norwegian ISM volunteer targeted and shot by an Israeli soldier in Kafr Qaddum, video included. palsolidarity.org, 21/8/18)

While the bullet penetrated her skin at an angle, Kristin lived to tell the tale. Incredibly, however, this appeared on her FB page mere days later: "Went back to Kafr Qaddum to show that solidarity is stronger than fear! Very nervous though, so kept right at the back, up against the wall. Thought I was safe-ish. But they shot me again!! The protest had been on for 2 minutes. Israeli activists at the front talking to the soldiers earlier... so yeah... I just got shot twice in a week." (24/8/18)

Israelis have no excuse. Their silence, referred to by Harari in my previous post, is tantamount to complicity in the war crimes committed by their offspring, most of whom willingly accept being drafted into the trigger-happy IDF at the age of 18.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

More Blah for Your Bucks

Sound the shofers!

The latest BLAH from Israel's much-touted intellectual giant, Yuval Noah Harari, author of such ground-breaking tomes as Blah and Blah Blah. (Warning: there's now another such out and about - Blah Blah Blah).

Courtesy of the suitably worshipful (pro-Iraq War, pro-Blair, pro-Israel, anti-Corbyn) David Aaronovitch, in his puff piece, The BIG Thinker, in this weekend's Weekend Australian Magazine, here are some of Harari's undying utterances (commentary added), culled from same, to put you on your knees:

"My father... had a very big disbelief in any kind of authority... He fought in both the Six Day War of 1967 and the more existential Yom Kippur War of 1973."

Not bad for a guy who doesn't believe in authority, eh? Still, whenever things get down and existential in Israel, as they not infrequently do if you believe the hype, hey, you do what your Zionist masters tell you to, right?

"There are a lot of people today... who might actually look favourably on a scenario of creating a new race of superhumans and leaving ordinary Homo sapiens behind. And if you look at China, for example, today, it's out in the open. People speak of high-quality people and low-quality people."

So here's this bloke, YNH, in Israel, surrounded by folk who, while willingly 'serving' their country in the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza, regularly hammer Palestinians because they're inconveniently standing in the way of the 'Jewish' people's brutal quest for Arabrein lebensraum, and what does he do? He fingers... China!

Howzat for chutzpah?

"How optimistic is he about our dealing with this big stuff, when he lives in a country that can't deal with its own very local, very intimate problems? Isn't big-picture thinking also a distraction... from thinking about horribly complicated problems in the here and now? He admits that Israelis have become very good at the art of just not seeing. 'Most people, they are not, like evil and malevolent toward the Palestinians. They just don't care. They don't want to know what's happening there. The mental distance is immense'."

Israel's Palestine problem? Isn't it really Palestine's Israel problem?

Israelis are not evil and malevolent towards the Palestinians... So how does YNH explain the existence of watchdog groups such as B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, and others? (He doesn't, and can't, of course.) And how does he explain the ongoing electoral success of Netanyahu and his Greater Israel cronies and allies, and Israel's inexorable march to the right? (He doesn't, and can't, of course.)

They just don't care, eh? Neither, we are often reminded, did the Germans of the Nazi era. If YNH were honest, he'd admit to not caring either. In an earlier post I documented a dinner he'd had with the Netanyahus. Aaronovitch's puff piece begins with him going, not an anti-occupation action, but to a gay rights rally in the Tel Aviv bubble.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Headline of the Week

Turnbull shows no mercy as warring Liberals tear out the party's heart and soul (Katharine Murphy, guardian.com.au, 23/8/18)

Come again...

What bloody heart?

What bloody soul?

Foreign Interference?

In light of his tendency to downplay the role of the Israel lobby vis-a-vis corporate interests in US Middle East policy, the following recent statement of Noam Chomsky makes interesting reading:

"[I]f you're interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts... compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support. Israeli intervention in US elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done. I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president's policies - what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015. Did Putin come to give an address to the joint sessions of Congress... calling on them to reverse US policy, without even informing the president?" (haaretz.com, 22/8/18)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tony Abbott Nailed

Spot on:

"It has been a hallmark of Abbott's entire political career to view the world in Manichean terms. His own life has been defined and circumscribed by unquestioned beliefs that would admit no subtleties nor entertain doubts. From his Catholic seminarian days, through his anti-left crusades as a student politician, to the culture wars of the 1990s and the NSW Liberal Party's own potent brand of anti-Labor tribalism, Abbott has been captive of inflexible dogma... Intellectually, Abbott has never wavered from the conviction that his real political enemies are secular and progressive Australians... In 1997 I recorded a series of interviews with professed Abbott's political hero, the late Bob Santamaria*, the veteran political activist. I asked him how he saw Abbott, then beginning his political rise, and Santamaria smiled and shook his head. 'Tony, I'm afraid, has never left student politics behind. The world is not black and white; indeed, the older I get the more shades of grey I see. I'm not sure he will change'." (from Political consensus is dead, with Abbott the sectarian, Norman Abjorensen, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/8/18)

And the same goes for his little mate, Greggie Sheridan.

[*For Santamaria on Palestine/Israel see my 27/9/13 post What Would Santa Say? You'll be in for a surprise...]

Thursday, August 23, 2018

St Greg's Fartwa on Jeremy Corbyn.

Hark! Somewhere, deep within the bowels of News Corpse, something stirs, namely Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian, author of God is Good for You (2018), and knight errant for Israel.

And somewhere, deep within St Greg's bowels, something darker stirs, namely his latest fartwa, Corbyn's rise is a symptom of the West's infirmity (18/8/18).

Herewith, some only of its more mephitic odours:

"[L]et's be clear: Anning presents like a combination of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt compared with Corbyn."

And, while we're being clear - it has to be said! - Corbyn even makes Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, Dracula, and Tony Abbott look good.

Gnashing his teeth over "the increasingly ubiquitous dynamic of celebrity," St Greg pronounces that "by contradicting every tenet of common sense and political decency [Corbyn] became a star. He certainly stood out from politicians who may have been dull, but whose very dullness was evidence of a connection with reality."

A star, yes, but a dark one:

"Corbyn's addiction to conspiracy was not born of digital media. He is an analogue conspiracy believer and hater from way, way back. Which brings us to the matter of Jews and anti-Semitism. For 2000 years, indeed longer, Jews have been the centre of the most lurid conspiracy theories. From the false conviction of Alfred Dreyfus to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and countless other cases, Jews have been at the centre of baseless and viciously malign conspiracy theories.

"Many Christian individuals and institutions played horrible roles in anti-Semitism, while many Christians also opposed it. The past 20 years have seen a dangerous upsurge in anti-Semitism in the West. It has two sources. One is Islamist - even nonviolent Islamists and indeed much Muslim opinion generally. The other is the conspiracy mindset of contemporary left activism, especially as it focuses on Israel."

St Greg's fartwa continues, but with the following piccolo-like proviso:

"It is of course perfectly OK, and not remotely anti-Semitic, to criticise Israel."

(Funny that, coming from one who has never in his life criticised Israel! And who once vehemently dismissed the well-documented - including from Zionist archives - fact of Zionist ethnic cleansing in Palestine in 1948 as "all rubbish." See my 9/5/09 post Sheridan: Nakba Denier.)

No sooner had the piccolo - if I may refer to it thus - faded away than suddenly there came a sound from St Greg's nether regions as of a rushing mighty wind which filled all the house where he was sitting:

"But to apply standards to Israel that would never be applied to other nations, to accuse Israel of blatantly untrue crimes, to equate Jews automatically with all the policies of Israel, to equate Israel with Nazism, to criticise Israel in terms of traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes, to accuse Jews of having greater loyalty to Israel than to the nations of their citizenship, to generate such exaggerated hatred of Israel that it spills over into hostility to Jews, all of that is anti-Semitism. And supporting terrorists who kill innocent Jews is also anti-Semitism."

Verily, not even the cockroaches which rule the roost in the bowels of News Corpse could withstand such a wind as this! Yea, smitten were they and utterly destroyed.

As for the rest of the fartwa it was these two cheeky, shofar-like blasts in particular that knocked me to my knees:

"There are Jews whom Corbyn likes. If a Jew routinely execrates Israel and adopts every other far-left conspiracy-tinged political cause, Corbyn will be his friend."

How dare Corbyn not like Netanyahu, Lieberman et al. I mean, really now, what's not to like? Top blokes!

"Corbyn has equated Israel's presence in the West Bank with the military occupations of World War II. Such language automatically invokes Nazi images."

Far out! How dare Corbyn compare a mere 51-year Israeli "presence" in the West Bank with a German military occupation of 4 years! (Parenthetically, there's been an Israeli army base and half a dozen Israeli settlements, whose inhabitants have been running around with firebombs and chainsaws in my backyard for, like, forever, but, hey, I'm not complaining. After all, it's just a "presence," innit?)

Listen, Corbyn, you can run on your cloven hooves, but you can't hide, OK?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

USraeli Policing

Jesus Christ...

"A Georgia police chief said an officer was justified in using a Taser to stun an 87-year-old woman after she failed to obey commands to drop a knife in her hand. Relatives said Martha Al-Bishara does not speak English and was merely cutting dandelions with a kitchen knife near her home in Chatsworth, about 85 miles north of Atlanta, earlier this month. Police held her at gunpoint before bringing her to the ground with a jolt from the electrified prongs of a stun gun. She was charged with criminal trespass and obstructing an officer." (Georgia police chief defends officer who used Taser to stun grandmother, 87, Associated Press/the guardian.com, 19/8/18)

Of course that has nothing to do with this:

"Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed rejected a demand from groups affiliated with the movement for Black Lives Matter to halt Israel's training relationship with local police departments... 'I happen to believe that the Israeli police department has some of the best counterterrorism techniques in the world,' Reed insisted. 'And it benefits our police department from that longstanding relationship.' It was an interesting choice of words considering that Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights organizations, as well as the UN, have repeatedly condemned Israeli forces, including the police, for a range of human rights violations, particularly for their frequent extrajudicial executions of Palestinians. It was also recently revealed that Israeli police are authorized to use lethal force as a first resort against Palestinians they suspect might throw rocks, including minors. An internal police report exposed by the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz this month revealed that Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem 'deliberately provoke Palestinians' in order to get a violent response... The Atlanta Police Department has been sending personnel to Israel since 1992, as part of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange. GILEE... sends high-ranking public safety officials to Israel for 'counterterrorism' training every year." (Atlanta mayor rejects demand to end Israel police training, Rania Khalek, electronicintifada.net, 21/7/18)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Irreconcilable Phenomena

I have a problem with the following sentence from Lily Rahim's review, in the Sydney Morning Herald (18/8/18), of Ed Husain's new book, The House of Islam: A Global History:

"Despite the penetrating insights in The House of Islam, Husain's narrative of the myriad hurdles confronting the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, and Israel's role in this struggle, is somewhat disappointing."

My problem here is this: Israel doesn't merely have a "role" in erecting roadblocks to Palestinian self-determination. Israel is the roadblock to Palestinian self-determination. In essence, Israel is because Palestine isn't.

In the prescient words of the early Arab nationalist Najib Azuri, written in 1905: "Two important phenomena, similar in nature and yet opposed to each other, which have not yet attracted the attention of anybody, are now manifesting themselves in Asiatic Turkey, namely the awakening of the Arab nation and the concealed effort of the Jews to reestablish the ancient monarchy of Israel on a grand scale. These two movements are destined to a continuous struggle, until one of the two prevails over the other. On the final outcome of the struggle between these two peoples, representing two opposing principles, will depend the destiny of the entire world."

Either Rahim is pulling her punches here, or the Herald is practicing self-censorship.

Monday, August 20, 2018

School DaZe

An August 18 advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald for teaching positions at Sydney's Moriah College stipulates that "An empathy with the Zionist ethos of our Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School is essential."

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The CIA's Regime Change Playbook (1953)

An absolute must-read, 1953 Iran coup - a crime authored in London and Washington, by John Wright (rt.com, 17/8/18):

"This week marks 65 years since the Western-orchestrated coup in Iran. August 19, 1953 is the day that Iranians were taught a hard lesson in the rules of the game when it comes to empire and hegemony. For on this day, the country's democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, was overthrown at the hands of Washington and London. It was, by any measure, an act of international banditry that continues to cry out for just redress.

"Operation Ajax was planned, organized and unleashed by the CIA in conjunction with MI6 in response to the decision that was taken by Mossadegh - acting with the support of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) - to nationalize Iran's oil and husband the resulting revenue for the benefit of the Iranian people. Up to this point, the lion's share of the revenue garnered from the exploitation of Iranian oil was sucked out of the country by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) - the British state-owned oil company established in 1908 with this objective in mind and the forerunner of today's global oil conglomerate BP.

"London's colonial assertion of control over Iran's natural resource was undertaken at the point when its Royal Navy was moving from coal to oil-powered engines. In the interests of an empire that covered a quarter of the world at that time, the global reach of the Royal Navy was indispensable. Thus, the domination and exploitation of Iran's oil assumed, for London, a priority of critical strategic importance. None other than Britain's future prime minister, Winston Churchill, proclaimed the importance of Persian [Iranian] oil with customary bombast: 'Fortune brought us a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams. Mastery itself was the prize of the venture.' Such an open celebration of the opportunity for national enrichment at another country's expense is so unabashed it would make a low-rent mafia hood blush.

"Over the years of Britain's control of Iranian oil, Tehran received a derisory percentage. It was a one-sided arrangement of such unabashed colonial arrogance that it could only succeed in triggering a rise in national consciousness. And it was on the back of this rise in national consciousness that Mohammed Mossadegh was appointed Iran's prime minister in 1951 by a reluctant shah, upon being nominated for the post by the country's parliament (Majlis) by an overwhelming majority. The young shah, Mohammad Reza, whose father had been forced of the throne in 1941 by the British and the Soviets due to his pro-German sympathies in World War II, sat on the throne as a constitutional monarch during this period.

"Mossadegh and the nationalist current he represented was anathema to the shah's ambitions that were encouraged by the British with the protection of its oil interests in mind, resulting in rising tensions as the country approached a crossroads in its history. Upon coming to power, Mossadegh carried through his plan of nationalizing and seizing control of Iran's oil reserves from the British, while confiscating the assets of the AIOC. Mossadegh justified his actions thus: 'Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries [over a just distribution of oil revenues] have yielded no results... With the oil revenues, we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people.' He went on: 'Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence.'

"The British responded by making it impossible for Iran to sell its newly nationalized crude on the world market. However, for a colonial power whose empire had gone into steep decline, this wasn't enough to satisfy its desire for retribution. Lacking the requisite strength and ability to settle accounts on its own, it was then that London turned to Washington, which had been established as the first among equals of Western imperial powers, for assistance. The reasoning employed by London to draw the Americans into their feud with Mossadegh was that Iran was in danger of turning communist, citing the growing popularity of the country's Tudeh (Communist) Party as evidence. With Washington in the throes of anti-Soviet and anti-communist fever, it succeeded and the plan to topple Mossadegh - Operation Ajax - was put in motion with the CIA assuming the lead role. Key to its success was the bribing of senior army and police officers, along with journalists, religious clerics, and members of the Iranian parliament, who were tasked with whipping up anti-Mossadegh sentiment. A smear campaign, designed to inflame the religiosity of a large section of the Iranian population, accused Mossadegh of being a communist.

"According to declassified CIA documents, when it began on August 15, the coup appeared to have failed. Mossadegh's security forces made dozens of arrests and forced the shah, who was also in on the conspiracy, to flee the country. However, utilizing the momentum of mass demonstrations that were organized with money provided by the CIA, on August 19, 1953, Mossadegh was arrested along with thousands of his supporters. Thereafter, the shah returned from exile to become Washington's placeman, ruling the country with extreme brutality and corruption, until the Iranian Revolution removed him and his clique from power in 1979.

"The context to this history is, of course, Washington's unremitting demonization of Iran today. The false depiction of the country as a sponsor of terrorism and a threat to the region has been used to justify the Trump administration's unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal), the tightening of sanctions, and the looming threat of war. The fact that the precise opposite is the case - ie that Iran has been indispensable in combating Western-backed terrorism in the region and stands as a pillar of resistance to the sectarian regional ambitions of key US strategic allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia - has been willfully abstracted in favor of this Alice in Wonderland narrative.

"The CIA- and MI6-orchestrated coup to topple Mohammad Mossadegh reminds us that no region has endured more at the hands of US hegemony than the Middle East. It cements, as well, Mossadegh's place in history as a man with the courage to defy the West. It is a proud legacy of defiance that lives on in the refusal of the Iranian people to submit to Washington's writ in our time. While that will be rightly celebrated in Tehran on the 65th anniversary of the CIA-led coup, the eve of the occasion was marked in Washington this week by the creation of a so-called Iran Action Group, tasked with coordinating its policy towards Iran, and with 'changing its regime's behavior'."

As it happens, Friday's Australian republished a Wall Street Journal piece - part of the propaganda barrage currently softening us up for a hot war with Iran - contained an unctuous column by Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the late King of Kings and Light of the Aryans, Mohammad Reza. Some gems:

"My life's mission is not to assume a personal leadership role in the future state; it is... to serve as a source of hope... for the Iranian people."

On the other hand, if they really want me...

"The Iranian people have a message: we want our country back."

We the people! LOL

"From the inception, the regime has sought to subvert Iran by transforming it from a nation into a cause... It denies our people the right to gather for special occasions at the tombs of their heroes."

What? The tomb of granddaddy, Reza Shah? Certainly not Mossadegh's.

"[Iranians] want to be sought out by other other countries as trusted friends and partners as they take charge of their country and lead it into a new chapter of history."

Reza wants a kiss and a cuddle from USrael, just like his Dad.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Real Zionists Love Fraser Anning

Further to my thesis that Zionists (who routinely conflate Judaism with Zionism) really don't give a damn if right-wing nut jobs like Fraser Anning refer to Jews/the Holocaust/Hitler etc so long as they do Israel's bidding, here's Zionist ranter Michael Burd (Toorak, Vic) joining the dots for us on the letters page of yesterday's Australian:

"As the son of Holocaust survivors, I fully understand the meaning behind the term 'final solution'. In my view, Jewish community representatives have overreacted to Fraser Anning's use of this term, first because I am aware of his background and public support for the Jewish community. Some examples include lobbying for our government to stop funding alleged Palestinian terrorism and moving Australia's embassy to Israel's capital Jerusalem - hardly the actions of an anti-Semite."

And here's Australian-Palestinian activist Ali Kazak (Narrabundah, ACT) to remind us on the same letters page that the one and only target of Anning's speech is Australian Muslims:

"The main point in Fraser Anning's speech is his anti-Muslim racism. His use of 'final solution' was clearly related to Muslims, not to Jews or the Holocaust. For Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and others to twist Anning's words to avoid condemning his anti-Muslim bigotry and address this serious racism issue is appalling."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Making Australia Great Again with...

... senator Fraser Anning.

After perusing msm accounts of Mad Hatter's Australian Party senator Anning's reference to a "final solution to the immigration problem," you could be forgiven for thinking that his appropriation of the words "final solution" was the worst aspect of his speech.

You would, of course, be overlooking its primary focus: Australia's Muslims - the principal, if not the only, target of Anning's "final solution":

"Historically... the one immigrant group here and in other Western nations that has consistently shown itself to be the least able to assimilate and integrate is Muslims. The first terrorist act on Australian soil was in 1915, when two Muslim immigrants opened fire on a picnic train of innocent women and children in Broken Hill - and Muslim immigrants have been a problem ever since. To paraphrase the words of Sir Winston Churchill: The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power. The influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those that follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world

"I believe that the reasons for ending all further Muslim immigration are both compelling and self-evident. The record of Muslims who have already come to this country in rates of crime, welfare dependency and terrorism is the worst of any migrants... A majority of Muslims in Australia of working age do not work and live on welfare. Muslims in NSW and Victoria are three times more likely than other groups to be convicted of crimes. We have black African Muslim gangs terrorising Melbourne. We have ISIS-sympathising Muslims trying to go overseas to fight for ISIS and, while all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims. So why would anyone want to bring more of them here?"

I'll return to Anning's "final solution" later. Let's first unpack just some of the nonsense above:

1) The first terrorist act on Australian soil? Maybe... but only if you overlook the colonial-settler genocide of Australia's indigenous population.

2) To paraphrase... Churchill? So the arch British colonialist, Churchill, is some renowned authority on Muslims? Really? Be that as it may, Anning isn't, in fact, paraphrasing Churchill, but rather selectively quoting him, lifting the said quote from some Islamophobic shite that's been circulating on the internet for a few years: here it is with the with the missing bits restored (and highlighted): "The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great force. Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world." Funny how the quote Anning's latched onto and recycled here never contains those missing words. We can't have the reactionaries' favourite Big White Man saying anything positive about Muslims now, can we?

3) Muslims in NSW and Victoria are 3 times more likely than other groups to be convicted of crimes? As today's Sydney Morning Herald revealed in its own fact check of Anning's speech: "The Herald repeatedly asked Senator Anning's office for the source of this claim, and did not receive a response. Both the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and Victoria's Crime Statistics Agency told Fairfax Media they did not possess or publish reliable data on the religious affiliation of criminals."

4) Black African Muslim gangs? Inconveniently for Anning, the religious background of Melbourne's South Sudanese community just happens to be Christian.

But back to Anning's "final solution," which, BTW, is, in his own words, "a plebiscite to allow the Australian people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the Third World and, in particular, whether they want any Muslims or whether they want to return to the predominantly European immigration policy of the pre-Whitlam consensus." IOW, a ban on Muslim immigrants and/or a return to the White Australia Policy.

Interestingly, local Zionist spokesmen don't seem all that exercised over Anning's appropriation of the words "final solution" - if these curiously muted quotes from The Final Solution - in the Australian parliament (15/8/18, jwire.com.au) are anything to go by:

"Regardless of his intentions, Senator Anning's choice of words would have been unsettling for Jewish Australians... " Anton Block, President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry

"What a poor and inappropriate choice of words by Senator Anning to make a point about immigration... " Dvir Abramovich, Chairman, Anti-Defamation Commission

Could this softly, softly approach perhaps have something to do with Anning's use of his parliamentary platform last month to move - unsuccessfully as it happens - that Australia recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move our embassy there? (See my 23/6/18 post Time for a New Australian Party)

Of course, none of the msm media outlets, which are dubbing Anning's diatribe 'the final solution speech,' have shown any interest in his services to the country that admits as citizens only bona fide Jews.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How to Talk to Benjamin Netanyahu

The latest turn of the screw in Israel's Operation Get Corbyn (which came in the wake of a Daily Mail beat-up, which came from... ):

"The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves [sic] of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone - left, right and everything in between." (Benjamin Netanyahu tweet, 11/8/18)

And Corbyn's withering, tweeted response to this swaggering bully, the ideological heir to Irgun terrorist Menachem Begin:

"Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's claims about my actions and words are false. What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children. The nation state law sponsored by Netanyahu's government discriminates against Israel's Palestinian minority. I stand with the tens of thousands of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel demonstrating for equal rights at the weekend in Tel Aviv."

Western 'leaders', accustomed to swooning at Netanyahu's feet, take note.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Craving the Krav (Maga}

Oh to be blissfully unaware, totally unconscious, dead-to-the-world, and all me, myself and I-ish just like the author of this promotional morsel in an airline magazine - which was passed it on to me by some wag - why me? - with that annoying, seemingly obligatory order when one is handed food these days: 'enjoy'. Here's my pared-down version. Enjoy:

"Seeking out the gym for my first krav maga class in Melbourne's Caulfield, I couldn't help but note the many local restaurant options. If nothing else, that was going to be my motivation for going all-in.

"In Hebrew, krav maga means 'contact combat' and is popularly known as the self-defence system used by the Israel Defense Forces... Class starts and our instructor casually mentions he used to be a sniper (gulp)... It's easy to imagine krav maga as brutal and masters of the sport being aggressive hotheads always looking for a fight... "

What?! The IDF? Aggressive hotheads always looking for a fight? Never!

"As I head home... I skip the many enticing dining options this time, but I'm certain I'll be back soon, and with more reason to show up than just excitement over the food."

However, that lovely Max Brenner place I saw on the way...

Monday, August 13, 2018

When Zionists Urge

The "independent, always" Sydney Morning Herald is now almost as much a conveyor belt for Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) propaganda as Murdoch's Australian.

In today's AIJAC emission, Colin Rubenstein, AIJAC's executive director, informs us, essentially, that Iran is a rogue state, run by extremists - a classic case, of course, of the pot calling the kettle black.

Particularly touching is his tender concern for the "long-suffering" people of Iran. What a mensch!

But it's this that really gets me heaving:

"Australia needs a clear and consistent position that should be based on Australia's national interest in robustly addressing the threat posed by a belligerent, expansionist and irresponsible (pot/kettle/black again!) Iran." (Australia must face the new Iran reality, 13/8/18)

A Zionist operative pontificating on the subject of Australia's "national interest"?

Think about that!

Was it not Zionist operatives, otherwise known as neocons, who were instrumental in persuading the Americans that it was in their national interest to invade Iraq in 2003? And, hey, didn't that end well?

And was it not Zionist operatives, in the form of Chaim Weizmann's Zionist Organisation, who persuaded Lord Balfour and his colleagues in 1917 that it was in Britain's national interest to lay the foundations of a Jewish State in Palestine? And, hey, how has that turned out?

And don't forget: when a Zionist operative urges us to "robustly address" a "threat," think what he means by that word 'robust'.

Think Deir Yassin, or Sabra & Shatila. Think operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense and Protective Edge. Think death, hell and the grave.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

'We Wait in Fear'

"I spent time with BBC journalists and a senior producer said to me 'We wait in fear for the phone call from the Israelis. I have had journalists on the phone to me minutes before a broadcast checking what they can say, which words they can use'." - Professor Greg Philo, Glasgow Media Group, SOAS, 19/5/11

Shit, here's one now:

"@BBCWorld this is a formal complaint by @IsraelMFA. This title [Israeli air strikes 'kill pregnant woman and baby'] This title is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality (that's the polite equivalent of 'this is a LIE', if you don't get it). Israelis were targeted by Hamas and IDF acts to protect them. Change it IMMEDIATELY!!! @IsraelMFA" - Emmanuel Nahshon tweet, 9/8/18

So they did, and in double time too: "Gaza air strikes 'kill woman and child' after rockets hit Israel" - 9/8/18

***

Don't tell me this isn't happening with our ABC.

Friday, August 10, 2018

How a Hot War With Iran Might Look

Former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, anticipates how Iran might respond to ongoing USraeli* aggression:

"Iran learned the lessons of Hezbollah's ongoing conflict with Israel, and in particular that of the 2006 war, all too well. To win the war, Hezbollah did not need to defeat Israel, it had only to make sure Israel did not defeat it. This is an ambition Iran readily aspires to - it can shut down the Strait of Hormuz, cripple the global economy and ride out any American military response. In the end, the United States will succumb to international pressure and search for a negotiated settlement, and Iran will emerge victorious simply because it survived. Iran would accept this outcome rather than surrender its hard-won diplomatic achievement regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)." From Three reasons why 'fire & fury won't work with Iran, truthdig.com, 3/8/18)

[*USraeli? Of course! Here's Ritter again, laying it on the line in his 2006 book Target Iran: "The conflict currently underway between the US and Iran is, first and foremost, a conflict born in Israel. It is based upon an Israeli contention that Iran poses a threat to Israel, and defined by Israeli assertions that Iran possesses a nuclear weapons program. None of this has been shown to be true, and indeed much of the allegations made by Israel against Iran have been clearly demonstrated as being false. And yet the US continues to trumpet the Israeli claims, and no individual more loudly than the US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton." (p 208)]

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Trump Fires the First Shot...

... in USrael's regime change war on Iran:

"You cannot stand with Iranian people and at the same time destroy all of their life savings and any chance they have to put food on the table. By imposing sanctions aimed at destroying the Iranian economy, Trump is declaring economic war on the people of Iran." Trita Parsi tweet, Aug 6

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Banality & Ubiquity of Evil

Former British diplomat Craig Murray reflects on those who smear anti-racists as anti-Semites:

"My world view changed forever, when, after 20 years in the Foreign Office, I saw colleagues I knew and liked go along with Britain's complicity in the most terrible tortures, as detailed stunningly in the recent Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee Report. They also went along with keeping the policy secret, deliberately disregarding all normal record taking procedures, to the extent that the Committee noted: 131. We note that we have not seen the minutes of these meetings either: this causes us great concern. Policy discussions on such an important issue should have been minuted. We support Mr Murray's own conclusion that were it not for his actions these matters may never have come to light.

"The people doing these things were not ordinarily bad people; they were just trying to keep their jobs, comforting themselves with the thought that they were only civil servants obeying orders. Many were also actuated by the nasty 'patriotism' that grips in time of war, as we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost nobody in the FCO stood up against the torture or against the illegal war - Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Carne Ross and I were the only ones to leave over it..

"I then had the still more mortifying experience of the Foreign Office seeking to punish my dissent by bringing a series of accusations of gross misconduct - some of them criminal - against me. The people bringing the accusations knew full well they were false. The people investigating them knew they were false from about day 2. But I was put through a hellish six months of trial by media before being acquitted on all the original counts (found guilty of revealing the charges, whose existence was an official secret!). The people who did this to me were people I knew.

"I had served as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Poland, and bumped up startlingly against the history of the Holocaust in that time, including through involvement with organising the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What had struck me most forcibly was the sheer scale of the Holocaust operation, the tens of thousands of people who had been complicit in administering it. I could never understand how that could happen - until I saw ordinary, decent people in the FCO facilitate extraordinary rendition and torture. Then I understood, for the first time, the banality of evil or, perhaps more precisely, the ubiquity of evil. Of course, I am not comparing the scale of what happened to the Holocaust - but evil can operate on different scales.

"I believe I see it again today. I do not believe that the majority of journalists in the BBC, who pump out a continual stream of 'Corbyn is an anti-semite' propaganda, believe in their hearts that Corbyn is a racist at all. They are just doing their job, which is to help the BBC avert the prospect of a radical government in the UK threatening the massive wealth share of the global elite. They would argue that they are just reporting what others say; but it is of course the selection of what they report and how they report it which reflects their agenda.

"The truth, of which I am certain, is this. If there genuinely was the claimed existential threat to Jews in Britain, of the type which engulfed Europe's Jews in the 1930s, Jeremy Corbyn, Billy Bragg, Roger Waters, and I may humbly add myself, would be among the few who would die alongside them on the barricades, resisting. Yet these are today loudly called 'anti-semites' for supporting the right to oppose the oppression of the Palestinians. The journalists currently promoting those accusations, if it came to the crunch, would be polishing state propaganda, and the civil servants writing railway dockets. That is how it works. I have seen it. Close up." (craigmurray.org.uk, 30/7/18)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Razer-Sharp?

An example of how the bullying power of Australia's Israel lobby still fails to register with our media pundits - in this case Crikey.com's Helen Razer:

"First, The Australian joyously reported the decision of the Brisbane Writers' Festival to 'disinvite' participants Bob Carr and Germaine Greer. This must have been as cultural Cialis to our friends who love little more than to decry the intellectual stasis and censorship of the 'Left'. It was only irritating to me because the report contained no reason for the expulsion of Bob Carr. Greer, we know, is regularly 'no platformed' and perhaps this Milo-style anti-marketing works quite well for her. But Carr? I've flicked through his new book and found no offence equal to eviction - if you've heard he's got all Malthusian on the matter of population control, he hasn't. We can only suppose it's his tolerance of China or intolerance of Israel that has ticked off some sponsor. Goodness, I'd love to know." (Razer: Richard Flanagan longs for an intellectual past that is purely fictional, 31/7/18)

Perhaps if, instead of merely "flicking through" Carr's memoir, Run for Your Life, Razer had actually read the chapter 'Me & 'the Lobby', the penny might have dropped.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Is the US Certifiably Mad?

Have Americans been watching too many Hollywood movies? Forget angels, alien abductions, and Armageddon, and cop a load of this:

"On Tuesday evening, the dark recesses of the internet lit up with talk of politics. 'Tampa rally, live coverage,' wrote 'Dan', posting a link to US President Donald Trump's Tampa speech in a thread on Schan, an anonymous image board also known as Infinitechan... which might best be described as the unglued twin of better-known 4chan, a message board already untethered from reality.

"The thread invited 'requests to Q', an anonymous leader claiming to be a government agent with top security clearance, waging war against the so-called 'deep state' in service to the 45th President. Q feeds disciples, known as bakers, clues so that they can 'bake' their understanding of the 'storm', a term drawn from Trump's cryptic reference to 'the calm before the storm' last year. The storm being the President's final conquest over elites, globalists and deep-state saboteurs. [...]

"Press reports are dismissed as 'Operation Mockingbird', the name given to the alleged mid-century infiltration of the American media by the CIA. The Illuminati loom large in QAnon. As do the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish family vilified by the conspiracy theorists as the leaders of a satanic cult. Among the world leaders wise to satanic influences, the theory holds, is Russian President Vladimir Putin. QAnon flirts with eschatology, fascist philosophy and the filmmaking of Francis Ford Coppola. Adherents believe a 'Great Awakening' will precede the final storm foretold by Trump. Once they make sense of the information dripped by Q, they will usher in a Christian revival presaging total victory." (President's alternative reality show, Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post/ Sydney Morning Herald, 3/8/18)

The Mystery of the Other Five

"Liberal Senator for Queensland Amanda Stoker* is a recent graduate of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Rambam study program to Israel, and addressed an AIJAC function in Melbourne to discuss impressions of her visit to Israel in June. " (Senator & union leaders on their visit to Israel, jwire.com.au, 1/8/18)

Unsurprisingly, Stoker's now stoked on Israel: she now has "a greater understanding of Middle East realities through meetings with quality speakers," was "particularly impressed by the Israeli culture of entrepreneurialism," and was "shocked by the antisemitism and incitement she witnessed in the Palestinian media, which was exposed to her in a meeting with the director of Palestinian Media Watch Itamar Marcus."

But it's not her gullibility and abysmal ignorance of the Palestine problem that interests me here. I've documented such cliches as hers a thousand times over on this blog. It's the presence by their absence at AIJAC's function of the other 5 junketeers, namely Senators Kristina Keneally (ALP, NSW), Anthony Chisholm (ALP, QLD), Jonathan Duniam (Lib, TAS), Sterling Griff (Centre Alliance, SA), and Alfred Ngaro, New Zealand MP.

What gives? Did they simply eat and drink their way through this AIJAC-sponsored junket? Roll their eyes while visiting Ziv Hospital, Israel's R&R facility for Syrian jihadis? Nod off on poor old Itamar Marcus as he rattled off his tall tales of Palestinian wickedness? Trot out a lame excuse when AIJAC asked them to report back at its Melbourne function?

Fie on them! Sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful rambamee!

And for those concerned with the sad decline of Australia's union movement, here's another nail in the coffin:

"Another group of Rambam graduates consisting of trade union leaders also discussed the impact of their study visit to Israel in December at an AIJAC luncheon on July 20. The group consisted of seven trade union leaders and was organized by AIJAC's Rambam Israel Fellowship Program together with the Australia-Israel Labor Dialogue [AILD], headed by ACTU Assistant Secretary Michael Borowick, who accompanied the delegation. Reporting back on their experiences... were Nina Taylor, Organiser with the Community and Public Sector Union who is also a councillor at the City of Glen Eira**; Justin Power, Assistant Secretary of the Queensland branch of the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA); and Robert Tonkli, the assistant Secretary of the NSW Branch of the SDA. The group mentioned that highlights included speaking with Upstart Start-Up Nation author Saul Singer and meetings with the Histadrut - Israel's national trade union centre. Both Taylor and Powers noted that they were impressed with the Histadrut's efforts to ensure equal workplace rights for Palestinian workers, which they felt few people in Australia were aware of." (ibid)

Ninny Nina: Israel? Absolutely fabulous, comrade! And, and... wait till you hear this! Israel's Histadrut is making efforts to ensure that Palestinian workers have equal rights!!! Yay! Betcha didn't know that before, eh?
Interlocutor (underwhelmed & sotto voce): Fabulous...

[*Brandis' pro-life, anti-euthenasia, Anglican replacement in the Senate; **Hilarious Nina Taylor tweet, July 20: "Israel/Palestine union delegation Dec 17 reunion #aijac#aild#peace#tolerance"]

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Meet the NSW Liberals' Israeli Youth Wing

"NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley is refusing to release any details of a letter he has received from ASIO boss Duncan Lewis concerning the Labor upper house Chinese-born MP Ernest Wong and whether there are concerns about China attempting to infiltrate the Labor Party [...] It comes as Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Liberal Party step up efforts to woo the Chinese community, including a fundraiser for about 500 Chinese... in Sydney early last week, to launch a Chinese Youth Council arm of the Liberal Party... The party had arms similar to the Chinese council that involved Indians, Nepalese and Israelis, and was starting an Armenian arm, the source said." (Foley won't release ASIO letter on MP, Andrew Clennell, The Australian, 1/8/18)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Guardian Sabotages Britain's Labour Party

You've heard of the PEP (Progressive Except Palestine). Now meet the subspecies SEP (Socialist Except Palestine). Self-proclaimed "natural Labour voter," and Guardian columnist,Gaby Hinsliff, mutters darkly in her drive-by smear of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:

"Dare to criticise Jeremy Corbyn as a natural Labor voter, and sooner or later you'll be accused not only of 'smearing' the leader, but of being morally liable for every bad thing that ever has happened or will happen under a Tory government... God forbid he should take responsibility for creating a party that doesn't make some of its longest-standing supporters feel morally tainted by association. Even Momentum - which dared to publicly abandon its support for Peter Willsman as an NEC candidate after a tape emerged of him apparently challenging the very existence of antisemitism in Labour - faced a vicious backlash from its own members. It was a stark illustration of the difficulty facing a younger generation of Corbynites, who are no keener than your average millennial to upset minorities and are genuinely seeking a way out of this mess, but who belong to a movement encouraged to view any criticism of Corbyn or his friends and allies as a full-frontal assault on socialism itself. Well, they should stick to their guns. It's perfectly possible to offer progressive taxation, more social housing, renationalised railways and and a welfare system in which people don't visibly starve without an unwanted side order of Mossad conspiracy theories. The idea that you can't have one without another [sic] - that unless we all agree that there's nothing wrong with calling Jews Nazis, then leftwing economic beliefs will somehow die - is grotesque. And if Corbyn, laden as he is with the personal baggage and friendships of the past 40 years, struggles to separate the two in the public mind, then sooner or later the Labour Party must find someone who can." (Dark forces gather as UK politics heads for rock bottom, 3/8/18)

Note the irony in the title of Hinsliff's witless piece: the Guardian, not Corbyn's Labour, is in fact one of the "dark forces" working to send UK politics to "rock bottom."

Friday, August 3, 2018

Lord Balfour Sabotages Britain's Labour Party

UK Labour cruising towards split over Israel-Palestine, George Galloway, rt.com, 1/8/18:

"Britain's Labour Party prepares to split; the Israel-Palestine issue breaks up the party after 100 years to the relief of Prime Minister Theresa May. At least that's the proximate cause of the rapidly approaching schism in the opposition Labour Party. Attempts to effectively outlaw existential criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel have foundered on the rocks of obduracy of the veteran Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn whose commitment to the Palestinian cause has been a leitmotif of his 40 years in left-wing politics.

"Support for the Palestinians and opposition to Israel has grown massively in recent decades in Britain and throughout the Western world. The recent decision after a passionate debate in the Irish Senate to ban the products of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories was a high point for the BDS movement. And this decision preceded the new controversial National Law passed in the Israeli Knesset, which UN bodies and others have said makes Israel officially an apartheid state, giving a spur to the BDS cause. Widespread ostracism of apartheid South Africa was an important factor in the downfall of the system in South Africa.

"But Israel is far from taking these defeats lying down. The Israeli embassy in London is a vital center for counter-offensives, [with] ambassador Mark Regev a key operative in Netanyahu's machine. That Israel chose to send Regev to London was an early sign of the importance of the UK battleground.

"When I joined the Palestinian struggle in 1975, you could've fitted all British supporters of the PLO into a small hall, with room for elephants at the back. Now you couldn't fit us into Hyde Park. We are millions, literally. I know when the tide turned because I was there, literally. I left West Beirut in 1982, just ahead of the advancing Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Within hours they were at the gates. Their capture of President Arafat's fiefdom in the West of the city led to the departure of Arafat and his forces under an agreement brokered by the US plenipotentiary Philip Habib. Its terms included the protection of the families the fighters were leaving behind. They were promptly fallen upon by the Israeli-backed Lebanese Phalange militia and massacred.

"The UN and the Israeli Kahan Commission later held that former Israeli defence minister Ariel Sharon - present at the scene of the massacre in the Sabra-Shatila refugee camp - shared responsibility for the murder of thousands of unarmed civilians. Sharon was required to resign from the government of Menachem Begin but would later return as prime minister himself. The massacre marked the beginning of a long, slow but inexorable turn away from Israel by the British labour and trade union movement. I wrote the resolutions that passed that year in both the Labour Party Conference and the Trade Union Congress against fierce Israeli lobbying (I could show you my scars). The resolutions established policy for the first time in favour of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and for the recognition of the PLO as the 'sole legitimate representative' of the Palestinian people. In 1982, this was a heady brew, I assure you.

"Year by year, as Israeli governments became ever more right wing and as the plight of the Palestinians grew ever more grim, the giant tanker turned a little more. Although his lifelong fidelity to this cause was not the reason for Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader - the Iraq War and austerity were much more so - it certainly marked a high water mark in the growing movement against Netanyahu's Israel. And Mr Regev and the embassy were not slow to recognise the danger to their position in a Britain whose perfidy played such a key role for over a century in the Israel-Palestine question.

"The full might of the Israel lobby has been mobilized to first stop Corbyn winning the leadership, to depose him once he had won it, and above all to stop him becoming prime minister. They have had some success, particularly within the ranks of Corbyn's MPs - most of them products of the long reign of Tony Blair. Revolt after revolt from within against Corbyn has been mounted on everything from Brexit to arms sales to Saudi Arabia. But the most potent is the now-rampant virulent campaign against 'anti-Semitism' in Corbyn's Labour. What this boils down to is, of course, not anti-Semitism at all but opposition to Israel. The idea that the vegetarian left-wing bicycling peacenik and anti-racism fanatic Jeremy Corbyn hates Jews is as absurd as it is offensive.

"Having failed to dislodge him and failed to make him kneel, his enemies are planning to break away and form a new centrist bloc against Brexit, in favour of NATO and Trident nuclear weapons, and of course in defense of Israel. The last time this happened nearly 40 years ago it failed to prosper. But by dividing the anti-Conservative vote, it kept Mrs Thatcher in power for a whole decade. And thus the only person laughing in British politics today is the beleaguered Mrs May."

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pirates of the Mediterranean

"On Sunday, Israeli forces seized a boat carrying nearly two dozen activists and journalists aiming to break Israel's maritime blockade on Gaza. Flotilla organizers discounted Israel's claims that its forces had intercepted and 'redirected' their vessel to Israel 'without incident.' 'According to first-hand evidence that we have been given, the Israeli occupation forces violently attacked our Norwegian-flagged boat Al Auda (Return) as she was in international waters,' the Freedom Coalition said Tuesday. 'Prior to all of our electronic communications being cut to and from our boat, at least 4 warships had appeared,' the organizers added. 'Following some unlawful radio directives to our captain and our insistence that we had a right of innocent passage in international waters, armed, masked soldiers boarded Al Awda without permission.' Israeli soldiers beat passengers and used tasers against them, organisers said. One of the passengers assaulted was Dr Swee Chai Ang, a founder of the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians. Dr Ang was a witness to the 1982 massacres of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon.* According to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, two Israeli passengers and two Al Jazeera journalists aboard the boat were released by Israeli authorities. But by Tuesday, 18 others had spent a second night 'unlawfully detained in Givon Prison'." (Israel abducts flotilla boat, Ali Abunimah, electronicintifada.net, 31/7/18)

[*Click on the label below to read about this amazing woman.]

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

One Movie Hollywood Will Never Make

Following on from my last post about a fictional US diplomat in Lebanon, and moving to the real thing - John Gunther Dean, US ambassador to Lebanon from 1978 to 1981...

Hollywood would NEVER in a million make a movie with Dean as its protagonist. Read this excerpt from a 2002 essay on Dean by Andrew I. Killgore, a retired foreign service officer and former US ambassador to Qatar, and you'll see why:

"Just before John Gunther Dean was to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing as American ambassador to Lebanon in 1978 he received an urgent telephone call from the office of the secretary of state. 'John,' the caller said, 'we have just noticed that your mother's [maiden] name is Ashkenacsi. Does this make a serious problem for you?' 'Absolutely not,' the near legendary Dean replied, 'my father was Jewish, too. I represent a secular America, so that's all there is to it.'

"In a Sept. 6 talk in Washington, DC before an audience made up of mainly retired American diplomats, Ambassador Dean, as related to the Washington Report by one of those in attendance, described his 3 turbulent years in Beirut. There he did his courageous best to implement stated American policy goals in Lebanon, maintaining its territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty. For his pains, Israel tried but failed to assassinate him and his family. In a period of brutal civil war amid more than a dozen political/religious factions Dean, who already had held ambassadorships in Cambodia and Denmark, traveled from one end of the country to the other, calling personally on the leaders of every group. Israel, meanwhile, maintained a rump state in southern Lebanon under Lebanese mercenary Maj. Saad Haddad while encouraging unrealistic dreams of a small Christian 'Maronistan' state. As US ambassador, John Gunther Dean, renowned for his physical and moral courage, opposed Israeli machinations, arguing that close ties with Israel would harm Christian interests in the long run.

"Ambassador Dean, who does not speak Arabic, conducted his relations with Lebanese officials in French, then the second language of educated Lebanese. He believed, moreover, that he could not properly operate in the country without maintaining close relations with France and the French Embassy. In a perhaps uniquely rare role for any US ambassador, while serving in Lebanon Dean had co-signing authority with President Elias Sarkis on Lebanon's hundreds of millions of dollars deposited in Swiss banks. John Gunther Dean sought and obtained authorization to deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) if it was deemed to be in America's security interests. When an 'interlocutor' in Washington wondered if the Palestinians could help release American diplomatic hostages being held in Tehran, Dean sought - and received - Palestinian help. PLO leader Yasser Arafat and his aide Abu Jihad themselves went to Tehran in 1978 and secured the release of 13 Americans. Never, Dean noted, did the two receive any thanks from Washington for their efforts. Ambassador Dean's diligence in knowing everybody paid off in an astonishing incident when the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Lebanon was shot. As the intermediary in transferring the ambassador to the American University of Beirut (AUB) Hospital for treatment, John Dean reached the secretary to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, as well as Yasser Arafat, who was able to stop the firing on the hospital occasioned by the Saudi ambassador's presence there.

"In a prescient reference to his role in Lebanon, Dean reportedly remarked that anyone who gets between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel 'finds himself in trouble.' An amusing anecdote: Riding in his armored limousine in Beirut with ardently pro-Israel Congressman Steve Solarz, a bullet hit the car. 'What's that? Solarz asked. 'Just a bullet,' Dean replied, 'but don't worry. We are armored.' Solarz insisted on returning to the American Embassy, where he cabled home, 'Arafat shot at me!'

"To stress his support for the sovereignty of Lebanon Dean always cabled protests to Tel Aviv and the State Department in Washington whenever Israeli planes intruded - as they frequently did - into Lebanese airspace. These reminders irritated US Ambassador to Israel Sam Lewis, with whom Dean preserved cordial relations but who suffered to a notable degree from what the US Foreign Service calls 'localitis' (not Ambassador Dean's term). Other irritants flowed from Dean's urging Lebanese Christian leader Bashir Gemayel to stop seeing Israel Mossad officers.

"Dean's staunchly courageous defense of Lebanese (and American) interests came to a head in the early evening of Aug. 27, 1980, when, according to all the evidence, Mossad tried but failed to assassinate Dean, his wife (whose French family had old business connections in Lebanon) and their daughter. The long-rumored attempted murder of Dean by Mossad, infamously more noted for its prowess at assassinations than for its abilities as an intelligence agency, was publicly confirmed for the first time in Dean's Washington talk. En route from his residence in Lebanon's hills to the Beirut residence of the AUB president, Dean's limousine and convoy took 21 rifle bullets. The automobile bearing the ambassador and Mrs Dean was also struck by two light anti-tank weapons. The shot-out tires of the Deans' bulletproof car automatically reinflated. The second car, however, carrying their daughter and her fiance, did not have bulletproof tires and was momentarily stranded. The security guards in the convoy's third car pushed the daughter and her fiance into the Deans' vehicle, and they sped away. Incredibly, none of the ambassador's party or security guards were seriously wounded. Some shots struck where Dean was sitting, but bulletproof plastic windows saved his life.

"Picked up by Lebanese security, the anti-tank canisters had made-in-America markings. After unanswered telegrams to the State Department and all but silent responses to his telephone inquiries, Dean eventually learned that the anti-tank weapons were sold and shipped to Israel in 1974. Dean apparently mused to himself on the irony of an American ambassador being subjected to an Israeli assassination attempt with American weapons supplied to Israel for defense. The ambassador did not explicitly accuse Israel of trying to assassinate him, but let the facts as he related them speak for themselves. But Washington's acute unease in responding to his inquiries testifies to the deadening influence of the Israel lobby on American diplomacy... " (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November 2002)