Thursday, January 31, 2013

Where's Frank?

"Although there has been no official sighting of its owner, Frank Lowy, his 73-metre superyacht Ilona has been moored a few hundred metres off the coast of the Red Sea resort of Eilat. The Ilona is named after Lowy's mother. A BRW rich-list regular, Lowy, is the co-founder of the Westfield group of shopping centres. Born in Czechoslovakia, Lowy made his way to France after World War II, where he managed to board a ship going to Palestine. After the establishment of Israel, he joined the Haganah and then the Golani Brigade. In 1952, aged 22, he left Israel and emigrated to Australia." (Lowy's Red Sea jaunt, The Australian Jewish News, 25/1/13)

Just a minute! The last time Frank came to my attention he was being spun as "one of Australia's greatest refugee success stories." (See my 25/9/12 post The Airbrushing of Frank Lowy.) Yet here he is,  just your common and garden migrant.

I'm so glad that's been cleared up, and by no lesser authority than the AJN too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So What Else Is New?

This news really should have come as no surprise:

"Israel and US scientists say the comatose former prime minister Ariel Sharon showed 'significant brain activity' in an MRI scan, responding to pictures of his family 7 years after a stroke left him unconscious." (Sharon: sign of brain activity, AFP/Sydney Morning Herald, 29/1/13)

After all, a book was published on this very subject some years back. What's more, it was dictated by the great, but comatose, man himself to his mate, Dov Weisglass. Published in Israel by Gefen Publishing, it's called Conquering the Void.

Here's the gist:

"Resolute as ever, the Bulldozer reports from his comatose netherworld, as narrated by his trusted advisor and favorite quipster, attorney Dov Weisglass. Predictably, the incapacitated PM finds no Palestinian partner for peace in the indefinite beyond and must carve out the borders of the Jewish Vegetative State unilaterally. Left with no reasonable alternative, he parachutes behind enemy ether and establishes irrevocable Jewish facts in the clouds. When ethereal Arabs reflexively respond with mindless terror, Arik deploys the IDF to break their vaguely formed bones. Of course, Sharon simultaneously works the diplomatic channel, outflanking Arafat by abruptly disengaging from certain peripheral and non-strategic gastric functions. On a lighter note, the indisposed PM playfully recounts his distaste for his free-floating miasmic dust-bunnies, which he describes as 'cowardly and naive.'" (Spring books for fervent Zionists,, 11/4/10)

Glutton for Punishment

Never again!

Will I bother watching television that is.

I foolishly broke last week's resolution not to watch the 2nd episode of the Israeli (returned) POW drama, Prisoners of War, on SBS on Saturday night, and for my pains learned that our two Israeli prisoners, while in Arab hands, had been stabbed with screwdrivers, attacked with axes (or machetes?), beaten while suspended from the ceiling, beaten while hooded, given electric shocks, and terrorised by three different kinds of mock execution - being put before a firing squad which uses blanks, being hung by the neck but cut down before death from asphyxiation takes place, and having an unloaded rifle placed in the mouth and discharged.

Such are Israel's dream Arabs.*

Then, at 8:30 pm on Monday night, I listened gobsmacked as an ABC2 television voice (female) introduced Louis Theroux's 2011 BBC documentary about Israeli settlers, Ultra Zionists, with these words:

"This program is about Israeli settlers who put their lives on the line to fight for what they believe in."

I nonetheless pressed on, and for my pains was 'rewarded' with hearing the gormless Louis a) ask a settler if he was "partially responsible" for Palestinian hostility towards settlers; and b) ask a Palestinian if he felt "a bit sorry" for them.

I swear - never again!

[*"[Prisoners of War] explores the lasting personal effects of the trauma of war and terrorism without promoting demeaning stereotypes of any group, or lapsing into propaganda." Peter Wertheim, executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), quoted in Acclaimed Israeli drama hits SBS, The Australian Jewish News, 25/1/13.]

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Not So Fast, Baruch O'Farrell

My posts of of January 14 (Where's This All Going?) and January 27 (A Matter of Motive) both deal with the agenda behind the decision by NSW Premier Baruch (Jerusalem Prize) O'Farrell to mount an inquiry into Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act.

The second of these two posts featured Herald journalist Sean Nicholls' highly pertinent analysis of O'Farrell's motives, occasioned, as he put it, by the man's "seeming unwillingness to explain himself."

The Premier has wasted no time in responding to Nicholls:

"The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has nominated the Muslim riot in central Sydney last year as one reason why an inquiry is needed into whether the state's racial vilification laws need strengthening... On Sunday, Mr O'Farrell said he was concerned there was no attempt to prosecute those who held up 'offensive' signs during violent protests sparked by an anti-Islamic film in September. 'That blackened the city; that blackened my state. That's why there is an upper house inquiry... [the] effectiveness of this legislation,' he said." (Failure to prosecute rioters means laws need closer look - O'Farrell, Sean Nicholls, Sydney Morning Herald, 28/1/13)

Well that's it then? Mystery solved. Well, no.

Either Baruch's memory is fading fast or he's being, as they say, economical with the truth.

You see, Sydney's so-called Muslim riot* occurred on September 15 last year. Baruch, however, first announced his inquiry months before at an "Israel Independence Day cocktail event" in May. (See my 9/9/12 post From Flower to Flower.)

I'm hoping Sean Nicholls will follow this one up.

[*See my 23/9/12 post NSW Police Riot, September 15 2012.]

Updating Shmaryahu Levin

I'm sure you've all heard Shmaryahu Levin's witty definition of a Zionist as a Jew who gives money to another Jew to send a third Jew to Palestine.

Well, in light of the following two news items, it's pretty obvious that matters have become a tad more complicated since Levin's day (1867-1935) - along the lines of the proverbial left hand having absolutely no bloody idea whatever what the right's doing:

"United Israel Appeal (UIA) continues to fund aliyah flights and assistance for Jews fleeing countries of distress. There are currently over 3,000 Ethiopians waiting to come to Israel and UIA is dedicated to completing this operation by October 2013. The smooth integration of these Olim into Israeli society through absorption centres is a paramount task. These centres provide critical initial housing, intensive educational programs and the cultural tools for them to become independent and contributing members of mainstream Israeli society." (The final Ethiopian aliyah, UIA 2013 Campaign Focus, The Australian Jewish News, 25/1/13)

"Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent. The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry's director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs. According to a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically." (Israel gave birth control to Ethiopian Jews without their consent, Alistair Dawber, The Independent, 27/1/13)

This somewhat surreal state of affairs suggests that it's time we updated Levin's definition with a view to factoring in some of the latest twists and turns in what it means to be a Zionist today, twists and turns which Levin himself couldn't possibly have foreseen - or even imagined in his wildest dreams. So here goes:

These days a Zionist is a white Jew who gives tax-exempt money to a 'charity' such as the UIA, which funds another white Jew to discover 'lost tribes', some of whom are black, uproot them, and send them  to occupied Palestine. Once there they are subjected to racist abuse  - Go home Cushi! - and their women injected with drugs to stop them from having any more black babies.

OK, so it's clunkier than Levin's original, but how else is one to capture the above nuances?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ben Elton's 'Two Brothers': A Quibble

I've just finished reading Ben Elton's latest novel Two Brothers. Like all of his novels it's a great read and I highly recommend it.

One thing, however, jarred a little, and it's that I wish to focus on here.

But first a modicum of scene-setting. Two Brothers is set in the Germany of the Weimar Republic (1919-33) and its Nazi successor (1933-45). The three main characters are Paulus and Otto Stengel, the twin brothers of the title, and the irresistably beautiful Dagmar, with whom both boys are in love. All three are German Jews (although there's a qualification here I won't be going into as it's not relevant to the subject of this post).

The discordant note comes in a chapter called Beached Dolphin, Berlin, 1935, midway through the novel. Bit by bit, the Nazis have been ramping up the pressure on Germany's Jews. Our teenage protagonists had earlier been subjected to segregation in school and now find themselves banned from using public swimming pools. This particular measure has hit the spirited and athletic Dagmar, the beached dolphin of the chapter, hard, and the conversation unsurprisingly turns to the subject of emigration:

"'They say we'll spread lies about them so they're not going to let us go,' Dagmar explained miserably.

'Well, maybe it'll work out for the best in the end, eh?' Otto said, still lying on his back while bench-pressing Dagmar's dressing-table chair, 'because you can come with me to Palestine.'

'Palestine?' Dagmar asked in some surprise, having never heard Otto even mention the place before.

'Oh yes,' Paulus said with heavy sarcasm, 'haven't you heard? Otto's a Zionist now. Fuck, Otto, you don't even know where Palestine is!'

'Yes I do!' Otto protested. 'It's the next one down after Turkey - sort of. Isn't it?'

'It's in the Middle East and it's already full of Arabs,' Paulus said.

Otto's recent announcement that he had decided to become a Zionist had both amused and frustrated his brother. Lots of Jews in Berlin had begun talking about trying to get to Palestine. The Nazis themselves even raised the idea as a possible way of dealing with their 'problem'.

'It's our homeland,' Otto continued defiantly, 'that's all I need to know about it. Next year in Jerusalem!'

Even Dagmar giggled at this. In the past there could have been no less political individual than Otto Stengel. And no less a religious or spiritual one either for that matter. Otto was an archetypal teenage boy. His interests were sports, machines, food, music and Dagmar... Now, having picked up a few illegal pamphlets in Jewish coffee shops, Otto had suddenly begun using the language of Zionist politics.

'Homeland!' Paulus protested. 'Homeland? Two thousand years ago, Otts! Believe it or not, mate, things have moved on. Palestine is now the homeland of - who? Oh, let me see. Oh yes, I remember: the Palestinians. Get it? The Palestinians live in Palestine. There's a clue in the names. And I don't think they will take very kindly to a fifteen-year-old German Jew boy turning up and saying he owns the place.'

'We'll take it back,' Otto said darkly. 'We have no choice.'

'Great!' Paulus snapped. 'And when you do maybe you can ban all the Arabs from using the parks and swimming pools.'" (pp 255-256)

The problem here is that while Elton reads the Zionist project in Palestine correctly, with Otto picking up "a few illegal Zionist pamphlets" he unwittingly conveys the false impression that German Zionists were putting up some kind of resistance to the Nazis at the time. The simple fact of the matter is that Otto wouldn't have needed to pick up "illegal Zionist pamphlets" when all he had to do was purchase a copy of the perfectly legal weekly organ of the Zionist Federation of Germany (ZVfD), the Judische Rundschau. And if he'd done so, he would have seen just how accommodating of Nazi racism the Zionists were.

As Lenni Brenner has written in his must-read 1983 classic, Zionism in The Age of the Dictators:

"Not even the Nuremberg Laws of 15 September 1935 challenged the basic German Zionist belief in an ultimate modus vivendi with the Nazis... The goal of the ZVfD became 'national autonomy'. They wanted Hitler to give Jews the right to an economic existence, protection from attacks on their honour, and training to prepare them for migration. The ZVfD became absorbed in trying to utilise the segregated Jewish institutions to develop a Jewish national spirit. The tighter the Nazis turned the screw on the Jews, the more convinced they became that a deal with the Nazis was possible. After all, they reasoned, the more the Nazis excluded the Jews from every aspect of German life, the more they would have need of Zionism to help them get rid of the Jews. By 15 January 1936 the Palestine Post had to make the startling report that: 'A bold demand that the German Zionist Federation be given recognition by the government as the only instrument for the exclusive control of German Jewish life was made by the executive of that body in a proclamation today.'

"German Zionist hopes for an arrangement faded only in the face of the ever-mounting intimidation and terror. Even then there was no sign of of any attempts at anti-Nazi activity on the part of the ZVfD leaders. Throughout the entire pre-war period there was only a tiny Zionist involvement in the anti-Nazi underground. Although the [Zionist] HeChalutz and Hashomer youth movements talked socialism, the Nazis were not concerned. Yechiel Greenberg of Hashomer admitted in 1938 that 'our socialism was considered merely a philosophy for export'. But almost from the beginning of the dictatorship the underground Communist Party of Germany (KPD), always looking for new recruits, sent some of their Jewish cadre into the youth movements and, according to Arnold Paucker - now the editor of London's Leo Baeck Institute Year Book - some Zionist youth became involved with the resistance at least to the extent of some illegal postering in the early years of the regime. How much of this was due to the influence of the Communist infiltrators, and how much was spontaneous is impossible to estimate. However, the Zionist bureaucracy vigorously attacked the KPD. As in Italy, so in Germany: the Zionist leadership sought the support of the regime for Zionism and resisted Communism; in neither country could it be thought of as part of the anti-Fascist resistance." (pp 53-54)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Matter of Motive

Although a little citizen journalism in the form of my 14/1/13 post Where's This All Going? may have beaten him to it, it's still a most pleasant surprise to see a mainstream journalist covering much the same ground.

The Sydney Morning Herald's Sean Nicholls speculates in yesterday's issue on what may well be the real agenda behind NSW Premier Baruch (Jerusalem Prize) O'Farrell's decision to mount an inquiry into the operations of Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act. (Note that Nicholls' is one of those rare ms media analyses that dares to touch on, however inadequately and guardedly, the interface between Israel lobby pressure and government decision-making.):

"There has been a fair bit of low-level outrage about the place since news broke of Barry O'Farrell's request for an inquiry into how the state's racial vilification laws are operating in NSW. Most of it is along the lines of: what on earth does a conservative Premier think he's doing calling for an inquiry that could see a clamp down on free speech?...

"The inquiry was announced with little fanfare in the week before Christmas, via a media release published on the website of the parliamentary committee charged with conducting it... While the release disclosed that O'Farrell had referred the inquiry to the committee it was silent on why. When pressed, O'Farrell said he was motivated by there having been no successful criminal prosecutions since the law was established in 1989.

"The announcement caught everyone by surprise, but perhaps it shouldn't have. As it turns out, O'Farrell first mentioned his intention to launch this inquiry more than 6 months ago. According to a report in The Australian Jewish News, the Premier told a Jewish community cocktail function last June that a 'parliamentary committee will be established to examine how the government can strengthen racial vilification laws in NSW'. That this is the first apparent mention of the inquiry will only serve to fuel an emerging theory that this is a backdoor method of seeking a legislative basis to attack the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

"The conduct of some aspects of the campaign, of course, particularly its noisy protests outside Max Brenner chocolate shops, has been highly divisive... Those who suspect that crippling the campaign is the ulterior motive point to the appointment of David Clarke - a vocal supporter of Israel and vehement campaign critic - as chairman of the committee conducting the inquiry (albeit back in May 2011).

"On the other hand, it remains unclear how a change to the law could make it easier to criminally prosecute those participating in the anti-Israel rallies. After all, protesting against a country is quite a different matter to inciting the threat of physical violence against a person or a group of people based on their race. The closest would be the provision in the existing legislation that specifies the threat of physical harm to property.

"To date, O'Farrell has not fully explained his motivation for requesting the inquiry. He has simply indicated his concern that there have been no criminal prosecutions since the laws were introduced and asked whether the test within the laws, which require 'proof beyond reasonable doubt', meet community expectations. He certainly has never mentioned the anti-Israel campaign in the context of the inquiry, but he has in the past raised the issue of vilification with the Jewish community. In 2009 when he was opposition leader, he called for a review of laws in all Australian states to address racial vilification on social media. Again, the call was made to the annual meeting of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. O'Farrell's seeming unwillingness to explain himself will allow this kind of speculation to grow, but it is understood that the Jewish community is not the only community to have raised the matter with him." (Look behind Premier's motive)

Tomorrow's letters page in the Herald could make for some interesting reading.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How to Read Israeli Politicians

"Mr Bennett told supporters the party had returned to the centre stage of Israeli politics and that it had become a new home for those wanting 'a proud, non-servile Zionism." (Coalition key to Bibi holding on, John Lyons, The Australian, 24/1/12)

A proud, non-servile Zionism? The adjectives here are, of course, redundant. There's no such thing as a cringing, servile Zionism. When it comes to the colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine it's only ever been a matter of pace tempered these days maybe by the presence or absence of Western journalists and cameramen.

"'You don't come to negotiations only with an olive branch, the way the Left does, or only with a gun, the way the Right does,' [Yair Lapid] said in a speech in the Ariel settlement deep in the West Bank. 'You come to find a solution. We're not looking for a happy marriage with the Palestinians, but for a divorce agreement we can live with.'" (No coalition figleaf role: Lapid, AFP, The Australian, 24/1/13)

The only time a Zionist has an olive branch in his hand is when he's vandalising a Palestinian olive orchard. And if he's not actually holding a gun, he's got a soldier holding one for him.

Note that the preferred platform for an Israeli 'centrist' politician these days is an illegal Israeli colony deep in the occupied West Bank.

Rapists don't marry their victims, so what's this nonsense about "a divorce we can live with"? Moshe Dayan at least had the rape bit right when he told the Palestinian poet, Fadwa Tuqan in 1967:

"The situation between us is like the complex relationship between a Bedouin man and the young girl he has taken against her wishes. But when their children are born, they will see the man as their father and the woman as their mother. The initial act will mean nothing to them. You, the Palestinians, as a nation, do not want us today, but we will change your attitude by imposing our presence upon you."

My Fellow True Blue Aussies...

... today, of course, is Australia Day - but are you dressed for the occasion?

Aussie flag baseball cap (reversed, of course) on your head? Tick.

Aussie flag singlet? Tick.

Aussie flag draped around your shoulders. Tick.

Aussie flag daubed on your face. Tick.

Aussie flag thongs? Tick.

Beautiful! You're nearly there, but something's missing, OK?

You know that middle finger which you sometimes use to show love for your fellow Aussies?

As the following stirring words (taken from a glossy brochure slipped into my local paper) indicate, that middle finger is screaming out, especially on a day such as this, for a:

Son of the Southern Cross Ring

*Hand-crafted with sterling silver-plate and hand-applied enamelling

*Authentic reproduction of the original 1854 Eureka Flag Design

*Proudly engraved with the message 'Son of the Southern Cross'

In a world where old values are fast disappearing and the fight for personal rights has never been greater, there is only one symbol a man can rely on - the Eureka Flag. Born out of a struggle for justice and a fair go for all, this true blue warrior defines any man brave enough to take a stand. Now you can show the world your pride with the 'Son of the Southern Cross Ring', a ring as bold as the legend which inspired it.

Rugged, Masculine, Defiant

An authentic recreation of the original 1854 Eureka flag looms large and proud in this exclusive edition. Plated in gleaming sterling silver, the Southern Cross is brought gloriously to life, as it rests in a bed of rich blue enamel, echoing the colours of the original flag. Engraved within the band are the powerful words 'Son of the Southern Cross', identifying the wearer as a true blue Aussie who stands up for what he believes in, whatever the odds.

Not available anywhere else. Act fast.

Commissioned exclusively by The Bradford Exchange, the 'Son of the Southern Cross Ring' will be a much sought after design for any Aussie bloke. And it's excellent value too, payable in 3 easy, interest-free instalments of $49. That's just $147, plus $14.99 postage and handling. To reserve your ring, backed by our world-famous 120-day money back guarantee, send no money now. Just return the coupon today.


Friday, January 25, 2013

'Parliamentary Trip'? What 'Parliamentary Trip'?

When it comes to Australian politicians going on propaganda tours of Israel, a phenomenon I refer to as 'rambamming', the Australian mainstream media is invariably missing in action, in large part because it too is in on the act.

Should a politician go somewhere else, however, then he/she is fair game. For example, while the case of South Australian Labor MP, Michael Wright, who reportedly "spent $14,000 of taxpayers' money on a 19-day European tour with his wife, just 5 months after Premier Jay Weatherill set rules restricting spousal travel," has found its way into the papers,* a 21-day junket to Israel, involving 10 NSW politicians and their consorts, has not.

Not particularly newsworthy perhaps? But what if it had been enthusiastically announced and promoted  by a premier who has reportedly banned his ministers from venturing overseas for longer than a week as electoral poison?** Then, of course, there's the question of the cost, if any, to the tax payers of NSW.

[*See MP's $14,000 Europe trip raises perks query, Sarah Martin, The Australian, 23/1/13; **See my 13/11/12 post Barry's Fake Ban.]

The media's adherence to an almost omerta-like code of silence on the phenomenon of Zionist propaganda junkets means that the average consumer of news in this country would have had no idea, for example, that  NSW Premier Baruch (Jerusalem Prize) O'Farrell had flagged the multi-party trip, under the rubric of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel group, at an Israel Independence Day function last year, the matter having been reported only in the Australian Jewish News of 8/6/12. (See my 12/6/12 post Goings On in the NSW Knesset.)

And that, in fact, is all I knew about it. Scan the papers as I might this month, the only mention of same, and a most indirect and singularly uninformative mention it was too, came in the form of the following snippet, hardly more than a scrap of salacious gossip actually, in the Sunday Telegraph of 20 January: 

"Morals crusader and family values politician, Fred Nile, took his close friend and political protege Silvana Nero on a parliamentary trip to Israel over the Christmas [sic]. Ms Nero ran for Mr Nile's Christian Democratic Party in the Warringah Council elections last year. Her appearance on the trip follows her attendance with Mr Nile at State Parliament's Spring Ball last year. Mr Nile did not return Tank Steam's [sic] calls but has previously denied there's anything other than friendship going on between the two." (Nero sailing on the Nile cruise, Linda Silmalis & Barclay Crawford, Tank Stream)

The reader might almost be forgiven for thinking that this was little more than a case of two Christian pilgrims, rapt in devotion - to the Lord that is, not each other! - following the paths trodden by Him, and  imbibing deeply of the spiritual sustenance thereof, hallelujah, the better to spread His word on the mean streets of Sydney. Except, of course, for those two words, "parliamentary trip."

Only after much diligent sleuthing on the net could any real light be shed on said "parliamentary trip." And lo, who should it come from but the pen of Fred himself! Tucked away in a far corner of his Christian Democratic Party's website, in a little newsletter called Salt & Light - A black & white voice in a grey world of politics, were the following words:

"The NSW Parliament will send a Deputation to Israel in January 2013 at the invitation of the Israel Government and the Jewish Board of Deputies. I will travel with 10 Members of Parliament and their spouses and partners to Israel. The delegation includes Paul Green and myself from the Christian Democratic Party. David Clarke, Matthew Mason-Cox and Gabrielle Upton from the Liberal Party, Luke Foley and Walt Secord from the ALP, Robert Borsak from the Shooters Party, John Barilaro and Rick Colless from the National Party. Michelle Green, Maria Clarke, Wendy Mason-Cox, Cheryl Borsak, Deanna Barilaro and Geraldine Colless and Silvana Nero will also be part of the group. I have appointed Silvana Nero as the International/National Ethnic Relations Officer for the Family World News to build up strong relationships with all the Ethnic Communities, eg Egyptian, Coptic, Assyrian, Armenian, Korean, Chinese, Jewish etc." (NSW Parliamentary deputation to Israel, 2/1/13)

Clearly, there was more to this than just a pair of humble pilgrims, eyes fixed on the heavens as their sandal-shod feet trod the paths once blazed in the Holy Land by the Lord. No, what we have here is another kind of pilgrimage entirely; nothing less than a hard-core, full-on rambamming! But just how full on was it, I couldn't help wondering?

Further sleuthing led me to an obscure website called and a post by one Jeff Daly, under the heading, Australia, New Zealand: standing up for Israel,* which revealed that our NSW parliamentarians, and their spouses and partners (hmmm...) would be in Israel from January 3 to 24

Now, to sum up, here we have 10 polliewaffles and their spouses/partners, over the hills and far away in Israel, sucking up 3 whole weeks worth of Zionist pheromones at what must be a considerable cost to someone, if not the NSW taxpayer, and not a peep about it from the ms media, save for the above smidgeon in the Sunday Telegraph!

I rest my case.

[*Daly's post yields other riches which I'll here reveal. He quotes as follows from "a current newsletter from a dear brother in Israel." Make of these strange musings what you will. They are surely proof positive that, like God, the minds of Christian Zionists 'work' in mysterious ways: "On October 31, 1517, a great Reformation took place in the Church, restoring the understanding that salvation was by grace through faith in Yeshua and could not be purchased. In the same year, 1517, the land of Israel (then called Palestine) was brought under Turkish/Moslem rule. On October 31, 1917, exactly 400 years to the day from the beginning of the Reformation, Beer Sheba was liberated from the Ottomans. This victory literally opened the way for the re-establishment of the State of Israel. The overcoming force was the ANZAC 4th Light Horse Brigade, made up primarily of soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. The historical/spiritual significance of Beer Sheba in God's plan is unmatched." Religious nutters afflicted with Jerusalem Syndrome I've heard of, but 'Beersheba Syndrome'? Now that's a new one on me, folks.]

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Heartrending Tales of Israeli Disenfranchisement

Please spare a thought for Harel Meshulam, a young Israeli currently on a "working holiday" in Australia, who, according to a 'report' in yesterday's Australian, is "a little bit upset" because "Israel's electoral law prohibits citizens from voting if they are out of the country on election day." (Israelis abroad want election say, Jacob Atkins, 22/1/13)

Now I have to say I'm in complete solidarity with young Harel here. Such a state of affairs in the ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST is intolerable, OK?

It doesn't seem to matter that this clearly traumatised, but peace-loving Israeli youth, pictured in a cool black t-shirt with the hip slogan Make Falafel Not War, has done his bit to ensure Israel's very survival in the world's toughest 'hood. As the opening paragraph of Atkins' 'report' says: "Just 12 months ago, Harel Meshulam was dodging falling Palestinian rockets at a military base on the Gaza-Israel border."

But despite that, it seems, the artful young dodger "will be denied the right to vote when his compatriots in Israel head to the polls for today's general election."

It's enough to make you weep!

But the plight of weary, disenfranchised travellers such as Harel - who have little choice but to go abroad in search of some well-earned R&R after a hard day's dodging Palestinian rockets, bullets, knives, stones, curses, dirty looks, demographic threats and stubborn refusals to just pack up and piss off, forcing young Israelis, who far prefer making falafel to war, to put them in their (burial) place with F-16s, Apache helicopters, Merkava tanks and the latest, cutting-edge weaponry from doting Uncle Sam's bottomless arsenals - is as nothing compared to the plight of those who work for Israel in that first circle of the Zionist hell known as THE DIASPORA, or, as churnalist Jacob Atkins puts it, those "in the Jewish diaspora who have access to Israeli passports but have few connections to the country."

Miserable, disenfranchised wretches such as Vic Alhadeff, Peter Wertheim, Colin Rubenstein and Michael Danby for example.

Now appearances, as we all know, are deceiving. So it should always be borne in mind, that despite being most comfortably domiciled here in Australia, and even enjoying red carpet access to prime ministers, state premiers and the media, our Zionist lobbyists are nevertheless 100% DIASPORIC, that is, condemned to the living hell of EXILE from Ersatz Israel.

Not, mind you, because they can't 'make aliya' but because, like Buddhism's bodhisattvas - enlightened beings dedicated to working for the enlightenment of all sentient beings - they choose to remain in EXILE, selflessly dedicating their lives to working for the enlightenment of all sentient Australian Jews, which means in practice encouraging them to 'make aliya'.

End their misery NOW I say and give these guys the vote!

I mean, think about it. For how long did young Harel really have to dodge falling Palestinian rockets before swanning off to Australia to teach us how to be Israellycool? These Israel lobbyists, on the other hand, have to dodge falling missives fired by diasporic Palestinians and their supporters and dupes day in, day out, year after bloody year!

And while we're on the subject of those in the DIASPORA with "few connections to the country," I want you all to send out your hearts to the still 'lost' members of the 'lost tribe' known as the Bnei Menashe from Manipur in India. (See Israel welcomes 2000th India Bnei Menashe oleh, Laura Kelly, The Jerusalem Post, 23/1/13.)

Young Mirna Singsit (who has net yet learnt to wear cool t-shirts with the slogan Make Falafel Not War), for example, may be the 2000th member of her 'tribe' to 'make aliya' but what of the rest of the 'tribe' left behind in India? I mean, it's all very well for young Mirna to prattle on about Israel being "my peoples' dream for thousands of years," and wanting to live in Jerusalem, "the Holiest place on earth," she's made it in time to vote! But what about those she's left behind? And what about all those other 'lost tribes', found or still waiting to be found? Enfranchise the lot I say!

As for those millions of diasporised, disenfranchised Palestinian refugees, they can all go and get stuffed, right?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Krudd : Preferred Poster Boy for Pro-Israel Propagandists?

Kevin Rudd may well be a pontificating ponce, but alas there's more to the man than that. 

Journalist Alan Ramsey once called him a "prissy, precious, prick." Now read the following account of Krudd's latest peregrination and tell me if 'pig ignorant' and 'pernicious' shouldn't be added to that list:

"The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, which supports the boycotts [sic], divestments [sic] and sanctions campaign against Australian businesses with Israeli connections, has 'just got it wrong', Kevin Rudd said yesterday. The former prime minister used a visit to Sydney University, which is home to the centre headed by Jake Lynch, to lash the policy he said was ineffective. 'I think people who engage in that sort of activity around businesses who are associated with the Jewish community frankly have just got it wrong,' he said.... 'Frankly, this is a matter of diplomacy, it's a question of putting proposals on the table which work in bringing about a durable peace settlement as opposed to targeting campaigns against businesses which happen to be owned by members of the Jewish community. I think that's just wrong. We should remember history.'" (Diplomacy better than Israel boycott: Rudd, Rick Morton, The Australian, 17/1/13)

'Pig ignorant' in that he evinces no awareness whatever of the clear difference between Judaism and political Zionism, or between Nazi anti-Semitism in thirties Germany and anti-apartheid BDS activism in 21st century Australia; and 'pernicious' because smearing BDS activists (whether directly or by implication) as Nazis and anti-Semites not only harms those smeared but serves to cheapen the charge of anti-Semitism as well.

Nor is this particular smear a one-off. Krudd was saying the same thing over a hot chocolate with Michael Danby in a Max Brenner outlet back in 2011. (See my 16/7/11 post Wild About Kevin.) Judging by the complete absence in Morton's 'report' of any other reason for his 'visit' to Sydney University, can we not be forgiven for thinking that, in addition to 'pig ignorant' and 'pernicious', 'preferred poster boy for pro-Israel propagandists' should also join that list?

Monday, January 21, 2013

'Prisoners of War': Those Bloody Arabs Again!

On Saturday night, I watched the first episode, on SBS television, of the 10-part Israeli television series, Prisoners of War (Hatufim), often cited as the inspiration for its US counterpart, Homeland*- yet another facet, albeit this time in the cultural domain, of that most peculiar political phenomenon, the Israeli tail wagging the American dog.

Both entertainments, of course, draw on, and feed into, the fears and prejudices of the deeply Arabo- and Islamo-phobic societies which produce them, so it should come as no surprise, at least as far as the first episode is concerned (the only one I intend watching BTW), to know that those into whose hands the eponymous prisoners had fallen are portrayed as diabolical monsters who have no compunction whatever when it comes to messing with Israeli minds or torturing Israeli bodies.

Now I may be wrong, but, given the anti-Arab racism that pervades Israeli society, I'd expect the malignity and brutality of our heroes' captors to remain a key feature of the entire series.

While most of the episode centres on the human interest story of people, essentially presumed dead, coming back to life after a prolonged absence (in this case 17 years) and impacting uncomfortably on the lives of families, most of whom have moved on, a paranoid dimension is introduced with the concept of the Manchurian Candidate - namely, the unsettling idea that these prisoners have been captured by an enemy so irredeemably evil that they stand every chance of being transformed into virtual zombies and reprogrammed as enemy agents. The paranoia emerges early in the episode; as one of the 2 Israeli POWs, Nimrod, is about to board a plane for the journey home, his Arab handler farewells him with the words: "Do you remember everything we talked about? God be with you."

That the POWs have been tortured, both physically and mentally, is established in episode one. Nimrod, for example, while attempting to make love to his wife for the first time in 17 years, flashes back to electroshock sessions in captivity. The other prisoner, Uri, whose girlfriend had given up on him to marry his brother, flashes back to the time when, in the fourth year of his imprisonment, he'd been taken from his dungeon, presumably for the first time, and placed in a room furnished with washbasin, mirror, couch and platter of food. A disembodied Arab voice is heard, saying to the scruffy, fearful man: "This is a gift, from us to you."

Uri peers at his face in the mirror - his first glimpse of himself in 4 years. He stuffs himself with food - his first real feed in 4 years. He even crams pieces of fruit into his pockets for later consumption - his first fruit in 4 years. He sits on the couch, picking up an Israeli magazine that's been put there for him - his first Hebrew-language read in 4 years.

When he comes upon an article with the headline Cheating on an entire nation, we know at once that it is through these cruel means that he first learns that his girl has married his brother. Surely, surely, those merciless sons of Amalek could have spared him this!

So there you have it: hellish torture and deprivation of every conceivable kind from beasts posing as men!

Needless to say, exactly what kind of murder and mayhem our 2 prisoners were perpetrating in Lebanon in the first place doesn't figure. Unless, of course, they were doling out sweets to kiddies, patting them on the head and generally impressing on them what wonderful guys Israeli soldiers are.

Apropos that, I draw your attention to the blurb in Saturday's Australian by TV critic Ian Cuthbertson, who'd selected Prisoners as his 'pick of the week'. Apart from recommending it as "gripping television of the first order," Cuthbertson hilariously refers to our POWs as "abductees captured behind enemy lines in Lebanon."

Finally, a last gloomy thought. Is it just me or are you too wondering whether SBS's screening of Prisoners is by way of penance for screening The Promise in December 2011?

[*See TV's most Islamophobic show, Laila Al-Arian,, 16/12/12.]

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mike Kelly's Mission Impossible

OK, so Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in extremis, chose to keep her job rather than go down fighting for Israel. After all, her job description is Prime Minister of Australia.

But that doesn't mean she's happy about it. No way! She just can't make it through the day without a whiff of those irresistable Zionist pheromones. So wouldn't you think Israel's fifth columnists here would appreciate what a pickle the poor woman is in, show a little understanding and cut her a little slack?

But, alas, that's not how it is with this lot. Empathy is not exactly their strong point. You empathise with them, not vice versa, OK? No, she'll have to beg their forgiveness for Australia's criminal abstention in the UN vote on Palestine's observer status.

Her first attempt was a ringing declaration in the Australian Jewish News of December 7 to the effect that her party's historic friendship with Israel is quite simply beyond debate. (See my 9/12/12 post The Prisoner of Zion.)

But a one-off grovel is never enough in this kind of relationship. Which is why she's charged her faithful retainer, 'Clanking Colonel' Mike Kelly, with the mission of interceding on her behalf.

And so, in a 2-page spread in the latest edition of the AJN, Kelly's not only gone cap in hand and hand on heart to plead the lady's case but even taken the trouble to review the history of Labor's dedication to the "Australia/Israel relationship" from go to woe. Be that as it may, it's Kelly's spin on the offending abstention that we're interested in here:

"In the end the decision to 'abstain' was taken to convey the nuance required by the situation that, while the Australian Government acknowledges the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for statehood, our position on how that is to be achieved remains unchanged. Within the Labor caucus there were different views on this issue. This discussion was not driven by domestic political considerations but on what was the best option for achieving the two state solution. The Prime Minister ultimately presented to the Caucus her final view that we should 'abstain' and this position was unanimously supported by the Caucus without further debate. No argument was put to the Caucus to vote 'yes' and such a proposal would have been overwhelmingly defeated. It is utterly false and repulsive to suggest that this vote in any way indicates a dilution of Labor's committed support for Israel, based as it is on a proud and unmatched tradition, or that the Coalition is in any way a stronger supporter. Under the Government, and particularly within my own portfolio of Defence, the relationship with Israel has been taken to unprecedented levels and we are seeking to elevate it further. This has been to the great benefit of our effective operational capacity in Afghanistan and the enhancement of our Force Protection. There is no stronger friend of Israel than this Government. We face the same enemy and we have the same fervent hopes for peace. From time to time friends will differ but a healthy level of disputation is only a reflection of the nature of Israel itself, and what makes it so worthwhile defending." (Labor's abstention explained, 18/1/13)

Wow, the power and the passion! Now who wouldn't be moved by that?

The editor of the AJN, that's who!

In his capacity as editorialist, he excoriated the colonel for "resorting to enough spin to make us giddy" and accused him of concocting "a tortured rationale of how abstention means Labor's view on Palestinian statehood remains unchanged." And then, as if that wasn't enough of a lashing, he went for our ex-military lawyer's jugular with this: "to state... that 'there is no stronger friend of Israel than this [Gillard] government', is a lawyer's argument that stretches the bounds of credibility."

Well, I never! Talk about shooting the messenger.

Now the Palestinians have long been aware that Hell hath no fury like a Zionist scorned, or even looked at sideways, but not, apparently, the Kellys and Gillards of this world. Sometime down the track maybe, after sober reflection, but never while enjoying the spoils of office, that's for sure.

OK, so Kelly's plea to kiss and make up went down like the proverbial lead balloon but, be that as it may, there's still much in it to interest the serious student of the political hurly burly:

Note, for example, the spin Kelly puts on Gillard's rout: "The PM ultimately presented to the Caucus her final view that we should 'abstain' and this position was unanimously supported by the Caucus without further debate." You'd think from this that Her Highness had never, at any stage, been less than on top of the matter. Oh well, I guess all the other accounts of what went on can be junked now. (For those, see my posts While You Weren't Looking 1&2 (1 & 3/12/12); Julia the Downhearted (6/12/12); and The PM Who Put Her Job On the Line for Israel (18/1/13).)

Then we have Kelly's reference to Israel's contribution - presumably the drones mentioned in my 12/12/09 post Head-Shaking Stuff 2 - to our 'Force Protection' in Afghanistan. Where would we be without them?

Finally, there's that line about facing the same enemy. Foreign Minister Bob Carr, in his earlier incarnation of NSW Premier, once had the occasion, bless him, to remind the then Iraq-based Colonel Kelly - who had taken it upon himself to intervene in the entirely domestic matter of Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi being awarded the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize - that "[he] ought to understand the mission. The Australian mission in Iraq is not to engage in war with the Arab world or the Palestinians but to remove Saddam Hussein and find and destroy weapons of mass destruction." (Army critic of peace prize angers Carr, Nick O'Malley, SMH, 3/11/03) Seems Kelly still thinks we're at war with the Palestinians, and anyone else Israel doesn't like the look of for that matter.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The PM Who Put Her Job on the Line for Israel

Former Labor power broker Graham Richardson writes in today's Australian about Julia Gillard's failure to impose her reflexively pro-Israel stance on the parliamentary wing of her party in the context of Palestine's bid for observer status in the UN last November.

For Richardson, predictably, the real story of the rebellion in Labor ranks (encompassing both cabinet and caucus) essentially boils down to whether or not the Prime Minister is her own worst enemy. It is difficult, of course, to imagine a more searching analysis appearing in Murdoch's flagship. Still, although the Zionist ties that bind the Prime Minister are neither explored nor critiqued, Richardson's treatment of this singular event certainly invites discussion of them - hence my accompanying commentary:

"In Gillard's case it is easy to see her flaws and failings and judge her accordingly. There are, however, strengths she possesses and these cannot be disputed. On the negative side, her performance on the vote Australia was to cast at the UN on the admission of the Palestinian Authority with observer status provides a classic example. Her at times simplistic lack of political judgment was on display for all to see. When a prime minister sits around a table with her cabinet colleagues and one by one hears at least 10 of them tell her they do not support her position, then that PM has to know the game is up. Only two Victorians offered her succor and comfort. Senator Stephen Conroy and Bill Shorten, leaders of the Victorian Right, maintained the Israel right or wrong stance all the way. In the cabinet room, they were for all intents and purposes on their own." (Gillard's survival technique)

The Israel right or wrong stance? Here's the really big picture question that Richardson never gets around to asking: how is it that a blind, unquestioning allegiance to an apartheid bully on the other side of the globe has become a central feature of Labor's (and the opposition Liberal's) foreign policy position, the current crack in the bilateral consensus notwithstanding? And here's the small: What is Gillard's personal stake in this Israel right or wrong stance?

"The Victorian Right has always been at the epicentre of pro-Israeli thinking and simply can't bring themselves to ever say no to Israel. Bob Carr, with whom I have travelled through Israel, and who formed Israeli friendship groups in NSW, used to hold similar views."

This is beyond strange! Why is it that this faction, in particular, simply can't bring themselves to ever say no to Israel? While they can cast aside just about every principle Labor ever stood for, they can't say no to Israel - ever? What, as they say, gives here? Please explain, Richo.

"Carr has long harboured deep concerns about Israel's policy of allowing more and more settlements on the West Bank. For our Foreign Minister there is no possibility of peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution and he sees no hope of that if the settlements keep spreading. His views are widely shared within the cabinet room and beyond. Minister after minister concurred with Carr's summation and still the PM remained unmoved. Curiously enough the cabinet did not appear to challenge her assertion that she was binding them all to support her. Without a cabinet decision to back her up, and there was no chance of that happening, I cannot even imagine where the power she sought to exercise had sprung from. Gareth Evans, who was lobbying ministers furiously at the time, drew this to the attention of anyone who would listen. No one, with the possible exception of Carr, was moved to demur in any shape or form. While the cabinet met, the national Right convened and the Victorians wanted to bind the group behind the government's decision. Joel Fitzgibbon, the government whip, pointed out that the cabinet was still meeting so no one could say what the government's position was. Accordingly, the meeting broke up vowing to reconvene the next morning. The next morning, Carr again met Gillard and informed her that he would not vote for her proposition if a vote came in caucus. He was told in no uncertain terms what this would mean for his future."

So Carr, Australia's foreign minister, was threatened with the sack - because he was not prepared to kneel, like the Prime Minister, and kiss Israel's ring? And this isn't all over the ms media?

"She called in Anthony Albanese and asked him to ring around his supporters and shore up her position. Albanese told her it was too late and in any case he was in no mind to do so. Finally, with the caucus meeting under way, Gillard ran up the white flag. Had she not done so, her leadership was over that day. Kevin Rudd had played no role in this and yet he got closer to regaining the top job than at any time he had involved himself in the previous 12 months. This was a mess of the PM's own making and it shows she does not control her own destiny. Rudd cannot beat her but she could still defeat herself."

Gillard was prepared to risk her prime ministership, not over any point of principle, but over her blind devotion to the aforementioned apartheid bully? Is this not a most extraordinary state of affairs? Why aren't our pundits addressing this issue?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Britain, It's Time to Apologize

The following words, on the disastrous and inglorious finale to Britain's unprecedented and utterly outrageous colonial experiment in Palestine, by Sir Henry Lovell Goldsworthy Gurney, the last Chief Secretary to the Palestine government, are a breathtaking instance of hypocrisy and denial of responsibility for the consequences of one's actions:

"If you haven't heard us properly, let us say again we are leaving on the 15th May. We have kept these people from each other's throats for the last 25 years, and if anyone else is prepared to to do it let him say now and do something about it. Only don't say we haven't warned you. If there is a vacuum, it is not our fault but yours, because you have assumed responsibility for Palestine from the 15th May. This is a thoroughly wicked child, though we brought it up as well as we could, and it was really very nice of you to take it over. It is rather urgent, because the child is getting more and more out of hand, and we are finding it almost impossible to look after it properly. Cutting it in half may well be the best thing that could happen to it, but we warned you that it wasn't likely to agree. This is the 15th May. We're off!" (Diary entry for 16/4/48, quoted in 'A Senseless, Squalid War': Voices from Palestine 1890s-1948, Norman Rose, 2010, pp 216-217)

By pressing ahead with the implementation of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promising 'a national home for the Jewish people' in Palestine, a country with an overwhelmingly non-Jewish population at the time, successive British governments courted disaster. Britain, the wicked child here, cannot, and should not, escape responsibilty for what it did in Palestine from 1917 to 1948. In the no-nonsense  words of JMN Jeffries:

"We are no victims of circumstances in Palestine along with the Arabs and the Jews. We made the circumstances: we, by the acts of our rulers, and we alone, are primarily responsible for the state of that country, and there must be no self-absolution proposed by us." (Palestine: The Reality, 1939, p 711)

In light of Britain's primary responsibility for the sufferings and outrages still being perpetrated on the Palestinian people, I can think of few more relevant and timely educational initiatives than the following:

"The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) has launched an international campaign that targets collecting one million signatures asking Britain to apologize to the Palestinian people. The London-based PRC statement on Monday said that Britain should apologize for its historic mistake starting with the Balfour Declaration and for the human rights abuse suffered by Palestinians under the British Mandate. It said: 

"International Campaign, Britain, It's Time to Apologize -1917-2017 - A Century of Palestinian Suffering

"It is nearly 100 years since the UK Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, issued the Balfour Declaration of 2nd November 1917, promising a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Ever since, Palestinians have suffered enormously in the shadow of Britain's colonial past. Justice has finally been rendered over Britain's colonial past in the Mau Mau case.* In that case the world heard what every subjugated people know - Britain committed brutal crimes against indigenous populations.

"The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), with other partners around the world, is preparing to launch their global campaign to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. The campaign, which will be launched in the UK, will gather a million signatures from those seeking justice in Palestine, in condemnation of British colonial policy between 1917 and 1948. Over 11 million Palestinians continue to suffer from Britain's unjust and misguided policy in Palestine.

"The 5-year campaign will include mass mobilizations, popular events, conferences and workshops, lobbying, a petition and other initiatives. Great injustices leave great scars - it is time Britain apologized to rebuild the future. Since Britain has shown it's capable of taking responsibility for its past atrocities, we are optimistic in achieving our goal." (PRC organizes 'Britain, It's Time to Apologize' campaign, 22/10/12,

That was October last. The Britain, It's Time to Apologize campaign is about to be officially launched at a conference, Britain's Legacy in Palestine:

"An international conference looking at Britain's legacy in Palestine is being organized by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC). It will coincide with the fourth Palestine Memorial Week, from 19th-25th Jan 2013, and be the formal launching pad for an international campaign against the Balfour Declaration, Britain, It's Time to Apologize, a 5-year initiative by the PRC to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. The campaign intends to raise greater awareness of Britain's failed policy in Palestine and its devastating consequences. Thousands of Palestinians who suffered under British administration are still alive and many millions continue to endure terrible human rights abuse as a result of Britain's failed policy in the region. The conference, Britain's Legacy in Palestine, is scheduled for Saturday 19 January 2013, from 9:30am to 5:00pm at Friends House, 173 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BJ.

"The following sessions and speakers are confirmed:
Opening Session: The conference will be inaugurated by Prof Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Mohamed al-Hamid of PRC and a number of MPs.
Session 1: The Early History
The theological and ideological roots of the Balfour Declaration
British policy in Palestine
Israel Continues Britain's colonial legacy in Palestine
Session 2: Britain's Legacy in Palestine
Ethnic cleansing of Palestine: Same goal, different model
Living under occupation, the mechanics of ongoing ethnic cleansing
Session 3: The African Mau Mau case & Britain - A Comparative Review
Australia's National Sorry Day - Lessons to be learnt
Why Mau Mau matters to Palestine
The legal framework of the Mau Mau case and its implications for Palestinians
Session 4: What Next?
A discussion of the international campaign to push Britain to apologise to the Palestinian people 

Confirmed Speakers:
Prof Manuel Hassassian, Palestinian Ambassador to the UK
Dr Uri Davis, academic and civil rights activist
Dr Alison Weir, journalist and activist, Director of If Americans Knew
Alan Hart, British author and journalist
John Bond, British-Australian activist
Mohammed Othman, Palestinian civil rights activist freed from Israeli detention after an international campaign
Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, British author and activist, and incumbent of the Anglican Parish of Christ Church
Martin Linton, former British MP
Maria Holt, lecturer in the Democracy & Islam Program at Westminster University
Mohammad Al Hamid, head of PRC Board of Trustees
Ibrahim Hewit, journalist and activist
Dr Ghada Karmi, writer, academic and activist
Daud Abdullah, director of Middle East Media Mentoring (MEMO)
Sabah Al Mokhtar, president of the Arab Lawyers Association

One to watch...

[*There was dancing and praying in the streets of Nairobi earlier this month when 3 elderly Kenyans won an unexpected legal victory in London. They had been granted the right to sue the British government over the horrific ordeals they suffered during the Mau Mau insurgency, although the abuses had been inflicted on them more than half a century earlier... What other arguable claims could be out there, lurking in the memories of ageing rebels, and within documents that have been concealed or withheld for a generation? And is it possible that such claims could challenge not only the government and its lawyers, but also the British people's carefully nurtured narrative of the final days of their imperial mission?" (The Mau Mau may rewrite the history of the British empire, Ian Cobain, The Guardian, 28/10/12)]

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Three Seriously Twisted Men

The first, of course, needs no introduction:

"Only when this Jewish bacillus infecting the life of peoples has been removed can one hope to establish a co-operation amongst the nations which shall be built up on a lasting understanding." (Adolf Hitler's speech in Wilhelmshaven, 1/4/39)

But unfortunately, historical illiteracy being what it is, the other two are less well known.

Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) is the 2nd in Israel's founding trinity (preceded by Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) and succeeded by David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973)). British Labor MP Richard Crossman (1907-1974) was just another of Zionism's useful fools:

"The years at Geneva [1901-1904] were the period when Weizmann's philosophy (as distinct from his policies and programme) reached its full development. Nothing essential was added to it either when he settled in Britain or by his visits to Palestine. From now on he was a 'concrete' revolutionary, set apart from the other Zionist politicians by his conscious dislike of what he contemptuously dismissed as 'abstract internationalism' - under which he condemned not only Eastern Marxism but Western Liberalism as well. Both outlooks he regarded as vitiated by a refusal to face the basic fact on which Zionism is founded - the essential unassimilable Jewishness of the Jew and the hostility which this must arouse so long as the Jew lives in a foreign community.

"Antisemitism, he used to say to me, is a bacillus which every Gentile carries with him, wherever he goes and however often he denies it. Like other bacilli, it may remain quiescent and harmless for years. But, once the right conditions are created, the bacilli multiply and the epidemic breaks out. The condition for an outbreak of overt antisemitism in any nation is that the number of Jews should rise beyond the safety level of that particular nation. Hence the only radical cure for antisemitism is the creation of the Jewish State. At our first meeting, which lasted most of the way through the night, Weizmann outlined this theory to me and asked me whether I was antisemitic. When I said, 'Of course', I felt that our friendship had begun. For, if a Gentile denied his latent antisemitism, Weizmann concluded that he must either be lying or, even worse, deceiving himself. In his view the only honest attitude for a Gentile to adopt was to admit his unconscious prejudice against Jews and to ensure that it did not influence his behaviour by consciously making allowances for it." (A Nation Reborn, Richard Crossman, 1960, pp 21-22)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where's This All Going?

Yesterday's Sun-Herald report began innocently enough:

"The controversial commentators Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt are due to be called before an inquiry that will consider strengthening anti-discrimination laws to make it easier to convict people for serious racial vilification. The inquiry was ordered by the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, who is concerned there have been no successful criminal prosecutions in the history of the NSW laws and that they have fallen out of step with community expectations. The move is likely to inflame the debate over freedom of speech, amid warnings that broadening the laws could be dangerous and unacceptable." (O'Farrell moves to strengthen hate laws, Sean Nicholls)

Hm... maybe that'll give Jones and Bolt pause before they shoot off their mouths again, I thought. I read on:

"The parliamentary inquiry will focus on Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, which deals with the criminal offence of 'serious racial vilification' and requires proof 'beyond a reasonable doubt' for a prosecution. Penalties of up to $5500 and 6 months' jail apply to anyone found guilty of inciting 'hatred', 'serious contempt' or 'severe ridicule' of a person or group by threatening physical harm to them or their property or inciting others to do so on the basis of their race... A spokesman for Mr O'Farrell said it was 'questionable' whether this section of the act 'constitutes a realistic test or is in line with community expectations. The Premier has therefore asked the [parliamentary law and justice] committee to report on whether section 20D is effective and if not, provide recommendations that will improve its efficacy with regard to the continued importance of freedom of speech,' he said."

Hm... community expectations, eh? So the people of NSW are up in arms over the efficacy of Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act (1989)? Hey, I didn't know that! And so I ploughed on until mention of a certain, all too familiar, name caused the proverbial penny to drop:

"The chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Vic Alhadeff, said the NSW law was 'completely ineffective in that for all practical purposes it is impossible to prove the elements of the offence in any specific case.'"

Right. My mind snapped back to last year's mega Israel Independence Day bash, mentioned in my 9/9/12 post From Flower to Flower, where Baruch O'Farrell addressed "550 leaders of NSW," "reaffirmed his government's unwavering commitment to Israel and announced a review of the state's racial vilification legislation."

Clearly, thought I, this is about more than the likes of Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt. Could it have to do, perhaps, with the tsunami of anti-Semitism currently sweeping the country? Well, no, because, contrary to certain parties who can detect an anti-Zionist insult sealed in kryptonite a thousand metres away and construe it as anti-Semitism (See my 28/11/11 post My Brush with Superman), the genuine article is thankfully rare in Australia.

So just what kind of 'offence' then does Mr Alhadeff wish to see 'proven' as an instance of racial vilification? Yes, I know that Mr Alhadeff is speaking for the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, but don't let that fool you. When it comes to such an organisation, the adjective doesn't quite do it justice. As Manny Waks, a former vice president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), complained recently:

"The centrality of Israel in the workings of the ECAJ and other mainstream 'peak bodies', such as... the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD), is misplaced and a waste of time and limited community resources. Local issues, some of which include aged care, social welfare, education, abuse, alcohol/drugs and social entrepreneurship, deserve the attention of groups whose imprimatur is to support the community needs of Australian Jews... True, fundraising in a difficult economic environment is enhanced by a pro-Israel focus, but apart from the diminution of community interests, the inappropriate attention to Zionist causes continues to alienate many younger Jews who question the centrality of Israel but nevertheless wish to work for Jewish renewal and continuity in their Australian community." (Community begins at home, The Australian Jewish News, 9/11/12)

Could the 'offence' Mr Alhadeff has in mind be trenchant criticism of Israel, often smeared by Zionist lobbyists as 'the new anti-Semitism' and framed as 'singling out Israel for selective condemnation and opprobrium' (See my 24/7/11 post Criminalising Criticism of Israel)? And just what changes to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act might Zionist lobbyists wish to see?

A clue may be found in a 28/8/09 paper Hate Crime & Vilification Law: Developments & Directions by Peter Wertheim, a member of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board and executive director of the ECAJ, no less.

At one point in his paper (it's up on the net), Wertheim argues that "[t]here is a strong argument to be made that public incitement of hatred on any of the prohibited grounds [race, homosexuality, HIV/Aids infection, transgender identity], of itself, entails a breach of the peace and that criminal sanctions are therefore appropriate where the incitement is intentional. Even if the incitement is not immediately accompanied by a threat of physical harm, or by an incitement of others to threaten physical harm, the incitement of the public to hatred on one of the prohibited grounds contributes to the creation of a social climate that is more conducive to the occurrence of acts or threats of physical harm to the groups that are targeted, and more conducive to social violence in general."

Mark, please, the highlighted words.

Wertheim's argument in a nutshell, if I've got him right, is that public (ie. any form of communication to the public) acts of incitement (ie. the stirring up of hatred in people) should be criminalised, without recourse to the criminal standard (ie. beyond reasonable doubt) and without having to prove a threat of physical harm towards a person or group or the incitement of others to threaten such harm, on the grounds that a vilificatory act need not be accompanied by threats or incitement to others to threaten physical harm to a person or group but "may nonetheless be perceived by the targeted person or group (and by others) - and reasonably perceived - as extremely threatening."

Mark, again, the highlighted words.

Now where would all of this, if enshrined in anti-discrimination legislation, leave those mere bagatelles, free speech and freedom of protest? Could BDS protesters one day be charged with the Kafkaesque offence of contributing to the creation of a social environment that is more conducive to the occurrence of acts or threats of physical harm to targeted groups? Could university students who stage a consciousness-raising Israeli Apartheid Awareness Week on campus be charged merely because the Australian Union of Jewish Students claims to perceive their anti-Israeli apartheid message as a threat to Jewish students?

Finally, lest you think me unduly alarmist, consider the plight of Stephen Sizer, author of Zion's Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel & the Church:

"Stephen Sizer has been active for many years in areas of humanitarian concern for the Palestinian population. I was with him on my recent trip to Baghdad, and I am convinced he is a good man. Stephen is a Church of England Vicar. He is under huge pressure at the moment as he is under a formal complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to the Church of England on a charge of anti-Semitism. This is very serious indeed and could lead to the loss of both his job and his home. The essence of the long complaint is that he has posted links on his website to other websites which contain anti-Semitic material. It is not alleged that he has linked to material which is itself anti-Semitic; but that elsewhere on websites linked to there is such material. That may or may not be true. But in the real world, the idea that in posting a link to an article you are endorsing every other article (which in practice you cannot have seen) on a website is nonsensical and would make much current blogging practice impossible. That Stephen is not an anti-Semite and has not knowingly endorsed anti-Semitism, I have no doubt. But what worries me is the growing bravura with which all critics of Israel or supporters of the Palestinians are charged with the - rightfully - damning slur of anti-Semitism." (Defend Stephen Sizer, Graig Murray,, 12/1/13)

Watch this space...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Where Are the Rockets?

It's around 2 months since Israel embarked on its last killing spree in Gaza, but the propagandists of Zion are still parroting the party line, In the beginning was the rocket:

"Samah Sabawi (Palestinians eye best of a bad bunch, 7/1) writes that Hamas has 'proved itself as a military deterrent with its rockets reaching Tel Aviv.' It was my impression these rockets were the cause of the last war, not its deterrent. By not firing rockets at Israel, Hamas's rivals in the West Bank have been doing a much better job of deterring wars." Justin Said, Coogee, NSW  (The Australian, 8/1/13)

Meanwhile, over in Gaza, another Palestinian dies... for the crime of getting too close to, let alone rattling, the bars of his cage. And not a rocket in sight:

"Israeli soldiers shot dead one Palestinian and wounded another in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, a spokesman for the territory's emergency services said. The two men, one a 20-year-old farmer, were hit by the fire east of Jabaliya and near the Israeli border, Ashraf al-Qudra said. The military said only that one Palestinian was hit in the leg after trying to damage the barrier separating Gaza from Israel when dozens of people approached and ignored orders from troops to back away, who then opened fire. Friday's fatality would be the third Palestinian killed by Israeli forces since a November 21 truce between the Jewish state and the Islamist group Hamas ended eight days of hostilities between the two sides. Over the course of the battle between Israel and Gaza militants, 177 Palestinians - more than half of them civilians - were killed by Israeli air strikes. Six Israelis - four of them civilians and two soldiers - were killed by rocket and mortar fire from Gaza. Israel maintains a no-go zone on the Gaza side of the border. Since the truce went into effect, it has allowed Palestinians to approach within 300 metres of the frontier, while farmers may move as close to it as 100 metres if they are on foot." (Israeli fire kills Palestinian in Gaza: medics,, 12/1/13)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another First for Israel's Cutting Edge Thuggery?

I've heard of guys in wheelchairs being assaulted by sadistic thugs on the streets, but never before of emaciated hunger-strikers in wheelchairs being assaulted by sadistic thugs in uniform, in a courtroom, in the presence of a judge.

Is this, the latest twist in the saga of Palestinian hunger striker Samer Al-Issawi, another first for Israel's cutting edge thuggery?

You can read all about it, and more, in this report* from Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network:

"Today [11/1/13] is Palestinian political prisoner Samer Al-Issawi's 160th day on hunger strike. His fellow prisoner, Ayman Sharawna, who had been on hunger strike for nearly 6 months before suspending his strike for a week, is once again fasting for his freedom. Both are held in an Israeli jail without charge or trial. According to the internationally brokered deal to release captured Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit, Issawi and Sharawna should today be free men but Israel reneged on its agreement and rearrested both after Shalit's release.

"So, in light of the BBC's stated mission to 'inform' and 'educate', and its claim to provide 'trusted World news', you might think they'd have covered the story of Issawi and Sharawna and updated it as it's developed over the last 6 months. However, despite Google currently listing over 21 million items for the BBC, among all of those 21 million there is no reference whatever to either man, although both are nearing death after nearly 6 months without food.

"If, on the other hand, we Google the BBC for 'Gilad Shalit', we get around 1,120 items, including around 50 from 2012 alone. Despite being released over a year ago, in October 2011, Shalit is still as newsworthy as ever for the broadcaster. The last item, from October 18, 2012, came on the anniversary of his release. It reported on how he has had to 'cope with the psychological effects of his ordeal at the same time as trying to come to terms with his fame'; on how the Israeli media simply couldn't 'resist showing his first bicycle ride after he returned home' or reporting on his meetings with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and New York Mayor Michael Bloomburg; on how, 'at a concert of the popular singer, Shlomo Artzi', he had 'a song dedicated to him'; and on his presence 'at various sports events and on the set of the US television drama series, Homeland...'

"Contrast Shalit's 'ordeal', still so newsworthy for the BBC, with that of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, Issawi and Sharawna TODAY. Just 2 weeks ago, Samer Al-Issawi, a wheelchair-bound skeleton of a man, barely breathing after 140 days without food, was brutally attacked by Israeli guards in court in front of an Israeli judge, who didn't intervene as they punched the dying man in the head and chest, breaking his ribs. They then went on to attack his mother and sister. These assaults were captured on camera for any news channel to use, but the BBC has shown no interest. Apparently, their mission to 'inform' and 'educate' doesn't extend to Palestinians. While the plight of a dog, which had lost half its bodyweight after being abandoned by its owner, had been covered by the BBC, the plight of Samer Al-Issawi, who had lost half his weight after 160 days without food, has received not a mention." [*edited by MERC]

Friday, January 11, 2013

Another Triumph for 'Quality Journalism'

Is covering the Middle East conflict correctly really that hard? It would seem so.

Fairfax's Middle East correspondent, Ruth Pollard, seriously stuffed up in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald with this:

"He [Naftali Bennett of the far-right Habayit Hayehudi Party] opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, a key platform of most of the major parties, including Mr Netanyahu's Likud, and instead pushes a plan of annexing much of the West Bank." (Far right spells danger for Netanyahu)

Where does Likud stand with regard to a Palestinian state? Its 2008 platform was unequivocal:

"Israel will not allow the establishment of an Arab Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. The Palestinians will be able to manage their lives freely in the framework of an autonomous regime, but not as a sovereign, independent state." (Likud,, 1/2/08)

Apparently, a puff or two of smoke and the odd mirror have been deployed since then, yet how anyone can claim so categorically, after reading the following Haaretz report on the subject, that the creation of a Palestinian state is "a key platform" of the Likud is a mystery to me:

"Senior Likud officials called Monday for the omission of a reference to the establishment of a Palestinian state from the party's platform. This was meant to be included after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognized the principle of the two-state solution in his 2009 Bar-Ilan University speech.

"With less than a month to go before the election, Likud and Yisrael-Beiteinu have yet to present the platform of their joint slate, and according to sources in the parties it is not clear when and if a platform will be issued. 'Dividing the land will bring about Israel's destruction,' one senior Likud official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. 'We've said that in the past and we say it today. How does this sit with recognizing a Palestinian state,' he said Monday, cautioning against adding such a clause to the platform. Another senior party official said, 'Likud's platform to date has not recognized the establishment of a Palestinian state, and Yisrael-Beiteinu rejects outright the possibility that a Palestinian state could be established alongside Israel' Another Likud source said, 'It's not clear how [Likud stalwarts such as] Reuven Rivlin, Moshe Ya'alon or Zeev Elkin could reconcile with a platform that includes acceptance of a Palestinian state.'

"The lack of an official joint platform was very noticeable during an interview Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, number-three on the joint slate, gave Monday to the Ynet news site. He stated his opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state, reminding the interviewer that the 'two-state' principle has never been part of Likud's platform and hinting that this will not change during the election campaign... According to Yisrael-Beiteinu's platform, the demand to establish a Palestinian state and the 'right of return' are designed to camouflage the real intention, which is to erase the State of Israel as a Jewish and Zionist state.

"Likud sources said Monday the plan is to keep the party's position on the Palestinian issue as vague as possible in the pre-election period." (Likud officials call to omit Netanyahu's two-state declaration from party platform, Barak Ravid & Jonathan Lis, 25/12/12)

A purely rhetorical question: When are ms correspondents and pundits ever going to wake up? What Israeli leaders say or don't say matters not a whit, all that matters is what's going on ON THE GROUND AS WE SPEAK.

Now I wish that that was my only problem with Pollard's report, but it isn't. Sadly, it also contains the following sentence:

"In recent months, Israel has pushed forward with its plan to expand settlement construction in disputed territory beyond the 1967 borders."

I'm sorry, but resorting to Israeli spin - disputed - to describe the ongoing OCCUPATION and colonisation of the West Bank is to connive in that process.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Price Honest Reporting?

On July 8 last year, I posted an Australian Jewish News advertisement for an "Advocates Mission for Israel," co-sponsored by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and Zionist website HonestReporting and scheduled for November 2012.

According to HonestReporting, there were 20 takers - "mostly members of Sydney's Jewish community, plus a number of West Australians and Americans." (30/11/12)

Precisely which category participant Anne Skinner, described in The Australian Jewish News as a "freelance writer and editor [who] self-funded her participation," fits into I do not know. Let us assume she's Australian. At any rate, it was Ms Skinner's wrap-up which appeared in the December 21 issue:

"The opinions in this article," we are told, "were partially informed by the mission's advocacy program." Now whatever else may have helped inform Ms Skinner's opinions on the Palestinians - Leon Uris' novel, Exodus, perhaps? - she does not reveal. One thing's for sure, though: Israeli settler Itamar Marcus's wearily familiar line - that the Palestinians are not so much sinned against as sinning - was given an unqualified thumbs-up by her:

"According to Israeli independent media monitor Palestinian Media Watch, PA-controlled Arab [sic] language media routinely incites hatred against Israel and Jews, much of it aimed at radicalising children and delivered via cartoons, sermons and programs on sport, culture and education. The Palestinians need - and must have - a state of their own. But instead of preparing them for peace, their leaders are warping the minds of generations of citizens - a criminal tragedy conveniently ignored by journalists intent on blaming Israel for all Palestinian ills." (Time to engage soft power)

Yes, I know, we've heard it all before, but what really puzzles me is the extraordinary revelation that Ms Skinner self-funded her undignified prostration at the feet of Mr Marcus.

Frankly, if she'd really wanted to find out what's going on (or should that be 'who's going down'?) in the occupied Palestinian territories, and where the undoubted hate is coming from, all she had to do was visit a well-stocked book store here in Australia, and, for a mere AUS$35, purchase and read Our Harsh Logic: Israeli soldiers' testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 (2012), compiled by the good folk of Breaking the Silence.

Our Harsh Logic is no amateur effort. Its contributors are all experts in the field if I may put it that way. Yes, if honest reporting was what Ms Skinner really wanted, as opposed to HonestReporting - know what I mean? - Our Harsh Logic is the place to find it:

"The worst thing I saw in Hebron happened the day after Elazar Leibowitz's funeral. I was guarding the Gross post, which is on the roof of a building and is the lookout for Hebron's central square... [I]n the middle of my shift, sometime in the afternoon, I see an old man with a cane walking down, an Arab from Abu Sneina. The old man looked sixty-plus, had a cane, he gets to the Abu Sneina intersection, to Gross Square, and all of a sudden three sixteen- or seventeen-year old [settler] kids jump him, they push him down to the ground in a second. They grab a stone and they open up his head. They start kicking him down on the ground, bashing his head. Here's a sixty-year-old man with a stream of blood gushing from his head, blood pouring from his head... I understood that basically anything that goes on there, that innocent [Palestinian] kids, fourteen years old, eight years old, die there for no reason, that settlers go into their houses and shoot at them, and settlers go crazy in the streets and break store windows and beat up soldiers and throw eggs at soldiers and lynch the elderly - all these things don't make it to the media. Hebron is a small, isolated world, and the Avraham Avinu neighborhood is isolated inside Hebron, and more soldiers guard it than people living there. The people living in the neighborhood do whatever they want, the soldiers are forced to protect them. The settlers are the biggest Jewish Nazis I've ever met. And it's here in the State of Israel, and no one knows about it, and no one wants to know, and no one reports on it." (pp 304-307)

"We were in Jabal Juar at that time. It used to be an Arab school, and for at least a few years now it's been an IDF post. There was an incident there where some settlers jumped some woman, an elderly woman. She was ill in some way. They injured her stomach, a serious stomach injury. It was only later that we understood she'd been ill. But apart from that, she was very old, and a few settlers jumped her in the Erez alley." (p 307)

"My main problem in Hebron was with the settlers, the Jewish community. I got the feeling we were protecting the Arabs from the Jews. And neither side liked us, but it felt like the Jews did whatever they wanted and no one cared... Here's an example of something that happened right near me: I was on guard duty, and one of the soldiers at another post called a medic over the radio. Someone replaced me at the post and I ran down to see what had happened, and I saw a six-year-old Palestinian girl, her whole head a gaping wound... This very cute [settler] kid who'd regularly visit our post decided that he didn't like Palestinians walking beneath his house, so he took a brick and threw it at this girl's head. Kids there do whatever they want. No one does anything about it. No one cares. Afterward, his parents just praised him. The parents there encourage their children to behave like that. There were many cases like that. Eleven-, twelve-year-old Jewish kids beat up Palestinians and their parents come along to help them, set their dogs on them - there's a thousand and one stories." (pp 308-309)

See what I mean?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You Can Say What You Like... But

If, like David Rothkopf, you're a hotshot USraeli news analyst, you can probably say what you like about the First President, but definitely not the Second.

Now don't get me wrong. You can criticise the Second President, get that feeling of intense irritation - never revulsion, God forbid! - at the very sight and sound of the bugger off your chest, but your criticism must always be tempered or softened in some way, along the lines of: 'Yeah, he's a bit of a pain, but he means well':

"A key to good prognosticating is always to throw in a few sure things. Predicting Benjamin Netanyahu will irritate the world is like predicting that the US Congress will fail to come to grips with America's deficit problem or that Lindsay Lohan will get into trouble with the law. We've seen this movie before. We don't like it but when in doubt, the universe repeats itself. The Israeli Prime Minister is - no doubt with the best of intentions - a dependable pain in the world's tush." (Read all about it: how 2013 unfolded, SMH/Foreign Policy, 5/1/13)

It goes without saying, of course, that if you're talking about a world leader who doesn't get with the USraeli program, someone like Hugo Chavez for example, then there's no need to muck about. Feel free to trash him good, OK?:

"In Venezuela, the death of Chavez after his long battle with cancer will produce a successor regime that is increasingly weaker but tries to ride sympathy for the dead Bolivarian bully." (ibid)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Jeffries-Dugdale Exchange 3

Jeffries' final riposte in the July 24, 1936 issue of The Spectator:

"SIR,-There is an Arab delegation from Palestine in London at the present moment. It is, I think, the fifth which has come to this country. Certainly it is one of a series of Arab delegations which have been spread over the years since the War and have remained in London, waiting on the Colonial Office, for periods varying from a complete twelvemonth.

"The present delegation, though concentrating on the question of Jewish immigration, is making the same demands its predecessors made. A couple of members, who belonged to previous delegations, are renewing the demands they made as much younger men. Last week a delegate said drily to me that he supposed their sons would come along in due course and repeat the pleas of their fathers to the same deaf walls. That is what I mean when I say that the Arabs have been unheard, a phrase by which Mrs Dugdale is rhetorically puzzled.

"As for their being sidetracked, all that has been said or done, by the Arabs or on their behalf, in Palestine or out of it, during nearly two decades, has achieved what in reply? A succession of essays in verbiage from Whitehall. Public outcry and official enquiries have had the same answer. First one Colonial Secretary explains what the Balfour Declaration means, not to the Arabs, but to the Jews. Then another Colonial Secretary explains the explanation. This process has been continued till now the original Balfour Declaration is in a sort of mathematical situation, a surd surrounded by brackets upon brackets of explanation.

"The final bracket very suitably was put in place by the hands of Mr Ramsay MacDonald. He excelled himself in a letter, a species of White Paper, addressed to Dr Weizmann, who seems more and more to be winning the position of a sovereign State. That document, elicited by the most recent Commission of Enquiry into Palestine's affairs, touched upon all of these and deepened the obscurity surrounding each of them. Only one thing could be inferred with any likelihood, that the recommendations of the Commission would not be carried out. This proved to be true.

"One of the persistent requests of the Arabs is that the recommendations of Commissions and of Reports appointed or instigated by British Governments should be carried out by those same Governments. It is a singular request for them to have to make. But, as Mrs Dugdale would say no doubt, this request has never been sidetracked. The faithful observance, clause by clause, of the recommendations of the Shaw Commission, the Hope Simpson report, the French report, are equally familiar to her. I say nothing of old forgotten far-off things such as the Palin findings, given so widely to the world, and the rapid implementation of Lord Passfield's act of justice.

"I write with scorn, but what other attitude is possible to anyone reviewing the behaviour of British rulers in the Holy Land? There are reasons excusing Mrs Dugdale's advocacy, but into what pitiful artifices she is led. 'The gateway to peace,' she cries, 'is not through numerical calculations.' Does she believe that by calling the process which has placed the House of Commons at the head of the British people a 'numerical calculation' she will hide its true nature? Is a man's vote a right in England and a wrong in Palestine? Is this country to profess itself in Europe as the champion of democracy and in Asia as its enemy? Are we in England to set an example to despots of elective government, and out of England an example to elective governments of despotic control?

"Pro-Zionists prate of the Mandate and of our 'obligations' under it to the world. Is there a man in the world who believes in these 'obligations,' conferred by ourselves upon ourselves and for ourselves. As an honest and admirable writer has said, the San Remo Conference at which mandates were exchanged might have been termed by a cynic the 'Inter-Allied Prize Distribution.' The only obligation at San Remo to be heard of was in the spry tones of Mr Lloyd George and the other national delegates, saying 'Much obliged' as they passed the Mandates over the table one to another. 'The utmost cordiality reigned,' says a despatch of the period, describing the scene.

"For reasons which escape me, we could not say then, nor have said since, that the retention of the adjacencies of the Suez Canal was necessary for the communications of our Empire. We could not straightforwardly proclaim there - as would have been quite proper - a Monroe doctrine of ours akin to the Americans' doctrine at Panama. Instead, under cover of a benevolent Mandate, we instal the 'National Home' violently, believing that its denizens will hold the fort for us.* We refuse the population the freedom, under our guidance, which we had sworn to give them. We confer on Arabs noms-de-plume like 'Palestinian' and proffer them safeguards which we are careful not to define. The tribes which cheered Allenby are fined by his successors, and ten battalions of British troops are in arms against a few devoted wretches where eighteen years ago a single infantryman could have garrisoned a town.

"What is to be said of a policy which has brought us to this?-I am, Sir, yours faithfully, J.M.N. JEFFRIES. Easthayes, Cullompton, Devon."

[*Jeffries is perhaps recalling Sir Ronald Storr's famous line about "the [Zionist] enterprise... forming for England 'a little loyal Jewish Ulster' in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism."]

Jeffries' letter is nothing less than magnificent, such that only a Zionist deadender like 'Baffy' could possibly be immune to its powers of persuasion. Her response of July 31, in particular her second paragraph, with its pious folderol about Arab-Jewish "fellowship", is as fine an example of flying in the face of reality as you could possibly hope for. What a fool for Zion the woman was! Little wonder that Jeffries didn't bother dignify it with a reply:

"SIR,-I hate to confess myself beaten, but the effort to bring Mr Jeffries' version of British rule in Palestine into line with facts is becoming too great by comparison with the results attained.

"I do not understand what he means when he says that the British Government's successive White Papers have been 'addressed not to the Arabs but to the Jews.' These statements of policy are accessible to us all, and I would suggest that Mr Jeffries should study the first of them, issued in 1922, and compare it with the text of the Mandate for Palestine and Transjordan. He will find that the White Paper restricts the area of the Jewish National Home to Palestine itself, whereas no such limitation is implicit in the Mandate. The reason for this very severe curtailment of Jewish settlement was that Transjordan lies within the boundaries of the territories where certain promises about Arab independence were made by the British Government to King Hussein. (See Survey of International Affairs, 1925, Vol. I, p. 361, published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs.) Mr Jeffries dismisses all the White Papers as 'essays in verbiage.' It is a point on which he can claim to speak with authority, but it would be interesting to know whether this clause appears to him as redundant as the others. If it does not, then let him remember it next time he spills the vials of his wrath upon the British Government on the score of its alleged indifference to Arab rights.

"Some of the 'scorn' with which he views British policy has descended upon me, and the 'pitiful artifices' with which I express my conviction that peace in Palestine does not depend on the relative numbers of its Arab and Jewish inhabitants. It depends upon the will to live together as neighbours, as both races must do, unless British promises to one or the other are to be disgracefully broken. Even today, Arabs and Jews are working harmoniously side by side in many of the enterprises which are bringing prosperity to the country, and have refused to allow their fellowship to be disturbed by political agitation. Surely it is by acknowledging, and encouraging, that spirit as far as we can that British people can best help to bring to an end the wreckage of hopes which is going on in Palestine at the present moment.-Yours obediently,
1 Roland Gardens, S.W.7."