Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mike Carlton on the Likud Lobby

"In today's piece for Crikey on the end of the seven-week Gaza conflict, which he describes as 'Israel's Vietnam', Carlton also had some words for his critics, writing: 'None of this is even vaguely understood by the powerful and sophisticated Likud lobby in Australia. The faintest criticism of Israel is always met with concerted howls of 'anti-Semitism!' It is a facile label flung about by the comfortable kaffeeklatsch of Sydney and Melbourne, well-upholstered burghers who have never actually experienced a flicker of anti-Semitism in their gilded lives, let alone the Gestapo knock at midnight or even a rocket landing down the street. In doing so, they demean the memory of those who truly knew what it meant: the dead of Auschwitz'." (Mike Carlton pens first column for Crikey since quitting Fairfax, Mumbrella, 28/8/14)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Simpkins & Kerr Play Tag for Israel

How wonderful to know that federal Liberal MP Luke Simpkins (Cowan, WA) is toiling away for the good of the nation... the Israeli nation that is:

"The parliamentarian who discovered that a photograph of children killed in Syria had been used to illustrate a bulletin attacking Israeli action in Gaza has dismissed the apology from the group responsible. Australians for Palestine hit out after The Australian revealed Liberal Luke Simpkins' find yesterday. It described The Australian's report on the photo as 'scurrilous'. Mr Simpkins contacted the email bulletin's sender, Sonja Karkar, on August 12 when he discovered the photo had been used as far back as November well before the latest Gaza strife [!]. Ms Karkar responded the same day, admitting to the error. She promised to correct the record in her next bulletin to MPs and others, but no clarification appeared when it was issued on August 18. In an email yesterday, Ms Karkar said 'events overtook me' and insisted the use of the image from Syria was 'inadvertent'. 'There was no intention to deceive,' she said in the email. Mr Simpkins noted the apology had only now been made, and it was only in response to the story in The Australian. 'AFP had the chance to respond to The Australian before the story was published and they chose not to do so,' he said." (Gaza apology 'too late', Christian Kerr, 29/8/14)

Rambammed in 2012, Simpkins, a former army officer, has had Israel's back ever since, declaring that Iran - yes, Iran, not Israel - "has a sense of entitlement as the dominator in the region." And because he's heard that Iran wants to wipe poor little Israel off the map, he's used his parliamentary perch to call for increased sanctions against Tehran.

Now I wouldn't want to give the impression that Israel is Simpkins' only interest, OK? So to round him off, I should point out that he's also warned that Australians are unknowingly being converted to Islam by eating Halal meat. (To view my Simpkins file, simply click on the label below.)

And how good is it that the Australian's Christian Kerr is pursuing this matter of national importance!

Funny, but I don't remember Kerr pursuing The Daily Telegraph when it printed the photograph of a Boston marathon bombing victim with Mike Carlton's head on August 7, prompting its editor to apologise for making such an "inadvertent" mistake. (See Mike Carlton calls Daily Telegraph 'scum of the trade' as editor apologises for photoshopping his face on Boston bombing victim, Mumbrella, 8/8/14)

Friday, August 29, 2014

The SMH: Ignorant. Always.

What a useless, sodding rag the Sydney Morning Herald is.

At least when you read the Murdoch press you know what you're getting: unqualified, knee-jerk support for Israel, with lashings of Islamophobia. It comes with the territory.

But isn't Fairfax supposed to be different? Something other than a mere conduit for the Zionist talking point of the day, which involves conflating Islamic State and Hamas? Isn't it, as it boasts on its masthead, 'Independent. Always.'? Apparently not.

The Herald's editorial of August 27, Muslims are allies in fight against terrorism, begins thus:

"The world now has proliferating self-declared caliphates, or Islamic states. In Nigeria Boko Haram militants who have murdered thousands since 2009, declared a caliphate in the north-east of the country. [Its leader] praised the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who has declared a caliphate across parts of Syria and Iraq. In Yemen, an affiliate of al-Qaeda has announced it will declare a caliphate in territory it controls... There has been pitiless violence in the past week involving groups which invoke Islam to justify their violence... In Gaza, Hamas executed 20 Palestinians who it claimed had been collaborators with Israel..."

This, mind you, from a paper that has had SFA to say editorially about the pitiless 5 weeks of carnage and devastation wrought by the forces of the Jewish caliphate of Israel on the largely defenceless population of the Gaza Strip.

By witlessly (?) conflating the Palestinian resistance with lunatic, sectarian outfits such as Boko Haram, Islamic State and the rest, the Herald is simply acting as another Israeli propaganda outlet. And this so soon after the relentless hounding it was subjected to by the Zionist Murdoch press over the fearless commentary of columnist Mike Carlton and cartoonist Glen Le Lievre on Israeli genocide in Gaza.

As for Hamas' execution of collaborators, it need only be asked: what resistance organisation in history has not done this?

Offing collaborators was in fact an integral part of the Zionist movement's modus operandi in the 1940s.

Here for example is an extract from the Wikipedia entry for Lehi aka the Stern Gang:

"According to a compilation by Nachman Ben-Yehuda*,Lehi was responsible for 42 assassinations, more than twice as many as the Irgun and Hagana combined during the same period. Of those Lehi assassinations that Ben-Yehuda classified as political, more than half the victims were Jews."

And here's the testimony of a former Lehi operative, Maxim Ghilan:

"There ensued a period of confusion, not devoid of internecine fights and back-stabbing. The fear of agents and CID provocations took its bitter toll in men and mood. The renascent band of underground fighters had to become more secretive, more ruthless, more close-knit, in order to survive. More than one innocent paid for this state of affairs with his life. After a while things sorted themselves out. A shadow started spreading over Palestine - the shadow of a company of men prepared to do anything to bring about the creation of the State of Israel and the end of the Mandate. And anything - or everything - they did. They killed civilians, they kidnapped enemies, they executed traitors, they laid bombs, they assassinated the British Commissioner for the Middle East, Lord Moyne, in Cairo." (How Israel Lost Its Soul, 1974, p 100)

[*Political Assassinations by Jews: A Rhetorical Device for Justice (1993), p 397]

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What Planet Does Kim Williams Live On?

Kimberley Lynton Williams again*:

"Kim Williams has broken his silence on News Corporation, criticising newspaper editors for failing to understand the advertising model he introduced at the company. In a fiery interview, the former News Corp Australia and Foxtel chief executive said he found highly offensive 'conspiracy theories' that he had leaked News Corp's 2013 financial results to generate publicity for his new book, Rules of Engagement. The results showed a sharp drop in revenues and profits across News Corp's flagship Australian newspaper between the 2012 and 2013 financial years, which many blame on the advertising sales model Mr Williams had introduced." (No leak nor any cause for regret: Kim Williams, Sharri Markson, 25/8/14)

Look, I really don't give a rat's about what's going on between Williams and News Corpse, except to say that if Williams has had some kind of hand (unwitting to be sure) in the inevitable and deserved demise of The Australian and The Daily Terror, then well and good. It's really only what the following snippet says about Williams that's prompted this post:

"A vast media consumer, Mr Williams said the current flurry of commentary on Israel and Gaza had moved to extreme polarity, where commentators adopt opinions first and information later. 'There has been a long vein in the Australian media of anti-Semitic coverage and it is an enormously troubling thing, he said. 'I am probably unusually and acutely sensitive to anti-Semitic coverage because I feel quite strongly about it and it is something that has to be held up whenever it happens'." (ibid)

Seriously now, WTF is this bloke on about?

Here he is, a "vast media consumer," including a stint as CEO of a corporation that spits out Islamophobia and Arabophobia on a daily basis, and all he can see is "a long vein in the Australian media of anti-Semitic coverage."

So where is this alleged "long vein of anti-Semitic coverage" to be found? The Fairfax press? The ABC?

You're kidding me!

[See my 24/8/14 post News Corpse.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How Zionists Enforce the Party Line on Israel

Ever wonder why Western political parties and institutions such as the media and universities can generally be relied upon to toe the line on Israel?

One thing's for sure. It has nothing whatever to do with any particular fondness for the beast. Basically, it comes down to fear, fear of becoming the target of a campaign of confected outrage, sometimes accompanied by a threatened or actual loss of funding, or maybe even legal action.

To cite but one local example: despite the claptrap we hear from Labor leaders at Zionist functions about Australia and Israel sharing common values, and the nonsense they spout concerning the 'glorious' role of Labor icon Doc Evatt at the United Nations in laying the foundations for the creation of the Jewish state, the ALP's current piss-poor position on Palestine/Israel stems primarily from the party's reliance on Zionist funding - see my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy.

The case of pro-Palestinian US academic Steven Salaita*, a professor of English and an authority on Arab and Native Americans, provides a rare glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes whenever the usual suspects get their knickers in a knot over anyone with the gumption to critique Israel from a mainstream party, media, or academic platform.

To set the scene:

"On Friday, officials of the University of Illinois offered their first public explanations for the decision to block the hiring of Steven Salaita. They denied that his criticism of Israel was the reason, and said that they were committed to promoting an atmosphere in which people and ideas are not demeaned. 'What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them...' said an email from Phyllis M. Wise, chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus where the American Indian studies program offered Salaita a tenured position that he and the department believe he accepted. Since news emerged 3 weeks ago that Wise told Salaita that the job would not be his because she would not submit it to the Illinois board for approval, the decision has been the subject of intense national debate in academic circles and beyond." (U. of Illinois officials defend decision to deny job to scholar; documents show lobbying against him, Scott Jaschik,, 25/8/14)

Now for that rare, behind-the-scenes look at what it was that influenced or prompted the university's chancellor to deny this perceptive and passionate critic of Israeli apartheid and terrorism a job:

"Also on Friday, the university responded to an open records request from Inside Higher Ed for communications to the chancellor about the Salaita appointment, prior to her action to block it. The communications show that Wise was lobbied on the decision not only by pro-Israel students, parents and alumni, but also by the fund-raising arm of the university. The communications also show that the university system president was involved, and that the university was considering the legal ramifications of the case before the action to block the appointment. Most of the emails have the names of the senders redacted and some are nearly identical, suggesting the use of talking points or shared drafts. Many of the letter writers identify themselves Jewish and/or sympathetic to Israel, as students, parents or alumni, and as people who say that the tone of Salaita's comments (especially on Twitter) makes them believe he would be hostile to them and to their views... While many of the emails are fairly similar, some stand out. For instance, there is an email from Travis Smith, senior director of development for the university of Illinois Foundation, to Wise, with copies to Molly Tracy, who is in charge of fund-raising for engineering programs, and Dan C. Peterson, vice chancellor for institutional advancement. The email forwards a letter complaining about the Salaita hire. The email from Smith says: 'Dan, Molly, and I have just discussed this and believe you need to [redacted].' (The blacked out portion suggests a phrase is missing, not just a word or two.)... At least one email... was from someone who identified himself as a major donor who said he would stop giving if Salaita were hired."

There's plenty more along these lines in Jaschik's report, but I'm sure you've got the idea. See also Steven Salaita's academic lynching by Stephen Lendman (, 25/8/14)

[*For those who might like to explore Salaita's writings, I can personally recommend Anti-Arab Racism in the USA (2006) and Israel's Dead Soul (2010).]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Palestine/Israel: It's Colonialism, Stupid

As I've indicated countless times already on this blog, the Palestine/Israel conflict separates the sheep from the goats like no other issue. It's been around now for almost 100 years (which I compute from the Balfour Declaration of 1917 on), oceans of ink have been spilt on reporting it in that time, and entire libraries could be stocked merely with the books written on it.

IOW, there are no excuses for not have a basic understanding of the issue, particularly on the part of those who make a buck commenting on the affairs of our time.

So what do I find in yesterday's Sun-Herald:

"Remove questions of God from Israel and Gaza and you're left with two people who have more in common than they care to realise."  (Killing in God's name is beyond belief, Sam de Brito)

Yet another Fairfax columnist recycling the dumbest of all the zombie myths that bedevil an understanding of this conflict: It's all about religion.

The terrible irony, of course, is that journalists like Mike Carlton and Glen Le Lievre, who 'get' that the conflict is a struggle over land between indigenous Palestinian Arabs and non-indigenous European colons (aka Zionist settlers), are hounded and smeared, while boofheads like de Brito and Moir, to name but two, who cluelessly peddle zombie myths about the conflict never come under attack - except, of course, on this little blog.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

News Corpse

Thus spake Kim Williams, former chief executive of Murdoch's News Corp, publisher of The Australian, on the subject of digital vs print media:

"In a digital sphere, nothing and no one is safe. Merit, ingenuity, speed, flexibility now rule the day in the media. This is, on the one hand, a good thing because it is giving unparalleled empowerment to invention and creativity, with the opportunity of entirely new ways of working and connecting. On the other hand, a well developed sustainable model for commercial delivery of serious independent journalism, as we have known it, is yet to emerge in the digital sphere." (Commentary on financial leaks a festival of vengeance from New Corporation, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/8/14)

What struck me here was the reference to "serious independent journalism, as we have known it." (I'm assuming that's the royal we.)

Known it where?

Surely not at News Corpse.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Genocide That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Consider the following data:

(a) "Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group via (a) Killing of members of the group..."

(b) "Israel has killed 1 in every thousand Gazans. That's the equivalent of 300,000 Americans." (Saree Makdisi tweet, 19/8/14)

(c) "Murad, the head of Gaza's bomb squad, estimated that Israel had dropped between 18-22 thousand tons of explosives on Gaza since 7 July... If Murad's estimate is right, then the explosive power Israel has fired on Gaza by land, sea and air so far is roughly equivalent to one of the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in August 1945." (How many bombs has Israel dropped on Gaza? Ali Abunimah,, 19/8/14)

Given the astonishing scale of death (now over 2000) and devastation wrought by the Israeli military on the population of the Gaza Strip, you'd think the 'G' word would at least occasionally crop up in msm reporting on the subject, right?

I haven't seen it used even once.

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Waleed Aly, however, had no trouble yesterday calling a genocide a genocide when talking about ISIL's rampant violence in northern Iraq, referring to its "campaign of ethnic cleansing and genocide" against the Yazidis. (The oldest terrorist tactic: provoke an overreaction, 22/8/14)

I note that he made no use of the 'G' word in an earlier column on Gaza, MH17, Gaza & the value of human life (25/7/14).

Interesting, eh?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Mysterious Abu Joe 3

"Taxpayers are paying Treasurer Joe Hockey $270 a night to stay in a house owned by his wife. Mr Hockey has legitimately claimed $108,000 in travel allowance for 368 nights over the past 4 years, including many nights for parliamentary sitting weeks when he has stayed at the Canberra property in which his wife has a majority share... He would not be drawn on whether there were any tax minimisation advantages to [the] ownership structure of the property... The home is worth an estimated $1.5 million according to local real estate agents... When it was purchased, Mr Hockey was listed on sales documents as owning 5%, his wife, Melissa Babbage, 61% and his father, Richard Hockey, 34%." (You're paying Joe's rent on $1.5m home, Samantha Maiden, The Sunday Telegraph, 17/8/14)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Question for Coach Tony

Coach Tony uses 2GB (G'Day, Bogans!) to announce his version of 'Australia: Love It or Leave It':

"Don't migrate to Australia unless you want to join 'Team Australia' Tony Abbott has declared, ahead of his meetings with Muslim leaders this week... 'My position is that everyone has got to be on Team Australia. Everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first, and you don't migrate to this country unless you want to join our team'." (Tony Abbott says new migrants must be on 'Team Australia' as he steps up war on home-grown jihadists, Jennifer Rajca,, 18/8/14)

Breathe in... breathe out... breathe in.... breathe out...

But when pep-talking Australian Muslim leaders it's all hush hush: "The PM's office invited only multicultural media to the press conference before the meeting..." (Onus of proof unreasonable, Muslim heads tell Abbott, David Wroe/Daisy Dumas, Sydney Morning Herald, 19/8/14)

Keysar Trad, a meeting attendee, is quoted by the Herald as saying that "leaders had also asked why dual Australian nationals fighting with the IDF were not being targeted." (ibid)

Surely, we're entitled to know how Coach Tony fielded that one?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PAGS Press Release 2

20 August

Palestine protest going ahead on Thursday after court decision: now meeting at Taylor Square

"A protest against the opening night of the Israeli Film Festival will be held at Taylor Square at 5.30pm on Thursday, despite today's judgment in the Supreme Court of NSW. Protest organisers have condemned the court for upholding NSW Police's decision not to facilitate the protest, which was originally called outside the Palace Verona Cinema in Paddington, the cinema hosting the festival.

"In handing down his decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court's Justice Hidden stressed that the courts do not have the right to either ban or to authorize protests. All the court has done is remove the immunity from prosecution that participants would otherwise have if disruption to the road is caused. Nevertheless, today's decision has effectively banned the protest from going ahead in the form the organisers had chosen.

"'This has every appearance of a politically motivated bid to silence pro-Palestine activists,' said Nick Riemer from Sydney Staff for BDS, one of the coalition of groups organising the protest. 'The court apparently doesn't think the right to protest is important enough to justify the same traffic arrangements which would easily be made for a burst water-main or a broken down bus. This should be of grave concern to everyone committed to political freedom in our society.'...

"Today's decision recalls the banning of a protest against against the Gaza war in Paris last month. It comes in the context of tightening restrictions on the right to protest in Australia. Victoria and Tasmania have both recently introduced laws which restrict protesters' rights... Organisers have decided that Thursday's protest to draw attention to Israel's ongoing war on Gaza will assemble at Taylor Square at 5.30pm. Israeli attacks have now killed over 2,000 Palestinians..."

PAGS Press Release 1

19 August

Palestine supporters will not be silenced in the fight against Israeli apartheid

"In a setback for civil liberties, NSW Supreme Court judge Peter Hidden today handed down a decision against a protest organised by the Palestine Action Group Sydney.

"Damian Ridgwell, who appeared in court on behalf of the group, said that 'While mindful of the court's decision, we will pursue whatever avenues are open to us to exercise the right to protest. We will decide tonight on the form our protest will now take. But make no mistake, this decision will not silence us.'

"The PAG will be making their voices heard tomorrow night to protest against the Israeli Film Festival, which opens at the Verona Cinema in Paddington. Damian Ridgwell stated, 'That this event would be hosted in the immediate aftermath of Israel's obliteration of almost 2,000 Palestinians, over 400 of whom were children, is deeply offensive.'

"Ridgwell went on to add, 'Now the reopening of Israel's bombing raids has taken more Palestinian lives. Cultural events like the IFF are designed to whitewash Israel's genocide against the Palestinians. We intend to publicly counter this vile propaganda.'

"The IFF is run by the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, which was launched by Benjamin Netanyahu, the war criminal who has presided over the current massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. While Israel denies the Palestinians their freedoms, cultural or otherwise, people of conscience must boycott Israeli cultural and academic institutions."


One has to ask oneself here why it is that only rallies in support of Palestine are receiving this extraordinary level of attention from the NSW police. If you believe with Dr Phil that the best predictor of present and future behaviour is past behaviour, you might like to peruse the following posts of mine, beginning with Israel 101 for Cops (28/10/11), followed by NSW Police Seek to Can Nakba Commemoration (13/5/12), Police v Langosch (16/5/12) and Nakba Day Backlash 1-3 (17-19/5/12). Simply click on the 'NSW Police' label below.

Heads He Wins, Tails We Lose

An absolute must-read from The Sunday Telegraph - that's right, Murdoch's Sunday paper - of August 17:

Why I fear the severed heads are fakes by Duncan Lay

"The carefully pixelated pictures of a young Australian boy holding up a severed head have rightly enraged people this past week. Politicians have been lining up to condemn the boy's father, Aussie-born Khaled Sharrouf, and to promise 'action' - tough penalties, new laws, and anything they can think of to appease the justified community outrage. But here's the thing. I have the horrible feeling the heads in the Sharrouf pictures, including the one with his son, are fake. I think Sharrouf is an evil fantasist, rather than evil in reality, similar to that fantasist jihadist who was caught in The Philippines while claiming to be on the front line of the war.

"Why, you may well ask? I confess I don't have a series of freshly-cut heads in my cellar to compare them against. But I have been able to see the unpixelated images and they just don't look right. Take away the black boxes the papers have been adding and you'll see that:

1) There are no necks on them. They're just heads. So what, you may ask? But it is impossible to cut off heads that close to the skull without damaging the chin. Those heads are pristine, which is also highly unlikely. Not a trace of a wound anywhere, just a disembodied head.

2) If they had been cut off while alive, there would be variety of agonised expressions, probably cries of fear and pain. The faces of these 'heads' all look asleep. They are also plump and filled out and the mouth is closed and the chin firm. Gravity alone suggests the jaw would drop down and the mouth gape open, while the loss of blood and fluid would make the cheeks look hollow. The hair would also be in disarray. None of this is happening. It's all perfect.

3) The skin colour. Dead bodies are pale, due to blood draining down to whatever side it is lying on. Obviously it's far worse in something that has been cut off. Those heads are far too ruddy.

4) No oozing. Heads are full of liquid. Even hours later, holding one up like that would cause drippage - and yet there is nothing.

5) They're too light. The boy's forearms are showing little strain. Turn to our fishing page and you'll see kids having more difficulty holding up a 2kg fish than he's showing holding an adult head. And he's holding it by the hair. Unless he's the world's strongest kid, it seems unlikely.

6) Too much fun. Kids can't fake facial expressions and he thinks what he's doing is hilarious. But if it was a real head, dripping, stinking and bloody, I can't see him cuddling it.

7) All the Sharrouf 'head' pics are like this one. All of the ones showing him and 'heads' feature these perfect, disembodied heads with no necks and no bloody mess. There's even one of him holding a 'head' by the ear showing the neck 'wound'. It's still red. Dried blood would have been brown-black by then.

"Look, they could be real. I have never seen a genuine severed head. But it feels wrong. My guess is he's using a store dummy head and photoshopping. He's trying to appeal to all the wannabes and disaffected youths out in the suburbs who think it's somehow cool and edgy, all those teenage boys filled with a mixture of rebellion and bravado.

"Now that doesn't take away the fact he's a twisted little scumbag who doesn't deserve to have kids and, if he ever lobs back in Australia, needs to be locked up and have the key thrown away. It doesn't change the fact he's seriously messed up his children. But my fear is, he now has everyone so whipped up into a frenzy that we'll rubber stamp whatever ASIO puts up. It's like a spy agency's dream. And while we must throw the book at the deluded freaks who think that killing people to create an Islamic state is great, we know that spy agencies never give up power once they have it. If we give them carte blanche now, based on a spoof, we could live to regret it. Let them explain how keeping metadata is going to stop the next generation of Sharroufs. Because if they can't keep track of these publicity-hungry nutjobs without it, we have a great deal to fear. Let's use our heads, not be used by a fake head."

Israeli Junkets Continue During Gaza Genocide


"Despite the current unrest, the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce has recently concluded another successful Trade Mission to Israel - 3rd for this year. Leading a senior group of 30 business executives, including Cameron Clyne, Group CEO at NAB and John Pataridis, Managing Director at Optus Business... The purpose of the visit was to both explore business and investment opportunities as well as understand Israel's unique entrepreneurial and innovative eco-system. Naturally there was also a strong interest in geo-politics. Delegates were briefed by Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi, former Chief of Staff at the IDF and Carmi Gillon, former head of the Shin Bet... The visit included a reception hosted by Australia's Ambassador to Israel, his Excellency Dave Sharma and a performance by the Bat Sheva Dance Company - one of the world's leading contemporary dance groups. The group also took in many of Israel's most iconic tourist destinations, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Dead Sea/Masada, Yad Vashem, Holocaust Museum, Jaffa, Caesarea and the Bahai Temple in Haifa... The Chamber has been facilitating Trade Missions to Israel for over 25 years... Its next Trade Mission is scheduled for May 2015 and will be led by Simon McKeown, Chairman of CSIRO and former Australian of the Year." (NAB chief head of mission to Israel,, 28/7/14)


From 25-29 July, Israeli love-in impresario, Albert Dadon (Israeli Film Festival, Australia Israel Leadership Forum), staged his annual Australia-UK-Israel Leadership Dialogue in Jerusalem.

Typically, there was next to nothing on the subject in the Australian press. I could find only one brief report (Christopher Pyne says Australia on 'the right side of Israel now', The Canberra Times, Primrose Riordan, 2/8/14) which again, typically, cited only the attendance of revellers Pyne, Michael Danby and David Feeney. How the Australian public is ever to be informed on the subject of Australian politicians' cavortings with Israel without a full listing of all who attend such gigs is just another of those mainstream media mysteries that we, the public, are supposed to put up with.

Moreover, although regaling us on an almost daily basis with the gibberish of LNP politicians, the Australian ms media has done us no favour in failing to report the following egregious specimen of same by Education Minister Christopher Pyne, proving conclusively, for those still in doubt, what an absolute goose the man is. I've copied it verbatim from the Jewish community site, J-Wire, including all, repeat all, the typos (or not as the case may be), for your complete enjoyment. My comments are in brackets:

"Tonight I want to address why the Australians are here... But firstly I should say good friends visit their friends in tough times. It is easy to visit your friends when things are going well. Fair-weather friends who come and go when things are on the up and up are easy to come by. Friends who come when times are tough - they are the real friends.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I was approached by a young man at the reception here at the King David Hotel here on Friday, his name was Aaron, and he asked me who I was and where I was from, and I said I was from Australia and he said 'why are you here?'. And I very simply said, because Australians love freedom. And he said very simply, that freedom isn't free, right?. And I said exactly right. [Such GW Bush profundity!]

"The reason why the Australians are here today, the first reason, is because Australians value freedom. And we have been fighting for freedom for 114 years and usually alongside our UK friends, whether it has been in the Battle of Beersheeva [sic] here in Israel [sic], in the Second World War, or the First World War, or more recently in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Vietnam and Korea, wars that are now well and truly in the past.  [Iraq and Afghanistan... well and truly in the past? Has anyone told the Iraqis and the Afghans?]

"Whenever there has been a congregation of freedom loving nations versus non-freedom loving nations, Australia has always been prepared to be in the fight and always on the right side. And that's how we view the state of Israel that we are on the right side. It is the story about the King of Denmark during the Second World War when the Nazis changed their attitude towards the deportation of the Danish Jews. There weren't many Danish Jews, about 8,000 or so, but the King of Denmark when the Nazis changed their attitude and said that they would start to deport the Jews, said that the Jews are Dames and the Dames are Jews. In other words, the concerns of Jewish Dames were the concerns of all Dames.

"In the same way I believe, and I think most Australians believe, that the destruction or defeat of Israel is a concern for all of us around the world. Because Israel is the beacon of freedom and liberty in the Middle East and Australia likes to believe that it is in the world. We are two sister nations believing in the same thing - freedom of the press*, freedom of democracy, freedom of association**. It shows that Israel has existential threats that requires them to take firm action to protect those freedoms, firmer actions than Australia has had to take to protect our own existence. So that is the first reason, ladies and gentlemen, why the Australians are here. Because we regard Israel and Australia as sister countries with the same value systems and we want to show our support for that system here in the Middle East.

"The second reason is more personal, ladies and gentlemen, and it goes to the question of remembering some of the crimes of the past. The great crime of the past against the Jewish people was the Holocaust. And just coming to Israel as an Australian... we reaffirm that we will not forget the crime of the Holocaust against the Jewish people and we stand with the Jewish people. Simply by the act of making sure this dialogue was not cancelled when some people said it should have been cancelled because it was dangerous the Australians and British came here, simply by that act reaffirmed that we will not forget the Holocaust.

"This is my sixth visit to Israel. And it is important that we come again and again to Israel. To say it to those in the Islamic Jihad, the terrorists - Hamas or ISIS or whoever they are - that by their actions they won't frighten Australians into coming to Israel and supporting Israel. That is by me and my colleagues, whether they are Labor or Liberal, are here supporting this Dialogue because it proves, ladies and gentlemen, it proves that freedom is winning and tyranny is losing."

[*Freedom of the press? "A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott said: 'It was a constructive and cordial discussion and the PM looks forward to further dialogue.' The Prime Minister's office invited only multicultural media to the press conference before the meeting, meaning Fairfax Media and other organisations were not included." (Onus of proof unreasonable, Muslim heads tell Abbott, David Wroe & Daisy Dumas, Sydney Morning Herald, 19/8/14); **Freedom of association?  See my last post NSW Police Seek to Can BDS Protest.]

Monday, August 18, 2014

NSW Police Seek to Can BDS Protest

Here we go again:

"Police have applied to the supreme court to stop a pro-Palestinian protest at the Israeli Film Festival in Sydney, in a move organisers have described as an attack on their right to protest. Palestine Action Group Sydney has organised the protest for Thursday night at Palace cinemas in Oxford Street when the IFF, which is run by the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE), arrives in Sydney.

"Damian Ridgwell, 28, a founder of PAGS, was served on Friday evening by two police officers with the summons to appear in the supreme court. The summons... says police have made an application under the Summary Offences Act 1988 to 'prohibit the holding of a public assembly'. No reason is given... which Ridgwell says will put him at a disadvantage when he fronts the court. 'I think they are going to try to say it will disrupt traffic but if you go by that logic there would never be any protests in Australia, almost every single one of them disrupts traffic,' he said. 'It is not just or fair to deny our right to protest... why is it that pro-Palestinian protesters have to fight for their right to protest?'" (NSW police try to stop pro-Palestinian protest at Israeli Film Festival, Bridie Jabour,, 17/8/14)

To interrupt at this point: you'll remember the unsuccessful attempt by the NSW police to use the supreme court to ban a Nakba Day march in Sydney in 2012, a blatantly political move arising out of links between the then NSW (O'Farrell) government and the Israel lobby. For the details, see my posts NSW Police Seek to Can Nakba Commemoration (13/5/12); Police v Langosch (16/5/12); and Nakba Day Backlash 1-3 (17/5/12-19/5/12)

"Ridgwell said AICE was a 'legitimate target' of protest because of its support for Israel... and called it a 'highly political group'. PAGS is a supporter of the BDS campaign against Israel, and the group argues for cultural and economic boycotts. Ridgwell said he was expecting about 1,000 people at the protest on Thursday evening. 'We are all horrified by Israel's massacre and people feel the response of the Australian government has been appalling,' he said. NSW police are also asking the PAG to cover its court costs.

"AICE was established in 2002 and focuses on literature, film, music, visual and plastic arts, drama, dance and architecture. On its website it describes itself as an 'outward focused, inclusive body, advancing the exchange of culture between Australia and Israel as a means of encouraging art and artistic links'... AICE has been conducted for comment. NSW police did not comment on the application on Sunday." (ibid)

It should be noted her that AICE is the brainchild of Melbourne developer and influential Israel lobbyist Albert Dadon, whose other progeny include the Australia-Israel Leadership Forum (See my 25/10/10 post Record Rambam), and the Australia-UK-Israel Leadership Dialogue (See my 4/11/12 post Pollies in Love-In). On Dadon, see also my 12/4/14 post The Carr Diary 3: A Mere Flash in the Pan Really.

The matter is being heard in the NSW Supreme Court at 9am this morning. Watch this space...

The Bile Duct of the Nation

What an extraordinary find on the letters page of The Australian:

"For the past few days, the letters page has been filled with letters from people vilifying Muslims and Islam in general. The ignorance expressed in those letters is appalling. Such published commentary must invoke fear in our Muslim citizens, so how close is this to contravening Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act? The inability of many readers to distinguish between Muslims of the Islamic State, the Taliban or extreme followers of Islam in places such as Saudi Arabia, and the majority of Muslims such as the 245 million who live in Indonesia, shows a bigotry beyond belief. I have spent the past 20 years associating with Muslims ranging from dirt-poor farmers and fisherman, to executives and lecturers in Indonesian universities. In no way have I come across anyone resembling the Muslims portrayed in your letters page, nor have I come across any Muslims bent on converting me to their faith." Roger Bridgland, West Hobart, Tas.

To indicate just how extraordinary Bridgland's letter is I have to point out that he is actually quite wrong to begin his opening sentence with "for the past few days." Maybe he doesn't read Rupert's rag as regularly as I do.

The fact is that the letters page of The Australian, billed on its masthead as 'The Heart of the Nation', has been featuring whole blocs of bile-flecked Islamophobic rants/letters for weeks, in what is arguably the most sustained display of racism and bigotry ever seen in this country in modern times.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Using Section 18C to Silence Critics of Israel

The very public campaign waged against the Abbott government's proposal to drop Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was largely orchestrated and spearheaded by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), one of the prongs of Australia's Israel lobby, allegedly because 18C was needed as a defence against an imminent outbreak of Fredrick Toben-style Holocaust denialists. (See my posts George Brandis Launches Zionist Festival of Hypocrisy (30/3/14) and Why I Can't Get Too Excited Over Section 18C (1/5/14))

The pressure and the hype duly worked its magic and the government backed down. Of course, Abbott couldn't possibly admit to be heavied by the lobby, so some other excuse had to be found. And found it was:

"The Prime Minister said he had made a 'leadership call' to abandon the changes, because they had become a 'complication' in the Government's relationship with the Muslim community. 'When it comes to counter-terrorism, everyone needs to be part of Team Australia,' Mr Abbott said." (Government backtracks on Racial Discrimination Act 18C changes; pushes ahead with tough security laws, Emma Griffiths,, 6/8/14)

Muslims again! The cynicism is breathtaking. As Herald columnist Waleed Aly put it:

"The announcement wasn't altogether surprising, but the context for it was. Suddenly section 18C would be left as a figleaf for Muslims; a kind of transfer fee for their recruitment to 'Team Australia'. Consider how that looks if you believe - as presumably the government still does - this section is an egregious attack on free speech. Apparently we must live under its yoke to appease Muslims in the hope they'll help us fight terrorism. We're being held to ransom again. Muslims are the Grinch who stole freedom. The truth, of course, is that Muslims are largely peripheral to both issues... [W]hilst I have met Muslims who were unimpressed by the government's plans for the Racial Discrimination Act, it seems an unusual red line for them to draw given that Muslims aren't even protected by it. The law doesn't regard Muslims as a racial group. So, whatever it is section 18C prevents you from saying about Aborigines or Asians or Jews, you can go right ahead and say it against Muslims." (Abbott's 18C puzzle linking terror and free speech raises interesting political questions, 8/8/14)

What Ali doesn't allude to, of course, is ECAJ's crucial role in the campaign to retain 18C, or the bizarre fact that, as far as the RDA is concerned, Jews are deemed a racial group. Nor does he allude to the real reason our Israel lobbyists fought so hard to retain Section 18C: its utility as a weapon against those who buck the party line on Israel.

For example:

"The controversial 18C provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act will be used in a complaint against The Sydney Morning Herald over its anti-Semitic cartoon and the accompanying article by former columnist, Mike Carlton. A Sydney-based engineer, Wayne Karlen, 60, has lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission arguing the publication of the cartoon and the column caused offence to Australian Jews. Mr Karlen also referenced the subsequent abuse of readers by Carlton, stating in the complaint that The SMH has committed an unlawful act within the meaning of the RDA. 'This cartoon racially vilifies Jews and the similarity to Nazi propaganda compounds the distress to those of us that had relatives fight and die in WWII,' he said. 'The absence of a strong formal censure for publishing this racist and offensive material conveys an appearance of official acceptance of same.' Mr Karlen, who is not Jewish, said he decided to lodge the complaint on Tuesday after the ABC's Media Watch defended the cartoon and Carlton the night before. 'The suggestion by the public broadcaster and others that this cartoon is acceptable must be refuted in the strongest terms and those responsible for its dissemination must be held responsible,' he said. 'The publication of this cartoon has caused offence to and racially vilifies Jews and was done to portray Jews as murderers of men, women and children for entertainment. The publication of this cartoon has caused intimidation and contributed to the Jewish community becoming afraid for their safety living in Australia and has offended their friends and supporters.' In addition to Mr Karlen, The Australian understands at least one member of the Jewish community has also lodged a complaint with the commission under section 18C, although Jewish organisations have stated they will not be taking similar action in light of the Herald's apology. Mr Karlen suggests the Herald should be publicly censured and receice [sic] a 'significant fine' that could be donated to an accredited Jewish charity... The Herald's editorial position supported the retention of 18C..." (18C used to sue Carlton for racial vilification, Sharri Markson, The Australian, 14/8/14)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Herald: 'Christians Yazidis'

Today's editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald begins thus:

"Australia is lucky. We have plenty to share. When global crises require our support, we offer it willingly. The Abbott government is of course right to offer resettlement to up to 4000 minority Christians Yazidis being hunted down by the terrorist group Islamic State, formerly ISIL." (Abbott should increase refugee intake)

Is the underlined a typo, or does editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir, the bloke who buckled when the lobby threatened to kick in his door over Carlton and Le Lievre, seriously believe that Yazidis are Christians?

The Mysterious Abu Joe 2

Remember Joe Hockey's pre-election appearance at Sydney's Lakemba mosque, touting his "Palestinian heritage"? (See my 10/5/14 post From the Gaza Strip to the Grand Hyatt.)

Remember my suggestion that "the real story [re Hockey] is not the boof-headed son [but] Hokeidonian the elder"? (See my 8/8/13 post The Mysterious Abu Joe.)

Well, journalist Madonna King's new biography of Hockey, Hockey: Not Your Average Joe, sheds further light, at two points (pp 5-6 & 11-13) in particular, on Hockey's paternal history, and hence on the kind of parental influence which helped form the Joe of today, paradoxically, a man not only devoid of any real feeling for, or interest in, the plight of the Palestinians, empty pre-election emissions notwithstanding, but one who is unambiguously pro-Israel. (See From the Gaza Strip to the Grand Hyatt.)

Here are the relevant excerpts, along my interpolated commentary:

"Growing up in Jerusalem, with troops and civilians fighting it out on the streets..."

Note the vague terminology here. You'd never guess that the British Mandate authorities (troops) were battling a Zionist rebellion (civilians) out to establish a Jewish state based on the dispossession and exile of the majority Arab population of Palestine.

"... he had woken each morning with a fear and dread of what lay ahead and a loneliness that caused an ache in the pit of his stomach. He also remembered the final moments he spent in Palestine, his homeland, a land blessed with the spiritual landmarks of three different faiths, and cursed with a centuries-long tussle for moral and legal ownership."

His homeland. Remember this expression with its connotation of a cherished spiritual connection.

That final bit - cursed with a centuries-long tussle for moral and legal ownership - a reiteration of the idea that Palestine has always been contested terrain (what terrain hasn't?), feeds into the idea that Jews and Arabs have forever been at loggerheads, and that what we are witnessing today is simply the latest manifestation of same.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. Today's Palestine problem did not, in fact, exist until Britain's fateful decision, in 1917, to unleash a toxic European nationalist movement, Zionism, on Palestine, in the teeth of opposition from its indigenous Arab inhabitants. Nor has the Zionist claim to Palestine ever had a valid moral or legal basis. Quite simply, the Zionists and their Jewish state project were imposed on the Palestinians by the British in flagrant violation of the Palestinians' right to national self-determination. One wonders here whether this centuries-long nonsense came from the Hockeys or from King.

"In 1948, Richard had crossed the Jordan River from its West Bank, determined to pursue a new life that might be rich with potential; he dreamt of finding a new homeland, less cursed by entrenched rivalries. As Richard and his only brother, Jack, turned their backs on Palestine on that long-ago January morning, they performed one final act. Richard offered a guttural Arabic curse and spat on the soil, vowing to leave this land and never return. Their land of hope, their land of milk and honey, was to be either Australia or the United States. They joined hundreds of thousands who would make that journey in the post-war years as Palestine (soon to become Israel) shed its Muslim skin to become a Jewish state."

Richard, it is claimed here, entered Jordan in 1948. Keep the date in mind, I'll be returning to it later. Keep in mind too that rich with potential bit, so redolent of the 'me, myself and I' free market ethic we associate with Hockey today.

Entrenched rivalries. Here we go again. Palestine was never a theatre of entrenched communal rivalries. Palestinian Muslims, Palestinian Christians and Palestinian Jews got along just fine until the British entrenched the ethnographic, state-seeking Zionist movement in Palestine from 1917 to 1939.

That mention of the gutteral Arabic curse and its accompanying gob of spittle, was, for me, worth the price of King's book. Some patriot, the old Abu Joe!

But is it true? If, as we are led to believe from the reference to 1948, Richard is fleeing the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine, why would he be cursing not the Zionist forces driving him out but his presumably cherished homeland? Or is the tale merely symbolic of the Hockey family's primary allegiance to making a quid? Remember the phrase rich in potential?

As Palestine shed its Muslim skin??? WTF! Have you ever before seen such a misbegotten euphemism for the Palestinian Nakba as this? Did it, one wonders, come from the Hockeys or from King herself?

"As the war ended, tensions rose again in Jerusalem.. It became clear that the world was going to support the creation of a Jewish state but its reach was contested and the violent tussle for territory escalated. The Hockeduneys... had their home in Julian's Way (now King David Street) in central Jerusalem, close to the administrators of the British mandate. The Irgun, an extreme Zionist group, shocked the world in July 1946 with a bomb attack on the King David Hotel where the British Forces kept their offices... Richard lost seven friends in a moment from hell. On long days, he can still hear the screams of one of them trapped under the rubble... He raced up the road to see if he could offer a hand and returned to his apartment that day knowing that he could never call Jerusalem home."

The Zionist bombing of the King David Hotel was carried out on July 28, 1946.

"Just weeks later, [Hockey's mother] Rose applied... to move her family to Australia but was refused... Eventually, facing a direct threat..."

What threat? If it was a Zionist threat, why not say so? Or would that risk upsetting certain generous donors to the Liberal Party? Maybe, in fact, there was no threat at all. Anyway, moving along:

"... the family packed up... fleeing to Amman, the capital of Jordan... From there, they travelled to Irbid... Richard, Jack and Rose were initially turned down in their application to resettle in Australia... [but on 21 January 1947, Patriarch Balacina interceded on their behalf with Cardinal Thomas Gilroy who worked the required magic.] Their next stop was Beirut... and on 3 September 1948... the Dakota DC3 carrying Rose, Richard and Jack finally landed in Darwin."

You'll note that King's got the year wrong here. It's obviously in 1947 that the Hockeduneys arrived in Australia, a fact confirmed by Joe Hockey in interview. - see my 8/8/13 post The Mysterious Abu Joe.

To conclude, Hockey's father was never a Palestinian refugee in any meaningful sense. He was in Australia before Palestine was even partitioned, reportedly in response to some mysterious alleged threat.

Memo to the Arab/Muslim community: the next time Hockey turns up at a mosque or other gathering, peddling his "Palestinian heritage," tell the bugger to pull the other. Oh, and don't forget to follow up with an appropriate curse in guttural Arabic.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rally for Palestine 5

In our thousands, In our millions, We are all Palestinians



Public Forum: Why you should boycott Apartheid Israel, Thursday, 14 August, 7pm, Trades Hall


Protest Israeli Film Festival: Thursday 21 August, 5.30pm, Palace Verona, Oxford St, Paddington


Rally: Friday 15 August, 6pm, Brisbane Square


Rally: Saturday, 16 August, 11am, Murray St Mall


From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free

Independent? Always? Really?

Is the following promo yet more evidence of the Sydney Morning Herald's cowardice in the wake of the Carlton/Le Lievre affair? Is it the price the Herald believes it has to pay to appease certain subscribers/advertisers? Is the hosting of unvarnished Israel lobby propaganda about to become as regular a feature of the paper as it is of The Australian?

Found at the bottom of the Herald's opinion page yesterday:

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

To Moir or Not to Moir?

While on the subject of political cartoonists, I thought I'd draw your attention to an act of self-plagiarism.

You might remember my 31/7/14 post, Moir: The Herald's Gift to Israel, on the Herald cartoonist's lamentable comment on Operation Protective Edge.

This is what I wrote at the time:

"Moir's cartoon in today's Sydney Morning Herald is an utter disgrace. It incorporates the standard Zionist propaganda line about Palestinian 'militants' using civilians as human shields, with a Hamas fighter aiming an RPG from behind a baby carriage at an incoming missile fired from an Israeli helicopter. Both the Hamas fighter and the helicopter are screaming 'COWARD!' at each other. The piece is irrelevantly titled 'WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS'."

Serendipitously, a cartoon of Moir's from the time of Israel's earlier (08/09) Operation Cast Lead has come into my possession. It shows the exact same Hamas fighter + RPG + baby, only this time in the bottom right hand corner of the cartoon. On the left, instead of an Israeli helicopter, we have an Israeli tank with its gun barrel pointed directly at the Hamas fighter. Both are screaming 'COWARD!' at each other. The piece is titled 'THE PR WAR'. It's dated 15/1/09.

There is, of course, something far more important at stake here than a mere act of intellectual laziness, namely the issue of free speech ( including its corollary, freedom from being smeared for merely exercising freedom of speech).

To return to the case of Moir's cartoonist colleague, Glen Le Lievre. It should be obvious by now that if, like Moir or The Australian's Bill Leak, you're the kind of journalist (I include political cartoonists in this category) who mindlessly recycles Zionist canards, then you're safe from the smear of anti-Semitism. If, on the other hand, like Le Lievre (and Age cartoonist Michael Leunig), you not only understand and feel for the plight of the Palestinian people, but are courageous enough to express it publicly, then expect to be smeared as an anti-Semite.

The smear, of course, has nothing whatever to do with protecting Jews as Jews. It has only one aim: protecting Israel from justified criticism.

The smear works by forcing editors and journalists to always weigh the consequences of speaking out on this important issue. It thus inhibits the telling of inconvenient (to some) but necessary truths.

As Leunig, who has had to weather the smear on behalf of the Palestinians, said in a statement to ABC Television's Media Watch on August 7:

"Every time an editor is forced to back down and make an apology it means the next time a difficult cartoon is put to him he won't take the risk... I think we need to be careful of getting rid of the truth-speakers because that's their job. It's the cartoonists who have traditionally stood up for persecuted minoritis whether they be Jews in the 1930s or Palestinians today."

To adapt Shakespeare's Hamlet, if a political cartoonist has to ask himself every time he feels moved to comment on the genocide in Palestine, To Moir or not to Moir? That is the question.., you know there's definitely something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Smearing of Glen Le Lievre

I wasn't even aware of The Australian's media editor, Sharri Markson, until last week's media mugging of Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton. It was her journalistic high-fiving with colleague Darren Davidson over the matter that first brought her to my attention. (See my 8/8/14 post, The Australian: The Herald Buckles to the Bullies.)

Having recovered (one assumes) from this excess of schadenfreude, she's now taken it upon herself to hammer home the false allegation that the Glen Le Lievre cartoon which accompanied Carlton's July 26 piece on Gaza is anti-Semitic. It seems that we can now expect to see this smear repeated over and over again in the Murdoch press in the hope that, for the credulous and the uncritical, it will become received wisdom:

"In an exclusive interview, [former Fairfax chief executive] Mr McCarthy said it is 'obvious' recent events including publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon, columnist Mike Carlton's abuse of readers and the quality of editorial management, were a direct result of the loss of experience on the Fairfax board." (Fairfax board to blame: ex-CEO, Sharri Markson, 11/8/14)

"Former Fairfax directors agreed with ex-chief executive Brian McCarthy that a lack of leadership by Mr Corbett... was ultimately to blame for events of the past two weeks, where readers were abused by columnist Mike Carlton and were offended by the publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon, similar to imagery from 1930s Germany." (Corbett not competent, says Singleton, Sharri Markson, 11/8/14)

"It took 10 days for The SMH editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir to apologise for the publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon showing a Jewish man with a hooked-nose sitting on a chair with the Star of David, casually pressing a remote control to blow up Gaza." (ibid)

Sadly, those who should know better but, it seems, wouldn't know confected Zionist outrage if it hit them in the face, are retailing the smear:

"Right for SMH to apologise for Gaza cartoon. As a Jew it disturbed me. But those who claim SMH editors are anti-Semitic are wrong." (Jonathan Swan tweet, 3/8/14)

"As to the cartoon that ran with one of those columns, he had no more to do with that than I have to do with whatever cartoon Reg runs with this column. And the Herald was right to apologise for the offence and trauma that image caused." (Peter FitzSimons, The Fitz Files, The Sun-Herald, 10/8/14)

"Now we agree that that cartoon went too far..." (Paul Barry, Media Watch, 11/8/14)

"SMH cartoon racist and to be profoundly regretted; Calton not. If Carlton's a-Semitic, then I must be too, bec'se I opposed Gaza." (Thomas Keneally tweet, 12/8/14)

Mike Carlton really needs to come out in support of Le Lievre. His August 3 tweet "Chairs," which juxtaposed a photograph of the Sderot Cinema mob* watching the 'fireworks' in Gaza with a shot of a Palestinian youth sitting on a lounge chair surrounded by his ruined home is insufficient in light of the above.

As for Le Lievre's reaction to the smear, check out his July 27 tweets.

PS (6: 20pm):

"My last word. Pls don't desert the fine journalists @smh. That's exactly what the toxic sludge at News Corpse wants you to do. Thanks guys." Mike Carlton tweet today.

"Don't forget the fabulous cartoonist @MikeCarlton01@smh." Tony, Retweeted by Mike Carlton.

Buildings Really Should Be More Careful...

about the company they keep:

"The Palestinian interior ministry said Israeli jets destroyed three mosques on Saturday. At least two of them were considered close to Hamas." (Fresh fears for Gaza truce talks, AFP, The Australian, 11/8/14)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Will the Real Jihadis Please Stand Up?

If you've been reading Zionist propaganda emissions on the 'events' in Gaza, whether in the press or on the Internet, you'll know that the Islamic resistance movement there, Hamas, is not only an existential (aren't they all?) threat to Jewish Israelis but to the Palestinians of Gaza as well, uniquely responsible for every Palestinian death and maiming.

Invariably, at some point, the propagandist will invoke the dreaded Hamas Charter (apparently a document so toxic, it's up there (or should that be down there?) with those other anti-Semitic frights, Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion).

One such recent (7/8/14) emission, by the Herald's Paul Sheehan, for example, Jihad now built into the fabric of Arab world, introduces the Hamas Charter with the following drumroll:

"Why would Hamas, having taken control of Gaza's 1.8 million population with its host of social needs commit so much of its resources to building strategic tunnels into Israel and stockpiling weapons? [You're not, of course, supposed to answer with the bleeding obvious: because the Gaza Strip is under siege by a genocidal, apartheid entity bent on wiping Palestine (and Palestinians) off the map.] The answer is clear. The covenant of Hamas is unambiguous. It lays out its goals, and its actions have been entirely consistent with those goals:... 'In the face of the Jews' usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of jihad be raised... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by jihad...'"


You know how it goes with the odious, Islamophobic Sheehan. Seizing on the good old 'J' word - "the common denominator... is the call to jihad" - he blithely goes on to conflate Hamas with the jihadi cutthroats of ISIL, thus absolving Israel (or nearly so) of blame for its murderous rampage in Gaza.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, let's open the 1988 Hamas Charter to see what's really driving the jihad - or struggle - of Hamas against Israel:

"[Palestinian] society... opposes a vicious Nazi enemy in its behaviour, which does not differentiate between men or women, elder or youth... Our enemy uses the method of collective punishment, robbing the people of their land and property, and chasing them in their migration and places of gathering. They purposely break (bodily) bones, fire (live ammunition directly) at women, children, elders (sometimes) with a reason or without a reason, create concentration camps to place thousands (of people) in inhuman conditions, not to mention the demolition of homes, orphaning of children, and issuance of tyrannical laws on thousands of youth so they spend their best years in the obscurity of prisons. The Nazism of Jews has included women and children. Terror is for everyone, they frighten people in their livelihood, take their wealth, and threaten their honor. They, with their shocking actions, treat people worse than they treat the worst of war criminals. Deportation from one's land is a form of murder." (Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1993)

Considering that the Charter was issued in 1988, during the first intifada, it is quite remarkable how the Israeli genocidal behaviours listed are not only still on display today, but have taken on ever more extreme and destructive forms. The above passage (and what we are witnessing in Gaza today on our television screens) surely begs the question: which is it that most closely resembles the rampaging Islamic State maddies of Syria and Iraq, Hamas... or the Jewish caliphate of Israel?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Muslim Boycott of the Herald?

I have some issues with the following Guardian Australia report. Not, I hasten to add, with the report per se, but rather with some of the positions taken by the organisations cited in it:

"Australian Islamic groups have condemned the Sydney Morning Herald for threatening the suspension of columnist Mike Carlton and accused Fairfax of losing its independence. In a letter to the Fairfax chief executive, Greg Hywood, and editor-in-chief, Darren Goodsir, the Australian National Imams Council of NSW and Muslim Legal Network NSW, among others, said they would boycott the SMH unless the outspoken columnist was reinstated... The letter to Fairfax said the Muslim groups would consider notifying community organisations and spokespersons to cease cooperating with Fairfax journalists for media interviews." (Islamic groups threaten SMH boycott over Mike Carlton's departure, Amanda Meade, 9/8/14)

Fair enough. I'm all for Muslim (or any other) community organisations condemning and boycotting the weak-kneed Herald over Mike Carlton's resignation. But why, I'd like to know, has the rabidly pro-Zionist and thoroughly Islamophobic Murdoch press never, as far as I'm aware, elicited a similar response by these organisations?

"'As representatives of the Muslim community we have always regarded Fairfax to be one of the more balanced media organisations in the country...', it said."  (ibid)

Are they serious? While the Herald isn't quite the echo-chamber for Zionist propaganda and Islamophobia that the Murdoch press is, it can hardly be held up as a real counterweight to it. While the reports of its Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard are generally sound (as are those of The Australian's ME correspondent John Lyons), when it comes to the Palestine/Israel conflict, its opinion pieces are invariably pro-Israel, its editorials are as weak as the proverbial piss (none so far on the latest genocidal pounding of Gaza BTW), and its ME-related cartoons by Moir woefully clueless. Then there's its ubiquitous and reliably Arabo- Islamophobic columnist, Paul Sheehan, who has never, to my knowledge, drawn a complaint from our Muslim bodies.

"The Muslim community groups also condemned the [Glen Le Lievre] cartoon that accompanied Carlton's column. 'It was indeed a racist cartoon that implicated the Jewish people in the actions of the Israeli state by using Jewish symbolism and stereotype,' the letter said."  (ibid)

What rubbish! If the cartoon is anti-Semitic for using Jewish symbolism, so too is the Israeli state. I mean, haven't the authors of this letter ever seen an Israeli flag? And what is this expression "the Jewish people" doing in their letter? This is stock standard Zionist dogma FFS! If these organisations really want to finger a racist cartoon why aren't they gunning for the one by The Australian's cartoonist Bill Leak, showing a Hamas 'terrorist' telling his son "There! Now you go out to play and win the PR war for daddy"?

Truly, these organisations really need to get their act together before putting pen to paper.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Australian: The Herald Buckles to the Bullies

Excerpt's from The Australian's coverage of Mike Carlton's resignation. Schadenfreude overload! My comments, of course, as appropriate:

'Jewish bigot', 'pissant', 'Likudnik': Carlton ordered to apologise for torrent of abuse, Sharri Markson, 6/8/14

"As The SMH's editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir admitted to a former Fairfax director that he was not finding it easy to keep the newspaper 'fair and balanced', he has spent the past few days responding to readers incensed over Carlton's columns and the paper's coverage of the conflict in Israel. 'I deeply regret the insulting, discourteous and unprofessional remarks Mike Carlton made to you,' Goodsir emailed one businessman on Friday. 'Your points are valid, and well made - and, while I am not sacking him as you have urged, please rest assured that I have admonished him in the strongest terms. I apologise for his inappropriate conduct, and have stressed to him the need for higher standards in future'."

Gutless Goodsir in grovel mode.

"While Goodsir was apologising on his behalf, Carlton continued to inflame the situation, tweeting this week: 'Now the loony Likudnik racists are infuriated I have a Jewish son-in-law. That's okay. I'll have him taken out and shot...' This was followed by: 'No, they're turds. The truly astounding thing of the past week has been the racism, hatred and bigotry of the Likudniks.' Another tweet said: 'Oh FFS, you stupid little pissant'... "

So, FFS, how would you (my readers that is) fend off a swarm of Zionist blowies?

"'How arrogant and foolish you are,' he said to one reader, while telling another, 'Looking forward to hearing from you after you have joined the IDF and gone off to kill some kids. Reluctantly, of course. Until then, f.k off'... "

My God, Carlton's got their number! Brilliant!

"University of Sydney media and communications graduate Allie Pollak, 25, wrote to Carlton articulating her view on his columns. 'In my humble opinion you could be using your valuable real estate much more wisely by investing your eloquence and intelligence to shed light on how a troubling but resolvable saga could do with a whole lot more pressure for peace and a call to end the blame game,' she wrote. Despite the polite nature of her email, Calton fired back: 'As a 'communications graduate' you really do need to discover the dangling participle. And do something about it'."

Methinks there's a whole lot more out there for Ms Pollak to discover, the dangling participle being the least of it. Namely: 'a troubling but resolvable saga'. So, er, Allie, what is it exactly you find troubling about the matter, my dear?

"Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot said Carlton's responses to some of his readers were racist and showed an intolerance of views that differed from his own... "

This from an Israel lobby head honcho... what a hoot!

"Defamation senior counsel Bruce McClintock said some of the Herald's readers would have grounds to pursue legal action if they wished. 'Calling someone a bigot on Twitter, in the public domain, is clearly defamatory. Undoubtedly,' he said."

Don't hold your breath!

Colleagues brought down abusive Carlton, Sharri Markson, 7/8/14

"It was Mike Carlton's own colleagues who sealed his fate, complaining about his abusive behaviour towards readers to Fairfax Media's news and business publisher, Sean Aylmer. Despite Carlton claiming he had vast support at The SMH, and his downfall was a result of the 'Israel lobby', The Australian can reveal a number of Fairfax employees went to Aylmer with evidence of Carlton's abusive comments... The Australian emailed... Goodsir, and Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood 24 examples of Carlton's use of abusive and anti-Semitic language towards readers just before 5pm on Tuesday. Despite the extensive evidence, Aylmer was led to believe there were only a handful of readers who had been offended. Goodsir did not want to punish Carlton... As a result, the agreed course of action was for Carlton to apologise to the readers he had offended. But Fairfax employees who knew of Carlton's behaviour and antics on social media went over Goodsir's head to speak to Aylmer about it late on Tuesday. Several employees expressed concern to Aylmer that this was not appropriate behaviour for a senior columnist... Hywood and chairman Roger Corbett had also become aware of the situation, with business leaders complaining to Hywood and at least one board member. By the time Goodsir issued a statement at 8pm apologising for inappropriate and offensive comments on Carlton's behalf, Aylmer was convinced that this was no longer sufficiently strong action... Aylmer overruled Goodsir, phoning Carlton after 9pm to tell him he was suspended for 4-6 weeks. Carlton was angry and hung up the phone."

Ah... rats in the ranks! But no names. Naturally.

"Former editor of the Herald Alan Oakley...said columnists and cartoonists were not above editing. 'I'm amazed that he survived at Fairfax for as long as he did... ' Oakley, who now works for News Corp, publisher of The Australian, said."

The Fairfax/News Corpse revolving door. Free press?

"Former 2GB radio journalist, Joel Labi tweeted: 'I don't like to speak ill of colleagues, but good riddance Mike Carlton. Your blatant anti-Semitism and the #smh cartoon have no place here'."

Labi was rambammed in 2007.

"An unrepentant Carlton refused to accept that it was solely his contact with readers that led to his downfall. While acknowledging he should not have sent the abusive emails to readers, he blamed the Israel lobby for being partly at fault, along with News Corp. 'I think it's got a lot to do with it, not totally. They are powerful and pervasive,' he said. 'I do (think they're too powerful), they have an extraordinarily powerful affect, way beyond their numbers, they have immense clout on the body politic, on the media and so on. He said it was not a 'conspiracy' but that 'every journalist in town will tell you that you cross the Jewish lobby, the Israel lobby, the Likud lobby at your peril'."


Rally for Palestine 4

In our thousands, In our millions, We are all Palestinians


Melbourne: 1pm, Saturday, 9 August, State Library
Sydney: 1pm, Saturdayy, 9 August, Sydney Town Hall
Brisbane: 11am, Saturday, 9 August, King George Square
Adelaide: 5pm, Friday, 8 August, Adelaide Parliament
Perth: 11am, Saturday, 9 August, Murray St Mall
Canberra: 1pm, Sunday, 10 August, Israeli Embassy (6 Turrana St, Yarralumla)


From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free

Thursday, August 7, 2014

SMH: The Herald Buckles to the Bullies

"Confirming I have quit the SMH, sad that a once great newspaper has buckled to the bullies. Thanks for your support... maintain the rage." Mike Carlton tweet 6/8/14

Needless to say, Carlton's surprise resignation has not been the subject, in the pages of the Herald, of the schadenfreude which characterises the Murdoch press treatment of it. That merry gloating, I'll be dealing with in my next post. For now, here's how the Herald's reporting the matter (along with my comments as appropriate):

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton resigns following furore over Gaza column (no byline, 6/8/14)

"Sydney Morning Herald newspaper columnist Mike Carlton has resigned after his angry response to readers who disagreed with a controversial article he wrote... "

Readers? Really? Or Zio-trolls - whether paid cogs in Israel's propaganda mill or free lance?

"Fairfax's director of news and business media, Sean Aylmer, says the issue is not with the column itself but the way Carlton responded to readers in emails and on social media. The column attracted a lot of criticism. Many readers wrote to Mike - what got him into trouble was the way he responded to those readers,' he said. 'It was totally inappropriate, using inappropriate language'."

Oh I see, the column was not a problem, just the way he responded to the deluded fanatics and assorted nasties who cannot bear any deviation from the party line they've been brought up on since birth. Apparently, a frank and forthright verbal flick is too much for the Herald. Maybe it should supply its commentators with a stock standard response: Thank you for your interesting opinion. Have a nice day. Better still, why not just farm out its op-eds on the Middle East conflict to Israel lobby operatives and propagandists? Of course, they'll be indistinguishable from those in the Murdoch press or The Australian Jewish News, but, hey, anything to avoid being CONTROVERSIAL, right?

"Mr Aylmer said SMH editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir rang Carlton yesterday and urged him to apologise. 'As the afternoon rolled on, and more of these emails emerged, we spoke to him last night,' he said. 'In effect, we said we would suspend him and he resigned on the spot'."

What emails? Leaked by whom, and why?

"Carlton confirmed on Twitter this morning that he had left the newspaper, saying he was 'sad that a once great newspaper has buckled to the bullies'. 'After a fortnight of being called Nazi, Jew-hating slime, I told a few people to f*** off. We do that in this country occasionally,' one tweet said... "

Too occasionally, it seems, which explains why the Zionist bullies have the Herald on the run, not to mention our politicians eating out of their hands.

"Zeddy Lawrence, the editor of Jewish News [sic] is pleased Carlton has resigned. 'I am pleased as I think many readers of the SMH and The Age are, that somebody who is abusive, and uses vile language when readers try to engage with him in dialogue, has left his position', she said..."

The rest of the piece is an extended quote from Zio-Zeddy, which begs the question: Why was she asked for an opinion in the first place? An attempt at appeasement perhaps?

Carlton quits after suspension over 'offensive' comments, Madeleine Heffernan & Megan Levy, 7/8/14

"SMH editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir likened Carlton's responses to readers to 'someone in a restaurant complaining to a waiter that the food or the service has not been good enough, and the waiter using expletives to deal with that complaint'."

This analogy tells us more about gutless Goodsir than it does about Carlton. God save journalism with his kind in charge.

"He said he had accepted the view that an apology and suspension was an appropriate sanction for Carlton's response to readers who had written to him in response to a column on the conflict in Gaza... Mr Goodsir said 'he had been at pains to defend the editorial independence of the Herald and its columnists' following controversy over the column."

If sin-binning one of the Herald's best journalists is gutless Goodsir's idea of defending the editorial independence of his paper, then God help the Herald.

"Earlier, Carlton told the ABC he had 'snapped' after being subjected to 'torrents of abuse' for writing a piece stating that Israel was 'waging its own war of terror on the entire Gaza population'. Carlton said while writers have to 'cop it' if they dish it out, there were 'two strands' to the issue: the 'organised Likud lobby' and rival publisher News Corp 'hating him'."

Spot on!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Tale of Amazing Grace: The Pennies Who Once Were Lost But Now Are Found

Hallelujah! Herewith a tale to warm the cockles of one's heart:

"Prominent Australians have stopped buying Fairfax Media's The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age over their bias against Israel in the Middle East conflict. One of Australia's leading immunologists, highly regarded professor Ron Penny, and his wife, Naomi, said they stopped their subscription last week after a life spent reading The SMH. 'We've been married 54 years and we've had the Herald on our kitchen table all those years, and before that my parents bought it,' Ms Penny said. 'It's 75 years of receiving The SMH daily six days a week. After reading the Mike Carlton article and seeing that cartoon, we decided that whatever happens we cannot possibly subscribe to a publication that could print anything as totally ignorant and odious as that. Thank god we can live without that horrible publication.' Professor Penny said as soon as they had cancelled the Herald, they immediately subscribed to The Australian. 'We're very pleased that your source exists, otherwise where would we have the opportunity to be comfortable that we're reading information that is unbiased and not as disgusting as at Fairfax and the ABC?' he said." (Furious readers desert Fairfax, Sharri Markson & Darren Davidson, The Australian, 4/8/14)

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound... Seventy-five years of wandering in the media wilderness before reaching the promised land!

Now that the penny's finally dropped for the Pennies, and they've jointly fainted into the several waiting arms of Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, Rebecca Weisser, Gerard Henderson, Christian Kerr, Bill Leak and the rest of the 'Praise Israel and Pass the Ammo' Brethren over at at The Australian, they can spend the rest of their lives sitting back and wondering how it was that they were able to live all those years with "that horrible publication" poisoning the Herzlian sanctity of hearth and home.

But there's more! Now you know for a fact why the usual suspects pulled all stops out to save Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Don't say I didn't warn you:

"Members of the community have lodged separate complaints with the Australian Press Council and under 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act... A senior member of the community said an official course of action was still being determined. 'The organised community is still getting legal advice and looking closely at its options,' he said." (ibid)

The Australian Glasses the Herald

Is it just me, or are Israel's massacres in Gaza beginning to lose oxygen to a confected Murdoch press campaign on the issue of whether or not a certain Fairfax cartoonist's and/or columnist's commentary on those massacres can be characterised as anti-Semitic or not?

Certainly, it will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Murdoch's flagship, The Australian, that it is currently cock-a-hoop over the Sydney Morning Herald editor's backdown over Glen Le Lievre's powerful cartoon comment on Israeli barbarism. Yesterday's edition, for example, contained the following 'story':

"North shore reader Renee Glass received an apologetic phone call from [Herald editor Darren] Goodsir. Mrs Glass said she told Goodsir that after 28 years as a Herald reader, she was 'disgusted' by his paper's coverage of Israel. At one stage, Goodsir said to me, 'I'm not an anti-Semite'. I said to him, 'I'm not saying that, but you're responsible for the content of your newspaper', Mrs Glass said. It took her more than 10 minutes to cancel her subscription earlier in the day. 'The guy didn't want to take our cancellation and put us through to a woman in another department who kept my husband on the phone for 10 minutes. She was begging him not to cancel', Mrs Glass said." (Cartoon costs Fairfax readers, ads, Sharri Markson/ Darren Davidson, 5/8/14)

Frankly, I don't believe a word of it.

I mean, are we seriously expected to believe that Mr & Mrs Glass, faithful Herald readers for 28 years, are now recoiling from it in disgust, as though from a copy of Der Sturmer? Or that the Glasses, who apparently find Carlton and Le Lievre more unpalatable than Israel's murderous rampage in Gaza, would ever have chosen the Herald over our very own Antipodean Jerusalem Post, The Australian?

Moreover are we also seriously expected to believe that our suddenly outraged North Shore Herald subscriber, Renee, is a mere innocent bystander in the matter when a little googling reveals that the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has posted a February 9 letter from her to Oxfam, defending the existence of a SodaStream factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and condemning the BDS movement as destructive? (

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy...

Quality false symmetry:

"The Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other, dreadful enough as more than 1700 people have been killed to date." (How to rein in the dogs of war, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/8/14)

Recycled Zionist talking points with a dash of Islamophobia:

"Hamas wanted strategic blows. It wants jihad." (The Hamas trap: hidden labyrinth was wired for war, Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/8/14)

What I really mean is that Sheehan confirms my prejudices, while Carlton challenges them:

"Paul Sheehan appears to have a better grip on the reality of the matter than Mike Carlton..." (Letter of Philip Cohen, Brighton-le-Sands, SMH, 5/8/14)

Views that madden to crime:

"Well said, Herald, it takes courage and understanding to admit a mistake that caused distress to some readers ('We apologise: publishing cartoon in original form was wrong', August 4)." (Letter of Denis Suttling, Newport Beach, SMH, 5/8/14)

Working wonders with the passive voice:

"Palestinians kill three innocent Israeli youths in the West Bank. In response, an innocent Palestinian teenager is killed." (Letter of George Fishman, The Australian, 4/8/14)

Brandis & Turnbull Put Boot Into SMH

That valiant crusader for FOSEEP (freedom of speech everywhere except Palestine), Attorney-General Senator George Brandis, might struggle with the term 'Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory'*, but he sure-as-hell knows that federal parliament is Israeli-occupied territory. Hence:

"I thought the [Le Lievre] cartoon was deplorable... I would have thought a responsible media organisation would have a very good look at itself when it publishes a cartoon (of) the kind we haven't seen since Germany in the 1930s.'... Asked if the cartoon amounted to racial vilification and could encourage or incite others to hate Jews, Senator Brandis said: 'It certainly constitutes a racial form of stereotyping. I think The Sydney Morning Herald... ought to be very careful about the almost overtly anti-Semitic tone some of their commentary, including their editorial cartoon, have adopted'." (Brandis slams Fairfax newspaper over 'anti-Semitic' cartoon, Darren Davidson, The Australian, 4/8/14)

(What a God-sent opportunity, BTW, for Brandis to make up for the grief he'd given the lords of the Israel lobby over his move to kill off Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act!)

Another government politician exceedingly mindful of the fact that federal parliament is Israeli-occupied territory is Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Which explains this quite extraordinary intervention:

"It is understood... Turnbull rang [Herald editor Darren] Goodsir to lambast him for running the cartoon, which he deemed anti-Semitic and offensive to many of his constituents in his eastern Sydney electorate." (ibid)

Meanwhile, back in the real world, aka Gaza:

"Mohamed Badran is just 10 years old but already he has lost more than most people will lose in a lifetime. He is the only surviving member of his immediate family of 10 following an Israeli airstrike on his home in the crowded Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza on July 30. Doctors are now trying to save one of his eye sockets so he can have at least one prosthetic eye, but so severe is his head injury that even that is touch and go. Mohamed has no idea that his parents, brothers and sisters are gone, says one of his doctors, Ghassan Abu-Sitta, a volunteer reconstructive surgeon working at Gaza's Shifa Hospital. He is also unaware he is blind. 'He keeps asking why we have switched the lights off,' Dr Abu-Sitta says. 'Mohammed is going to need at least 10 surgeries to reconstruct his eye socket,' he adds, warning: 'Israel is creating a generation of disabled adults... and for these kids, there is no one left to care for them'." (Health crisis looms amid carnage, Ruth Pollard, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/8/14)

[*See my 7/6/14 post Lap Dancing for Israel.]

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sustained Israel Lobby Barrage Cripples SMH

What I feared has come to pass: a massive Israel lobby barrage of confected outrage has scored a direct hit on the Sydney Morning Herald, completely destroying its slogan, 'Independent. Always.' The sound of popping champagne corks and excited South African accents can be heard from lobby redoubts in Sydney's east even as we speak.

Warning: the following editorial contains instances of extreme grovelling that may cause nausea in some readers:

 "There has been widespread reader and community reaction during the past 10 days over a cartoon that was used to illustrate an opinion piece by columnist Mike Carlton on the conflict in Gaza. Much of that concern was borne out publicly on our letters pages - and there has continued to be commentary and correspondence that has sought to make sense of the conflict. The Herald has drawn opinions from a wide variety of sources to help readers to understand the causes of, and the possible ways to end, the war between Hamas and Israel. Deeply critical exchanges have taken place over the opinions expressed in Mr Carlton's column, and properly so, as we invite debate over any column we publish. But the Herald has also fielded a number of accusations of racism over the cartoon.

"Today, the Herald wishes to apologise for this distress, draw a line under the debate about the cartoon, and return focus back to the events in Israel and Gaza.

"The cartoon showed an elderly man, with a large nose, sitting alone, with a remote control device in his hand, overseeing explosions in Gaza. The armchair in which he was sitting was emblazoned with the Star of David, and the man was wearing a kippah, a religious skullcap. A strong view was expressed that the cartoon, by Glen Le Lievre, closely resembled illustrations that had circulated in Nazi Germany. These are menacing cartoons that continue to haunt and traumatise generations of Jewish people.

"In addressing individual and community concern after the publication of the cartoon on July 26, the Herald looked to the fact that Mr Le Lievre's distinctive drawing style routinely sees old people depicted with large noses and pronounced facial features. It is the way he draws and his visual archive, dating back many years, confirms this. It was also significant that the cartoon had its genesis in news photographs of men seated in chairs and lounges, observing the shelling of Gaza from the hills of Sderot. One of those photos depicted an old man, wearing a kippah, reclining casually as part of a group - with Mr Le Lievre seeing comparisons between this and someone watching their television; hence the remote control. Another photo portrayed a lone man on a large couch - and thus the cartoon blended these two images.

"The Herald deeply regretted the upset the image had caused, but felt - not least because the cartoonist lacked any intent and that actual photographs influenced the setting and physical depiction of the character in the cartoon - that no racial vilification had occurred.

"However, this newspaper accepts that this position was too simplistic and ignored the use of religious symbols. The Herald now appreciates that, in using the Star of David and the kippah in the cartoon, the newspaper invoked an inappropriate element of religion, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment. It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form. We apologise unreservedly for this lapse, and the anguish and distress that has been caused.

"Our commitment remains to reporting in a fair and balanced way on the appalling events in Israel and Gaza, where our correspondent, Ruth Pollard, is currently based, witnessing daily the horrors of war. The devastation being inflicted on innocent men, women and children, on livestock and property, has shocked a world that has become all too comfortable with its own indifference - with all sides in the conflict being condemned by the United Nations for unconscionable practices. All the while, the world earnestly hopes and waits, so far in vain, for a lasting ceasefire and a sustainable peace - a resolution that will stay the blood and the tears." (We apologise: publishing cartoon in original form was wrong, 4/8/14)

You can read my posts on this issue, beginning with Carlton & Le Lievre Get Gaza (27/7/14), by simply clicking on the 'Mike Carlton' label below. Note that the Herald has been subjected to threats of legal action and a boycott by the usual suspects.

Israel lobby 1, Free Speech 0.

Why Is the MSM Ignoring Israeli Firepower?

Here's something rare: a mainstream media estimate of the number of Israeli artillery shells lobbed onto Gaza thus far. (I have no idea, BTW, whether this includes naval shelling):

"Former assistant secretary of defence for international security affairs Bing West, today an author on war-fighting and counter insurgency, told The Weekend Australian 'artillery is a distance weapon, and Israel has fired over 30,000 shells. In the April 2004 invasion of Fallujah, the US Marines did not fire one artillery shell. 'New devices, especially GPS and reliable individual radios, enabled the marines to co-ordinate a street-by-street, house-by-house search without using long-distance area weapons. However, the cost was 27 marines killed in face-to-face fights inside houses. The Israelis are unwilling to accept higher casualties by using such discriminating tactics'." (Israel aims to minimise troop casualties, Rowan Callick, The Australian, 2/8/14)

I can't quantify this (maybe someone else can), but I imagine that each of these 30,000 shells is infinitely more destructive than any Palestinian rocket.

As to the destructive capacity of Israeli aerial bombing, please note the following:

"In 2002, the launching of a one-tonne bomb on a home [in Gaza] resulting in the death of 14 civilians was the exception... Seven years later, during Operation Cast Lead, there was widespread use of the tactic of dropping bombs over densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. Today, in Operation Protective Edge, the air force boasts of having released more than 100 one-tonne bombs on Gaza. What was once the exception is now the policy." (From admitting mistakes to an embrace of killing, 'mostly moral' army lost its way, Yuli Novak, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/7/14)

God only knows the full extent of Israeli ordnance raining down on Gaza today. So why isn't the msm media investigating and reporting on this?

Why is it that  all we ever seem to hear about are Palestinian rockets (largely of the pinprick variety) and mortars*, estimated by the Israeli military, as of 31/7/14, at a mere 2,670**?

[*See my 17/7/14 post Is It Rocket Science?;**Warning of 'new Gaza targets', John Lyons, The Australian]