Monday, September 28, 2015

Israelly Home

Christopher Pyne's memoir, A Letter to My Children, was most insightfully reviewed in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald by Gerard Windsor:

"How self analytical can a serving politician be? After all, he lives in a world of spin, evasion and equivocation. Yet Christopher Pyne says he wants to reveal at least his professional self to his children; they they deserve an explanation from such an absent father...

"The one word never mentioned is 'power', whereas the implicit message of the text is that he loves the power employed and achieved in the political process.. There is one little giveaway word - 'turn'. Everyone - Pyne, Wilson [the MP unseated by Pyne in a preselection challenge], the preselectors - is using it: 'Wait your turn... It's my turn now... You've had your turn'. This is children's talk - licking the wooden spoon, nursing the new kitten. This is not the only disjunct between what is said and a contrary implication in the choice of stories and language. In fact, this book is a great subject for textual analysis. Pyne says various experiences have made him humble, but every anecdote he tells has himself winning out, having the last word, trumping someone else not so witty or politically astute. This is vanity, not humility. And omissions are at least as interesting as inclusions. For example, Pyne tells us he has visited Israel at least seven times, and that 'Israelis are a lot like us'. The word Palestinian does not occur." (Pining for more questions and answers, 26/9/15)

Puts a whole new construction on the term 'absent father', eh?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

RIP: Hadeel Salah Hashlamoun 1997-2015

"Evidence obtained by Amnesty International indicates that the killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun by Israeli forces in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, on 22 September 2016 was an EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION... [S]he at no time posed a sufficient threat to the soldiers to make their use of lethal force permissible. This killing is the latest in a long line of unlawful killings carried out by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank with impunity... [T]he girl was behind metal rails separating her from the soldiers and the same soldier who had fired the first shots [at the ground], moved back, dropped to one knee, and shot al-Hashlamoun in her left leg... [T]he soldier [then] got up and moved closer to her, until he was about a metre away, and then shot at her upper body 4 or 5 times again while she was lying motionless on the ground [...]

"More than 25 Palestinians including at least 3 children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in 2015... Al-Hashlamoun was shot at a checkpoint that separates the centre of Hebron from al-Shuhada Street, which is completely closed to Palestinians. Hebron is the only city in the West Bank that has Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, in the city centre... Palestinian residents of Hebron have had their freedom of movement and their economic rights severely curtailed by those closures. In addition, Palestinians are often subject to arbitrary detention and humiliating treatment by Israeli security forces stationed in the city, and are often subject to settler violence, which the Israeli authorities fail to investigate effectively." (Amnesty International Public Statement: Israel/OPT: Evidence indicates West Bank killing was extrajudicial execution, 25/9/15)

For all of Palestine's Hadeels...

from Rafeef Ziadah's poem, Hadeel:

Hadeel is 9
Hadeel was 9
Officials said...
Israeli officials said
They regret her death
But terrorism must stop
Rockets must stop
Resistance must stop
Or they will continue to shell Gaza
Until we surrender the bit of dignity we have left
Until we elect who they want
Sign what they want
And die in silence
... the way they want

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Don't Mention the ('I'm Jewish from Israel') Woman

One of the most interesting aspects of the latest example of racial vilification filmed on Sydney's public transport network, that involving victim Lindsay Li and the 'I'm Jewish from Israel' perpetrator, has been the press coverage:


"A Chinese-Australian woman, subjected to a slew of racial abuse on a Sydney bus, pleaded for help from the driver but says no one came to her aid. Lindsay Li was waiting in Willoughby for the city-bound 273 bus at lunchtime on Wednesday when she says an older woman came up to her, spat on her and struck her with her shopping trolley, before pushing ahead of her to get on to the bus when it pulled up. When the woman reeled around on the bus and began throwing racist insults at Ms Li, the younger woman pulled out her phone and began filming... In Wednesday's video, the older woman calls Ms Li a ' ugly chink,' and accuses her of selling drugs. 'We all know what you are, China...'Take your language and piss off, f... chink,' she says. 'I'm Jewish from Israel and you are nothing.' (Racist tirade on Sydney bus rattles Chinese-Australian woman, Inga Ting/Kate Aubusson, 25/9/15)


The Australian (25/9) - NOTHING
The Daily Telegraph (25/9) - NOTHING
(I see now (29/9) that the DT website has the following report by Ben McClellan: Woman charged over racist spitting attacks on trains and buses at North Sydney, Bondi Junction, Edgecliff, Parramatta and Hornsby (25/9). There is no mention in it, however, of the 'Jewish from Israel' line.)
The Advertiser (Adelaide) (25/9) - Reported the story, but without the 'Jewish from Israel' bit.

Yahoo News:

"Lindsay Li was on a bus in Willoughby when an alleged 'Jew from Israel' gave her a mouthful of racial abuse." ('P... Off chink': Australian woman cops disgraceful racist tirade on Sydney bus, Krystal Johnson,, 25/9/15)

Guardian Australia (25/9) - NOTHING

Daily Mail Online:

"The expletive-laden spray concluded with the lady [?!] spitting out: 'I'm Jewish from Israel... and you are nothing.'" (The most offensive woman on public transport: Passenger unleashes a racist tirade.., Daniel Peters, 25/9/15)

Leaving aside the perpetrator's claim, which may or may not be true, the question is: Why have Murdoch and Guardian Australia avoided this story?

Watch this space...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Piano Man, Redacted

What the Sydney Morning Herald's Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard can write about Palestinian refugee, Ayham al-Ahmad:

"Even as he walks along the border from Croatia into Austria, pianist Ayham al-Ahmad is singing the songs of Yarmouk.

"He is a long way from the neighbourhood he called home for 27 years, a home he was forced to flee in April when Islamic State militants took control of much of Yarmouk, the besieged Palestinian refugee camp just 6 kilometres from the centre of Damascus.

"Since then he has made the trek from Syria into Turkey and down to the Mediterranean coastal city of Izmir where tens of thousands of Syrians have made the short but dangerous passage to Greece.

"Documenting every step of his journey on Facebook, the famous piano player of Yarmouk made a quiet, heartfelt plea for safety as he prepared for the sea crossing.

"'Dearest Mediterranean, I am Ayham and I would like to safely ride your waves,' he wrote on September 14. 'People here just want to go to Europe, [they are] paying through their noses for it. They ride in dinghies prone to overturning in seconds, taking all their lives to your deepest canyons. So what's the solution? We would like Turkey to open its borders with Greece and let us board overland in safety, away from the boats of death,' he wrote, signing off: 'This is Yarmouk, from the heart of Turkey, Ayham.'

"The days when I felt the most helpless were when I had money, but I could not get milk for my year-old baby Kinan, or when my older son Ahmad would ask me for a biscuit,' he told Agence France-Presse of leaving his wife and two young children behind - for now - to find a secure place in Europe where he can bring them.

"Ahmad held out for two years as the situation in Yarmouk deteriorated, moving his piano onto an old wooden trolley that he could wheel out of danger whenever the militants got too close or the regime shelling proved too dangerous.

"When he finally decided to move his family out of Yarmouk to the neighbouring suburb of Yalda in April, militants from IS stopped him at a checkpoint.

"They burnt his beloved piano to the ground in front of him, declaring: 'don't you know that music is haram [forbidden by Islam],' AFP reported.

"By the time he made it to Turkey's coast, Ahmad was exhausted and suspicious of the people smugglers who were making their fortune off the desperation of those fleeing the conflict in Syria.

"'We got into the inflatable boat and we made a deal with the smuggler that he wouldn't let more than 40 persons to get in it with us,' Ahmad wrote on Facebook on September 16. 'I was surprised to find more than 67 persons and a lot of baggage.'

"To everyone's great relief, he posted again the next day: 'After a dangerous trip through the Mediterranean Sea I arrived to Greece, thanks for all the prayers and wishes, I love you all very much.'

"By Monday, Ahmad had become one of the 12,000 to 13,000 refugees who had entered Austria in just 24 hours between Sunday and Monday. He is counting down the days before he can send for his family." (Famous pianist escapes to Austria, 23/9/15)

Presumably, this is what Pollard can't write about Ayhan: To find a place of refuge, a Palestinian refugee such as Ayhan has to travel all the way from Damascus to Vienna, a journey of around 2,330 kms. His ancestral homeland, Palestine, known since 1948 to its usurpers as 'Israel', is less than 100 kms from Damascus, but if Ayhan tried to return there, he'd be shot dead at the border... simply because he's not Jewish.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

From Pig in a Poke to Pokin' a Pig

Placing your (not yet) parliamentary member into a dead pig's mouth while at university is one thing, but recycling Netanyahu's PORKIES is in a different league altogether.

Here's UK PM David Cameron doing just that earlier this year:

"Obviously we regret the loss of life wherever it takes place, but I do think there's an important difference - as Prime Minister Netanyahu put it: Israel uses its weapons to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons." (British PM offers defense of Israeli attacks in Gaza,, 29/4/15)

Eeeuw... and all the excuse I need to TROT out the latest quality tweets on this Tory twit:

I did not have sexual relations with that pig! - Ken Roche

Was there lipstick on the pig? - George Galloway

Lock up your sows... - George Galloway

Cameron: Why weren't you singing?
Corbyn: I felt safer with my mouth shut. - DOOGZ

Cameron: Where are the corgis?
Queen: I thought it best I hide them. - Taigs

According to YouGov 89% of Tory voters 'couldn't care less' that the PM had sex with a dead pig. Blimey... - George Galloway

Cameron: Mr President, can you hear me?
Obama: Yes, David, but there's some crackling on your end... - Buffalo Tendencies

SCANDAL: Jeremy Corbyn plunged into fresh outrage as it emerged the left-wing republican Labour leader REFUSED to fuck a dead pig. - The DM Reporter

And check out these 3 little pig hashtags: #piggate, #snoutrage, #hameron

Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dr Nelson & Lord Turnbull

They can't both be right:

M'Lord Turnbull:

"'The important thing is to have the emotional intelligence and the empathy and the imagination that enables you to walk in somebody else's shoes,' he said when asked how he would relate to ordinary Australians. 'To be able to sit down with them on a train or in the street, hear their story, and have the imagination to understand how they feel. Emotional intelligence is probably the most important asset for - certainly for anyone in my line of work." (Malcolm Turnbull on ABC's 7.30 to display 'emotional intelligence', Matthew Knott, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/9/15)

Dr Nelson:

"On only one subject does [Brendan] Nelson's equanimity dissolve - the man who unseated him as Opposition Leader. Nelson repeatedly avows that he will not criticise Malcolm Turnbull, but he cannot help himself. 'I'm not vindictive. I don't lie awake at night with a chip on my shoulder. But he's a person who wants to tempt you in that direction.' Nelson manages some restraint: 'If you had any idea of what he said to me over those 10 months [of Nelson's leadership], you would be shocked.' Such as? Nelson resists: 'Maybe one day, maybe in a few years.' Yet the former medical practitioner feels the need to diagnose Malcolm Turnbull's condition. Says Dr Nelson: 'You need to look up narcissistic personality disorder. There's about 5% of the population who are born with narcissistic traits, and about 2% have narcissism. He's got narcissistic personality disorder. 'He says the most appalling things and can't understand why people get upset. He has no empathy." (Doctor out of the house: Nelson's final diagnosis, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 29/8/09)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tweets of the Week

What I love about Corbyn; he has ALL the right enemies.

- Adnan Sadiq 17/9/15

But I could've told you, Tony, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

- Neale Ferguson 20/9/15

'A Stinging Defeat' for AIPAC

Netanyahu's US 5th column, AIPAC, bites the dust:

"Officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee knew the odds were against them in the fight to block President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran from surviving a congressional vote. But the influential pro-Israel group threw itself into a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord anyway. On Thursday, the committee, known as Aipac, was handed a stinging defeat. After Mr Obama mustered enough Democratic backing in the Senate to halt a vote on a resolution of disapproval against the deal, a group known for its political clout saw its power and reputation in Washington diminished. 'They failed - they couldn't even get a vote,' said Clifford Kupchan, an Iran expert and the chairman of the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm, who noted that Aipac had gone 'all in' and tried everything to stop the deal. 'It's among the biggest setbacks for Aipac in recent memory.'...

But watch this space:

"Aipac now faces a debate within its ranks about how to respond to the defeat, whether by exacting a political price from lawmakers - all of them Democrats - who defied its wishes and supported the Iran deal, or moving swiftly to mend fences with lawmakers and White House officials angered by the group's efforts to kill the deal... 'I think you may see donors withholding or not wanting to write a check to people because they feel betrayed... said Josh Block, the president of the Israel Project, a pro-Israel public relations group." (Influential pro-Israel group suffers stinging political defeat, Julie Hirschfeld, 10/9/15)

For the background see my posts: Israeli Desires vs American Interests (17/8/15); Made in Israel: America's Next War 1& 2 (18-19/8/15); Zionzilla vs Uncle Sam: An Update (4/9/15)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Shit For Brains

No, this post is not about Donald Trump:

"Texas police have confirmed that they will not press charges, but have not apologised to [14-year-old high school student] Ahmed [Mohamed] or his family. Irving police spokesman James McLellan suggested to local station WFAA that Ahmed had not been forthcoming enough during his interrogation: 'We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply, only tell us that it was a clock.' This was because - as CNN has noted since - it was a clock. During questioning, officers repeatedly brought up his last name, Ahmed said..." (Boy's arrest over homemade clock sparks outrage, Nick O'Malley, Sydney Morning Herald, 18/9/15)

Now if only Ahmed Mohamed had been a white nerd with a name like Alan McLellan...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Shit Happens

Andrew (Blazing Barrels) Hastie, desperately seeking the West Australian seat of Canning for the Libs in tomorrow's by-election, said in today's Australian:

"The biggest thing that was missing for 6 years under Labor was serious intellectual engagement with soldiers on the ground about how to best prosecute the war in Afghanistan." ('Labor MPs put Diggers at risk', Andrew Burrell, 18/9/15)

But what does former SAS captain Hastie mean by serious intellectual engagement?

Something along the lines of Tony Abbott's sage observation, in Tarin Kowt in 2011, to US commander James Creighton on the death of Australian soldier, Lance Corporal MacKinney? 

Just to jog your memory:

"It's pretty obvious that, well, sometimes shit happens, doesn't it?"

Now top that, if you can, for serious intellectual engagement!

Here's an idea: seeing Andrew's big on serious intellectual engagement, if, perish the thought, Canning voters do the dirty on him in tomorrow's by-election, what better valedictory than 'Well, sometimes shit happens, doesn't it?' could he possibly come up with?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's Your Problem, Mr Fishman?

"Malcolm Turnbull should be worried, very worried. At the next federal election Liberal Wentworth, while not deciding who will be prime minister, may yet be able to decide who is not prime minister." George Fishman, Vaucluse, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/9/15


C'mon, George, you old grump, what's not to like mit Malcolm? Let me count the ways:

1) His 2004 Maiden Speech:

"Wentworth has the largest Jewish community in our city. The community has grown stronger with successive waves of immigration from Europe, from Russia, from Israel and from South Africa. Their generous community spirit, their family pride and tireless enterprise are admired by all of us. Australia is a good friend of Israel, the Middle East's only democracy. We have been resolute in supporting Israel's right to take the necessary steps to defend itself from terror. The death of Arafat has now opened up new opportunities for peace based on the roadmap - two states within secure, internationally recognised boundaries. We must hope and pray that all parties, in the words of King David's 34th Psalm, do not merely 'seek' peace but 'pursue' it."

2) His Yiddishe Momme:

"'My mother always used to say that her mother's family was Jewish'... Asked if his mother's revelation has shaped his views he aid: 'Yes, maybe'." (Menachem Mendel Turnbull?, 29/8/13)

3) His Rambamming:

"Malcolm Turnbull is an exceptional friend of the Jewish community and a staunch supporter of Israel. We are thrilled that he visited Israel and had AIJAC/Rambam organized meetings in 2005, was a keynote speaker at the Rambam 10-year anniversary celebration in Sydney in 2012 and regularly meets with AIJAC's overseas guests." (AIJAC Executive Director Colin Rubenstein, quoted in Community welcomes Malcolm,, 16/9/15)

4) His talking the talk as the fire & brimstone rained down on that nest of vipers in the Gaza Strip last year:

"Israel risks extinction, Israel faces an existential threat every day... Israel can barely afford to lose a battle let alone a war." (Turnbull defends Israel attacks, Ebony Bowden,, 31/7/14)

5) His BDS be buggered:

"We need to collaborate more with Israel, particularly on matters of science and technology. The more we can do with Israel, the better." (Iran, ISIS, bipartisanship in ZFA spotlight,, 21/8/15)

Fair dinkum, there's just no pleasing some people!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When Malcolm First Met Tony

Thus spake Tony Abbott's Suppository of Wisdom, Greg Sheridan, in today's Australian:

"History will be much kinder to the Abbott prime ministership than today's analysis would suggest. Some of his achievements - especially stopping the boats - could probably not have been done by any other prime minister. And they will continue to benefit Australia for many years to come. The crisis engulfing Europe would have engulfed Australia had Abbott not been prime minister. That is a massive, historic achievement." (Tony Abbott loyal to a fault: why Philip was knighted)

Sound familiar?

Here's Abbott's SOW on the bloke who blew Iraq away:

"George W. Bush may well be judged, ultimately, a great president, especially in the war on terror." (A good president for these terrible times, 14/9/06)

The meaner and uglier, the better Greg likes 'em, especially if they love bombing Arab countries.

If Greg hadn't been so busy talking up his old mate, he might've remembered writing this in his recently published memoir:

"Malcolm [Turnbull] first met Tony Abbott at the AUS conference in Melbourne in 1978, which Malcolm covered for The Bulletin. The two had a jovial conversation that was very much a two-way affair rather than an interview. In the conversation Malcolm described Tony's political style as 'exuberant' but in The Bulletin described it as 'boisterous'. Malcolm wrote about Tony that: 'While he can win support from students because of the shocking state of affairs in AUS, he cannot take the next step because of his conservative moral views.'" (When We Were Young & Foolish, 2015, p 306)

And doesn't that sound familiar?

Here's an extract from M'Lord Turnbull's 'Abbott's Gotta Go' speech of the 14th:

"We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities... and how we seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the people's intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy not slogans. We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people. Now if we continue with Mr Abbott as prime minister, it is clear enough what will happen. He will cease to be prime minister and he'll be succeeded by Mr Shorten."

But what does a style of leadership that respects the people's intelligence mean?

OK, OK, I think M'Lord Turnbull means something like this:

Bogan Slogan a la Abbott: Nope, nope, nope.  

Advocacy a la M'Lord Turnbull: No, no, no.

See the difference?  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Meet Lord & Lady Turnbull

Lord Turnbull on values:

1) "We see ourselves as having shared values with Israel." (M'Lord speaking to the Zionist Federation of Australia, 16/8/15)

2) "We also need to remember that the Liberal Party has the right values." ('We have to change for our country's sake', Lord Turnbull's party room pitch for the top job, Sydney Morning Herald, 15/9/15)

Could M'Lord be any clearer? His party believes in ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid.

I'm so glad SMH journalist Matthew Knott put quotation marks around the words real world

"[N]o politician can match Turnbull's list of achievements in the 'real world'. He's been a journalist with The Bulletin, an adviser to Kerry Packer, the swashbuckling lawyer defending free speech in the Spycatcher case, a Goldman Sachs investment banker and a venture capitalist." (Prince of Point Piper ready to be crowned king, 15/9/15)

And Lady Lucinda?

"The couple have amassed a sizeable fortune, and live in a waterfront mansion in the exclusive suburb of Point Piper." (Meet Turnbull's secret weapon, Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald, 15/9/15)

Some Things Never Change

Have the tectonic plates of Australian politics shifted, as Mike Carlton said in a recent tweet?

Not really.

Some things never change:

"It wouldn't matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister's chair... [the Israelis] know they've got us by the balls... partly by the strength of the Israel lobby..." (Peter Hartcher quoting an anonymous Australian official in Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel, Sydney Morning Herald, 26/2/10)

As for Australia's new prime minister, Lord Turnbull, remember my 25/8/15 post, Malcolm Turnbull in a Nutshell? Here it is again:

All you need to know about the Liberal Party's Great White Hope, Malcolm Turnbull:

"We see ourselves as having shared values with Israel. We see Israel as being in the first trench... in the first line of battle against extremists and terrorism. We are definitely on the same side. We are determined to provide all the support we can to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish State within secure borders." (Turnbull speaking at the Zionist Federation of Australia's Plenary Conference on August 16. ZFA conversation,, 17/8/15)

Change? What change?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sins of Omission & Commission at Murdoch's Australian

You may have read in the Fairfax press about the strange case of the "young Jewish American man... charged with pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist after a FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax," (FBI says 'Australian IS jihadist' is actually a Jewish American troll named Joshua Ryne Goldberg, Elise Potaka & Luke McMahon, Sydney Morning Herald, 11/9/15)?

Had you been an English-speaking Israeli reader instead, you may have read about 20-year-old Goldberg in the Times of Israel under the headline Florida Jew arrested for posing as online jihadist, encouraging terrorism (11/9/15).

Both sources, Fairfax and Israeli, have had no qualms whatever in identifying Goldberg as a Jew.

And yet, if you'd relied solely on the September 12 report in Murdoch's Australian - Aussie-linked American held over 9/11 bomb plot (Mark Schliebs) - for details of the case, nowhere would you have read that Goldberg was Jewish, despite reading that he sent threats to attack "synagogues in Melbourne and Los Angeles" to "media outlets" while posing as an IS jihadi recruiter called 'Australi Witness' on Twitter.

Of course, an average edition of Murdoch's relentlessly pro-Israel Australian contains more mentions of the word 'Muslim' than you can shake the proverbial stick at

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On Palestine, the Tide is Turning

Wonderful news:

Socialist and Palestinian solidarity activist Jeremy Corbyn was yesterday elected by around 60% of the British Labour Party membership as leader of the British Labour Party.

As Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada website has just tweeted:

"Corbyn's victory is a measure of just how mainstream support for Palestinian rights has become in the UK."

Another measure is the fact that almost 111,000 Britons have signed a petition calling for Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes when he visits London this month.

The significance of such developments becomes even more apparent when one remembers that Britain was the place where, almost 100 years ago, the notorious Balfour Declaration of 1917, handing Palestine to the nascent colonial-settler Zionist movement over the heads of its indigenous people, was issued.

Make no mistake, on Palestine, the tide is turning.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Abbott of Syria

Sit back, take it easy, crack a tinnie, and let Tone, Jules & Shero sort out Syria for YOU:

"The anticipated green light [for Abbot to approve air strikes on Syria] followed a formal request from President Barack Obama's administration, which itself had come after signalling from Canberra that such an invitation would be favourably received." (Syria air strikes loom, Mark Kenny/David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/9/15)

Sir! Sir! Pick me, sir! Pick me! 

No one wants to be left off the team, OK?

"Tony Abbott has set realistic limits for the expansion of Australia's military action in the Middle East, saying airstrikes by the RAAF in Syria will be used to degrade and destroy the Islamic State terror group but not topple the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad... 'Do we want Assad gone? Of course we do. Do our military operations contribute to that at this time? No, they don't,' he said yesterday, adding that the 'Assad regime is not the kind of government that we could ever support' [...] [Mr Abbott] told the ABC's 7.30 program. 'It's not easy to find moderates in that part of the world, particularly in Syria. At the moment the main forces are the gruesome Assad regime; the if anything more diabolical Daesh death cult; and then of course the people linked with al-Qa'da. So it's difficult to find effective moderates in Syria'." (Assad not in our sights: PM, Brendan Nicholson, The Australian, 10/9/15)

OK, so it's not about regime changing the brutal, the gruesome Asad then?

Errr... Hmmm:

"Australia is ramping up diplomatic efforts, with the US and Britain, to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad politically at the same time it bombs Islamic State in the country and takes refugees to ease the humanitarian crises. Tony Abbott is preparing a political strategy to take to US President Barack Obama and the world leaders summit at the UN in three weeks, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop working with US Secretary of State John Kerry on a political solution aimed at removing Assad without promoting Islamic State." (Allies look to end of Assad, Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, 11/9/15)

On the other hand, the horrible dictator's not really that bad.

Certainly better than Saddam:

"Thus our military actions in Syria may well help Assad. So be it. We will be attacking Assad's chief enemy, Islamic State. That inevitably will take some pressure off Assad. Assad is a horrible dictator but in the last years of his rule before the outbreak of the Arab spring his regime was not especially bad by Arab standards. He certainly in those days bore no comparison with Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Since his regime was challenged his regime has been utterly brutal and murderous." (Abbott gets it right on Syrian refugees, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 10/9/15)

And anyway, look what happened in Libya when we bumped off Gaddafi:

"But Western governments are undergoing an agonising reappraisal. If Assad is overthrown the new situation may be even worse, with nothing left but a civil war between Islamic State, al-Qa'ida and various warlords. Overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi in Libya produced no benefit for anybody though the Australian government of the time (and, let me hasten to say, this writer), led by then foreign minister Kevin Rudd, warmly supported it. It may be that any negotiated political future for Syria involves Assad." (ibid)


OK, so with these Einsteins in charge, sitting back, taking it easy, and cracking a tinnie is obviously not an option.

Well, you've got a choice:

Stay home and scream into your pillow or

Attend tomorrow's NO Australian War on Syria! rally & march.

Sydney Town Hall, 11 am.

Understanding Syria

Could Syria's revolution have been different?

From the Afterword to Charles Glass's new book, Syria Burning:

"One way to view the fanatic Islamicization of the Syrian revolution after 2011 is that it was the inevitable form of a rebellion inspired and financed by Saudi Wahhabism that sought not democracy but the elimination of rule by Alawite 'infidels'. Another is that fratricidal violence marginalizes moderation, renders compromise impossible and pushes forward the most brutal actors. What was more surprising than the rise of fanatics within the revolution was that such disparate opposition forces had found any ground at all. Like the leftists opposed to the Shah of Iran in 1979, Syria's democrats saw their Islamist allies dispose of them and their beliefs when they were no longer needed. If the regime fell, the victors would replace it with a theocratic dictatorship that would purge the country of its diversity, its minorities, its dissidents and its tolerance."

The complete Afterword can be read at

Friday, September 11, 2015

Reverend Green & the Selective Samaritan

OMG, yet another religious ratbag pushing the 'CHRISTIANS ONLY (and maybe a few others if you insist) but MUSLIMS NO FUCKING WAY, OK?' line. But, hey, check out the reason:

"For many years I have pointed out the sufferings of Middle Eastern Christians to anyone who would listen, but with minimal impact. The tide is finally turning. Middle Eastern Christians, like Yazidis, Mandaeans and others, represent the pre-Muslim aboriginal populations of their lands, people who have resisted assimilation largely through their religious faiths and refused to embrace Islam after the Muslim invasions of the early Middle Ages..." (Rev) Peter R Green, Silver Street Baptist Mission (Letter, SMH, 10/9/15)

There's more of course, but the Rev's made his point upfront. Which is that he believes as follows (with apologies to Genesis 1):

1 In the beginning God created the Middle Eastern Christian - the aboriginal, and therefore, rightful inhabitants and owners of the Middle East.

2 Then along came the MUSLIMS from... from... wherever, OK?

3 The Muslims told the Christians: convert or die!

4 Why? This was God's great sifting of souls!  (The Bugger always works in mysterious ways, OK?)

5 Many, alas, way too many Middle Eastern Christians converted to Islam, whereupon they ceased immediately to be the aboriginal inhabitants of the Middle East

6 For some inexplicable reason the MUSLIM invaders and occupiers got tired of slaughtering the rest (I did say the Old Bugger worked in mysterious ways) and so some Middle Eastern Christians miraculously remained in the Middle East to this very day, and it is only they who represent the pre-MUSLIM genuine, dinky-di, true blue aboriginal inhabitants (and hence rightful owners) of the Middle East.

All simple-minded, self-serving bullshit, of course.

Look, it's not that hard really. In the Middle East, over the course of time, the aboriginal tillers of the soil have taken on one new religion after the other - various forms of paganism, various forms of Christianity, and various forms of Islam - but they have always remained the aboriginal tillers, and hence rightful owners, of the soil regardless of religious affiliation. (FYI, see my 11/1/11 post Casual Cliocide (to Oud Accompaniment).)

Do these Selective Samaritans seriously think we're fooled by their sectarian shit?

Thankfully, the following letter to the editor (SMH again) preceded the above nonsense:

"As an Arab Christian my heart is broken when I see the suffering of my co-religionists in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq, and I offer what support I can to them through established charities (Syrian strikes loom, September 9).

"As an Australian citizen I expect my government to use my taxes to help people on the basis of need, irrespective of religion or race. It is unbelievable that we have elected federal representatives deliberately fomenting religious bigotry by stating that some refugees are more deserving than others based on an arbitrary test. I never cease to be amazed by our federal government's descent to the deepest of depths." Elias Nasser, Sylvania

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Archbishop Fisher & the Selective Samaritan

Meet the Catholic cleric (Gorgeous George Pell's successor) who's pushing the "persecuted minorities," aka Christians first/only, line:

"[Catholic] Archbishop [of Sydney Anthony] Fisher was meeting Syrian Catholic leaders and the heads of church welfare agencies and parishes to discuss what might be done to provide housing in families, parishes and convents... He said the current persecutions were the worst against Christians in history, including those under maddened Roman emperors: "It's estimated 100,000 Christians are now martyred every year, 11 killed for their faith every hour'.' ('Fleeing Christians should go to the front of the queue', Tess Livingstone, The Australian, 8/9/15)

Given the context, anyone reading the above would be forgiven for assuming that Fisher was talking about 100,000 Middle Eastern Christians (Hey, maybe he was!). In which case, the above comment, trotted out in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis, is grossly irresponsible.

But it's worse than that because, wittingly or not, Fisher is recycling a wholly fallacious and discredited claim:

"The number comes originally from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (GSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the US state of Massachusetts, which publishes such a figure each year in its status of Global Mission. Its researchers started by estimating the number of Christians who died as martyrs between 2000 and 2010 - about 1 million by their reckoning - and divided that number by 10 to get an annual number, 100,000.

"But how do they reach that figure of 1 million? When you dig down, you see that the majority died in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 4 million are estimated to have been killed in that war between 2000 and 2010, and GSGC counts 900,000 of them - or 20% - as martyrs. Over 10 years, that averages out at 90,000 per year.  

"So when you hear that 100,000 Christians are dying for their faith, you need to keep in mind that the vast majority - 90,000 - are people who were killed in DR Congo. This means we can say right away that the internet rumours of Muslims being behind the killing of 100,000 Christian martyrs are nonsense. The DRC is a Christian country. In the civil war, Christians were killing Christians." (Are there really 100,000 new Christian martyrs every year? Ruth Alexander, BBC Magazine, 12/11/13)

That BTW was only an excerpt. Feel free to read Alexander's expose in its entirety. But back to Archbishop Fisher.

He appeared on Radio National's Breakfast program this morning, interviewed by Geraldine Doogue (Catholic church calls for preference of persecuted minorities in Australia's refugee intake: Archbishop of Sydney).

Instead of simply stating his preference for NO MUSLIM refugees, he hid behind the following formula:

"Syrian and Iraqi Christians and other persecuted minorities should be given preference, so it wasn't just for Christians."

Which, face it, was basically just code for NO MUSLIM refugees. 

And when Doogue invoked the parable of the Good Samaritan, her formula for raising the question of discrimination against MUSLIM refugees, Fisher replied (somewhat Jesuitically for a Dominican I have to say) that: "The Good Samaritan only had one man on the road to deal with. I suspect if he'd seen a dozen, he would've gone to the one who was most desperate."

And that, need I say, was good enough for Geraldine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Paul Sheehan Biopsied

Eeeuw! I've just biopsied Paul Sheehan's latest growth, Hard decisions at the heart of the crisis (SMH, 7/15), and, frankly, the expression 'seething mass' doesn't begin to do it justice.

Just take a gander at these little wrigglers:

"... the atavistic bloodletting carried out in the schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims..."

Yeah? Funny how they're not slugging it out in Mecca on the hajj then.

"Where once Australians used to travel overland to Europe via Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, that is now too dangerous."

The bugger's repeating himself here. For all the dirt on Sheehan's atavistic yearning for the Kombi van and the 60s/70s Hippy Trail, see my 15/1/15 post From Hippie Hordes to Mohammedan Hordes.

"Syria is finished."

All self harm, of course. Nothing to do with Western intervention.(See my 26/5/15 post Frankenstein Monster Mark III.)

"Iraq is now three states..."

Self harm again. Nothing to do with Western intervention. (ditto)

"... the Muslim world is exporting its instability to Europe via a mass exodus of people."

Spontaneous instability, of course. Nothing whatever to do with Western interventions. (ditto)

"What can or should Australia do? There is nothing we can do about the ancient Sunni-Shia schism, but we can protect those who have become collateral damage: Christians."

A Christians-only refugee policy? What's next? A Christian Australia policy? Christian State in the South Pacific (CSSP)?

Excuse me while I wash my hands.

Ah, that's better!

Of all the many indicators of the Sydney Morning Herald's precipitous decline as a reliable news source, the retention on staff of the odious Paul Sheehan (while heavying and discarding Mike Carlton under pressure from the Israel lobby) has to be the most telling.

The following letter in yesterday's edition was a neat riposte to Sheehan:

"I write in response to Paul Sheehan's opinion piece (Hard decisions at the heart of the crisis, Sept 7).

"It is hurtful to suggest that providing asylum is 'to import the Sunni-Shia schism via a large influx of Muslims'. The relationship between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Australia is overwhelmingly one of peace and harmony. If anything, the only wave of religiously motivated conflict in Australia that has lead to criminal behaviour, violent outbreaks and social disharmony has been attacks on Australian Muslims.

"Australian Muslims don't think it is critical to ascertain the religion of the perpetrators but focus on trying to increase community harmony. Mosques have been shot at and firebombed, and women in Islamic scarves have been physically assaulted in public. I think it is safe to assume that they are not Sunni or Shia. With regard to refugees, I would like to remind Sheehan that until the current conflict, Syria was a harmonious, multi-faith society.

"After all, Syria became home to the refugees who fled the armies of Ibrahim Pasha in 1839; Circassian refugees in 1860; Armenian refugees in 1915; Palestinian refugees in 1948 and again in 1967; refugees from Kuwait in 1990; from Lebanon in 1996; from Iraq in 2003, and Syria again became home to refugees from Lebanon in 2006.

"Syria never closed its borders to those seeking safety. Until recent times, the same will be recorded in the history books for Australia. At a time of unprecedented suffering in Syria, with millions of people displaced, to debate on whether we should ask a drowning man what their religion is before we save them is a sad indictment on our humanity." Ahmed Kilani, Lugarno

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

No Photo, No Mention, No Comment

No photo:

"Today we are saddened by the loss of Reham Dawabsheh, who succumbed to her wounds after more than a month struggling to survive. Most of her body was burnt as Israeli terrorists attacked and burnt her home, killing her toddler son Ali and her husband Sa'ad. Now Ahmad Dawabsheh, 4 years old, is the only one left from the family, with burns over 60% of his body.

"If Israel is not stopped and held accountable then Reham will not be the last victim of Israeli terror. There is a culture of hate that has been developing in Israel by supporting settlements and apartheid. The assassination of the Dawabsheh family reflects the clear connection between hate speech, settlement expansion and the impunity granted to Israel by the international community.

"Over a month has passed and the Israeli government hasn't yet brought the terrorists to justice. In fact, more hate-speech and incitement have been issuing from members of the Israeli government, more settler attacks have been carried out, and more Palestinians have been killed, injured and/or detained.

"We hold the Israeli government fully responsible. Once again we call on the international community to protect the Palestinian people under occupation and to put an end to Israel's culture of impunity." (Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on the martyrdom of Reham Dawabsheh, 7/9/15)

No mention:  

ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian

No comment:

Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten

James Carleton's Hamas Obsession

Aaargh! I've finally decided after yesterday (7/9) morning's James Carleton interview with former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad on Radio National's Breakfast program that Carleton should interview only card-carrying Zionists from now on.

There's something in the man - ignorance? contrariness? shallowness? a Zionist dybbuk? a combination of all four? - that seems to render him incapable of sensibly interviewing anyone who doesn't spout Zionist talking points. (See my July 2014 post, for example, on his interview with anti-Zionist Israeli academic Marcelo Svirsky, and note Carleton's interventions in the comment thread which follows it.)

Carleton kicked off by referring to a UN report "that Gaza could become uninhabitable in less than 5 years, such is the state of economic disrepair in that benighted area of the world."

Fayyad addressed the topic, but Carleton, ignoring completely the bleeding obvious cause of Gaza's near uninhabitability - Israel's ILLEGAL, IMMORAL & INHUMAN blockade, and its SERIAL FIRESTORMS & MASSACRES (8 since 2004) - went straight for his favourite whipping-boy, Hamas:

"Well, your opponents, Hamas, continue to rule that country or that statelet or whatever you want to call it. [It's an "open-air prison," according to UK PM David Cameron] That's not likely to change, is it?"

Fayyad had barely got in a word about the need for a unified, inclusive Palestinian regime in Gaza, before Carleton struck again with:

"So Hamas has to democratise before Israel can relax the borders?"

That Hamas was democratically elected in 2006 seems to have been forgotten by Carleton.

It wasn't, of course, possible to see Fayyad's eye-roll on radio, but trust me, his voice said it all:

"I'm not really sure that is the sequence one has to wait for in order for Israel to relax the restrictions or remove them. There has been a state of siege since the mid-90s before Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007..."

But no, it wasn't the diabolical and crippling Israeli siege that Carleton wanted to talk about, it was, you guessed it - Hamas:

"So the argument then is a Fatah-Hamas coalition. Does that not risk, however, inflaming the Israelis who want no truck with Hamas given their desire to destroy the Zionist entity?"

Poor Fayyad. He tried to explain that "we've been trying to get peace for 22 years now, since Oslo... long before Hamas took over..." (He might even have reflected that just before Operation Mowing the Lawn Protective Edge, Hamas, as part of a government of national unity with the Palestinian Authority had not opposed the PA's acceptance of USrael's 3 preconditions for peace, namely, recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence, and acceptance of agreements, but Carleton wouldn't have been interested even if he had.

The latter then launched a pre-emptive (moderate/extremist) strike by equating Hamas with the "Israeli far right," on the bizarre assumption, I suppose, that Netanyahu's Likud, the party of the terrorist Irgun and Menachem Begin, belonged in the 'moderate' box:

"But this is an ongoing issue wherever there's a war. Do you get the moderates together on either side or do you get the extremists together on either side because they're the only ones who can deliver peace. You need Hamas and the Israeli far right..."

Fayyad tried to explain that no one in Israel's governing coalition subscribes to the old Oslo agreements and commitments, but to no avail.  Carleton went on:

"But there are people in the Israeli government who deem Judea and Samaria, their name for the occupied Palestinian territories, are theirs by the gift of God. How are you going to negotiate with the government when elements of the cabinet have that non-negotiable position?"

Fayyad patiently explained that blah about moderates and extremists simply didn't cut it in the case of Netanyahu's regime, that the latter was, so to speak, over the the hills and far away:

"It's more than just elements in the cabinet. Even those who say they accept a two-state solution - their concept of Palestinian statehood is way too short of what is minimally acceptable to us."

Carleton's obsession with Hamas finally gave way to this doozie:

"Should Israel take [Syrian] Christian refugees?"

This question boggles the mind. For one thing, it suggests that Carleton has no idea that Israel is a refugee-producing/exporting nation (1948/1967). For another, it suggests that Carleton believes that the Jewish state is partial to Christians. Which in turn suggests he has no idea why Palestinian Christians are packing up and leaving in droves, and no awareness that Netanyahu's coddled settler darlings are burning down Christian churches and spitting on priests in the street. Finally, you'll note, that Carleton's first thought is for Christians. As for Muslims... 

Jeeesus, someone take him away!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

When Zionists Advocate for Refugees...

It takes a special kind of chutzpah for a Zionist to bang on about refugees. Take Jonathan Freedland, for example. Prompted by the photograph of the drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, the Guardian's new editor-in-chief writes:

"Until the prime minister's announcement [that it would take in more Syrian refugees], it had set an upper limit of 750 refugees a year. Indeed, in the 18 months since it established the vulnerable person's scheme, it has admitted just 216 such people from Syria. It has always had an alibi: there's no room, no one wants them, councils cannot cope with the extra strain. But if councils themselves step forward, that alibi is gone. There are 433 local and county authorities in the UK. If each one committed to take 50 people, that would be more than 21,000... Of course, this could never be a whole solution. Action for refugees means not only a welcome when they arrive, but also a remedy for the problem that made them leave." (Aylan Kurdi: this one small life has shown us the way to tackle the refugee crisis,, 5/9/15)

Reading the above, we need to keep in mind that there are 12 Palestine refugee camps in Syria and 560,000 registered Palestine refugees. All have been affected by the conflict in Syria. Almost 300,000 are internally displaced. There are over 40,000 in Lebanon and over 15,000 in Jordan. How many are part of the Syrian refugee exodus currently streaming into Europe is anyone's guess.

We need also to remind ourselves that all of these Palestine refugees in Syria (as elsewhere) are the product of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 and 1967, and that none of them have ever been allowed to return to their homes and lands in Palestine/Israel - just in case Jewish Zionists - like Jonathan Freedland - should one day decide to  avail themselves of the Jews-only option, courtesy of Israel's apartheid Law of Return, of automatic Israeli citizenship.

If Freedland is ever to be taken seriously on the subject of refugees, he should publicly:

1) renounce his right as a Jew under Israel's Law of Return to take up citizenship in Israel;

2) call for the immediate repatriation to Israel of all Palestine refugees in Syria;

3) call for the phased repatriation of all Palestinian refugees to Israel;

4) support a transition from Israel as a Jewish state to a state for all of its citizens regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliation.

Unless and until he does so, anything he has to say on the subject of refugees should be taken with one hell of a grain of salt.

For the full story on Freedland, I recommend: Why Jonathan Freedland isn't fit to be the new editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Blake Alcott,, 13/2/15.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Zionzilla vs Uncle Sam: An Update

Iran Deal update from Philip Weiss (See my posts Israeli Desires vs American Interests (17/8/15) & Made in Israel: America's Next War 1&2 (18-19/8/15)):

"You've read it already, but we had to jump on the bandwagon. Today's news that [Senator] Barbara Mikulski [Dem] supports the Iran Deal has put President Obama over the top. Hurray. He has defeated Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Netanyahu's lobby to win the most important foreign policy shift of his administration. And achieve the biggest setback to the lobby's power in a generation. Now it's all about getting to closure: 41 votes, so that the Dems can filibuster the anti-agreement vote." ('Turning point' - Obama defeats Netanyahu & 'destroyers of hope' on Iran Deal!, 2/9/15)

So far so good, but the power of Israel over American politicians is still painfully obvious. Just look at Secretary of State, John Kerry's guarded reference to the above:

"... history may judge it as a turning point, a moment when the builders of stability seized the initiative from the destroyers of hope."

In translation: History may judge it as a moment when the US got Israel and its lobby (aka "the destroyers of hope") off its back.

But for how long?

Today's battle may be going Obama's way, but doing something about the big-spending Israel lobby's financial hold over US politicians will require an even bigger battle (war?), as the following grovel by the aforementioned Ms Mikulski indicates:

"For all my time in both the House and the Senate, I have been an unabashed and unwavering supporter of Israel. I have persistently supported the sanctions that brought Iran to the table. I have been insistent on foreign aid and military assistance to Israel that maintains its qualitative military edge on missile defense. With the horrors of the Holocaust in mind, I have been deeply committed to the need for a Jewish homeland, the State of Israel, and its inherent ability to defend itself. And for the United States to be an unwavering partner in Israel's defense. I have been and always will be committed to those principles."

IOW, she hasn't given a moment's thought to what the hell Israel is really all about, and has, therefore, helped ensure that "the destroyers of hope" have, for decades, effectively held the whip hand when it comes to US Middle East policy making.

And why is this?

Is it because she's stoked on the Old Testament and can't differentiate between Israelites and Israelis?

Is it because she once read Leon Uris' Exodus and never recovered?

Or is it because between 4/1/09 and 3/31/15 she received, as a politician, US$132,175 in pro-Israel (monetary & non-monetary) contributions. (See

As Mearsheimer & Walt have pointed out:

"The obvious way to reduce the lobby's influence... is campaign finance reform. Public financing of all elections would seriously weaken the link between the lobby and elected officials and make it easier for the latter to pressure Israel (or simply withdraw US support) when doing so would be in America's interest." (The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy, 2007, p 349)

Watch this space...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Oliver Sacks' NYT Obituary: A Corrective

The following paragraph appeared in the New York Times obituary for the late neurologist and author Oliver Sacks (1933-2015), and was re-run in the Sydney Morning Herald of September 1:

"Oliver Wolf Sacks was born on July 9, 1933, in London, the youngest of four sons of Samuel Sacks and the former Muriel Elsie Landau, who were both doctors. His father, in Sacks' words a 'moderately Orthodox' Jew, read the Bible daily, and Sacks often demonstrated a spiritual impulse in his books. But in Uncle Tungsten, his 2001 memoir about his childhood love of chemistry, he explained that the inflamed Zionist meetings his parents held before the war helped turn him away from organised religion." (Author demystified brain's quirks, Greg Cowles)

So Zionist meetings turned Sacks off... religion?

Why would political meetings turn one off religion?

The NYT appears to be (deliberately?) conflating Zionism with Judaism here.

Yes, Sacks was an atheist, but it was not the aforementioned "inflamed Zionist meetings" which turned him away from "organised religion."

No, what they turned him away from was something very different - political Zionism and Zionists, as can be seen from the relevant passage in his 2001 memoir:

"Zionism played a considerable part on both sides of my family. My father's sister Alida worked during the Great War as an assistant to Nahum Sokolov and Chaim Weizmann, the leaders of Zionism at the time, and with her gift for languages, was entrusted with the translation of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 into French and Russian, and her son Aubrey, even as a boy, was a learned and eloquent Zionist (and later, as Abba Eban, the first Israeli ambassador to the UN). My parents, as doctors with a large house, were expected to provide a venue, a hospitable place, for Zionist meetings, and such meetings often took over the house in my childhood. I would hear them from my bedroom upstairs - raised voices, endless argument, passionate poundings on the table - and every so often a Zionist, flushed with anger or enthusiasm, would barge into my room, looking for the loo.

"Those meetings seemed to take a lot out of my parents - they would look pale and exhausted after each one - but they felt a duty to host them. I never heard them talk between themselves about Palestine or Zionism, and I suspected they had no strong convictions on the subject, at least until after the war, when the horror of the Holocaust made them feel there should be a 'National Home'. I felt they were bullied by the organizers of these meetings, and by the gangsterlike evangelists who would pound at the front door and demand large sums for yeshivas or 'schools in Israel'. My parents, clearheaded and independent in most other ways, seemed to become soft and helpless in the face of these demands, perhaps driven by a sense of obligation or anxiety. My own feelings (which I never discussed with them) were passionately negative: I came to hate Zionism and evangelism and politicking of every sort, which I regarded as noisy and intrusive and bullying. I longed for the quiet discourse, the rationality, of science." (Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood, pp 15-16)

The question arises: is the NYT covering for Zionism here?

PS: Considering his childhood experience of Zionist bullying, Sacks would have been well-placed to write another book with a title as catchy as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - 'The People Who Mistook Someone Else's Country for Their Own'.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The 'Scuffle' 2

Remember Lincoln's adage: "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time"?

Apparently, the msm think you can.

The other day it was the Sydney Morning Herald and Associated Press doing the fooling when they described an armed Israeli thug torturing a Palestinian kid as a "scuffle." (See my 31/8/15 post The 'Scuffle' 1.)

Well, today, in Peter Beaumont's 'analysis' of the incident in the Guardian (Nabi Saleh images illustrate changing asymmetry of Israeli-Palestinian conflict), it's still a bloody "scuffle" !!!

Then there's this:

"Seen in different ways by different commentators with different agendas..."

FFS, this is not a matter of 100 flowers blooming.

There are only two agendas here: that of the victim, and that of the perpetrator.

And only two possible commentaries: that of those who understand that if your child is being mugged, you go to his aid. No ifs or buts. You just fucking do it!

And that of those who heart the INVASION, OCCUPATION and COLONIZATION of someone else's land, particularly if it's Israel that's doing the INVADING, OCCUPYING and COLONIZING.

Which side is Peter Beaumont on here? 

"... the only thing they could agree on was that the images represented a vivid summation of some idea: of the brutality of occupation; of the weakness of the soldier involved..."

The weakness of the soldier involved? So the marauding, military thug is on the same level as his victim? The deluded and aggressive spawn of an INVADING, OCCUPYING, COLONIZING power is on the same level as his INVADED, OCCUPIED, COLONIZED and clearly terrified victim?

Frankly, the only weakness here is the collusive, faux balancing act of Peter Beaumont.

"... of the need to use more or less violence on demonstrators..."

What about the need to END the OCCUPATION by sanctioning the bejesus out of the OCCUPYING power until it gets the fuck out of the OCCUPIED territory, lock, stock and settler barrel?

"... of the use by Palestinians of children as a propaganda tool."

So Palestinians children, described by Israel's 'justice' minister as "little snakes," are realistically supposed to sit on their hands at home while their parents go out to protest the seizure of their land? Should their parents tie them up or shackle them perhaps?

Too bad then if some Israeli settler terrorists come along and firebomb their homes, I guess. What will Peter Beaumont say then, I wonder?

"Amid the disagreements, a pressing question has emerged: what did the images show? The reality is as complex as it is unsettling and contradictory."

Oh yes, what did those images show? Now that's a hard one.

Way too hard, it seems, for Peter Beaumont and the Guardian.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Takfiri Tripe

Macbeth must surely have had Australian takfiri Neil Prakash in mind when he spoke of "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing":

"'Hunters for Jannah (Paradise), message me... We need to fulfil our promise to Allah,' Prakash said in an internet post. 'Let your blood be a witness for you on DOJ (day of judgement)! My beloved siblings, be the ripe fruit that Allah swt loves and tells his angels he loves... Don't settle for second row, Be a forerunner!

"He also posted comments about the rewards of being killed in an explosion or suicide bombing. 'Oh how the martyr is rewarded, sheds his blood to see the beautiful face of his Rabb (Lord)! Blowing up kuffar for a place in Akhira (the afterlife),' he said.

"'Message me if your (sic) ready to meet your Lord in pieces!" (Drone kills Oz-linked Islamic terrorist, Mark Schlieb, The Australian, 28/8/15)