Monday, May 30, 2016

Draw Your Own Conclusions...

"I was born and brought up in South Africa and so naturally people ask me what I see of South Africa in the present situation in Palestine... Apartheid was a system of enforced segregation based on race or ethnicity, put in place by an exclusive, self-defined group in order to consolidate colonial conquest, in particular to cement its hold on the land and natural resources.

"In Jerusalem and in the West Bank - to speak only of Jerusalem and the West Bank - we've seen a system of enforced segregation based on religion and ethnicity, put in place by an exclusive, self-defined group to consolidate colonial conquest, in particular to maintain, and indeed extend, its hold on the land and its natural resources. Draw your own conclusions." (From South African Nobelist [J.M.] Coetzee on Israel and apartheid: 'Draw your own conclusions', Alison Deger,, 28/5/16)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

When All Else Fails...

"The aim of propaganda is always, in some sense, to obscure true meaning. This can take the form of oversimplifying, dissembling, or straight out lying, depending on the propaganda outlet in question. For Israel... it now seems that defending Israel on moral or political grounds to Americans is at best a tricky prospect, or at worst a disaster. The marketing of the Israeli tech industry glowingly described in Start-up Nation to American audiences is a way of glossing over Israel's fiercely militaristic nationalism with a sort of TED talk-esque futurism, eschewing concrete political analysis for trite self-help and some light PR thrown in for good measure. In the tech industry, Israel has found an ideal facade - forward thinking and uplifting in an apolitical, technocratic way that promotes the 'desert bloom' myth while encouraging continued investment and erasing the crimes which so much of that investment funds." (Giving up on political propaganda, Israeli consulate turns to TED-style inspirational conference, Rob Bryan,, 27/5/16)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Michael Posner: Just Another Progressive Except for Palestine

Phillip Adams' recent interview with visiting* US human rights lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor under Obama, Michael Posner (The business of human rights, LNL, 23/5/16), managed to expose yet another example of the PEP (Progressive Except for Palestine) phenomenon.

"In your affirmation speech to the Obama administration in 2009," asked Adams, "you said your vocation as a human rights lawyer had been shaped by the lessons of the Holocaust. What were those lessons?

Posner replied, "Well, my family... came from Europe, and on my mother's side, in Hungary, a number of my grandmother's siblings had been killed, and on my father's side, French Jews, had been involved in the Maquis, the underground... so I saw the horror of the human capacity for cruelty but also the resilience of the human spirit, the resistance, and that really influenced my decision."

OK, so Posner failed to answer the question, but, hey, who couldn't warm to a guy whose life's work was inspired by the French Resistance? So far, so good.

As the interview progressed, such egregious abusers of human rights such as China, Russia, Egypt, apartheid South Africa and Saudi Arabia came up for mention. But not Israel. Interestingly, it was Adams who raised the subject:

"We talked earlier about your work in Uganda and about the efficacy of economic sanctions, and yet you're not in favour of movements like Boycott Divestment Sanctions, BDS, which has been proposed against Israel over the occupation of Palestine."

"Yeah," responded Posner, "I don't believe that's the most effective way to make change there. I am absolutely committed to the notion of a negotiated settlement, a two-state solution. I believe very strongly, and I believe I was the first assistant secretary of the US to go to Israel. I went 5 times after the Gaza war, the Cast Lead war of 2009, to raise human rights issues. You've got to raise the issues. The need is real. Palestinian rights need to be respected, but I think these issues need to be negotiated by the Israelis and the Palestinians. They're obviously not doing it now but I think we need to keep reinforcing that rather than isolating Israel using boycotts."

Sound familiar? That's right, the stock standard Netanyahu line. In fact, the Israeli prime minister reiterated it only days ago:

"In a bid to head off the latest international initiative aimed at pressuring the parties to reach a Mideast peace deal, Israeli Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has offered to clear his calendar and sit down immediately for one-on-one negotiations with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas." (Netanyahu: Peace comes from direct negotiations, not from 'international conferences, UN-style', Patrick Goodenough,, 25/5/16)

But apart from that, Posner's talk about his 2009 visits to Israel "to raise human rights issues" was less than honest.

Remember the UN's September 2009 Goldstone Report, which found that Israel's 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead against Gaza constituted "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population," and which accused Israel of war crimes?

In his definitive study of Operation Cast Lead, 'This Time We Went Too Far': Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion (2010), Norman Finkelstein records that Netanyahu condemned the Report as "a kangaroo court against Israel," that the US Israel lobby called it "rigged" and "deeply flawed," and that the Obama administration "quickly fell into line with the Israel lobby," with Assistant US Secretary of State for Democracy Michael Posner condemning it as - ahem - "deeply flawed." (p 136)

But there's more. We now have access to some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails, which reveal that:

"The State department devoted itself to, in its own words, 'deferring' UN action on Israeli war crimes, 'reframing the debate' about the atrocities, and 'moving away from the UN'... The messages, some of which are written by high-level State Department officials, expose the role of the US government in undermining the international response to the 2009 United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict, also known as the Goldstone Report... Publicly released Clinton emails reveal that the UNHRC, under heavy US pressure, postponed consideration of the Goldstone Report from October 2 until March 2010. While the UNHRC ultimately endorsed the report's findings on October 16, it took nearly 6 months for the body to urge the UN General Assembly and Security Council to refer the Gaza massacre to the ICC pursuant to 13(b) of the Rome Statute, which the US then blocked." (Deferring justice: Clinton emails show how State Department undermined UN action on Israeli war crimes, Jared Flanery & Ben Norton,, 20/11/15)

Integral to this process of neutering the Goldstone Report was our Assistant Secretary of State for HUMAN RIGHTS, Michael Posner:

"The State Department's attempts to 'defer' UN action on Israeli war crimes in Gaza are further evinced in a message from Michael Posner - a former assistant secretary of state who served as founding Executive Director of Human Rights First and is now a business professor at NYU. In a November 10, 2010 note, Posner discussed multiple trips he and US government officials took to Israel in order to discuss the Goldstone Report with the Israeli government. Posner revealed the US and Israeli governments worked together in order to 'reframe the public debate' around Israel's attack. He wrote: 'Our approach has been to offer our support and willingness to work with the Government of Israel to 'reframe the public debate' from defensive (responding to Goldstone or Flotilla reports and resolutions at the UN, etc) to a more productive narrative focused on the challenges of fighting an urban or asymetrical war. We are having productive, and generally positive preliminary conversations about a possible GOI white paper that would: 1) set the context, outlining the challenges in fighting an asymetrical conflict; 2) spell out the steps the IDF and other agencies have taken to address these challenges; and 3) identify ongoing challenges that Israel and other professional armies will need to address in the future'." (ibid)

[*To deliver the UNSW's Australian Human Rights Centre's annual lecture.]

Friday, May 27, 2016

Rambam for Spooks

Blink and you'd miss these things:

"A group of business people, intelligence experts and academics have participated in the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Security Delegation to Israel co-organised with Perth's Edith Cowan University." (Australia security experts visit Israel,, 20/5/16)

Led by former ASIO head David Irvine in his current manifestation as Chairman of the Australian Cyber Security Research Institute...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Rambam

How lucky are the constituents of these Victorian LABOR MPs, recently returned from AIJAC's Rambam Israel Fellowship Program propaganda tour of Israel:

Lizzie Blandthorn (referred to as a 'pro-life warrior' in the press and aligned with the Shortcon (Shorten/Conroy) faction of the ALP)
Colin Brooks (parliamentary secretary to the premier)
Josh Bull
(Sir) Don Nardella (deputy speaker and dog lover extraordinaire)
Ros Spence
Marsha Thomson (Parliamentary Friends of Israel co-convenor and 2013 rambamee)
Vicky Ward
Paul Edbrooke
Nick Staikos
Gabrielle Williams

For, in the words of AIJAC Executive Director Colin Rubenstein, these select individuals have been "expose[d]... to various aspects of Israel, and to the complexities of both Israel's and the Palestinians' situation..." (AIJAC welcomes MPs on their return from Israel,, 14/5/16)

Their constituents will no doubt be champing at the bit, eager to have those "complexities" explained by those they voted for.

But wait - what's this?:

"The group came back with more questions than answers."

OK... so let me revise my last sentence, but one:

Their constituents will no doubt be champing at the bit, eager to hear the "questions" brought back by those they voted for.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Geraldine & Robin Taught Me

Sometimes the introductory banter to a radio news item is more interesting than the item itself. Take, for example, ABC Radio National's Saturday Extra of May 21, which featured the segment, Views of Israel.  

In it, presenter Geraldine Doogue introduced Robin Margo SC, one of two contributors, noting his connection with a new Jewish community organisation called +61j*:

Doogue: I'd like you to explain what +61j is because it's aimed at the Australian Jewish community and you regularly send online reminders to say me, to Radio National. How did it come about?

Margo: Geraldine, it started with focus groups in Melbourne and Sydney. The biggest survey of any diaspora Jewish community was undertaken by Monash University in 2008 and what it found on Middle Eastern issues was there was a wide range of views within the community from left to right with no great majority at any particular point, but that range was not being reflected in public conversation.

Doogue: Well in fact the other group, AIJAC which is perceived as a more conservative end, which has an exceptional information service that goes out to all the media. Honestly, were you trying to counter them?

Margo: Not at all. We want to broaden the conversation. AIJAC has some very liberal positions, for example on refugees** and other matters, and on other matters we've disagreed with them.

The first thing we learn here is that "all the media" receives/ is bombarded by Israel lobby propaganda. The question then arises: to what extent is it lapped up (by Doogue certainly) or ignored? In any case, here we have the fact of the matter confirmed - from the horse's mouth.

The second matter of interest is the pretense, on Margo's part, that, "on Middle Eastern issues" there is "a wide range of views within the community from left to right." This is, in fact, contradicted by the Monash University survey cited by Margo, which reveals a most extraordinary level of identification with Israel/ Zionism:

"It is common for visitors to Australia to comment on the strength of identification with Israel and Zionism within the Jewish communities. Thus Professor Oz-Salzberger, holder of joint professorial appointments at Monash (the Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies) and Haifa Universities, recently observed: 'I am yet to find a single Australian Jew who is indifferent towards Israel. There is a level of proximity here that one cannot find amid British or American Jewry, where many individuals are unstirred by their Jewish ancestry, uninvolved with Israel or both. I like telling my Jewish-Australian friends that they are first cousins to us Israelis, while many other communities are second cousins at best.' (AJN, 5/6/09) Eighty per cent of respondents indicated that they regarded themselves as Zionist, while only 13% did not..." (Report Series on the GEN08 Survey Preliminary Findings Melbourne & Sydney, Markus/Jacobs/Aronov,

Margo is perhaps relying on the statistic that indicates that 29% favour dismantling "all or most" West Bank settlements "as part of a permanent settlement." However, with 80% of respondents favouring the existence of a Jewish state, with all that that entails by way of continued second class status for non-Jewish Palestinian Israelis, and an ongoing refusal to allow Palestinian refugees expelled in 1948 to return home, Zionist hegemony over Australia's Jews indicates anything but a diversity of views. The very fact, for example, that Margo will venture no public criticism of AIJAC speaks volumes.

[*Includes *sigh* Philip Mendes; **Providing they're not Palestinian refugees.]

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Myth of the Israeli Moderate

Ever noticed how political transitions in Israel are reported in the corporate press? As though the change constitutes some kind of clear break with the past?

Take the replacement of defence minister Moshe Ya'alon by Avigdor Lieberman, for example:

"Israel's departing defence minister has denounced the 'extremist and dangerous elements' that 'have overrun Israel and the Likud party' as he left office." (Minister's parting shot at 'extremists', Telegraph/UK/The Sun-Herald, 22/5/16)

"Yaalon was one of the last moderate voices in Netanyahu's Likud party." (Israeli defence minister steps down, clearing way for hardliner, Associated Press,, 23/5/16)

You'd never guess that the 'anti-extremist/moderate' Ya'alon had once said that the goal of the Israeli occupation was "to sear deep into the consciousness of the Palestinians that they are a defeated people," and that "we have to consider killing [former Iranian president] Ahmadinejad."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The $1.3m (p.a.) Man

"We want to stamp out this behaviour, which we think is endemic in Western culture. We want to take a strong stand against it."*

That's Sydney University's vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence** speaking about his academic beat. But what appalling behaviour could he possibly be referring to?

Surely, the 'ritualistic humiliation' and alcohol abuse going on in some of the university's residential colleges as reported in last week's Sydney Morning Herald?

Are you kidding?

No, he was referring to false allegations of anti-Semitism aimed at pro-Palestine activists by campus Zionists.

[*'Anti-Semitic behaviour is not acceptable at Sydney University', The Australian Jewish News, 13/5/16; **See my 28/4/15 post The Herald Awakes.]

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Scoop: Hasbara Levels Now at 400ppm

This is grim. MERC has just obtained important new evidence that the concentration of Zionist bulldust in the planet's intellectual atmosphere has finally reached the critical tipping point of 400ppm!

With even Australia's prime minister M'Lord Turnbull babbling on about 'smart cities', and the tell-tale Z-word 'vibrant' cropping up in his daily discourse - only yesterday, for example, in an opinion piece in the Fairfax press, he spoke of rejoicing in the "vibrant diversity of our immigrant nation"* - we are compelled to ask the terrifying question: Has the Zionisation of our intellectual climate now become irreversible?

Take a Diane Smith-Gander at the aforementioned evidence:

"Did you know that Jerusalem was the first city in the world to be completely covered by wi-fi, that Israeli scientists discovered the cause of halitosis or that Lady Gaga's shoes are designed by an Israeli? These are just a few of the little-known facts about the Jewish state featured in a video released by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to celebrate this week's 68th anniversary of of the Declaration of Independence. Other nuggets of information include impressive statistics such as Israel having the highest number of academics per capita in the world, as well as the highest proportion of start-ups and museums. It's also revealed that Beersheva has the most chess masters per capita in the world, and that the Jewish State is one of only eight countries to have sent a satellite into space. Furthermore, Israeli women have more academic degrees than men and Israeli whiz-kids were responsible for developing the world's first anti-virus software, the technology allowing us to use WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as treatments for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, Israel is the birthplace of the cherry tomato and Rummikub. Ranked in 11th place on the Global Happiness Index out of 196 countries, Israel was also the first country in the world to ban commercials starring underweight models." (68 facts about Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 13/5/16)

[*Our successful multicultural society is built on secure borders, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/5/16]

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ladies Who Rambam

While M'Lord Turnbull is swanning around Australia in hard hat and fluoro-vest, singing the praises of Jobson Grothe, M'Lady Lucinda and her set have also been busy:

"Some of Australia's most prominent business women including company directors Lucy Turnbull and Broadspectrum chair Diane Smith-Gander* head off this week for a trip to look at upstart start-up culture in Israel. The group of 35 senior businesswomen which also includes Jillian Segal, Fiona Balfour, Karen Penrose, Alison Deans and Sydney University chancellor Belinda Hutchinson marks the first time the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce has hosted a women's business delegation to the country, which is recognised as one of the world's leaders in encouraging start-up technology companies." (Women discover Israel's start-up culture, Glenda Korporaal, The Australian, 9/5/16)

How could they possibly resist? After all, Israel whisperer Jillian Segal, NSW chair of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce, director of the National Australia Bank, deputy chancellor of the University of NSW and chair of the Sir John Monash Foundation, had been cooing the following lines into their shell pinks:

"There is an enormous amount of interest in the business community here learning what we can from the remarkable situation which exists today in Israel. The country has reinvented itself as 'the start-up nation'. It has more start-ups per head than the US. It is a small country of 8 million people, the size of NSW, and everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. We have to learn to understand the ecosystem and what goes into making an innovation culture. [The visit was about] smart women looking for smart ideas from a smart country'."

Just so you know that a good time was had by M'Lady Lucinda & all take a gander at some of Smith-Gander's tweets:

*May 15 women trade leaders w @NirBarkat father of 3 daughters in the IDF inspiring leader@AICC NSW #ausisraelinnovation

*May 16 Israel small nation in problematic geography so army not focused on spit & polish - startup nation recipe@AICC NSW #ausisraelinnovation

*May 16 Why is Israel smart? "you get the oppty to make decisions in the army long be4 u decide to dye your hair pink" Fiona Darmon JVP @AICC NSW

*May 16 All jobs in the Israeli defence force are important. But it will be empowering if women do the more important roles@AICC_NSW#ausisraelinnovation

*May 16 Diversity rules in Israel startup nation recipe@AICC_NSW:

Israeli Landscape of Entrepreneurship

*Diversity=Extraordinary Human Capital
*Entrepreneurial DNA
Thought Process; Groundbreaking Technologies
*Global from Day 1

*RT: Swaab Attorneys May 18 Brand of a city is to capture the life of the city@AICC_NSW#ausisraelinnovation:

'Mediterranean Capital of Cool' The New York Times
1,748 bars, cafes and nightclubs
1 for every 231 residents
Tel Aviv Nonstop City

Well, Lady Di's obviously blown away by Israel. But then so too the Palestinians - for almost 7 decades now.

[*"Broadspectrum chairwoman Diane Smith-Gander has revealed the refugee camp operator's most senior personnel keep track of activists and proxy advisers by monitoring their Facebook and Twitter profiles. The company, formerly named Transfield Services, has turned to social media surveillance to help it cope with protests over claims of human rights abuses inside the government's offshore asylum seeker processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island that the company has a critical $2.2 billion contract to operate." (Broadspectrum's Diane Smith-Gander eyes protesters via Facebook & Twitter, Sally Rose, Sydney Morning Herald, 2/12/15)]

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fairfax's Shame

"[Paul] Sheehan was reportedly one of the highest-earning journalists on the [Sydney Morning Herald]." (Paul Sheehan given redundancy package by Fairfax - but won't say if he was pushed, Amanda Meade,, 18/5/16)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Appalling David Feeney MP

Well, well, well:

"Labor frontbencher David Feeney owns an undeclared $2.31 million property, potentially placing him in 'serious contempt' of the Parliament. And the ALP power broker said he didn't know if the house was negatively geared* - despite Labor's proposed changes to property tax rules being a key election issue... [Feeney, BTW, lives in a $2.875 million pad East Melbourne and also owns an investment property in Seddon purchased for $380,000 in 2004.] Mr Feeney has not declared the $2.31 million Northcote property, purchased on December 24, 2013, more than two years after the parliamentary deadline [for disclosure]. The rules around what MPs must declare are quite strict and require that all property, shares and gifts worth more than $300 be reported within 28 days. Although Mr Feeney updated his register twice in 2015, on neither occasion did he declare the Northcote house." (Election 2016: David Feeney didn't declare $2.3m house and 'doesn't know' if it's negatively geared, Massola/Willingham/Hunter, The Age, 17/5/16)

OK, I can understand why Mr Feeney twice overlooked updating his register of interests last year. He was busy... scribbling pro-Israel propaganda pieces for Melbourne's Age.

In a piece he wrote back then called Empty symbolic gestures of recognition will not help the Palestinian people, he declared, among other things, that:

"The Palestinians should abandon their campaign to destroy Israel [by] abandoning the so-called 'right of return' for the descendants of the 1948 refugees." (22/7/15)

Now just so we're clear here, our 3-property portfolio politician's "so-called 'right of return'" just happens to be enshrined in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) - the right of people to leave and return to their country (not to mention UN Resolution 194 which calls on Israel to permit the return of Palestinian refugees driven out of their homes by Zionist forces in 1948).

So, this padded, 3-property (and counting?) right-wing ALP power broker, who blithely prattled on in his 2008 maiden speech about believing in "the fundamental human rights of us all and the need to eliminate discrimination wherever it is found," is calling on Palestinians to give up their fundamental, inalienable, international law-guarenteed right to return to the homes from which they were driven by his Israeli heroes in 1948.

What an appalling hypocrite! No wonder Labor's losing ground to the Greens.

[*"#Election2016 - #negative gearing costs every taxpayer $310 per year" Feeney tweet, 12/5/16]

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Unexamined Bill Shorten

Matters arising from David Marr's profile of Bill Shorten in this week's Good Weekend:

"To the commentators' surprise, Shorten won the set-piece debates [with Albanese] comfortably. His opponent had stinging one-liners, but Shorten found passion: 'If I was to be PM, I would like to be known as the PM for the powerless, for the disempowered, for people who don't have a voice in society'." (The man in the machine, 14/5/16)

So what is one to make of a man who sees himself as a PM for the wretched of the earth in Australia, but hearts the Lords of Creation who run roughshod over them in Palestine/Israel?

"Shorten engaged one of Australia's smartest layers, Leon Zwier of Arnold Bloch Leibler, who issued blunt denials in November 2013 after The Australian published the first, careful story about 'a senior Labor figure' accused of rape..."

Natch - Zwier was the late Dick Pratt's lawyer. Pratt, of course, owned cardboard giant Visy Industries, and was convicted and fined $36m for price-fixing in 2007. He was also a highly charitable man - particularly when it came to such worthy causes as Israel and LibLab. Shorten, as it happens, was a great friend of Pratt's, whom he extolled as a "Renaissance man" on the occasion of his death.

"[My mother] believed in merit... She taught me that merit is a legitimate human condition. That people should not be deified because of some ill-defined birth right or the wealth of an individual."

Why then does Shorten deify a mob of European colons who consider Palestine/Israel to be their exclusive birthright, or look up to wealthy individuals such as Dick Pratt? 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chopper Baird Toasts Israeli Apartheid

Fresh from giving the chop to Sydney's iconic street trees, NSW Premier Mike (Chopper) Baird recently took time off to toast the apartheid state on the 68th anniversary of its giving the chop to historic Palestine:

"Over 650 people heard NSW Premier Mike Baird speak of his recent trip to Israel at the Yom Ha'aztmaut* celebration in Sydney. Held at the city's Shangri-La Hotel and organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the ZCNSW, Premier Baird was joined on the dias by Israel's ambassador to Australia Shmuel Ben-Shmuel. The Premier spoke of the impact Yad Vashem made on him and how the trade mission he was on would strengthen relations between Israel and NSW."  (Yom Ha'atzmaut: Sydney,, 13/5/16)

A most solemn occasion, no doubt, but one not entirely devoid of Zionist comedy, with exiled NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Jeremy Spinak saying:

a) that as well as celebrating "a successful nation... we also reaffirm our commitment to ensure that we never face exile again";

b) that "never again will the Jewish people sing Hatikvah from hostile and unwelcoming lands," meaning, presumably, that the Zionist national anthem went unsung on the night; and

c) that "everyday Palestinians and Israelis want peace," by which he meant, presumably, the handful of Palestinians willing to settle for peace at any price, and the thumping 75% of Israelis who want peace... but not if it means giving up occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

[*Israeli Independence Day; **Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, October 2014]

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Nakba Day 2016

From How I discovered the Nakba by British writer Stephen Shenfield:

"I was hiking [at the age of 16 or 17] somewhere on the coastal plain to the east of Tel Aviv. I had spotted what looked like some ruins in the distance and wanted to get a closer look. I was walking across a wide stretch of wasteland surrounded by a very long ring road. Apart from a few vehicles moving along that distant road, no one else was in sight. Only the wild grass and the wind.

"I reached the ruins. Clearly there had once been a village here. I sat down on a large stone and remained sitting there. I sat there for several hours. I must have fallen into some sort of trance. Now and then I heard everyday sounds, like the creak of a door opening or closing or a human voice saying something in a language that I did not understand but that I knew must be Arabic.

"Was it the spirits of the people who used to live there? Or just imaginings that my mind conjured out of the sound of the wind rustling in the grass? The spirits, if indeed they were spirits, showed no sign of being aware of my presence.

"When I finally awoke from my trance, the sun was already low in the sky. I started to walk back over the wasteland toward the road. The puzzle was now solved. I knew who the Palestinians were. They were simply the people whose country this used to be. The Zionists had stolen it from them. Some chutzpah, eh? Now I knew their dirty little secret. A good thing they weren't all that thorough in cleaning up the mess, otherwise I would still be in the dark!

"I am reluctant to believe in spirits, but I cannot explain what I experienced in any other way. I am fairly sure that at that age I had never before heard spoken Arabic. When I went to college a year or two later and met Arab students and heard them speak Arabic among themselves, I recognized it as the same language that I had heard in those ruins. So how could my mind have manufactured those voices?" (, 27/6/12)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Introducing Rabbi Joachim Prinz

An interesting comment on the relationship between Zionism and anti-Semitism by Stephen Shenfield from the comment thread following Roland Nikles' An apologia for Ken Livingstone (What would Buber say?) at

"Zionism... was steeped in anti-Semitism from the start. Zionists agreed with anti-Semites that the Jews were a foreign and unassimilable element in their host societies and that it was therefore natural, inevitable, and humanly understandable that they should be rejected and persecuted. They shared the anti-Semites' negative perceptions of Jews as they actually existed. That also meant that they hated themselves. Where they differed from the more thoroughgoing anti-Semites was their believe that at least some Jews could be rehabilitated and normalized through Zionist efforts. Hitler in particular did not believe this was possible; for him the only final solution of the Jewish question was extermination.

"However, Hitler cannot be equated with Nazism as such. In the 1930s there were Nazis, including SS officers, who thought Zionism could solve the Jewish question. A key figure in the attempt at a Zionist-Nazi rapprochement was Rabbi Joachim Prinz. I got hold of his book Wir Juden (We Jews), published in Berlin in 1934, i.e. under Nazi rule. The author himself apparently blocked publication of an English translation after his emigration to the US in 1937 - and no wonder. The book is a skillful synthesis of Nazi and Zionist ideas, with the 'German Revolution' presented as a model for Jews to emulate. It shows that the German Zionists did not collaborate with the Nazis for purely practical purposes - they also saw the two movements as ideologically complementary. Of all the tendencies of Jewish thought Zionism is and always was the closest to anti-Semitism. The hypocrisy of Zionists accusing other people of anti-Semitism on the flimsiest grounds is astounding."

Here's more on Rabbi Prinz by Israel Shahak:

"Dr Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi who subsequently emigrated to the USA, where he rose to be vice-chairman of the World Jewish Congress and a leading light in the World Zionist Organization (as well as a great friend of Golda Meir), published in 1934 a special book, Wir Juden (We Jews), to celebrate Hitler's so-called German Revolution and the defeat of liberalism: 'The meaning of the German Revolution for the German nation will eventually be clear to those who have created it and formed its image. Its meaning for us must be set forth here: the fortunes of liberalism are lost. The only form of political life which has helped Jewish assimilation is sunk.'

"The victory of Nazism rules out assimilation and mixed marriages as an option for Jews. 'We are not unhappy about this,' said Dr Prinz. In the fact that Jews are being forced to identify themselves as Jews, he sees 'the fulfilment of our desires'. And further: 'We want assimilation to be replaced by a new law: the declaration of belonging to the Jewish nation and Jewish race. A state built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race can only be honoured and respected by a Jew who declares his belonging to his own kind. Having so declared himself, he will never be capable of faulty loyalty towards a state. The state cannot want other Jews but such as declare themselves as belonging to their nation. It will not want Jewish flatterers and crawlers. It must demand of us faith and loyalty to our own interest. For only he who honours his own breed and his own blood can have an attitude of honour towards the national will of other nations.'

"The whole book is full of similar crude flatteries of Nazi ideology, glee at the defeat of liberalism and particularly of the ideas of the French Revolution, and great expectations that, in the congenial myth of the Aryan race, Zionism and the myth of the Jewish race will also thrive." (Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, 1994, pp 71-72)

Compare the above with the following account of Prinz from the promotional website of the 2013 documentary, Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent:

"In Berlin in the 1930s, the civil rights of Jews were systematically stripped away. A young rabbi refused to be silent. His name was Joachim Prinz and he set out to restore the self-esteem of the German Jews. Knowing the Nazis were monitoring his every word, and despite repeated arrests, Prinz continued to preach about the value of Judaism. He saved many lives by encouraging Jews to emigrate from Germany. Expelled from Germany in 1937, Prinz arrived in the United States, the land where democracy had supposedly triumphed over bigotry and hatred. Here, he witnessed racism against African Americans and realized the American ideal was not a reality. As rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ and later as President of the American Jewish Congress, Prinz became a leader of the civil rights movement. Prinz worked to organize the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, declaring, 'bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.' Moments later, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech. Throughout his career, Prinz spoke out for justice, unconcerned with the popularity of his positions. He identified with the prophets, writing in a 1975 letter, 'Remember the Biblical adage, 'For the sake of Zion, I shall not be silent'." (Prinz's Story,

Returning to earth:

"Said Rabbi Joachim Prinz, President of the American Jewish Congress in a resolution he introduced at the closing session of the group's biennial national convention in Miami Beach on May 18, 1958: 'We call upon the United States to take the lead in solving the Arab Refugee problem by pressing for the resettlement of the bulk of the refugees in the sparsely populated land of their Arab kinsmen'." (The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time, Moshe Menuhin, 1969, p 142)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Choosing Targets

"A Melbourne playwright has defended herself against claims a play set in Gaza and studied by Victorian high school students is anti-Israel. Tales of a City by the Sea, a love story set during the Gaza conflict in 2008 and 2009 is by poet and author Samah Sabawi... But Jewish lobby group B'nai B'rith has attacked the play as 'anti-Israel propaganda' [portraying] Israel as a 'bloodthirsty, evil war machine'." (School drama a love story, not anti-Israel propaganda, says playwright, Jennine Khalik, The Australian, 10/5/16)

Hm... B'nai B'rith. Why B'nai B'rith?

Why not the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)? The Jewish Community Council of Victoria? Zionism Victoria?

Why not the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)? The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies? The Zionist Council of NSW?

I'm wondering: how do these outfits decide which of them goes after which target?

Do they have regular confabs where they parcel out targets cooperatively? Or is it first in, first served? Do they compete with each other for scalps? Was the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, for example, miffed because, in this case, the B'nai B'rith beat them to it?

More to the point, don't they have anything better to do?*

[See my 20/5/13 post Join the Dots.]

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Oh Do Shut Up!

What an appalling airhead this creature is:

"In the wake of the anti-Semitism scandal that has shaken the British Labour Party to its core in recent days, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop urged Australia's Labor Party to tackle anti-Semitic attitudes within its own ranks... Speaking to The AJN, Bishop said, 'While I will not comment on UK domestic political issues, I strongly urge the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, to put an end to the strong support for the anti-Semitic BDS campaign within the ALP and union movement here in Australia'." (Could ALP suffer same crisis as UK Labour?, The Australian Jewish News, 6/5/16)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Problem Solved

"Controversial Fairfax columnist Paul Sheehan will be one of the more high-profile casualties of the publisher's latest redundancy round, Diary can reveal. Sheehan disgraced The Sydney Morning Herald with an unsubstantiated story about an alleged gang rape in March. He was stood down indefinitely by SMH editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir who said at the time a review of the incident had found 'unacceptable breaches of fundamental journalistic practice.' Perhaps the writing was on the wall for Sheehan, although the redundancy program was still in its 'voluntary' stage as of last week. That could change, given Fairfax editorial director Sean Aylmer told staff on Friday the program had not yielded enough 'suitable' job cuts." (Sheehan facing the axe, The Diary, Media, The Australian, 9/5/16)

So what's next for Paul? Surely not the dreaded scrapheap?

Wait a minute... I've got an idea! Now that ex-Australian Mark Regev has become Israel's ambassador to the UK, Netanyahu will be looking for a new foreign media spokesman. Sheehan should slot in nicely. After all, he's got it all down pat. For example:

"Women [in Gaza], living under sharia law, are used primarily as breeding stock." (See my 13/1/09 post Oriana Fallaci Meets Israeli PR at the SMH.)

"Most of the constrictive actions Israel has taken in the Palestinian territories - the walls, roadblocks, security restrictions - has been in reaction to an intransigent Palestinian political culture." (See my 21/11/14 post Paul Sheehan: Toeing the Likud Line.)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sadiq Khan: No Werewolf of Londonistan

It's April 2016. Deep in her bunker in the wilds of Londonistan, Melanie Phillips taps out her - to date - worst fears.

"If the opinion polls are correct, in under two weeks Labour's Sadiq Khan will be elected Mayor of London. This is extremely troubling. Despite his noisy denunciations of terrorism and the Jew-hatred infecting his party, questions about his attitude to extremism continue to mount." (Khan for Mayor? Beware,, 21/4/16)

This weekend past, Mad Mel's worst fears were confirmed. The dreaded Sadiq Khan was indeed elected Mayor of London.

But Khan's no Islamist Werewolf of Londonistan in sheep's clothing; just another Labour Zionist pussycat really.

Listen to him purr:

On a visit to occupied Arab East Jerusalem in 2011, he's shocked, SHOCKED, to hear a Palestinian kid refer to Israeli settlers as Zionists:

"It was heartbreaking to meet a Palestinian boy... who lived in an area surrounded by the separation wall that cuts through Palestinian towns and cities, overlooked by Israeli settler houses. He told me about the regular incidents of abuse - verbal and physical - that his family suffered and he had nothing but hatred for those he called 'the Zionists'. I was shocked to hear someone so young use such a physically loaded word." (Enlightenment through play, Sadiq Khan, New Statesman, 9/1/12)

Nor can he understand why al-Aqsa Mosque is for Muslims only. Why can't it be like back home?:

"In my constituency of Tooting, south London, the local mosques perform a vital role in integrating our community. My daughters can bring their non-Muslim friends; schoolchildren visit to learn about Islam. By contrast, Israeli and Palestinian children don't play together or learn about each other's faith or culture."

After all, as he puts it, the Israelis are only "a perceived occupying force."

Anyway, if this doesn't mollify Mad Mel, nothing will:

"It is great that Tel Aviv, like other cities and countries around the world, is choosing London as its platform to promote its growing status as a cultural hub. It's another endorsement for London as the best global promotional venue." (Sadiq Khan, quoted in Zac Goldsmith & Sadiq Khan back Tel Aviv festival in London, Justin Cohen,, 1/2/16)

Hey, Mel, I think it's safe to come out now.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

From the Horse's Mouth

"If there's something that frightens me about Holocaust remembrance it's the recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany, back then - 70, 80 and 90 years ago - and finding signs of them here among us today in 2016." IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fact-Checking Michael Danby

Here's a paragraph from an 'opinion' piece in yesterday's Australian by Labor ZIO, Michael Danby:

"Before that there was a front-page row over the Oxford University Labour Club, when its former chairman, who is Jewish, resigned live on the BBC, citing harassment by Corbynistas singing 'Rockets over Tel Aviv' and calling and disparaging their fellow Jewish undergraduates as 'Zios'." (Anti-Jewish bigotry set to bring down Corbyn and British Labour, 6/5/16)

Almost nothing in it, however, can withstand scrutiny.

As it happens, the gentleman concerned, Alex Chalmers, produced a resignation statement (, 16/2/16), from which we can see that:

a) Chalmers was not a "former chairman" of the OULC, but a co-chair.

b) Chalmers may or may not be Jewish. More to the point, Danby omits to mention that he had worked for BICOM (British Israel Communication & Research Centre) - from which we may safely conclude he's a ZIO.

c) Chalmers "resigned live on the BBC"? Really? What an odd place to resign! Trouble is, I can find no evidence for this claim.

d) Chalmers did not resign because of "harassment by Corbynistas singing 'Rockets over Tel Aviv." Here is his reason for resigning:

"It is with greatest regret that I have decided to resign... This comes in the light of OULC's decision at this evening's general meeting to endorse Israel Apartheid Week."

e) Chalmers made no mention of "Corbynistas" (or Corbyn, for that matter) in his resignation statement.

f) Chalmers made no mention of "Rockets over Tel Aviv" (or any other song) in his resignation statement. In fact, there is no song called 'Rockets over Tel Aviv'.

g) Chalmers did not mention "harassment." His resignation statement merely accuses "members of the Executive" of "throwing around the term 'Zio' (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon," and then leaps to the conclusion that "a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews."

Quite why he chose to draw that particular conclusion from the use of the term tells us more about him than it does about the OULC. After all, that "large proportion of OULC," alleged to be using the term, could conceivably be referring to, well... ZIONISTS.

Which raises the questions:

Is calling Zionists Zionists (or ZIOS) now anti-Semitic? If so, Herzl, Weizmann and Ben-Gurion, to name but the leading lights of the ZIO-pantheon, are, ipso facto, anti-Semites.

Is Chalmers seriously suggesting that "members of the [OULC] Executive" get their cues from KKK websites?

Finally, if ZIOS is a disparaging term, what are we to make of 'Corbynistas'?

Enough already! Please don't ask me to fact-check Danby's other 28 ZIOgraphs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Vale John Kaye (1955-2016)

The ms media this week lists the many worthy causes championed by the late NSW Greens MLC John Kaye. All except one - Palestine.

You may, for example, read the former Greens' leader, Bob Brown's reference to Kaye as "a friend of the poor and dispossessed," but find yourself wondering to which poor and dispossessed Brown was referring.

You may read the assessment of John Macgowan, the former Liberal Party staffer responsible for shepherding government legislation through the NSW Upper House, in which he describes Kaye as "that rare breed of politician who could always be relied upon to do the right thing, to put common decency first," but find yourself wondering why, if this were so, only Kaye and fellow Green, David Shoebridge, saw fit to defend the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against its detractors in the NSW Upper House in September 2011, an occasion when even the other Greens in the House were found wanting. (See my 16/9/11 post A Cautionary Tale)

Here, in part, is what Kaye had to say at the time:

"I cannot support this motion [moved by the Liberal's David Clarke, and reading in part: '(c) 'notes that some of the rhetoric used by proponents of the BDS camp has descended into anti-Semitism'*] and will be voting against it. This motion is a cheap attempt to smear the BDS movement as anti-Jewish when it is not. It is an attempt to allege that there is anti-Semitism on the side of the BDS debate when there is no evidence of such anti-Semitism.

"There is direct evidence that the anti-BDS side is being supported by those with excellent fascist connections - the Australian Protectionist Party - and not just fascist connections, but connections to Holocaust deniers. This motion attempts to explain the real horror of anti-Semitism and its most appalling manifestation in the Holocaust to achieve cheap political points. It cheapens the memory of the six million people who died in the holocaust, and many more who suffered terribly under Nazism. As such, I cannot support the motion and will be voting against it.

"Lest it be said that voting against this motion in any way implies any lack of condemnation of anti-Semitism, I put on record again that The Greens moved a motion this morning to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms. I did that in order to ensure that the wedge that was designed into this motion, for those who felt the need to vote against it, would not be used. There is, of course, a legitimate debate about advancing the rights of Palestinians who have been dispossessed by Israel, who have been left stateless, without human rights, and who have been left with a dysfunctional territory. As pointed out by the Hon. Trevor Khan, in October 2011 [sic: December 2010] the NSW Greens supported the BDS mechanism. It is on our website, despite the Government Whip saying that it is not. It is there, and if Trevor Khan could find it, surely anybody could find it.

"The Greens recognise it as a mechanism to address the appalling situation of the Palestinian people and the role that the policies of the Israeli government have played in promoting those conditions. Just as the consumer, trade and sporting boycotts against South Africa brought about change in that country, it is The Greens' belief that these boycotts can bring about change in Israel and Palestine. The Greens recognise that there are those who do not believe that Palestinians face a systemic denial of their rights and there are those who do not support BDS as a way of achieving an improvement in rights. It is their right to believe so.

"The Greens recognise that there were those during the campaign against apartheid in South Africa who thought that the blacks in South Africa got quite a good deal. Some felt that boycotts would not help the blacks in South Africa - the Liberal Party and The Nationals were full of such people. Who can forget Joh Bjelke-Petersen, a former Premier of Queensland, who fought vigorously against the boycotting of South African sporting events? History shows that those people were dead wrong. History shows that those people supported an unconscionable denial of human rights based on racial background. History shows that the boycotts were an important ingredient in bringing about change in that state and in bringing about a new era where human rights were no longer determined by the ethnic, religious or racial backgrounds of people who lived in that state.

"I have no doubt that history will show that those who oppose BDS, those who give Israel unqualified support, are doing no favours to the citizens of Israel and are ignoring the realities of the systematic denial of human rights to Palestinians. The BDS campaign is controversial and there are a range of opinions on it - as was the case with the boycotts against South Africa. Those who support BDS are not afraid of criticism and debate. There ought to be criticism and debate about a tactic that is highly controversial, but that criticism and debate should be founded on fact, not in a fantasy borne of ideology.

"The BDS campaign is no more anti-Semitic than are those which called for an end to the attacks on the front-line ethnic groups in Burma are anti-Burman...

"I cannot support the motion, just as my Greens colleagues Bob Brown and Christine Milne in the Senate, and other senators, voted against a similar motion moved by The Nationals member Senator Boswell. The motion before the House today is somewhat of a copy of Senator Boswell's motion. That motion was a nasty wedge and this motion is a nasty wedge. As an Australian Jew I find the exploitation of false accusations of anti-Semitism particularly obnoxious. Others of similar ethnic and religious backgrounds to me might disagree and say there is anti-Semitism; it is their right to do so. But let us be absolutely clear, the BDS campaign is not anti-Semitic. One might not like that it targets Israel or that it targets shops that are owned by Israelis, but it does not target shops that are owned by Jews. It has no connection to the appalling tactics implemented by the Nazis during the Holocaust."

[*See my 17/9/11 post Witches Brew 1.]

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

'A Bacillus Which Every Gentile Carries With Him'

In case you didn't already know, there's a slomo coup currently underway in the UK against the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, two of whose supporters, Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, are being smeared by the usual suspects as anti-Semites.

For an overview of the anti-Corbyn campaign, see How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis (Asa Winstanley,, 28/4/16), and Ken Livingstone: gobshite yes, antisemite no (Jamie Stern-Weiner,

What is happening in the UK, it goes without saying, has nothing whatever to do with genuine anti-Semitism - hatred of Jews as Jews.

As the historic influence of the Zionist movement within Britain's Labour Party wanes, and particularly since the election of the pro-Palestinian Corbyn as its leader, Zionists, both inside and outside the Party, are increasingly resorting to false accusations of anti-Semitism to smear anyone in the Party who speaks out in fundamental opposition to political Zionism. Their aim is to sow discord, and, if possible, bring down Labour's most pro-Palestinian leader ever.

What should be understood, however, is that this smear tactic is integral to the ideology of political Zionism. Zionist logic dictates that a Jewish state in Palestine is necessary because Jews simply cannot live alongside non-Jews, who are, one and all, innately and incurably anti-Semitic.

As UK Labour's foremost Zionist dupe, Richard Crossman MP (1907-1974), recorded in his 1960 pen-portrait of Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who secured the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and went on to become Israel's first president:

"Antisemitism, [Weizmann] used to say to me, is a bacillus which every Gentile carries with him, wherever he goes and however often he denies it. Like other bacilli, it may remain quiescent and harmless for years. But, once the right conditions are created, the bacilli multiply and the epidemic breaks out. The condition for an outbreak of overt antisemitism in any nation is that the number of Jews should rise beyond the safety level of that particular nation. Hence the only radical cure for antisemitism is the creation of the Jewish State. At our first meeting... Weizmann outlined this theory to me and asked me whether I was antisemitic. When I said, 'Of course', I felt that our friendship had begun. For, if a Gentile denied his latent antisemitism, Weizmann concluded that he must either be lying or, even worse, deceiving himself." (A Nation Reborn: The Israel of Weizmann, Bevin & Ben-Gurion, pp 21-22)

Mad, utterly mad, I know, but that's political Zionism for you.

The smear is therefore as predictable as night and day, and non-Jews should not be spooked by its use or take it too seriously. Instead of suspending Shah and Livingstone, pending an investigation, Corbyn should simply have used the opportunity to patiently explain the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and charge the authors of the smear with cheapening the coin of anti-Semitism.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Work of Staggering Genius

Helen Elliott, "a Melbourne writer and journalist," reviews Israeli novelist Nir Baram's novel, Good People in The Australian of April 30.

She begins thus:

"How would I have behaved in Adolf Hitler's Germany or Joseph Stalin's Russia? It's the question we ask at some time in our lives. But can truth be involved? If we were not physically there within the intimate context of the time how could we have any idea if we would be one of the good or one of the evil? We would hope we would have the gravity and courage of a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but maybe we would be, well, just ourselves. Israeli novelist Nir Baram is interested in good and evil in exceptional times when evil strides unchecked across the earth."

What I can't understand, though, is why Baram had to go back to Adolf and Uncle Joe for a novel on "evil striding unchecked across the land"?

Surely, any Israeli regime, from David Ben-Gurion's to Benjamin Netanyahu's, would have furnished ample scope for an Israeli writer to explore this subject?

Be that as it may, Elliott concludes her review with the following upbeat assessment... and one helluva silly question:

"This is not a flawless novel but it is tremendous. I read it in two sittings and I learned a lot. How does a man in his early 30s know how to write like this?"

Well, he is Israeli, isn't he?