Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pre-Election Fundraising at the Pratt's 4

"The news [that Anthony Pratt is the richest man in the country] comes after a big week for the Visy executive chairman and Pratt Industries owner who, though he is a supporter of US President Donald Trump, hosted a $5,000-a-head fundraising function for Bill Shorten at his Raheen mansion in Melbourne mid-week. A Liberal Party fundraiser was held two weeks earlier at Raheen." (Pratt sails to top - and happiness, John Stensholt, The Australian, 30/3/19)

So Anthony Pratt supports Trump, Shorten and Morrison.

Dumb question: What could these three possibly have in common?

And far from Palestine:

"The pair [Pratt and Gina Rinehart, the second richest person in the country] reveal that Mr Pratt likes to sing the Beatles song Oh! Darling from the seminal Abbey Road album to Mrs Rinehart and flew to Cambodia to support her Cambodian Children's Fund earlier this year." (ibid)

Meanwhile, in Palestine:

"Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians, including two teenagers, and shot 46 others at gatherings on the Gaza frontier marking the anniversary of the demonstration movement, the territory's ministry of health said." (Israeli fire kills four Palestinians says Gaza health ministry, Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha,, 31/3/19)

Pauline's Little Blue Book

by Mike Carlton, 28/3/19

Man: Hi. Do youse sell books?

Shop: We do indeed Sir, as you can possibly discern by the rows upon rows of books lining our walls from floor to ceiling, slim volumes, weighty tomes, each shelf groaning with the wisdom of the ages, the soaring delights of the English canon, works of literature to be savoured and devoured, books of whimsy and humour and...

Man: Yeah nah. Well I wanna buy one please.

Shop: Of course. And did Sir have any particular book in mind?

Man: Yeah. A blue one, not real thick...

Shop: A blue one, not real thick? Well that certainly narrows it down. Did you have in mind a novel... or poetry, perhaps?

Man: Ummm...

Shop: ... Biography, history, philosophy... quantum mechanics, nuclear medicine... feminism?

Man: Any of them blue and not too thick?

Shop: One or two, I dare say Sir, one or two...

Man:I wanna buy the book what Pauline Hanson read. Wot she was talking about on TV.

Shop: Oh. The book that Pauline Hanson read... book that Pauline Hanson read, let me guess. Was it Das Kapital, perhaps, Karl Marx. Very popular over the years, that one...

Man: Is it blue?

Shop: Sorry, sorry, my mistake. That only comes in red. We've got a blue Mein Kampf. Not real thick...

Man: Does it have pictures?

Shop: Not that I can recall, no. There's a picture of the author on the cover, though.

Man: Yeah, nah, orright. I'll 'ave it.

Shop: I think you'll enjoy it. You can always look up some of the big words...

Man: Wot? Do you think I'm stupid?

Shop: Not at all, Sir. Just a bit thick...

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pre-Election Fundraising at the Pratt's 3

Sadly, some of us just don't get it:

"Bill Shorten and his colleagues constantly rail against 'the big end of town'. The billionaire, Anthony Pratt, was kind enough to throw a fundraiser for Labor. Probably the only thing that Malcolm Turnbull got right was Shorten's propensity for getting his knees under the dining tables at the top end of town." Letter of Annette James, Beauty Point, Tas, The Australian, 29/3/19)

Do you think, perhaps, our correspondent would get it if she read the following?

"In front of six billionaires and 450 of Australia's business and political elite, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday heralded a new era of closeness between Israel and Australia... Six billionaires - Gina Rinehart, Harry Triguboff, Solomon Lew, John Gandel, Jeanne Pratt and her daughter Fiona Geminder watched the leaders commit to closer relations between the two countries." (Colour me Aussie, leader tells the faithful, John Lyons, The Australian, 23/2/17) (See my 26/2/17 post 'A Sea of Billionaires & Millionaires'.)

Not, of course, that Murdoch's Australian has any interest in people 'getting it' - just the opposite - but is 'getting it' really that hard?

Friday, March 29, 2019

Pre-Election Fundraising at the Pratt's 2

Sarah Ferguson: They're [the Israel lobby] still a very small group of people. How do you account for them wielding so much power?
Bob Carr: I think party donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists to Israel.


We covered Morrison's fundraiser at the Pratt's in my 15/3/19 post Pre-Election Fundraising at the Pratt's. The Australian's Business Review, you'll recall, concluded it's Margin Call entry on the subject thus: "Bet you the Visy billionaire [Anthony Pratt] is back in the manor when ascendant Labor leader Bill Shorten and his troops arrive for a reciprocal fundraising event in a couple of weeks."

As predicted, he was! Now here's Margin Call's account of Shorten and troops, cap-in-hand:

"He's on track to be our next prime minister, but Labor leader Bill Shorten is still shy about tucking his knees under the table of Australia's richest family. Just over six weeks from the federal election, Shorten last night entered the billionaire Pratt family's historic mansion Raheen via the secret stable doors, a laneway entrance normally reserved for deliveries. Maybe the leader of the worker's party thought it was the tradesman's entrance?

"For Shorten, it was a return to the Melbourne home of the billionaire family's matriarch Jeanne Pratt, her son Anthony Pratt and his wife Claudine, after a long absence. The politician was previously a frequent guest via his first marriage to Debbie Beale, a god-daughter to Jeanne and her late husband Richard Pratt. But last night Shorten was back in the Pratt fold, with the doors of their Kew home Raheen thrown open for a left-of-centre political fundraiser featuring a powerful clutch of Melbourne business types. Amazing how the sniff of victory can pull a crowd, even at $5000 a head.

"While their leader didn't want to be photographed, his deputy Tanya Plibersek arrived through Raheen's imposing main gates to be greeted by her packaging hosts at the arched front door. Very civilised. Almost Treasurer Chris Bowen, who has become quite chummy with Anthony Pratt of late, had slipped inside much earlier. Their Labor colleague Clare O'Neill had a bumpier entree. The shadow minister for financial services... and her VW family wagon were turned back at the Pratt's threshold and directed to a car park on the street. Retiring Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby also drove himself in his Ford Territory.

"Rich-lister businessman Peter Scanlon was in for the night, as was former Tennis Australia chair Harold Mitchell and one-time Packer lieutenant and now Ellerston Capital chief Ashok Jacob. Former Telstra chair Bob Mansfield and leading Melbourne lawyer Mark Leibler, both at Prime Minister Scott Morrison's fundraiser at Raheen a fortnight ago, were back to play the other side, as was rich-lister and Jeanne's son-in-law Raphael Geminder. Former Victorian premier and industry super fund CBUS chair Steve Bracks came in a heavily tinted car with driver. Will Shorten soon make his New York dreams come true?

"Outgoing member for Lilley and Labor national president Wayne Swan, looking tanned and relaxed, was in bright and early, as was Member for Isaac Mark Dreyfus and Shorten's good friend and now senator for Victoria Kimberley Kitching, who Margin Call awarded best dressed on the night in a classic navy wrap dress." (Upmarket welcome for the workers' warriors, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, 28/3/19)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

'A Brave Move'

The Australian's editorialist is yet to greet an USraeli manoeuvre, or aggression, with anything less than hearty approval. The latest example, A realistic decision on Golan:

"Donald Trump's historic proclamation announcing US acceptance of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights has much to do with the tough fight Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces in next month's election. But the President's reversal of decades of US policy on the highly strategic Golan is timely recognition of Middle Eastern reality [...] Mr Trump will be criticised for what is a brave move. But the Syrian civil war has radically changed strategic challenges in the region. It is no longer realistic for the Jewish state to be expected to go back to pre-!967 borders." (27/3/19)

One of the enduring mysteries behind such seals of approval is who writes them. Greg Sheridan? AIJAC?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Know Your Prime Minister

Some insights into the character of Australia's PM Scott Morrison, culled from Herald journalist Peter Hartcher's expose: 'He was in it right up to his neck': How Morrison deposed a PM (26/3/19)

His duplicity:

"When a reporter asked Scott Morrison if he had ambitions for Malcolm Turnbull's job at a joint press conference, he responded by throwing a friendly arm around his prime minister's shoulder. 'This is my leader and I'm ambitious for him!' he declared exuberantly. That was on August 22, 2018. Two days later, Turnbull was gone. Morrison had taken his place."

His disciples:

"Once Turnbull had realised he probably couldn't survive, his key numbers man, Craig Laundy, the workplace minister at the time, agreed to talk to Morrison's backers about the situation. They were now simply doing the numbers for Morrison. The Turnbull and Morrison camps were united in seeking to block Dutton. Laundy sat down in the office of one of Morrison's key organisers, Alex Hawke... two days after the first ballot. He found himself in a meeting of Morrison's core support crew - Hawke, Stuart Robert, Ben Morton, Lucy Wicks and Bert van Manen. It was the Morrison prayer group... "

His scheming:

"Joyce told Turnbull, 'But Morrison is a schemer. Watch out for him. He's going to come for you.' To be noted as a schemer in a profession of schemers is a professional compliment. Such was Morrison's reputation in the Coalition."

His fascism:

"As the new immigration minister, Morrison brought forward a proposal to start detaining asylum seekers who were living in Australia on bridging visas awaiting the outcome of applications for permanent visas, according to multiple former and current ministers and officials. These were people living in the community. Morrison asked for $9 billion to $10 billion... to pay for a mass detention program. There were some 30,000 people in this category in Australia at that time... A spokesman for the Prime Minister said he had no recollection of such a proposal."

News Corpse

Sky News Australia is owned by Murdoch's News Corp. The following testimony by a former employee tells you all you really need to know about this particular 'news' outlet:

"... I wasn't shocked [by the Christchurch terror attack] ... This is because for the past three years, I've worked at Sky News. More specifically Sky News 'after dark' - when the rolling coverage of the day's news makes way for conservative commentators to share the 'opinions you can't ignore'. As a young Muslim woman, I had many crises of conscience working here, but the events of Friday snapped me out of the endless cycle of of justifying my job to myself. On Saturday, I finally sent in my letter of resignation... I realised pretty quickly though that the Sky News I worked on wasn't focussed on reporting facts and informing the public. Rather, conservative media commentators came together with current and former right-wing politicians, disseminating misinformation which bordered on conspiracies. I compromised my values and beliefs to stand idly by as I watched commentators and pundits instil more and more fear into their viewers. I stood on the other side of the studio doors while they slammed every minority group in the country - mine included - increasing polarisation and paranoia among their viewers... I answered calls from viewers who yelled about immigrants and Muslims ruining Australia. They did not realise that the person on the other end of the phone was both of those things. And in the aftermath of Friday's terror attack, Sky's coverage also stood out. It was one of the few Australian media outlets who played the live stream footage from inside the mosque... Some nights I felt physically sick, others I even shed tears in my car on the way home." (As the Christchurch attacks unfolded, I knew I had to quit my job at Sky News, Rashina Farrukh,, 19/3/19)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cory's Crazies

Speaking of neocon and Christian Zionist crazies in the US context, be it known that right-wing Australian politics can more than hold its own in the lunacy stakes.

Take Cory Bernadi's Australian Conservatives, for example. Founded in 2017 after its founder broke away from the Liberal Party, its website proclaims that:

"The values, customs, conventions, and norms of the Judeo-Christian tradition are the foundation for western culture and provide the appropriate framework to inform and guide a free society. Without adherence to these enduring structures and an associated rejection of moral relativism, society induces its decay." (Civil Society,

Now talk of a 'Judeo-Christian tradition' invariably masks an Islamophobic agenda. Needless to say, the Australian Conservatives do not disappoint in this respect. Queen Esther may be all the rage among US Christian Zionist crazies, but the Australian Democrats are a tad more modern, if the fifteenth century can be called 'modern' that is. Read on:

"On this day, 29 May in 1453, Constantinople (now Istanbul) - the seat of the Byzantine Christian Empire and the surviving offshoot of the Roman Empire - fell to the invading Islamic Ottoman Turks after a bloody battle and siege that lasted 53 days... The fall of Constantinople was a massive blow to Christendom and Europe, having served as the chief bulwark against (and lightning rod for) the waves of Islamic expansion over the preceding centuries. Constantinople's sacking allowed the Islamic Ottoman Turk armies to advance north and west, deep into Christian Europe... The Islamic surge into Europe was first seriously resisted in the Siege of Vienna in 1529. The Battle at the Gates of Vienna on 11-12 September 1683 began the long decline of this last Islamic Caliphate, which was wound up soon after WWI... " (Fall of

And what, exactly, are red-blooded, Judeo-Christian Conservatives supposed to do about the fall of Constantinople to the "Islamic" hordes? Why, gird their loins for the coming "Islamic surge" of course. Here's how:

"Mourn/commiserate the fall of Constantinople and the Islamic takeover of its heritage by:

*visiting a cathedral (or church) in your vicinity
*watching a film featuring the ancient city, such as:
  o the James Bond films Sky Fall, The World is Not Enough or From Russia With Love
  o Taken 2
  o The International, or
  o Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
*reading up on the Byzantine Roman and Christian Empire, or some famous fictional works commemorating the Orient Express which once ran from Europe's north to Constantinople (eg Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express or Graham Greene's Stamboul Train) and/or
*sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends and those proud of their Western Christian civilisation and values." (ibid)

Hmm... Now I don't know about you, but if I were Cory Bernardi, and I really wanted to do justice to the gravity of the occasion, I would've added a few extra items to the to-do list for May 29. For example:

*donning sackcloth and ashes
*gnashing your teeth
*flagellating yourself
*all of the above

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Ascendancy of the Christian Zionist Crazies

Under the presidency of George W Bush (2001-09), the US administration was riddled with neocon crazies (or "fucking crazies" as then secretary of state Colin Powell once memorably referred to them), who recognised no difference between US and Israeli interests, and were responsible for tearing Iraq limb from limb from 2003 on.

In addition to its share of neocon crazies, such as national security adviser John Bolton, and special representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams, the current Trump administration contains yet another layer of lunacy - Christian Zionists, such as vice president Mike Pence and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who are itching to do to Iran what Bush and his neocons did to Iraq.

For example, could the annals of US foreign policy possibly furnish anything quite as crazy as the following exchange between Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief of the US Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), and Pompeo at a recent press conference in Jerusalem?

Q: "Could it be that President Trump right now has been raised up for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?"

A: "As a Christian, I certainly believe that's possible. It was remarkable - so we were down in the tunnels where we could see 3,000 years ago... the remarkable history of the faith in this place and the work that our administration's done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state remains. I am confident that the Lord is at work here." (Secretary of State Pompeo to CBN news: God may have raised up Trump like he raised up Queen Esther, David Brody,, 21/3/19)

(For those unversed in obscure biblical lore, Esther, a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus, is credited with interceding with her husband to save her people from the plotting of his evil adviser Haman.)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Never Forget the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights

Now this:

"Syria has vowed to retake the Golan Heights as Donald Trump's call for the US to recognise the occupied territory as part of Israel elicited strong responses from Russia, Turkey and Iran. The president ended half a century of US foreign policy and broke from post-second world war international consensus that forbids territorial conquest during war with a tweet on Thursday that said it was time 'to fully recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights'. Trump said the territory was 'of critical strategic and security importance to the state of Israel and regional stability'. Israeli troops took the volcanic plateau from Syria in the six-day war in 1967 and later annexed it, moves that were condemned by the UN security council and never internationally recognised." (Trump provokes global anger by recognising Israel's claim to Golan Heights, Oliver Holmes,, 23/3/19)

"Following the Israeli occupation of the #Syrian #Golan in 1967, approx. 95% of the population was forcibly transferred or displaced. The Israeli army then demolished their homes, destroying one city & 340 villages and farms. These were replaced by Israeli agricultural settlements." (Tweet @GolanMarsad, 22//3/19)

(Al-Marsad "monitors and documents violations of international humanitarian rights law and humanitarian law in the Occupied Syrian Golan.")

IOW, the Israelis did to the Syrian population of the Golan in 1967 what they'd already done to the Palestinians in 1948 and 1967 (West Bank). Serial ethnic cleansing.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Why History Matters

On 18/3/19 The Australian published a full-page opinion piece, Shared hatred of fanatics, by one of its stable of reactionary pundits, Paul Monk. Monk, thankfully, is only an occasional contributor to Murdoch's Australian mouthpiece. His specialty is Arab/Muslim history, with lashings of Islamophobia. (In earlier scribblings, he has referred to "the dark heart of Islam," declared the Prophet Muhammad to be "a very dubious figure," and claimed his "deity" is "a god of war and conquest." He has also given the thumbs-up to Douglas Murray's The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, and lauded the late Italian Islamophobe, Oriana Fallaci, as "the great Italian journalist.")

Monk is described grandiosely in an appended bio as "a former senior intelligence analyst, long-time consultant in applied cognitive science and author of 10 books, of which the most recent is Dictators and Dangerous Ideas: Uncensored Reflections in an Age of Turmoil."

But back to Shared hatred of fanatics, written in the wake of the Christchurch massacres. It would take multiple posts to deal with all of Monk's distortions, but I restrict myself to his characterisation of the Crusades as a war of self-defence by the West:

"The crusades were a sideshow and a largely unsuccessful pushback against the Muslim conquest of Palestine and the 'holy places' of the Christian religion. This isn't angry rhetoric, it is basic history."

Except that the Muslim conquest of Palestine happened in the 7th century and the First Crusade in the 11th.

God only knows where Monk's picked up his take on the subject - Murray? Fallaci? Any one of a number of historically unsound Islamophobic websites, such as The Gates of Vienna?

So let's see what a reputable historian of the Crusades has to say on the subject of the "basic history" of the crucial First Crusade (1096-99). The following extracts come from Thomas Asbridge's The First Crusade: A New History (2004). (Asbridge is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London.):

"From its genesis, the history of the crusade was blurred by distortion. The image of Muslims as brutal oppressors conjured by Pope Urban [II] was pure propaganda - if anything, Islam had proved over the previous centuries to be more tolerant of other religions than Catholic Christendom." (p 3)

"The first point to acknowledge is that [the Pope's] call to arms made at Clermont was not directly inspired by any recent calamity or atrocity in the East... And although the Holy City of Jerusalem, the expedition's ultimate goal, was indeed in Muslim hands, it had been so for more than 400 years - hardly a fresh wound... The reality was that, when Pope Urban proclaimed the First Crusade at Clermont, Islam and Christendom had coexisted for centuries in relative equanimity. There may at times have been little love lost between Christian and Muslim neighbours, but there was, in truth, little to distinguish this enmity from the endemic political and military struggles of the age." (pp 16-17)

"At the end of the eleventh century, Christendom was in one sense encircled by Islam, with Muslim forces ranged against it to the east along Byzantium's Asian frontier and to the south in the Iberian peninsula. But Europe was a long way from being engaged in an urgent, titanic struggle for survival. No coherent, pan-Mediterranean onslaught threatened, because, although the Moors of Iberia and the Turks of Asia Minor shared a religious heritage, they were never united in one purpose. Where Christians and Muslims did face each other across the centuries, their relationship had been unremarkable, characterised, like that between any potential rivals, by periods of conflict and others of coexistence. There is little or no evidence that either side harboured any innate, empowering religious or racial hatred of the other.

"Most significantly, throughout this period indigenous Christians actually living under Islamic law, be it in Iberia or the Holy Land, were generally treated with remarkable clemency. The Muslim faith acknowledged and respected Judaism and Christianity, creeds with which it enjoyed a common devotional tradition and a mutual reliance upon authoritative scripture. Christian subjects may not have been able to share power with their Muslim masters, but they were given freedom to worship. All around the Mediterranean basin, Christian faith and society survived and even thrived under the watchful but tolerant eye of Islam. Eastern Christendom may have been subjected to Islamic rule, bit it was not on the brink of annihilation, nor prey to any form of systematic abuse." (p 18)

"The problem addressed by the First Crusade - Muslim occupation of Jerusalem and the potential threat of Islamic aggression in the East - had loomed for decades, even centuries, provoking little or no reaction in Rome. Urban II's decision to take up this cause at Clermont was, therefore, primarily proactive rather than reactive, and the crusade was designed, first and foremost, to meet the needs of the papacy. Launched as it was just as Urban began to stabilise his power-base in central Italy, the campaign must be seen as an attempt to consolidate papal empowerment and expand Rome's sphere of influence." (p 19)

"A central feature of Urban's doctrine was the denigration and dehumanisation of Islam. He set out from the start to launch a holy war against what he called 'the savagery of the Saracens', a 'barbarian' people capable of incomprehensible levels of cruelty and brutality. Their supposed crimes were enacted upon two groups. Eastern Christians, in particular the Byzantines, had been 'overrun right up to the Mediterranean Sea'. Urban described how the Muslims 'occupying more and more of the land on the borders of [Byzantium], were slaughtering and capturing many, destroying churches and laying waste to the kingdom of God. So, if you leave them alone much longer they will further grind under their heels the faithful of God. The pope also maintained that Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land were being subjected to horrific abuse and exploitation... The accusations had little or no basis in fact, but they did serve Urban's purpose. By expounding upon the alleged crimes of Islam, he sought to ignite an explosion of vengeful passion among his Latin audience, while his attempts to degrade Muslims as 'sub-human' opened the floodgates of extreme, brutal reciprocity. " (pp 33-34)

Getting the history right matters, because if it's left in the hands of Monk, Murray, Fallaci and other xenophobes to distort and mangle, their distortions may well influence the likes of the Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant - with deadly effect.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

It's the Donations, Stupid

"Donations are a bigger influence on Australian politics than polls and the major parties have a history of ignoring mainstream voter opinion, social researcher Rebecca Huntley says. Australia Fair, Dr Huntley's forthcoming piece in Quarterly Essay, argues that polls are often used as a short-term weapon by political rivals but do not truly influence policy and politics. 'If only research was as influential as donations,' she told The Sun-Herald... 'The biggest change we need to crack in Australia is donation reform; we have to change the money that's involved in politics," she said. 'When you change the money, you change who the politicians listen to. Even though it seems like not as pressing an issue as as health or jobs, it's fundamental'." (Donations 'more influential' than polls, Caitlin Fitzsimmons, 17/3/19)

Huntley's research merely confirms what we already know, namely that Australia's bipartisan support for Israel is the result of significant Zionist money. To cite but one example: "No domestic house in Melbourne has had more influence on public... life than Raheen, the 1870s Italianate mansion owned for more than 35 years by the family of billionaire packaging king Richard Pratt... Raheen is used by the Pratts to court and entertain both sides of politics, to conduct fundraisers and to highlight the cause of Israel, into which the Pratt Foundation pours millions of dollars... " (More than just a home, Pratt mansion welcomes all parties, John Ferguson/Rebecca Urban, The Australian, 11/2/17)

But will this particular aspect of Australia's foreign policy find its way into Huntley's essay? After all, the Quarterly Essay, like The Saturday Paper, is owned by Zionist publisher Morrie Schwartz. Only one way to find out...

PS: I've just read Huntley's essay. Most interesting on the subject of Australian society and what the citizenry think about various domestic issues - Australian democracy, the environment, climate change, asylum seekers etc, but nothing on foreign policy issues as such.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Education of Ilhan Omar

Outspoken rookie Democrat congressperson, Ilhan Omar, has just had an opinion piece - We must apply our universal values to all nations. Only then will we achieve peace - published in the Washington Post on March 17. Unfortunately, it's really little more than a collection of imperial and liberal Zionist cliches.

Some excerpts:

"I witnessed how our continuous involvement in foreign conflicts - even those with the best of intentions - can damage our reputation abroad."

Since when has imperialism, US or otherwise, ever had good intentions?

"Valuing human rights... means applying the same standards to our friends and our enemies. We do not have the credibility to support those fighting for human rights in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua if we do not also support those fighting for human rights in Honduras, Guatemala and Brazil. Our criticisms of oppression and regional instability caused by Iran are not legitimate if we do not hold Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to the same standards. And we cannot turn a blind eye to repression in Saudi Arabia - a country that is consistently ranked among the worst of the human rights defenders."

"... those fighting for human rights in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua... " = US proxies for regime change.

There is no sign of any awareness here of the US-engineered coups in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954) and Honduras (2009), and their ongoing impact in those countries. Nor do the US wars of regime change in Iraq, Libya and Syria rate a mention.

"This vision also applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. US support for Israel has a long history. The founding of Israel 70 years ago was built on the Jewish people's connection to their historical homeland, as well as the urgency of establishing a nation in the wake of the horror of the Holocaust and the centuries of anti-Semitic oppression leading up to it. Many of the founders of Israel were themselves refugees who survived indescribable horrors."

Omar's swallowed a Zionist primer here. To clarify briefly:

*There are Jews, a faith community, but no such entity as "the Jewish people."

*Palestine is not the historical homeland of this Zionist concoction. Palestine is the homeland, first and foremost, of the dispossessed Palestinian Arab people, whether they be in exile, under military occupation, or just hanging on as second-class citizens in what is billed as the 'Jewish' state.

*Israel was not a product of the Holocaust, but rather the result of a determined, settler-colonial project, run by Zionist fanatics given a foothold in Palestine by British imperialism in World War I.

*The "founders of Israel," such as David Ben-Gurion, were not "refugees who survived indescribable horror." Rather, they were seasoned Zionist ideologues and operatives who perpetrated the "indescribable horror" of ethnic cleansing on the indigenous Palestinian population from 1948-9. Ben-Gurion, for example, the architect of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, was a Polish Jew who migrated to Ottoman Palestine in 1906.

"We must acknowledge that this is also the historical homeland of Palestinians. And without a state, the Palestinian people live in a state of permanent refugeehood and displacement. This, too, is a refugee crisis, and they, too, deserve freedom and dignity. A balanced, inclusive approach to the conflict recognizes the shared desire for security and freedom of both peoples. I support a two-state solution, with internationally recognized borders, which allows for both Israelis and Palestinians to have their own sanctuaries and self-determination. This has been official bipartisan US policy across two decades and has been supported by each of the most recent Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as the consensus of the Israeli security establishment... "

OFFS, the two-state mantra... trotted out by every hack Western politician on the planet, including our own.

So what is going on here?

Essentially, Omar is in the process of being made aware that in the US Israel is not a foreign policy issue, but a domestic one. The process began when she backtracked from her factually impeccable comment that US politicians were essentially in the pay of the Israel lobby, tweeting that "Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes."

Just who these "Jewish allies and colleagues" are we do not know, but one can be forgiven for thinking that they are unlikely to be anti-Zionists.

The pressure on Omar to conform to a liberal Zionist consensus on Palestine/Israel can only be imagined. Some idea may be had from this observation on the US by Edward Said:

"In no other country, except Israel, is Zionism enshrined as an unquestioned good, and in no other country is there so strong a conjuncture of powerful institutions and interests - the press, the liberal intelligentsia, the military-industrial complex, the academic community, labor unions - for whom uncritical support of Israel and Zionism enhances their domestic as well as international standing." (The Question of Palestine, 1979, p 58)

Omar could do no better than read Said's seminal work.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

In the Shadow of the Knights Templar

"In his manifesto, the gunman said he was not a direct member of any organisation or group... 'No group ordered my attack, I make the decision myself,' he said. 'Though I did contact the reborn Knights Templar for a blessing in support of the attack, which was given'. Dr Roose said little was known about membership of the reborn Knights Templar, originally a Christian fighting force active in the medieval era. But he said the movement harked back to 'a time of perceived Western superiority'." (From 'vocal ratbags' a deadly threat emerges, Andrew Burrell, Paul Maley, The Australian, 16/3/19)

American singer/songwriter David Rovics, in his brilliant 2011 song, Breivik, could equally have been writing about our own, home-grown Knight Templar/Anders Breivik, the thoroughly medieval Brenton Tarrant: 

They say he acted alone for a Europe white and free
A sick and twisted man from an otherwise sane society
The image of Aryan blond, almost iridescent
With a manifesto quoting from the Crusades to the present
But he stood on many shoulders, of this we can be sure
A millenia of xenophobes who slaughter to be pure
Since before the First Crusade, when a mighty Christian band
Hacked and stabbed and burned their way to the Holy Land

They say he acted alone but in his mind he was another
Of those who came before him, his mighty Christian brothers
Who rode, covered in armour, and served their masters well
They vowed to chastity, they vowed to kill the infidel
They marauded west and east in the name of Christendom
They killed Jews, Muslims, pagans, fellow Christians by the thousand
In the name of Jesus, from the Jordan to the Rhine
The red cross on their chest plates, their terrifying sign
In the Shadow of the Knights Templar

They say he acted alone, no one said this of the Pope
Whose victims were left burning or hanging from a rope
The Lord's own Inquisition for six centuries
The ethnic cleansing of a continent, a Christian tyranny
European Jews and European Muslims
Fled the Christian Caliphate to be protected by the Sultan
For five hundred years they prospered beneath the Turkish sky
For those left behind: convert or die
In the shadow of the Knights Templar

They say he acted alone but he's living in a country
Where the xenophobic right is the second-biggest party
And he's living on a continent that is over-run
With Prime ministers who tell us multiculturalism is done
They brag of their traditions, they swell with Christian pride
For their civilization built on genocide
Anders Breivik pulled the trigger but he didn't write the play
That script was being written a thousand years ago today
In the shadow of the Knights Templar

They say he acted alone and they want us to believe
That moderating rhetoric is the best we can achieve
But moderating rhetoric will bring us nowhere near
To the understanding that the problem is right here
European empires, European greed
European Christians, poison European seeds
European racists running European states
European tolerance for European hate
In the shadow of the Knights Templar

Look it up on YouTube.

Monday, March 18, 2019

'Israel Mourns'

The arch-terrorist who presides over a worse-than-apartheid state never misses a trick:

"Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshipers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand. Israel sends its condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded." (Tweet @netanyahu, 15/3/19)

Seldom has the stench of hypocrisy been so rank.

As it happens, 19 of the 50 slain were reportedly of Palestinian origin, and hence, in one form or another, already the victims of Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

And this, just before, or after  - I don't know which, and it hardly matters - Netanyahu ordered 100 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Greg Sheridan: Today & Yesterday

A most interesting response to the mosque massacres in New Zealand comes from the foreign editor of The AustralianGreg Sheridan. Suddenly, uncharacteristically, this knee-jerk defender of Israeli apartheid and genocide, is all sweetness and light when it comes to Muslims:

"Today we are all Muslims... Like almost all right-wing terrorism, it was motivated by filthy racism and racial hatred... Everyone involved in politics and online activism should reflect on the dangers of exaggerated rhetoric, exaggerated grievance, exaggerated resentment... Decent social democrats, conservatives, liberals and others do not see race when they interact with other human beings... Yet throughout the West we are in the process of re-emphasising race as the central consideration in our politics." (In face of racist terror, we are all Muslims today, The Australian, 16/3/19)

But MERC has a long memory when it comes to Sheridan. Just cop a load of this Islamophobic dog-whistling:

"Uncontrolled Muslim immigration into Europe has been a public policy failure, if not an outright disaster. This is the view of most Europeans, as measured by opinion polls, and of a large number of European officials and politicians. Having just spent a month in Europe, talking to dozens of officials, politicians and immigrants, it is a view I reluctantly share. This is given sharp relief by the illegal immigration crisis Australia is experiencing to its north. The spike now in boat arrivals involves Sri Lankans, but this is primarily a route that would be used by Muslim illegal immigrants. There is nothing wrong with Muslim immigration. It goes without saying that the vast majority of Muslim immigrants are good Australians and perfectly law-abiding citizens. However, it is simply denying reality to pretend that the cultural distinctiveness and assertiveness of Islam, and of the propensity for a small but distinctively substantial minority to be attracted to extremism, does not pose problems." (Europe looks Down Under for answers on immigration, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 24/10/09)

That's right, "today we are all Muslims," but what about yesterday? And tomorrow?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Morrison & Tarrant: Six Degrees of Separation?

Scott Morrison 2011:

"The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate's growing concerns about 'Muslim immigration', 'Muslims in Australia' and the 'inability' of Muslim migrants to integrate." (Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy, Lenore Taylor, Sydney Morning Herald, 17/2/11)

Scott Morrison 2019:

"I'm horrified by the reports I'm following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins." (Tweet @ScottMorrisonMP, 14/3/19)

Note that Morrison cannot even bring himself to use the word terrorism ("serious shooting"), or Muslims ("Kiwi cousins").

In the mold of the Norwegian white supremacist terrorist Anders Breivik, the white supremacist perpetrator of the New Zealand massacres, Brenton Tarrant, had stated in a manifesto that his aim was "to take revenge for the thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders in European lands throughout history."

This is arguably only a matter of degrees away from the real Scott Morrison, so beautifully summed up by Sydney Morning Herald journalist Tony Wright. (Remember that, before becoming immigration minister, Morrison was the managing director of Tourism Australia, trying to persuade people to visit Australia through an international advertising campaign starring model Lara Bingle, exclaiming, 'Where the bloody hell are you?'):

"His job these days," wrote Wright, "is to persuade would-be visitors to stay away from Australia. The old tourism chief has reversed his talent for propaganda by launching an international advertising campaign warning that the boat borne will find themselves in a concentration camp in the malarial jungles of Manus Island or the sweat box of Nauru, not a Lara in sight, if they so much as think of climbing aboard a leaky craft. Being an enthusiastic Christian, he declares that his concern is for the safety of what he calls 'illegals'." (Morrison keeps House in dark, 14/11/13)

Friday, March 15, 2019

Pre-Election Fundraising at the Pratt's

Sarah Ferguson: They're [the Israel lobby] still a very small group of people. How do you account for them wielding so much power?
Bob Carr: I think party donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists to Israel. (7.30 Report, 9/4/14)


And the latest news on the political donations front is as follows:

"Treasurer Josh Frydenberg struggled to get past security when he drove himself to the billionaire Pratt family mansion Raheen for a fundraiser last night. Life's a bit like that for the Liberals right now... Last night's event was a Liberal Party pre-election fundraiser with Melbourne's money: a $12,000-a-head dinner hosted by the billionaire family matriarch Jeanne Pratt.

"Despite the salubrious setting, selling selling tickets wasn't as easy as for events at previous elections.* All up, we're told there were fewer than 100 people at the Kew mansion. That's including the Morrison ministry. 'The Libs aren't going to bloody win, are they?' one well-connected Melbourne businessperson told us, explaining the lack of paying guests.

"Not everyone kept away from an autumnal event that, some might observe, skewed towards the pale, male and stale. Those along were each gifted two federal ministers per table... In trundled the determinedly optimistic Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the endangered Attorney-General Christian Porter, the Xavier College-alumni turned Catholic-loving Education Minister Dan Tehan... and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and his fellow Turnbull-slayer Mitch Fifield...

"Presumably paying guests spotted by Margin Call included Myer boss Garry Hounsell... Vocus Bob Mansfield (Telstra's chair back in the Howard era), Arnold, Bloch Leibler senior partner Mark Leibler and Pratt family member Raphael 'Raffy' Geminder, the billionaire chair of packaging outfit Pact.

"While Jeanne was on hosting duties, we gather that her son and Raheen housemate Anthony Pratt (Australia's richest person) was last night away on business.

"Bet you the Visy billionaire is back in the manor when ascendant Labor leader Bill Shorten and his troops arrive for a reciprocal fundraising event in a couple of weeks. Some fundraising dinners are better than others - even when they're held at your place." (More ghosts than guests at Lib fundraiser, Margin Call, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, The Australian Business Review, 13/3/19)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Is the Moon Made of Green Cheese?

"More than 700 political parties, universities, lobbying firms, media companies and politicians have been warned they could fall foul of a foreign agents register aimed at tracking the role of overseas actors in Australian politics. Attorney-General Christian Porter said officials were ready to chase down foreign actors who chose to 'run the gauntlet' rather than disclose allegiances, under the new Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme. With the three-month grace period expiring tomorrow, 10 entities have so far self-reported, a fraction of the hundreds of individuals and groups likely to fall within the register's scope." (A-G's warning to foreign agents, Paul Maley, The Australian, 11/3/19)

Foreign influence?

Merely recall the blunt words of the Australian official quoted in journalist Peter Hartcher's piece in the Sydney Morning Herald:

"It wouldn't matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister's chair... they [the Israelis] know they've got us by the balls... partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby." (See my 2/3/10 post The Mind Boggles.)

Last time I looked there was no reference to the FITS on AIJAC's (Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council) website.

Is its executive director, Colin Rubenstein, I wonder, lying awake at night, sweating over Christian Porter's "gauntlet"?

Is the moon made of green cheese?

(For a useful review of the Israel lobby's clout in Australian politics see Ali Kazak's Why should Israel's lobby have different standards?,, 7/12/17.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Zionist Lawfare in the UK

The Zionist smear campaign against the pro-Palestinian, socialist leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has reached a whole new level, that of lawfare:

"Britain's equality watchdog has said it believes Labour may have 'unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs' as it announced the first step of a statutory inquiry into the party's handling of antisemitism complaints. The party said it would cooperate with the regulator, while its increasingly outspoken deputy leader, Tom Watson, called on party officials to ensure no emails or records were deleted.

"An Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) spokesperson said: 'Having received a number of complaints regarding antisemitism in the Labour party, we believe Labour may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs. Our concerns are sufficient for us to consider using our statutory enforcement powers. As set out in our enforcement policy, we are now engaging with the Labour party to give them an opportunity to respond.'

"The regulator's announcement followed legal complaints made by Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA)* and the Jewish Labour Movement** last year, which have argued that the party was not compliant with equalities law. The move is the first step in an investigatory process by the EHRC, and if the regulator concludes Labour has a case to answer it could go on to open a full inquiry under section 20 of the Equalities Act 2006." (Labour antisemitism equalities watchdog opens investigation, Dan Sabbagh,, 7/3/19)

"May have"?

So why then, on the EHRC's website, do the in-text quotes above appear under the heading "Antisemitism in the Labour Party: our response to complaints"? Shouldn't that be Alleged Antisemitism in the Labour Party... ?

I mean, if the word alleged isn't automatically used in the EHRC's reference to complaints, what confidence can one have in this body's inquiry into the matter? Where is the presumption of innocence here?

[*The CAA has been described by UK anti-Zionist activist Tony Greenstein as "a British propaganda organization and registered charity that specializes in defaming Palestinian solidarity campaigners." (Antisemitism is a campaign against Palestinians, The Electronic Intifada, 20/3/17);**The JLM has ties to the Israeli embassy.]

Monday, March 11, 2019

Churchill's Twisted, Colonial Logic

Further to my previous post on Churchill, I thought some of his other answers to questions put to him in March 1937 by the Peel commissioners might prove instructive.

Remember, as you read them, that the Palestinian Arabs - Muslims and Christians - constituted over 90% of Palestine's population when the Balfour Declaration, giving British backing to a Jewish National Home in Palestine, was issued in 1917, and that, despite the mass immigration of European Jews into Palestine from 1918 on, under the protection of British bayonets, they were still the overwhelming majority in their ancestral homeland in 1937.

Remember, also, that despite Britain's other myriad colonial crimes, stretching from the very beginnings of the empire 'upon which the sun never set and the blood never dried', no other colonised people that I am aware of were subjected to anything like the Kafkaesque nightmare of having their independence indefinitely postponed by a ruling colonial power with the express purpose that they would one day be superseded by another, 'superior' people, bent on the formation of an exclusive, ethnocratic, settler-colonial state.

Behold the Churchillian 'logic' behind this cruel experiment (or as one of the commissioners put it: 'a thing unheard of in history').

Q: What was the meaning and aim of the Jewish National Home?

A: The conception... was that, if the absorbtive capacity over a number of years and the breeding over a number of years... gave an increasing Jewish population, that population should not in any way be restricted from reaching a majority position.

Q: What arrangements would be made to safeguard the rights of the new minority - the Arabs?

A: That obviously remains open, but certainly we committed ourselves to the idea that some day... subject to justice and economic convenience, there might well be a great Jewish State there, numbered by millions, far exceeding the present inhabitants of the country and to cut them off from that would be a wrong... We said there should be a Jewish Home in Palestine, but if more and more Jews gather to that Home and all is worked from age to age, from generation to generation, with justice and fair consideration to those displaced... certainly... it was intended that they might in the course of time become an overwhelmingly Jewish State.

Q: When you said [in your 1922 White Paper] that the Jewish National Home in Palestine... may become a centre in which the Jewish people may take a pride, what did you mean??

A: If more Jews rally to this Home, the Home will become all Palestine eventually, provided that at each stage there is no harsh justice done to the other residents.

Q: Would this not constitute an injustice to the Palestinian Arabs?

A: Why is there harsh injustice done if people come in and make a livelihood for more and make the desert into palm groves and orange groves? Why is it injustice because there is more work and wealth for everybody? There is no injustice. The injustice is when those who live in the country leave it to be a desert for thousands of years.*

Q: Isn't continuing Jewish immigration a creeping invasion and conquest of Palestine spread over half a century, which is a thing unheard of in history?

A: It is not a creeping invasion. In 1918 the Arabs were beaten and at our disposition. They were defeated in the open field. It is not a question of creeping conquest. They were beaten out of the place. Not a dog could bark. And then we decided in the process of the conquest of these people to make certain pledges to the Jews. Now the question is how to administer in a humane and enlightened fashion and certain facts have emerged.

I could go on, but I'm sure you've got the idea.

[*Shades of Tony Abbott's words of 15/11/14: "As we look around this glorious city, as we see the extraordinary development, it's hard to think that back in 1788 it was nothing but bush."]

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Q & A with Tony Abbott

If you're a Young Liberal, and you find yourself under siege by Bolshevik and Maoist academics, to whom should you turn for advice and guidance?

Silly question. Tony Abbott of course!

"Recently, some Liberal students asked me what might they do to armour themselves against their left-wing lecturers. My response: familiarise yourselves with the bigger story of which we Australians are but part. And a good place to begin is to read and regularly re-read the New Testament (it's our core document) and to read cover to cover Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples, because you can't understand us without knowing that." (Covert brainwashing of our kids is taking its tollThe Australian, 9/3/19)

And why is our Suppository of Wisdom - Tony's own words, you'll remember - recommending dear old Winston to the troops? Could it be because, deep down, he shares Churchill's colonial, supremacist mindset?

Many examples of this mindset may be adduced from Churchill's long history of racism, but my particular favourite emerged in the context of the 1937 Palestine Royal Commission, aka the Peel Commission. Palestine at the time, of course, was in the throes of a full-scale rebellion against Zionist immigration and colonisation - imposed on the indigenous Palestinians by British bullets and bayonets:

Lord Peel:

"[Do you think] Britain might have some compunction if she felt she was downing the Arabs year after year when they wanted to remain in their own country?"


"I do not admit that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to those people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race... has come in and taken its place." (Churchill & The Jews, Martin Gilbert, 2007, p 120)

Churchill's testimony, btw, was kept secret by the commissioners.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Dark History of Labour Racism

The latest absolute must-read from Jonathan Cook on British Labour's civil war and the sorry history of its institutional Zionist racism:

"An announcement this week by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) that it is considering splitting from the British Labour Party could not have come at a worse time for Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader is already besieged by claims that he is presiding over a party that has become 'institutionally anti-semitic'. The threats by the JLM should be seen as part of concerted efforts to oust Corbyn from the leadership. They follow on the heels of a decision by a handful of Labour MPs last month to set up a new faction called the Independent Group. They, too, cited anti-semitism as a major reason for leaving.

"On the defensive, Corbyn was prompted to write to the JLM expressing his and the shadow cabinet's 'very strong desire for you to remain a part of our movement'. More than 100 Labour MPs, including members of the front bench, similarly pleaded with the JLM not to disaffiliate. They apologised for 'toxic racism' in the party and for 'letting our Jewish supporters and members down'. Their letter noted that the JLM is 'the legitimate and long-standing representative of Jews in the Labour party' and added that the MPs recognised the importance of 'calling out those who seek to make solidarity with our Jewish comrades a test of foreign policy'.

"That appeared to be a swipe at Corbyn himself, who is the first leader of a British political party to prioritise Palestinian rights over the UK's ties to an Israeli state that has been oppressing Palestinians for decades. Only this week the Labour leader renewed his call for Britain to halt arms sales to Israel following a UN report that said the Israeli army's shooting of Palestinian protesters in Gaza's Great March of Return could amount to war crimes.

"Despite the media attention, all the evidence suggests that Labour does not have a problem of 'institutional anti-semitism', or even a problem of anti-semitism above the marginal racism towards Jews found in the wider British population. Figures show only 0.08% of Labour members have been disciplined for anti-semitism.

"Also largely ignored by the British media, and Corbyn's opponents, is the fact that a growing number of Jews are publicly coming out in support for him and discounting the claims of an 'epidemic' anti-semitism problem. Some 200 prominent Jews signed a letter to the Guardian newspaper calling Corbyn 'a crucial ally in the fight against bigotry and reaction. His lifetime record of campaigning for equality and human rights, including consistent support for initiatives against antisemitism, is formidable.' At the same time, a new organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, has been established to underscore that there are progressive Jews who welcome Corbyn's leadership.

"In the current hysterical climate, however, no one seems interested in the evidence or these dissenting voices. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that Corbyn and his supporters are on the back foot as they face losing from Labour an affiliate group of 2,000 members who represent a section of the UK's Jewish community.

"But paradoxically, the loss of the JLM may be inevitable if Labour is serious about becoming a party that opposes racism in all its forms, because the JLM has proved that it is incapable of meeting that simple standard. While the Labour Party has been dragged into an increasingly fractious debate about whether anti-Zionism - opposition to Israel as a Jewish state - equates to anti-semitism, everyone has been distracted from that elephant in the room. In fact, it is political Zionism, at least in the hardline form adopted by groups such as the JLM that is racism - towards Palestinians.

"Zionism, we should recall, required the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians to engineer a 'Jewish state' on the ruins of Palestinians' homeland. It fuelled Israel's hunger for an enlarged territory that led to it occupying the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and further dispossessing the Palestinians through illegal settlement building. Zionism has made it impossible for any Israeli government to offer meaningful concessions to Palestinians on statehood to create the conditions necessary for peace. It has justified policies that view 'mixing between the races' - between Jews and Palestinians - as dangerous 'miscegenation' and 'assimilation'. Furthermore, Zionism has kept Israel's Palestinian citizens a segregated minority, hemmed up in their own ghettoised communities, denied rights to almost all land in Israel, and corralled into their own separate and massively inferior school system.

"All of these policies were instituted by Israel's Labor Party, the sister organisation of the JLM in Britain. The JLM not only refuses to oppose these policies, but effectively shields Israel from criticism about them from within Britain's Labour Party. The JLM remained mute on the structural violence of Israel's occupying army, and the systemic racism - encoded in Israel's laws - towards the fifth of its population who are Palestinian citizens. Meanwhile, the JLM's mother body, the World Zionist Organization, has a division that - to this day - finances the establishment and expansion of settlements in the West Bank, in violation of international law.

"Added to this, an Al-Jazeera undercover documentary broadcast in 2017 showed that the JLM was covertly working with an Israeli government official, Shai Masot, to damage Corbyn because of his pro-Palestinian positions. Israel, remember, has for the last decade equated to the ultra-nationalist government of Benjamin Netanyahu. His coalition allies seek not a two-state solution, but the takeover of most of the occupied territories and ultimately their annexation, again in violation of international law. Ella Rose was appointed director of the JLM in 2016, straight from a post at the Israeli embassy. Times - and politics - move on. The JLM is a relic of a period when it was possible to claim to be anti-racist while turning a blind eye to the oppression of the Palestinian people. Social media and Palestinians armed with camera phones - not just Corbyn - have made that evasion no longer possible. Labour giving pride of place to groups such as the JLM or Labour Friends of Israel - to which 80 of its MPs proudly belong - is, in the current circumstances, as obscene as it would have been 40 years ago for British parties to host their own Friends of South Africa groups.

"The Labour Party bureaucracy is being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the modern world by its members, who have felt liberated by Corbyn's leadership and his history of supporting all kinds of anti-racism struggles, including the Palestinian one. While Britain has major and pressing issues to tackle, from dealing with its exit from Europe to imminent climate collapse, Labour's energies have been sidetracked into a civil war about Israel, of all things. The old guard want to be allowed to support Israel, even as it heads towards full-blown fascism, while much of the membership want to dissociate from what looks increasingly like another apartheid state - and one whose leaders are seeking to stoke a conflict across a volatile region.

"Israel's most ardent supporters, and Corbyn's enemies, in Labour will play dirty to protect Israel and their own role from scrutiny, as they have been doing all along. The JLM led moves last year to divide the party by insisting that Labour redefine anti-semitism to include criticism of Israel. Rumblings of dissatisfaction from the JLM will be cited as further evidence of the membership's anti-semitism, because that is the most powerful weapon they have to silence criticism of Israel and deflect attention away from their role in shielding Israel from proper scrutiny within Labour.

"In 1944 - four years before Israel's creation - Labour's annual conference recommended that the natives of Palestine, a large majority population, be ethnically cleansed to advance the goals of European Zionists colonizing their land. The resolution declared: 'Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out, as the Jews move in.' That is what Israel did by expelling 750,000 Palestinians, more than 80% of the Palestinian population, in events we now call the Nakba (Catastrophe).

"For decades after Israel's creation, Labour Party members happily travelled to Israel to toil in agricultural communities, such as the kibbutz, that were built on stolen Palestinian land and which, to this day, refuse to allow any of the country's 1.7 million Palestinian citizens to live in them. In a speech in 1972, after Israel seized yet more Palestinian lands, including East Jerusalem, Labour leader Harold Wilson urged Israel to hold on to these conquered territories: 'Israel's reaction is natural and proper in refusing to accept the Palestinians as a nation.'

"This is the dark, dishonourable underbelly of Labour racism, and the party's decades-long support for colonialism in the Middle East. Labour created a hierarchy of racisms, in which hatred towards Jews enjoyed star billing while racism towards some other groups, most especially Palestinians, barely registered.

"Under Corbyn and a much-expanded membership, these prejudices are being challenged in public for the first time - and that is unjustifiably making the party an 'unsafe' space for groups such as the JLM and Labour Friends of Israel, which hang on to outdated, hardline Zionist positions. The JLM's claim to speak for all Jews in Labour has been challenged by anti-racist Jews like those of the Jewish Voice for Labour. Their efforts to defend Corbyn and Labour's record have been widely ignored by the media or, encouraged by JLM, dismissed as 'downplaying' anti-semitism.

The JLM's discomfort may be unfortunate, but it cannot be avoided. It is the price to be paid for the continuing battle by progressives to advance universal rights and defeat racism. This battle has been waged since the Universal declaration of Human Rights was published in 1948 - paradoxically, the year Israel was established by violating the core principles of that declaration.

"Israel's racism towards Palestinians has been indulged by Labour too long. Now history is catching up with Israel, and with groups such as the JLM. Labour MPs have a choice. They can stand on the wrong side of history, battling the tide like some modern King Canute, or they can recognise that it is time to fully enter the modern era - and that means embracing a programme of anti-racism that encompasses everyone, including Jews and Palestinians. (Labour's civil war on Israel has been a long time coming,, 7/3/19)

Friday, March 8, 2019

Zionist Propaganda Fatigue

Yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald excelled itself, devoting half a page to Zionist propaganda.

"Spacecraft snaps epic selfie," reads the headline.

That was followed by this nauseous Zionist trumpeting:

"Organisers of a privately funded Israeli space mission released a striking photo on Tuesday, London time. It shows the spacecraft Beresheet, Hebrew for Genesis, orbiting some 37,500 kilometres away, with the entire Earth (including Australia) visible. A plaque includes the Hebrew inscription 'The People Of Israel Live'. It's scheduled to land on the moon on April 11."

And the "epic selfie" of the headline turns out to be a sticker (?), partly obscuring a distant planet Earth. It contains an Israeli flag and the words SMALL COUNTRY, BIG DREAMS - yes, in bold upper case letters.

Meanwhile, in yesterday's Australian, we find the screaming headline Israelis shoot Palestinians dead after car-ram attack.

When you read the report, however, the "car-ram attack" begins to look more like a road accident.

What appears to have happened is this:

1) Israeli troops were leaving a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank after a routine terrorising of its inhabitants.
2) Their vehicle broke down near a bend in the road.
3) Three young Palestinian men in a small car, travelling in the opposite direction, rounded the bend and accidentally collided with the stationary Israeli vehicle, injuring 2 soldiers in the process.
4) Trigger-happy troops opened fire, killing two of the Palestinians and wounding a third.
5) The wounded survivor was  forced to confess that he and his friends had intended to ram the troops and also that they had been driving around, "hurling firebombs."
6) Conveniently, the troops allegedly "found additional firebombs" in the Palestinians' car.

In short, the Israeli troops murdered two Palestinian civilians, spun their crime as a response to a terrorist attack, tortured a wounded Palestinian to extract a confession, and planted 'evidence' at the scene of the crime.

Mahmoud Habbash, "a Palestinian supreme [court] judge and adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas," quoted in the AFP report, makes the bleeding obvious point: "It is inconceivable that three young men carry out an operation to run over the occupation soldiers in a car. One driver would be enough."

As it happens, we've seen this scenario before - in the Israeli film Foxtrot (2018), where troops manning a checkpoint shoot up a Palestinian car, killing those inside, and bury the vehicle with the bodies still inside as a cover-up.

Electronic Intifada's Maureen Clare Murphy provides the following context in her report of the incident:

"The Israeli newspaper Haaretz also noted: 'Veteran security figures who have been keeping watch on the West Bank for years can't recall a case of using a car to deliberately ram into people when there was more than one person inside the vehicle.' The paper added: 'Car ramming attacks generally involve one person, who may have acted on momentary impulse.' Israeli forces have opened fire on Palestinian vehicles in which more than one person was traveling in what Israel said were alleged attacks over the past few years, killing a brother in a car with his sister and a teenager travelling with his fiancee. Last year, Israeli forces and armed civilians killed 15 Palestinian assailants or alleged assailants in the West Bank." (Two Palestinians killed in alleged attack, 4/3/19)

But those details would be a bridge too far for Murdoch's Australian.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

From Raw Deal to Done Deal

NSW is about to undergo an election, and many and varied are the unknown quantities who vie with sitting members for their place in the state's upper and lower houses of parliament.

For instance:

"Elly Howse, Labor's candidate for Balmain at the NSW election, has conceded the controversial WestConnex motorway is a done deal, accusing sitting Greens MP Jamie Parker of being 'disingenuous' in promising to halt its progress." (Motorway to decide how inner west is won, Jessica Cortis, The Australian, 6/3/19)

Except that Elly's not really an unknown quantity to long-time readers of MERC with a retentive memory.

Now this is going to sound somewhat off-topic for a bit, but please bear with me. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but those words "done deal" surely speak volumes about our political class, especially the Labor left component. For too many of them there seems to be a point in their political trajectory where they shrug off raw deals (such as the NSW Liberal government's WestConnex project) as done deals.

To take Elly Howse for example, there was once a time, around 10 years ago, when this 30-year old political aspirant was on fire with a desire for justice in the face of a manifest raw deal. Now here she is, no longer on fire, shrugging off such raw deals as done deals. So what happened? When did that youthful fire first begin to flicker and then die?

If we examine what we know of her career trajectory, I'd say it was in 2010. You'll see what I mean if you click on 'Young Labor' below and read my 1/10/13 post A Transformative Experience.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Real Institutional Racism

Fake institutional racism:

"At a press conference in London, Liverpool Wavertee MP [and former director of Labour Friends of Israel] Luciana Berger said she was 'embarrassed and ashamed' to be a member of the Labour Party which she said was 'institutionally antisemitic' and had 'a culture of bullying, bigotry and intimidation'. Ms Berger has long been a target for antisemitic Labour activists who have plied her with abuse and death threats.* (Seven Labour MPs resign citing 'institutional', 'sickening' antisemitism, Orlando Radice,, 18/2/19)

Real institutional racism:

"The Conservative party has suspended 14 members for allegedly making Islamophobic comments after a string of abusive posts were uncovered on social media... The suspensions come at a time of growing scrutiny of the Conservative party's record on Islamophobia, with the former Tory chairman Sayeeda Warsi again calling for an internal inquiry and suggesting the most senior figures in the party - including Theresa May - need to take the problem more seriously. The messages included one from an individual who wrote that they would like to 'turf all Muslims out of public office'. Another said they wanted to 'get rid of all mosques'... A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said the [FB] posts showed 'the scale of Islamophobia at all levels of the party is astonishing'." (Tories suspend 14 members over alleged Islamophobia, Dan Sabbagh,, 6/3/19)

[*Berger's Wikipedia entry makes it clear that these came from far-right sources, not "Labour activists."]

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Thought of the Day

"Isn't it odd? No-one gave a shit about anti-Semitism before Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader... except Jeremy Corbyn."

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Guardian: Buyer Beware

This being the internet age, I suspect that many consumers of international news are now resorting to the Guardian, whether the UK original, or the Australian spin-off. 

'Buyer beware' is my advice. On Palestine/Israel, you invariably get softcore Zionism, and on Syria, crap like this:

"The hope must be that criminal justice will one day close in on Syria's murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad, his henchmen and enablers... It may take time... but criminal investigators will eventually work their way up the chain of responsibility to incriminate Syria's tyrant for the slaughter of his own people for almost eight straight years... The Khmer Rouge trials in Cambodia were held two decades after the genocides. Pinochet was arrested eight years after his dictatorship ended in Chile. Slobodan Milosevic dies in jail, not in a palace." (Assad can still be brought to justice - and Europe's role is crucial, Natalie Nougayrede, 1/3/19)

The good news is that a scan of the comment thread which follows Nougayrede's purple prose reveals that the overwhelming bulk of readers just aren't buying her regime change line.

As one astute reader wrote scathingly, "I am utterly amazed that the comments were ever opened for this article. In fact, there are hardly any Guardian articles open for comment these days. Sometimes I think I might as well be reading Hello magazine."

Exactly why he was amazed becomes clear from his/her second comment: "Natalie Nougayrede - I've never read an article so out of touch with reality. The US, UK, and one or two others, were responsible for fomenting this war; and it never was a civil war. The people who belong in the dock in the Hague are the leaders of these countries. And, as has been known for a long time, Assad did not use chemical weapons against his own people or anyone else. Assad, the Russians, and the Iranians deserve credit for preventing the destruction of yet another Middle Eastern country by Western forces and their proxy terrorist groups which, as always, when it suits them, ignore or flout international law. Iraq was an eye-opener for me. The lies and complicity of our Western mainstream media and its journalists are utterly deplorable, and this article and its like deserve the utmost condemnation."

That comment, by the way, had garnered 42 likes last time I looked.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

'A Call for Help from a Population in Despair'

When you hear Australia's shambolic Christian Zionist prime minister Scott Morrison prating that "[t]he UN General Assembly is now the place where Israel is bullied and where anti-Semitism is cloaked in the language of human rights... This year the Human Rights Council passed 6 motions condemning Israel compared to a total of 14 across the rest of the world" (70th Anniversary of Australia's formal diplomatic relationship with the State of Israel,, 19/2/19), consider it a salutary reminder of just how vital and necessary is the work of the UNGA in general, and the HRC in particular, in documenting and calling out the serial crimes of the apartheid state. Crimes such as those outlined in this press release from The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Gaza protests, for example:

"The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory today presented its findings. The report focuses on the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, referred to as the 'Great March of Return and the Breaking of the Siege'.

"The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel,' said the Chair of the Commission, Santiago Canton of Argentina.

"The Commission was mandated by the Human Rights Council in May 2018 to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in the context of the large-scale protests that began in Gaza on 30 March 2018. The Commission comprises Santiago Canton of Argentina (Chair), Sara Hossain of Bangladesh and Betty Murungi of Kenya.

"More than 6,000 unarmed demonstrators were shot by military snipers, week after week at the protest sites by the separation fence.

"The Commission investigated every killing at the designated demonstration sites by the Gaza separation fence on official protest days. The investigation covered the period from the start of the protests until 31 December 2018. 189 Palestinians were killed during the demonstrations inside this period. The Commission found that Israeli Security Forces killed 183 of these protesters with live ammunition. Thirty-five of these fatalities were children, while three were clearly marked paramedics, and two were clearly marked journalists.

"According to the the Commission's data analysis, the Israeli Security Forces injured 6,106 with live ammunition at the protest sites during the period. Another 3,098 Palestinians were injured by bullet fragmentation, rubber-coated metal bullets or by hits from tear gas canisters. Four Israeli soldiers were injured at the demonstrations. One Israeli soldier was killed on a protest day but outside the protest sites.

"'There can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them. Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities,' said Sarah Hossain. 'Many young persons' lives have been altered forever. 122 people have had a limb amputated since 30 March last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.'

"The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.

"Unless undertaken lawfully in self-defence, intentionally shooting a civilian not directly participating in hostilities is a war crime. The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that individual members of the Israeli Security Forces, in the course of their response to the demonstrations, killed and injured civilians who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an imminent threat. These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

"The Commission took note of the Israeli claim that the protests by the separation fence masked 'terror activities' by Palestinian armed groups. The Commission found however that the demonstrations were civilian in nature, with clearly stated political aims. Despite some acts of significant violence, the Commission found that the demonstrations did not constitute combat or military campaigns.

"The applicable legal framework was thus based in international human rights law. This assessment did not change even though the Commission's investigation revealed that some demonstrators were members of organized armed groups. Others were members of political parties. International human rights law prohibits the use of force based solely on a person's actual or alleged affiliation to any group, rather than their conduct.

"The Commission found that some members of the Higher National Committee organising the protests, which includes Hamas representatives, encouraged or defended demonstators' use of indiscriminate incendiary kites and balloons, causing fear among civilians and significant damage to property in southern Israel. The Commission concluded that Hamas, as the de facto authority in Gaza, failed to prevent these acts.

"The Commission conducted 325 interviews with victims, witnesses and sources, and gathered more than 8,000 documents. An integral part of the investigation was comprehensive analysis of social media, and of vast amounts of audio-visual material showing incidents, including drone footage.

"The Commission was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to focus on accountability and identify those responsible for violations and alleged international crimes.

"'The Commission will place the relevant information in a confidential file to be handed over to the High Commissioner of Human Rights, to provide access to this information to national and international justice mechanisms. The International Criminal Court is already concerned with this situation,' said Betty Murungi. [...]

"'The onus is now on Israel to investigate every protest-related killing and injury, promptly, impartially and independently in accordance with international standards, to determine whether war crimes or crimes against humanity were committed, with a view to holding accountable those found responsible,' said Santiago Canton... 'The Commission finds that these protests were a call for help from a population in despair', Santiago Canton reminded. 'Not only Israel but also the de facto authorities led by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have responsibilities towards them. The Commission calls on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza, and on all three duty bearers to comply with their responsibilities and improve the living situation in Gaza.'

"The Israeli authorities did not respond to repeated requests by the Commission for information and access to Israel and to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

"A fuller report, containing detailed factual and contextual information and legal analysis will be published and presented to the Human Rights Council on 18 March 2019 in Geneva." (No justification for Israel to shoot protesters with live ammunition, 28/2/19)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Modern Witch Hunt

Over 100 years ago, political Zionism unobtrusively entered British politics with the deceptively worded, thoroughly deceitful, Balfour Declaration, which declared that "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people..." Who at the time could possibly have imagined that, as a direct consequence of that disastrous foreign policy blunder, Britain today would be witnessing (in addition to the protracted agony of the Palestinians) the deplorable phenomenon so lucidly analysed below by British journalist Jonathan Cook?

"'McCarthyism' is a word thrown around a lot nowadays, and in the process its true meaning - and horror - has been increasingly obscured. McCarthyism is not just the hounding of someone because their views are unpopular. It is the creation by the powerful of a perfect, self-rationalising system of incrimination - denying the victim a voice, even in their own defence. It presents the accused as an enemy so dangerous, their ideas so corrupting, that they must be silenced from the outset. Their only chance of rehabilitation is prostration before their accusers and utter repentance. McCarthyism, in other words, is the modern political parallel of the witch hunt.

"In an earlier era, the guilt of women accused of witchcraft was tested through the ducking stool. If a woman drowned, she was innocent; if she survived, she was guilty and burnt at the stake. A foolproof system that created an endless supply of the wicked, justifying the status and salaries of the men charged with hunting down ever more of these diabolical women. And that is the Medieval equivalent of where the British Labour Party has arrived, with the suspension of MP Chris Williamson for anti-semitism.

"Williamson, it should be noted, is widely seen as a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, a democratic socialist who was propelled unexpectedly into the Labour leadership nearly four years ago by its members. His elevation infuriated most of the party's MPs, who hanker for the return of the New Labour era under Tony Blair, when the party firmly occupied the political centre.

"Corbyn's success has also outraged vocal supporters of Israel both in the Labour Party - some 80 MPs are stalwart members of Labour Friends of Israel - and in the UK media. Corbyn is the first British party leader in sight of power to prefer the Palestinians' right to justice over Israel's continuing oppression of the Palestinians. For these reasons, the Blairite MPs have been trying to oust Corbyn any way they can. First through a failed re-run of the leadership contest and then by assisting the corporate media - which is equally opposed to Corbyn - in smearing him variously as a shambles, a misogynist, a sympathiser with terrorists, a Russian asset, and finally as an 'enabler' of anti-semitism.

"This last accusation has proved the most fruitful after the Israel lobby began to expand the definition of anti-semitism to include not just hatred of Jews but also criticism of Israel. Labour was eventually forced to accept a redefinition, formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, that conflates anti-Zionism - opposition to Israel's violent creation on the Palestinians' homeland - with anti-semitism.

"Once the mud stuck through repetition, a vocal group of Labour MPs began denouncing the party for being 'institutionally anti-semitic', 'endemically anti-semitic' and a 'cesspit of anti-semitism'. The slurs continued relentlessly, even as statistics proved the accusation to be groundless. The figures show that anti-semitism exists only in the margins of the party, as racism does in all walks of life. Meanwhile, the smears overshadowed the very provable fact that anti-semitism and other forms of racism are rearing their head dangerously on the political right. But the witchfinders were never interested in the political reality. They wanted a never-ending war - a policy of 'zero tolerance' - to root out an evil in their midst, a supposed 'hard left' given succour by Corbyn and his acolytes.

"This is the context for understanding Williamson's 'crime'. Despite the best efforts of our modern witchfinder generals to prove otherwise, Williamson has not been shown to have expressed hatred towards Jews, or even to have made a comment that could be interpreted as anti-semitic. One of the most experienced of the witchfinders, Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, indulged familiar McCarthyite tactics yesterday in trying to prove Williamson's anti-semitism by association. The MP was what Freedland termed a 'Jew baiter' because he has associated with people whom the witchfinders decree to be anti-semites.

"Shortly before he found himself formally shunned by media commentators and his own parliamentary party, Williamson twice confirmed his guilt to the inquisitors.

"First, he dared to challenge the authority of the witchfinders. He suggested that some of those being hounded out of Labour may not in fact be witches. Or more specifically, in the context of constant claims of a Labour 'anti-semitism crisis', he argued that the party had been 'too apologetic' in dealing with the bad-faith efforts of those seeking to damage a Corbyn-led party. In other words, Williamson suggested that Labour ought to be more proactively promoting the abundant evidence that it was indeed dealing with what he called the 'scourge of anti-semitism', and thereby demonstrate to the British public that Labour wasn't 'institutionally anti-semitic'. Labour members, he was pointing out, ought not to have to keep quiet as they were being endlessly slandered as anti-semites.

"As Jewish Voice for Labour, a Jewish group supportive of Corbyn, noted: 'The flood of exaggerated claims of anti-semitism make it harder to deal with any real instances of antisemitism. The credibility of well-founded allegations is undermined by the less credible ones and real perpetrators are more likely not to be held to account. Crying wolf is dangerous when there are real wolves around the corner. This was the reality that Chris Williamson was drawing attention to.'

"As with all inquisitions, however, the witchfinders were not interested in what Williamson actually said, but in the threat he posed to the narrative they have created to destroy their enemy, Corbynism, and reassert their own power. So his words were ripped from their context and presented as proof that he did indeed support witches. He was denounced for saying what he had not: that Labour should not apologise for its anti-semitism. In this dishonest reformulation of Williamson's statement, the witchfinders claimed to show that he had supported anti-semitism, that he consorted with witches.

"Second, Williamson compounded his crime by publicly helping just such a readymade witch: a black Jewish woman named Jackie Walker. He had booked a room in the British parliament building - the seat of our supposed democracy - so that audiences could see a new documentary on an earlier Labour witch hunt. More than two years ago the party suspended Walker over anti-semitism claims. The screening was to inform Labour party members of the facts of her case in the run-up to a hearing in which, given the current atmosphere, it is likely she will be expelled. The screening was sponsored by Jewish Voice for Labour, which has also warned repeatedly that anti-semitism is being used malevolently to silence criticism of Israel and weaken Corbyn. Walker was seen as a pivotal figure by those opposed to Corbyn. She was a co-founder of Momentum, the grassroots organisation established to support Corbyn after his election to the leadership and deal with the inevitable fallout from the Blairite wing of MPs. Momentum expected a rough ride from this dominant faction, and they were not disappointed. The Blairites still held on to the party machinery and they had an ally in Tom Watson, who became Corbyn's deputy. Walker was one of the early victims of the confected claims of a Labour 'anti-semitism crisis'. But she was not ready to roll over and accept her status as witch. She fought back.

"First, she produced a one-woman show about her treatment at the hands of the Labour Party bureaucracy - framed in the context of decades of racist treatment of black people in the west - called The Lynching. And then her story was turned into a documentary film, fittingly called Witch Hunt. It sets out very clearly the machinations of the Blairite wing of MPs, and Labour's closely allied Israel lobby, in defaming Walker as part of their efforts to regain power over the party. For people so ostensibly concerned about racism towards Jews, these witchfinders show little self-awareness about how obvious their own racism is in relation to some of the 'witches' they have hunted down. But that racism can only be understood if people have the chance to hear from Walker and other victims of the anti-semitism smears. Which is precisely why Williamson, who was trying to organise the screening of Witch Hunt, had to be dealt with too.

"Walker is not the only prominent black anti-racism activist targeted. Marc Wadsworth, another longtime ally of Corbyn's, and founder of the Anti-Racist Alliance, was 'outed' last year in another confected anti-semitism scandal. The allegations of anti-semitism were impossible to stand up publicly, so finally he was booted out on a catch-all claim that he had brought the party 'into disrepute'.

"Jews who criticise Israel and support Corbyn's solidarity with Palestinians have been picked off by the witchfinders too, cheered on by media commentators who claim this is being done in the service of a 'zero tolerance' policy towards racism. As well as Walker, the targets have included Tony Greenstein, Moshe Machover, Martin Odoni, Glyn Secker and Cyril Chilson.

"But as the battle in Labour has intensified to redefine anti-Zionism as anti-semitism, the deeper issues at stake have come to the fore. John Lansman, another founder of Momentum, recently stated: 'I don't want any Jewish member of the party to be leaving. We are absolutely committed to making Labour a safe space'. But there are a set of very obvious problems with that position, and they have gone entirely unexamined by those promoting the 'institutional anti-semitism' and 'zero tolerance' narratives.

"First, it is impossible to be a home to all Jews in Labour, when the party's Jewish members are themselves deeply split over key issues like whether Corbyn is a force for good and whether meaningful criticism of Israel should be allowed. A fanatically pro-Israel organisation like the Jewish Labour Movement will never tolerate a Corbyn-led Labour Party reaching power and supporting the Palestinian cause. To pretend otherwise is simple naivety or deception.

"That fact was demonstrably proven two years ago in the Al Jazeera undercover documentary The Lobby into covert efforts by Israel and its UK lobbyists to undermine Corbyn from within his own party through groups like the JLM and MPs in Labour Friends of Israel. It was telling that the party machine, along with the corporate media, did its best to keep the documentary out of public view.

"The MPs loudest about 'institutional anti-semitism' in Labour were among those abandoning the party to join the Independent Group this month, preferring to ally with renegade conservative MPs in an apparent attempt to frustrate a Corbyn-led party winning power.

"Further, if a proportion of Jewish Labour Party members have such a heavy personal investment in Israel that they refuse to countenance any meaningful curbs on Israel's abuses of Palestinians - and that has been underscored repeatedly by public comments from the JLM and LFI - then keeping them inside the party will require cracking down on all but the flimsiest criticism of Israel. It will tie the party's hands on supporting Palestinian rights. In the name of protecting the Israel 'right or wrong' crowd from what they consider to be anti-semitic abuse, Labour will have to provide institutional support for Israel's racism towards Palestinians.

"In doing so, it will in fact simply revert to the party before Corbyn, when Labour turned a blind eye over many decades to the Palestinians' dispossession by European Zionists who created an ugly anachronistic state where rights accrue based on one's ethnicity and religion rather than citizenship. Those in Labour who reject Britain's continuing complicity in such crimes - ones the UK set in motion with the Balfour Declaration - will find as a result, that it is they who have no home in Labour. That includes significant numbers of anti-Zionist Jews, Palestinians, Muslims and Palestinian solidarity activists.

"If the creation of a 'safe space' for Jews in the Labour Party is code, as it appears to be, for a safe space for hardline Zionist Jews, it will inevitably require that the party become a hostile environment for those engaged in other anti-racism battles. Stripped bare, what Lansman and the witchfinders are saying is that Zionist Jewish sensitivities in the party are the only ones that count, that everything and anything must be done to indulge them, even if it means abusing non-Zionist Jewish members, black members, Palestinian and Muslim members, and those expressing solidarity with Palestinians.

"This is precisely the political black hole into which simplistic, kneejerk identity politics inevitably gets sucked.

"Right now, the establishment - represented by Richard Dearlove, a former head of MI6 - is maliciously trying to frame Corbyn's main adviser, Seumas Milne, as a Kremlin asset.

"While the witchfinders claim to have unearthed a 'pattern of behaviour' in Williamson's efforts to expose their smears, in fact the real pattern of behaviour is there for all to see: a concerted McCarthyite campaign to destroy Corbyn before he can reach No 10. Corbyn's allies are being picked off one by one, from grassroots activists like Walker and Wadsworth to higher-placed supporters like Williamson and Milne. Soon Corbyn will stand alone, exposed before the inquisition that has been prepared for him. Then Labour can be restored to the Blairites, the members silenced until they leave and any hope of offering a political alternative to the establishment safely shelved. Ordinary people will again be made passive spectators as the rich carry on playing with their lives and their futures as though Britain was simply a rigged game of Monopoly. If parliamentary politics returns to business as usual for the wealthy, taking to the streets looks increasingly like the only option. Maybe it's time to dust off a Yellow Vest." (The witchfinders are now ready to burn Corbyn,