Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oriana Fallaci's Ripping Yarns

The quotation from Oriana Fallaci which I used to introduce the previous post got me thinking about this High Priestess of Islamophobia and the incredible liberties she takes with the historical record, an unforgivable crime in my book and the reason for this post.

You may remember her reference to Kara Mustafa, Grand Vizier to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV and commander of the 1683 Turkish siege of Vienna, as the first link in a supposed Islamo-fascist chain leading all the way to the likes of Yasser Arafat, Bin Laden and Islamist suicide bombers. Such great leaps forward (and backward) are, of course, characteristic of Zionists and Islamophobes, who blithely manipulate history to suit their agenda. Such has been the fate of Kara Mustafa and the siege of Vienna.

Hence the Islamophobic blog Gates of Vienna, which carries the following masthead: "At the siege of Vienna in 1683 Islam seemed poised to overrun Christian Europe. We are in a new phase of a very old war."

War? War? How very Anders Behring Breivik, alleged by the New York Times to have been a contributor to the site. No surprise then to learn that Gates of Vienna held Fallaci in the highest esteem, posting the following tender tribute on the occasion of her death in 2006: "All of us in the Counter-Jihad mourn her passing. All of us will have to work that much harder now that she is gone. Shame on the government of Italy for prosecuting her for telling the truth. Rest in peace, Oriana Fallaci."

Anyway, to cut to the chase, I thought it might be interesting to compare Fallaci's brief but colourful account of 1683 with the historical record. Here, then, is the paragraph which precedes the Fallaci rant I posted yesterday:

"The fact is that in 1683 Europeans were more intelligent than they are today. And apart from the French who also at that time liked to fornicate with Islam (consider the Treaty of Alliance signed by Louis XIV, le Roi Soleil) but had promised the Austrians to remain neutral, they all rushed to defend [Vienna] by now seen as the bulwark of Christianity. All of them, yes. English, Spanish, Germans, Ukrainians, Poles, Italians. (Meaning Genovese, Venetians, Tuscans, Piedmontese, subjects of the Papal State). On September 12 they scored the extraordinary victory that compelled Kara Mustafa to flee abandoning his camels and his elephants, his buffaloes and his mules, his corn and his coffee, his ostriches and his peacocks, his wives and his concubines... Worse: to prevent his wives and his concubines from falling into the hands of the infidel-dogs, Kara Mustafa had to slit their throats one by one." (The Force of Reason, 2004, pp 50-51)

The inventor of the term 'Eurabia' is obviously a go-to if it's a ripping Islamophobic yarn you're after, but if it's the history of the 1683 siege of Vienna you want, try Andrew Wheatcroft's The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans & the Battle for Europe (2008).

First, the myth of a Christian Europe united against a threat to its very existence:

"[Holy Roman Emperor] Leopold [I] could not even instruct his own subjects and be sure they would obey his command. To get support from the states of the Holy Roman Empire, an Emperor had to cajole, persuade or even bribe a set of prickly, argumentative and self-interested electoral princes, local rulers and assemblies. The fundamental rift - between Catholic and Protestant - still influenced Europe's internal politics, and Protestant states felt no natural inclination to come to the aid of a Catholic Emperor. That was within the Holy Roman Empire, over which Leopold had some power. The possibility of rallying Europe as a whole - including the arch enemy France - to follow the Habsburgs' lead was infinitesimal." (p 18)

Second, Kara (That's no way to treat a lady!) Mustafa:

"As he heard the small group of husars charge home, Kara Mustafa left his tent to rejoin the fight, charging into the flank of Jablanowski's column. Most of his bodyguard was killed, and he had been told that if he were captured the sacred standard entrusted to him by the sultan would fall into infidel hands. He returned to his tent for the last time, wrapped the standard in its cover, took his private treasure chest and rode off with a few sipahis towards the safety of Hungary. His final official act was to order the troops besieging Vienna to leave their posts, destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy, and to slaughter all captives. All 3 orders were carried out as far as was possible in the final chaotic hour." (p 186)

Hm... no mention of those unfortunate ladies. Anything in Wheatcroft on Mustafa's presumed harem?:

"[He] was enough of a courtier to pay attention to the sultan, and to take an interest in the young princes, Mustafa and Ahmed; his reward was the hand of an Ottoman princess in marriage, for whom he divorced his first wife." (p 83)

Divorce? Strewth, how is this guy ever going to get the numbers to satisfy Fallaci and the mob over at Gates of Vienna?

OK, let's see what Raphaela Lewis' Everyday Life in Ottoman Turkey (1971) has to say:

"[A] Muslim was permitted as many as 4 wives on the condition that he provided each with a separate and equal establishment... In fact, among certain classes, it was more common to marry and divorce frequently than to suffer the expense of a full quota of 4 wives at once, each with her separate dwelling." (p 104)

Do I really need to go on?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leave Our Islamophobes Alone, OK?

I love a good old full-bodied Islamophobic rant, don't you?

And nobody does it better than the late Italian 'journalist' Oriana Fallaci:

"What I say is that today's Islamic invasion of Europe is nothing else than a revival of its centuries-old expansionism, of its centuries-old imperialism, of its centuries-old colonialism. More underhand, though. More treacherous. Because this time it is characterized not only by the current Kara Mustafas and Lala Mustafas and Ali Pashas and Ahmet Pashas and and Suleymans the Magnificent, that is by the Bin Ladens and the Al Zarkawis and the various Arafats and the butchers who blow themselves up with the skyscrapers or buses. It is characterized also by the immigrants who settle in our countries, our homelands. And who without any respect for our laws impose on us their own laws. Their own customs, their God. Do you know how many of them live in the European continent, that is in the stretch running from the Atlantic coast to the Urals? About 60 million. In the European Union only, about 25. Outside the European Union, 35. Which includes Switzerland where they account for over 10% of the population, Russia where they account for 10.5%, Georgia where they account for 12%, the island of Malta where they account for 13%, Bulgaria where they account for 15%. And 18% in Cyprus, 19% in Serbia, 30% in Macedonia, 60% in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 90% in Albania, 93.5% in Azerbaijan... For the moment they are scarce only in Portugal where they account for 0.50%, in Ukraine where they account for 0.45%, in Latvia where they account for 0.38%, in Slovakia for 0.19%, in Lithuania for 0.14%, in Iceland for 0.04%. (Lucky Icelanders).But everywhere, even in Iceland, they are visibly increasing. And not only because the invasion is proceeding relentlessly but because the Muslims stand as the most prolific ethnic and religious group in the world. A characteristic favoured by polygamy and the fact that in a woman the Koran sees only a womb for giving birth." (The Force of Reason, 2004, pp 51-52)

Face it, our own common-and-garden Islamphobes of the corporate press are really pretty damn tame by comparison.

Still, up until a week or two ago, they could at least vent their peculiar obsession with nary a care in the world.

Take Piers Akerman for example. According to his professional playpen, The Sunday Telegraph, he had spent the week before last "on tour" in France, investigating what he calls "unwanted Islamic migration." Alas, poor Piers could find no encouraging developments, only a government hamstrung by "its elitist obsession with political correctness" and failing miserably in its Judeo-Christian duty to stem the advancing Islamic tide:

"Much was made of France's decision to ban the burqa, but the reality is the French government is all talk and no action. Not a single case has been pursued against an individual for wearing a full-face cover by the French police since the ban on face-covering headwear came into effect on April 11. In an interview at his Paris office, Bernard Godard, head of the French Interior Ministry's Central Bureau of Religious Affairs, told me the police had been told to 'avoid incidents'. He said about 40 women had been warned against wearing them, but there had been no arrests." (What a pack of burqas, 24/7/11)

Oh for the tumbrils and guillotines of yore! Where were the auto da fes when you needed them? Couldn't the French at least have afforded him the satisfaction of a little round-up, put a few of those burqas behind bars? Something? Anything? No, wherever he looked, all he could see were shameful signs of surrender:

"Politically correct, the French government does not attempt to determine what percentage of the Muslim population is unemployed, though it admits unemployent is high in low-income areas in industrial centre such as Lille, Paris, Lyons and Marseilles, which also happen to have higher numbers of Muslim residents. It would be simple for the government to estimate unemployment levels but it chooses not to, knowing that the details would only inflame the situation. Even in villages with populations of less than 5,000, a few hundred Muslims have been able to exert political influence beyond that warranted by their numbers."

Yes, wherever they went, they took over, staring down any politician, any bureaucrat, anyone who tried to resist, and always getting their way!

But at least, despite the crippling "elitist obsession with political correctness," (alas also alive and well in this once fair land) Piers could tell it like it is, albeit muttering darkly as opposed to shouting, Fallaci-like, from the rooftops: The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!

Ah, yes. Halcyon days!

And then along came that bloody lunatic Anders Behring Breivik to spoil it all.

Talk about the the cat among the pigeons. Now the Islamophobes of the press would have to cough and splutter, pinching their nostrils with one hand and holding this Christianist terrorist rat at arms length with the other in a vain effort to avoid being contaminated by the god-awful stench. Henceforth, or at least until he had faded from the news cycle, they would feel constrained to justify every Islamophobic grunt and motion. Pretty damned uncomfortable!

Take The Australian's steamed foreign editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, for example:

"Breivik espoused hatred of Muslims. Does this make anyone who has questioned multiculturalism, or the success of the mass immigration of North African Muslims to Europe, somehow responsible for Breivik's actions? Certainly not. Any attempt to use this murderous tragedy for mainstream political point scoring is contemptible. Yet there is in truth no movement that can be accurately called a Christian terrorist movement. No serious Christian cleric ever gives such violence succour, no Christian-influenced state ever supports it. The terrorists concerned in custody do not read the Gospels, but always some other conspiracy literature concerning their own hang-ups. Similarly, there was in recent years one authentic Jewish Israeli terrorist, Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994, at the Tomb of the Patriarch in Hebron, shot and killed 29 innocent Palestinians. He was immediately condemned by all shades of Israeli politics and all mainstream shades of the Jewish religion. His action has not been repeated. This is not remotely equivalent to the worldwide Islamist movement of jihadist terror, led by al-Qa'ida but practised by many other groups with a degree of popular support, among them Hamas, Hezbollah, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jemaah Islamiah and many others." (The unheeded steps of a psycho killer, 28/7/11)

Poor Greg! Can you feel his pain? Now as if this 'Don't look at me like that!' cris de coeur weren't bad enough, the very next day, along comes one of the tribe, in a letter to the editor, to berate him for his thoughtful defence of the Judeo- bit of the Judeo-Christian construct:

"Greg Sheridan describes Baruch Goldstein, the religious fanatic who shot dead 29 Palestinians in Hebron on the West Bank in 1994, as the 'one authentic Jewish Israeli terrorist'. Jewish he certainly was, though in the most extreme, fundamentalist way. But his 'Israeliness' went no deeper than his passport. Like a huge proportion of the Jewish settler movement, he was a product of the most fanatically religio-Zionist corners of the American Jewish diaspora, not the overwhelmingly secular and pragmatic Israeli mainstream. Those Jews who are raised in Israel grow up with the realities of war and a desperation for peace rather than some mad ideological fantasy - which is why it was an American import who committed the atrocity, not a home-grown Israeli." Dov Midalia, Bondi Junction, NSW

An American import! Nothing whatever to do with Israel. When it comes to terrorism, Israelis are as pure as the driven snow. Wouldn't hurt a fly. Really.

Enough, I say. Leave our Muslim-bashers alone. They're going through a hard time right now.

If an Israeli Sparrow or Backpacker Should Fall...

Can you imagine an Australian journalist speaking her mind on this subject in the way Kerre Woodham of the New Zealand Herald has?:

"I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories. I don't believe the moon landings were faked by NASA. Nor do I believe there was another gunman on a grassy knoll who took a pot-shot at President John F Kennedy. I don't even believe that Suzie the South African waitress served the All Blacks tainted food, thus scuppering our chances of winning the Rugby World Cup in 1995. But I really do have doubts that the Israeli nationals who were caught up in the Christchurch earthquake in February were simple backpackers.

"The Prime Minister has assured us they were. The Israeli ambassador finds it offensive that we would even raise doubts about the authenticity of the young people. But really, it was all very odd. The multiple passports found in the backpackers' van don't bother me too much. Travelling on an Israeli or US passport makes you a target in some parts of the world, so there may well be a valid reason for carrying more than one passport.

"But for a country to be able to identify 4 of its nationals caught up in a natural disaster, make contact with them and whip them out out of the country in 12 hours is absolutely remarkable, especially given the chaos that was going on in Christchurch. For the Prime Minister of Israel to, firstly, know he had citizens in trouble and, secondly, ring his counterpart in New Zealand, at a time when he knew the Prime Minister was a little busy trying to manage the disaster, not once but 4 times, is also truly extraordinary. Isn't that what officials on the ground are paid to do?

"And how about a search-and-rescue team arriving within 24 hours and proceeding to track down Israeli nationals, despite the fact they weren't authorised or welcome? It shows more than a bit of tunnel-visioned determination. I know it's a subjective thing, but who would leave a dead mate to the mercy of the authorities in a foreign country? The Israeli ambassador said the young people were shocked and frightened and just wanted to return home - but not one of them thought it would be the decent thing to stay with the body of their friend? I find that weird.

"Those scornfully suggesting that New Zealand is far too backward and out of the way to attract Israeli interests should remember New Zealand wasn't so far away or backward to prevent two Mossad agents from stealing the identities of dead New Zealand children some years back. I wouldn't describe that as a minor 'kerfuffle', as the Jerusalem Post called it. More an appalling breach of trust.

"There may well be completely plausible reasons these backpackers were given so much special attention. Maybe the Government of Israel gives all its nationals this gilt-edged service. Maybe there are teams of Israeli officials scattered throughout the world, poised and ready to spring into action to rescue any Israeli citizen who finds themselves in strife. Maybe there is not one Israeli sparrow or backpacker that falls without the Prime Minister knowing about it and acting on it. There may well be a perfectly reasonable explanation. I just haven't heard it yet." (24/7/11)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spies? What Spies?

Continued from my previous post...

John Key has been the prime minister of New Zealand since 2008. To say that he is Israel-friendly is to enter the realm of the bleeding obvious:

"Key, who criticized [then Labor prime minister Helen] Clark for not supporting the war against Iraq, said Israel and New Zealand have many similarities. 'We are small in nature and we are entrepreneurial, and Israel has achieved some amazing things in terms of high-tech space', he said. 'I think there's a lot New Zealand can learn from Israel'... Nathan Lawrence, the president of the Zionist Federation of New Zealand, believes a Key government will be more sympathetic to Israel's concerns. 'The current Labor Party has within its leadership several people that are ideologically fixated on certain positions, some of which mean an automatic disdain of Israel's policies', Lawrence said. 'There is likely to be greater balance under Key', he said. 'This will have little to do with Key's Jewish background, but more so the greater open-mindedness of the center-right parties to the realities of the world'." (New Zealand's shift to right could ease hostility toward Israel, Dan Goldberg,, 6/11/08)

So Key's shifty response to the revelations of The Southland Times comes as no surprise:

"Key refused to answer questions about the revelations when he was grilled by reporters this morning, saying it was not in the national interest. He did not dispute there were a number of passports involved and said there was nothing illegal in someone holding more than one. In this afternoon's statement he said he had been advised the dead man was found with only one passport, of European origin. The surviving passengers in the van took their own passports with them when they left the country, and handed over the deceased man's Israeli passport to Israeli representatives before departing, he said. 'None of the passports were New Zealand passports', Key said. This morning Key also said he had received a number of phonecalls from Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - but said not all had got through to him. Although he would not discuss all aspects of their conversation he said Netanyahu called to offer help and advice. In this afternoon's statement, Key confirmed he spoke once with Netanyahu 'in the days following' the quake. 'It took several attempts by Israeli representatives to set up the phone call, as is commonly the case with such calls in the circumstances of a major natural disaster', the statement said. Key also said he had been assured by police there had been no unauthorised access to their computer system. The government took the security of New Zealanders 'very seriously', he said... Mr Key's statement came after both the Green and Labor parties called on him to be more open." (Investigation cleared Israelis of spy claims: PM,, 20/7/11)

And, frankly, what's an Israeli ambassador to say?:

"Israeli Ambassador Shemi Tzur has dismissed as 'science fiction' suspicions that agents of Israel's secret service, Mossad, had been caught up in the Christchurch earthquake in February. Mr Tzur, who is based in Canberra but flew into Christchurch hours after the earthquake, said he was 'shocked and upset' that New Zealand's intelligence agencies would have such suspicions... 'I drove [Ofer Mizrahi's] three friends to the airport so they could go home. [Israeli Government Taxis Sans Frontieres! (MERC)] They were shocked and crying, they were just talking about their friends. [Plural? (MERC)] To suggest anything else, someone has been feeding you science fiction. These were youngsters holidaying in your beautiful country... we encourage our young people to visit New Zealand'. Mr Tzur said he was aware that Mr Mizrahi was found to be carrying more than one passport when identity checks were being made of earthquake victims - 'I was handed a parcel of his effects and it did contain more than one passport' - but dual citizenship was common in Israel because of difficulties over the use of Israeli passports in some other countries. [Like NZ? (MERC)] He said he had not been told anything about Mr Mizrahi being found with 5 or 6 passports and to suggest that he and his friends were anything other than young tourists made him upset. It had not been raised by New Zealand authorities, he said. Asked if he considered it unusual that a tribute page to Mr Mizrahi posted on facebook had attracted only 5 'likes' in more than four months after the earthquake, Mr Tzur said different cultures reacted to tragedy in different ways. [The famous Israeli stiff upper lip, Shemi? (MERC)] To questions about the two urban search and recue teams from Israel that had arrived in Christchurch and were refused permission to enter the earthquake red zone to help the search, Mr Tzur said they had been sent by the parents of the two Israeli backpackers who also died in the quake. Israeli families reacted that way when their children needed help anywhere in the world, often because it was demanded by insurance companies. [A couple of s&r teams? No problem! (MERC)] 'If they were later found inside the red zone no-one brought that to our attention... 'Yes, there was some regrettable history of Mossad involvement in New Zealand, in 2004, and they have apologised for that and we have put it beyond us. Now, we are moving forward'. " ('Quake victims no Mossad agents', Fred Tulett,, 20/7/11)

Guy and his Papa are pretty pissed off:

"One of the Israelis suspected of being a Mossad spy says the allegations are 'rubbish' and 'a big lie'. Guy Jordan was one of 3 Israelis whose 'unusual' behaviour following the February Christchurch earthquake sparked a top level government investigation. But today he told 3News he was just a backpacker... His father Amihai Jordan said the family wanted a 'big apology' from the New Zealand government. 'How can someone say that someone who is 22 years old is a spy? I don't know what to think of it, it's truly nonsense'... [Guy] Jordan said the group left New Zealand quickly because 'a lot of people were doing it'... Among the further mysteries that emerged yesterday was confirmation from Key's office that Michel Fraidman, Guy Jordan and Liron Sade left Christchurch on one of the earliest flights out after the February 22 earthquake, on an air force 757." (Key confirms inquiry; Israeli backpackers were questioned,, 22/7/11)

But a certain Mr McCormick contradicts that with this hilarious tale about a kibbutz kode of omerta:

"The silence maintained by Israelis at the centre of high-level investigations after February's earthquake in Christchurch has a rational explanation, a Hawke's Bay man says. New Zealand Friends of Israel Association Hawke's Bay branch* chairman John McCormick said the answers lay in the system the Israelis embroiled in the saga were raised in... [He] said the ethos under which the 4 lived prevented them from speaking out directly. Mr Mizrahi, Mr Jordan and Miss Fraidman had grown up together in Kibbutz Magal near Haifa, while Mr Jordan's girlfriend had been raised in a village nearby. A kibbutz, a collective community in Israel, combines socialism and Zionism. 'It's a Marxist system 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs...', Mr McCormick said. The kibbutz functions as a direct democracy, but its structure is reminiscent of socialist or communist states, he said... 'There was no reason they would stay there... they couldn't be with him and they couldn't help him any more so it was obvious they will come back... This was in stark contrast to the access media have had to the families of two other Israelis killed in the earthquake, Gabi Ingel and Ofer Levy, Mr McCormick said. 'But I would say if they could fund private rescue teams, they are wealthy individuals in Tel Aviv perhaps, and aren't bound by kibbutz rules'." (Israel Kibbutz culture 'explains silence', Jared Morgan,, 23/7/11) [* Blimey, a FOI in every town! What with all that claptrap about Marxist kibbutzniks, I have to ask, has John McCormick been guzzling those full-bodied Hawke's Bay reds for which the area is famous?]

And isn't this interesting?:

"RB sends a Google search that reveals a sentence that is now removed from all mainstream media: "However, sources said the SAS had entered the zone to secure sensitive material belonging to the Israeli nationals now at the centre of the spying claims." (Israeli killed in Christchurch earthquake was carrying 5 passports,, 20/7/11)

Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leaving New Zealand in Great Haste

Remember last year's Mossad passport scandal stemming from the murder of Hamas fighter, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai? Remember then prime minister Rudd expelling an Israeli diplomat? Remember how an angry Israel lobby suddenly lost interest in fundraising for Labor? (See my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy) All big news at the time. So why the ms media's complete lack of interest (excepting for one item on SBS TV's World News) in covering the latest evidence of Mossad activity in New Zealand. (See my 27/2/10 post Israel: The Ultimate Identity Fraud)

The story, SIS on trail of spies, by Fred Tulett, first surfaced in The Southland Times of July 20. Having read one report that it's no longer available at the TST site, I'm posting it here in full:

"The police national computer has been under scrutiny in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake in February because of fears Israeli agents loaded software into the system that would allow backdoor access to highly sensitive intelligence files. The Security Intelligence Service (SIS) ordered the checks as part of an urgent investigation of what one SIS officer described as the suspicious activities of several groups of Israelis during and immediately after the earthquake. Three Israelis were among the 181 people who died when the earthquake destroyed most of Christchurch's CBD on February 22. One was found to be carrying at least 5 passports. An unaccredited Israeli search and rescue squad was later confronted by armed New Zealand officers and removed from the sealed-off 'red zone' of the central city. The response of the Israeli government to the three deaths appears extraordinary. In the hours after the 6.3 quake struck:
*Israel's ambassador in the South Pacific, Shemi Tzur, who was based in Australia, booked flights to Christchurch, where he visited the morgue.
*Israel's civil defence chief left Israel for Christchurch.
*A complete Israeli urban search and rescue squad was assembled and flown to Christchurch, arriving about the same time as...
*Three people who had smashed their way out of a van crushed by a concrete pillar in the central city, leaving a fourth person dead in the vehicle, arrived back in Israel.

"Those four Israelis - Ofer Benyamin Mizrahi, 23, from kibbutz Magal near Haifa, Michal Fraidman, Liron Sade and Guy Jordan - would later become a prime focus of the SIS investigation, along with the Israeli search and rescue squad and a group of forensic analysts from Israel that worked in the Christchurch morgue helping to identify earthquake victims. The four, two men and two women, had been shopping in the central city on the morning of the earthquake and had returned to their van, parked in Gloucester Street when the quake hit. Mizrahi, the driver, was killed instantly, and Jordan, in the front passenger seat, smashed a window and climbed through a hole to escape. The two women, Fraidman and Sade, who were sitting in the back seat, also managed to crawl out. They were unable to reach Mizrahi, and after taking photographs of the crushed van, made their way to Latima Square, where Israeli officials had set up an emergency meeting point. Within twelve hours they had left New Zealand.

"On Sunday, February 26, Mizrahi's body was recovered from the van and taken to the morgue where, during routine identity checks, he was found to be carrying at least 5 passports. Meanwhile, the search and rescue squad dispatched from Israel had arrived in Christchurch but the offer of help was rejected by the New Zealand authorities because the squad did not have accreditation from the United Nations. According to Israeli newspaper reports, the squad was being funded by the parents of 2 other Israelis killed in the earthquake, Ofer Levy and Gabi Ingel, both 22, who were said to be in New Zealand on a backpacking holiday. The parents made repeated public appeals for the Israeli team to join the rescue, appeals that were dismissed by the New Zealand authorities until squad members were discovered in the sealed-off 'red zone' of the central city. It is understood the squad members were confronted by armed New Zealand officers and removed from the area. That confrontation is understood to have led to intense diplomatic exchanges between New Zealand and Israel, though police have refused to comment on the incident or even acknowldge that it occured, and the Israeli ambassador says that he had not been advised of any such incident. Another Israeli group, a forensic analysis team sent by the Israeli government, was welcomed in Christchurch and worked on victim identification in the morgue. However, the SIS also began to have suspicions about this group when it began investigating possible links between the cache of passports found with Mizrahi, the immediate flight of his three companions, the high powered Israeli interest shown in the earthquake, the unexplained behaviour of the supposed 'search and rescue squad' and a mysterious seventh Israeli, in New Zealand illegally, who was first reported missing in the quake and then, weeks later, was reported to have left the country. They were also interested in the Facebook tribute page set up for Mizrahi that has attracted only five 'likes' in the more than four months it has been on the social media site.

"When it was realised the forensic analysts could have accessed the national police computer database, an urgent security audit was ordered. As the SIS officer explained, it would take only moments for a USB drive to be inserted in a police computer terminal and loaded with a program allowing remote backdoor access. 'We were concerned that could have happened', the officer said. 'We carried out an urgent audit. If it had been done it would have eventually given the Israelis access to all of our intelligence'. The national database holds all records of convictions, firearm licenses, lost and stolen property, criminal behaviour and identifying marks and observations taken by police. It is capable of sophisticated searching and data matching. The officer said the audit had not identified any suspicious files so far, but a wider SIS investigation was continuing. 'It all looks suspicious, but a lot of what the Israelis do raises suspicion. So lots of smoke but we haven't found any fires. The file remains open though'.

"Intelligence agencies have become hypersensitive to sophisticated hacking after the malware 'agent.btz' was infiltrated into the computer systems of the United States Military Command 3 years ago. The US believes Russian agents were responsible and Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn has described it as 'a digital beachhead' for a foreign intelligence agency to attempt to steal data. Attempts to remove the malware have so far been unsuccessful - new, more potent variations of agent.btz are still appearing. The SIS officer said the agency was also aware of a comment posted on the website of the Russian newspaper Pravda that the Christchurch earthquake had disrupted an Israeli spy base in the city.

"The Southland Times asked police national headquarters for comment on the actions of various Israeli groups after the earthquake. After considering the request for 9 days, the police issued a brief statement, attributed to Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess, confirming that 3 Israelis had died in the earthquake, that the van in which Mizrahi died had been recovered and examined, that police had not been involved in the decision to exclude the Israeli search squad, and that 'police do not discuss or disclose details of personal effects found with any of the 181 victims'. Mr Tzur, also approached for comment, said it was 'science fiction' that any Mossad agents had been involved."

Next Post: Spies? What Spies?

PS (29/7/11): Re coverage in the Australian ms media, I've just located a 25 July story, Key red-faced after Israeli spy scandal, by AAP's New Zealand correspondent Tamara McLean based on TST's report. As far as I'm aware the McLean rehash was confined to the SMH website. The same rehash also appeared on The Australian's website under the heading New Zealand Prime Minister John Key embarrassed by Israel post-quake spy story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Israel's Friends in Low Places

The corporate press being what it is, you're most unlikely to learn that Norwegian Christianist terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, is a strong supporter of Zionism:

"Were the majority of the German and European Jews disloyal? Yes, at least the so-called liberal Jews, similar to the liberal Jews today that oppose nationalism/Zionism and support multiculturalism. Jews that support multiculturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism (Israeli nationalism) as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists... Whenever I discuss the Middle East issue with a national socialist he presents the anti-Israeli and pro-Palestine argument. He always seems unaware of the fact that his propaganda is hurting Israeli nationalists (who want to deport the Muslims from Israel)..." (From Anders Behring Breivik's 'manifesto', quoted in Anders Breivik, Norwegian terror suspect, admirer of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman,, 23/7/11)

Breivik's words will only come as a surprise to those ignorant of the symbiotic relationship between anti-Semitism and Zionism: the former, whether real or hyped, being used by Zionists to justify the creation and maintenance of an ethnographic 'Jewish' state in Palestine. As the father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl predicted: "The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies." And so it came to pass.

Apart from Breivik, contemporary "friends" of Zionism include such colourful characters on Europe's far right as:

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom: "I believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not territorial. Those who make this claim have no idea what they are talking about. If you return the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, it won't end the conflict. After a certain period of time - a month, a year, a decade - they'll want the rest of the land, because this is an ideological conflict. So the solution cannot be territorial, but ideological. The Palestinians believe - and this is the nature of Islam - that Israel is their country and that they are fighting the non-Muslims in the West through it. The struggle against Israel is a struggle against us. We are Israel. The reason Dutch parents can sleep calmly without having to worry about their kids is that Israeli parents stay awake at night because their children are in the army. This doesn't mean Israel cannot be criticized, but I'm not ashamed to fight for Israel... Jordan is Palestine... I am against ideas of a transfer or ethnic purification. But if Jordan turns into a Palestinian state, Palestinians could be encouraged to move there." (Quoted in Geert Wilders: Israel fighting our war, Eldad Beck,, 30/11/10)

Tommy Robinson, leader of the English Defence League (EDL): "The EDL was formed 2 years ago. One of the fundamental beliefs that this movement was built on was its support for Israel's right to defend itself. In our first demonstrations, we went to Birmingham, and we flew the flag of Israel, the Star of David. In the first public speech I ever gave, I wore the Star of David in Leeds. The reason for this is because Israel is a shining star of democracy. If Israel falls, we all fall." (Quoted in EDL Chief: 'Any rogue elements within the EDL that go against our mission statement will be removed from the organization',, 30/6/11)

Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the Austrian Freedom Party: "During their trip [to Israel], the Europeans drove through Palestinian villages in a bulletproof bus to meet Jewish settlers in the desolate West Bank outpost of Har Bracha, set on a windswept mountain bluff with views into Jordan. While their they vowed that the settlements were necessary to defend Israel against its Arab enemies. As if to prove his readiness to defend the Holy Land, Strache donned camouflage war paint and an Israeli Defense Forces combat jacket for a picture with paratroopers of the 101st 'Cobra' Battalion on their base near the Gaza Strip (The last photo of Strache in military regalia became a minor scandal in Austria when it surfaced in 2008. The picture showed him with leading Austrian neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers, and was apparently taken around 1990 when Strache was reportedly active in the Viking Youth, an illegal neo-Nazi group.)... In an interview before his death in a 2008 car crash, Jorg Haider, the longtime leader of the Austrian Freedom Party and Strache's predecessor, talked of Strache's plans to use Israel to make the party more respectable. 'If the Jews accept us, then we won't have a problem', Haider said Strache told him... Strache likes to play on history. In campaign literature, he is depicted in Knight's armor, promising a hot sausage [!] to a blond, slingshot-wielding Austrian boy if he 'hits that mustafa'. Kara Mustafa commanded the Muslim armies in the 1683 siege of Vienna - but, in today's Austria, 'mustafa' is more common as a derogatory epithet for any ethnic Turk." (Europe's extreme righteous: Far right European politicians find love - and common cause - in Israel, Stefan Theil, Newsweek, 27/2/11)

Kent Ekeroth, international secretary for the Sweden Democrats: "Europe's right-wing parties have 'realized, whoops, we've been wrong about Israel and the Jews in the past', says... Ekeroth, adding that their newfound love for Israel isn't surprising. 'It's all about Islam', he says. 'You can't be against the Islamization of Europe, and, at the same time, support the Arabs in the Israel-Palestinian conflict'. Ekeroth, who is himself Jewish and says he runs 'the anti-Islam activities' of his party, believes that 'Jews who fight us instead of their real enemy are digging their own graves'." (ibid)

Those done and dusted include:

Adolf Eichmann, SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer: "[Eichmann's] new boss... required him to read Theodor Herzl's Der Judenstaat, the famous Zionist classic, which converted Eichmann promptly and forever to Zionism... From then on, as he repeated over and over, he thought of hardly anything but a 'political solution' (as opposed to the later 'physical solution', the first meaning expulsion and the second extermination) and how to 'get some firm ground under the feet of the Jews'... His first personal contacts with Jewish functionaries, all of them well-known Zionists of long standing, were thoroughly satisfactory. The reason he became so fascinated by the 'Jewish question', he explained, was his own 'idealism'; these Jews, unlike the Assimilationists, whom he always despised, and unlike Orthodox Jews, who bored him, were 'idealists', like him." (Eichmann & the Holocaust, Hannah Arendt, 1963/2005, pp 8-9)

Hans Gunther (1891-1968), German 'Nordic race' supremacist and eugenicist in the Weimar Republic & the Third Reich: "Gunther also synthesized current ideas about Europe's 'Jewish problem'. The Jews were 'a nation' rather than a race. Still, the racial composition of the Jews was 'quite other' than that of most Europeans, with Asian, African, Mediterranean, and east Baltic roots. Moreover, due to 'seclusion and interbreeding' the Jewish nation was 'on the way to become a race, a 'secondary race' '. Europe's 'Jewish problem' concerned the 'influence of the Jewish spirit, and influence won through economic predominance, [which] brings with it the very greatest danger for the life of the European peoples and of the North American people alike'. A solution 'lies in the separation of the Jews and the Gentiles, that withdrawing of the Jews from the Gentiles which Zionism seeks to bring about'." (The Rise & Fall of the Caucasian Race: A Political History of Racial Identity, Bruce Baum, 2006, p 156)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We Seriously Have to Talk About the Herald

Today's contrasting opinion pieces on the terror in Norway in Melbourne's Age and Sydney's Herald reveal both the heights and the depths to which the Fairfax press can rise or sink (unlike the Murdoch press, of course, which only ever plumbs new depths).

The Age appropriately chose a Norwegian voice to best reflect on this week's terrorist outrage in Oslo. It chose well. Aslak Sira Myhre's lucid and intelligent analysis, Home-grown terror forces us to face ugly truths, is especially strong on essential historical context and insight into the Islamophobic mindset cultivated over the past decade in Norway, and, by extension, the rest of Europe. For Myhre, Anders Behring Breivik, the Christianist terrorist, is very much a case, to adapt Philip Roth's expression, of the indigenous European Islamophobic beserk:

"The terror of Norway has not come from Islamic extremists. Nor has it come from the far left, even though both these groups have been accused time after time of being the inner threat to our 'way of living'. Up to and including the terrifying hours in the afternoon of July 22, the little terror my country has experienced has come from the far right. For decades, political violence in this country has been almost the sole preserve of neo-Nazis and other racist groups. During the 1970s they bombed left-wing bookstores and a May Day demonstration. In the 80s, two neo-Nazis were executed because they were suspected of betraying the group. In the past 2 decades, two non-white Norwegian boys have died as a result of racist attacks. No foreign group has killed or hurt people on Norwegian territory since WW II except for the Israeli security force Mossad, which targeted and killed an innocent man by mistake in Lillehammer in 1973.

"Even with this history, when the devastating terror hit us we instantly suspected the Islamic world. It was the jihadis. It had to be. It was denounced as an attack on Norway, on our way of life. In Oslo, young women wearing hijabs and Arab-looking men were harassed as soon as the news broke. Small wonder. For at least 10 years we have been told that terror comes from the east. That an Arab is suspicious, that all Muslims are tainted. We regularly see people of colour being examined in private rooms in airport security; we have endless debates on the limits of 'our' tolerance. As the Islamic world has become the Other, we have begun to think that what differentiates 'us' from 'them' is the ability to slaughter civilians in cold blood.

"There is, of course, another reason why everybody looked for al-Qaeda. Norway has been part of the war in Afghanistan for 10 years, we took part in the Iraq war for some time, and we are eager bombers of Tripoli. There is a limit to how long you can partake in war before war reaches you. But although we all knew it, the war was rarely mentioned when the terrorist hit us. Our first response was rooted in irrationality: it had to be 'them'. I felt it myself. I feared that the war we took abroad had come to Norway. And what then? What would happen to our society? To tolerance, public debate and, most of all, to our settled immigrants and their Norwegian-born children? It was not thus. Once again, the heart of darkness lies buried deep within ourselves. The terrorist was a white Nordic male; not a Muslim but a Muslim hater.

"As soon as this was established, the slaughter was discussed as the deed of a mad man; it was no longer seen as primarily an attack on our society. The rhetoric changed, the headlines of the newspapers shifted their focus. Nobody talks about war anymore. When 'terrorist' is used, it is most certainly singular, not plural - an individual rather than an undefined group which is easily generalised to include sympathisers and anyone else you fancy. The terrible act is officially a national tragedy. The question is, would it have been thus if the killer was a mentally ill man with an Islamic background? I also believe the killer was mentally ill. To hunt down and execute teenagers on an island for an hour, you surely must have taken leave of your senses. But just as with 9/11 or the bombing of the London Underground, this is madness with both a clinical and a political cause. Anyone who has glanced at the web pages of racist groups or followed the online debates of Norwegian newspapers will have seen the rage with which Islamophobia is being spread; the poisonous hatred with which anonymous writers sting anti-racist liberals and the left is only too visible. The July 22 terrorist has participated in many such debates. He was an active member of one of the biggest Norwegian political parties, the populist right party, until 2006. He left it and sought his ideology instead among the community of anti-Islamist groups on the internet.

"When the world believed this to be an act of internationalist Islamist terrorism, state leaders from Obama to Cameron all stated that they would stand by Norway in our struggle. Which struggle will that be now? All Western leaders have the same problem within their own borders. Will they now wage war on home-grown right-wing extremism? On Islamophobia and racism?"

The Sydney Morning Herald, however, was having none of this, running instead with what can only be construed as an apology for the right wing Islamophobic poison condemned by Myhre. Incredibly, Norwegian massacre is wrong, not far right was penned by its international editor, Peter Hartcher:

"Much media reaction to the tragedy has conflated the incident with the rise of far-right paties in Europe. The coverage implies that Breivik's attack is an extension of the trend and a frightening portent. This is exactly wrong. His use of violence to pursue a 'crusade' to halt the 'Islamicisation [sic] of Europe' has discredited his cause, not advanced it. This is the worst thing that has happened to the far right in western Europe in years. Breivik wrote in his rantings, which, for some reason, most media are dignifying with the title 'manifesto', that he admired Europe's standout Muslim-baiting politician Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands. Wilders opposes Muslim immigrants and wants the Koran and face-covering banned. His party won 15% of the vote in last year's election, making it the third biggest in the Dutch parliament. But Wilders knows that any association with the mad butcher of Oslo is poison. He issued a statement on Breivik on Saturday: 'I despise everything he stands for and everything he did'."

Such concern for the far-right! Just why Hartcher should portray "Muslim-baiting" Wilders as somehow innocent of the the racist Islamophobic culture that spawned Breivik is a mystery. For some reason best known to Hartcher, the man who has spewed forth such gems as "Islam is the ideology of a retarded culture," "The Koran is a fascist book," and "I've had enough of Islam in the Netherlands; let not one more Muslim immigrate," escapes being labelled a ranter like his admirer, Breivik. Nor does Hartcher question the rank absurdity inherent in Wilders' statement, "I despise everything [Breivik] stands for."

"There has been a rising tide of anti-immigrant, pro-nationalist sentiment in Western Europe in recent years [which has] mobilised in opposition to Islam and Islamic immigrants and Islamic emblems but this is part of a wider theme about identity," writes Hartcher, without any suggestion that this phenomenon is in any way disturbing or sinister.

According to Hartcher, Europe simply "has to work out its problems but not Breivik's way. He might have known that 'once you decide to strike', you damage the cause you are supposedly advancing. But then again, how do you explain common sense to the criminally deranged?"

One can only assume that, for Hartcher, these "problems" are perfectly understandable, and that as long as Europeans vent their racism and bigotry at the ballot box, rather than follow Breivik's example, everything's OK. And notice how, in Hartcher's analysis, Breivik is merely "criminally deranged," not one who is merely putting the Islamophobic rantings of the likes of Wilders, Geller, and Pipes, who all get the thumbs up from Breivik, into practice.

Add Hartcher's worrisome take on Breivik to the occasional Islamophobic ventings of Paul Sheehan, and the Sydney Morning Herald seems increasingly indistinguishable from the Murdoch press.

The Herald's editorial of the previous day likewise gives little cause for optimism: "If [!] right-wing rage against migrants, refugees and Islam does turn out to have driven this rampage it will inevitably raise calls to tone down the strident political rhetoric and conspiracy theories in vogue when debating even petty [!] issues. However, a considered assessment will require more time and investigation, and it would be premature to rush to judgment until more of the facts are known." (The shockwaves from Norway)

How lame is that?

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Guide to the Perplexed

Sometimes I find myself plagued with doubt. Like now for instance. Frankly, I'm wondering whether or not we Palestinian rights activists have perhaps been a little too harsh on Israel. Have we perhaps forgotten in our zeal that Israelis too are human and have feelings? Have we ever stopped to consider what toll our incessant anti-Israel carping must be having on their self esteem? Just how are Israelis coping with being singled out by us?

As always, my guide to all matters Israeli, Circus Israel, has his finger on Israel's pulse and his thermometer up its rectum:

"The righteous Hebraic air of Eretz Israel is again scented with the complaint that our nation is singled out, among all others, for rebuke. Such anti-Israel criticism is hypocrisy, we cry, and an expression of anti-Semitism. To probe this troubling development, Circus Israel thrust its investigatory rectal thermometer into the shopping centers of the Jewish State. As customers squeezed out of busy supermarkets, we absorbed their discourse on the unequal treatment of their homeland. Whether they paced agitatedly or sat uneasily on stools, their pungent opinions represent the by-product of the unique Jewish experience in a stressful world. Representative samples appear below...

SHMUEL R. (software designer): 'All I'm saying is when you discuss Israel negatively, you have to mention every other nation in the same breath. Otherwise, you're a Jew-hating shit-head. That's all I'm saying'.

ELIE W. (professional survivor and honoree): 'I'm only against being singled out. I don't oppose saying our suffering must be elevated above all others, or that we're unique, a Light Unto Nations, God's Chosen People, never wrong and above international law. But, please, don't single us out'.

ADINA L. (early childhood educator): 'Once in a while, single us out for something good we've developed - like armored bulldozers or family punishment or certain interrogation methods'.

YISRAEL Y. (redeemer of sacred hilltops): 'How about me and my posse single you out, you fucking traitor?'

TATIANA M. (beautician and drug mule): 'Maybe they could single out Iran for once. Is Iran invisible? Look at all the trouble they cause in... all those places they call trouble in'.

STEVEN P. (Haifa University professor): 'Why don't they pick on all the other countries with undefined borders, ethnic-based public policy, a vast apparatus of usurpation and occupation, a siege on another people, a continuous history of attacking neighboring states and a disregard of international law? Why don't they? Nothing to say, judenrat?'

AVIGAIL B. (fertile womb of the Jewish people): 'Us they single out? The only ethno-religious democracy in the Middle East? Who ever heard of such a thing?'

MENACHEM D. (yeshiva student): 'Can you believe what they're getting for yogurt here? At these prices, who can afford to feed me?'

YORAN N. (IDF lieutenant and DJ): 'Which singling out do you mean, bro? Where Obama has to give us more military aid than anybody else?'

DOV L. (rabbi & mohel): 'Blood libel!'

SHIMON P. (President of Israel): 'It's time to begin proximity negotiations to quantify the number and characteristics of other nations that must be discussed when criticizing Israel. But first there must be confidence-building measures, such as the purchase of Israeli products and an airstrike on Iranian nuclear sites'.

AVIGDOR L. (Israeli Foreign Minister): 'As a boy, I was often singled out for hitting other children with a lead pipe, so I know how that feels. It's a real slap in the face to your self-esteem'.

GOLDA A. (painless dentist): 'I have only one question about this repulsive singling out - is it good for the Jews?'" (Israel feeling singled out,, 16/5/10)

OK, so we may have been a little hard on Israel, but no-one's perfect, right? Least of all Israel. So, to be fair, some level of criticism is justified. The problem for us as defenders of Palestinian rights though, is that since criticising Israel is about to become a hanging offence, we need to know just what criticisms are available to us. Again, our infallible guide, Circus Israel, has the answers:

"For reasons that are murky - and probably sinister - the Jewish People have acquired a reputation for demonizing any criticism of the Jewish State. The inference is that we evade responsibility and justify anything we do, no matter how repugnant. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. We enthusiastically welcome constructive criticism. However, certain recent events - the appearance of Rachel Corrie's mother at the San Fransisco Film Festival, the histrionics of leftist cults like Breaking the Silence and New Profile, the libelous slurs of academics at various universities in the US (William Robinson at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for instance), the UK (witness the execrable Hilary Rose), Canada (the flagrant Jew-haters in the CUPE) and Israel (eg. the traitors, Neve Gordan and Noah Slor at Ben Gurion University), the lunatic ravings of Arab-Israelis (MK Ahmed Tibi, for one) and self-hating Israeli Jews (Ezra Nawi, naturally) and misguided references to the so-called Nakba in Israeli textbooks - have simply not been constructive. They have been anti-Semitic. They need correction.

"Nonetheless, although we are chosen, we are not perfect. It's 'fair game' to discuss our shortcomings. To encourage such healthy discussion, we will provide examples of reasonable criticism of the State of Israel. Goyim should not hesitate to address the following Israeli deficiencies, so long as the content and tone of your discourse are not hurtful to our sensibilities.

1) Israel has not done everything possible to save the entire world from nuclear annihilation by Iran. Although Ahmadinejad and the bloodthirsty, Arab-like Persian mullahs unquestionably intend to slaughter most of the human race and enslave the survivors, Israel has failed to convince the world to annihilate the Iranians first.

2) Israel has failed to redeem all the Land of Israel for the exclusive enjoyment of the Jewish People. Israel has allowed the selfishness and perfidy of various intruders and their sponsors to obstruct our redemption - which is the sole reason the universe was created.

3) Israel has neglected to arm both sides of several international conflicts, thus depriving one side of the benefits of Israeli military technology. The People who gave the world Einstein, Freud and Marx now have a responsibility to fully share the products of Israel Military Industries and Elbit.

4) Israel has failed to help more Palestinians find jobs in London, Istanbul and New Jersey. We are working on this and will ask Irving Moskowitz, Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban to fund a job board or something.

5) Israel hasn't always told the exact truth to non-Jews. This is entirely attributable to our security needs. And to the simple fact that we're very special and smart. And you couldn't handle the truth anyway.

6) Israel has only a couple of golf courses and they suck.

7) Israeli human traffickers aren't providing even a minimal education for the women they sell. As a result, these women have little value to their pimps after their erotic appeal wears out.

8) Israel has allowed far too many gentiles to learn Hebrew, undermining its function as a secret code. This jeopardizes our security and singularity. We recommend you study Navajo and leave our language to us.

9) Israel has failed to reach out to diaspora Jews living on other planets. Consequently, few extra-terrestrials have made aliyah to the Land of Israel.

10) Israel has not been sufficiently precise about the Arab-to-Jew ratio for purposes of prisoner exchanges. The official and precise ratio is hereby set at 1100 to 1. The comparable ratio for casualty counts is 1,000,000 to 1. Also, the official and precise ceiling on the acceptable Arab population of the land of Israel is 1. Or less.

11) Israelis have trained themselves to lick their own balls. While this has prevented intermarriage in many instances, it has made us appear self-absorbed.

12) Israel loves too much. We give and give and give, but where does it get us? Enough said." (Yes, you can criticize Israel,, 22/8/09)

I trust you've found that useful. I know I have.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Criminalising Criticism of Israel

"Noam Chomsky raises a second objection against against the ability of the pro-Israel lobby to influence policy on its own steam. 'No pressure group', he maintains, 'will dominate access to public opinion or maintain consistent influence over policy-making unless its aims are close to those of elite elements with real power'. One problem with this argument is easily stated. It pits the Jewish lobby as one 'pressure group' arrayed against all the others that hold real power. This equation of the Jewish lobby with a narrowly defined 'pressure group' is misleading. We have argued - a position that is well supported by the evidence - that Jewish protagonists of Zionism have worked through many different channels to influence public opinion, the composition of political classes, and political decisions. They work through the institutions and media that shape public opinion to determine what Americans know about Israel, how they think about Israel, and what they can say about Israel. Once we recognize the scale of financial resources the Israel lobby commands, the array of political forces it can mobilize, and the tools it commands to direct public opinion on the Middle East, we would shrink from calling it a lobby*." (Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism, M. Shahid Alam, 2009, pp 199-200)

"Since the creation of Israel, anti-Semitism has performed a third vital function in the history of Zionism. In the postwar period, when Western nations occupied the moral high ground with their rhetoric of human rights, the Zionists had to ensure that Israeli violations of Palestinian rights did not enter the public discourse in Western societies. Similarly, they would seek to prevent Americans from questioning their country's partisanship toward Israel and the role that the Israel lobby plays in creating this special relationship. In order to stifle any debate on Israel, American relations with Israel, or the influence of the Israel lobby on US policies toward the Middle East, the Zionist organizations have worked with great effectiveness to equate any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. They have routinely employed charges of anti-Semitism to discredit, ostracize, intimidate, and deny employment to Americans - especially politicians and academics - who criticize Israel, the Israel lobby, or the deeply partisan relations that the United States maintains with Israel." (ibid p 119)

Of course Zionist lobbies don't exist, and even if they do, their reach hardly extends to the high ground of policy-making in Western colonial-settler states such as Canada, Australia and the United States, and even if it does, our most basic freedoms are not under threat.

If you believe this, you're surely asleep and in need of the following wake-up call: Canada clamps down on criticism of Israel: In an affront to free speech, government committee declares that criticism of Israel should be considered anti-Semitic, Jillian Kestler-D'Amours,, 22/7/11:

"Nearly 2 years after the first hearings were held in Ottowa, the Canadian Parliamentary Committee to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) released a detailed report on July 7 that found that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada. While the CPCCA's final report does contain some cases of real anti-Semitism, the committee has provided little evidence that anti-Semitism has actually increased in Canada in recent years. Instead it has focused a disproportionate amount of effort and resources on what it calls a so-called 'new anti-Semitism': criticism of Israel. Indeed, the real purpose of the CPCCA committee seems to be to stifle critiques of Israeli policy and disrupt pro-Palestinian solidarity organizing in Canada, including, most notably, Israel Apartheid Week events. Many of the CPCCA's findings, therefore, must be rejected as both an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of protest, and as recklessly undermining the fight against real instances of anti-Semitism.

"The CPCCA was born out of a conference held in London in February 2009 by the Inter-Parliamentary Committee for Combating Anti-Semitism. Formed in March 2009 and not directly linked to the Canadian government, or to any NGO or advocacy group, the CPCCA included 22 Canadian Parliament members from across party lines... Between November 2009 and January 2010, the CPCCA held 10 separate hearings during which times representatives of various non-governmental organizations, religious institutions, police departments and Canadian and Israeli universities presented papers meant to assess the level of anti-Semitism in Canada. While groups critical of Israel were denied the chance to address the committee, major Zionist organizations like B'nai Brith Canada, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWCHS), and the Canadian Jewish Congress were welcomed. 'Much of today's anti-Semitism manifests in anti-Israel agitation around boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS)', said Avi Benlolo, President and CEO of the FSWCHS, during a hearing in November 2009. 'It deploys an unfair double standard against the Jewish state, singling out Israel alone for one-sided, harsh criticism and calls for punitive actions'. Throughout the consultation process, the CPCCA regularly focused on Canadian university campuses, which were routinely described as hotbeds of anti-Semitism, where Jewish students or students with pro-Israel leanings are often intimidated or threatened. This accusation was made repeatedly, and included in the CPCCA's final report, despite the fact that Dr Fred Lowy, President Emeritus of Concordia University in Montreal, stated in his address to the CPCCA that, 'by and large, Canadian campuses are safe and are not hotbeds of anti-Semitism of any kind'.

"In its final report, the CPCCA made about 2 dozen recommendations on how best to fight anti-Semitism in Canada. While the report states that 'criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is wrong', it also found that 'singling Israel out for selective condemnation and opprobrium... is discriminatory and hateful' and many of its recommendations deal with combating this 'new anti-Semitism'. A major recommendation issued by the CPCCA was that the Canadian government should promote the working definition of anti-Semitism used by The European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism & Xenophobia (EUMC). This definition categorizes 'applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation' as anti-Semitic. In other words, the CPCCA is supporting a definition whereby individuals who focus their attention on Israeli human rights violations, can be labeled as anti-Semitic. This is obviously problematic since Palestine solidarity activists - like any other people - have commitments that make it impossible to engage with every issue they are otherwise interested in. They shouldn't be labeled as anti-Semitic due to their inability to participate in every single human rights struggle happening around the world.

"Another dangerous recommendation made by the CPCCA was that Canadian university administrators should condemn 'discourse, events and speakers which are untrue, harmful, or not in the interest of academic discourse, including Israeli Apartheid Week'. Even the use of the word 'apartheid' in relation to Israel is anti-Semitic, the CPCCA found, since it amounts to the 'denial of the Jewish people their right to self-determination... by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour'. This clearly violates freedom of speech and an open exchange of ideas at Canadian universities, and also unfairly and inaccurately labels Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) as anti-Semitic. In reality, IAW has since 2005 brought together respected activists, academics, journalists and cultural figures from around the world, including Judith Butler, Ronnie Kasrils, Noam Chomsky and Ali Abunimah, among others, to openly discuss ideas related to Israel/Palestine. IAW provides an educational space for understanding Israel's apartheid policies - as evidenced, for example, through the separate legal systems used by Israelis and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank or the discriminatory land ownership laws operating inside Israel - and supports the growing campaign for BDS, which aims to nonviolently pressure Israel to respect international law. It is far from the 'uniformly well-organized, aggressive [campaign] designed to make the Jewish state and its supporters pariahs' the CPCCA report makes it out to be.

"The CPCCA also recommended that the Canadian Committee of Foreign Affairs undertake a study on the United Nations Human Rights Council, 'particularly regarding its over-emphasis of alleged human rights abuses by Israel, while ignoring flagrant human rights abuses of other member states'. This clearly demonstrates how the committee has confounded anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel and is prepared to levy dubious suspicions against UN bodies and tarnish Canada's international standing in the process.

"In a statement released in July 8, Thomas Woodley, president of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), said that the CPCCA's recommendations, 'if implemented, will inhibit public discussion of Israel's conduct'. CJPME believes that conclusions and recommendations generated by a process by which the same body - the CPCCA - is prosecutor, jury, and judge, are not credible. Although a few of the witnesses recounted incidents that were indeed indicative of genuine anti-Semitism, many were complaining about merely being exposed to criticism of Israel's conduct, the CJPME press release stated.

"Independant Jewish Voices Canada also criticised the committee stating that the 'CPCCA's goal was to criminalize criticism of Israel and Zionism, not to hold impartial hearings. Therefore, we oppose the CPCCA as an ideologically biased organisation with an agenda that will harm free speech and human rights activity in Canada. We oppose the CPCCA's Orwellian distortion of anti-Semitism. It is a danger to both Canadian liberties and to the genuine and necessary fight against anti-Semitism'.

"While labeling critics of Israeli policy as anti-Semitic is nothing new, the level at which this accusation is now being used in Canadian discourse must be seen as a reflection of the Canadian government's official and current policy on the Middle East. 'When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand. Demonization, double standards, de-legitimization, the three D's, it is the responsibility of us all to stand up to them', Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in 2010 at the Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism, which was supported by the CPCCA. Harper added: 'Harnessing disparate anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Western ideologies, it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so. We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is'.

"Under Harper, Canada has routinely defended Israeli intransigence and disregard for international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people under its control. In return, trade cooperation and military and security technologies ties have been strengthened between the two states. In May of this year, it was reported that Harper was adamantly opposed to making any reference to the 1967 borders in a G8 Summit statement calling for renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Far-right Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman thanked Harper for his position, and stated, 'Canada is a true friend of Israel'. In 2010, Canada announced it would discontinue its financial contributions to the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA), the organisation that provides support and resources to approximately 4.7m registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territories, and funnel the money into greater policing and security institutions run by the un-elected and corrupt Palestinian Authority leadership instead. In January 2009, as the Israeli army continued its disproportionate attack on the besieged civilian population in Gaza that left 1,400 Palestinians dead in the span of 3 weeks, Canada was the only country out of 47 that voted against a motion at the UN Human Rights Council condemning the Israeli violence. In addition to providing diplomatic cover for Israel, the Canadian government has attacked and cut funding to various non-governmental organizations working on issues related to Israel/Palestine, including Kairos Churches and Alternatives International. Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, who led the formation of the CPCCA and is an ex-officio member, has also repeatedly alleged that the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) promotes anti-Semitism and hatred. While Kenney never backed up these claims, the CAF's contracts with the government - which helped finance language programs for Toronto-area immigrants (the majority of whom are of Chinese origin) - were not renewed in 2009.

"Anti-Semitism, like all other forms of racism, is appalling and must be strongly and unequivocally condemned. But by defining legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and pro-Palestinian activism in Canada as anti-Semitic, the CPCCA is not only threatening free speech and freedom of protest, but it is undermining the fight against real cases of anti-Semitism and weakening the seriousness with which such cases should be dealt. This is something that Canadians, and people everywhere, should be adamantly against."

Watch this space...

[* James Petras' preferred term is Zionist power configuration (ZPC): "The ZPC can best be understood as a complx network of interrelated formal and informal groupings, operating at the international, national, regional and local levels, and directly and systematically subordinated to the State of Israel." (The Power of Israel in the United States, 2006, p 46)]

Friday, July 22, 2011

First Mubarak, Now Murdoch?

Following the collapse of one of the main pillars of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East, could we now perhaps be witnessing the beginnings of the collapse of the central pillar of Israel's propaganda apparatus in the West?

It seems there's movement at the station:

"Pro-Israel leaders in the United States, Britain and Australia are warily watching the unfolding of the phone-hacking scandal that is threatening to engulf the media empire of Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corp. Murdoch's sudden massive reversal of fortune - with 10 top former staffers and executives under arrest in Britain for hacking into the phones of public figures and a murdered school girl, and paying off the police and journalists - has supporters of Israel worried that a diminished Murdoch presence may mute the strongly pro-Israel voice of many of the publications he owns." (Supporters worry about muting of pro-Israel media voice, Ron Kampeas, The Jerusalem Post, 20/7/11)

Oh dear!

"His publications and media have proven to be fairer on the issue of Israel than the rest of the media', said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations. 'I hope that won't be impacted'." (ibid)

Fairer? Hello? Isn't this a bit like saying that Juliet was fairer on the issue of Romeo than her sister?

"Murdoch's huge stable encompasses broadsheets such as The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Australian, as well as tabloids, most notably The Sun in Britain and the New York Post. It also includes the influential Fox News Channel in the United States and a 39% stake in British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, a satellite broadcaster. Murdoch founded the neoconservative flagship The Weekly Standard in 1995, and sold it last year.* Jewish leaders said that Murdoch's view of Israel's dealings with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors seemed both knowledgeable and sensitive to the Jewish state's self-perception as beleaguered and isolated." (ibid)

And this view was arrived at independently of those Jewish leaders, and only after an exhaustive and impartial study of the issue by Rupert!

"'My own perspective is simple: We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews', Murdoch said last October at an Anti-Defamation League dinner in his honor. 'When Americans think of anti-Semitism, we tend to think of the vulgar caricatures and attacks of the first part of the 20th century. Now it seems that the most virulent strains come from the left. Often this new anti-Semitism dresses itself up as legitimate disagreement with Israel'." (ibid)

And he wrote every word himself!

"Murdoch, 80, has visited Israel multiple times and met with many of its leaders. In 2009 he was honored by the American Jewish Committee. 'In the West, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States', he said at the AJC event. 'Tonight I say to you, maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel'." (ibid)

Apres Israel, le deluge!

And in case you were wondering what happens to those who go astray:

"When some Jewish organizational leaders complained that Fox talk show host Glenn Beck** was relying on anti-Semitic tropes in peddling discredited theories about liberal billionaire financier George Soros, Murdoch nudged Fox chief Roger Ailes into meetings with Jewish leaders. Beck left Fox last month." (ibid)

Will you listen to this tripe:

"Murdoch's affection for Israel arose less out of his conservative sensibility than from his native Australian sympathy for the underdog fending off elites seized by conventional wisdoms, according to Isi Liebler, a longtime Australian Jewish community leader who now lives in Israel. 'From my personal communications with him, it's something that built up', Liebler told JTA. 'He's met Israelis, he's been to Israel, he's seen Israel as the plucky underdog when the rest of the world saw Israel as an occupier'. Australian Jews noted the pro-Israel cast of Murdoch's papers as early as the 1970s, before he had established ties with the Jewish community. The word from inside his company was that Israel was an issue that he cared about, which helped shape its coverage in his media properties." (ibid)

Murdoch, champion of the underdog! The mind boggles.

[* "The steady beating of war drums by neoconservatives like William Kristol was, in the eyes of many, the most influential factor in the US decision to go to war against Iraq. Referring to Kristol's numerous articles and media appearances in support of the war, Washington Post syndicated columnist Richard Cohen even dubbed it 'Kristol's War'. One reason Kristol was able to help create this war was the fact that he had a ready-made platform, courtesy of the Australian press lord Rupert Murdoch, who underwrites Kristol's magazine, The Weekly Standard." (William Kristol: Using The Weekly Standard to push for war on Iraq, Richard H. Curtiss,, 6/03); ** Apparently Beck's also been deviating from the script in the Middle East's Only Democracy: "Right-wing US television host Glenn Beck yesterday endured an experience that must have been a new one for him: it was made clear to him he was not right-wing enough. On a visit to Jerusalem to express his support for Israel, the Fox presenter addressed a committee of the Knesset, where he said: 'I'm not against a Palestinian state'. But as The Jerusalem Post reported, 'some seemed to think he was not right-wing enough when it came to Israel'. It said several committee members challenged Beck, including National Union member Arye Eldad, who said, 'I believe in a two-state solution, because I remember there is already a Palestinian state in Jordan'. Beck also upset Mr Eldad when he said Arabs and Israelis were all 'people who want to live their lives and raise their kids'. Mr Eldad told him of an Arab suicide bomber he had known of." (Beck's Right too Left for Knesset, John Lyons, The Australian, 13/7/11) There really is no pleasing some people.]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Absolutely Typical

As Basil Fawlty would say, "This is typical. Absolutely typical..."

Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald actually deigned to publish an opinion piece by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Freedom & dignity are basic rights for all, even Palestinians), Sydney lawyer, novelist and daughter of Palestinian refugee parents.

How seldom, you reflect, is a Palestinian voice such as hers heard in the Herald - compared to the incessant yapping of Zionist propagandists. Still, you console yourself absurdly, it's better than nothing. Absurdly - because any lift experienced, any feeling that, well, maybe the Herald isn't quite as bad as you think it is, is dashed by the certainty that, in the very next issue, as surely as night follows day, there will appear a 'response' from a Zionist lobbyist. If you'll bear with me here, it's like finding you've walked dogshit into the carpet after completing your usual exhilirating 5km morning walk.

Sure enough, in today's Herald, instead of an honest letter or two from readers, the Herald has given over enough space for 3 letters to Israel lobbyist Peter Wertheim, executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

Under the thoroughly deceitful headline Israel a home for both Jews & Arabs, Wertheim argues, contra Abdel-Fattah, that Israel is really no different to any other place, including Australia. Sure there's "serious racial discrimination," but hey, no way is it "a state based on racial purity."

What he's counting on, of course, is that the average Herald reader is simply unaware that, radically unlike Australia, Israel's key laws enshrine a fundamental distinction between Jews and non-Jews which determines who gets into the country (Jews) and who is kept out (Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed in 1948 and 1967), and who has access to 93% of Israel's land area (Jews) and who doesn't (the minority of Palestinians who, for whatever reason, escaped expulsion in 1948).

In addition to glossing over the creation and maintenance of a majority Jewish ethnographic state in Palestine, the ultimate in Middle Eastern sectarianism, Wertheim brazenly represents the Palestinian Authority's pathetic search for a bit of breathing space in the West Bank, a little wriggle room under the IDF jackboot, aka a Palestinian state, as an attempt to set up "a specifically Arab and Muslim state which will exclude Jews." This attempt to smear the Palestinians as anti-Semites is akin to the Chinese government accusing occupied and oppressed Tibetans, swamped by Chinese settlers, of wanting to exclude Chinese simply because they're racists.

Wertheim concludes: "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the simplistic 'goodies versus baddies' contest some people make it out to be. It's about the real world struggle of two nations, each of which is determined to live in freedom, independence and security."

Total bullshit of course, but as long as he and his kind can sow seeds of doubt and confusion among the ill-informed, such letters will be seen by apologists for Israeli apartheid and occupation to have been worth the effort.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Murdoch's Street Walkers

"Good newspapers pride themselves on obtaining fresh information, revealing facts and describing what is happening in the world. We do this not by hacking phones but by walking the streets, asking people questions and checking facts." (Robust, vibrant media is vital for democracy: Calls for media regulation are opportunistic & dangerous, Editorial, The Australian, 16/7/11)

Really? Is this how the report Israel, Jordan & parts of Turkey within range: Syrian missiles arm Hezbollah by Richard Beeston, Nicholas Blanford & Sheera Frenkel, published in The Times and The Australian of July 16, came to be written?

To set the scene, here's the first paragraph:

"Syria has accelerated its supply of weapons, including advanced ballistic missiles, to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon in a move that could further inflame an already destabilised region."

Now check out these priceless lead-ins:

"According to intelligence sources in the West and the Middle East..."

"'A new reality has dawned', an intelligence report seen by The Times said. 'This is the first time a terror organisation has obtained a missile of this type...'"

"Sources close to Hezbollah said..."

"One Hezbollah fighter joked that the scale of the arms shipment into Lebanon was so great that 'we don't know where to put it all'."

"Israeli military intelligence also confirmed that..."

Taking both report and editorial at face value necessitates suspending your disbelief and imagining something like this:

Scene: Somewhere deep in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, BB&F are walking the talk, stumbling over missiles covered with (North) Korean characters overlaid with tell-tale Iranian, Syrian and now Lebanese fingerprints. These fiendish devices litter the landscape all the way to the Syrian border. Assorted Hezbollah terrorists are dotted around scratching their heads and muttering the Arabic equivalents of 'What the f...!' and 'You've gotta be joking!'. BB&F approach one such troubled individual.

BB&F (extending hands): Quality Journalists, my good man. Well, well, well, this is quite a collection of fireworks you've got here!

HT (declining to shake and spitting on the ground): You said it, infidel dogs and/or Mossad spies.

BB&F (gesturing to the four corners): So, what are you going to do with it all?

HT (twirling moustache and smiling broadly): Wipe Israel, Jordan and parts of Turkey off the map, of course!

BB&F: No, we mean what are you going to do with it now.

HT (laughing): Oh, right. Wish we knew. We've got so much bloody rubbish here, we don't know where to put it all.

BB&F (to one another, smirking behind cupped hands): Oh, we do. We do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Hate Supreme

The 'contribution' of Netanyahu adviser Yechiel Leiter featured in yesterday's post, the one about Palestinians channeling Nazis because Mullahs in mosques are messing their minds with mammalian metaphors about Jews, has got me thinking about Palestinian anti-Semitism.

I mean, face it, just because people calling themselves Jews invade your home, shoot up your family, and send what's left of it fleeing into the desert with bullets whizzing around their ears, is surely no reason for you to be anti-Semitic. Nor is having your orchards cut down or set alight by M-16-toting, kippa-wearing whackos claiming they're on a mission from Yahweh. Or being shot at and asphyxiated by their M-16-toting bodyguards every time you venture out to protest against the latest slabs of 8m high concrete slicing through your farmland and cutting off your water supply. Or being rocketed and shelled from land sea and air by killing machines sporting Stars of David.

No, nothing could be that simple. There has to be another explanation for Palestinian anti-Semitism. And the more I think about it, the more I think Leiter's letting the buggers off lightly.

You see, brainwashing really doesn't explain the beast within. Really now, as unpalatable as it is for me to have to say this, surely Palestinian anti-Semitism can only be, well, genetic. But, I hasten to add, don't trust my word on this terribly, terribly PC subject. No, credit must go to Israel's couch potatoes:

"The votes are in! Jewish TV viewers choose the Arab of their dreams. Circus Israel chats with Nabila Hatem.

CIRCUS ISRAEL: Nabila, tell us about yourself.

NABILA HATEM: Like I've been saying, I'm anti-semitic. It's really all there is to know about me. I'm basically just an anti-semitic young woman. I spend all my time being anti-semitic. Morning, noon and night. Sometimes, I forget to eat, and when someone tells me I might get sick, I yell at them - 'Can't you see I'm busy being anti-semitic?!' I don't like when anything interferes with my anti-semitism. I don't care about work, or having things or being healthy, and I don't care about my family or my community. I'm just anti-semitic. Sometimes I even wish my children would all go away, so I can use every second for my anti-semitism. All my friends feel the same way. We just don't care about anything except hating Jews. Why? Because. It's in the blood.

CIRCUS ISRAEL: So now you're Israel's dream Arab, what's next?

NABILA HATEM: I'll just keep trying to push Jews into the sea, I guess. What else would I do?

CIRCUS ISRAEL: Well, thanks for fulfilling our dreams.

NABILA HATEM: You're welcome. Death to the Jews." (Circus Israel talks with 'Dream Arab',, 8/2/08)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Butt Out, Big Sister!

"The Anti-Defamation Commission has joined calls for former prime minister Kevin Rudd's sister to apologise over an anti-gay marriage remark. Loree Rudd is lobbying federal MPs and threatening to quit Labor if the party backs gay marriage at its national conference in December. The divorced nurse from the Sunshine Coast town of Nambour, who once trained as a nun, accused some Labor members of being brainwashed by a 'global gay Gestapo' this week. The ADC, Australia's peak Jewish human rights body, said she should apologise. 'It is completely unacceptable for anyone to co-opt and trivialise the name of one of the most active and feared arms of the Nazi machinery for their own political purposes', ADC chairman Anton Block said in a statement yesterday. 'The Gestapo was directly responsible for the murders of Jewish, Romani, homosexual and disabled people. To use its name in this context shows a level of ignorance and insensitivity that has no place in contemporary political discourse. It is highly offensive, and we call upon Ms Rudd to apologise immediately and unreservedly'." (Jews join censure of Rudd's sister, AAP, The Australian, 16/7/11)

That's right, Loree, we will determine who uses the Nazi analogy and the manner in which it's used.

For example, it's OK for your brother Kevin to sit in a Max Brenner outlet with Michael Danby and mutter darkly about "Jewish businesses" and "history" by way of smearing BDS campaigners. And ditto for Gerard Henderson trotting out Moseley's fascists and Andrew Bolt alluding to Kristallnacht when doing the same. (See my 12/7/11 post Smearing BDS)

Oh, and we liked this guy's use of the Nazi analogy so much, we even put it up on our website:

"Germans were inculcated with the belief that Jews were subhuman. They were vermin, rodents, lice, all objects of extermination. That was the logic and language of reference. The logos [reason] was eliminationist, and it appeared everywhere in society, in the theater, in music, in literature, in books and newspapers, in the sports arena, in schools and in the workplace. The logos was clear: Human beings were not being exterminated, vermin were. No less than 33% of the Palestinians questioned in a joint Hebrew University-Palestinian think tank poll, openly support the murder of the Fogel family, because, in mosques throughout the cities and villages of Palestinian residence, Jews are commonly referred to as sons and daughters of pigs and apes, because sport stadiums in Gaza and Ramallah are named after suicide/homicide bombers who tear life from the defenseless, and because Palestinians' theater performances celebrate the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers. Because Jews are not human." (The logos of terrorism, Yechiel Leiter*,, 5/7/11)

[* "The writer has served as a senior adviser to PM Netanyahu and deputy director-general of the Education Ministry."]

So butt out, Loree, the copyright's ours.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Light Unto All Nations But One

Really, where would the world be these days without Israel. I mean, what do you see at every natural disaster?

That's right, brave Israeli rescue/medical personnel flocking in nanoseconds to the scene and singlehandedly turning the misery and mayhem into heartwarming photo-ops for the Middle East's only Caring State.

Apparently, no disaster is too small for a prompt Israeli response:

"SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: Stretched atop a mattress laid out in the living room of an upper-class home, Ariel [!] the lion was fast asleep yesterday as 4 people gently massaged his body. The 3-year old, 140kg lion is the focus of an internet campaign to raise money needed to treat the paralysis that struck him a year ago, depriving him of the use of his 4 legs. Veterinarian Livia Pereira and Ariel's owner, Raquel Borges, said the $10,700 needed every month to pay for Ariel's treatment came from donations from nearly 35,000 people who have clicked the 'like' button on Ariel's Facebook page. Dr Pereira, who is caring for Ariel at her home, said that the lion's white blood cells were attacking his healthy cells due to a degenerative disease affecting his medulla, a portion of the brain stem involved in motor functions... A team of Israeli veterinary neurologists recently gave the lion tests that the women hope will tell which degenerative disease is involved. The vets' trip to Brazil was paid for by Brazilian model Graziela Barrette." (Campaign helps paralysed lion, AP, The Australian, 15/7/11)

Thanks to those wonderful Israeli vets and their timely intervention, Ariel is sure to make a miraculous recovery.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), pulling a child out of the rubble in Haiti or treating a sick lion in Brazil seems to be a piece of cake for Israel, compared, that is, to treating those who live in its 'own' backyard. Like poor Ariel, Israel's capacity for medical intervention on behalf of Palestinians in dire need of same looks to be in a state of complete paraysis:

Israeli human rights group B'Tselem has just posted its list of "Palestinians who died following an infringement of the right to medical treatment in the Occupied Territories, 29/9/00 - 31/5/11." (

Eighty Palestinians, from babies to the quite elderly, are on that list.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Still Wild About Kevin

While we're still wild about Kevin:

Scene: US Embassy, Yarralumla, Canberra
Occasion: Independence Day, July 4

"The alliance was looking in good shape as US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich appeared to pay brief tribute to American-Australian friendship. But, he said, it was a day for celebration, not speeches. And then he passed the microphone to Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. 'Thank you Jeff', Mr Rudd began. 'Thank you for having us all at your house for such an important celebration'. He name-checked the dignitaries present, made some gags about Yogi Bear (don't ask) before getting down to brass tacks - we were here, after all, to celebrate American history. Who better to tell the folks present a little something on that topic than the man with the mike? 'When the Declaration of Independence occurred in 1776, this was in fact almost one of the lowest ebbs of the revolutionary war', the Foreign Minister elucidated. 'Success [hadn't] been achieved in 1775, the British had done very badly in Boston'. On we marched, through the Battle of Trenton and some very dark days on the Delaware River in 1775. 'Two of the 3 crossings failed. the third succeeded', he continued. The US military men holding aloft the national flags looked nervous. 'The tide of the revolutionary war was turned...', he went on, as Coalition MPs Sophie Mirabella and Wyatt Roy reversed in the direction of the hotdog stand. 'And that cry for freedom... we have heard cry loud across the world in the intervening centuries'. There was a universality about the cry of freedom which could never be suppressed, the Foreign Minister said. 'We have heard it in Tunisia. We heard it in Egypt. We hear it in Libya'. We began to hear murmurs of it in Yarralumla too." (Rudd's long speech inspires a cry for freedom, Jacqueline Maley, The Age, 6/7/11)

Needless to say, we don't hear it in Palestine or Bahrain.