Friday, September 30, 2011

The Other BDS

In my last post you'll surely remember these anguished words of citizen Honest John Nemesh: "I heard Fiona Byrne's statements in Marrickville, and it was all about taking action against Jewish [sic] enterprises, Jewish [sic] shops and Jewish [sic] cultural exchanges'... 'I felt so strongly that I couldn't sleep, so I very quickly designed some posters and hired some vehicles. I felt nothing was being done in terms of organised resistance.." (Don't mess with the Greens: anti-BDS protest ends in court, Imre Salusinszky, The Australian, 28/9/11)

But what about all those Palestinian enterprises, shops (and lives) on the receiving end of that other BDS which has never disturbed Honest John's sleep for a nanosecond: Israel's very own crushing, 44-year old anti-Palestinian Brutalisation, Dispossession & Settlement (BDS) rampage in Gaza and the West Bank, aka the Israeli Occupation?

OK, so while Honest John & Co are rallying around Max Brenner and related Israeli enterprises here in Australia, it's time, perhaps, to take a look at the havoc this other, anti-Palestinian BDS is wreaking on Palestine's economy. Read on:

"Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza deprives the Palestinian economy of almost 4.4 billion pounds a year, equivalent to about 85% of the nominal gross domestic product of Palestine, according to a report published in Ramallah. As well as its detrimental affect on the Palestinian economy, the 'occupation enterprise' allows the state of Israel and commercial firms to profit from Palestinian natural resources and tourist potential, the report said. 'No matter what the Palestinian people achieve by our own efforts, the occupation prevents us from achieving our potential as a free people in our own country', said Hassan Abu Libdeh, economy minister in the Palestine Authority, introducing the report on Thursday. 'It should be clear to the internatinal community that one reason for Israel's refusal to act in good faith as a partner for peace is the profits it makes as an occupying power'. Without the occupation, the Palestinian economy would be almost twice as large as it is and would be able to reduce its dependence on donor funding from the international community, according to the report.

"Compiled jointly by the economy ministry and the independent thinktank Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, the report was the first attempt to quantify the annual cost of the occupation to the Palestinian economy. 'The total cost which we have been able to measure was $6.897bn in 2010, a staggering 84.9% of the total estimated Palestinian GDP', it said. The majority of these costs do not have any relationship with security concerns but, rather, come from the heavy restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the access to their own natural resources, many of which are exploited by Israel itself, including water, minerals, salts, stones and land'. The report broke down the $6.9bn figure into components, including the blockade on Gaza (1.9bn), water restrictions ($1.9bn), natural resource restrictions ($1.8bn), import and export limits ($288m), restrictions on movement ($184m) and tourism to the Dead Sea ($143m).

"The occupation 'imposes a myriad of restrictions on the Palestinian economy. It prevents Palestinians from accessing much of their land and from exploiting most of their natural resources; it isolates Palestinians from global markets, and fragments their territory into small, badly connected 'cantons', the report said. The blockade of Gaza placed severe restrictions on imports and exports, on which the economy was highly dependent. Electricity and water production was unable to meet demand from industry and agriculture owing to damaged infrastructure and a shortage of parts and materials. Shelling had destroyed physical assets and infrastructure. Restrictions on the import to both the West Bank and Gaza of goods deemed as 'dual use', such as chemicals and fertilisers which Israel says could be used in the manufacture of weapons, had severely affected manufacturing and agriculture.

"Limits on movement for both goods and labour within the West Bank through roadblocks, checkpoints and diversions were a critical economic constraint. The report compared the distance of direct routes between West Bank towns and cities and the routes Palestinians are required to take. For example, the distance between the city of Nablus in the north of the West Bank and al-Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley was 36 miles (58km) by the most direct route, but the route Palestinians were forced to take was 107 miles (173km), adding significantly to the time and cost of each journey.

"Restrictions on Palestinian access to the Dead Sea meant a loss in income from the extraction of minerals and salts, and from tourism, from which Israel benefited economically. Dead Sea beauty and skin care products, manufactured and marketed by Israeli companies, were worth $150m a year, the report said. Israeli businesses also profited from mining and quarrying in the West Bank. West Bank water resources were diverted to Israeli settlements, industry and agriculture. Israel took 10 times as much water from the 3 West Bank aquifers as the Palestinians, the report said.

"Around 2.5m trees, including olive groves, had been uprooted since 1967 for settlements, infrastructure and the separation barrier. The report estimated the average annual production of a mature olive tree at 70kg, worth around $1.1 per kilogram. Palestinian farmers had lost land or could no longer access it. 'Six hundred and twenty thousand settlers [in the West Bank and East Jerusalem] cultivate 64,000 dunums of land. Four million Palestinians in the West Bank only cultivate 100,000 dunums', said Abu Libdeh. One dunum is around 1,000 square metres." (Israeli occupation hitting Palestinian economy, claims report, Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 29/9/11)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

In the Dead of Night

Under the page 1* headline Don't mess with the Greens: anti-BDS protest ends in court, yesterday's Australian told the heart-wrenching story of one man's David and Goliath struggle against, well, the Green Goliath:

"A Jewish doctor who campaigned against the Greens in the recent NSW state election over their boycott of Israeli-owned companies operating in Australia believes senior figures in the party are behind his prosecution for a minor electoral breach." (Imre Salusinszky)

Can you believe this? A man who did no more than campaign during an election is being PROSECUTED for NOTHING!. What is this country coming to?

"John Nemesh, 55, yesterday pleaded not guilty in Sydney's Newtown Local Court to distributing unauthorised election material... The Hungarian-born son of Holocaust survivors, Dr Nemesh believes his career as a medical specialist, working in hospital intensive care units, is on the line as a result of the charge, which carries a possible fine of $550 or 6 months' jail."

A son of Holocaust survivors and a healer to boot! Practically a saint! All but on the dole!

"The Greens always go on about the poor individual who's having a hard time with the system', Dr Nemesh said yesterday. 'In my case, they are the system and I am the poor individual."

A true David facing the awesome and crushing might of a (Green) Goliath!

"Dr Nemesh's posters condemned the Greens for their support of the 'boycotts, divestment and sanctions' campaign. The posters, which targeted Greens candidate and local Mayor Fiona Byrne in the inner-western Sydney seat of Marrickville, were legal and duly authorised, except they did not include the name of the printer - an ommission Dr Nemesh claims was an honest mistake, given he had no motive to conceal the information. The case has been brought by the NSW police, who would have required a complaint to take action."

Shocking! I mean all the GOOD DOCTOR did was have some of the lads plaster the place, by the light of the silvery moon, with such statements of ABSOLUTE TRUTH as:

A Vote for the GREENS is AGAINST Gay rights, AGAINST Women's rights, AGAINST Community tolerance


The GREENS HATE GAYS: By boycotting Israel the NSW Greens are boycotting the only country in the Middle East where homosexuality is not a capital offence, or even a crime. Support gay rights. DON'T VOTE GREEN on March 26.


The GREENS SUPPORT TERROR: Iran is anti-Israel. Hezbollah is anti-Israel. Al-qaida is anti-Israel. Hamas is anti-Israel. And by boycotting Israel, so are the NSW Greens. Leave terror to the terrorists.


The GREENS OPPOSE DEMOCRACY. By boycotting Israel, the NSW Greens are boycotting the only country in the Middle East with a democratically elected government. Support power to the people. DON'T VOTE GREENS on March 26.

As I said, the GOOD DOCTOR was simply spreading the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH, so why should anyone complain? I just don't get it. I mean, until Honest John, crusader for TRUTH, JUSTICE and the ISRAELI WAY, did us all a service by blowing the whistle on them, none of us had any idea the Greens were just a pack of homophobic, misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic terrorists. So thankyou Honest John!

"Despite repeated requests by The Australian, Ms Byrne and other senior NSW Greens yesterday declined to deny they had lodged the complaint against Dr Nemesh. But a spokesman for the NSW Electoral Commission said it had nothing to do with the case."

Aha! The Green Goliath unmasked by The Australian, the paper of TRUTH, JUSTICE and the USRAELI WAY! Guilty as sin, of course!

"Dr Nemesh, a member of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, was so incensed at Ms Byrne's support of the BDS that when she stood for parliament that he produced posters accusing the Greens of racism and homophobia, and posted them around Marrickville."

As any defender of TRUTH, JUSTICE and the ISRAELI WAY would.

"I heard Fiona Byrne's statements in Marrickville, and it was all about taking action against Jewish enterprises, Jewish shops and Jewish cultural exchanges', Dr Nemesh said. 'I felt so strongly that I couldn't sleep, so I very quickly designed some posters and hired some vehicles. I felt nothing was being done in terms of organised resistance."

OMG, it's back to the 30s! Kristallnacht has at last come to Australia! And seeing the IDF are off strangling the Palestinian economy, it's an 'If not me, who? If not now, when?' sort of scenario, right?

"He has now gone on the front foot by lodging a complaint with police against Ms Byrne for allegedly stealing his posters. It is a claim Ms Byrne will have difficulty denying, given a You Tube video on the internet features her and a fellow Greens activist boasting of stealing one of the posters, and offering it up for action."

Make that homophobes, misogynists, racists, anti-Semites, terrorists and thieves! But MEN of GOODWILL and CONSCIENCE are standing by Honest John:

"He received support last night from Luke Foley, Labor leader in the NSW upper house. 'The Greens are the first to condemn tough law and order legislation, yet they want to throw the book at a man for exercising his freedom of speech', Mr Foley said."

Luke's a GOOD MAN to have on your side. A courageous campaigner for free speech. I can see him now also comforting the equally aggrieved Andrew Bolt. So GOOD is Luke, so terrier-like, he's back nipping at the heels of the Green Goliath in today's Australian!:

"This is simply a revenge attack by the Greens Party, given they lost Marrickville because of their extreme campaign against the Jewish state of Israel', Mr Foley said. 'This was a minor technical oversight by Dr Nemesh, who is new to political activism." (Greens' attack 'was revenge', Imre Salusinszky)

OK, that's enough of Imre Salusinszky's David and Goliath spin. Let's get down to business here. What did Foley call Nefesh's dead-of-the-night deed? A minor technical oversight?

Ah, but he wasn't always so blase about breaches of the electoral act. Foley, you may recall, was intimately involved in the 2007 pamphlet scandal in the western Sydney seat of Lindsay, helping to bust some Liberal Party campaigners who were distributing a fake leaflet from a fake Islamic organisation alleging ALP support for the Bali bombers and the construction of a mosque in the suburb of St Marys.

As one of the Laborites who tried to wrest some of these pamphlets from the hot little hands of the Liberal Party campaigners** (as opposed to Fiona Byrne's alleged "stealing" of Nemesh's posters), Foley, then Assistant General Secretary of the ALP, was quoted in the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) Report on the 2007 Federal Election - Events in the Division of Lindsay of March 2010 as saying:

"So we would submit that there is an unfortunate trend in Australian politics exhibited at the last two federal elections concerning bogus material seeking to push the buttons of religion and race and seeking to divide the community on that basis. When that sort of material has been distributed on both occasions the aim has been to hurt the Labor candidate in a highly marginal seat. We are concerned to ensure that these tactics are drummed right out of Australian politics. We think that a $1,000 fine, the current maximum penalty that exists, is clearly inadequate for offences of this degree of seriousness." (2.21 p 14)

Hm... isn't falsely alleging homophobia, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism just as big a problem here?

"So we have had our candidates in marginal seats, in Greenway in 2004 and in Lindsay in 2007, subject to this sort of bogus material being distributed at night in the final few days of an election campaign. We want to ensure it never happens again. The only difference between Greenway in 2004 and Lindsay in 2007 is that the perpetrators were caught in Lindsay. They got away with it in Greenway. Louise Markus was elected narrowly over Ed Husic." (2.29 p 16)

Hm... bogus material being distributed at night in the final few days of an election campaign. Now doesn't that sound familiar?

And this is what the Lindsay Federal Electorate Council of the ALP had to say to the JSCEM:

"Our concern is that the pamphlet was a fraudulent pamphlet, indicating that it was from another political party, and it was malicious and it vilified people. I think it was meant to incite racial tensions as well. What we are concerned about is the actual content of the pamphlet." (1.4 p 2)

Hm... so Labor has concerns with the actual content of dodgy election material only if it's directed against Labor?


[* So important is this story for the Australian that it even has an editorial (Common sense should rule) on the matter in today's edition; **Egan drops prosecution of ALP figures,, 7/7/09]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Trenchant Analysis. Not.

How shallow and sniffy is this analysis by the director of the Institute for Human Security at La Trobe University, Dennis Altman*, in The Age of September 19?:

"... debate [over Palestine], while sometimes intense..." (Israel's opposition to recognising Palestine is a puzzle)

What? Where is this debate? Certainly not in the Fairfax press.

"... rarely goes beyond entrenched set pieces on both sides."

Surely he's not implying that there's an equivalence between Zionist propaganda and its rebuttal?

"The pro-Palestinian lobby is small, and too often engages in acts that are counterproductive."

Such as? 'Counterproductive': Murdochspeak.

"The pro-Israeli [sic] lobby is far larger and influential, and has powerful emotional support on both sides of politics. Kevin Rudd once claimed that support for Israel was in his DNA, and Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott seemed determined to go one better. Neither national interest nor the small Jewish population explain it. I suspect it is born of the formative experiences of political leaders, now in their 40s and 50s... "

Just emotional support? That's all there is to it? Why so coy? Some people would find that way too superficial. People such as this "Australian official," for example:

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

By the balls? Not the heartstrings, but the balls. Goodness, whatever could he mean? Maybe this:

"When Labor approached key [Jewish] groups to hold fund-raising events for the coming election, they feigned busyness, but it was a deliberate and unmistakeable retaliation. The Jewish community was an important source of Labor funds for the 2007 election. A single lunch in Sydney raised $100,000. A Toorak tennis court party for 200, attended by Rudd and Gillard, raised more. But as this year has unfolded, it became increasingly clear such effort would not be repeated." (What am I, chopped liver? How Rudd dived into schmooze mode***, Peter Hartcher, SMH, 22/6/10)

Maybe some things speak louder than formative experiences.

"... note that Gillard was a student leader when the national movement was destroyed by ferocious debates on Palestine."

Debates killed the old Australian Union of Students? Or then president Gillard got spooked by the Israel lobby's campus extension and decided to shift to more pragmatic issues - which bored the pants off its members and contributed to its demise soon after she graduated? (See my 14/8/10 post The Real Julia Gillard.)

[*For an equally irritating, but nonetheless interesting amplification of Altman's views on these matters, see Escaping the Tribe?, Spring 2009; **For the context see my 11/6/10 post Those Irresistable Zionist Pheromomes Again 2; ***For the context see my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy.]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Witches Brew 3

Speaking for David Clarke's anti-BDS motion in the NSW Legislative Council on 15/9/11, Nationals MLC Melinda Pavey, displayed her supreme mastery of historical nuance by conflating 1930s Austria with 21st century Australia:

"Only about 3 weeks ago we discussed in this House a motion commemorating the passing of one of our finest Australian war heroes, Nancy Wake*. In Austria in the 1930s, Nancy Wake saw the most horrific things being committed against Jewish people while she was a European correspondent for the Hearst chain of newspapers, which turned her life around and encouraged her to stand up to fascism and to the Nazism [sic] rule of France. It is significant to note that an Australian led the charge and stood up to what was being perpetrated at that time. It is also unbelievable that that type of action is infiltrating our country in the twenty-first century."

Mel was the first in the 'debate' to give a wink and a nod to certain distinguished visitors lapping it all up in the visitors gallery:

"I acknowledge today the presence in the gallery of the Head of the Jewish Board of Deputies Yair Miller and Chief Executive Officer Vic Alhadeff." Which is most interesting, given that one of the later, Labor contributors to the debate kicked off his speech with: "Like my colleagues, I was not aware that this motion was to be debated today."

So let me get this right: Labor MLCs didn't know the debate was on, but the beaming gentlemen in the gallery did? How interesting.

Mel was followed by fellow National MLC Trevor Khan. Trev, who, as befits his name, was blessedly brief, whinged that BDS was nothing more than "having a protest for the sake of having a protest, or a gripe for the sake of having a gripe," and that it had Lee Rhiannon written all over it!

[*See my 15/8/11 post White Resistance/Brown Terrorism.]

Spot the Logic

The Sydney Morning Herald's latest editorial (Palestine: back to square one, 26/9/11)) on the Palestinian Authority's bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state waffles its way to the following non sequitur:

"[Reopened Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations] are worth a try. Otherwise everybody stands to lose":-

"Barack Obama... risks alienating the forces of democratic change in the Middle East..."

"Israel... risks becoming even more isolated within its region."

"Abbas... endangers crucial US financial support."


"If the Palestinian issue does come to a vote in the UN General Assembly, we should abstain."

So, if US politics is so dysfunctional that the Israel lobby has Obama by the balls and your forces of democratic change in the Middle East are only too aware of this; and Israel is a serial abuser of the Palestinians and others in the region, such that no self-respecting Arab would want anything to do with it; and US Congresspersons would happily club baby seals to death, let alone cut off PA funding, if the Israel lobby demanded it of them, then we - who never tire of mouthing two-state rhetoric - should abstain.

Classic Herald cluelessness!

The relevant letters in the same issue, apart from those written by the usual suspects, are a different matter entirely. I particularly liked this one from John Little of Cronulla:

"I was born in 1950 and have lived through massive change in world power balance, war, conflict, conflict resolution, reconciliation, economic development and huge improvement in the lives of billions of ordinary people.

"Crises have come and gone. Natural disasters happen, then things get better. Disputes that once looked intractable fade into nothing... just grainy old newsreels as the cities and people they once blighted now thrive and prosper. Steady, steady progress.

"The world moves on and fresh flowers bloom. New chapters are written and wonderful, exciting challenges summon the genius of the young generation to respond.

"Then there is Palestine."

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Parallel World of Benjamin Netanyahu

"In 1984 when I was appointed Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubavich. He said to me... you'll be serving in a house of many lies. And then he said, remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide." (Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking in the UN General Assembly on September 23)

So the UN, which devised the legal instrument by which the Palestinian people's homeland could be literally pulled out from under their feet, and one which Zionist propagandists never tire of referring to as their colonial project's stamp of approval (I speak, of course, of the partition resolution of 1947), is now apparently a palace of lies and a dark place which only ever sees the light of truth when an Israeli representative opens his mouth. Right.

Beware - you are now entering a parallel universe where everything you know to be right is actually wrong and everything you know to be wrong is actually right. Welcome to the parallel world of Benjamin Netanyahu:

"Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years ago."

Cough! Splutter! Shit, I've spilt my coffee!

"The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace."

Nice? Well, what would you expect from the folk who gave us such clever bon mots as The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. (Abba Eban) Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us. (Golda Meir) If the Arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence. If the Israelis put down their weapons today there'd be no more Israel. (Shira Sorko-Ram)

"Without Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, Israel is all of 9 miles wide... Israel needs greater strategic depth... And to defend itself, Israel must therefore maintain a long-term military presence in critical strategic areas in the West Bank."

Hm... somewhat reminiscent of what an obscure German politician, who went on to bigger but hardly better things, wrote in 1926:

"In an era when the earth is gradually being divided up among states, some of which embrace almost entire continents, we cannot speak of a world power in connection with a formation whose political mother country is limited to the absurd area of 500,000 square kilometers." (Mein Kampf, ed 1971, p 644)

"The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day - in fact, I think they made it right here in New York - they said the Palestinian state won't allow any Jews in it. They'll be Jew free - Judenrein. That's ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That's racism."

After over 100 years of Zionist colonisation, resulting in Palestine getting progressively smaller and smaller, and Israel correspondingly bigger and bigger, and with most Palestinians living as stateless refugees outside Palestine, not to mention armed Israeli settlers running amok in the West Bank, cutting and burning their way through Palestinian orchards, the Palestinians have the gall to wish to protect what little they have left from marauding, land-grabbing Zionist settlers? The nerve of these people!

On the other hand (and in the very next paragraph as it happens), what's hilariously described as ethnic cleansing and racism in the case of the Palestinian Authority is simply routine when it comes to Israel, an entity which created its 'Jewish character' by violently dispossessing the majority of Palestinians from the territories overrun and occupied by its terror gangs in 1948, and maintains it today by adamantly refusing them their right of return and enacting apartheid legislation to keep the land forever in 'Jewish' hands:-

"Israel has no intention whatsoever to change the democratic character of our state. We just don't want the Palestinians to try to change the Jewish character of our state. We want them to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians."

Fantasy? You want a flood fantasy, Fibi? Try this one on for size. Here's Chaim Weizmann, your great Zionist mover and shaker between Herzl and Ben-Gurion, speaking to British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour on December 4 1918:

"If we can say to the Jewish people that we shall be given the possibility of creating conditions in Palestine under which the development of a strong Jewish community may take place, we know that the mere existence of such a community would already raise the status of Jews in the world. Moreover a community of 4 to 5 million Jews in Palestine could radiate out into the Near East and so contribute mightily to the reconstruction of countries which were once flourishing... But all this presupposes free and unfettered development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, not mere facilities for colonisation, but opportunities for carrying out colonising activities, public works, etc., on a large scale so that we should be able to settle in Palestine about 4 to 5 million Jews within a generation, and so make Palestine a Jewish country." (Quoted in Palestine Papers: 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, Doreen Ingrams, 1972/2009, p 46)

But that was just to his none-too-bright British mate. What he had to say to the Palestinians wasn't quite so frank:

"... It is not our aim to get hold of the supreme power and administration in Palestine, nor to deprive any native of his possession. For Palestine is rich to the extent that it can contain many times the number of its present inhabitants, who will be comfortably accommodated... We all like to live under the rule of some just Government, and all other rumours and sayings contrary to this are false and unfounded... And although the Jews here number but a few, yet the 14 million extant in all parts of the world, agree with us and confirm our sayings." (Weizmann to a meeting of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa, May 1918, ibid, p 30)

Yes, the movement of lies and deception.

"President Abbas just stood here, and said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that's odd. Our conflict has been raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then I guess that the settlements he's talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be'er Sheva. Maybe that's what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn't say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict."

Blimey, Fibi's a whizz when it comes to who exactly was roaming the hills of Palestine 4,000 years ago,* but his memory grows hazy the closer he gets to the present: Tel Aviv? Built on the lands and ruins of Palestinian villages such as Abu Kabir, Manshiyya, Summayl, Shaykh Muwannis and Salama. Haifa? An ancient Palestinian city, ethnically cleansed from December 1947 to April 1948. Jaffa? An ancient Palestinian city, ethnically cleansed from January to May 1948. Be'er Sheva? An ancient Palestinian town, ethnically cleansed in October 1948. So yes, maybe that's what Abbas meant. Oh, and also the kibbutzim and moshavim aka the settlements of pre-1967 Israel. As Moshe Dayan reminded the students at the Israel Institute of Technology (Techniyon) in 1969:

"We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs, and we are building here a Hebrew, Jewish state. In a considerable proportion of localities we purchased the land from the Arabs. Instead of the Arab villages Jewish villages were established. You even do not know the names of these villages and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only the books, but also the villages no longer exist. Nahalal was established in the place of Mahalul, Gevat in the place of Jibta, Sarid in the place of Hanifas and Kefar Yehoshu'a in the place of Tel Shamam. There is not a single settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab village." (Quoted in Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within, Uri Davis, 2003, p 36)

[* See my previous post.]

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Benzion, My Father

"'Always in the back of Bibi's mind is Ben-Zion', one of the prime minister's friends told me. 'He worries that his father will think he's weak'... Many people in Likud Party circles have told me that those who discount Ben-Zion's influence on his son do so at their peril... One of Netanyahu's Knesset allies told me, indelicately, though perhaps not inaccurately, that the chance for movement toward the creation of an independent Palestinian state will come only after Ben-Zion's death. 'Bibi could not withdraw from more of Judea and Samaria' - the Biblical names for the West Bank - 'and still look into his father's eyes.'" (The point of no return, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, September 2010)

Family history. It's all the rage. While most of us have to make do with a few birth/death certificates which take us back to the late 19th century if we're lucky, one 'gentleman' puts us all in the shade. Meet Israel's prime minister, Benjamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu, who, among other things, regaled his UNGA audience on Friday thus:

"In my office in Jerusalem, there's a - there's an ancient seal. It's a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next door to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there's a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That's my last name. My first, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin - Binyamin - the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Sumeria [sic] 4,000 years ago, and there's been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since." (Full transcript of Netanyahu speech at UN General Assembly, Haaretz, 24/9/11)

Now if you or I carried on like this, we'd probably excite certain unmistakable hand gestures behind our backs or be deemed certifiable. And if, God forbid, a so-called world leader - and we're not talking hereditary monarch here - spoke thus, he'd become the butt of Western media jokes. But, because the offender is Israel's prime minister this kind of Zionist conceit is simply ignored - or, worse, taken seriously.

So, just for the record, I thought I'd investigate Netanyahu's family tree. Of his mother, Zila/Tzilah (1912-2000), I can find only that her maiden name was Segal. His father, Benzion (1910-), is quite a different matter, however. Born to a Polish rabbi and Zionist activist called Nathan Mileikowsky, Benzion, who went on to became secretary to Zionist Revisionist godfather Ze'ev Jabotinsky, discarded his father's Polish surname and adopted his nom de plume, Netanyahu, meaning 'Gift of God'. This, of course, is a common Zionist practice, symbolising the repudiation of an imagined 'exile' and the assumption of a new Zionist identity in Palestine.

Although Benjamin Netanyahu is a true scion of Jabotinsky's extremist Revisionist Zionism (see my 26/12/09 post A Murky Legacy), our utterly superficial ms media have never shown any real interest in exploring what this means by way of explaining Netanyahu's politics. The real Netanyahu - not to be confused with his public persona - was once, as it happens, caught on a video which, according to Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, "should have been banned for broadcast to minors":

"Meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu last week, President Obama could not have been more effusive. 'I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace', Obama said, 'I believe he is ready to take risks for peace'. A newly revealed tape of Netanyahu in 2001, being interviewed while he thinks the cameras are off, shows him in a radically different light. In it, Netanyahu dismisses American foreign policy as easy to maneuver, boasts of having derailed the Oslo accords with political trickery, and suggests that the only way to deal with Palestinians is to "beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it's unbearable'." (Fibi Netanyahu, Liel Netanyahu,, 15/7/10)

So where exactly did the young Netanyahu, our little 'Gift of God', acquire his thuggish views? At daddy's knee it seems. The following Q&A with the then 99-year old Benzion Netanyahu (which his son tried to prevent from being published) comes from the 3/4/09 edition of Israel's Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper and reveals Benjamin as the proverbial chip off the old block:

Benzion Netanyahu: The Jews and the Arabs are like two goats facing each other on a narrow bridge. One must jump into the river - but that is to risk death. The stronger goat will make the weaker jump... and I believe the Jewish people will prevail.

Q: What does the Arab's jump mean?

BN: That they won't be able to face war with us [anymore], which will include withholding food from Arab cities, preventing education, terminating electrical power and more. They won't be able to exist, and they'll run away from here. But it all depends on the war and whether we win...

Q: Operation Cast Lead was one of the worst blows we landed on a civilian population.

BN: That's not enough. It's possible we should have hit harder.

Q: You don't like the Arabs, to say the least.

BN: The Bible finds no worse image than this man from the desert. And why? Because he has no respect for any law. Because in the desert he can do as pleases. The tendency towards conflict is in the essence of the Arab. He is an enemy by essence. His personality won't allow him any compromise or agreement. It doesn't matter what kind of resistance he meets, what price he pays. His existence is one of perpetual war.

Q: Is there any hope of peace?

BN: Out of agreement? No. The other side might stay in peace [only] if it understands that doing anything [else] will cause it enormous pain. The two-state solution doesn't exist. There aren't two people here. There is a Jewish people and an Arab population... There is no Palestinian people, so you don't create a state for an imaginary nation*... They only call themselves a people in order to fight the Jews.

Q: So what's the solution?

BN: There is no solution except force... strong military rule. Any outbreak will bring upon the Arabs enormous suffering. We shouldn't wait for a big mutiny to start, but rather act immediately, with great force to prevent them from going on... If it's possible, we should conquer any disputed territory in the land of Israel. Conquer and hold it, even if it brings us years of war. We should conquer Gaza, and parts of the Galil, and the Golan. This will bring upon us a bloody war, since war is difficult for us. We don't have a lot of territory, while the Arabs have lots of space to retreat to. But that's the only way to survive here. (Netanyahu's father discusses the peace process,, 3/4/09)

And when asked about his influence over Bibi today, Benzion responded: "'Bibi might aim for the same goals as mine, but he keeps to himself the ways to achieve them, because if he expressed them, he would expose his goals'."

There's a madness that runs in this family. It's called political Zionism.

Arm-Twisting for Israel

Well I never! The World's Greatest Democracy is stooping to bully and threaten other nations on Israel's behalf:

"Abbas is said to have agreed [to renewed peace negotiations] after several Security Council members who had committed themselves to support the Palestinians reneged after being pressured by Washington. Early in the week Palestinian officials told reporters they had the support of 9 countries. But on Thursday they said Portugal had succumbed to US threats to withhold support in financial institutions for its stricken economy, and Bosnia to a move to block Kosovo's admission to the UN. Nigeria, Gabon and Columbia were all said to be under unspecified pressure." (Reneging nations tarnish Abbas 'coup', Paul McGeough, Sydney Morning Herald, 24/9/11)

This should come as no surprise, however, given that it was precisely such US arm-twisting and threats that ensured the passage of the UN resolution partitioning Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state in 1947, and gave Zionist forces the legal cover they needed to ethnically cleanse Palestine the year after. For the gory details, see my posts The Israeli Occupation of Federal Parliament 3 (14/3/08); Talking Turkey on the Two-State Solution (11/11/08); Now Honestly... (25/6/09).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Let Me Qualify That

From Obama's speech at the UN General Assembly (Full transcript, Haaretz, 21/9/11):

"Now, I know, particularly this week, that for many in this hall, there's one issue that stands as a test for these principles and a test for American foreign policy, and that is the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. One year ago, I stood at this podium and I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. But..."


"... what I also said is that a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves. One year later, despite extensive efforts by America and others, the parties have not bridged their differences. Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year. That basis is clear. It's well known to all of us here. Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state. Now, I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. I assure you, so am I. But..."


"... the question isn't the goal that we seek - the question is how do we reach that goal?. And I am convinced there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has edured for decades."

Hm... I wonder why it's endured for decades. Would unstinting US cash, military hardware and diplomatic backing have something to do with it?

"Peace is hard work."

Yeah, especially with the Israel lobby breathing down your neck. The more historically literate among the delegates would have perhaps recalled the famous words of President Harry Truman (who, incidentally, recognised the state of Israel in a mere 11 minutes after David Ben-Gurion's Declaration of Independence on May 14 1948): "I'm sorry gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism: I don't have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents." And speaking of history, Obama himself must've had his mind wonderfully concentrated by the loss of historically Democratic Brooklyn and Queens to the Republicans the day before.

"Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations - if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now."

Yeah, what's international law got to do with it? Or anything much these days?

"Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians - not us - who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians - not us - who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem. Ultimately, peace depends on compromise among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied. That's the lesson of Northern Ireland, where ancient antagonists bridged their differences. That's the lesson of Sudan, where a negotiated settlement led to an independent state. And that is and will be the path to a Palestinian state - negotiations between the parties."

It's funny - Palestine went from 100% in 1947 to 45% in November 1947 to 22% in 1948/9 to 0% in 1967. But there's still room for Palestinians to compromise. Right.

"We seek a future where Palestinians live in a sovereign state of their own, with no limit to what they can achieve. There's no question that the Palestinians have seen that vision delayed for too long. It is precisely because we believe so strongly in the aspirations of the Palestinian people that America has invested so much time and so much effort in the building of a Palestinian state, and the negotiations that can deliver a Palestinian state. But..."

And here's the biggest BUT of them all:

"... understand this as well: America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel's citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel's children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than 8 million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off the map. The Jewish people carried the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that 6 million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbours. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine."

Then, for some strange reason, the following bit was omitted from the transcript: OK, OK. I can see you mongrels squirming in your seats. I can see your eyes rolling. I can hear you all groaning. (Not you of course, Australia and Canada. You go girls!) But I don't give a damn, OK? Cuz I'm Israel's bitch and I'm standing by my man and you bastards better get used to it! Seems you've all forgotten my performance of Stand By Your Man at the AIPAC shindig in May. Sit tight and I'll sing it again: "We know how difficult that search for security can be, especially for a small nation like Israel in a tough neighborhood. I've seen it firsthand. When I touched my hand against the Western wall and placed my prayer between its ancient stones, I thought of all the centuries that the children of Israel had longed to return to their ancient homeland. When I went to Sderot, I saw the daily struggle to survive in the eyes of an 8-year old boy who lost his legs to a Hamas rocket. And when I walked among the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, I grasped the existential fear of Israelis when a modern dictator seeks nuclear weapons and threatens to wipe Israel off the map." (See my 27/5/11 post Obama: Feel the Love)

"That is the truth - each side has legitimate aspirations - and that's part of what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other's shoes; each side can see the world through the other's eyes. That's what we should be encouraging. That's what we should be encouraging. That's what we should be promoting. This body - founded, as it was, out of the ashes of war and genocide, dedicated, as it is, to the dignity of every single person - must recognise the reality that is lived by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The measure of our actions must always be whether they advance the right of Israeli and Palestinian children to live lives of peace and security and dignity and opportunity. And we will only succeed in that effort if we can encourage the parties to sit down, to listen to each other, and to understand each other's hopes and each other's fears. That is the project to which America is committed. There are no shortcuts. And that is what the United Nations should be focused on in the weeks and months to come."

Zounds! Relationship counselling! Why didn't anybody think of this before? The man's a genius!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Israel's Win-Win at the UN

Palestinian-American academic Joseph Massad's essay, State of recognition (, 15/9/11), is one of the best I've read on the Palestinian Authority's current bid for statehood through the UN.

He believes that whether the UN recognises a nominally PA-controlled but still Israeli-occupied Palestinian statelet or not, "either outcome will be in the interest of Israel."

Massad reminds us of the PA's dubious motives: "The ongoing Arab uprisings have raised Palestinian expectations about the necessity of ending the occupation and have challenged the modus vivendi the PA has with Israel. Furthermore, with the increase in Palestinian grassroots activism to resist the Israeli occupation, the PA has decided to shift the Palestinian struggle from popular mobilisation it will not be able to control, and which it fears could topple it, to the international legal arena. The PA hopes that this shift from the popular to the juridical will demobilise Palestinian political energies and displace them onto an arena that is less threatening to the survival of the PA itself."*

According to Massad, while the PA hopes statehood will better enable it to "challenge Israel internationally using legal instruments only available to member states to force it to grant 'independence'," the US would always use its Security Council veto to shield Israel from such challenges, something it has already done 41 times.

Moreover, Massad also believes that any new powers wielded by a PA-controlled, Israeli-occupied, UN-recognised 'Palestine' would come at an "enormous cost to the Palestinian people." He lists the negative implications of a successful UN vote as:

"(1) The PLO will cease to represent the Palestinian people at the UN, and the PA will replace it as their presumed state.

"(2) The PLO, which represents all Palestinians (about 12 million people in historic Palestine and in the diaspora), and was recognised as their sole representative at the UN in 1974, will be truncated to the PA, which represents only West Bank Palestinians (about 2 million people). Incidentally, this was the vision presented by the infamous Geneva Accords that went nowhere.

"(3) It will politically weaken Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homes and be compensated, as stipulated in UN resolutions. The PA does not represent the refugees, even though it claims to represent their 'hopes' of establishing a Palestinian state at their expense. Indeed, some international legal experts fear it could even abrogate the Palestinian right of return altogether. It will also forfeit the rights of Palestinian citizens living in Israel who face institutional and legal racism in the Israeli state, as it presents them with a fait accompli of the existence of the Palestinian state (its phantasmatic nature not withstanding). This will only give credence to Israeli claims that the Jews have a state and the Palestinians now have one too and if Palestinians citizens of Israel were unhappy, or even if they were happy, with their third-class status in Israel, they should move or can be forced to move to the Palestinian state at any rate.

"(4) Israel could ostensibly come around soon after a UN vote in favour of Palestinian statehood and inform the PA that the territories it now controls (a small fraction of the West Bank) is all the territory Israel will concede and that this will be the territorial basis of the Palestinian state. The Israelis do not tire of reminding the PA that the Palestinians will not have sovereignty, an army, control of their borders, control of their water resources, control over the number of refugees it could allow back, or even jurisdiction over Jewish colonial settlers. Indeed, the Israelis have already obtained UN assurances about their right to 'defend themselves' and to preserve their security with whatever means they think are necessary to achieve these goals. In short, the PA will have the exact same Bantustan state that Israel and the US have been promising to grant it for two decades!.

"(5) The US and Israel could also, through their many allies, inject a language of 'compromise' in the projected UN recognition of the PA state, stipulating that such a state must exist peacefully side by side with the 'Jewish State' of Israel. This would in turn exact a precious UN recognition of Israel's 'right' to be a Jewish state, which the UN and the international community, the US excepted, have refused to recognize thus far. This will directly link the UN recognition of a phantasmatic non-existent Palestinian state to UN recognition of an actually existing state of Israel that discriminatews legally and institutionally against non-Jews as a 'Jewish state'.

"(6) The US and Israel will insist after a positive vote that, while the PA is right to make certain political demands as a member state, it would have to abrogate its recent reconciliation agreement with Hamas. Additionally, sanctions could befall the PA state itself for associating with Hamas, which the US and Israel consider a terrorist group. The US Congress has already threatened to punish the PA and will not hesitate to urge the Obama administration to add Palestine to its list of 'State Sponsors of Terrorism' along with Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria."

All that will advance Israeli interests, says Massad, but so too will "a US veto, and/or the ability of the US to pressure and twist the arms of tens of countries around the world to reject the bid of the PA in the General Assembly, resulting in failure to recognise PA statehood." This will mean a return to "the unending 'peace process'," during which a stroppier US "will continue to push for PA and Arab recognition of Israel as a 'Jewish state' that has the right to discriminate by law against non-Jews in exchange for an ever-deferred recognition of a Palestinian Bantustan as an 'economically viable' Palestinian state - a place where Palestinian neoliberal businessmen can make profits off international aid and investment."

Massad concludes that "either outcome will keep the Palestinian people colonised, discriminated against, oppressed, and exiled. This entire brouhaha over the UN vote is ultimately about which of the two scenarios is better for Israeli interests."

[*"Israel has given approval for the PA to equip its security forces with riot-control gear, such as tear gas grenades and rubber bullets. The PA has approached Israeli firms to buy such equipment in advance of expected demonstrations on the West Bank around the Palestinian's request for UN recognition as an independent state." (Israel okays acquisition of anti-riot gear ahead of UN vote, Amos Harel, Haaretz, 15/9/11)]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Witches Brew 2

The second speaker for David Clarke's anti-BDS resolution in the NSW Legislative Council on 15/9/11 was Labor MLC Walt Secord, who I've had reason to profile before on this blog (An Israeli-Occupied Mind, 27/6/11).

Secord likes to pretend that he has no idea why Max Brenner:

"Let us put this into perspective. This is a chocolate cafe. It is a food business. It is not a manufacturer of landmines or military weapons. Max Brenner makes and sells hot chocolate and serves waffles. There is no reasoning to these protests."

Which allows him to smear BDS as, surprise, surprise, anti-Semitic:

"Hence I must conclude that Max Brenner is targeted for one reason: because it is an Israeli business and it is a Jewish business..."

And the proof? Well, none is forthcoming. So all we get is your baseless, grubby smear:

"What is even more distressing is the racist rhetoric employed in the BDS campaign. On occasions some of those supporting BDS have lapsed into what I can only describe as naked anti-Semitism."

And of course, no anti-BDS smear job would be complete without the by now ritual reference to the Nazi era/Holocaust:

"Members may not be aware that Australia has the honour of being home to the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors in a Jewish community outside Israel. So it is understandable that there is strong concern about BDS in Australia, especially in the Jewish community. They know firsthand what can follow once businesses are singled out simply because they are owned by Jewish people. They know firsthand what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s when businesses were identified as being Jewish... The experience of history, repeatedly, is that this is where it starts. States do not slide into systemic racism overnight. Instead, liberties are traded off one at a time. I never thought I would see the day when a Jewish business was targeted in Australia, and that is what is occurring with the BDS."

And when you're done muttering darkly about the alleged naked anti-Semitism of BDS protesters, why not blow your own trumpet?:

"In late August I had the honour of being elected deputy chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel. It is now one of the largest parliamentary groups. (The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: Thanks to you!) I acknowledge the interjection. Some 60 parliamentarians, from the conservative and progressive side of politics, turned up to the inaugural meeting."

How interesting! Think about this: there are 134 polliewaffles in the NSW Parliament (LC: 42 LA: 92). What does it say about the extent of Zionist influence in NSW politics that "some 60" of the buggers felt compelled, or otherwise allowed themselves to be corraled, into turning up for the inaugural meeting of the PFoI? But it gets worse: it seems that the position of PFoI's chair is something our state parliamentarians are actually fighting over, with Secord terribly miffed that instead of he and Gabrielle Upton, MP for Vaucluse, being joint chairs, Premier O'Farrell demoted Secord to mere deputy chair. (Secord back-seated as Friends of Israel is revived,, 15/8/11)

Terribly tough titties for the Michael Danby wannabe of NSW state politics.

Monday, September 19, 2011


"Never have a companion that casts you in the shade." Baltasar Gracian

Liberal MLC David Clarke, whose anti-BDS motion and Zionist rant in the NSW Legislative Council I dealt with in my previous post, has had a circuitous route, to say the least, to Zionism - as Greens MLC John Kaye, outraged by Clarke's predictable smearing of the BDS campaign as anti-Semitic, made clear in his contribution to the 'debate':

"He is the same David Clarke who twice - once in April 2005 and then in April 2007 - attended a commemoration of the rise of the fascist Ustasha Government into power in Croatia in April 1941. He is the same David Clarke who was reprimanded by the chief executive officer of the Jewish Board of Deputies, Mr Vic Alhadeff, who I acknowledge is present in the gallery today. In The Jewish News of 26 April 2007, Mr Alhadeff said of the Hon. David Clarke: 'The function-' that is, the function attended by Mr Clarke- 'celebrated Hitler's establishment of the Nazi state of Croatia... This is a state that supported the Jasenovac extermination camp, where hundreds of thousands of people were murdered, including 60,000 Jews... It is very troubling that such a brutal regime still finds support in democratic Australia'. There is no excuse for the Hon. David Clarke moving this motion when he so shamefully supported the celebration of the Nazi regime in Croatia. Like so many who come from the extreme Right, today he finds himself with the fanatical support of Israel. He joins with groups such as the Australian Protectionist Party and others in opposing the BDS campaign. Many in the Jewish community will be shocked to see the way the Hon. David Clarke summons up the memory of the Holocaust when his mentor-" At which point Clarke, obviously stung, raised a point of order, claiming he found Kaye's comments "offensive" and asking that they be "withdrawn."

By 'mentor' Kaye meant Lyenko Urbanchich, Nazi collaborator and propagandist in Slovenia during WWII and NSW Liberal Party heavyweight until his death in 2006.

Mark Aarons'* obituary of Urbanchich throws the following light on the relationship between Urbanchich and Clarke:

"The peak of Urbanchich's success came in 1977 with the formation of the Liberal Ethnic Council. As council president, he automatically had a seat on the state executive. Other council executive members included his close ally, David Clarke, who learnt ethnic branch stacking techniques from his mentor and today leads the 'Uglies' faction established by Urbanchich 40 years ago. Clarke helped organise the numbers to narrowly save Urbanchich from expulsion from the Liberal Party after a 1979 ABC radio documentary (which I produced) exposed him as a Nazi propagandist. Urbanchich initially defended himself by claiming that documents used in the program were communist forgeries. When copies of his propaganda were found in Western archives (including contemporaneous British intelligence microfilms), he switched to arguing that German censors had inserted the pro-Nazi content. This was rejected by the Liberal inquiry, but, despite the evidence, the 1980 vote to expel him fell just short of the 60% required. The NSW Liberals' moderate faction bitterly regrets this failure. In the following 15 years, Urbanchich successfully continued his ethnic branch stacking. In 1996, Urbanchich and Clarke established the far-right's ironically named 'central committee'. By 2005 Clarke controlled the NSW state executive, the Young Liberals (in NSW and federally) and the NSW Women's Council. From this powerful position, the faction Urbanchich founded in the 1960s has embarked on a purge of moderates, especially in the NSW parliamentary party. Clarke's support base today is the same far-right constituency that Urbanchich built through ethnic branch stacking, especially using extremist elements in the Croatian and Christian Lebanese communities and often involving violence." (Ardent Nazi took Liberal to extremes, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/3/06) [*Aarons is the author of War Criminals Welcome, 2001)

But that was then. This is now. Urbanchich's old-fashioned anti-Semitism must seem a bit musty these days, what with Israel kicking ass with the 'best' of them. Now it's Arabs and Muslims who are the new Jews, so perhaps it's time, as many on the far-right seem to have concluded, to trade in their Judeophobia for Islamophobia. Not that any of the former ever rubbed off on David Clarke, of course. After all, as he explained in a 2005 interview with ABC journalist Monica Attard (, 18/9/05), Urbanchich had a perfectly satisfactory explanation:

MA: You knew [Urbanchich] well?
DC: Well yes, I mean he was a member of the State Council of the Liberal Party, I mean most people who are members of the State Council of the Liberal Party would know him to varying degrees.
MA: And were you shocked when you learned of his links to the Nazis?
DC: It came as a surprise but at the same time he put forward an explanation that he was working in his position at the behest of the underground. He put forward a proposition supported by some documents that he was part of the underground that was loyal to the government of King Peter which was in exile in London during the war years.
MA: But was it your belief in his story, was that what made you back him and his case against expulsion?
DC: I opposed his expulsion from the Liberal Party and sufficient people did oppose his expulsion on that basis.
MA: And your friendship with him continued thereafter?
DC: I still know Ljenko Urbancic and you know, many people do, he's still a member of the State Council of the Liberal Party.
MA: So you have a friendship now?
DC: Yes I would. Look, I would have friendly relations with him, yes. He's getting on in years, he's into his eighties, it's quite infrequently that you see him at Liberal Party gatherings.
MA: Did you sort of have to take a bit of a lower profile in those years because of what happened with the Liberal Ethnic Council?
DC: No, absolutely not. I'm not ashamed of anything that I've done; I've always stood for good values.
MA: And you're not... you're certainly not ashamed of the continuing relationship with Urbancic?
DC: The situation is: I accept people as I find them and the Liberal Party found that he should remain as a member of the Liberal Party and the Liberal Party accepts that and he's continued as a member of the Party ever since.

We've already glimpsed Vic Alhadeff, for whom the anti-BDS gibberings in the parliamentary bearpit must have been music to the ears, in the gallery, smiling down as Clarke and co strutted their stuff and nonsense. But who else is David Clarke rubbing shoulders with these days?

Well, with some seriously worried (& worrying) people as it happens. The kind who curl up in a foetal position at the mere sight of a hijab. Yes, Clarke was most assuredly among friends at that 'National Conference for All Concerned Christians' in November 2009, according to my impeccable source, Islamophobic website

The theme of the conference, which "represented an alliance of Assyrian and Australian Christians," was "Australia's Future & Global Jihad," and its attendees are described as "wanting a halt to Muslim immigration into Australia in order to stop its Islamification." (An emerging Australian-Assyrian Christian alliance?, Gaspar, 28/11/09)

Clarke was lovingly introduced to the assembled concerned Christians by fellow MLC, and Christian Democrat crusader, the Reverend Fred Nile, as "a fearless and uncompromising leader on moral and Muslim issues."

So why exactly have Muslims become an 'issue' for Clarke? Well, 'Gaspar' reports him as telling his audience that "Christianity is under threat from MUSLIM EXTREMISTS [Islam Monitor's capitalisation] (who he sharply distinguished from peaceful Muslims)." Oh dear! The turbanned, scimitar-waving, moustache-twirling hordes are probably advancing on St Mary's Cathedral as we speak! Hijabs in the rear, of course.

The other speakers made up a stellar cast, including Jenny Stokes of Saltshakers, who discussed "Islam and the way it cynically exploits the interfaith movement"; Keith Piper of the Liberty Independent Baptist Church, who spoke about 'Leading Muslims to Christ', which, he claimed he had done - in shopping centres, no less - by "showing them they are victims of lies"; and the incomparable Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries, who, among other things, talked about "how President Bush opened up the whole Middle East for Bibles to be brought in."

This lot'd do old Lyenko proud. Still, every cloud has a silver lining as they say, and this conference was no exception. It came in the form of Emmanuel Michael, chairman of the Assyrian Federation of Australia who must have stirred up no end of cognitive dissonance among the anxious Anglos when he expanded thus on the subject of life in Iraq under Saddam Hussein:

"Saddam was a dictator. But he did something for us [Assyrian] Christians. I want you to know this. He was a dictator for people who were against him. Saddam built churches for us. [The] Australian government doesn't do that. Saddam built a church for our community. I want to mention this because he was a dictator. But he did a few things good. One of them was that. And the other was [when] he went to my village, called Sharafiya, north of Mosul. He was surprised. He said to the priest who was greeting him... 'Why are your houses built of mud-brick?' They said, 'Because this land is not ours, it belongs to the Catholic Church' and we have to pay rent'. He said, 'Alright'. He went immediately to the head of the [Catholic] Church and said, 'I'm buying this village'. Saddam bought the village and came back less than 2 hours later and said, 'The village is now yours. It's your property. You can build on it'. And he gave $15,000 to each family. At that time the dinar was worth $3. Now it is worth nothing. You see, he did things to help us, to protect us."

Poor old David, Fred, Danny and the rest must have had heart attacks. Even the guy who'd faithfully recorded the conference's goings on for, calling himself Gaspar, felt compelled to append the following bracketed comment: "Now there's a bandwagon for the mainstream media to jump on: life was better for Iraqi Christians under Saddam Hussein than under America."

But I digress. Yes, whatever the vibes passing between Urbanchich and Clarke in the old days, Clarke's obviously got a bee in his bonnet about them Muslims these days, and that obviously goes some way toward explaining his conversion to Zionism.

But is that all there is to it? Perhaps Aaron's references to Urbanchich's ethnic branch stacking and use of violent extremists provides the key. David Clarke, of all people, must surely know a good old ethnic branch stack when he sees one. And God knows if Israel isn't the mother of all ethnic branch stacks. Think about it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Witches Brew 1

There's nothing quite like the Palestine test to separate the sheep from the goats. Of the 17 MLCs who spoke on the subject of the BDS campaign in the NSW Legislative Council on Thursday, September 15, only John Kaye and David Shoebridge of The Greens passed with flying colours.

The other 15 whipped up such a witches' brew of ignorance, stupidity, hysteria, mendacity and venom as to take one's breath away. Any critical reading of the transcript of their speeches can only lead to the mortifying conclusion that if, as the saying goes, we get the politicians we deserve, then this country is doomed.

As time permits, I intend to dissect each of the 15 speeches in a series of not necessarily consecutive posts. Consider it an exercise in knowing the enemy.

The first speaker, ultra-right Catholic Liberal MLC David Clarke, moved the motion that the Legislative Council "(a) notes with concern the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against legitimate businesses operating in Australia which provide jobs to hundreds of Australians. (b) calls on members to condemn the targeting of Max Brenner Chocolate Cafes by anti-Israel protesters. (c) notes that some of the rhetoric used by proponents of the BDS campaign has descended into anti-Semitism, and (d) condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms."

Get the drift? BDS is merely another manifestation of anti-Semitism, the oldest Zionist smear in the book.

"Those who fuel this campaign say that it targets some of Israel's policies but the truth of the matter..."

Over which Clarke has a monopoly, mind you.

"... is that... it target's Israel's legitimacy."

That a state built by force of arms on the dispossession, dispersal and occupation of another people can have no legitimacy, of course, is lost on the man.

"The BDS has at at the core of its platform that there should be a right of return to Israel..."

Not there should be. There is - Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But you wouldn't expect Clarke, a one-time solicitor, to know that, now would you?

"... not just of all Palestinians who claim to have lived in Israel at the time of its independence in 1948 and who left for whatever reason..."

Those Palestinians, now refugees for over 6 decades, claim to have lived in Israel? No, they claim (correctly, and with title deeds to prove it) to have lived in Palestine.

But it's that who left for whatever reason bit that's so revealing here. You can see Clarke doesn't want to go there. But even if, by a miracle of honesty, he had said frankly that yes, they were driven out by bands of armed men who coveted their humble patch for an exclusively Jewish state, it wouldn't have mattered anyway because for Zionists like Clarke the only thing that really matters is that the indigenes weren't left cluttering the landscape and generally making a nuisance of themselves for the sanctified newcomers from Europe.

"... it demands that all of the descendants of those who departed for whatever reason should also have the right of return - every child, every grandchild, every great grandchild should likewise have the automatic right of return."

The nerve of these people! Fancy expecting to take their kids and grandkids with them, if, by some miracle, they were ever to achieve their international law-approved right of return to their homes and lands in former Palestine. Nowhere in his speech, however, does Clarke mention Israel's Law of Return, which confers automatic citizenship on Jews (even so-called lost Jewish tribes) who have no real link to Palestine/Israel at all. They need only produce a Jewish mother or grandmother and, hey presto, along with their kids, their grandkids, and their great grandkids, they're in like Flynn with their very own slice of occupied Palestine.

"This would mean not just scores of thousands or even several hundred thousand; it would mean millions, even many millions."

This would mean - shock, horror - they could be living next door to... Israeli Jews. Next door? Heaven forbid!

"The United Nations in 1947 envisaged two states in Palestine, one Jewish and one Arab."

True, but what the UN did not envisage, propose or sanction was any kind of population transfer. The UN partition resolution of 1947 did not authorise the expulsion of non-Jews, who amounted to almost 50% of the population of the proposed Jewish state. Just as it did not authorise the taking of 22% of the proposed Arab state or Jerusalem, which was supposed to come under international control.

"The result of the BDS campaign would see Israel, as a predominantly Jewish state, face the destruction of its Jewish character."

Yes, just as South Africa faced the destruction of its white supremacist character in 1994. It's called de-colonisation.

For Clarke "the platform of the BDS campaign demands that Israel commit national suicide."

I have no evidence to date but can imagine Clarke expressing a similar hyperbolic sentiment with regard to boycotting apartheid South Africa.

After trotting out "the terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas," "the late but unlamented Osama bin Laden," and the Iranian president, Clarke fingers federal Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, who, having finally recovered from "the collapse of the Soviet empire," is portrayed, Svengali-like, as being at "the apex of the BDS campaign here in Australia."

Oh, and Rhiannon has at her disposal an "energising army of cadres," from the Marx/Chavez/Castro/Guevara/Trotsky-inspired Socialist Alliance, which presides over violent demonstrations characterised by "out-and-out anti-Semitic slogans."

While this kind of conspiratorial claptrap undoubtedly goes down well in the cloistered circles in which Clarke moves, it goes without saying that he completely ignores the inconvenient fact that the global BDS movement is no more nor less than a response to a 2005 call by "more than 170 Palestinian civil society groups, including all major political parties, refugee rights associations, trade union federations, women's unions, NGO networks, and virtually the entire spectrum of grassroots organisations" for "international civil society organisations and people of conscience all over the world to 'impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era'*." And why not? After all, what has the UN, crippled by a US veto wielded on behalf of Israel, ever managed to achieve by way of halting Israel's relentless colonisation of the occupied Palestinian territories or winning some measure of justice for stateless Palestinian refugees?

[*BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, Omar Barghouti, 2011, p 5.]

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

I briefly touched on this matter in my previous post but subsequent developments warrant a separate post.

What follows is a very, very sad story, the moral of which is surely: If you know SFA about an issue, then keep your mouth shut. Otherwise...

But let me begin at the beginning. In the beginning was the Word & the Word was with Rupert Murdoch, & the Word was Rupert Murdoch:

"[T]he [boycott, divestment & sanctions (BDS)] protest is not only futile but counter-productive." (Editorial: Not the way to make the point, The Australian, 15/8/11)

"The BDS movement is misguided and counter-productive." (Editorial: Philistines for Palestine, The Australian, 3/9/11)

Got it? Murdoch/God says that BDS is counter-productive! So is NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham actually channeling Murdoch or is this just a case of 'great minds' thinking alike?:

"Mr Buckingham argued that the [BDS] campaign was 'counter-productive to the cause of peace and human rights in the Middle East'*." (Anti-Israel boycott opens fresh split in Greens, Sean Nicholls, Josephine Tovey, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/9/11) [* See my 9/9/11 post Which Side Are You On?]

Whatever the answer to my question, it speaks volumes about Buckingham that he and Murdoch are on the same wave length here.

Now observe how Loose Lip's dumb statement was pounced on by the crafty Senator Boswell, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and used to beat Buckingham's federal colleagues around the chops in the Senate on 13 September:

"Senator Boswell: (Queensland) (15:53): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 400 standing in my name for today by omitting paragraph (c) and substituting the following revised paragraph: (c) agrees with the NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham's assertion 'that the tone and public perception of the Max Brenner protests may be counter-productive to the cause of peace and human rights in the Middle East'." (Hansard, 13/9/11) As the sorry story of the federal Greens' walloping appears in my previous post, Wielding Zionism's Big Stick in the Senate, I'll move on...

Would that the story of how the clueless Buckingham supplied the stick used to thrash Bob Brown and Christine Milne in the Senate on Tuesday had ended there. But no, quite incredibly, another Green, Cate Faehrmann MLC, latched onto his fatal words and made them her own in the very thick of yet another attempt to wallop the Greens, this time in the NSW Legislative Council, yesterday:

"I share the concern of some members," cried clueless Cate, "that the tone and public perception of these protests have been counter-productive and they are of concern to me." (Hansard, 15/9/11)

And so I wearily repeat my question: Is NSW Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann also channeling Rupert Murdoch here or is this just another case of 'great minds' thinking alike?

Buckingham just sat out yesterday's Legislative Council debate in silence, thankfully leaving the defence of the BDS campaign to the two Greens in that cesspit who do know what they're talking about - John Kaye and David Shoebridge.

But not before enduring these buckets of slime from some of the specialists present:

"I strongly believe that [racist and unreasonable attacks on small businesses are] an infringement of people's rights and freedoms and an attack on free enterprise and I congratulate my colleagues on the stand they are taking on this issue. I include Greens member the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham, for whom I have great respect because he has spoken out against this campaign. This campaign is counter-productive to the cause of peace and human rights in the Middle East - it achieves nothing." The Hon. Marie Ficarra (Liberal)

"However, the comments made by Dr John Kaye are another issue. Dr John Kaye said we were making cheap political points and that the purpose of [my] motion was to cause wedges. I did not bring The Greens into this debate. I did not do this out of respect for people such as the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham... Even though we have grave differences on policies, the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham... [is] liked and respected in this House." The Hon. David Clarke (Liberal)

Murdoch's minions at The Australian must've been cacking themselves. Not to mention the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO, Vic Alhadeff, taking it all in from his perch in the visitors gallery. (See my previous post on Alhadeff's role in these goings on.)

And, speaking of slime, some of the same goo tipped on Buckingham will no doubt be coming Faehrmann's way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wielding Zionism's Big Stick in the Senate

In a recent 3-page spread in The Australian Jewish News (BDS Explained, 29/7/11), Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, despite deeming the BDS campaign "one of the most pressing issues to preoccupy the Jewish world" because it was "the sharp end of a drive to destroy Israel itself," cautioned against mounting counter-demonstrations at Max Brenner outlets.

Invoking the old adage 'Speak softly and carry a big stick', Alhadeff wrote that "our response to BDS forms part of a coordinated national strategy... endorsed by counterparts abroad and Israel's Foreign Ministry. That response has included... engagement with civil society and politicians, patronage of boycotted outlets, cooperation with police, shop owners and centre managers, and exposure of the motives behind the BDS movement." (Protests not the answer)

Here is Israel's strategy, its 'big stick', unveiled by one of the party faithful, to counter the BDS campaign against Max Brenner.

Of course, we've seen its various elements in operation for months now:

We've seen Israel's useful fools in politics and the media exposing the motives behind the BDS movement by darkly hinting at or shouting from the rooftops that Max Brenner protesters are, in effect, the new Nazis. (See my 13/9/11 post Smear & Loathing for the details.)

We've seen the usual suspects, with Murdoch press in tow, patronising boycotted outlets. There was Kevin Rudd and Michael Danby turning up at Melbourne's QV Max Brenner store on July 14, followed by Danby, AWU secretary Paul Howes, former Labor Party president Warren Mundine, 'comedian' Austen Tayshus, and journalist Jana Wendt on July 27. No doubt we'll be seeing more such cavortings.

And we've seen how engaging with politicians means deploying Israel lobby stooges in state and federal parliaments to rail against BDS and, absent a principled national stance by the Greens on BDS, exploiting and fomenting divisions among them.

Yesterday's smear and loathing in the Senate was a fine example.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Ron Boswell, in seeking to move a motion condemning BDS, had seized on the recent idiotic comment by NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham that "the tone and the public perception of the Max Brenner protests may be counter-productive to the cause of peace and human rights in the Middle East." (See my 9/9/11 post Which Side are You On?) Inexplicably, using the exact same language as Murdoch's Australian - "the protest is not only futile but counter-productive" (editorial, 15/8/11); "the BDS movement is misguided and counter-productive" (editorial, 3/9/11) - the clueless Buckingham had merely provided a handy little wedge for Boswell to hammer home:

"Australia rightly celebrates a robust and diverse democracy. That is healthy. What is not healthy and is indeed destructive for our democracy is when leaders fail to condemn that which is vile and detestable, when they fail to call that which is vile and detestable what it is - namely, vile and detestable. There is no description other than 'vile and detestable' for the BDS campaign against Israel, a campaign shamefully aided and abetted by the Australian Greens... [I]t is heart-warming to note that at least one Green in NSW has reservations about this vile and detestable campaign... Senator Brown has in his party senators willing to address rallies where the flag of Israel is disfigured; the Star of David is taken out and replaced by a swastika. He has senators that support the boycotting of Jewish businesses in Australia... What is worse, the Greens leader himself sneaks onto the Notice Paper [a question to the Minister for Trade] asking for a list of products imported into Australia from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, so-called... This is a matter on which the Senate should move a motion to condemn the Australian Greens and their leader... Australia... should not tolerate the boycotting of businesses because their ownership is Jewish. I think we know enough about world history to never go down that track as a country."

The clueless Brown could have seized on Boswell's failure to even acknowledge that the Palestinians are an occupied people, or reminded him that boycotting Max Brenner has nothing whatever to do with "Jewish ownership." But he didn't, choosing instead to blather on lamely about "the travail of the Palestinian people and the security of the people of Israel" and "the healing of wounds in the Middle East" as though Israel's colonisation of Palestine and the dispossession of its people could be overcome by a little relationship counselling.

"Senator Brown is floundering, and he is as guilty as sin on this...," goaded the vile and despicable, but exceedingly cunning, Boswell. "I have in my possession photographs taken with a swastika superimposed on a Jewish flag... That is shameful from anyone's perspective. I know Senator Milne is terrified about this... She is a decent woman and does not want to be associated with this. I do not blame her for one minute... What the people who support the Greens want to know is whether the Greens are an environment party, a green party, or whether they are an anti-Semitic, extreme Labor party..."

Labor's Senator Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Manager of Government business) couldn't allow this slight to Labor pass without comment and weighed in by reminding the chamber that "the Australian government [had] repeatedly condemned the BDS." But rather than take on Boswell for his vile and detestable smears, Ludwig actually managed the incredible feat of blaming BDS for lowering the tone in this parliamentary cesspit!:

"In opposing the BDS campaign the government does not want our language or conduct, particularly in this place, to be lowered to that used in the BDS campaigns. From some of the language that is being used I am concerned that we are now entertaining a similar type of campaign in language that the BDS uses."

Then up popped Senator Fifield (Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) to take the baton from Boswell:

"The BDS campaign is part of an orchestrated campaign to delegitimise the state of Israel... It dresses itself up in the clothes of the anti-apartheid movement, that great and successful movement that sort to fight the abomination of separate racial development in South Africa. But in dressing itself up in the mantle of the anti-apartheid movement, it debases and devalues that noble campaign... There is no comparison and there can be no comparison between the state of Israel and apartheid era South Africa... The [BDS] movement is not pro-peace [or] pro-Palestinian, the movement is unequivocally and unashamedly anti-Israel and anti-Jewish... What must be condemned are the shadows of anti-Semitism, which we see in placards outside Max Brenner coffee shops around the world."

Poor Senator Milne! She could, of course, have begged to differ with Fifield about Israeli apartheid and cited the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Ronnie Kasrils. She could have invoked the definitive findings of South Africa's Human Sciences Research Council on the fact of Israeli apartheid (See my 21/9/09 post: Israeli Apartheid: The Jury's In). But no, Senator Milne had had her buttons well and truly pressed, and she rushed to defend herself from the dreaded charge of anti-Semitism:

"I rise today to note what is one of the lowest points of Senate debate since I took my Senate seat in 2005. I say it is one of the lowest moments because those of us who do have a memory of history, those of us who do know what happened in 1939, those of us who do know what happened with the Nazi atrocities in 1939 and thereafter in the Second World War find it absolutely despicable that people can stand up and barter that as if it were an appropriate way of condemning or commenting on another political party. I have stood in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and I have seen where the Resistance were shot against a wall. I taught at Devonport High School with an elderly gentleman who lived through the Crystal Night. I have known those people and I have spoken with those people and looked at that over the years. I know precisely about the cruelty of the Nazis to the Jews in the Second World War..."

What an insight the 'debate' was into the moral and intellectual void inhabited by certain elements of the unrepresentative swill who are only too happy to serve Israel's interests when called on. And what an insight into the cluelessness and cowardice of some of the federal Greens whose lack of an informed and principled position in support of BDS allow them to be taunted thus.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trooper Ted Battles the BDS 'Barbarians'

In my previous post, I quoted the former editor of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council's Review and now self-styled 'political analyst', Ted Lapkin. The rest of his story is worth citing (and reflecting on) here:

"But then the story got complicated. I received a call from a friend who works in the Victoria Police Security Intelligence Unit..."

Funny, Lapkin didn't mention he'd run his plan to counter-protest past a "friend" in the police force. And isn't the fact that our Zionist propagandist has such a "friend" most interesting? And what does that tell us about the Victorian police force?

Or is Lapkin's "friend" just an imaginary friend, enabling him to contrast his pure-as-the-driven-snow self with the straw BDS "barbarians" of the earlier quote? Did I say pure? Check him out: "I invited a few friends to join me... I made all participants take a vow of absolute nonviolence. No response to any provocation would be allowed."

Could this paragon of pacifism be the same Ted Lapkin who stormed into and occupied Lebanon in 1982 as a member of Israel's - wait for it - Golani Brigade*, the troops who unleashed the genocidal Lebanese fascist dogs on the defenceless refugee inhabitants of the Sabra and Shatila camps at the time and who have been "adopted" and "spoilt" for "over 30 years" by the Max Brenner firm?**

[*Soldiers, not pacifists, gave us freedom, Ted Lapkin, The Age, 26/4/05; **See my 12/7/09 post How Sweet It Is)]

"... asking me to stand down. It turns out that he had information that the BDS rabble intended to provoke a violent incident..."

What did Judge Judy say? Something about not pissing on my leg and telling me it's raining?

"... And naturally, the police didn't want us caught up in the middle of what they expected - and what actually turned out - to be a small riot."

A small riot! The mind boggles.

Is this Ted Lapkin, who says he doesn't want to "complicate the work of the police," but also doesn't want to "sit supinely by without challenging these new barbarians on their own terms," the same Ted Lapkin whose concluding paragraph of the Age piece above reads: "It is the soldier, not the campus organiser, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag"?

So trooper Ted can sit back and allow protesters to burn, say, an Israeli flag, but come on boots and all if they demonstrate outside Max Brenner outlets. Strange man.

Smear & Loathing

"The spectacle of protesters breaking the law in an attempt to harm a legal Jewish business was all the more abhorrent because it invited obvious historical parallels to the anti-Semitic targeting of Jewish businesses in 1930s Nazi Germany." (Anti-Israel bullies' hard centre bites in chocolate shop campaign, Cameron Stewart, The Australian, 20/8/11)

An obvious historical parallel? Maybe, but not in the way Cameron 'thinks'.

The Nazis wanted Germany free of Jews (Judenrein). The Zionists want Palestine/Israel free of Arabs (Arabrein). Both the Nazi and the Zionist regimes practised/are practising ethnic cleansing to bring this about. That's the parallel. Now here's the difference:

The Nazis boycotted/attacked Jewish stores in the 30s to squeeze Jews out of Germany. BDS boycotts (but does not attack) Israeli businesses which play a part in squeezing the Palestinians - through the ongoing occupation and colonisation of Palestinian lands and the laying of siege to Palestinian communities - out of Palestine. Both 30s Nazis and today's Zionists were/are in the business of making life so difficult for their respective 'rejects' that they'd 'voluntarily' leave their homes and homelands for other parts.

The Nazis began by squeezing German Jews and ended by simply rounding up those who hadn't already left Germany and eliminating them. The Zionists began by massacring and expelling Palestinians in 1948 but are now in the process of squeezing the remainder out because the earlier ethnic cleansing wouldn't look too spruce on television today. Of course, the massacres and expulsions of 1948 remain an option, especially under cover of war.

Where Cameron gets it wrong is by equating BDS campaigners - those who resist the Israeli squeezing of Palestinians - with the Nazis, those who squeezed German Jews. But this getting it wrong is not just a reflection of Cameron's undoubted ignorance of history, both German and Palestinian, it is deliberate, part of a well-organised Zionist propaganda campaign to counter the BDS campaign by smearing its supporters.

Welcome to the latest Zionist smear/ talking point. Note those who deploy it, its permutations and where it is deployed:

"Inevitably, the overwhelming majority of the six million Israeli Jews view BDS as motivated by the same prejudices that influenced Nazi anti-Semitism..." Philip Mendes, Nick Dyrenfurth & Suzanne Rutland, Zionist academics (Israel boycott harms Arabs, too, The Australian, 8/4/11)

"I've seen pictures of Jewish shops being attacked before, of course, but they were in black and white, in another country at another ghastly time. But this is Australia. Today." Andrew Bolt, Murdoch calumnist (Something is rotten in the land I love, Daily Telegraph, 6/7/11)

"Then there are the historical parallels. In the mid-1930s, Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists used to go on rampages outside Jewish-owned shops in London's East End - some were boycotted, others smashed up... Mosley targeted Jewish traders because they were Jews. The BDS protesters targeted the Max Brenner chocolate shop because its parent company does business in the Jewish state of Israel." Gerard Henderson, Fairfax calumnist (Jews know acceptance still has its exceptions, SMH, 12/7/11)

"We remember the precedence of the 1930s; my father came from Germany, and (at) any sign of this kind of behaviour we have to draw a line in the sand." Michael Danby, MP for Melbourne Ports and co-leader of Labor's pitbull faction (Prominent Australians fight anti-Semitism with hot chocolate, Leo Shanahan, The Australian, 28/7/11)

"[Paul] Howes [AWU secretary] said the far-left protesters were 'mimicking the behaviour of the Nazi thugs' and it was necessary to 'nip this in the bud'." (ibid)

"As the daughter of refugees whose lives were critically affected by both fascism and communism, I'm grateful for what Australia has to offer... It is a truism, but we can't afford to ignore the lessons of history." Jana Wendt, journalist (ibid)

"Barbarians are once again on the march. A motley coalition of far-left socialists and far-right jihadists is shutting down Zionist businesses through violent protest. Apparently, boycotting Jews has become the new cause celebre among Melbourne's radical fringe. So when I learned that the Max Brenner chocolate shop in the CBD's Queen Victoria Centre was on the target list, I felt obliged to do something. Maybe I'm just naturally feisty, but I wasn't about to let these latter-day vandals do their worst without me trying to do my best. So I downloaded a photo of a stormtrooper standing in front of a shop bearing a sign 'don't buy from Jews'. I affixed a caption that read 'Boycotting Jewish Businesses: Berlin 1933 - Melbourne 2011'. I then trotted down to the nearest Officeworks and blew it up to placard size... After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words." Ted Lapkin, Zionist propagandist, ex-AIJAC (The community can't sit idly by, The Australian Jewish News, 29/7/11)

"I don't think in 21st-century Australia there is a place for the attempted boycott of a Jewish business... I thought we had learned that from history." Kevin Rudd, foreign minister (Israeli boycotts: ACCC called in, John Ferguson, The Australian, 8/8/11)

"[Michael] O'Brien [Victorian minister for consumer affairs] told The Australian it was unacceptable to single out any businesses but that it was especially concerning given the 20th-century history behind attacks on Jewish businesses." (ibid)

"It's a claim which has outraged many who see the campaign against the 24-store Max Brenner chocolate chain in this country as an ugly echo of the anti-Semitism of 1930s Germany when Jewish businesses were targeted." Cameron Stewart, churnalist (Targeted chocolatier 'a man of peace', The Australian, 13/8/11)

"We all recall what happened to the Jewish people in Germany prior to World War II with the first attacks on Jewish businesses. Jewish businesses were targeted, big 'Js' were written on the windows, and stormtroopers stood in front of the shops stopping anyone from entering to conduct business. This then escalated to physical attacks on the shops with windows smashed and so on." Fred Nile, Christian Democrat leader and God-botherer extraordinaire, addressing the NSW Upper House on BDS (, 8/9/11)

"What are we going to see next? Will these people be daubing windows and breaking windows again?" Mike Kelly Labor MP for Eden-Monaro, co-leader of pitbull faction, addressing parliament (Government won't support PA at UN, The Australian Jewish News, 9/9/11)

"Liberal backbencher Josh Frydenberg has has renewed calls for the Greens to publicly condemn an international BDS campaign targeting the state of Israel. Speaking in parliament yesterday, the MP, who is Jewish and lost relatives in the Holocaust, said the Israeli blockade was a 'dangerous development that must be countered at every turn." (Israel boycott 'driven by hatred', Lauren Wilson & Joe Kelly, The Australian, 13/9/11)

"'(The Senate) should not tolerate the boycotting of businesses because the ownership is Jewish', leader of the opposition in the Senate Eric Abetz said. 'We know enough about world history never to go down that track'." (Israeli boycott a low point for senators, SMH, 13/9/11)

"Members may not be aware that Australia has the honour of being home to the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors in a Jewish community outside israel. So it is understandable that there is a strong concern about BDS in Australia, especially in the Jewish community. They know first hand what can follow once businesses are singled out simply because they are owned by Jewish people. They know firsthand what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s when businesses were identified as being Jewish. I am certain that those involved in the BDS protests would say such comparisons are unreasonable and hyperbole. But I disagree. The experience of history, repeatedly, is that this is where it starts. States do not slide into systemic racism overnight. Instead, liberties are traded off one at a time. I never thought I would see the day when a Jewish business was targeted in Australia, and that is what is occurring with the BDS." (NSW Labor MLC Walt Secord, Hansard, 15/9/11)

I haven't captured them all, but you've surely got the idea by now. Will add more such references as they crop up.