Monday, April 30, 2012

Magical Mystery Tour

What, I ask, could possibly turn a sweet little ABC presenter into a ravening Mark Regev?

I ask this curious question after having heard Lateline's bambina Emma Alberici interview soft Zionist Peter Beinart (The Crisis of Zionism) on 26 April. But was it really Emma? I mean, there I was watching her, but what was that I was hearing?  I'll be damned if it wasn't everyone's favourite Israeli spin doctor!

After noting in her introduction that many American Jews have "dismissed [Beinart's] book" as "an attack on Israel by someone whose views on Israel are at best simplisic and at worst demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East,"  Emma went on to assail Beinart with Gazan  rockets, decades of peace-seeking Israeli governments, Palestinian leaders who'll be damned if they'll recognise the state of Israel, and Hamas, "which continues to perhaps not call for the destruction of the state of Israel, but it certainly doesn't recognise it."

Where were all these Israeli talking points coming from?  Surely not from bambina Emma?

A quick scan of our poppet's profile at the Lateline website revealed her to have been a business journalist, and more recently, the ABC's Europe correspondent. Reading between the lines, I'd say that all she knows about the Middle East came from mere snatches of mainstream media coverage of the area, probably inadvertently soaked up between trips to the shoe shop and the hairdresser.

So if  Emma's Mark Regev wasn't something out of the Twilight Zione, what was it?

Could she have collaborated with one of the other 13 members of the Lateline 'team'? I wondered. After all, what's a 'team' for? But which one? Zipping through their website profiles, I could only conclude that 12 of them would probably struggle to locate the Middle East on a map of the world. But Candice Talberg's profile, however, looked a little more promising. It read as follows:

"Candice Talberg is a producer with Lateline... She has worked as a journalist in the UK, the Middle East and South Africa. Candice worked as a journalist at the BBC in London for 5 years before moving to Australia in 2005. While there she worked in both news and current affairs, making foreign documentaries and producing international news. She worked for a range of programmes, including Newsnight, HardTalk, BBC World News and Correspondent, where she was the researcher on a story which won a Peabody Award in 2003."

That disclosure of course could hardly be considered conclusive. I mean, face it, how many corporate journalists who've spent time in the Middle East really know what's going on there? No names, no pack drill, mind you. Anyway, since it was the only lead I had, I decided to google Candice.

I found a Candice Talberg who was a graduate (1993) of the United Herzlia Schools of South Africa and a Candice Talberg (and here my heartbeat accelerated appreciably) who had been an employee (Public Affairs) of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies in 2006. That's right, a colleague of Vic Alhadeff's, no less. Could one survive such an experience and emerge unscathed? I asked myself.

Still, even assuming that these 3 Candice Talbergs are in fact one and the same, was I any closer to unravelling the mystery of why an amore like Emma seemed to be channelling Mark Regev (or maybe even Vic Alhadeff!) last Thursday night? Who, but the proverbial fly on the wall, will ever really know?

But alas, no sooner had I gotten to the bottom of one mystery (all things being equal) than others presented themselves.

Why, I couldn't help asking, does Ms Talberg's Lateline profile leave out such vitally important background information as a stint at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, if indeed she had worked there? And how, moreover, does a former Israel lobby employee manage the kind of objectivity supposedly required for a job at the ABC?

After all, with bambina Emma uncharacteristically coming on like Mark Regev when interviewing a critic of Israel, even one as meek and mild as Beinart, I hardly think viewers can be blamed for asking such questions.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A World First

From James Petras' latest essay Capitalism in the Second Decade of the 21st Century: From the 'Golden' to the Dark Ages of Capitalism (23/4/12):

New Wars in the Midst of Crises: Zionists Pull the Trigger

"In what is likely a first in world history, a global imperial power, the US, is subject to the dictates and pays tribute (in the form of military and economic aid to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars over the past half century) to a marginal state, Israel, with little significance to the world economy and few allies. Never in past empires has a tiny minority, US Zionists, forcefully acted on behalf of the tributary state and had such a powerful influence in harnessing the imperial state to serve the military interests of a foreign power. Never in history has a prosperous elite, educated in the most prestigious schools and occupying strategic economic, cultural and political positions of power, driven an empire into a series of prolonged colonial wars which prejudice major private institutions (oil industry), drain the public treasury, impoverish the vast majority of taxpayers and consumers of energy in pursuit of the goal of a 'Greater Israel'.

"Finally, never in the history of modern social analysis has the public and blatant display of elite power and political manipulation on behalf of a foreign regime been so deliberately slighted and obfuscated by complicit or intimidated scholars and journalists, another instance of the pervasive power of intimidation of the Zionist power configuration.

"It is precisely this elite exercise of power on behalf of a foreign regime that explains the repeated costly imperial wars against Arab and Islamic countries, even in the midst of a major prolonged economic crisis. Since the Israel Lobby's first and abiding loyalty is to Israel, they have no qualms about deepening the US fiscal deficit based on trillion dollar military expenditures for wars to advance Israeli domination in the Middle East.

"The 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations and their 'Israel First' followers in Congress, State, Treasury and the Pentagon have escalated economic sanctions and military preparations for war with Iran despite the loss of a major market for US exports and the sidetracking of scarce economic resources to unproductive military expenditures. As a result of war threats emanating from Washington and Tel Aviv, speculators have pushed up the price of oil by 20% in the first 6 months of 2012, further undercutting any hope of an economic recovery. A US-Israeli attack on Iran will not result in a short localized war. It will result in a regional conflagration, sharply reducing the flow of oil, sending prices skyrocketing and in short order lead to a world depression. Given the extremist Israeli regime's success in securing blind obedience to its war policies from the US Congress and White House with regard to Iraq (2003), Libya (2011) and Lebanon (2006), any doubts about the real possibility of an attack on Iran, with a major catastrophic outcome, can be set aside." (

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Australian Activism Goes on Trial

"Our response to BDS forms part of a coordinated national strategy... endorsed by counterparts abroad and Israel's Foreign Ministry." Vic Alhadeff, CEO NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, BDS explained, The Australian Jewish News, 29/7/11*

News of the arrest and coming trial of  19 Australian BDS activists has been predictably largely absent from the slumbering/self-censoring/censored entity known as the Australian corporate media. Here's the latest (25/4) information about this concerted, unprecedented and ominous assault against peaceful and legitimate dissent from the website, Palestine solidarity on trial:

"On 1 May 19 Melbourne activists will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent-setting case, these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalise dissent in Baillieu's Victoria and intimidate supporters of Palestine in Australia.

"On 1 July 2011, Victoria Police attacked a peaceful demonstration in Melbourne's CBD. In one of the largest political arrests in a decade, 19 activists were detained during a Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) action against the Max Brenner store. The chocolateria is owned by Israeli conglomerate the Strauss Group, a company that provides 'care rations' for the Israeli military, including the Golani and Givati brigades. These were 2 of the key Israeli military brigades involved in Israel's brutal assault on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 that killed more than 1300 Palestinians. In more recent times, the Golani brigade has been noted for its brutal enforcement of Israeli colonisation of Palestinian Hebron in the West Bank.

"After a series of peaceful demonstrations against Max Brenner, the 1 July action was kettled by police before activists were individually targeted in an unprovoked attack by the riot squad. The police used pressure point tactics on some of the demonstrators; others reported bruising and rough treatment. One woman had her shoulder dislocated.

"Damian Ridgwell, one of the arrested protesters told Electronic Intifada about his experience: I was dragged behind police lines. Once they grabbed me and started dragging me, I went limp and dropped to the ground... As I was being carried through the corridors of the loading dock, I lost consciousness because one of the police had me in a choke hold. I am not sure how long I was out, probably a few minutes. I woke up on the loading dock floor and heard the police saying I was 'out'.

"The majority of those arrested were charged with trespass in a public place (yes, that is apparently a crime) and besetting (an archaic law that means 'to surround a building'); a small number were also charged with behaving in a 'riotous manner'.

"After attending another protest, 4 of these 19 protesters were again arrested (for breaking their bail conditions) in dawn raids on their homes. These anti-democratic conditions stipulated that activists may not return within 50 metres of Max Brenner stores in the Melbourne CBD. Three were released from jail on a bail of $2,000 each. One of the more prominent campaigners, Vashti Kenway, was made to pay a $10,000 bail or face prison. All up the activists are facing fines of around $30,000.


"The fines, and the aggressive manner of the Victorian government's pursuit of the activists, reveal a further series of intersecting agendas.

"The first is the hostility of the Australian establishment towards those who support Palestine. To get anywhere in mainstream Australian politics requires a display of unwavering support for Israel. It is bipartisan policy to back the apartheid state. Because Israel is a key link in the US chain of command across the Middle East the Australian ruling class is a champion of the Israeli state. It is significant that, with the exception of a few individuals, the overwhelming consensus in parliament is to offer a hand of friendship to Israel. This commitment is what accounts for the hysteria in the establishment press (particularly The Australian) after Marrickville Council attempted to boycott particular Israel-owned goods and services last year. The liberal press is hardly any better with Melbourne's Age recently jumping on the bandwagon with a slanderous piece attacking not only the German poet Gunter Grass for his mild critique of Israel's brutality - but also the Max Brenner protesters for their supposed 'hostility to Jews'. No mention of Israel's war crimes, or of the thousands of Jewish critics across the world who back Palestinian demands for freedom and justice.

"The case against the Max Brenner 19 also highlights the behind the scenes collusion between the Victorian government, the police, the shopping centre management (of QV and Melbourne Central) and the Australian Zionist establishment. Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, outlined their anti-BDS strategy, stating that it includes 'but is not limited to, engagement with civil society and politicians, patronage of boycotted outlets, cooperation with police, shop owners and centre management and exposure of the motives behind the BDS movement'. The strategy should be one which seeks to 'speak softly' but to also carry 'a suggestion of a big stick'.

"Furthermore, during a bail variation hearing at the Victorian Magistrate's Court on 27 July 2011, Victoria Police confirmed that the decision to arrest the protesters had been made before the demonstration. This decision was made after meeting with Zionist organisations, the Victorian government, shopping centre managements and the management of Max Brenner.

"This kind of collusion reflects increasing attempts to criminalise BDS and pro-Palestine solidarity activism internationally. Currently in the US, France and Greece, hundreds of pro-Palestine activists are facing criminal charges for non-violently standing up for Palestinian human rights.

"The response to these demonstrations also reflects a broader social phenomenon: the growing militarisation of the police force. New highly-trained units have been established, such as the Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Critical Incident Response Team. These forces are trained in increasingly hostile forms of crowd control such as kettling. Such tactics have been utilised against other protests such as Occupy Melbourne. There are squads whose sole purpose is to 'monitor' and 'infiltrate' activist groups. One senior sergeant's court testimony suggested that police infiltrators had been sent to pro-Palestine solidarity meetings in order to monitor the activity of BDS activists.

"These intersecting interests have found targets in the Max Brenner 19 and will be on display during the 3-week trial."

For a backgrounder on the issues and players in this matter, please read my posts:

How Sweet It Is (12/7/09), on Max Brenner
BDS Update (11/7/11), on last year's arrests
Criminalising BDS (9/8/11), on Zionist lawfare against BDS
We Need to Talk About Ted (10/8/11), on the company Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, keeps
Wielding Zionism's Big Stick in the Senate (15/9/11), on the Zionist lobby's strategy to counter BDS
Ted Bailleu's Mr Unforgettable (4/12/11), on Ted's chief of staff, Michael Kapel

[*This disclosure of endorsement by counterparts abroad and Israel's foreign ministry is quoted in full in my post Wielding Zionism's Big Stick in the Senate. Please tell me it doesn't come under the heading of  'acts of foreign interference', one of the security threats ASIO is supposed to be protecting Australians from. In the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, the term 'acts of foreign interference' is defined as "activities relating to Australia that are carried on by or on behalf of, are directed or subsidised by or are undertaken in collaboration with, a foreign power, being activities that : (a) are clandestine or deceptive and: (i) are carried on for intelligence purposes; (ii) are carried on for the purpose of affecting political or governmental processes; (iii) are otherwise detrimental to the interests of Australia; or (b) involve a threat to any person."]

Friday, April 27, 2012

Vibrancy, Innovation & Bill Shorten

Read this:

"Some of the leading figures in the multi-trillion-dollar superannuation sector will join Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten on a visit to Israel later this week as the government examines ways for the retirement savings system to help kick-start the Australian venture capital business... During the visit, co-ordinated by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and the Israeli embassy, the group will meet executives of leading Israeli financial services companies, including its largest insurance group, Migdal, and fellow insurer Clal Insurance Enterprise Holdings... 'The chamber is very excited about the Shorten-led trade mission', said AICC chairman Paul Israel, who is based in Tel-Aviv. 'For the first time Australian pension funds will be exposed to the vibrant and innovative Israeli venture capital and hi-tech scene'." (Shorten to study Israeli super, Damon Kitney, The Australian, 23/4/12)

OK, you probably knew Migdal and Clal would be vibrant and innovative - after all, everything is v & i  in Israel, isn't it? -  but did you have any idea just how v & i they are? Apparently, very:

1) "Four Swedish government pension funds... have mirrored a decision by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund and blacklisted Elbit Systems, the Israeli defence technologies firm, from their investment portfolios for human rights violations in the Palestinian territories... Elbit Systems was linked to violations of international rights conventions through its building and maintenance of a surveillance system for parts of the separation barrier [condemned in 2004 by the ICJ] on the West Bank... According to its investor relations web site, Elbit's 3 largest shareholders are Migdal Insurance of Israel, Black Rock Institutional Trust Co. and hedge fund Renaissance Technologies." (Swedish pension funds divest from the occupation, Daniel Brooksbank,, 29/3/10)

2) "Subsidiaries of the [Housing & Construction Holding Co.] are involved in several construction projects in the occupied West Bank. For instance, Solel Boneh constructed housing projects in the occupied territories including in the settlements of Homat Shmuel (Har Homa), Ariel, Imanuel and Modi'in Illit (as a subcontractor), and supplied materials for the checkpoints. Solel Boneh also has a factory for construction materials in Kiryat Sefer, which is a neighborhood of the West Bank settlement of Modi'in Illit. A different subsidiary, Housing & Construction Real Estate Development (Shikun Ovdim), built housing projects in the settlement of Modi'in Illit and the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line... Major shareholders [of the Housing & Construction Holding Co. are] Arison Group (47.61%), Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings (5.33%), Migdal Insurance &  Financial Holdings (4.48%)." (Housing & Construction Holding Co.,

3) The Clal Group own 75% of Nesher Israel Cement Enterprises Ltd. Nesher supplies 75-90% of all cement sold in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. "The use of Nesher cement has been well documented across many construction sites in the West Bank settlements, their infrastructure and in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail in illegally annexed East Jerusalem." (Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation: Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Ed. by Asa Winstanley & Frank Barat, 2011, p 86)

Pretty damn v & i, eh?

Now Bill Shorten is supposed to be a Gillard man, right? After all, he helped madam axe Rudd in 2009, didn't he? In fact, as the Peter Slipper affair reveals, he's so loyal to Gillard that she can slap him around with impunity:

"Ms Gillard has backed the Speaker but there is increasing disquiet within the Government over Mr Ashby's claim he was sexually harassed by Mr Slipper. She was forced to slap down Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten after he suggested Mr Slipper should not return as Speaker while those allegations were outstanding... [However,] several hours later he altered his position... In an interview on Sky TV, he said: 'I haven't seen what she's said, but let me say I support what it is she said'." (Rudd Shortens: Punters back Kevin Rudd as Bill Shorten gets narky,, 27/4/12)

Got the picture? Gillard could mutter in her sleep and Shorten would accord her utterances ex cathedra status.

That said, there is one set of prime ministerial words that Shorten will be ignoring when he goes to Israel to schmooze with Migdal and Clal:

"Well, what the position of the Labor Party and Labor Government is [is] that we want to see a two state solution... My colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said that we want to see a halt to settlement activity." (Julia Gillard, Lateline, 16/6/09)

So why didn't Gillard slap Shorten around when she heard he'd be kissing Migdal and cuddling Clal? Like Obama she probably thinks 2009 and talk of an Israeli settlement freeze is sooo old hat. Far from slapping Bill Shorten around on this one, she probably patted his head and wished him bon voyage.

And maybe, just maybe, now that the settlements are in full swing once more, Bill will get us a slice of the action. v & i, way to go!

Dinner With Tony

Spot the difference between this...

"David Cameron's government faces fresh scrutiny for its cosy relationship with Rupert Murdoch's media empire following a day of revelations at the Leveson inquiry. Critics have for decades accused the Murdochs of holding too much sway over British politics. Those fears have only been heightened in recent times by the close ties between British Prime Minister Cameron and controversial past and present Murdoch employees such as former spin doctor Andy Coulson and newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks." (Murdoch ties with govt revealed, Tom Wald, AAP, 25/4/12)

... and this:

"Dining in the heart of Greens MP Adam Bandt's seat, Tony Abbott might not have expected the support he got from Lygon Street customers last Sunday night. If Labor and the Greens are losing in Melbourne's Carlton, the government may be in for an electoral Armageddon. That strikes me as the only long-term political point to take out of an unpleasant little kerfuffle* in Melbourne last Sunday night, when I had dinner with the Opposition Leader. Dining with Abbott implies no particular partisanship on my part. In the course of several decades of journalism, I suspect I have had marginally more meals with Labor folks than with Liberals. Certainly Abbott is a good friend." (How the tables have turned: the night intolerance came to dinner with Tony, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 19/4/12)

Partisanship and Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, foreign editor of Murdoch's Australian? No!

Who could possibly believe such a thing? It's like saying, Love & marriage/Go together like a horse & carriage.

[*Occasioned, reports our Greg, by the appearance and chanting in the restaurant of a group of same-sex marriage activists.]

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Israeli Light Horse?

A regular feature of Anzac Day coverage in the Australian Jewish News of late has been the suggestion of a spiritual nexus between Australia and Israel forged by the charge of the Australian Light Horse against Turkish trenches defending the town of Beersheba in Palestine in 1917. This shameless appropriation of the Light Horse's exploits to cement the current Australia-Israel relationship continues in this week's issue with Peter Kohn's Our debt to the diggers:

"The Australian Light Horse Charge, the last cavalry charge ever, had enormous consequences. The Balfour Declaration, by British foreign secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour promising a Jewish homeland, was approved by the British parliament the very day Beersheva [sic] was charged, and was issued 2 days later."

Typically, in addition to the dishonest linking of two completely unrelated historical events, there are other problems with the above construction. Let me deal with them first.

The first is the false impression that the Balfour Declaration (the "most discreditable document to which a British Government has set its hand within memory," according to its chief interrogator JMN Jeffries) was authored exclusively by Lord Balfour. In fact, as Jeffries points out, it bore the ink-stained fingerprints of a bevy of senior British politicians and Zionist lobbyists, both British and American:

"This too memorable document is not so much a sentence of English as a verbal mosaic. Drafts for it travelled back and forth, within England or over the Ocean, to be scrutinized by some two score draftsmen half-cooperating, half competing with one another, who erased this phrase or adopted that after much thought. At long last, out of the store of their rejections and of their acceptances the final miscellany was chosen, ratified and fixed. There never has been a proclamation longer prepared, more carefully produced, more consciously worded."* (Palestine: The Reality, 1939, p 172)

The second is that the Balfour Declaration was approved and issued by the British war cabinet alone. Parliament played no part whatsoever in the process. This by-passing of Parliament was also true of the 1923 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine which acted as the declaration's Trojan Horse. Jeffries again:

"So the next few months saw some statements made about the Turkish Treaty and the Mandate which should have been collected together and placarded on walls and doors throughout the British Isles. Mr Bonar Law led off with the most startling statement of all. Asked in the House of Commons whether no definite acceptance would be undertaken without the assent of Parliament, he answered quite calmly, 'The assent of Parliament is not required for the acceptance of a Mandate'." (ibid, p 363)

And elsewhere: "The Mandate, in so far as it was a British creation, was only a Governmental creation. Parliament never examined and passed the terms of the Mandate as it examines and passes legislation. The House of Lords, owing to its more elastic procedure and its greater independence, was able to register its disapproval of the terms next year [1922]. The terms, though, were never presented to the Lords for acceptance or rejection, and as far as the Lords' vote was concerned, the Government simply ignored it..." (ibid, p 542)

While the Zionist fairytale that magically links the Balfour Declaration and the charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba cannot be taken seriously, it is regularly invoked, especially at this time of year, as the basis for a deep and lasting friendship between Australia and Israel. The iteration of this propaganda trope, although profoundly irritating, should at least prompt the historically-minded among us to critically consider the role and legacy of Australian troops in Palestine during World War I.

Following the end of the war, from 1918 to 1920, Palestine was ruled by a British military administration, the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (O.E.T.A.), which was required by  international law to maintain the status quo in Palestine. This requirement, however, conflicted with the Zionist goal of transforming the country into a Jewish 'national home' (the then euphemism for a Jewish state) as speedily as possible. And so, even before a treaty had been signed with the Turks or a mandate officially conferred on Britain by the League of Nations, the Zionists began a successful agitation in Whitehall to terminate military rule in Palestine and replace it with what Jeffries called "the forged Mandatory Government of 1920."**

The significance of  this coup was that, again in Jeffries words, "It was under the [draft] document entitled 'Mandate for Palestine' that between 1920 and 1923 the expropriation of the Arabs... from the proprietorial rights granted to them by nature and contract was thoroughly begun." (ibid, p 594)

In condemning the termination of OETA rule in 1920 as a profoundly illegal move, Jeffries was moved to reflect on the purpose for which British and Australian troops had fought and died in Palestine. His fine, passionate words, written back in the 1930s, must surely conjure in us (we who have the benefit of far greater historical hindsight) the sobering thought that, as these troops went about liberating Arab Palestine from Turkish domination, incurring thousands of deaths and woundings in the process, a cabal of Zionist ideologues and their British government dupes in Whitehall were plotting to give Palestine over to Zionist colonization preparatory to the establishment there of a Jewish supremacist state:

"Granted that the Palestine Administration of 1920-3 was illegal, is it not begging reality to harp upon this? Palestine had been conquered by the British Army, the blood of British and Australian soldiers had been shed profusely to win it, it would not have been torn from Turkish rule without these many lives so bravely sacrificed. Is it not begging reality to accuse a British Government of being illegitimate where the return of peace, the prospect of plenty and the whole existence of civilized government had depended upon British arms?

"This argument has been put forward by some who have not thought much before they spoke, and by others who have masked a good deal of subtlety with a covering of bluff patriotism. The underlying assumption of it is that the soldiers who fell in Palestine fell fighting to provide there that form of government which Mr Lloyd George installed. The 5th Norfolks, the 8th Hampshires bled so that the Sevres Treaty might not die: the men of the 53rd Division left 600 casualties on the Samson Ridge so that the 9 subterfuges of the Balfour Declaration might pass unchallenged: the Australian Light Horse charged crying, 'Advance the National Home!'

"Was anything further from the truth? We know why our soldiers died - in loyalty to their country. Some of them too will have reflected as they marched to battle that they were going to redeem the land of their Saviour: all of them will have had some consciousness of this side of their empire. If there was anything for which they did not die, it was that a British Government should use their bones as the foundation of a quibbling State unable to disclose its beginnings or avow its ends. It was for no such State in Palestine, nor for any political nostrum or thesis that they fought, and least of all in order that through their faithfulness their rulers should have ample opportunities for infidelity.

"They expected of course to inaugurate some kind of British rule, in their soldiers' way, as part of the campaign; but they looked no further. If they thought of the matter at all, they thought of a coming military Government by their chiefs. This was what they died to establish, if you will: and who disestablished it? Is it maintained that the fallen men of the British Army in Palestine cried out from their graves that the survivors of the British Army must cease in 1920 to govern the land in which they lay, or else their own sacrifice was in vain?

"If there is one plea in the world that will not do, it is this one that because of the Army's victory and for the sake of the dead lying on the battlefields, the tricks and the perfidies of statesmen must be condoned. More than in any other place it is intolerable in Palestine, where the Administration formed by the leaders and the comrades of the dead was ejected by these very statesmen. In 1920 there was no necessity for O.E.T.A. [Occupied Enemy Territory Administration] to come to an end. It was the legitimate vehicle of rule under the conditions of armistace. All that could be said against it was that it was lasting a long while and that it cost money. But both of these things were disadvantages such as might be expected to spring from a great war: neither had the faintest pretension to rank as a lawful reason for ending the regime. Whatever the expense, too, of continuing O.E.T.A., on a restricted scale, physically and morally, would have been more apt for the country. Nothing, in fine, permitted the termination of the Military Government in order that the pseudo-Mandatory Administration might replace it." (pp 402-4)

For those who wish to explore further the idea that British and Australian blood was needlessly spilled in Palestine in 1917, and I suggest you do - especially today - see my 13/12/10 post Diggers Who Died for Israel? I should add here that it is unlikely that Jeffries would have been aware of the Morgenthau Mission at the time he was writing Palestine: The Reality.

To return to Kohn's feature, the following extract reveals clearly the direction in which Zionist exploitation of Australian military history is leading:

"On the 90th anniversary of the charge, in October 2007, 70 members of the Australian Light Horse Association staged a re-enactment from Allenby's Hill into Beersheva. Less a charge with divots hurtling from thundering horses' hooves than a controlled ride, the restaging nonetheless enthralled crowds of Israelis. The visiting horsemen took part in Beersheva Day at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, after liaising with the Society for the Preservation of World War I History, an Israeli organisation. 'We feel this is a very special place', Queenslander Barry Rodgers, the re-enactment's co-ordinator, told The AJN at the time. 'There are 12,000 young Australians lying buried here over both world wars and it's given us a special bond and a special friendship with the Israeli people. They need to know that they're not alone. We're standing with them, even in their present conflict'."

Barry Rodgers may well be an expert in the military minutiae of the period and the place, but when it comes to the bigger political picture, he's sadly and unwittingly allowed himself to be sucked in by the political heirs of the authors of the Balfour Declaration and its vehicle, the British Mandate for Palestine.

Lest we forget indeed.

 [*See my 3/4/12 post The Balfour Deception 1;**See my 26/12/11 post Zionism in the Dock.]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Blooming 'Desert'

Here's a wonderful and revealing pre-World War I portrait of Palestine from Estelle Blyth's 1927 memoir, When We Lived in Jerusalem. Blyth was the daughter of  G.F.P. Blyth, Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem from 1887 to 1914.

You can see what a scruffy, neglected little desert Palestine was, how in need of the redeeming Zionist touch to bring it back to life, to make it bloom*:

"The fertility of Palestine is amazing. Everything grows out in the open and, as it seems to us under conditions that ought to prevent any self-respecting vegetable life from attaining to maturity. The land, after yielding one crop, will be scratched over by the primitive native plough, which does little but disturb the surface, and another crop put in. Even the little patches of soil amongst the rocks on the hillsides are ploughed and sown, and with good result. Palestinian vegetables would demoralise Covent Garden. We had cauliflowers that measure one foot across, and water melons which a man's arms could hardly span: the grapes of Eschol still grow in clusters from 3 to 4 feet in length.

"In their season, grapes formed a part of everybody's meal, however poor; a rotl (6 ounds) of grapes cost about tenpence, and for a trifling present we could go into a vineyard and eat as much fruit as we could manage. Amongst the trees I can remember only a few; the olive, fig, mulberry, pomegranate, almond, karob, palm, fir, terebinth, willow, myrtle, hawthorn, white and pink acacia, white and pink oleander, tamarisk, juniper and Persian lilac...

"And what of the flowers of Palestine? From the semitropical vegetation of the Jordan Valley to the English flowers so dearly cherished in gardens, practically everything seems to flourish. The wild flowers in spring are lovely beyond telling, especially perhaps in Galilee. We have anemones, scarlet, white, mauve and pink, which many believe to be the lilies of the field before whose glory that of Solomon paled; hyacinths, ranunculus, cyclamen, irises, black arum lilies, narcissus, honeysuckle, daisies, cistus, broom, mandrake, thrift, hyssop, orchids, asphodel, speedwell, acanthus, vetches of many kinds (during a short walk we picked more than 20 different kinds); the list becomes unduly long, but is not nearly complete. In my mother's garden many English flowers grew with a luxuriance I have never seen equalled elsewhere. Living in Palestine, and marking its lavish beauty and fertility... we realized that such expressions as 'the excellency of  Carmel and Sharon', and 'the desert shall blossom as the rose', are no lovely fancy of the poet, no delusion of the over-fervid patriot, but the sober, literal truth.

"Palestine remains a land of corn and wine and honey. We see the surface richness of her; but what of the treasures hidden in her breast, 'the chief things of the ancient mountains and the precious things of the everlasting hills'?... The natural resources of Palestine are practically unknown; but one day the world will awake to find out how literally true are the words of Moses: 'It is a good land, a land in which thou shalt lack nothing'.

"Beauty, as well as richness, surrounds you in Palestine. The colouring of the sky at dawn and sunset, so brilliant yet so delicate; the warm tints of the rich red earth; the green and silver of the olive trees, with their berries of emerald and amethyst; the deep deep blue of the sky paling towards the horizon;... by all these things sight and sound and feeling alike are touched and charmed and quickened. There is magic in the very air as it sweeps across the many-coloured hills, and beauty everywhere, and with it all an elusive and mysterious charm that has never been captured by any one, though some of those magnificent passages in Isaiah bring it closer to us than anything else."

[*On the Zionist myth of 'making the desert bloom', see my posts Sir Bob Wows JNFaithful at Galah Dinner (25/11/08) and Making Deserts Bloom (11/5/11).]

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beyond Silly

"Ross Cameron, the brilliant but creepy Liberal Member for Parramatta, has talked me into participating in his youth leadership forum in Canberra. I rather suspect it's a front for mobilising young Christian soldiers, plus some quality box for Ross." (The Latham Diaries, 14/2/97, p 57)

Every so often the corporate press publishes an opinion piece of such surpassing silliness as to leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

Iran versus Israel: more oil on troubled waters, by Howard-era politician,  seriously sexy evangelical and occasional Sydney Morning Herald columnist Ross Cameron, is as fine an example of the What the f..k! genre as you could ever hope to read. It appeared in Saturday's issue.

Some gems:

"For many Australians the name Iran conjures images of bearded and severe Ayatollahs and a wide-eyed President Ahmadinejad occupying the no-man's land between sanity and fanaticism."

Yes, an Islamophobic, Iranophobic and Ziophilic press that serves up flummery such as this certainly has a lot to answer for.

"Since this country could easily become the biggest, cataclysmic news story of the year, it is worth spending a few minutes trying to understand its pathology."

Iran's pathology? I rest my case.

"The Shiites are the Pentecostals of Islam - true believers on an evangelical mission."

Wide-eyed happy slappers?

"While Sunnis are largely resigned to a Jewish homeland, the Shiite diaspora can't utter 'Israel' and 'legitimate' in the same sentence."

Try telling that to Sunni Palestinians and Egyptians. Shiite diaspora? The Shiites of Lebanon and Iraq are a diaspora? And here's me (and they) thinking they're Lebanese and Iraqis all along. Silly me (and them)!

"Ironically in the current tension, Persians and Jews share the most ancient bond of affection of any two surviving cultures."

But of course! The evidence is just sooo compelling:

"Unlike Sunnis, Shiites and Jews share the idea that edible creatures of the sea must have fins or scales."

Man, you should see those Sunnis tucking into whale and dolphin. Incontrovertible evidence, no doubt about it, of the ancient bond of affection between Sunnis and Japanese.

"The Iranian Bahais have their pilgrimage shrine in Israel."

Err... but it dates back to when the place was still called P-a-l-e-s-t-i-n-e, like in the 2nd half of the nineteenth century. Israel only ethnically cleansed its way into being in 1948. Go figure!

"Neither side are Arabs."

Except for the roughly 60% of Israel consisting of Arab Jews.

"History tells us that Israel and Iran can be friends but Iran's resolve to follow its own course seems as intense as Israel's determination to survive. Iran's leaders believe they are following a righteous path. That moral conviction, combined with oil and gas, Hamas and Hezbollah, is a volatile force."

Israel's determination to survive? Oh yes, and on just a few hundred nukes a day too! And BTW - how did Sunni Hamas get into the picture? Weren't Sunnis supposed to be resigned to a Jewish homeland?

What really puzzles me is why a bloke who clearly knows nothing about the Middle East gets prime space on the opinion pages to demonstrate this. This is not to say, however, that a piece from Cameron is entirely devoid of interest. After all, anyone whose Wikipedia entry reads like the plot of a soap opera definitely has something to offer. I'm just not sure it belongs in a paper that has pretensions to quality journalism.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Some Questions for Christine Milne

Seeing The Greens' new leader, Senator Christine Milne, has just unburdened herself to The Australian Jewish News, I've decided that a few comments and questions relating to the AJN 's report on same wouldn't go astray. (Notice of this post will be sent to Christine with the expectation of  a response. A failure to respond will be considered as complete agreement with what I've written here):

"New federal Greens leader Senator Christine Milne has given a fresh assurance that her party does not support the global BDS campaign against Israel... In a wide-ranging interview about Israel and the Middle East, Milne made it clear that BDS was not only no longer NSW party policy, but had never been federal policy. 'That issue is behind us, and I think it's a good opportunity to restart the conversation', she said." (New Greens leader: BDS 'is behind us', 20/4/12)

Tell me, Christine, what part of BDS's aims do you not understand?

Is it a) ending Israel's occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in 1967 and dismantling the wall?

Is it b) recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality?

Is it c) respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194?

We, the people, need to know.

"'The Greens have always had a position of supporting a two-state solution and that is absolutely my position. We also support peace and non-violence, which is a fundamental principle for The Greens, and we condemn violence against property and people from any quarter'... 'I think peace has to be pursued on all sides, and that's why The Greens have always taken the position that we want to see an internationally negotiated outcome', she said. 'We also have a very strong position on social justice and human rights, and so of course that pertains to everybody who lives in the region'." (ibid)

Yes Christine, but what do you mean by a two state solution, and what do you  propose to do to bring it about?

You see, if AIJAC's Colin Rubenstein (below) welcomes your support for a two-state solution, that can only suggest you're on the same wavelength, right?

Presumably that means 'Palestine' will only consist of  those bits and pieces of the West Bank left over after the ever-expanding settlement blocs have finished ever-expanding; settler satellites have finished proliferating; after the settler-only roads linking them all with one another and the imperial centre have finally linked every Israeli settler and his dog with every other Israeli settler and his dog, and then in turn with every Israeli and his dog in Israel improper; after the serpentine wall winding its way through the West Bank, neatly separating Palestinian towns and villages from their lands, has finished its separating; and after the Jordan Valley has been unequivocally declared an inseparable part of Israel improper.

Presumably too, like Rubes (and LibLab), you'll ritualistically be mouthing the two-state mantra when required but otherwise do nothing - the only real difference between Rubes and yourself being that, as the Palestinians are squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces, you'll be sitting on your hands while he'll be rubbing his together.

[Oh, and that business about The Greens supporting peace and non-violence (unless carried out by Israel of course), I'm a bit confused here. I mean, didn't you support the NATO bash in Libya? (In case it's slipped your mind, see my 24/3/11 post A Gripe About The Greens.)]

"When asked about her view on incitement against Jews occurring in Palestinian media and schools, Milne said she condemned the incitement of violence 'on any side'. 'I certainly don't support anyone glorifying taking action that involves the physical harm or displacement of any person', she said. '[And] from my point of view, I certainly don't want to see in schools, anything in curricula anywhere, that encourages people to take a view that would lead to religious violence or discrimination of any kind'." (ibid)

Well, you fell for that one, didn't you, Christine? (See my 28/11/08 post Janet's Dream and you'll see what I mean.)

"Milne said she was 'absolutely aware' of Israel's environmental credentials, noting it had been a global leader in water efficiency for some time. She also recalled being impressed by environmental activities she saw while backpacking in Israel in the early 1980s." (ibid)

Do you mean working on kibbutzes while Israel was busy invading, occupying and terrorising Lebanon, Christine?

"Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) executive director Peter Wertheim welcomed Milne's rejection of BDS and said it was 'refreshing' that she acknowledged Israel's environmental credentials. But he said the community was still concerned about The Greens' policies on private school funding, religious freedom, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, the UN and the US alliance. 'We are seeking a meeting with Christine Milne to further develop our relationship with The Greens and clarify issues that especially affect our community', he said." (ibid)

See where your grovel has led, Christine? Give these buggers an inch and they'll take mile! And you thought they'd finished with you?

"Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) executive director Colin Rubenstein also welcomed Milne's stance on BDS and support for a two-state solution. 'We trust The Greens will join the bipartisan Australian and international consensus in encouraging the Palestinians to resume bilateral talks with Israel to that end, will oppose religious extremism which threatens liberal freedoms in Australia and elsewhere, and will always be unequivocal in condemning racism and anti-Semitism', he said." (ibid)

The bipartisan Australian and international consensus, eh? Can't you see where all this is going, Christine? That's right, into the same pocket as LibLab.

Eagerly awaiting your response, Christine.

Crusading Words from Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Hardly

Is this the best you can do, Ms Ali?

"[Ayaan] Hirsi Ali... told an audience of several thousand at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, that it was Christians and conservatives who led the way in defending free speech and rights. 'Why is it that secular liberals in the West fail to help? Are they so insecure about the morals they live by and by which they raise their children?' She said elections following the overthrow of dictators had produced Islamist governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, with Islamists also gaining power in Libya and Yemen. 'The plight of Christians is dire. They are killed, their churches destroyed, the women are raped. This is also the plight of Muslim minority sects'. She blamed political correctness, white guilt over former colonialism that was actually racist because it did not hold non-whites to the same standards, and a view of Islam as romantically primitive (the noble savage). Ms Hirsi Ali... provocatively suggested it was too much to expect a billion Muslims to become atheists, so they should convert to the much more benign Christianity 'as a halfway house on the path to enlightenment'." (West's liberals fail to help, says Hirsi Ali, Barney Zwartz, The Age, 16/4/12)

Are you for real, Ms Ali? If you think that's going to motivate the troops you're sadly mistaken.

No, if a foaming, full-blown, no-holds-barred  Islamophobic crusade is what you're after, your words need to pack more of a punch, know what I mean? Something along these lines perhaps. After all, they worked a treat in 1095:

"A race absolutely alien to God has invaded the land of Christians, has reduced the people with sword, rapine and flame. These men have destroyed the altars polluted by their foul practices. They have circumcised the Christians, either spreading the blood from the circumcisions on the altars or pouring it into the baptismal fonts. And they cut open the navels of those whom they choose to torment with loathsome death, tear out their most vital organs and tie them to a stake, drag them around and flog them, before killing them as they lie prone on the ground with all their entrails out. What shall I say of the appalling violation of women, of which it is more evil to speak than to keep silent. On whom, therefore, does the task lie of avenging this, of redeeming this situation, if not on you, upon whom above all nations God has bestowed outstanding glory in arms, magnitude of heart, litheness of body and strength to humble anyone who resists you." (Pope Urban II drumming up support for the First Crusade, quoted in The First Crusade: A New History, Thomas Asbridge, 2004,  p1)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Our Zionist Brothers'

Why does Anders Breivik sound like a Zionist?

"Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, was obstinate and uncooperative as prosecutors questioned him on his alleged 'militant nationalist' contacts when he took the stand yesterday. 'I know that you will try to delegitimise me...'" (Breivik loses his cool over contacts, AFP/The Australian, 19/4/12)

Because he is a Zionist:

"Anders Breivik is a Christian nationalist terrorist obsessed with preserving the 'Nordic/Germanic' people. He is also an ardent Zionist. Though he finds elements of Nazi ideology appealing, his 1,500-page manifesto condemns anti-Semitism. He argues that Hitler should have used his 'military capabilities... to liberate Jerusalem and the nearby provinces from Islamic occupation' and give them to the Jews. Breivik calls on his imaginary comrades: 'So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists'." (The Norway shooter's Zionist streak, Michelle Goldberg,, 25/7/11)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What War? This War:

This post flows from the previous. No one has a better handle on these matters than US scholar James Petras. Here's the conclusion to his latest essay, US-Israel war on Iran: The myth of limited warfare. Do yourself a favour and read the whole thing at

 "War, especially an Israeli-US war against Iran is indissolubly linked to the asymmetrical US-Israeli relationship, which sidelines and censors any critical US military and political analysis. Because Israel's Zionist power configuration (ZPG) in the US can now harness US military power in support of Israel's drive for regional dominance, Israel's leaders and most of their military feel free to engage in the most outrageous military and destructive adventures, knowing full well that in the first and last instance they can rely on the US to support them with American blood and treasure. But after all of this grotesque servitude to a racist, isolated country, who will rescue the United States? Who will prevent the sinking of its ships in the Gulf and the death and maiming of hundreds of its sailors and thousands of its soldiers? And where will the Israelis and US Zionists be when Iraq is overrun by elite Iranian troops and their Iraqi Shia allies and a generalized uprising occurs in Afghanistan?

 "The self-centred Israeli policy-makers overlook the likely collapse of the world oil supply as a result of their planned war against Iran. Do their Zionist agents in the US realize that as a result of dragging the US into Israel's war, that the Iranian nation will be forced to set the Persian Gulf oilfields ablaze? 

"How cheap has it become to 'buy a war' in the US? For a mere few million dollars in campaign contributions to corrupt politicians, and through the deliberate penetration of Israel-First agents, academics and politicians into the war-making machinery of the US government, and through the moral cowardice and self-censorship of leading critics, writers and journalists who refuse to name Israel and its agents as the key decision-makers in our country's Mid East policy, we head directly toward a war far beyond any regional military conflagration and toward the collapse of the world economy and the brutal impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people North and South, East and West."

War With Iran? What War?

John Hallam's highly relevant question on Q&A on Monday night sparked a range of interesting reactions which typically threw more light on the ignorance, the prejudices and the astonishing myopia of the panellists than on the issue Hallam's question raised - the fact that, earlier illegal and monstrous aggressions against Afghanistan and Iraq notwithstanding, we are in the process of being softened up for yet another such crime against humanity, this time involving Iran.

Hallam (an anti-nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth BTW) asked:

"Israel has approximately 200 nuclear weapons. Iran has a fatwa saying that nuclear weapons are unIslamic. Why are fingers being pointed at Iran and Gunter Grass? Whatever we think of the Iranian regime, and if I was Iranian, I would probably be in jail or dead, is there not a hint of bias in our perception?"

Just on that question itself. On the one hand it usefully highlights the rampant hypocrisy behind pointing the finger at an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program while remaining silent about Israel's actual and massive nuclear arsenal, a stance so typical of the corporate media. On the other, with its completely gratuitous insertion of "if I were Iranian, I'd probably be in jail or dead," Hallam unfortunately and unwittingly panders to the kind of demonisation of Iran employed by Israeli propagandists as part of their campaign to prepare Western opinion for a war on Iran.

First cab off the rank in response was celebrity UK philosopher AC Grayling, who blithely ignored the Israeli war drums to focus exclusively on Israel's banning of German writer Gunter Grass, whose offending poem, What Must Be Said, focused on those very drumbeats.

In accusing Israel, "which has objected very strongly to other countries not wanting to have Israeli orchestras or academics visit them and placing a boycott on them," of an "act of hypocrisy," Grayling revealed his ignorance of the global BDS campaign against the apartheid state. If only governments were orchestrating boycotts of Israeli orchestras, academics and the rest! Alas, at least at this stage, the boycotts are solely the work of dedicated and hardworking people of conscience, anti-apartheid activists, who do what they do often in the teeth of opposition by Western governments more than eager to cater to Israel's every wish and whim.

Ah well, be thankful for small mercies. At least Grayling managed to link the words 'hypocrisy' and 'Israel' in the same comment. But that was about as good as the panellists got.

Next came counter-terrorism 'expert' and House Arab Lydia Khalil, who also focused only on Gunter Grass. But before coming to that, I wish to vent first. It surely speaks volumes about Khalil that this individual - of Coptic Egyptian background - can be so utterly ignorant of Israel's serial aggressions against Egypt as to out herself on Q&A as a "supporter of Israel."

Now let's be charitable here. It may well be that Khalil's declaration of support for Israel is little more than the rhetorical device required for permission, as it were, to criticise Israel, given that ritual declarations of support for Israel are probably de rigueur in the security circles she inhabited back in the US. But somehow I don't think so. Still, even supposing she's just going through the motions on this, is it not an incredible state of affairs that, at least among Western elites, nothing can be said about the genocidal, warmongering apartheid state of Israel unless first hedged with qualifications, excuses, terms of endearment, and even expressions of undying love a la Barack Obama?

Anyway, back to Gunter Grass. Khalil declares his poem "facile" because the Israelis are not (excuse Madam's English) "going to nuclearly strike Iran first."

Apparently, she hasn't heard of the US Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) whose simulation using "the Esfahan nuclear facility in Iran, using the software developed for the Pentagon, showed that 3 million people would be killed by radiation within 2 weeks of the explosion, and 35 million people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India would be exposed to increased levels of cancer-causing radiation" (The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator,, May 2005).

Or of the January 2007 Sunday Times report that that Israel (denied of course) was planning a nuclear bunker buster strike against Iran's nuclear program (Thinking the unthinkable: Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, William Bradley, Huffington Post, 29/2/12).

Or of Israel's previous ponderings (1973, 1991) on the use of nuclear weapons against its opponents (Did Israel ever consider using nuclear weapons? Yossi Melman, Haaretz, 7/10/10).

Then she had the gall to talk of Israel "outing" Grass as a "former Nazi," when, as a simple glance at his Wikipedia entry reveals, he "disclosed in an interview and a book that he had been conscripted into the Waffen-SS as a teenager in late 1944."

Finally, we had celebrity QC and human rights campaigner Geoffrey Robertson, whose hysterical rant demands to be quoted in full:

"It was a stupid move and it has been condemned by sensible opinion in Israel. Gunter Grass is is a kind of Harold Pinter figure, and we campaigned together against the Iranian fatwa on Salman Rushdie. But, listen, I don't entirely agree with you. Israel certainly has a hidden number, up to 200 nuclear weapons, they can deliver them by submarine. But Iran's record of lying through its teeth about its nuclear installations makes us disbelieve anything its supreme leader says, especially as its supreme leader was involved in the mass murder of 7,000 political prisoners, most of them atheists or enemies of God. And because their prime minister or their president wants to wipe Israel off the map and because their supreme leader believes that a state of nuclear-like chaos will trigger the return of the 12th Imam who is going to kill all us non-believers and set down Sharia law for the rest of the world."

Notice again that Robertson's as deaf as the others to Israel's war drums as they build to a crescendo? It's Gunter Grass front and centre again, but even on that score, so long as - wait for the exercise in ritual absolution - "sensible opinion in Israel" has "condemned" the fatwa on Grass, everything's just hunky dory.

Where would we be without "sensible opinion in Israel" now? Without it we'd have endless wars, relentless colonization, and the ongoing dispossession and exile of an entire people, wouldn't we? But wait, that's what we've got now! Oh, I'm so terribly confused.

Of course, it goes without saying that no such entity as "sensible opinion" exists in Iran. Or anywhere else in the region for that matter. No, Israel has cornered the market on "sensible opinion" in the Middle East, just as it has on democracy. Two cheers for Israel!!

No, for Robbo the issue isn't the coming war, or even Gunter Grass. It's Iran's alleged record of lying "through its teeth." You see, sensible Israel doesn't lie, and if Britain or the US do, well it's certainly not through their teeth, is it? That's far and away the worst kind of lying there is. And it's that kind of lying that means that Iranians probably deserve what Israel's cooking up for them, right. So what's the big deal?

And Iran massacres its people - unlike Israel, of course, which is too busy massacring Palestinians to bother, at least at this stage, with its own. And then of course there's the UK and US. No massacres there, right? Well, maybe occasionally.

Now as if all that weren't enough, our sharp-as-a-tack, legal eagle, who can parse words in a sentence faster than an IDF officer can ram his M16 into someone's face, trots out the Zionist propaganda trope of the decade: "Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map"! But that's only the half of it: if he's dumb enough to swallow that one unexamined*, he's dumb enough to go for lashings of Islamophobic tripe as well. Sounding like a denizen of some Muslim-bashing hate site, Robertson comes out with: "[Iran's] supreme leader believes that a state of nuclear-like chaos will trigger the return of the 12th Imam who is going to kill all us non-believers and set down Sharia law for the rest of the world."

[With counsel like this, Julian... ]

So "would you," asked compere Tony Jones, "condone a military action by Israel or the US to end that threat?"

And the answer? Are you ready for it? "No, not at this stage."

What a wimp!

[*See my 29/2/08 post Ahmadinejad: Our Part in His Downfall; for the full story, read Arash Norouzi's 'Wiped off the map' - the rumour of the century,]

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's Hard to Believe...

... but once upon a time (1922 to be precise), in a faraway place (called England if you must know), there lived a press baron who neither went to bed with the Zionist lobby nor to water when its lobbyists phoned for a chat. In fact, he told them exactly what he thought of them, and - I know you're not going to believe this - even managed to have a bit of fun at their expense:

"As a result of [Northcliffe's] fleeting visit to Palestine he was importuned for interviews and support by London Zionists. They did not find him entirely responsive. He had written to Albert M Hyamson, of the Department of Labour in the Government of Palestine (April 13): 'I went out of my way to revisit Palestine, knowing nothing of the state of affairs that I found there. What impressed me most was the unhappiness of British officials, the over-pushfulness of the Zionists, and the fact that England, which cannot afford it, is committed to a high annual expenditure to keep the peace in that country'. His mind reverted to 'our Palestine commitments', he said, when he saw 'the mournful processions of unemployed in London'. As for charges that he was anti-Semitic, 'I believe that the Jews have greatly contributed to the attainment of the high position held in the world by the British Empire'.

"Meeting the Jews in their promised land had not been an altogether happy experience. He found them rebounding from the bondage of the ghetto with violent social assertiveness. Sir Herbert Samuel, the High Commissioner, had written to him on March 26 saying that 'our political difficulties are considerable', and concurring in Northcliffe's opinion that the excessive demands put forward by some of the Zionist leaders had greatly contributed to the difficulties of the existing situation which was 'far from satisfactory'. Northcliffe had been provoked into admonishing the general secretary of the Zionist Organization, Israel Cohen. 'You are overdoing it with this telephoning and general pushfulness, just as you are overdoing it in Palestine'. Cohen wished Northcliffe to know that 'Dr Chaim Weizmann is exceedingly anxious to see you'.

"The Daily Mail was taking the line that the British taxpayer could not afford to support Zionist ambitions towards which the paper was otherwise sympathetic. Weizmann, whom destiny had marked out to be the first president of the Jewish national homeland, wanted to put before Northcliffe personally the proposition that the British troops in Palestine would have to be garrisoned in Egypt or elsewhere at probably greater cost. He was asked to lunch at Carlton Gardens. Northcliffe also asked the ardent defender of English interests everywhere, LJ Maxse. According to Dr Weizmann's published account of what happened (in his autobiography, Trial & Error), Northcliffe sat himself between them after lunch and announced that he would umpire their discussion, but that it was Northcliffe who did the talking. Quoting Weizmann, 'this conception of the functions of an umpire was new to me, and suggested that I was probably wasting my time, so I shortly made my excuses and withdrew'. HG Price was present. He supplemented Weizmann's account from his own recollection. 'When the two men were seated, the Chief took out his watch and said: 'Now, gentlemen, you each have 5 minutes in which to state your case'. He handed the watch to Price, who was told to call out 'Stop!' at the end of each speaker's 5 minutes. He ordered Price to 'take a careful note' of what was said. When the speeches were over and the two men had gone, Price asked Northcliffe if he wanted the notes typed out. 'Good Lord, no!' Northcliffe said. 'Forget it'." (Northcliffe, Reginald Pound & Geoffrey Harmsworth, 1959, pp 845-846)


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ignorance is Bliss

Here's the spin on the website:

"The exchange of ideas and research together with collaborative efforts are central to the development of breakthroughs in every scientific and technological endeavour. Recognising this, the Technion Society of Australia encourages and facilitates academic and scientific exchanges between Australian universities and the Technion... We encourage academics and researchers from Australian universities to explore collaborative initiatives with the Technion. The TSA has established an Academic Committee under the leadership of Professor Michael Wallach which facilitates exchanges and oversees the selection and awarding of academic and research scholarships." (Information for academics,

And here's the hidden agenda:

"Sending Australian academics to Israel helps to combat the delegitimisation of the Jewish State on campuses, the executive director of the Technion Society of Australia (TSA), Ken Lander, said last week. The TSA has just announced its 2012 Theeman Scholars, a program that fosters the exchange of Australian and Technion academics to enhance collaboration... 'Part of the BDS movement around the world is to delegitimise Israel on campus, and these types of scientific exchanges, academic exchanges are the strongest weapon that Israel has to delegitimise BDS', he said." (Academic exchange 'a weapon against BDS', The Australian Jewish News, 13/4/12)

Now according to the AJN, our 2012 Theeman Scholars are:

Professor Neal Ashkanasy of the Queensland Business School. He's a "world-leading researcher on organisational behaviour," and will be off to the dark side for 3 months, "working on several research projects and delivering a number of research seminars."

Could one of them perhaps be Making QBS a BDS-Free Zone: The Organisational Requirements?

Professor of Psychology Michael Smithson of the Australian National University. He's apparently "a leading researcher in the study of ignorance, uncertainty and decision-making," and will be off to the dark side for 3 weeks, "giving seminars and being a lead speaker in an international workshop on the subject of 'decisions under severe uncertainty'".

Michael's first seminar could perhaps be titled Ignorance is Bliss: How I Had Absolutely No Idea What I Was Getting Myself Into When the Smoothie from TSA First Approached Me. Another could be Palestine? Never Heard of It. Or maybe BDS? What's That? Or how about this for the "international workshop": Decisions! Decisions!: Academic Integrity and the Freebie.

But there's more:

"Last year's Theeman Scholars, Professor Farid Christo from the University of South Australia and Professor Graeme Murch from the University of Newcastle, will report on their research at the TSA's Einstein Supper on May 22." (ibid)

Einstein Supper?

Could I suggest that Farid and Graeme kindly refrain from quoting from Einstein's last media statement, in which he said, "We had great hopes for Israel at first. We thought it might be better than other nations, but it is no better."*

Wouldn't want the movers and shakers of the TSA to choke on their chickens now, would we?

[*Excerpt from Einstein's Last Media Statement, published in the 'Dear Reader' column of the New York Post, March 13, 1955 - quoted in Einstein on Israel & Zionism: His Provocative Ideas About the Middle East, Fred Jerome, 2009, p 223.]

The Balfour Deception 7

"Let us go back to the Declaration. After it had been published an event occurred which is closely attached to this particular question of national prerogatives, and may serve to close the discussion of it. The Zionist leaders approached the chief Allied Governments with a request for pronouncements of encouragement and support similar to that which Great Britain had given them.

"A deception awaited them. From the French, on the 9th of February, 1918, they received a note which was no more than adequate. Mr Sacher, or any other of the political committee, would have turned out something much more attractive. It ran: M Sokolov representant des organisations sionistes, a ete recu ce matin au Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres par M Stephen Pichon, qui a ete heureux de lui confirmer que l'entente est complete entre les Gouvernements francais et britannique en ce qui concerne la question d'un etablissement juif en Palestine.

"Not really a satisfactory statement, it will be seen. The French evaded giving the Zionists any direct guarantee. They confined themselves to saying that they were in agreement with the British Government's policy. This left the onus of the policy upon the British, and the Quai d'Orsay spokesmen gave no pledge at all that they would continue in agreement with it as it developed. Moreover, the French note was sent with a covering letter in which M Sokolov was complimented upon the 'devouement avec lequel vous poursuivez la realisation des voeux de vos co-religionnaires.' A very back-handed compliment. It discounted the whole nationalist and not religious platform which the devoted M Sokolov was straining to construct.

"But it was when Italy was approached that this best-laid scheme really went agley. Here is the Italian pronouncement, given in London on the 9th of May, 1918, to M Sokolov by the Marchese Imperiali, the Italian Ambassador, 'by order of Baron Sonnino': In relazione alle domande che gli sono state rivolte il Governo di Sua Maesta e lieto di confermare le precendenti dichiarazioni gia fatte a mezzo dei suoi rappresentanti a Washington, l'Aja e Salonicco, di essere cioe disposto ad adoperarsi con piacere per facilitare lo stabilirsi in Palestina di un centro nazionale ebraico, nell'intesa pero' che non ne venga nessun pregiudizio allo stato giuridico e politico delle gia esistenti comunita religiose ed ai diritti civili e politici che gli israeliti gia godono in ogni altro paese.

"[In connection with the requests which have been made to it His Majesty's Government is happy to confirm the previous statements made through its representatives in Washington, the Hague and Salonica, that is to say that it is prepared to take steps with pleasure in order to facilitate the foundation in Palestine of a Jewish national centre, on the understanding however that no prejudice shall arise through it to the legal and political status of existing religious communities and to the civil and political rights already enjoyed by Israelites in any other country.]

"The Italian Government in its pronouncement put in the missing words which made all the difference. Since the petitioners who had asked for a declaration had caused the Palestine problem to be divided into 'communities,' the Consulta took care to signify that this division was a religious one. It spiked the guns of Lord Balfour and Dr Weizmann who had used the religious idea to make the division into communities, but thereon had treated the communities as national divisions.

"More important and more meaning still was the insertion of the words 'legal and political status.' The Italian Government guaranteed that the National Home should not prejudice those very fundamental rights of the Arabs which the Balfour Declaration deliberately had excised. With entire politeness it indicated that it was not deceived by the terms of the Balfour document, and that it would not be party to the suppression of native rights.

"It is impossible not to admire the neatness of the rebuke; the hoisting of the political Zionists with their own petard by rejecting their claims under guise of confirming them - just as they had drafted for the Arabs; the elegant assumption that Lord Balfour had intended a genuine guarantee and that Italy would make it more to his mind by making it watertight.

"This Italian guarantee was given, need it be said, long before the days of Fascism, by the old Italian Kingdom, democratic and liberal, so that it cannot be ascribed to rivalry or spite or other such motive. If it puts Italy in a strong position at present, it is simply an example of how honesty can indeed be the best policy. Not surprisingly it has been kept rather quiet. The version of it with which Mrs Andrews credits M Sokolov in her The Holy Land Under Mandate is not exact. Mrs Andrews quotes Italy as safeguarding only the 'civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities or the legal or political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.' The Italian Declaration is turned thus into another Balfour Declaration. The true version, given by M Sokolov, in the original Italian just cited, is very different, and stands to this day, with formidable implications attached to it upon which it is unnecessary to dilate."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Who's Afraid of Tony Judt?

This post is prompted by Phillip Adams' Late Night Live discussion with US historian Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands) and prominent Australian author and academic (politics) Robert Manne on April 10. The topic: Thinking the 20th Century: the life & work of Tony Judt.

Born in the UK of Jewish parents, Judt was a highly acclaimed historian and essayist who died in tragic circumstances in 2010. (See my 7/8/10 post Tony Judt (1948-2010) RIP.)

As it happened, much of the discussion that night focused on Judt's controversial essay, Israel: The Alternative, published in The New York Times Review of Books in 2003.

What particularly struck me was the extent to which both Snyder, who had helped the stricken Judt put together his last book, Thinking the 20th Century, and Manne, who stated that Judt was "by far the contemporary intellectual I feel most connected with," sought to distance themselves from that essay. It had me thinking: here it is 2012, and two highly educated men, professing nothing but the highest regard for Judt and his example, still found the content of that essay (I presume alone of all Judt's writings) too hot to handle, such is the baneful and chilling influence still of the Zionist thought police on Western liberal intellectuals.

Because neither Snyder nor Manne could bring themselves to grapple seriously with what Judt had to say in his Israel essay, most of which, I hasten to predict, they would have accepted without demur if the subject had been South African apartheid, I intend to address the essay (including its flaws) before moving on to our two intellectuals' instructive reaction to it.

Judt correctly put his finger on George W Bush's reduction to the role of "a ventriloquist's dummy, pitifully reciting the Israeli [Sharon] cabinet line: 'It's all Arafat's fault'."

He correctly described the Palestinians as being "corralled into shrinking Bantustans."

He correctly located the Zionist movement in the wave of ethnographic nationalist movements which sprang up following the collapse of the Habsburg and Romanov empires and which sought to carve out ethnically homogenous states from the rubble of those empires, often at the expense of "inconvenient local minorities, who were consigned to second-class status." It is in this context that Judt famously observed: "The very idea of a 'Jewish state' - a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded - is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism."

So far so good. It is in his discussion of Israel's 'democracy', however, that Judt stumbled. Failing to note that Israel can only claim to be both Jewish and (at least formally) democratic because the vast majority of Palestinians were expelled beyond its 'borders' in the period from 1947-1950, he concluded that, given the rising Palestinian birthrate in the occupied territories and among its own remnant Palestinian population, Israel would eventually end up with a de facto Arab majority and can therefore only remain Jewish and democratic if it becomes "the first modern democracy to conduct full-scale ethnic cleansing as a state project."

Unfortunately, at this point, Judt completely overlooked the full-scale Zionist ethnic cleansing of the late forties which enabled Israel to claim that it was both Jewish and democratic in the first place. To omit this (probably not deliberately) was a cardinal error indeed and constitutes the real problem with Judt's essay. His failure to further factor in the legal right of all ethnically-cleansed Palestinians to return to their homeland within pre-1967 Israel only makes the earler omission worse.

Judt's argument that the time has passed for a two-state solution - "there are too many settlements, too many Jewish settlers, and too many Palestinians, and they all live together, albeit separated by barbed wire and pass laws" - has only grown in credence since he made it almost 12 years ago.

As has the relevance of the following statement: "The true alternative facing the Middle East in coming years will be between an ethnically cleansed greater Israel and a single, integrated, binational state of Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians."

And this: "But what if there were no place in the world today for a 'Jewish state'? What if the binational solution were not just increasingly likely, but actually a desirable outcome? It is not such a very odd thought. Most of the readers of this essay live in pluralist states which have long since become multiethnic and multicultural."

That is not to say that Judt sees a one-state solution to the conflict as a cakewalk, as he made clear in his conclusion: "To convert Israel from a Jewish state to a binational one would not be easy, though not quite as impossible as it sounds: the process has already begun de facto. But it would cause far less disruption to most Jews and Arabs than its religious and nationalist foes will claim. In any case, no one I know of has a better idea."

Now observe how first Timothy Snyder and then Robert Manne duck and weave when reminded by Phillip Adams of Judt's argument for a one-state solution and his assessment of Israel as an anachronism:

"There you're onto an important thing in this book about the way Thinking the 20th Century works. It doesn't work by way of me telling Tony how smart he is and how I agree with him about everything and how wonderful Tony Judt might be. It works as a long argument between him and me which I think... [Adams, interrupting: But that's what makes it work. If it wasn't that it could have become an exercise in being sychophantic.] Yeah, frankly it would have been disrespectful to the way Tony and my relationship always was and the way he was in the wider world. But that's just all by way of saying I didn't particularly think that that was intellectually Tony's most impressive achievement. I mean he published it right around the same time he published an essay about Belgium where he thought the one-state solution that is Belgium will not work. So the suggestion that a one-state solution in Israel is plausible when it's not plausible in Belgium, which is after all a much nicer neighborhood, struck me as not particularly convincing. But it really goes back to your previous question because what I think he was doing was not so much criticising Israel - you know the debate about the one-state/two-state in Israel is sort of old hat - what he was trying to do I think was to begin a serious conversation in the US about what Israel is, might be, should be, and that he failed in that I think speaks badly about us [ie the Americans]. But that he tried to do it and that he had the optimism about us that you could just talk about these things in principle as opposed to ad hominem, that's the kind of optimism you have to have if you want to be an intellectual in politics."

OMG! Is Belgium still standing? Thank God for nicer neighborhoods. Hm, I wonder what made Palestine a not-so-nice neighborhood?

"[Adams: Robert, your view on this issue?] I was hoping you'd ask. Look, I don't think he was right about the one-state solution. I think it's one of the moments of political naivety which is very rare for Tony Judt. On the other hand... it seems to me that his understanding of what went wrong with Israel was profoundly important and he's asked by Timothy in the book whether he thinks he's courageous for having been a lone voice in the mainstream, deeply critical of the drift of Israel and he says 'No, not at all. I might've been a bit more honest than other people but I wasn't particularly courageous in that'. But what he saw and the central truth of all this is that when Israel made the decision in 1967 to hold on to the West Bank and Gaza it made a catastrophic decision for its future, and that everything that one could've thought from then about what would happen has happened, and I think he's a very important intellectual for the fact that he saw how deeply wrong that decision was and what flowed from it, and even though I don't think in any way it's his most distinguished writing, it's very important writing because I think it shows hard-headedness and courage. I think he was wrong to say he wasn't courageous. In Australia it's easy to say certain things and you only get a little bit knocked about. He was, as I understand it, severely taken apart by his own peer group, the liberal Jewish intellectuals and I think history will show him to have been absolutely right in his fundamental judgment on what had gone wrong with Israel from 1967 onwards in particular."

In his essay, Judt's focus is not on how Israel supposedly 'lost its way' only after the 1967 conquest and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. There is no suggestion in it, as Manne would have us believe, of the soft-Zionist conceit whereby Israel's fabled 'soul' was doing just fine until sullied by the fateful decision to remain in occupation of the Palestinian territories it had conquered in 1967. But by leading us down this particular garden path, Manne conveniently sidesteps Judt's two key arguments: that, in a multiethnic and multicultural world, the blatantly ethnographic Israel is an anachronism; and that, however difficult the transition to a binational state in Palestine/Israel, it is still the least traumatic and most desirable outcome.

Despite Manne's stated admiration for Judt's intellectual courage, he has always shied away from dealing with the core issue of the Middle East conflict - the morality of establishing an ethnographic, apartheid state in the land of another people. There's no way, it seems, he's prepared to risk being severely taken apart by his own peer group by going there.

Clearly, he's no Tony Judt.

[See also my 2/9/11 post on Manne, Who Speaks for Palestine?]

The Balfour Deception 6

"Let me halt for a space to explain why it was essential to have such a guarantee. Without it when Palestine bacame a Jewish state all Jews might be conceived as belonging to it. This might occur even during the preliminary stage, during the illusory period when Jew and Arab running in harness were building up a new Palestine together (or whatever mixed metaphor best describes this atrocious mixed metaphor of policy). Antisemitism spreads easily, and an agitation might arise in any country to dispatch Jewish citizens to Palestine, or if not to expel them, to catalogue them as aliens, citizens of Palestine, and to deprive them of the vote.

"The insertion of the guarantee is further proof, besides, of the character of the regime intended under the Declaration in the Holy Land. If the 'National Home' was to be something innocuous, a mere 'national home from home' with a modicum of establishment receiving a stream of visitors, an institution without any political status, then there was no need to guarantee hosts or guests against losing their overseas or overland political status in their place of origin. If 'National Home' meant a State or quasi-State, there was every need for the guarantee.

"The 'guarantee' clause of the Declaration, then, with its deceptive text by which the Arabs were to be deprived of their citizenship, sprang undoubtedly from Zionist brains, though it was adopted of course by Balfour and the others and issued by him as though the British cabinet had thought it out. Considering the joint authorship of the Declaration, this perhaps might have been expected. Its British drafters were mostly guided by expediency: the Zionist drafters were doctrinaires. The British thought it necessary to shut their eyes to Arab rights; the Zionists were convinced or convinced themselves that the Arabs had no rights as men, save those the Turks might have conceded them.

"Mr de Haas, the American drafter, proclaims their attitude very clearly. 'We draw a distinction,' says he, 'between Jewish rights and Arab claims. Whether the Palestinian population in 1914 possessed any tangible political rights is for those versed in Turkish law to say. In practice we know that such rights did not exist, even though the Young Turks had created a paper Parliament. Djemaal Pasha ruled in Palestine with an iron hand, as every Turk had done before him, though he too may have indulged [sic] the people in paper rights. The term 'Political rights' [Mr de Haas's own capital and italics] does not appear in the Balfour Declaration. The phrase used is civil rights, and as we have made abundantly clear every word of that document was weighed by more than a score of authorities.'

"From one of the principal drafters of the Declaration, who scissored its terms, this statement clinches the matter. Under the Declaration the Arabs were to get no political rights, whether they had them in principle or not. According to the Zionists' thesis, of which Mr de Haas is such a notable exponent, they did not hold any in practice and it was very unlikely that they held any in theory.

"A couple of pages later in his work, Mr de Haas has the air of recoiling momentarily from this thesis, or else having forgotten in the heat of writing that he had just developed it. He says, in passing, of the Arab case, 'The Arab case, apart from the rights which inhere from living in a country...' But having mentioned this natural dower thus fugitively he does not allude to it again.

"Mr de Haas is not alone in this attitude, nor is it the attitude alone of the Zionists in the United States. The same point of view prevails amidst British Zionists: it must so prevail, since to recognize that the Arabs have political rights is to recognize that the 'National Home' cannot be imposed upon them. As an example of British Zionist opinion I may quote from Mr Herbert Sidebotham, amongst gentiles the most assiduous apologist of the cause. His role in Manchester has been mentioned already. He is an absolute apostle of Zionism, and I think he might be described not too maliciously as the inside-out Paul of the movement.

"It is very significant to see the effect which his gospel has upon him. He is a man, very properly admired by his colleagues in journalism, and to be read with respect when he comments on other topics. But when he turns to the defence of Zionism and starts to justify its behaviour, he propounds the most extravagant theories as though they were founded in reason and matured in experience. This is no unusual phenomenon. A blind spot of madness seems to form in the outlook of everyone who succumbs to the Zionist germ.

"Mr Sidebotham differs from Mr de Haas in that he concentrates on the status of Palestine rather than on the status of its inhabitants. But he reaches a similar result. He deprives the Arabs of any birthright. I quote from a memorandum of his, somewhat hurriedly entitled British Policy & the Palestine Mandate: Our Proud Privilege. This begins 'We are in Palestine by a conjunction, made by the accidents of war and not designed, between the oldest national idea in the world's history and certain political and moral interests peculiar to Great Britain.' (I cannot refrain from italicizing the final phrase. Could anyone?)

"At the close of his first chapter Mr Sidebotham writes: 'Palestine, in fact, had no separate national or geographic existence apart from that which the classic history of the Jews had given it, and this disappeared with Jewish independence. In assigning Palestine therefore as a national home, Mr Balfour was not giving away anything that belonged to someone else. It was a ghost of the past which two thousand years had not succeeded in laying and which could assume an actual physical existence only through the Jews...' Or again, 'Palestine as a country did not exist before the Balfour promise. To the Turk it was a part of the vilayet of Beirut, to the Arab it was the southern part of Syria.'

"I fancy that it is a just description of the line of argument in the above quotation to say that it is pleasantly extravagant. It has a side to it which is so fantastic that it is almost entertaining. Palestine, declares Mr Sidebotham, is not a country unless the Jews occupy it. Only their presence can make it one.

"There is no reason on earth why Palestine should be a country. It is too small, its boundaries are artificial in the main, there is nothing to distinguish it from the territory just to the north, its sacred character has not the slightest national quality. The little province is in fact nothing but a section of Syria. Its existence for centuries has been provincial. Mr Sidebotham recognizes this. In the eyes of the Arabs it is, he says, no more than 'a part of Arabia,' or is 'only the southern part of Syria.'

"It is now that he becomes odd. Because Palestine is only a part of Arab territory he would take it from the Arabs' ownership. No doubt he allows that the Arabs have a right to a country somewhere, but to the parts of this country their right vanishes. If the Jews come along and propose to turn part of an Arab country into a whole Jewish country, then the Arabs lose that part automatically. As an entity the part is untenable. But by argument on these lines we might get so far as to find our claim to the whole of England unsound, if we lay claim to it as part of the inheritance of the British race, as part of the British Commonwealth. For that is the way in which the Arabs lay claim to Palestine, on the ground that it is part of the inheritance of the Arab race, part of the Arab commonwealth or nexus of lands in Arab occupation.

"To return to the general issue, the situation laid down for the Arabs of Palestine by typical Zionist writers is that these Arabs are political slaves, persons not having the right of ownership of their place of birth, a place indeed which in their hands politically would not exist."

To be continued...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Who's Calling Who 'Delusional'?

Former IDF corporal and scribbler for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, is outraged that former Waffen SS conscript and Nobel Prize-winning writer, Gunter Grass, is blowing the whistle on Israel's coming aggression against Iran.

He's particularly got it in for these lines from Grass' poem What Must Be Said:

"What is this right to 'preventive war'?/ A war that could erase the Iranian people."

In an opinion piece, Grass's demonising verses of Israel have not been lost in translation, published in The Australian on April 11, Goldberg accuses Grass of being "delusional." How could the "targeting of 6-8 Iranian nuclear sites in Iran for conventional aerial bombardment," he asks, amount to "annihilating the Iranian people"?

He goes on, "To make yourself believe that Israel is seeking to murder the 74 million people of Iran, you must make yourself believe that the leaders of the Jewish state outstrip Adolf Hitler in genocidal intent."

God forbid! Israel? Genocidal intent? Never!

But if Grass is delusional is he any more so than an Israeli leader asserting that Iran (which doesn't even have the bomb) is seeking to murder the 7 million people of Israel, and is therefore outstripping Adolf Hitler in genocidal intent?

What else would you call this from the Israeli prime minister: "I will never let my people live under the shadow of annihilation"?

Or this from Goldberg himself: "The goal of an Israeli attack would be to deny the ayatollahs the means of bringing about [Israel's physical elimination]"?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Balfour Deception 5

"There can be no doubt that the authors of this particular 'guarantee' were the Zionists themselves, and that the phrase was introduced from America. The clause 'it being clearly understood' and what follows has enough of a turn of its own to arouse attention. It is not automatic phraseology: it is no oft-employed cliche. If it were to be found in some previous document relating to the question, then obviously it was transferred from there into the Balfour Declaration.

"It is so to be found, and it was transferred. When the September version of the Declaration was dropped because of the Magnus-Montagu opposition, the Cabinet or the Zionist camarilla in it gave its own attention to finding a substitute. But this attention, as before, consisted largely in picking and choosing amidst the Zionists' suggestions. Baulked of the open mastership of Palestine which the September version would have given them, and driven to pay lip-homage to the Arabs, the Zionists, on one side of the Atlantic or the other, evidently offered a suitable formula drawn from the manifesto of the Jewish organizations of the United States, of the 2nd of October, 1916, a year or so before (quoted in Chapter VIII).

"In this manifesto the said organizations, inter alia, had demanded full rights for the Jews wherever they lived. The manifesto went on to define these, and the definition was thus worded: 'it being understood that the phrase 'full rights' is deemed to include civil, religious and political rights.'

"There most certainly is the source, the rough copy of the celebrated Balfour guarantee. The identity of words is not to be dismissed as a mere coincidence. The juxtaposition of 'it being understood that' and of the table of rights which follows points unmistakably to reproduction.

"Observe, though, what a difference occurred in the use of the new formula. In the United States the Zionist drafters had employed the formula to define their own rights. In the Balfour Declaration they had to employ it to define, for safeguarding purposes, their own rights, but also, so to speak, to undefine the Arabs' rights. They conceded therefore to the Arabs the notorious 'civil rights': for themselves they dropped the word 'civil' altogether. They had seen from the beginning it had no value, since in the manifesto they had taken care to demand religious and political rights in addition to civil rights. In the Balfour Declaration they took the same care.

"But they improved the phraseology in the 'Balfour Declaration.' Not only was 'civil' jettisoned, but with great agility the cardinal word 'political' was shuffled from 'rights' on to 'status.' To have granted in the same clause only civil rights to the Arabs but to the Jews political rights would have been too glaring a contrast. It might have drawn attention even from the indifferent eyes of 1917. Therefore, for the Jews their 'rights' were left apparently unclarified but really expanded in principle through the removal of the constricting adjective, while 'political status' was brought in as something of another order peculiar to the Jews, and to do the work of a definite guarantee."

To be continued...