Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cory Bernardi Shoulders the White Man's Burden

It's always interesting to learn about the backgrounds of those who toil on our behalf on the parliamentary leather. So thanks must go to Greg Bearup for his illuminating profile of Senator Cory Bernardi in this week's Weekend Australian Magazine. Some highlights:

"You'll be chatting amiably and he'll come out with something inflammatory, like: 'According to the Islamic texts and doctrines, Mohammed was the perfect Muslim; Mohammed was a person that, no question, did a lot of acts that are similar to what ISIS is doing today.' Kaboom! Can't you see how divisive that is, I say, and that most Muslims, even the most moderate Muslims would find that statement offensive? 'It's the truth,' he says. 'Islam needs reform. What was seen as acceptable in the seventh century is not acceptable today.' There's no nuance. He's not trying to appeal to the centre. His method is to spark debate with a hand grenade. At times, he's blown off his own arm. 'I'm just a big ball of scar tissue now,' he says. 'They can't draw any more blood.' Sometimes, listening to him, I am reminded of Pauline Hanson..."  (Regrets, I have just one)

Boy, Cory sure can join the dots! Breathtaking!

"[H]is political epiphany came to him when he was about 25 and he was lying in an isolation ward in an Adelaide hospital, suffering from tuberculosis. Until then he had led a fairly blessed existence. His immigrant father had done well; Leon opened a succession of inner-city restaurants and bars in Adelaide. Cory had attended one of Adelaide's establishment schools, Prince Alfred College, where he was a popular kid and a champion rower. At the age of 18 he was chosen to row for Australia... He won a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport... but his promising career was cut short by a back injury at the age of 19. He was bitterly disappointed but he dusted himself off and headed overseas... He travelled all over Europe and then found himself working for a German construction company that won a contract in Libya, where he lived for 9 months. It was not a happy experience and seems to have left him with a grim view of Islam. He was isolated and working with 25 Turks, 'none of whom spoke English'."

Rude bastards! That's Islam for you, I guess.

"When one of his colleagues, an Englishman, was injured and taken to hospital, Bernardi says they had to wait until a goat was treated before they tended to the Brit."

How dare those bloody wogs treat a white man in this fashion! Where's a NATO bombing raid when you need one?

"'There was another time when we saw some burqa-clad ladies and we went to talk to them and the men came and started abusing us, shushing us away... you don't want to accuse all Muslims but there are substantial parts of the Muslim teachings that shouldn't apply in the modern age'."

Jeez! How's a white man supposed to liberate a brown woman with all these bloody brown blokes getting in the way?

Thank God for the local sheilas:

"He came back to Adelaide and... bought into the family business, Bernardi's, an inner city pub. Sinead Sheehy, a beautiful and feisty young Irish woman... was working behind the bar. 'My first impression of him was that he was a very strong individual,' she says. 'Oh, and handsome.' Both of them were going out with other people. That soon changed."

OK, so Cory knows all about Islam and ISIS, but has he ever heard of ISIL - Italian State in Libya - and what it got up to at the Mechiya Oasis in Libya in October, 1911? Rhetorical question, of course.

Here are some correspondents' reports* from the time:

"Tripoli has been the scene of one of the reddest dramas in the history of wars. It was a week of atrocities, a mad rush of assassins, a hecatomb of aged people, women and children - executions in groups." (Correspondent of Excelsior, Paris)

"A perfect nightmare of horror... a veritable carnival of carnage." (Correspondent of the Daily Express)

"The Italians having set themselves to cow the Arabs, the floodgates of blood and lust were opened... One hardly knows to what limits the elasticity of the phrase 'military exigencies' will be stretched in the 20th century." (Correspondent of The Times)

"For 3 days the butchery went on... cripples and blind beggars have been deliberately shot; sick people whose houses were burned were left on the ground and refused even a drop of water. The Arab quarter was overrun by crazy soldiers armed with revolvers, who were shooting every man and woman they met. (Francis McCullagn, Correspondent for the Daily News, Westminster Gazette, and New York World)

*Quoted in Libya & the West: From Independence to Lockerbie, Geoff Simons, 2003

Monday, June 29, 2015

George Galloway's 5-Point Plan for Combating ISIS

As you may or may not know, George Galloway is currently campaigning for the position of London's lord mayor, a matter to be decided next year.

Mindful of the weekend's murder of British tourists in Tunisia, he has just tweeted the following thought:

"It is only a matter of time before the Death Cult ISIS attacks us here at home. We are locked into a conflict our leaders chose for us."

While LibLab here has little to offer except more military involvement in Iraq and less civil liberties at home, Galloway, who accurately predicted the consequences of the Bush/Blair invasion of Iraq, followed the above with 5 more tweets, outlining a five-point plan of action to combat ISIS.

Here it is:

1) End involvement, direct and indirect, in wars on Arab countries.

2) Back the Syrian and Iraqi States as they fight for the existence of their countries.

3) Employ a single, not double, standard towards political violence. Stop Islamophobia at home.

4) Stop propping up and arming Israel and the Arab dictators we approve of whilst attacking those we don't.

5) Protect our borders at all costs. National unity, smart policing, intelligent intelligence, determination.

Let the discussion begin...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Insufferable Hypocrisy (& Short Memory) of Murdoch's Australian

Here's the Australian's editorialist, lashing the ABC for allowing the clearly troubled, ill-informed and attention-seeking Zaky Mallah to strut his stuff on its Q&A program last Monday night:

"In allowing Mallah the floor, Q&A went far beyond its previous efforts allowing Julian Assange and David Hicks to question Julia Gillard and John Howard." (ABC's blunder of judgment, 24/6/15)

Now here's Martin Chulov, a former Middle East correspondent for the Australian, disclosing, in his 2006 book, Australian Jihad, that his paper threw money at Mallah. (The colleague mentioned was fellow journalist Louise Perry):

"Mallah hadn't told us outright the target of his proposed attack, but from the tone of his letter, ASIO looked a likely prospect. There was a stark conflict between our roles as journalists and our duties as citizens to disclose information we had about a planned offence, especially something as serious as a potential act of terrorism. Mallah had told us he would be in touch again shortly to arrange a screening of his [suicide] video... Within a few days, Mallah called again, inviting us to his home...

"'I've got the video now. You can have a look at it, if you want. How much do you think it would be worth?'

 "'I don't know, Zak. Why do you want to sell it, anyway?' I asked.

"'Islamicaly we have to clear our debts before we die. I need about $4000 to do that and then I'm sweet.'

"We had earlier arranged with The Australian to offer Mallah several hundred dollars for several of his jihadi photos. We knew the paper wasn't interested in buying his suicide video, but we decided not to refuse his request there and then." (Australian Jihad: The Battle Against Terrorism from Within & Without, p 173)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Saudi-Israeli Alliance

We live in strange times:


"There are many hands behind the Israeli army's onslaught on Gaza. America is not unhappy that Hamas is getting such a beating... Nor is Egypt overcome with grief...

"Neither matter to Netanyahu as much as the third undeclared partner in this unholy alliance, for neither on their own could give him the cover he needs for a military operation of this ferocity... Such permission can only come from a brother Arab.

"The attack on Gaza comes by Saudi Royal Appointment. This royal warrant is nothing less than an open secret in Israel, and both former and serving defense officials are relaxed when they talk about it. Former Israeli defence minister Shaul Mofaz surprised the presenter on Channel 10 by saying Israel had to specify a role for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the demilitarisation of Hamas. Asked what he meant by that, he added that Saudi and Emirati funds should be used to rebuild Gaza after Hamas had been defanged.

"Amos Gilad, the Israeli defence establishment's point man with Mubarak's Egypt and now director of the Israeli defence ministry's policy and political-military relations department told the academic James Dorsey recently: 'Everything is underground, nothing is public. But our security cooperation with Egypt and the Gulf states is unique. This is the best period of security and diplomatic relations with the Arabs.' The celebration is mutual. King Abdullah let it be known that he had phoned President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to approve of an Egyptian ceasefire initiative which had not been put to Hamas, and had the Jerusalem Post quoting analysts about whether a ceasefire was ever seriously intended.

"Mossad and Saudi intelligence officials meet regularly: The two sides conferred when the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was about to be deposed... and they are hand in glove on Iran, both in preparing for an Israeli strike over Saudi airspace and in sabotaging the existing nuclear programme. There has even been a well sourced claim that the Saudis are financing most of Israel's very expensive campaign against Iran..." (From Saudi Israeli alliance forged in blood, David Hearst, middleeasteye.net, 20/7/14)


"For more than half a century, Saudi Arabia has tried to use its vast oil wealth to build a lobby in the United States that could rival the imposing Israel lobby... but [they] could never build the kind of grassroots political organization that has given Israel... such extraordinary clout... But Saudi Arabia may have found another way to buy influence inside the United States - by giving money to Israel and currying favor with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Over the past several years, as both Saudi Arabia and Israel have identified Iran and the so-called 'Shiite crescent' as their principal enemies, this once-unthinkable alliance has become possible - and the Saudis, as they are wont to do, have thrown lots of money into the deal.

"According to a source briefed by US intelligence analysts, the Saudis have given Israel at least $16 billion over the past two and a half years, funneling the money through a third-country Arab state and into an Israeli 'development' account in Europe to help finance infrastructure inside Israel. The source first called the account 'a Netanyahu slush fund,' but later refined that characterization, saying the money was used for public projects such as building settlements in the West Bank..." (From Did money seal Israeli-Saudi alliance? Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com, 15/4/15)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lifting the Lid on Saudi Influence in Australia

One to watch:

"WikiLeaks has revealed secret Saudi Arabian influence in Arabic media and Islamic religious groups in Australia, as well as covert monitoring of Saudi students studying at Australian universities. More than 60,000 leaked Saudi diplomatic documents have been released by WikiLeaks in what the international transparency group says will be the first instalment of the publication of more than 500,000 secret papers in batches over coming weeks...

"The leaked Saudi government documents include extensive correspondence between the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the kingdom's embassy in Canberra that reveals sustained Saudi efforts to influence political and religious opinion within Australia's Arabic and Islamic communities.

"The documents include instructions from the Saudi government to its embassy relating to the payment of large subsidies from the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to prominent Arabic newspapers and media organisations in Australia, with reference made to cheques to the value of $10,000 and $40,000.

"The Saudi embassy is also revealed to pay close attention to the political and religious beliefs of Saudi university students studying in Australia with reports sent to the Mabahith, the General Investigation Directorate of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the kingdom's brutal secret police that deals with domestic security and counter-intelligence.

"The directorate is also revealed to make recommendations in relation to Saudi government funding for building mosques and supporting Islamic community activities in Australia.

"The documents show the Sunni kingdom's strong concern about efforts by Shiite Islamic leaders to engage with the Federation of Islamic Councils and the kingdom's funding of visits to Australia by Sunni Islamic clerics to counter Shiite influence.

"WikiLeaks said the reports... 'provide key insights into the kingdom's operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting individuals and institutions.'

"The documents reveal extensive Saudi efforts to influence and neutralise critical opinion in foreign media, including widespread use of monetary contributions and subsidies..." (Saudi influence in Australia revealed, Philip Dorling, The Sun-Herald, 21/6/15)

Those extensive efforts to influence and neutralise critical opinion in foreign media must be working here, because Dorling's piece is the only report of these WikiLeak documents, as far as I'm aware, to surface in the Australian msm.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tony Abbott, Haiku Master

Stunning, simply stunning:

"Look, both of them were terrorists. Both of them are evil. They are both evil terrorists." (Elomar killed in Syria, but Sharrouf may still live, David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 24/6/15)

Wow, who'd have thought Abbott, in addition to his other talents, was also a haiku master? I should have known after that triumph of concision:


Anyway, I'm so inspired by his example that I thought I'd give it a go:

Look, Abbott is a fascist.
He is a bogan.
He is a fascist bogan.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Price Gazans Pay for Refusing to Kiss Israel's Arse

"The relatively well-paid jobs on the Israeli side of the security fence have long gone, part of the price Gazans pay for being governed by Hamas, the militant group Israel blames for starting the war and for ongoing rocket attacks on the country's south." (Aussie's fears for 'desperate' Gaza, Jamie Walker, The Australian, 22/6/15)

Talk about a loaded sentence!

First there's the uncritical use of the Israeli euphemism, 'security fence', to describe a structure designed to keep ghetto dwellers, ethnically cleansed from their homes and lands in 1948, from ever returning to same.

Then there's this: "the price Gazans pay for being governed by Hamas."

There's a take-home message in those 11 words. It is this:

All the people of Gaza have to do is get off their bums; cast out the evil death-cult known as Hamas; officially apologise to their neighbours for ever having had the temerity to think that Eretz Israel is in fact occupied Palestine; acknowledge that it really belongs exclusively to 'the Jewish people' (which could mean anyone from Woody Allen to Harry Triguboff to the latest lost tribe only just discovered in the wilds of wherever); and declare that they'd love nothing more than to commute to Eretz Israel daily for "relatively well-paid jobs" as hewers of wood and drawers of water, pretty please.

Now if factual reporting, as opposed to Israeli spin, is really what matters, here's how the line could have been written: the price Gazans pay for having exercised their democratic choice in 2006, and voting, in a two-horse race, for the party of probity and resistance to Israeli diktats and faits accomplis rather than the party of venality and collusion with Israeli apartheid.

A bit too long? Well, how about this: the price Gazans pay for refusing to kiss Israel's arse?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Scribbler, Sniper, Spinner

I noticed a brief reference in this week's Sunday Telegraph (21/6) to Imre Salusinszky being a "gym rat."  Remember him?

This former Murdoch scribbler and anti-Greens/anti-BDS sniper (see Salusinszky file below) is now NSW Liberal Premier Mike (Messiah) Baird's chief spinner, just another example of the corporate media/corporate politics revolving door in action.

Spinner's mindless, knee-jerk Zionism surfaces from time to time in his tweets. Two examples:

- Rare good news for Israel @greensjeremy: 'Today I resigned from Parliamentary Friends of Israel in protest at IDF violence & crimes' - 3/8/14

- I like her more every day: 'Scarlett Johansson splits with Oxfam over Israel boycott'/The Australian - 29/1/14

When Messiah visits Israel to celebrate Israel Independence Day next year, in keeping with his bizarre promise to the Israel lobby (see Baird file below), so far unreported in the ms press, I imagine Salusinszky will be along for the ride. Hopefully, his tweets will have a little more entertainment value at the time.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Strange Choice of Book Reviewer

Let's say your the literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald's Saturday arts supplement, Spectrum. 

Let's assume you're well-informed and genuinely interested in debate.

Let's say you've decided (for reasons best known to yourself) that, of all the latest books on Palestine/Israel that need reviewing, it just has to be Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth's Boycotting Israel is Wrong.

Who are you going to commission to do the job?

Jake Lynch, Stuart Rees, Peter Slezak, Antony Loewenstein, Nick Reimer, Marcelo Svirsky? All conversant in the politics of Palestine/Israel, and all supporters of the pro-Palestine boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

OK, you're not Spectrum's literary editor. Susan Wyndham is, and she's commissioned Dennis Altman, professorial fellow in the Institute for Human Security & Social Change at LaTrobe University to review Mendes & Dyrenfurth (Shaky support for two states, 20/6/15)

Problem is, according to freelance journalist Michael Brull, a close observer of these things, Altman is dismissive of the call to boycott Israel. (But what about Zionism?, Michael Brull, Overland, Autumn 2010)

Now I've been unable to access the Altman article Brull refers to on Overland's website. It seems to have been withdrawn for some reason. But, assuming that Brull is correct, and Altman takes a dim view of BDS, or worse, why then commission him of all people to review an anti-BDS book?

Certainly, anyone who begins his review this way has got to be a bit of a worry:

"Anyone who writes about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is asking for trouble; even that statement will itself draw criticism. Few issues bring out such deeply polarised views, leaving little room for genuine empathy with the range of positions involved on the ground."

OMG... genuine empathy for the range of positions involved? Yes, yes, Mr Netanyahu, I do empathise with your position, I really do... you're absolutely right about... and... and... but...

Ditto for this:

"I largely agree with the comment they [Mendes & Dyrenfurth] cite from David Remnick... that: 'Israel exists; the Palestinian people exist... Within these territorial confines two nationally distinct groups, who are divided by language, culture and history cannot live... wholly together'."

Well, weren't South Africa's Whites and Blacks ONCE so divided?  Now where do they live if not wholly together?

And this:

"Thus Boycotting Israel gives us a great deal of detail about some of the excesses of the BDS movement, including the attacks on the Max Brenner chocolate shops..."

Attacks? You're kidding me? What attacks?

But more than that, Altman avoids the real reason why Zionist propagandists such as Mendes and Dyrenfurth have gone to the trouble of writing a book smearing the BDS campaign.

It's because one of the three aims of the BDS campaign is the right of return to their homes and lands, in Israel (im)proper, of the Palestinian refugees of 1948.

Mendes & Dyrenfurth have referred to this fundamental tenet of international law sneeringly as "a so-called Right of Return." (The BDS campaign's flaws and failings, M&D, Australian Jewish News, 5/5/15) And Dyrenfurth recently said on the ABC's Radio National that "The most problematic aim of the PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel) statement relates to the right of return for Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war... if there was a mass return of Palestinian refugees to Israel proper... that would mean the end of Israel..." (Is boycotting Israel ethical or anti-Semitic?, Religion & Ethics Report, 17/6/15)

What he meant was the end of Israel as a Jewish supremacist state, that is one which allows people like Mendes & Dyrenfurth, simply by virtue of their having Jewish mothers,* to swan in or out of Israel (im)proper as they please, while denying the same right to its original, indigenous non-Jewish inhabitants, ethnically cleansed in 1948. IOW, to discriminate in favour of Jews but against non-Jewish Palestinians.

[*Through Israel's Law of Return]

Friday, June 19, 2015

I Just Don't Get Americans


"A US civil-rights activist at the centre of a firestorm over allegations that she pretended to be black for years says she is 'definitely not white' and identifies as African-American." ('I definitely am not white,' says Dolezal, AFP/The Australian, 18/6/15)

Talk about straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel! Honestly, I haven't the faintest idea why Americans have a problem with Rachel Dolezal thinking she's black.

I mean, if they can swallow the Zionist idea that today's Jews are really Israelites, give or take a few millenia, and that Palestine, therefore, belongs to them ; if they can swallow the fiction that Benjamin Mileikowsky is really Binyamin Netanyahu or that Golda Mabovitch is really Golda Meir or that David Grun is really David Ben-Gurion (not to mention that Israel is the kingdom of David & Solomon reborn or that it's a democracy or that the Israeli army is the most moral... etc, etc), surely to God they can't have a problem with Ms Dolezal?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Some Questions for the Lowy Institute

The Lowy Institute was founded in 2003. It conducted the first of its annual LI Polls on 'Australia and the World' in 2005.

Each poll has featured a 'Feelings Thermometer' in which those polled are asked to "rate your feelings toward some countries, with 100 meaning a very warm, favourable feeling," and zero meaning the opposite.

For example, in the latest LIP, New Zealand scores a high of 83% while North Korea scores a low of 29%.

Four Middle Eastern countries are included, receiving the following percentages: Turkey 53%, Egypt 48%, Iraq 35%, and Syria 33%.

Exactly which ME countries are included each year varies from year to year.

Here, for example, are the ratings for ME countries since 2005:

2005 - Middle East 25%; Iran 24%; Iraq 23%
2006 - Israel 55%; Iraq 44%; Iran 43%
2007 - Israel 50%; Iraq 36%; Iran 34%
2008 - United Arab Emirates 55%; Iran 38%; Iraq 37%
2009 - Iran 38%
2010 - Israel 49%; Iraq 40%; Iran 38%
2011 - Egypt 52%; Iraq 35%; Iran 35%; Libya 35%
2012 - Egypt 56%; Libya 41%; Syria 39%; Iran 38%
2013 - Israel 53%; Iran 38%
2014 - Israel 51%; Iran 39%

Quite apart from the issue of polling people who may not even know the difference between Iraq and Iran, to give but one example, why is it that:

a) Iran, Israel's bete noire, appears in every single poll bar the latest?

b) the one Middle Eastern country that makes our political leaders (state & federal) go weak at the knees every time; whose cause is a veritable crusade for the Murdoch press; that gets the benefit of just about every doubt in the rest of the corporate media; and for which Frank Lowy actually carried a gun in 1948, appears in only 5 of the 11 polls?

Just curious...  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An Australian in Washington

In his opinion piece in yesterday's Australian, Restraint is not weakness, Australia's former foreign minister, Bob Carr, offers an overview and defence of Obama's foreign policy: Bush was a foreign policy 'maximalist'. Obama is a foreign policy 'minimalist'. Three cheers for the latter!

But it wasn't Carr's case for Obama that interested me. It was his opening paragraphs. I cannot overestimate their documentary value:

"The caller was an Australian living in the US, effectively embedded in George W Bush's administration. He knew the cabinet, got to see the vice-president, had spent time in the Oval Office. It was March 2003, the Iraq war just launched.

"'America will have a decisive win,' he told me, and went on with arguments imbibed from the feisty, cordite-flavoured atmosphere of a Washington at war. It was all upbeat.

"'Iraq gets a market economy. It becomes a democracy. This changes the Arab world. They make peace with Israel.' He may even have implied a prod or two from this triumphant US military would bring change to Iran

"Here, then, was the prevailing wisdom of the neo-cons who had salivated over a war with Iraq and the ultranationalists they had recruited for this preposterous mission."

Here is yet further evidence, from an embedded source with access to the highest levels of US decision-making, that the Bush regime's war against Iraq was, first and foremost, a war to rearrange the Middle East in Israel's interest, and that a neocon (more accurately, Ziocon) cabal, already with an eye on using US military muscle to topple the Iranian regime, was leading the charge.

Simply stunning. Thank you, Bob!

On a more mundane level, though, could you please, in the national interest, name your Australian caller of March, 2003? It worries me no end that this credulous fuckwit could currently be embedded somewhere in our own foreign policy machinery, wreaking God-knows-what havoc.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Just Say No!

A vital message from South African youth:


South African Youth & Student Groups Slam Israeli Propaganda Holiday Trips, 11/6/15

"A meeting was convened earlier today by the leadership of the Progressive Youth alliance (PYA), which is composed of the African National Congress Youth league (ANC Youth League), the youth wing of South Africa's ruling ANC, the South African Students Congress (SASCO), representing university students at institutions of higher learning, the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), representing school learners across the country, and the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA), the youth wing of the South African Communist Party (SACP).

"The Israel lobby in South Africa is increasingly turning to old Apartheid-Day tricks to entice young South Africans and distract us from our solidarity with the Palestinian people and their progressive Israeli comrades. The Israel lobby is throwing free holiday propaganda trips and other gifts at young South Africans, trying to undermine solidarity with the Palestinian people...

"We view these holiday propaganda trips to Israel, organised by pro-Israel lobby groups such as the SA Israel Forum, the SA Friends of Israel and the racist Zionist Federation as nothing more than sanctions-busting propaganda trips similar to the 1980s junkets to Apartheid South Africa organised then, for example, by the South Africa Foundation (then operated in the USA) and the Strategy Network International (that operated in the UK).

"We would in particular single out the SA Israel Forum (SAIF)... The SAIF... was exposed a few years back by the media for being funded by the notorious Cape Gate company, which supplies fencing for the construction of Israel's Apartheid Wall. The SAIF was previously stopped from taking local mayors and municipal members on holiday propaganda trips to Israel in 2012. They now seem to be targeting students after having failed at government level.

"South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation came out very clearly in 2012, saying that: 'Because of the treatment and policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people, we strongly discourage South Africans from going there.' In addition, Minister Miate Nkoana-Mashabane said in 2013 that: 'The Palestinians had asked us in formal meetings to not engage with the [Israeli] regime. Ministers of South Africa do not visit Israel currently... We have agreed to slow down and curtail senior leadership contact with that regime until things begin to look better... the struggle of the Palestinian people is our struggle.'

"In November 2014, one of the highest decision-making bodies of the ANC (the leader of our Mass Democratic Movement to which we as organisations all belong) took a decision to: 'Join the call for a cultural, academic and education boycott of Israel, including travel bans for members and leaders of the ANC, the Alliance, Members of Cabinet, Members of Parliament and Government Officials.'

"Participation in these holiday propaganda trips is a violation of the policies and positions of our organisations, but in addition is a violation of the Palestinian civil society call (supported by a growing number of progressive Israelis) for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Participation in these holiday propaganda trips to Israel, like participation in holiday propaganda trips to Apartheid South Africa, will be viewed as the crossing of a picket line, and will be met with disciplinary action.

"We are of the opinion that these holiday propaganda trips to Israel are a direct response to the long-standing support of South African students, school-learners and young people to the Palestinian struggle as well as our active endorsement of, and participation in, the non-violent BDS campaign against Israel. It is no secret that our campuses and schools are heavily biased towards supporting progressive international struggles, like the just struggle of the Palestinian people. In fact, SASCO, the oldest and largest student movement on the African continent, was one of the first national student organisations to back the BDS campaign. Subsequently, the South African Union of Students, representing all SRCs in the country supported the BDS campaign... The holiday propaganda trips to Israel are an attempt to reverse the gains of young people on this issue.

"We stress that we are against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. In fact, in preparation for today's meeting and press conference, we reached out to our Israeli comrades from Boycott From Within who provided us with much guidance and information. They made it clear that... they did not agree with these white-washing holiday propaganda trips and are discouraging young South Africans from going...

"The organisers of the holiday propaganda trips to Israel try, just like Apartheid South Africa apologists used to in the 1980s, to suggest that the issue of Palestine-Israel is complicated. We maintain that the issue is simple: Israel must end its violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people. During the struggle against Apartheid we didn't ask as South Africans for members of the international community to travel to South Africa (as guests of pro-Apartheid organisations). Instead, we were very clear: support, from your countries, the boycott and isolation of Apartheid South Africa. The millions who supported our boycott did not have to come here to see first, then act. They trusted our guidance. Likewise today we trust the guidance of the Palestinian people. Almost the entire Palestinian civil and political society have called for BDS and we must heed this call...

"We hereby:

-Warn all students, school learners, young entrepreneurs and young people that there will be invitations, bursaries, and other 'gifts' from the Israel lobby that will target students and young people. Just say 'no' to these or risk being complicit in the bloodshed of our Palestinian counterparts!

-Declare that while we understand that some may be misled by the Israel lobby, we condemn any leader or member that participates in these Israeli holiday propaganda trips.

-Declare that we will be taking serious disciplinary action against any member or leader that participates in any of these... trips.

-Remind all members of our organisations that any contravention of an organisation's policies and positions, for example, its support for BDS and travel ban to Israel, is to be guilty of ill-discipline.

-Undertake to ensure that the position of not going on Israeli propaganda holiday trips be reinforced at upcoming conferences and congresses of our various organisations including the upcoming ANC NGC.

-Undertake that we will be, in our ongoing interaction at our campuse, schools, and communities, making all members aware of our positions on these reactionary Israel propaganda holiday trips. We will be starting, in fact, to morrow in Soweto at Naledi High School at a COSAS-organised program titled 'Commemorating Youth Month, Celebrating Learner Internationalism.'

"We are painfully aware that the number of Palestinian children killed by Israel in 2014 was the third highest number of children killed in a country. We know that approximately 1,000 Palestinian children have been left permanently disabled by Israel in 2014 alone. We know that more than 260 schools were damaged by Israeli airstrikes last year, including three public schools that were destroyed entirely, and 23 that were 'severely damaged.' We also know that 274 Palestinian kindergartens were damaged by Israel in 2014. We painfully recall last year's horrific Israeli killing on a Gaza beach of four young Palestinian boys who were playing soccer.

"As we are in Youth Month and will be commemorating Youth Day, we wish to extend our revolutionary solidarity to all Palestinian youth, students and school learners. You will overcome, just as we did. The time for Israeli Apartheid is coming to an end. Young people of the world unite!"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sweet Charity

"Heloise Waislitz was only 13 years old when her parents, Richard and Jeanne Pratt, took her to South Africa on a family holiday... I was completely traumatised... I thought 'How can you separate people by the colour of their skin?' And that's why I got into philanthropy,' she tells The Australian in the first wide-ranging interview." (The heiress who keeps on giving, Damon Kitney, The Australian, 8/6/15)

Yes, Heloise, it's dreadful what they got up to in apartheid South Africa back then. Of course, separating people by religion so that you and yours can go and live in Israel but Ahmed Bloggs in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp just across the border in Lebanon can't, that's perfectly OK, right? But I digress:

"In 1995 Richard Pratt made Heloise... the chairman of the Pratt Foundation. He implored her to give and give, declaring he had never heard of an unworthy charity... Few know Waislitz as one of the nation's leading philanthropists, for which she is today [8/6] being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia. The Pratt Foundation... run by distinguished [Zionist] journalist Sam Lipski for the past 17 years... donates to causes in Australia, the US and Israel, giving away $15-$17 million a year."

Tax deductible of course.

The Pratt Foundation's best known project in Israel is probably Beersheva's Park of the Australian Soldier, where rambammed Australian politicians go to learn that Australian troops, by ejecting the Turks from the southern Palestinian town of Beersheba (as it was then known) in World War I, were not engaged in paving the way for the implementation of the proclaimed Allied war aim of a post-war settlement based on the principles of the 'right of self-determination' and the 'consent of the governed' for Palestine's then 90% Arab population, but rather paving the way for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

This deliberate linking of the military exploits of Australian troops in Palestine in World War I with the lobbying exploits of the Zionist movement in London at the same time has, as I have shown in previous posts on the subject, become a staple of Zionist propaganda directed at uninformed Australians.

Pratt Foundation CEO Sam Lipski, for example, put it this way in a recent issue of the Spectator magazine:

"On the same afternoon that the 4th and 12th Light Horse regiments... raced towards Beersheba... Lloyd George's war cabinet met in London. It agreed to support 'the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people...' A few days later, on 2 November, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote to lord Rothschild advising him of the British government's decision... More than any other political event... the [Balfour] Declaration... greatly invigorated the Zionist movement [and] paved the way for Israel's emergence 31 years later... If the Turks had held the line at Beersheba... and if the first world war had ended with the decaying Ottoman empire still ruling Palestine, then the Balfour Declaration would have been meaningless. The Light horse victory ensured that didn't happen." (Beersheba Diary, 31/5/15)

What Lipski doesn't tell us, of course, is that, instead of making illegitimate promises to the Zionists in London in 1917, the British had a clear moral and legal obligation to honour their earlier 1915 pledge to the Arabs, given by the British High Commissioner in Cairo to the Arab nationalist Sharif of Mecca, to support Arab independence in the Middle East, including in Palestine, if the Arab forces agreed to join with the British in driving the Turks out of the Middle East.

That Anglo-Arab pact of 1915 was scrupulously observed by the Arab forces who fought and died (alongside the British and the Australians) all the way from Mecca to Damascus for an independent and unified Arab state in the region. Unfortunately, the Arabs were betrayed by Anglo-Zionist collusion and deal-making far from the scene of battle.

The sad truth is that if the Australian troops who'd captured Beersheba had had any inkling of what was afoot in the smoke-filled backrooms of Whitehall, they may well have had second thoughts about the entire Palestine campaign, let alone Beersheba. 

Lipski concluded his piece thus:

"Legendary the Beersheba victory may be for many. But for most Australians it's not as legendary as the Gallipoli defeat. For most Israelis, and many Australian Jews, the Light Horse's contribution to Israel's eventual establishment is virtually unknown."

Not if Lipski or the mayor of Beersheva have anything to do with it, however:

"Come the centenary in 2017, Mayor Ruvik... wants thousands of Australians and Israelis to come to Be'er-Sheva, not just to mark the the 100th anniversary, but to honour and celebrate his city's permanent Anzac legacy. I am booking early."

So too, I imagine, will Heloise Waislitz.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gullible's Travels

Is there no end to the goings and comings of the rambammed? Or to their wide-eyed credulity?

Australia's answer to Britain's Colonel Kemp,* retired major-general Jim Molan, mastermind of Operation Fury (Fallujah 2004), defender of Operation Cast Lead (Gaza 2009), architect of Operation Sovereign Borders (Australia), and all-round advocate of smiting them hip and thigh with a great slaughter, has just returned from Israel with a thumbs-up for Israel's Operation Protective Edge (Gaza 2014) in the Australian.

For sheer simple-mindedness, the opening paragraphs of his Israel trod carefully in Gaza war (10/6/15) are hard to beat.

"We sat in the Israeli kibbutz 800m from the closest Gaza Strip building. Four Israeli women told stories of life during operation Protective Edge, the 50-day conflict last year between Israel and Hamas, of the rain of rockets and mortars, 15 seconds warning, days in shelters and of a four-year-old child killed by shrapnel.

"The rockets impacted on every aspect of life but the effect of finding one of the many sophisticated tunnels dug over several years at the very door of the kibbutz for Hamas fighters to kill civilians more precisely and personally [???!!!] was an even greater shock. 'It is not the people of Gaza,' the woman said still visibly disturbed. 'It is Hamas. We are of the Left of Israeli politics and want peace so much. The sound of our planes flying overhead to bomb Gaza challenged every belief I have. But we will not live with terror. Before Hamas we had Palestinian friends in Gaza and we care for those people, it is not their fault. Perhaps we will be friends again one day.'

"Having spent a week in Israel courtesy of a pro-Israel organisation, I found myself saying rather gratuitously: 'As a foreigner with only a week in Israel, I say that your military truly reflects your care for the people of Gaza.' I meant well, knowing that perhaps 2,200 Gazans died of all causes [???!!!] in the latest clash, but she turned on me, saying: 'Of course they do. They reflect our values. They are our sons'."

We are of the Left of Israeli politics and want peace so much...

The sound of our planes flying overhead to bomb Gaza challenged every belief I have...

Perhaps we will be friends again...

Your care for the people of Gaza...

They are our sons...

Can you believe this nonsense?

I bet it was high fives all round for the ladies once Molan had gone. 

[*See my 17/4/15 post The Trouble With Colonel Kemp.]

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Is AIJAC Getting Its Money's Worth?

Sarah Ferguson: How do you account for [the Israel lobby] wielding so much power?
Bob Carr: I think political donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists to Israel.

Yet another rambamming of LibLabs took place last month, courtesy of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council's (AIJAC) Rambam Israel Fellowship Program. Those who just couldn't resist this time were: Mal Brough (Lib MP for Fisher), Andrew Leigh (shadow assistant treasurer), Dean Smith (WA Lib senator), Bridget McKenzie (Vic Nat senator), Joanne Ryan (Lab MP for Lalor) and Sean Edwards (SA Lib senator).

For those of you who wish to know:

a) whether the Australian taxpayer and/or AIJAC is/are really getting his/her/its money's worth;

b) the heretofore unrevealed fact that some of our pollies are managing to exercise a degree of self control when the AIJAC operatives come knocking; and

c) some of the hilarious utterances of those under the influence

... read on:

Mal Brough was apparently so overcome by his trip ("illuminating and sobering") that he felt compelled to address federal parliament on the subject. In fact, to my knowledge this is the first time a rambammed pollie has held forth on the subject of his rambamming in parliament:

"For the Prime Minister... of Israel, the reality is that you have literally 15 seconds between receiving a warning and missiles landing in Beersheba, a place known so well to many Australians." (Mal Brough's visit to Israel, jwire.com.au, 28/5/15)

This carefully-crafted sound-bite, so familiar to all of the other rambammed slumbering in the chamber at the time, was obviously still in the 'gee whiz' category for Mal. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to occur to him to enquire, in the manner of the late, great Julius Sumner Miller, Why is it so?

"I defy anyone to come up with a comment by an Israeli official that they wish to obliterate the Arab world, that they wish to destroy the Palestinian people, that they wish to attack Iran, that they wish to take out those forces in Lebanon just for the sake of it... Those words do not exist... But sadly, there are Persians and Arabs who actually believe that no Israeli, no Jew, has the right to be in the nation of Israel."  (ibid)

(Mal, of course, is not in the least concerned with the 1 million Palestinians who were actually wiped off the map of Palestine when it was re-branded 'Israel' in 1948, or with those Zionist ultras who are, even as we speak, sharpening their knives in preparation for the mass ethnic cleansing of Palestine's remnant Arab population still to come...)

Those words do not exist? Oh, really? Let's see:

Here's Israel's genocidal Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, on the Palestinian people last year:

"The Palestinian people is the enemy... its women, its cities, its villages, its property and infrastructure... Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women... they are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads..." (See my 3/6/15 post Meet Israel's Charming New Justice Minister)

Here's Israel's Defence Minister, Moshe Ya'alon, last month on Iran:

"I remember the story of President Truman who was asked, How did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing... 200,000 casualties? And he said, When I heard from my officers that the alternative was a long war with Japan... I thought it was a moral decision... That's what I'm talking about. Certain steps in cases in which we feel we don't have the answer by surgical operations, or something like that."

Here's Israel's Transport Minister, Yisrael Katz last year on Lebanon:

"If such a scenario does materialize, we will raze Lebanon to the ground. We will return it to the Stone Age."

Here's Israel's Deputy Defence Minister, Matan Vilnai, in 2008 on Gaza:

"The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger Shoah."

Here's Israel's Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit in 2008 on Gaza:

"Any other country would have gone in and leveled the area, which is exactly what I think the IDF should do."

In fact, Mal was so inspired by his rambamming that he actually admonished his fellow MPs:

"I think it behoves those who have declined the opportunity to travel to Israel and learn about it to now do so and open their minds in relation to some attitudes which they hold dear which they may find confronting when they are confronted by the facts."

Thanks to Mal we now know that which we knew not before, namely that there are still some curmudgeons in federal parliament declining the Israel lobby's invitation to be 'illuminated and sobered'.

As for the other rambammed, this was about as good as it got:

Andrew Leigh:

"One of the best running tracks I've ever enjoyed - a 5k stretch of train track in Jerusalem that's been boarded over." (Tweet 3/5/15)

Dean Smith:

"This morning I visited the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, later today I head to Bethlehem as part of the AIJAC delegation." (Tweet, 3/5/15)

"Today in Israel I am travelling to Ramallah to meet Palestinian representatives, then to the Knesset before arriving in Tel Aviv." (Tweet, 4/5/15)

"In Tel Aviv today, soon to meet IDF at Gaza Erez, then to the Park of the Australian Soldier at Be'er Sheva." (Tweet, 5/5/15)

"This morning I am flying from Tel Aviv to the border with Lebanon, then to the northern Israeli town of Safed." (Tweet, 6/5/15)

Bridget McKenzie: Not even a tweet!

Joanne Ryan: Ditto!

AIJAC had more luck in Sean Edwards, who retweeted: 

"?@AIJAC Update Jun 3 @MalBrough MP & Sen @SeanC Edwards recently joined AIJAC in Sydney to report on their Ramban [sic] study visit to #Israel"

(So only Brough and Edwards fronted the AIJAC report-back. Is AIJAC getting enough bang from its propaganda buck here? The silence from Leigh, McKenzie and Ryan must have been DEAFENING for them.)

Like Mal, Sean too felt compelled to share his 'insights', albeit in the Spectator magazine of June 6, under the heading Australian diary. Some highlights:

"There would be few vocations bearing less fruit than that of official Israeli government negotiator. Another Australian, whose name I won't impart, he speaks about negotiating in a region where a 'win-win' outcome has an altogether different meaning than yours and mine. You see, in the Middle East 'win-win' means 'I win twice'. His pragmatism is evident when he concedes parts of Jerusalem might need to be turned over to international custody, but the problem the negotiator and his countrymen face and that no level of pragmatism will negate is that no Palestinian leader wants to be remembered as the guy who struck peace with the Jews."

OK, so now you know why there's no peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it's the latter's fault! Anti-Semitic bastards!

"Ramallah. A leader of the Palestinian opposition, Mustafa Barghouti, meets us here. 650,000 illegal settlers and 625 military checkpoints dotted along the wall, he says."

How boring these facts when compared with those snappy Israeli talking points and sound bites! Anyway, when it came to Israeli settlements, Sean had already been immunised:

"The Gush Etzion settlement shares one thing in common with all of the other settlements. 'There's a reason they're all on the high ground,' offers a former military officer... Controversial they are but the Israelis haven't added a single new one in more than a decade and they would surrender many of them under a negotiated peace plan."

(Predictably, Sean hadn't heard of Netanyahu's pre-election promise not to evacuate any settlements.)

Barghouti may as well have been talking to... the Apartheid Wall. Just why he, and others like him, allow themselves to be used in these propaganda exercises is one of life's little mysteries. Certainly, Sean's contempt for Barghouti is evident: "Old men, old prejudices, old parties. Depressing."

"I join Dave Sharma and his family in Tel Aviv for drinks and seek his counsel on many of the things I've heard from generally partisan sources. He's Australia's youngest ever ambassador and an excellent sounding board."

Partisan sources? Sean couldn't possibly mean the Israelis now, could he? Anyway, I'm sure that Israel's Australia's man in Tel Aviv set him straight.

"Next day, at Ziv Hospital in Israel's north, another Australian; a pediatrician spending his days fixing Syrians from the civil war [?!]. An investment in hearts and minds that will pay off when his patients stop to consider, despite the fashionable hatred for the Jews, who helped them when they needed it."

Ah, good old Ziv Hospital! Could Sean have consulted Dave re those vicious rumours that Ziv is the propaganda facade behind which Israel is aiding and abetting the salafi/takfiri aggression against Bashar al-Asad? (See my 12/12/14 post, A Side of Israel the World Too Rarely Acknowledges.)

Now how's this for an admission:

"In a sense the tour didn't teach me anything I didn't already know: after two thousand years in limbo, these people now have their land and will give it up for no one."

WTF! Don't tell me that this bloke's been imbibing Zionist Kool-Aid along with his Clare Valley Shiraz for yonks, and really only went along for the ride! Seriously now, AIJAC...

Monday, June 8, 2015

That Food on the Stove

"I do completely agree that to turn falafel to something that is considered Israeli food is just totally wrong." - Yotam Ottolenghi, quoted in Yotam Ottolenghi & the authors of 'The Gaza Kitchen' discuss food, conflict, culture, bonappetit.com, 27/3/13)

Damn right, Yotam. Just like turning Palestine into something called Israel.

But I digress:

"When Israel expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their villages and homes in 1948, many left with little more than the clothes on their back. Food was left on the stove. Crops were left unharvested. But the land emptied of its inhabitants was soon occupied by new residents.

"From 1948 to 1953, almost all new Jewish settlements were established on refugees' property... During these early years, many Palestinian refugees attempted to return to their lands. By 1956, as many as 5,000 so-called 'infiltrators' had been killed by Israeli armed forces...

"The Nakba in 1948 was the settler colonial conquest of land and the displacement of its owners, a dual act of erasure and appropriation. Citing 'reasons of state', Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion appointed a Negev Names Committee to remove Arabic names from the map...

"But it did not stop with dynamite and new maps. The Zionist colonisation of Palestine has also included culture, notably cuisine. This is the context for the so-called 'hummus wars': it is not about petty claims and counterclaims, rather, the story is one of colonial, cultural appropration and resistance to those attempts.

"In the decades since the establishment of the State of Israel on the ruins and ethnically cleansed lands of Palestine, various elements of the indigenous cuisine have been targeted for appropriation: falafel, knafeh, sahlab and, of course, hummus. Though these dishes are common to a number of communities across the Mediterranean and Middle East, Israel claims them as its own: falafel is the 'national snack', while hummus, according to Israeli food writer Janna Gur, is 'a religion'." (Israel's obsession with hummus is about more than stealing Palestine's food, Ben White, thenational.ae, 23/5/15)

Israeli appropriation of Palestinian cuisine, of course, is only the most recent manifestation of Zionist theft in Palestine, and one designed to facilitate the fictional claim to somehow being native (give or take 2 millennia) to the area.

It should never be forgotten that back when the Zionist movement was still establishing itself in Palestine under the protection of British guns (1918-48), Zionists settlers wouldn't be seen dead eating falafel, hummus and the rest. Check out this little propaganda gem from 1935

"Four years ago, there were no cafes in Palestine except for a few Arab cafes or restaurants in the older sections of the town, where, in their picturesque garb, they squatted on the floors smoking narghillas. These older places have been replaced by more up-to-date Jewish cafes where modernly dressed Orientals and Christians patronize these places amid light and cleanliness, unknown in the old regime, where orchestras entertain the guests, with high class foods and drinks.

"The most popular cafe in Jerusalem is known as The Vienna, where the elite of the community and other well-known personages are to be found among the guests. The Europa is a much larger and much gayer place than the Vienna. There, the audiences are more cosmopolitan and there is dancing and other amusements for the guests. Many Arabs go to the Europa. There are many other smaller places, among them the Machnes Yehudah which caters specially to the Oriental Jews." (Palestine's night life goes modern! High class, modern cafes and restaurants now offer good food, drinks, music!, M.L. Avner, The American Jewish Outlook, 13/9/35)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Danby's Guide to Australian Politics

The Australian has just discovered Greens leader Richard Di Natale's 'clarification' that, while he supports the existence of Israel as a state - in the context of a two-state solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict - that doesn't necessarily mean he supports its existence as a Jewish state for Jews everywhere. (See my earlier posts on this subject.)

IOW, Di Natale doesn't support the central Zionist thesis that 'Israel' belongs not only to those Jews who happen to live there now but to all Jews, including the usual Zionist zealots quoted by Christian Kerr in his report Di Natale 'caved in' to Israel extortionists (5/6/15).

One of those was Labor's 'Minister for Israel', Michael Danby MP, who was reported as saying that:

"... the episode undermined 'the image of moderation that the Greens... is so desperate to cultivate.' He said other parties would be 'excoriated' over such a reversal."

Just think about that for a moment.

In effect, what Danby is saying is that anyone who seriously believes that he, Michael Danby, is really an Israeli is a political moderate.

But anyone who thinks he's just an Australian, no more, no less, is a howling political extremist and deserves to be "excoriated."


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Factchecking David Kilcullen

I was listening recently to Islamic State & global terrorism: where to now? (1/6/15) on Radio National's Big Ideas program.

Presenter Paul Barclay was interviewing David Kilcullen, introduced as "a former Australian army colonel, with a PhD in insurgency movements. He has been a counterterrorist adviser to the US and worked closely with Iraq War supremo, General David Petraeus, and US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Kilcullen is critical of many aspects of the West's strategy, post 9/11, which, he argues, led to the rise of Islamic State. He warns the global terrorist threat is now the new normal. So how do we defeat ISIS?"

Nothing special. Just another of those bland, softball ABC interviews with a reliably safe subject who'll possibly go on, like other 'clanking colonels' before him, Mike Kelly (Lab) and Andrew Nikolic (Lib), to become a celebrity candidate for one or the other party. Parachuted into a safe seat would seem appropriate here.

Still, at least Kilcullen did get around to stating the bleeding obvious, namely that, "If we hadn't invaded Iraq, there wouldn't be any ISIS today."

Anyway, somewhere towards the end of the show, the interview took a somewhat more interesting turn, for me at least, when Kilcullen mentioned Israel.

He had just been telling us that the West needed to get serious about ISIS, by which he meant eliminating it. At which point Barclay wondered whether the US might not be feeling a tad war weary these days. (The US war weary? We wish!)

Kilcullen responded by asserting that, unfortunately, the price you pay for isolationism is a police state, or words to that effect. Presumably, he meant that if we didn't get stuck into ISIS over there, ISIS would be stuck into us over here. He went on:

If anyone's ever been to Israel - I have not, but I've heard from people who have, that very domestic security stuff is the price you pay for taking...

Paul Barclay: Well, you destroy democracy in order to save it.

David Kilcullen: Exactly.

Damn! I wish Barclay had let Kilcullen finish his bloody sentence, so that I don't have to infer what he was going to say. Anyway, what I imagine Kilcullen PhD meant was that poor little Israel is so menaced by Palestinian baddies that it has no choice but to erect walls and barriers and checkpoints, and flood the streets with security personnel and troops, otherwise... KABOOM!

IOW, if I've got him right, Kilcullen PhD seriously has no idea just who is menacing who in ISRAELI-OCCUPIED Palestine. Extraordinary!

And then you've got Barclay (described on RN's website as "a Walkley Award-winning journalist and broadcaster with an appetite for ideas and in-depth analysis and discussion," and is 53-years old to boot - no spring chicken in other words) invoking the word "democracy" in relation to Israel and not even hinting that what may superficially resemble a police state in Israel is actually the wherewithal needed to keep a COLONISED and OCCUPIED people down.

Anyway, Barclay continued along these lines:

I used to host a national talkback program on Radio National during the very hot period after 9/11 and you get a lot of free advice on how to deal with the global terrorist threat... and the view that I got from many, many people was that if we just gave the Palestinians back their land, let them have their own state, if America stopped roaming around the world as if it owned the place, and if you treated Muslims and their culture with the respect they deserved [we wouldn't have a problem]. What is your answer to that?

DK: First answer is to quote Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, who was asked this very question: 'What can we do that's gonna change your calculus?' And he said, 'We are not fighting so you will offer us something, we are fighting to destroy you.' Yes, there are probably people out there who you could deal with but there's still a very hard core of people who are not about some kind of deal with the West and if we just change our behaviour this can all end. These [people] are about totally redefining all human beings on the planet. So there's this element out there that's...

PB: And they're the people you say we need to annihilate?

DK: Their ability to function as a state, yes, not kill every last one.

Now if we just stop there. Kilcullen PhD has just broadcast to the planet that Hassan Nasrallah's Hezbollah is coming to get us. Seriously.

Google that quote about "...we are fighting to destroy you," and you find it's attributed not to Hezbollah's current secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, but to a dude (a word Kilcullen loves to toss around) by the name of Hussein Musawi. You also find that the word 'destroy' is replaced by 'eliminate'.

The 'Massawi' quote can be found, for example, in such fear-mongering Islamophobic rants as America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (2006) by Mark Steyn (p 151), and Citizen-Soldier Handbook: 101 Ways Every American Can Fight Terrorism (2009) by Michael Mandaville (p 6). It is in the nature of these things, of course, that no citation or context is supplied, just the same old sentence endlessly recycled.

And what do you know? It even pops up in Kilcullen PhD's own book, Counterinsurgency (2010), followed merely by this: "Hussein Massawi, Hezbollah (2003)."  (p 167)

So who is Hussein Mussawi? In Steyn and Mandaville he's described as "the former leader of Hezbollah."

But look him up in some reputable tome on the subject of Hezbollah and you'll find as follows:

Hezbollah: Born With a Vengeance (1997), Hala Jaber:

"Islamic Amal had been started by Hussein Musawi in 1982, following Nabih Berri's political stance towards the Israeli invasion. Musawi was one of the few visible radicals in the early 80s. He was one of the many militants who held America responsible for encouraging and allowing Israel to invade and occupy Lebanon. His continuous denunciations of the West and his close relations with Iranian radicals made him a prime suspect during the West's desperate search for the names behind the new, invisible Islamic phenomenon." (pp 53-4)

In the Path of Hizbullah (2004), Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh:

Hussein Mussawi is mentioned merely as the leader of Islamic Amal.

Hizbullah: The Story From Within (2005), Naim Qassem:

No mention.

Hezbollah: A Short History (2007), Augustus Richard Norton:

No mention.

IOW, Hussein Mussawi is not a leader of Hezbollah

Interestingly, if you consult Kilcullen PhD's own book, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One (2009), this is what you get on Hezbollah:

"Hizballah, as a Shi'a organization that embodies elements of terrorist, insurgent, propaganda,charity, and social work, with a global reach [WTF?!], profound political influence in the Levant, and a client-proxy relationship with the Iranian regime, is a non-state instance of expanding Shi'a influence." (p 18)

There's no mention whatever here of Hezbollah's primary characteristic, namely that it is a Lebanese resistance movement born in response to the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1982. Mind you, he's quite capable of describing East Timor's FRETILIN, which fought a guerilla war against Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 to 1999, as a resistance organisation (p 208). But Hezbollah? Forget it. How could anyone possibly resist an Israeli invasion and occupation?

Kilcullen PhD resumes:

And the second is this bar fight analogy. So the situation we're in is George Bush walks into a bar and punches a bunch of people and starts a big bar fight and then hands it over to Obama who sits quietly on his bar stool, and maybe that's a great solution if you haven't already punched a bunch of guys and started a bar fight, but now we're in this fight so you gotta deal with it.

The Anglo-US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a bar fight? Seriously? What nonsense, it was a bloody home invasion!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Meet Israel's Charming New Justice Minister

Hi, Ayelet Shaked here. I'm Israel's BRAND SPANKING NEW (5/15) justice minister. Welcome to my FB page.

Let me introduce myself: I'm 39-years-young, a software engineer by training, my party is 'Jewish Home', and my hero is Yitzhak Shamir. And I like Israel. No, just joking. I love Israel! XOXOXO

What I hate is... Palestinians. They really suck! You see:

"The Palestinian people have declared war on us, and so we must respond with war.

"No, no, no, not just another operation... no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings, none of that nonsense. Enough already with the oblique references, OK?

This is a war. Know WTF that means, war?

"No, no, no, not a war against terror, or against extremists, and certainly not a war against the Palestinian Authority...

"No, this is a war between two people.

"And the enemy is? You guessed it: The PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!

"And why are they the enemy? Hell's bells, don't ask me, ask them! They started it, OK?

"Shit, I just don't understand why it's so damn hard to speak plainly about these things. Why do we have to make up a new name for this war against the Palestinian people every other week? Why is everyone so horrified when it comes to understanding that the Palestinian people, every last one of them, is the enemy?

"For G-d's sake, every war is a war between two peoples, and in every war the people who started the war, every single one, is the enemy, OK?

"So declaring war's no war crime. Nor is responding with war. Nor is using the word war. Nor is clearly defining who the enemy is. On the contrary, the morality of war, is based on the assumption that there are wars, that war is not normal, and that in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, its elderly, its women, its cities, its villages, its property and its infrastructure...

"Look, behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads, and this includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons. Nothing could be more just than that! Yeah, and the same for the homes in which they raised those snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."*

[*My ever-so-slightly tweaked translation of a posting - since deleted - on Ayelet Shaked's FB page. See Israeli lawmaker's call for genocide of Palestinians gets thousands of Facebook likes, electronicintifada, 7/7/14.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Zionism's Long March Through the Institutions

Remember Rudi Dutschke's idea of a leftist 'long march through the institutions of power', aimed at achieving cultural hegemony or dominance in society? In relation to 'the Left' you'll probably only come across the expression these days in the anti-Left rantings of the likes of Gerard Henderson (or Gerard (Gollum) Henderson as Mike Carlton so felicitously calls him).

That doesn't, of course, mean that there is no long march through the institutions going on out there. How else, for example, to describe Zionism's penetration of our parliaments, both federal and state, through the formation of Parliamentary Friends of Israel groups? These currently exist in federal parliament, and in the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Western Australian parliaments.

Now we have this:

"The Queensland Parliamentary Friends of Israel met last week for the first time since the election of the new Labor government. More than 20 members attended from both major political parties, including opposition leader Lawrence Springborg... [Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies (QJBD) president Jason] Steinberg... said an Israel study tour... was [a] possibility going forward. 'That's definitely the plan, obviously tying in with AIJAC [Rambam] and other similar programs,' he said." (Qld pollies unite for Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 29/5/15)

QPFOI seems to have been formed last year during the inglorious, one-term reign of Campbell Newman.

For the record, some of the other names mentioned in the AJN's report on the parliamentary side are Steve Minnikin (National MP for Chatsworth) and Linus Power (Labor MP for Logan). On the Zionist side, there's - *sigh* - Vic (I Get Around) Alhadeff (NSW Jewish Board of Deputies).

These PFOI groups would certainly make an interesting subject for a thesis by some Palestine/Israel savvy political science student out there.