Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Unfooled

It was Abraham Lincoln who famously observed, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Well, he was right, even in today's Benighted States of America:

"A reliable scientific poll of 2,000 Americans taken during 1-6 November 2017 - just a month before US President Donald Trump announced that America's embassy will move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv - showed that 63% of Americans were opposed to the move, and 31% supported it." (Poll: by 2-to-1, Americans oppose moving US embassy to Jerusalem, Eric Zuesse, globalresearch.ca, 13/12/17)

Trump Declaration Protests in Australia

Melbourne and Adelaide had theirs yesterday.

For the rest:

Canberra
Fri 15, 2pm, Moonah Pl, Yarralumla
Perth
Sat 16, 11am, Murray St Mall, Murray St
Brisbane
Sat 16, 3pm, King George Sq, 110 Ann St
Sydney
Sun 17, 1pm, Sydney Town Hall, George St

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Those with 'Foreign Policy Fixations'

Bob Carr on political donations from those with - ahem - "foreign policy fixations":

"Sooner or later Canberra is going to decide to reset its relationship with Beijing... Here are seven things that can make it possible... Two, on foreign donations... Ban those from any source that may reasonably be thought to be seeking to influence Australian foreign policy, even from Australian citizens who may have foreign policy fixations." (Seven steps to ease fears over dragon at our door, The Australian, 12/12/17)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Trump as God's Instrument

Those who would rather die than think:

"In a Pensacola, Florida rally Friday evening, Republican state Senator Doug Broxson suggested to supporters of Donald Trump that the president's controversial decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may usher in the biblical end times. 'Now, I don't know about you, but when I heard about Jerusalem - where the King of Kings [applause] where our soon coming King is coming back to Jerusalem, it is because  President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel,' Broxson predicted. The crowd cheered.

"This week, theological scholar Dr Diana Butler Bass wrote a Twitter thread explaining the link between recognition of Jerusalem, evangelical Christians, and the apocalypse. That is important because rebuilding the Temple is the event that will spark the events of the Book of Revelation and the End Times.' According to Bass, the counsel of evangelical advisers that Trump surrounds himself with take such 'End Times' prophecies literally. 'Of all the possible theological dog-whistles to his evangelical base, this is the biggest,' she continued. 'Trump is reminding them that he is carrying out God's will to these Last Days. They've been waiting for this, praying for this. They want war in the Middle East. The Battle of Armageddon, at which time Jesus Christ will return to the Earth and vanquish all God's enemies.'

"She warned that for some evangelicals this is considered a 'climax of history. And Trump is taking them there. To the promised judgment, to their sure victory. The righteous will be ushered to heaven; the reprobate will be banished to hellfire,' Bass went on. 'People believe this. Really believe this. Have given their lives to these ideas, sing about them in their churches, evangelize others, teach them in Sunday schools. And, this morning, with the news of Jerusalem, these people are ecstatic. This is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. And Donald Trump is not only acting on a campaign promise, but enacting a theological one.'

"She went on to explain that the reason many white evangelicals supported Trump to the tune of 80% is more than an abortion issue. Many actually believe that Trump is unfolding God's purpose. 'They believe that Donald Trump is God's instrument to move us closer to the Rapture, the Judgment, and the End,' she wrote. 'Because to them, that's actually the beginning - the beginning of their reward and heavenly bliss.'

"Other religious groups might raise hell about the disruption of peace and stability, but Bass explained that evangelicals don't care because they're anticipating peace in another world than the Earth. 'What matters is that Jesus comes back in Judgment,' she continued. 'To these sorts of Christians, that Judgment is the only true peace. Everything is phony, deceptive, even evil. Millions of American Christians believe all this. Millions of Trump voters. Sacred history is unfolding right now because of Donald Trump and God. They've based their faith, their identity, their purpose, their eternal lives on these ideas. Trust me. There's no arguing with any of it.'

"Dr Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas celebrated Jerusalem officially becoming the capital of Israel because it will be where Jesus Christ returns. 'It is the place where Jesus, a Jew himself, was crucified and where he was resurrected. It is the place where he will set foot again on earth at his second coming,' he said in a statement. The United Church of God names the 7 prophecies that foretell the second coming of Christ:

1. The human race would have the ability to exterminate itself (nuclear weapons).
2. A Jewish homeland had to be reestablished in the Middle East (Trump has now proclaimed Jerusalem the capital).
3. There must be two leaders: The end-time king of the North and king of the South: "At the time of the end the king of the south shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land [the Holy Land], and many countries shall be overthrown' (Daniel 11: 40-41).
4. An end-time union of European nations (European Union).
5. End-time rise and fall of Israel and Judah.
6. The gospel will be preached in all the world (YouTube).
7. Instant worldwide communications and God's final witnesses (The Internet)." (Theological scholar explains shocking reason Trump's supporters celebrated Armageddon at Florida rally, Sarah K. Burris, alternet.org, 9/12/17)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Matthew Levitt's 'Balfour Moment'

"Dr Matthew Levitt, an expert in counter-terrorism with pro-Israel think tank the Washington Institute, said he believed most dire predictions of critics would probably not happen, and noted that Trump's statement on the decision was nuanced, calling for all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites." (Trump's week of wins, at long last, Nick O'Malley, Sydney Morning Herald, 9/12/17)

Hello? Nuance? Trump?

You can just imagine the likes of Levitt commenting on the Balfour Declaration in 1917: 'Balfour's declaration was nuanced, stating that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine".'

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Trump Declaration

A very comprehensive and insightful essay by Nada Elia on Trump's formal embrace of a Greater Israel. It hits just about every nail on the head:

"It is 'the morning after,' and the world, with few exceptions is denouncing Trump's declaration that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. With those few exceptions, politicians globally are making vapid statements about the 'dangers' of that declaration, namely that it would lead to an escalation of violence, and jeopardize the 'peace process.' There seems to be little recognition of the relentless violence of Israeli settler-colonialism, and the complete violation of the Geneva convention and international law by both Israel and the US president.

"There is something to be said about Israel's deeply-seated need for 'recognition,' of its right to exist, its right to 'defend itself,' and its claim that Jerusalem is its capital city. That need betrays the (sometimes repressed) knowledge that Israel is a usurper, that Jews globally do not have a 'right' to become settlers, and that what Israel is 'defending' is an illegal occupation. Specifically, in the case of Jerusalem, the city is illegally annexed, with a clear system of apartheid privileging one socio-political ethnicity over the indigenous people. It is no wonder a president, Trump, who openly aligns himself with white supremacy as home, would naturally favour Jewish supremacy in historic Palestine. This is his 'Lord Balfour moment,' in which, in a gesture of imperial largesse, he presumes to hand over land that is not his, to another people. Britain's gambit did not work out so well 100 years ago, and neither will Trump's gesture. It may satisfy his own ignominious hubris, his ambition to conclude 'the deal of the century,' but it cannot bring about justice.

"And yet Trump's announcement does not jeopardize the peace process. This is because 'Oslo' was still-born, it just has not been buried yet. Rather, for the past 20 years, it has been on life-support, with no chance of survival. And there has been no 'peace' during the 'process,' only growing injustice, more disenfranchisement of the indigenous people, ongoing ethnic cleansing, and a genocidal siege on two million Palestinians in Gaza. This is the 'process' that led to two intifadas, and created the political context of global grassroots solidarity in the form of BDS.

"And still politicians continue to prop up this cadaver. The European Union, for example, holds on to the chimera of a two-state solution, and 'negotiations' that will determine the fate of Jerusalem. 'There is a UN resolution on this issue and the issue of Jerusalem must be raised in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,' the EU ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, said as he announced that the EU will not be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has finally unplugged the useless apparatus. Whether the US embassy is moved or not - and that is yet to be determined, and cannot possibly be accomplished in under two to three years - what Trump has achieved is the formal recognition that the US has never been a fair mediator, a 'neutral broker,' but rather that it has always supported Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid. Democrats have been more hypocritical about it, consistently increasing their financial aid to Israel even as they criticized the settlements as an obstacle to peace. Trump lacks any and all diplomacy, and if there is anything he is good at, it is his unabashed embrace of various oppressive systems. His national base is white supremacists, his global base is Zionism, another form of ethnic supremacy.

"The mask has come off. Both in the US as well as in Israel, which is open about its desire to keep on expanding. 'From the river to the sea' is not only the Palestinian dream of liberation, since all of historic Palestine is liberated, it is also the Zionist vision of Greater Israel, which the settlers have been slowly but surely making a reality, with the 'facts on the ground.'

"If any pain is felt today,and in the coming weeks, it is the pain that comes from removing a band-aid that has long covered up a festering wound. The wound will certainly heal better now. And the rage is an expression of the people's recognition that there seems to be no end to imperial hubris in sight. Yet now is not the time to glorify the 'sumoud narrative,' the pain, the rage, the outrage are too raw. Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem, will pay a very high price for for Trump's declaration. Yet we persist, because we must.

One of the earliest Zionist visionaries, Vladimir Jabotinsky, remains relevant today. In his 1923 treatise, The Iron Wall, where he laid out his vision for settler colonialism, he explains, with impressive foresight: 'It may be that some individual Arabs take bribes. But that does not mean that the Arab people of Palestine as a whole will sell that fervent patriotism that they guard so jealously, and which even the Papuans will never sell. Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized. That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of 'Palestine' into the 'Land of Israel.'

"No, Trump's declaration has made clear that, just as with South Africa last century, the US government is on the wrong side of history today. And just as with apartheid South Africa, the people of the land, along with the global community, will determine the outcome. Apartheid, or one democratic state?

"Even in the searing pain of 'the morning after,' as we look around and see a clearly-demarcated strategy of resistance, and take in the multiple expressions of global solidarity with the Palestinian people, we know we will overcome, someday." (Trump's 'Lord Balfour moment' is formal recognition the US was never an honest broker, mondoweiss.net, 7/12/17)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Jerusalem Tweets

Jeremy Corbyn - Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, including occupied Palestinian territory, is a reckless threat to peace. The British Government must condemn this dangerous act and work for a just and viable settlement of the conflict. (6/12/17)

Meanwhile, on another planet entirely:

Malcolm Turnbull - 0
Bill Shorten - 0
Julie Bishop - 0
Tanya Plibersek - 0

Thursday, December 7, 2017

There Goes Jerusalem 2

What a fizzer Trump's speech on the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was!

Completely ignoring what international law has to say on the matter (Israel is a "belligerent occupant"), Trump essentially said little more than that since Israel has occupied (he didn't use the 'o' word of course) East Jerusalem since 1967, far from having a problem with that, we recognise the fact. IOW: occupiers rule, OK?

As for what we'd been led to believe by the Guardian - that he would, in part, "base his decision on ancient history," the only mention of that came with a reference to Jerusalem as "the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times."

Not, of course, that what "the Jewish people" did or didn't do "in ancient times," has anything to do with the current status of East Jerusalem. Still, I was sort of hoping for a spot of light relief if Trump had gone down that path. Had he done so he would presumably have alluded to 'the Jerusalem of Kings David and Solomon.'

Only, of course, to be contradicted by the archaeological record. In the words of Israel's foremost archaeologist, Israel Finkelstein:

"But is the ridge south of the Temple Mount the location of the actual City of King David? This is one of the most excavated spots on the face of the earth, but so far fieldwork has not yielded any monuments from the 10th century BCE, the time of King David. Recent claims by an archaeologist working at the site regarding the supposed discovery of the palace of King David and the city-wall built by King Solomon are based on literal, simplistic readings of the biblical text and are not supported by archaeological facts." (In the eye of Jerusalem's archaeological storm - the City of David, beyond the politics and propaganda, Israel Finkelstein, forward.com, 26/4/11)

PS (8/12/17): The following nonsense appeared in The Australian of 7 November: "Archeological [sic] evidence objectively demonstrates the connection of Jerusalem to the Jewish people for more than 3000 years. Antiquities don't lie, relics don't have political agendas. Yet while the science of climate change is embraced as gospel by the UN, the scientific proof og ancient Jewish habitation of Jerusalem is not." (History backs Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Kate Ashmor)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

There Goes Jerusalem 1

OFFS:

"Donald Trump will declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday the White House has said, breaking with years of precedent and potentially leading to unpredictable consequences for the Middle East... In his remarks to be delivered in a diplomatic reception room in the White House, Trump will base his decision on ancient history and current political realities that the Israeli legislature and many government offices are in Jerusalem." (Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move US embassy - White House, Julian Borger & Peter Beaumont, theguardian.com, 6/12/17)

Can't wait to hear about the "ancient history"!

Shakespeare's Romper Stomper II

"Romper Stomper's TV revival will have its world premiere in South Melbourne tonight and the latest instalment in the white supremacist saga has already put multicultural and Muslim leaders on tenterhooks... Romper Stomper creator Geoffrey Wright said storytellers had to avoid giving in to political correctness. 'Are people concerned if someone watches a show like this, they'll have their head turned? Nobody thinks Shakespeare's Richard III is an endorsement of child killers'." (Disquiet over Romper remake, Richard Ferguson, The Australian, 5/12/17)

I knew William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare was a friend of mine. Mr Wright, you're no William Shakespeare.

'Acceptable Opinion': The China Lobby

I love word association games, don't you? Imagine you're engaged in one with an Australian journalist and you said, 'lobby'. What's he/she going to say?

Why, 'China' of course:

"In a 2015 interview with the China Economic Net website... Senator Dastyari is quoted as extending his 'warm congratulations' to the Chinese people on the anniversary of the 'Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War'. Swinburne University China expert John Fitzgerald said the phrase... was a 'loaded term'. Dr Fitzgerald claimed Senator Dastyari... must be speaking from dot points drafted by someone with close links to the Chinese communist party or government - a minder or go-between'... " (Dastyari under pressure as Chinese interview surfaces, James Massola & Nick McKenzie, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/12/17)

Apparently, the hordes of Labor and Liberal politicians who flock to Israel lobby-organised 'Independence Day' gigs and there declare their undying love for all things Israel simply aren't on our journalists' radar. Presumably, that's because, when it comes to Israel, no Israel lobby-generated PR dot points are required as our politicians always speak straight from the heart!

Now, surprise, surprise here's another piece on China - same paper, same edition:

"As New Zealand sinologist Anne-Marie Brady of Canterbury University has written: 'The Chinese government's foreign influence activities have accelerated under Xi. The focus of media attention has been on Australia, but the People's Republic of China's attempts to guide, buy, or coerce political influence abroad are widespread.' But why?... 'At its core,' says an American expert on China's influence operations, Peter Mattis, 'to survive, the party has to manipulate the ideas around it. What questions are asked, what's on the spectrum of acceptable opinion, there's a consistent effort to shape that." (Hexing Beijing's 'magic weapon', Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/12/17)

Of course, the Israel lobby doesn't have to put quite the same effort into manipulating the ideas around it - what questions are asked, what's on the acceptable spectrum of opinion etc, etc. And that's because it's got journalists like Hartcher (rambammed 2010) parroting their lines and/or avoiding altogether the kind of in-depth discussion he devotes here to Chinese influence. (And this despite the fact that he once quoted an "Australian official" who told him that it wouldn't matter who Australia's prime minister was because the Israelis had us "by the balls... partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby.")*

Silly me - I would have thought that if a foreign power could be described by a government insider as having us by the balls the matter would be deserving of some journalistic scrutiny, but then that's why I'm not the Herald's international editor, right?

[*See my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy.]

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christian Wahhabis...

... in 4th/5th century Syria:

"Decades before the laws of the land permitted them to, zealous Christians began to indulge in acts of violent vandalism against their 'pagan' neighbours. The destruction in Syria was particularly savage. Syrian monks - fearless, rootless, fanatical - became infamous both for their intensity and for the violence with which they attacked temples, statues and monuments - and even, it was said, any priests who opposed them. Libanius, the Greek orator from Antioch, was revolted by the destruction that he witnessed. 'These people,' he wrote, 'hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues, and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die... So they sweep across the countryside like rivers in spate.' Libanius spoke elegiacally of a huge temple on the frontier with Persia, a magnificent building with a beautiful ceiling, in whose cool shadows had stood numerous statues. Now, he said, 'it is vanished and gone, to the grief of those who had seen it' - and the grief of those who now never would. This temple had been so striking, he said, that there were even those who argued that it was as great as the temple of Serapis - which, he added with an irony not lost on later historians, 'I pray may never suffer the same fate.'*

"Not only were the monks vulgar, stinking, ill-educated and violent they were also, said their critics, phoneys. They pretended to adopt lives of austere self-denial but actually they were no better than drunken thugs, a black-robed tribe 'who eat more than elephants and, by the quantities of drink they consume, weary those that accompany their drinking with the singing of hymns.' After going on their rampage these men would then, he said, 'hide these excesses under an artificially contrived pallor and pretend to be holy, self-denying monks once again.' Drunks they might have been but, as Libanius saw, they were ferociously effective. 'After demolishing one [temple], they scurry to another, and to a third, and trophy is piled on trophy' - and all this 'in contravention of the law'." (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey, 2017, pp 107-08)

I'm now reading Catherine Nixey's ground-breaking, Christians-behaving-badly, history, and, guess what: plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose. Who'd have thought? The ideal Christmas gift!

[Destroyed by a Christian mob led by Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, in AD 392.]

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ziopedia?

Spot the interesting phrase:

"These four anniversaries [31/10/17 Beersheba; 2/11/17 Balfour; 29/11/47 Partition; Sadat in Jerusalem 19/11/77] outline an amazing story - perhaps the 20th century's most successful and inspiring story of self-determination and an ethnic people building a thriving new nation-state." (Out of the Great War was born a great new democracy, Colin Rubenstein, The Australian, 29/11/17)

IOW, providing one accepts, against all the evidence, the Zionist claim that Jews are an ethnic group, Israel is an ethnocracy. If, however, one insists, correctly, that Jews are a religious group, then Israel should be defined as a theocracy. Either way, its polity is completely at odds with our own multi-ethnic and multi-religious conception of the state, a matter our Israel-loving politicians seek to gloss over at every turn.

***

In any case, while googling the term 'ethnic group', I noted this downright peculiar definition on Wikipedia: "An ethnic group is a group of people who are considered to be the same in some... ways. They may all have the same ancestors, speak the same language, or have the same religion."

The same Wikipedia entry also goes on to refer to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976), and specifically Article 27, as "ensuring the rights of ethnic groups." One may be forgiven, therefore, for assuming that Article 27 of the ICOCAPR supports Wikipedia's definition of 'ethnic group' as including religion.

If, however, we look up Article 27, we read: "In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist... " As can be seen, ethnic minorities and religious minorities are clearly separate categories.

The question arises, therefore: has this particular Wikipedia entry been the subject of a Zionist makeover? (Note too, Rubenstein's reference to "self-determination." This fundamental political right (routinely denied the Palestinians) is the thrust of ICOCAPR's Article I(1): "All peoples have the right of self-determination.")

Finally, compare the Wikipedia definition with that of the Encyclopedia Britannica: "Ethnic group, a social group or category of the population that, in a larger society, is set apart and bound together by common ties of race, language, nationality, or culture." (britanicca.com)

Religion is nowhere to be found.

FYI: See my 11/3/17 post Wikipedia Warning.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

St Theresa

Words:

"Theresa May is travelling to Saudi Arabia and is expected to raise the issue of the country's role in Yemen. In an interview with the BBC's Alex Forsyth, she said she was 'concerned' about the developing humanitarian crisis there." (PM 'concerned' about the developing humanitarian crisis there, bbc.com, 29/11/17)

Action:

Fun fact: Theresa May signed off P1.1bn worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia this year. Tweet, Patrick Galey, 29/11/17)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Section 44 (i) & Israel's Law of Return

Section 44 (i) of the Australian Constitution famously reads:

"Any person who - Is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power... shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives."

It of course has implications for any Jewish MPs and senators who take seriously the Zionist presumption that Israel is the state of all Jews, wherever they reside, and are entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship through Israel's Law of Return (1950).

The following news report is the first time, however, so far as I am aware, that Israel's Law of Return has been invoked in media commentary on the impact of Section 44 (i) on the eligibility of many of our parliamentarians to sit in federal parliament:

"A government citizenship hit-list suggests more than 25 Labor MPs and senators could be under a constitutional cloud because of dual nationality, as Parliament prepares for a new disclosure regime to kick in next week. The West Australian has obtained a comprehensive spreadsheet prepared by Coalition staff members, which presents research into the heritage of all sitting Labor parliamentarians [...] The document also suggests that Victorian Labor senator Kim Carr could have inadvertently obtained Israeli citizenship automatically granted to spouses under the Law of Return before 1999. It is unclear whether Senator Carr's spouse Carole Fabian holds Israeli citizenship, with the document saying the potential split allegiance 'has not been looked into'." (Coalition Government draws up hit-list of Labor pollies under dual-citizenship cloud, Sarah Martin and Nick Butterly, 25/11/17)

By drawing attention to Israel's Law of Return in this way, the Turnbull government has potentially unsheathed a two-edged sword, raising the prospect of  its environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, to give but one example, coming under pressure to formally reject his 'right' under Israeli law to become a citizen of Israel.

It is worth remembering here that it was only the principled opposition of Britain's anti-Zionist Jewish establishment to the Zionist project in 1917 that ensured the inclusion of the following guarantee  - "... nothing shall be done which may prejudice... or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country" - in the Balfour Declaration. What an irony then that Israel's Law of Return could conceivably prejudice the rights of Australian Jews to stand for election to Australia's federal parliament.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Re-definitial Dizziness

I'm getting dizzy.

In the beginning was anti-Semitism.

Then along came the Zionist wordsmiths, who gave as 'the new anti-Semitism.'

(Somewhere along the line the hyphen got lost.)

Now, apparently, it's either 'rightwing antisemitism,' or "leftwing antisemitism usually presented as 'anti-Zionist or anti-Israel'." (Antisemitic incidents in Australia up nearly 10% over year, study* says, Helen Davidson, theguardian.com, 28/11/17)

I wonder what "leftwing anti-Semitism [not] usually presented as 'anti-Zionist or anti-Israel'" looks like.

And what tomorrow's debasing of the coin will bring.

[*By the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).]

Monday, November 27, 2017

Meanwhile, Back at the Peace Process...

"With no progress to show for months of effort in trying to get a new peace process going in Israel, diplomats say that the Trump Administration is increasingly 'fed up' with Israeli officials, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular.

"'They want us to implement confidence-building measures in relation to the Palestinians, and we say no to every request,' one Israeli diplomatic source was quoted as saying. He added the US had increasingly urged Israel to remove checkpoints or allow Palestinians more building rights on Palestinian soil, but that Israel keeps citing security concerns to refuse.

"Israel has also had a settler representative at every meeting, and they've objected to every US proposal. Given how desperate the Israeli coalition is for settler support, this always stops any US proposal dead in its tracks.

"The biggest problem, officials say, is how dismissive Netanyahu appears every time discussions of a Palestinian state, or making any progress at all, comes up. The expectation seems to be that Israel can keep delaying the process until the US gives up." (Diplomats: Trump 'fed up' with Netanyahu dismissing peace efforts, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 24/11/17)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Move Over Geraldine, Fauziah's Here!

Unbelievable! I've just listened to Israel's 'most hated' columnist on Radio National's Sunday Extra (26/11). Visiting Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy was being interviewed by RN presenter Fauziah Ibrahim. (Despite the Arabic name, it seems she's actually from Singapore, and has been working in broadcast journalism for 15 years, including for Al-Jazeera.)

I can't remember, however, when I last heard questions/statements quite as excruciatingly slanted in Israel's favour as Ms Ibrahim's. So much so that I found myself paying more heed to her questions than to Levy's answers!

See what I mean:

*When you say 'automatic [Israeli] soldiers' are you implying they're brainwashed, they don't actually know what they're doing, and they don't have an understanding of the larger context of their role?

[Oh no, Fauziah, they're all Einsteins! No, better, budding high-tech entrepreneurs!]

*This military has been in existence for a long time... are you seeing a difference between this generation and the one you served [in the army] with?

*Have you ever apologised to the parents of the soldiers who died defending this country?

[OFFS!!!???]

*Israel is surrounded by hostile Arab nations. That's an undisputable [sic] fact. Don't you think it's unfair to target the young men and women who were serving their country, risking their lives to protect and defend the country?

[OFFS!!!??? second time around.]

*I want to talk about the elite or the decision-makers. Is there a slow change in mindset? Recently, Israel's president rejected an appeal to pardon Elor Azaria. He was jailed for 18 months for killing a wounded Palestinian attacker. Do you see this refusal to pardon him as a shift in mindset?

*Can you blame [the Israelis] though, when they are surrounded by hostile neighbours and everywhere you go in the media you continually hear about Islamic extremism, and that threat seems to be larger than ever against Israel?

[Hostile neighbours again! This woman sounds like the proverbial broken record.]

*You have been quoted as saying that 'My biggest enemy is the [Israeli] centre and the Zionist left.' How do you counter the arguments of a group of people whose memories still hold the hurt of Nazi persecution and in Israel they have found finally their sanctuary?

[So the Zionist project in Palestine, even though it kicked off in the late 19th century, is all about the Holocaust? There were no Jewish settlers in Palestine before the Holocaust? Every Israeli is a Holocaust survivor, or the descendant of one?]

*How do you counter the views of a group of people who believe it is their God-given right that they live on the land their faith has promised them?

*When you first visited the Palestinian territories in 1967... Take us back to that time. What was your sense then?

*How did you feel about the war at age 14? It was a non-choice war!

[Oh, was it? Israel attacked the Egyptian air force on the ground in a pre-emptive strike on 5 June, 1967, and according to Israel's General Peled, Chief of Logistical Command at the time: "All those stories about the huge danger we were facing... an argument expounded once the war was over, have never been considered in our calculations. While we proceeded towards the full mobilisation of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our 'defence' against the Egyptian threat. This force was to crush once and for all the Egyptians at the military level. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel's existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analysing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army." (Le Monde, 3/6/72)

*When did you start to question your birth country's actions against the Palestinians?

*How do you deal with the the animosity from your own fellow Israelis? Do you find it frustrating that your voice is a minority in Israel?

*Do you think you may have any common ground with PM Netanyahu?

[!!!???]

*I want to go back to another leader, Shimon Peres... His politics started very hawkish then he became a dove. Explain how that shift came about.

*Another leader who started off hawkish and then became, not a dove, a little more centre, Ariel Sharon... He orchestrated Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and he had plans to withdraw from the West Bank. If a solution comes with a soldier, how much does politics sway them away from that solution?

[Ah, Sharon the peacemaker. Not at all sorry about the cold water here: "[C]ontrary to the prevailing assumptions, Sharon did not evacuate the Gaza settlements of his own free will. He cooked up his disengagement plan as a means to gain time, at the peak of international pressure that followed Israel's sabotaging of the Road Map. Yet still, at every moment since then, up until the very moment of disengagement, he was looking for ways to renege on this commitment, as he had done so many times previously. But this time he was forced to follow through with the Gaza pullout by the Bush administration. Though it was kept fully behind the scenes, US pressure on Sharon was massive, and included military sanctions on Israel." (The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine since 2003, Tanya Reinhart, 2006, p 4)]

*You are a champion of Palestinian rights. Are you also a champion of Palestinian politics?

*Do you feel guilty being an Israeli?

*How effective is BDS?

*It's not fair to target the Israeli citizen or companies through this boycott.

[But it's fine to target - literally - occupied Palestinians?]

*You support a one-state solution, but isn't that unrealistic? It means a whole rethink, a whole shift from Zionism, the Israeli identity. Where do you start?

[OMG, expecting Israeli Jews to think - Gideon, how could you?!]

Saturday, November 25, 2017

MBS's 'Impulsive Intervention Policy'

Must read:

The reverse Midas touch of Saudi Arabia's crown prince is turning the Middle East to dust, Mehdi Hasan, theintercept.com, 14/11/17

"Kudos to Germany's spooks. Back in December 2015, the German foreign intelligence agency, BND, distributed a... memo to various media outlets titled: 'Saudi Arabia - Sunni regional power torn between foreign policy paradigm change and domestic policy consolidation.' The document was pretty astonishing, both in its undiplomatic bluntness and remarkable prescience: 'The current cautious diplomatic stance of senior members of the Saudi royal family will be replaced by an impulsive intervention policy,' the memo warned, focusing on the role of Mohammed bin Salman, who had been appointed as deputy crown prince and defense minister at the age of 30 earlier that year.

"Both MBS, as he has come to be known, and his elderly father King Salman, the BND analysts wrote, want Saudi Arabia to be seen as 'the leader of the Arab world' with a foreign policy built on 'a strong military component.' Yet the memo also pointed out that the consolidation of so much power in a single young prince's hands 'harbours a latent risk that in seeking to establish himself in the line of succession in his father's lifetime, he may overreach,' adding: 'Relations with friendly and above all allied countries in the region could be overstretched.'

"And so it has come to pass. In fact, despite being repudiated at the time by a German government more concerned about diplomatic and commercial relations with Riyadh, the BND warning turned out to be eerily prophetic.

"Consider recent events in the Gulf. Can you get more 'impulsive' than rounding up 11 fellow princes, including one of the world's richest men and the commander of the national guard, and holding them at the Ritz Carlton on charges of corruption? Especially since MBS, who ordered the arrests only a few hours after his father set up an anti-corruption committee and put him in charge of it, isn't exactly a paragon of probity and transparency himself. Where, for example, did the crown prince find more than five hundred million dollars to spend on a luxury yacht while vacationing in the south of France last year?

"Is it anything other than 'interventionist' to force the resignation of the prime minister of Lebanon on a visit to your country and then put him under a form of house arrest (though the hapless Saad Hariri, a long-standing client of Riyadh, publicly claims otherwise and says he is heading back to Beirut this week)? Or to also detain the president of Yemen? According to an investigation by the Associated Press, 'Saudi Arabia has barred Yemen's President, along with his sons, ministers and military officials, from returning home for months.'

"That the crown prince of Saudi Arabia can, essentially, kidnap the elected leaders of not one but two Middle Eastern countries - and, incidentally, put the leading Saudi royal he replaced as crown prince under house arrest - speaks volumes about not just his 'impulsive intervention policy' but the shameless pass he gets from Western governments for such rogue behaviour. Imagine the reaction from the international community if Iran had, say, detained the Iraqi prime minister on Iranian soil after forcing him to resign on Iranian television. Yet President Donald Trump has gone out of his way to tweet his support for the crown prince and his father: 'I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing.'

"The more sober Europeans haven't been much better. President Emmanuel Macron of France, on a surprise visit to Riyadh last week, saluted MBS 'on the opening of his country and support for a moderate Islam.'

"Meanwhile, are we supposed to call the rift between the Gulf countries, instigated by the Saudis, with the support of the Emiratis, anything other than 'overreach,' to quote the BND, on the part of MBS? The crown prince and his cronies had assumed that tiny, defenceless Qatar would be brought to heel within a matter of weeks, if not days. Five months on, however, the Qataris continue to reject the long list of Saudi/UAE demands - including the closure of the Qatar-owned Al-Jazeera media network - and have retreated into the warm embrace of MBS's key regional rivals, Iran and Turkey. Bravo, Crown Prince!

Then there is Yemen. More than two years after the richest country in the Middle East began bombing the poorest country in the Middle East, there is no end in sight. MBS owns this disastrous conflict - he pushed for it, defended it, escalated it. But wasn't the recent Houthi rocket attack on Riyadh - which the crown prince called an act of 'direct military aggression by the Iranian military regime' - evidence of a complete failure of Saudi military strategy? Weren't those pesky Houthi rebels supposed to have been vanquished by the Royal Saudi Air Force by now? Instead, Yemen has become the world's worst humanitarian crisis - which MBS, as defence minister, shamefully intensified with his order last week to blockade all entry points into the country.

"From Lebanon to Qatar to Yemen, the much-lauded MBS has in fact proved to be the reverse Midas - everything he touches turns to dust. Maybe the authors of that scathing BND memo underestimated just how much of a disaster this favoured son of Salman would be both for the kingdom and for the wider region. The inconvenient truth about the crown prince is that he isn't only impulsive, he's incompetent: he isn't only ambitious, he's reckless. He is also a nationalist and a hawk who is bent on turning the longstanding Saudi/Iran cold war into a very hot war - and is even willing to ally with Benjamin Netanyahu's Israel in order to do so."

Friday, November 24, 2017

Can We Please Talk About John McCain Instead?

"Remonstrance from Australia is not going to persuade the US to invest more in its security assets in Southeast Asia. It will keep being drawn into Middle East quagmires and seems to love the whiff of cordite in the valleys of Afghanistan, now America's favourite war. Donald Trump hasn't even been able to find someone to serve as assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, a key position." (Faulty road map in a GPS world, Bob Carr, The Australian, 24/11/17)

OK, OK, OK, Bob, Trump may be a fucking fascist drongo, but he's our fucking fascist drongo, OK?:

"Last night, Senator Wong supported the US relationship and struck a positive tone about the future of the superpower. 'Our... policy approach is to work with the US as it is now, not as it might once have been, or, as some of its naysayers claim, it's going to become,' she said. 'The US is one of the most vibrant societies on earth, as energetic and full of potential as it has ever been.' Senator Wong said the relationship was 'deep, long-standing and institutional.' She pointed to the fact the US remained Australia's top partner in terms of two-way investment and the influence of the US Constitution on Australia's legal foundations, saying they laid the groundwork for deep intelligence and security links.

"Senator Wong highlighted the personal links underpinning the alliance, with a reference to Republican senator John McCain. 'Senator John McCain, whose family relationship with Australia dates back to the visit of the Great White Fleet in 1908, captured this beautifully when he spoke in Sydney earlier this year,' she said. 'He said, 'the animating purpose of our alliance is that we are free societies, founded by immigrants and pioneers, who put our faith in the rule of law, and who believe that our destinies are inseparable from the the character of the broader world order'." (Labor backs US alliance: Wong, Primrose Riordan, The Australian, 23/11/17)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bad Seed

"Roger Waters and Brian Eno have hit back at Australian-born musician Nick Cave after he accused the rock icons of trying to 'bully' and 'censor' him, and other musicians, over his Israel tour [...] At the end of the day, [said Cave] there are two reasons why I am here [in Israel]. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people, and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who who wants to censor and silence musicians'." (Israel boycott stinks, says Cave as critics rage, Rob Moran, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/11/17)

Memo to Nick Cave:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: anyone - ANYONE - in 2017 who still doesn't get that the Zionist project in Israel is, and always was, a monstrous violation of the rights of another people, and acts accordingly, cannot possibly have anything of value to contribute to people or planet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Liberal Zionism & the Spirit of Things

In the beginning (of the Zioinist movement) was the word. And the word (in Theodor Herzl's diary for 12 June, 1895) was Genocide: "When we occupy the land... We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border..."

Hence Israel's spiriting of  penniless Palestinians across the borders in 1948... and again (into Jordan) in 1967.

But Gaza, into which Palestinians from across southern Palestine had already been spirited in 1948? What to do with them? Well, the only border to spirit them across was the Egyptian border... into the Sinai Desert.

And how to spirit them there? A re-run of 1948 perhaps? No, that'd be a PR disaster in 1967. Hmmm:

"'Perhaps if we don't give them enough water they won't have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.' That is what Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol said in 1967 about Gaza, as revealed in newly declassified documents from the time. Ofer Aderet of Haaretz reported... about this today... Eshkol, the leftist 'liberal Zionist,' was very willing to send Palestinians to the moon: 'I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon,' he said.

"As is widely known, the standard UN definition of genocide includes 'Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.'

"These newly declassified documents reveal that the genocidal policy was indeed there already in 1967... Indeed, Eshkol was aware in the months after the 1967 war of the 'suffocation and imprisonment' in Gaza in 1967... And he was quite clear about this being an instrument to effect Israeli strategy: '... precisely because of the suffocation and imprisonment there, maybe the Arabs will move from the Gaza Strip,' he said.

"Eshkol was also paraphrasing Herzl, when Eshkol told the cabinet he was 'working on the establishment of a unit or office that will engage in encouraging Arab emigration.' He noted that 'We should deal with this issue quietly, calmly and covertly, and we should work on finding a way for them to emigrate to other countries and not just over the Jordan [River].' [...] (From Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967, Jonathan Ofir, mondoweiss.net, 17/11/17)

Monday, November 20, 2017

And the Answer Is?

"How is this not the biggest story in the world? 'Now in its 11th day, the blockade on almost all of #Yemen's seaports, airports & land crossings prevents the entry of food, fuel, medicines and supplies, exposing millions of people to disease, starvation and death.' #YemenFamine" (Sophie McNeill tweet, 16/11/17)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Through a Glass Darkly

Comment by Yeah, Right, 14/11/17 on Revealed - Saudi Plan to give up Palestine - for war on Iran at moonofalabama.org:

The way in which this plays out is almost pre-ordained.
There is no way that a formal, signed document will exist that states that when-you-shaft-Palestine then we-will-attack-Iran.

What will happen instead is that Trump will broker that 'understanding' between Israel and Saudi Arabia. A nod and a wink, and maybe even a handshake.

But the Israelis will insist that the Saudis have to do that Palestine-shafting first, and in The Most Public Way Possible so that the House of Saud can't take it back. Trump will say that this is reasonable, and the dumb-ass Saudis will mull over it then say 'OK, sure, if the Yanks vouch for you then so will we'.

The Saudis will then dump on Abbas.
The USA will then heap congratulations on the Saudis.
The Israelis will shout Yipeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Palestinians will descend into a deep despair.

And then...... [sound of crickets chirping].

Saudi: Hey, when are you going to attack Iran?
Israel: We're working on it. Give us time.
USA: Hey, I thought we had an understanding!
Israel: We do, this takes a lot of planning.
[crickets]
[crickets]
[crickets]
Saudi: What gives, guys?
USA: When are you going to attack Iran?
Israel: We changed our mind. Bite me.

Let's get real here: the Israelis have a track-record of 'agreeing' to a quid-pro, then immediately pocketing the 'quid' while somehow, some way, never actually getting around to delivering on the 'quo'.

The Saudis will shaft the Palestinians.
The Israelis will then shaft the Saudis.
The Americans will fume (in private) but ultimately do nothing.

And years later there will be an off-mike recording of Netanyahu boasting about how he f**ked over the Saudis, and gleefully explaining that the reason why he could do that is because the Americans are at least as dumb-ass stoooooopid as, well, a Saudi Clown-Prince.

I mean, haven't we seen this movie before?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Beyond Chutzpah

Israel lobby pot calls China lobby kettle black:

"... Labor MP Michael Danby delivered a tough speech... warning of China's rise in 'hard power' and praising the 'pushback by Australia's democratic system' against softpower initiatives. Mr Danby accused China of 'Comintern-like activity' and said it had increasingly pursued efforts to influence the politics and economies of neighbours in Southeast Asia and the Pacific... Mr Danby criticised efforts of China's United Front Work Department to guide activities outside China, 'working with politicians and other high-profile individuals, Chinese community associations and student associations, and sponsoring Chinese language, media and and other cultural activities'." (China's agents of influence run for cover, Paul Maley/Rowan Callick, The Australian, 17/11/17)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Balfour What?

In a month rich with historical anniversaries, namely the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and the centenaries of the Bolshevik Revolution and Balfour Declaration.  The first two, of course, are done and dusted, history if you like. But the Balfour Declaration, just keeps on keeping on, a grinding, slo-mo genocide of the Palestinian people - for anyone with eyes to see.

Now here's the thing. Whenever of late I've tuned in to the ABC's Radio National, never religiously I might add, the Protestant Reformation and the Bolshevik Revolution seem to be under discussion in one context or another. But of the Balfour Declaration... nothing.

OK, thought I, maybe I simply missed instances of RN chatter on the Balfour Declaration.

So I thought I'd conduct a little experiment. I typed each event into the ABC search bar, selecting mentions over the preceding 3 month period. (Keep in mind that these mentions could have been anything from a news item to an entire program.) Here's what I found:

Protestant Reformation - 21
Bolshevik Revolution - 5
Balfour Declaration - 3

Go figure...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Anatomy of a Zionist Dupe

This piece, The rise & fall of Priti Patel, by French-Algerian journalist Nabila Ramdani is a devastating critique of the Priti Patels of this world, without whose amorality, stupidity and greed, it should always be remembered, Israel's fifth columnists could not as easily go about their largely below-the-radar business of manipulating and corrupting Western polities in Israel's interest:

"Ask former colleagues of Britain's deposed Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel what they really think of her and you can see why her ministerial career was so short lived. She was a far from popular ex-lobbyist for the tobacco and alcohol industries whose political objectives once included the return of the death penalty. Beyond describing EU social and employment regulations as 'a burden,' the fierce but muddled Brexit champion also declared that 'the British are among the worst idlers in the world.' Fellow MP Crispin Blunt rightly suggested that Patel's rise to power was the result of positive discrimination, saying she was a 'great British Asian representative in the Conservative Party' and thus accelerated to a top job.

"Patel's overall demeanor was that of a reactionary far-right, low-intellect egotist with little interest in doing anything for anybody except for herself, and those with large bank balances. Her abject lack of integrity was reflected in supremely reckless behavior during her 16 months in government. Most catastrophically - and of course most significantly - this included falling into the hands of Israeli powerbrokers who wanted to use their diminutive new 'friend' to advance their own interests.

"In this sense, the Patel scandal is a spectacular example of how Israel hones in on morally weak but well-connected figures to try to control British policy. Their manipulation of Patel was so blatant that it was illustrated by a Twitter photograph of the permanently grinning MP posing on the terrace of the House of Commons in London with Gilad Erdan, arguably the most abrasive security enforcer in Israel's ruling Likud Party. Erdan is a linchpin of Israel's attempt to destroy the increasingly successful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which fights Israel's appalling human rights record through peaceful economic action. Just as controversially, Erdan is in charge of the large-scale targeting of influential foreigners deemed antipathetic toward Israel. At the time of her happy snap with Erdan - early September - Patel was in fact meant to be a supporter of Palestinians too, not least of all because she had a P13bn plus aid budget designed to alleviate the suffering of the world's poor. Instead, what she sought to do was cut Palestinian aid.

"Her one-sided disdain for the principal victims of Israel's colonialist regime extended to spending no time with any notable Palestinians during her wretched 'private holiday' to the Middle East in August. She was too busy glad-handing allies, including Benjamin Netanyahu himself, as well as the Israeli prime minister's Foreign Ministry Director General, Yuval Rotem. There are no known minutes of of Patel's discussions with those responsible for some of the most lethal, repressive and cruel policies in Israel's recent history. Not only have they backed more illegal land grabs but were directly behind the 2014 attacks on Gaza which saw more than 1,500 civilians murdered, including 551 children and 300 women...

"Patel could still technically be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act for these unrecorded exchanges with men like Netanyahu...

"Rather than taking an interest in Palestine's smashed infrastructure, illegal imprisonments, including hundreds of boys and girls, and all the other abuses and breaches of international law that characterize Israel's ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, Patel was far more enthusiastic about buttressing the war machine that enforces it. With breathtaking cynicism, she suggested that British taxpayers' money should be diverted into the woefully misnamed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) - one that spends most of its time on the offensive, and which already receives billions of dollars from the US.

"Following massacres such as Gaza, the IDF is currently involved in a murky initiative to treat fighters escaping Syria's civil war on the Golan Heights, an area that Britain and the rest of the world do not even recognize as belonging to Israel. Despite this, Patel visited a field hospital on the illegally occupied Golan with military and political personnel, so breaking all established protocols. Patients in such medical facilities include Al-Qaeda and Daesh militants, who are patched up by the Israelis before returning to the conflict against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

"Patel's view that this kind of 'humanitarian work' by the IDF is a worthy recipient of British taxpayers' money would have had everything to do with the hold of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) had on her. The group's president, the peer Stuart Polack, set up at least 14 covert meetings for Patel in Israel and the UK. The Tory fixer is now refusing to answer questions about his role in the rise and fall of the dismal Patel.

"This lack of democratic accountability has led to numerous conspiracy theories, including claims by pro-Israel propagandists - some calling themselves journalists - that the British Government have been lying about what they knew about Patel's Israel visit, and her own rogue foreign policy. In the midst of such sinister scheming, the Patel denouement did not solely expose the inadequacies of a low-grade chancer whose ruthless ambition was by no means matched by her abilities. Far more importantly, it shed light on the outrageous manner in which the agents of Israeli hegemony operate at the heart of sovereign governments." (arabnews.com, 10/11/17)

Monday, November 13, 2017

A 'Guest' of the Kingdom

Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri, Samia Nakhoul, Laila Bassam & Tom Perry, Reuters, 11/11/17)

"From the moment Saad al-Hariri's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday Nov. 3, he was in for a surprise. There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as prime minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel.

"The move thrust Lebanon back to the forefront of a struggle that is reshaping the Middle East, between the conservative Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite revolutionary Iran. Their rivalry has fueled conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where they back opposing sides, and now risks destabilizing Lebanon, where Saudi has long tried to weaken the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Lebanon's main political power and part of the ruling coalition.

"Sources close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia has concluded that the prime minister - a long-time Saudi ally and son of late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 - had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah. Multiple Lebanese sources say Riyadh hopes to replace Saad Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon's top Sunni politician. Bahaa is believed to be in Saudi Arabia and members of the Hariri family have been asked to travel there to pledge allegiance to him, but have refused, the sources say."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Look What the Doogue Dragged In

More Geraldine Doogue-facilitated Zionist propaganda pedalled at the ABC (11/11/17):

Elisabeth Asbrink (Swedish journalist and author of 1947: When Now Begins): ... Johann von Leers is one of the people who then settled in Buenos Aires and he works on a paper there that is created in 1947 and becomes a very important link between the Nazis in Latin America and the Nazis in Europe, and the interesting thing... with him is that he also builds very strong connections to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who was close to Hitler and close to the Nazi ideas*, and when Johann von Leers had to leave Buenos Aires he goes to Egypt, invited by the Mufti and there he becomes the chief propagandist against Israel, working for the Egyptian government. So here are ties going together, merging in a very strange way...

[Oh dear, what would the Zionists do without - drumroll! - the Mufti of Jerusalem!]

Geraldine (interrupting): So let's go to Palestine because you have a very strong link with this, and Britain, as you say in 1947, has spent 80m pounds in the previous 2 years trying to sort out what Churchill called "a senseless, squalid war with the Jews in order to give Palestine to the Arabs." So Britain, the colonial power effectively handed the challenge back to the UN and we're still very much dealing with the consequences. So when you look back at all this, what strikes you when you re-examine the history?

[Churchill, of course, was a Zionist, with zero regard for the Palestinian Arabs, but of course we won't go into that... ]

Asbrink: I learnt a lot reading about this and the process leading up to Israel's birth and I think the main insight is that Britain just backed down. They had created a situation for decades and then when it became too complicated and too expensive they just handed it over to the UN and said we don't want any part of the solution, just do whatever you want with it. And what did the UN do? They put together a committee and this had 4 months to solve the problem. Well, we know what happened and I follow this process so I think I also learnt that it was so much more random. It was never fixed...

[That's it? That's your main insight? No mention of the UN Charter-defying, Palestinian self-determination-violating UNGA Partition Plan? No mention of the American-Zionist arm-twisting of UN delegates to get it passed?]

Geraldine (interrupting): History's a lot less systematic when you examine it in the present tense, and in Egypt of course it spawned the Muslim Brotherhood - well, sort of, which was developing, and Hasan al-Banna, its founder, had an extra impact on history. What struck you when you re-examined it?

Asbrink: Well it surprised me that he was so decisive for what we're living with today He picks up this old word - jihad - which has sort of been sleeping and not being used and he inserts what he himself calls 'the art of death,' which actually is the love of death and the idea that dying is also a victory [...] and so this is a consequence of the way the British handled Palestine the way they did...

[No Nakba. No Palestinian refugees. Go straight to... jihadis!]

[*From the only book worth reading on this subject: "By focusing on Arab-Nazi ideological 'affinity,' writers have misrepresented the central goal of Arab nationalist cooperation with the Axis: the defeat of a common enemy." (The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin Al-Husayni & the Palestinian National Movement, Philip Matar, 1988, p 100)]

Friday, November 10, 2017

What's Behind the Patel Affair?

Although UK Tory minister and Israel luvvie Priti Patel has finally been booted by British PM Theresa May, Jonathan Cook speculates that there may be more to her assignations in Israel than meets the eye:

"Was Patel pursuing an 'alternative' policy towards Israel, or its neighbors? And if so, what was that policy, and did anyone senior to her authorise it? Her role in talking to senior Israelis bypassed the foreign office. Did she do so because officials there like Alan Duncan were seen as not sympathetic enough to Israel, and might try to sabotage it?... How does May, a fervent supporter of Israel, fit into this picture?

"Given British government secrecy, it will likely never be possible to provide definitive answers. But it is worth remembering that Israel, its still-powerful neocon allies in Washington and the Saudi regime are angling for the Israeli army to reverse the decisive gains Assad and his allies have made in taking back control in Syria in recent months.

"This week Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper that the Saudis were meddling yet again in Lebanese politics, forcing Hizbullah into greater political prominence, to provide the pretext for Israel to renew its confrontation with the Lebanese militia and thereby stoke a new war between Israel and Lebanon and Syria. In his words: 'Israel and Saudi Arabia are fully aligned in the regional struggle, and the Saudis cannot help but be impressed by Israel's increasing assertiveness to strike at Iranian threats in Syria... When the moment of truth arrives, Israel's allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing.'

"When the time comes, Israel will, as ever, rely on well-placed friends in western capitals to support and misrepresent its actions. Until her resignation, Priti Patel would undoubtedly have been one of those prominent champions of Israel helping out in a time of need." (From UK minister forced to resign over secret Israel meetings as questions continue to swirl, mondoweiss.net, 9/11/17)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Meet Planet Priti Patel

The government of PM Theresa May just gets better and better:

"Downing Street has admitted that International Development Secretary Priti Patel discussed with Israel the idea of giving the country British foreign aid cash. A Number 10 spokesman said a conversation had taken place between Ms Patel and Israeli officials, after it was reported that she had suggested funnelling money to the country's armed forces. Theresa May's spokesman highlighted that the country's army runs a hospital for Syrian refugees, but said the UK currently provides no financial support to Israeli forces and that there would be no change in policy.

"Any move to provide aid money to Israeli armed forces which have been engaged in bloody campaigns in Palestinian occupied territories, would prove hugely controversial in the UK. The admission heaps embarrassment on Ms May who was completely unaware that Ms Patel had met the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other key figures on her holiday to the country...

"The Downing Street spokesman said: '[Ms Patel] did discuss potential ways to provide medical support for Syrian refugees who are wounded who cross into the Golan Heights for aid. The Israeli army runs field hospitals there to care for Syrians wounded in the civil war, but there is no change in policy in this area. The UK doesn't provide any financial support to the Israeli army.'...

"Ms Patel only made Ms May aware of the meetings on Friday, more than two months after they took place, when reports began to emerge of talks she held with a politician and a disability charity..." (Priti Patel discussed giving British foreign aid money to Israeli army, Downing Street confirms, Joe Watts, independent.co.uk, 7/11/17)

What a credit to the Tories this woman is!

Not only is she a former tobacco and alcohol industry lobbyist, and a self-confessed Thatcher tragic, but one who, if the Parable of the Good Samaritan were applied to the Middle East, would have you believe that Israel, far from being the thief who stripped Palestine of her raiment, wounded her and left her half-dead, was actually the Good Samaritan:

"I have always been struck by the exceptional achievement that is the state of Israel. A country that has turned desert into fertile and plentiful land. A country that started with nothing, in a struggle for subsistence and survival and is now a world leader in technology and innovation. A country that despite the challenges of a turbulent region has become a democratic success story. A country that is at the forefront of the skills revolution, whether in technology, life skills, vocational skills, and is creating the most practical solutions to enhance the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in the world. The desire and responsibility to want to help others, coupled with a can-do attitude, is precisely the sort of Jewish Homeland that was dreamt by Herzl and was of course supported by the historic letter - the Balfour Declaration." (Priti Patel speech at third BICOM Jewish News conference - GOV.UK, 2/11/17)

Gooo Tories!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Oh-Puh-lease... 2

Mini book review in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald by Fiona Capp: Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War & Plea for Peace, Bana Alabed:

"For her first three years, Bana Alabed lived an ordinary, middle-class life with her family in Aleppo. Then bombs started exploding in her neighbourhood and everything changed. This child's eye view of the unfolding conflict in Syria brings home with great poignancy what it is like to have your childhood shattered by war. During the siege of Aleppo, her family's apartment is hit by a bomb and all they can do is crouch in their disintegrating basement and 'be stoned by the sky'. Bana's account is interspersed with letters from her mother, Fatemah, who writes eloquently of her guilt at being unable to shield her daughter from so much pain. Dear World is a moving antidote to compassion fatigue."

Note: Dear World: Inside the 'Bana of Aleppo' propaganda story (21stcenturywire.com, 29/9/17) is a sobering antidote to the warm and fuzzies should any of you succumb to this particular malady after reading the above.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Corbyn on Balfour

On November 2 this year, the moral and intellectual void at the helm of the British Conservative Party, PM Theresa May, declared for the Zionist entity in Palestine, just as, 100 years earlier, the wartime cabinet of David Lloyd George and Arthur James Balfour declared for the Zionist movement's statist designs on Arab Palestine.

Unfortunately, the British Labour Party's sole representative in the cabinet, George Barnes (Minister without Portfolio), concurred, laying the foundation for a century of bipartisan British support for Zionism, both in its pre- and post-state forms.

The current leader of the Labour Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, however, is (or appears to be) breaking ranks. Here's his official position on the Balfour centenary, delivered on November 2:

"Today marks the centenary of the British government's Balfour Declaration, which has shaped the modern history of the Middle East.

"The fact that this promise by what was then colonial Britain is celebrated by one side and commemorated as a disaster by the other reflects the continuing tragedy at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Balfour promised to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine while pledging that nothing would be done to prejudice the rights of its 'existing non-Jewish communities', a reference to the Palestinian Arabs who then made up 90% of the population.

"A hundred years on, the second part of Britain's pledge has still not been fulfilled, and Britain's historic role means we have a special responsibility to the Palestinian people, who are still denied their basic rights.

"So let us mark the Balfour anniversary by recognising Palestine as a step towards a genuine two state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, increasing international pressure for an end to the 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal settlement expansion and the blockade of Gaza.

"As many Israelis and Palestinians believe, there can only be a lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of a negotiated settlement that delivers justice and security for both peoples and states."

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Theresa May's 2 November Speech: Worse than the Balfour Declaration

Forget Sexminster, however diverting; the moral bankruptcy of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's government is nowhere on better display than in her appalling speech to guests attending a dinner in London on November 2, 2017 to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

That most "discreditable document," to borrow the words of J.M.N. Jeffries, "unlawful in issue, arbitrary in purpose, and deceitful in wording," was at least issued without the benefit of hindsight. However, despite 100 years of escalating genocide for the Palestinians, May's speech indicates that she has learnt ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about her country's starring role in this, the greatest of Britain's colonial crimes. As she makes abundantly clear in her speech, she is in fact "proud" of Britain's part in the creation of the State of Israel. ('Proud' is trotted out 3 times; 'with pride' twice.)

100 years of hindsight. 100 years in which to pause, reflect, learn, acknowledge, apologise and atone, and still she refuses to own the problem which Balfour, Lloyd George, Weizmann and the rest of the Anglo-Zionist cabal of 1917 bequeathed to the world.

May has thus delivered, if anything, a worse-than-the-Balfour-Declaration-speech, and, what's more, at an event heavy with symbolism, delivered it before the current incarnations of Lords Rothschild and Balfour.

Even worse, she's delivered it before a smiling, smirking Benjamin Netanyahu, the current incarnation of the arch-Zionist terrorist Menachem Begin, whose Irgun operatives blew up the seat of British Mandate Palestine's government, the King David Hotel, in 1946, with the loss of 91 British, Jewish and Arab lives. Netanyahu, moreover, is hell-bent, in sync with Irgun ideology, on realising the nightmare vision of an Arabrein Greater Israel, extending far beyond the Balfour Declaration's "national home for the Jewish people... in Palestine."

It's all here: Balfour's alleged "vision of peaceful co-existence," "leadership," and supposed regard for Palestinian "sensitivities" (I kid you not!); Israel's mythical "vulnerability" and "democracy"; the smearing of BDS and anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism; the hollow intoning of the two-state mantra; the faux balancing of illegal Israeli settlements with an alleged "Palestinian incitement"; falsified history; the invocation of Zionism's fictional "2,000-year dream" - with no mention whatever of the Palestinians' all-too-real, 100-year nightmare - and more.

Since PM May's truly shameful address constitutes nothing less than a re-affirmation of the Balfour Declaration, delivered in spite of the kind of hindsight unavailable to Balfour, it should be read in full, rather than in the form of mere media sound-bites. Here, therefore, is the official transcript (PM speech at Balfour Centenary Dinner - GOV.UK). The headings, interpolated comments, and highlightings are, of course, mine:

Lord Rothschild, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Chief Rabbi, distinguished guests, Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so pleased to be here with you tonight - and to be with you Lord Balfour on this special evening - as we mark the centenary of the letter written by your great-Uncle: which I believe to be one of the most significant letters in history.

A letter which gave birth to a most extraordinary country. And a letter which finally opened the door to helping make a Jewish Homeland a reality. It was a letter that is all the more remarkable when you consider its length, its context and its sensitivity.

First, it was exceptionally concise - just 67 words and one single sentence. In my experience such brevity is not typically a feature of letters from the Foreign Office!

Second, we should consider the context in which this letter was written. Let us cast our minds back to the time of 1917. In an era of competing imperial powers and with Britain still embroiled in the midst of the First World War, the idea of establishing a homeland for the Jewish people would have seemed a distant dream for many; and been fiercely opposed by others. Yet it was at this very moment that Lord Balfour had the vision and the leadership to make this profound statement about restoring a persecuted people to a safe and secure homeland.

[The Balfour Declaration says not a word about Jewish persecution, safety, or security, only the establishment of "a national home." The Zionist drafters of the declaration originally wanted "the National Home of the Jewish people" "reconstituted." They were not humanitarians, but nationalists, who wished to re-create an ancient tribal Israel, more mythology than history.]

Third, this was a letter that remains very sensitive for many people today - but it was not ignorant of those sensitivities. Indeed, Balfour wrote explicitly that: "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, of the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

[Balfour was so "sensitive" that he dismissed 90% of Palestine's population as "existing non-Jewish communities," and, in a 1919 memorandum, cold-bloodedly declared that "Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land."]

Thrice Proud

So when some people suggest we should apologise for this letter, I say absolutely not. We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel. We are proud to stand here today together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and declare our support for Israel. And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel. And as we mark one hundred years since Balfour, we look forward to taking that relationship even further.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu and I discussed in Downing Street earlier today, we want to deepen our links in areas where Israel is leading the world - in areas like agriculture, health, silence, technology and innovation. Israel is the true start-up nation and we are proud to be your partner.

Tears... for Israel

We also remain absolutely committed to Israel's security. For it is only when you witness Israel's vulnerability that you truly understand the constant danger Israelis face - as I saw on my visit in 2014, when the bodies of the murdered teenagers Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah were discovered. So I am clear that we will always support Israel's right to defend itself. And in a world where Britain and Israel increasingly face the same shared challenges and threats, I am just as clear that our security services will continue to deepen their already excellent co-operation to keep all our people safe.

A Great Deal of Pride in All We Have Achieved

So I believe we should gather here tonight with a great deal of pride in all that we have achieved - and all that Israel stands for as a symbol of openness, as a thriving democracy; and a beacon to the world in upholding the rights of women and members of the LGBT community.

But marking this centenary is not just about what has been achieved. We must recognise how difficult at times the journey has been - from the Jews forced out of their homes in Arab countries in 1948 to the suffering of Palestinians affected and dislodged by Israel's birth - both completely contrary to the intention of Balfour to safeguard all of these communities.

[Jews were not forced out of their homes in Arab countries in 1948. This was instead the fate of Palestinians at the hands of Zionist terror gangs in that year . Notice how May, a true Balfourian, euphemistically refers to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 as "affected and dislodged by Israel's birth," as though it were somehow a natural process. As for Arab Jews, they were deliberately uprooted by Zionist agents in the 1950s and brought to Israel so that they could occupy the stolen homes and lands (euphemistically dubbed 'absentees' property') of ethnically cleansed Palestinians.]

Lip Service

And we must, I believe, seize this opportunity to renew our resolve on what is still to be achieved. For sadly, Balfour remains unfinished business - as his fundamental vision of peaceful co-existence has not yet been fulfilled. And I believe it demands of us today a renewed resolve to support a lasting peace that is in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians - and in the interests of us all. So I am delighted to see US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross here with us this evening and, Wilbur, you can be assured of the full-hearted support of the United Kingdom for the efforts that the Trump administration is making to bring the parties together to reach that peace deal. A peace deal that must be based on a two-state solution, with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian State. And let us be honest with each other: there will need to be compromises from each side if we are to have a realistic chance of achieving this goal - including an end to the building of new settlements and an end to Palestinian incitement too.

BDS=Anti-Semitism

But as we work together towards Balfour's vision of a peaceful co-existence we must be equally clear that there can never be any excuse for boycotts, divestment or sanctions: they are unacceptable and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to them. Neither can there ever be any excuse for anti-Semitism in any form. Just as there is no excuse for hatred against Muslims, Christians, or anyone based on the peaceful religions they choose to follow, the place of their birth, or the colour of their skin. And yes, this means recognising that there is today a new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism which uses criticisms of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist. This is abhorrent and we will not stand for it. That is why the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of an international effort to create a new definition of anti-Semitism which explicitly calls out this inexcusable attempt to justify hatred. So let me be clear. Criticising the actions of Israel is never - and can never be - an excuse for questioning Israel's right to exist, any more than criticising the actions of Britain could be an excuse for questioning our right to exist. And criticising the government of Israel is never - and can never be - an excuse for hatred against the Jewish people - any more than criticising the British government would be an excuse for hatred against the British people. Put simply, there can be no excuses for any kind of hatred towards the Jewish people. There never has been - and there never will be.

All Holocaust, No Nakba

And let me say this too. We will never forget where that hatred and prejudice can lead. That is why it is right that the United Kingdom will have a permanent and fitting National Memorial to the Holocaust standing next to Parliament together with a learning centre that will teach the lessons of the Holocaust for society today and act as a voice against hatred in the modern world. And I am delighted that just last week, the cross-party United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation announced that Sir David Adjaye, Ron Arad and the landscape architects Gustafson Porter and Bowman have won the international design competition for the memorial and learning centre with their evocative concept design for this new national landmark at the heart of our democracy.

The Spirit of Balfour Lives On

In saying all of this I do not underestimate the scale of the challenges we face together. The challenge of fighting hatred in all its forms. The challenge of bringing people together. The challenge of fulfilling Balfour's vision of peaceful co-existence. But neither do I underestimate the scale of the prize that is at stake. I saw a glimpse of that prize just last Saturday when I attended a charity concert with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on London's South Bank - an orchestra that brings together young Israeli and Palestinian musicians as well as those from several other Arab countries to promote co-existence and intercultural dialogue. They were performing together raising money for the Jacqueline du Pre Tribute Fund which helps fund MS research. And through their shared love of music they escaped the divides of their history to come together for a united cause. In their actions, and in many others like it, the spirit of Balfour lives on. So let us tonight be inspired by that spirit. Let us recognise the contribution of Balfour in fulfilling what was once little more than a two-thousand year old dream for a persecuted people. Let us take inspiration from the vision he showed as we work together for that future where Arabs and Jews can live in peaceful co-existence. And as we look to that future, let us mark with pride what has been achieved with the creation of the State of Israel and - in Balfour's words - "a national home for the Jewish people."

Friday, November 3, 2017

Same Sex Marriage at Beersheba

For king & country? Nah. For the sons & daughters of Abraham, mate :

"Nearly 4,000 years ago, Abraham came to Be'er Sheba... Exactly 100 years ago, brave ANZAC soldiers liberated Beer Sheba for the sons and daughters of Abraham and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to reenter the stage of history." (Netanyahu's address at the 31/10/2017 memorial ceremony for the ANZAC troops who fought and died at Beersheba on 31/10/17, jwire.com.au)

Blood brothers, mate:

"This momentous occasion was a historic milestone in the natural kinship between our peoples."

And Bible-bashers to boot, mate:

"ANZAC soldiers... were retracing the footsteps of the heroes of the Bible... stepping on the verses of the Bible, and they knew it, and their clergy who spoke of this so movingly a moment ago, they knew it too."

Round two, mate:

"In the defeat at Gallipoli, two things were forged. One, the absolute resolve of the ANZAC forces to redeem their fallen brethren and establish this glorious victory here." 

Love at first sight, mate:

"And the second thing that was forged was the first meeting between ANZAC fighters and Jewish fighters, the first Jewish fighters who stood shoulder to shoulder with them in Gallipoli, the first Jewish fighting force in 2,000 years."

A National Home among the gum trees, mate:

"When I joined the Israeli army 50 years ago... I was given a broad hat. It was called an Australian hat... We also sat next to eucalyptus trees that came from Australia."

***

Yes, Bibi, even if they tag me a Christian Zionist, I'm going to say it: fulfilling history!!!:

"'The mad Australians', was a common description. Not so mad. Brave, heroic, turning the tide of history, making history, fulfilling history." (Turnbull's address)

Oh yes, Bibi, without the ANZACs Johnny Turk'd still be ruling the, er, your roost:

"That [taking of Beersheba] did not create the State of Israel, but enabled its creation. Had the Ottoman rule in Palestine and Syria not been overthrown by the Australians and New Zealanders, the Balfour Declaration would have been empty words."

I'm sorry, Bibi, I just can't contain myself any longer. I want to shout it from the rooftops! Izzy, Izzy, Izzy, Oi, Oi, Oi:

"But this was a step for the creation of Israel... and while those young men may not have foreseen, no doubt did not foresee the extraordinary success of the State of Israel, its foundations, its resilience, its determination, its indomitability against overwhelming odds, their spirit was the same. Like the State of Israel has done ever since, they defied history, they made history and with their courage they fulfilled history."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

100 Years of Balfour = 100 Years of Palestinian Dispossession

Exactly 100 years ago today the British war cabinet issued that most heinous of foreign policy documents, the Balfour Declaration. In its name, Britain unleashed wave after wave of European Zionist settlers (protected by British bayonets) on a defenceless Arab Palestine. This led inexorably to the eventual dispossession, in 1948, of Palestine's Arab inhabitants by Zionist terror gangs, bent on the creation of an exclusively Jewish, apartheid state.

The most relevant book on the subject is, of course, J.M.N. Jeffries' 1939 classic, Palestine: The Reality, thankfully reissued this year by Olive Branch Press in the US. It should be read by all serious students of the Palestine problem. Here is the summary/conclusion which follows Jeffries' forensic analysis of this appallingly racist, viciously colonial, document:

"These were its principal characteristics:

 1. Its publication broke our pledged word to the Arab race.

2. Its object was to establish the Jews in a privileged position in Palestine without the assent of the population...

3. It was written in great part by those who were supposed only to have received it, and was deliberately worded so that the truth might be hidden by it, its guarantees to the Arabs be useless and its promises intangible.

4. It was ostensibly a recognition of Zionist aspirations to return to Palestine under the sanction of historic rights, but in reality it was the published clause of a private bargain by which war-spoils were to be given in payment for war-help.

"There is relief in quitting this subject... But it is a pity that it cannot be lost from sight, and a greater pity that it has not yet been removed from our public records. Unlawful in issue, arbitrary in purpose, and deceitful in wording the Balfour Declaration is the most discreditable document to which a British Government has set its hand within memory." (pp 200-01)

Readers should also know that, in London today, when the prime minister of Perfidious Albion, Theresa May, sits down to dinner with her Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, to celebrate 'with pride' the November 2, 1917 issue of this "most discreditable document to which a British Government has set its hand within memory," they and their entourages will be toasting 100 years of Palestinian dispossession.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Fool for Zion

So strained is the concocted connection between Beersheba, 1917, and Israel, 1948, that even a gentile Zionist fanatic such as The Australian's foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, is forced to acknowledge the bleeding obvious:

"You cannot say that everything that followed that Australian victory [at Beersheba in October 1917] was caused by that victory." (Friends from birth, in The Australian's commemorative magazine, Beersheba: Legend of the Light Horse)

Yes, Greg, and water is wet, right?

But there's worse to come, far worse. You see, Sheridan's very next sentence reads:

"But everything that followed from it did indeed follow from it."

Seriously, have you ever read a more fatuous statement than that? Proof positive that only a complete fool bothers defending the indefensible.

Turnbull & Pratt's Beersheba Duet

The Pratt Foundation-funded magazine, Beersheba: Legend of the Light Horse, that came with last Saturday's Weekend Australian, begins with two editorials, on facing pages, the first by PM Turnbull, the second by the Foundation's Anthony Pratt (son of the late Dick Pratt).

Predictably, Turnbull's is a transparently Zionist propaganda brew, which conflates, in complete defiance of the historical record, the charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba (31/10/17), the Balfour Declaration (2/11/17) and the creation of the state of Israel (14/5/48):

"The charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba has inspired Australians for generations The veterans of the charge re-enacted it in Charles Chauvel's 1940 movie Forty Thousand Horsemen - a confidence booster for a beleaguered nation at war. As a young boy at boarding school in the early '60s I watched it again and again - we all imagined ourselves spurring our horses through the Ottoman fire, leaping across the trenches and onward to victory... Just weeks later, the Australians marched with General Allenby into Jerusalem, while in London the Balfour Declaration was signed, paving the way for the creation of the modern state of Israel. A century on, the city of Be'er Sheva is an oasis of technology and great practical ideas - a shining example of the best attributes of Israel and the Israeli people - ingenuity, resilience, and hard work. Today, Australia and Israel share these values. We have an unbreakable bond that is only getting stronger. As we honour the memory and sacrifice of the Anzacs of 1917, and in the years to come. Lest we forget." (Our unbreakable bond)

Apart from Turnbull's chronological confusion (the BD came before the takeover of Jerusalem), what is significant here is that in addition to his blatant fabrication of Australian and Palestinian history, he also appears to be embroidering on his own, personal history:

As Paddy Manning's biography of Turnbull, Born to Rule (2015), reveals, young Malcolm was packed off to a boarding school in 1963 at the age of 8. Curiously, in his editorial, Turnbull recounts watching Chauvel's Forty Thousand Horsemen "at boarding school in the early '60s...again and again." Now I can understand one of his teachers screening the film once, but "again and again"? WTF is going on here?

Quite apart from what repeated showings might imply about the teacher in question (some kind of obsessive military fanatic?), surely the inevitable chorus of 'Aw, sir, not again!' would deter any but the most foolhardy teacher from this practice. And as for Malcolm and his classmates imagining themselves "spurring our horses through the Ottoman fire, leaping across the trenches and onward to victory," Turnbull once disclosed that "I would struggle to find one positive memory of my time at boarding school... really it was a bleak, bleak period for me." (Manning, p 21)

As for Pratt's contribution, it reads like an echo of Turnbull's. (Or should that be the other way around?):

"Next Tuesday, October 31, 2017, Australia will mark the 100th anniversary of the victorious charge by 800 Lighthorsemen against the Turkish defences at Beersheba. The 'shock and awe' victory changed the course of Middle East history, and paved the way for Israel's establishment some three decades later. It's entirely fitting, therefore, that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will lead the Australian delegation at the Centenary commemoration services in Be'er Sheva, the modern Israeli city that has arisen around the former battleground, and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin will represent Israel. In honouring the historic moment for both nations, I'd like to note that the Light Horse Centenary also has a personal significance for the Pratt family. While the Centenary's opening ceremony... is to be in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Beersheva, the concluding ceremony will happen at the Park of the Australian Soldier, just a few kilometres away in the same city. The Park, a Pratt Foundation initiative to honour Australia's military involvement in the Middle East at critical times in Israel's history,* was opened in 2008... " (A proud legacy)

The fact is that the Pratt Foundation's 'Park of the Australian Soldier' is really all about Israel. The Park is an integral part of a Zionist propaganda initiative, whereby a moment of Australian and Turkish military history has been appropriated and misrepresented as somehow uniquely enabling (and legitimising) the much later installation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

It should be obvious to all that the capture of Ottoman Beersheba by Australian forces in 1917 is being manipulated to fit the false Zionist historical narrative, primarily with a view to ensuring ongoing Australian diplomatic support for a pariah apartheid Israel in UN fora.

Turnbull, who hosted Netanyahu in Sydney earlier this year, could now, arguably, be described as the most Zionist of all Australian prime ministers, and a sycophant of the worst kind.  And the irony is that it only seems like yesterday that he was slamming opposition leader Bill Shorten (who, like Turnbull, is currently partying in Israel) in federal parliament as "the great sycophant of billionaires," and accusing him, specifically, of "sucking up to [the late] Dick Pratt." That was back in February this year.