Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Ziocons are Back!

Here's a guy who feels for the oppressed Iranian people so much that he's tweeting in John Lennon:

Mark Dubowitz @mdubowitz

Imagine a free, democratic, independent, wealthy Iran. Giving full expression to beauty of Persian culture. Tapping into brains & spirit of its remarkable people. No nukes. At peace with its neighbors. Pray for peaceful end to this brutal and corrupt regime. #IranProtests (29/12/17)

Still, not everyone, is convinced:

Omar Baddar @OmarBaddar

It's remarkable how people who never one complained about Israel's nukes or its oppression of Palestinians suddenly discover the virtues of freedom and nuclear non-proliferation when their eyes move just a thousand miles to the east.

But then, Dubowitz is the CEO of the Ziocon finktank Foundation For Defense of Democracies (FDD). That's right, the Ziocons are baaack!

And just to let you know how lucky the Iranian people are that Dubowitz and the FDD have their back, check out this great humanitarian's thoughts on Syria: "When pressed by his interviewer about sectarian bloodshed that could result... from Syria's disintegration, Dubowitz mused that communal violence in Syria 'is not necessarily a bad thing. A Syria that is consumed by its own internal internecine wars,' he said, 'may be certainly less of a security threat than what we're seeing today,' since it would be less able to 'project trouble' in the region and 'cause havoc' for the United States and Israel... " (

OK, but he wouldn't want that to happen to the remarkable and beautiful Persians, would he? Well, sadly, ya know, you've gotta be cruel to be kind: "In particular, he has pushed for sanctions aimed at causing domestic hardship and turmoil inside Iran and argued against adapting US laws to ease the import of sanctions-exempt US medicines." (ibid)

Liberal Priorities

Washington Examiner @dcexaminer
Alan Dershowitz on defending Trump: "My liberal friends don't invite me to dinner anymore."

Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal Dec 27
Calling for shoving needles under the fingernails of crime suspects and razing entire Palestinian villages never cost him a liberal dinner invite. Only defending Trump did. #resist

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Pratt-Trump Bromance

By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering & sighing.
And he vows his passion is,
Infinite, undying.
Lady make note of this...
One of you is lying.
(Dorothy Parker)

Anthony Pratt today:

"Australia's richest man, Pratt Industries executive chairman Anthony Pratt, is strengthening his ties with Donald Trump, with the pair enjoying an intimate meeting yesterday at at the US President's exclusive Florida club, Mar-a-Lago... After the meeting, Mr Pratt told The Australian he had praised the President for getting his tax cuts through and 'reported progress' on his promise... to invest US$2bn in the US over the next 10 years, creating more than 5000 manufacturing jobs." (Pratt gets presidential seal of approval, Glenda Korporaal, 29/12/17)

Anthony Pratt in 2013:

"Mr Pratt told [Monash University] graduates that he could see a future for manufacturing where a factory would employ only a few people. 'The factory of the future will not employ 150 people, but only 3 or 4. Furthermore, it will be completely dark, because robots don't need to see'." (US ambassador for Pratt advisory board, Damon Kitney, The Australian, 11/10/13) (See my 14/10/13 post Showbag Bill & Pratt the Younger.)

Friday, December 29, 2017

Time for Heads to Roll?

This is surely not just negligence. It looks more as though operatives of the Tory governments of prime ministers Cameron and May are on a mission to sanitise Britain's colonial past

"Thousands of government papers detailing some of the most controversial episodes in 20th-century British history have vanished after civil servants removed them from the country's National Archives and then reported them as lost. Documents concerning the Falklands war, Northern Ireland's Troubles and the infamous Zinoviev letter - in which MI6 officers plotted to bring about the downfall of the first Labour government - are all said to have been misplaced. Other missing files concern the British colonial administration in Palestine... " (Government admits 'losing' thousands of papers from National Archives, Ian Cobain,, 26/12/17)

Nor is this new - see my 6/8/16 post Too Many Skeletons in the Cupboard.

Since we may well be witnessing a cliocidal campaign here, a commission of inquiry would seem to be in order.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Guatemala: Israeli Fingerprints All Over

Some fun facts about the Israeli-Guatemalan connection:

*Guatemala, one of the 9 states that voted with the US to recognise Israel's control over Jerusalem, has now declared that it will follow Trump in relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

*Guatemala was the first Latin American country to recognise Israel in 1948. Its UN ambassador said in October 1947: "Palestine was no more Arab than certain Spanish counties of Latin America were Indian."

*Israel's 1948 genocide against the indigenous Arab population of Palestine in 1948 is mirrored in Guatemala by its 1982-83 genocide against the country's indigenous Mayans.

*The president of Guatemala at the time was a former general and Evangelical Christian, Efrain Rios Montt (1982-83). His army was armed and trained by the Israelis.

*The current president, Jimmy Morales, is another Evangelical Christian.

*"Guatemala is to the Mayans what Israel is to the Palestinians: sanctimonious annihilators."

(Final quote and other data from The ideological reasons behind Guatemala's decision to move embassy to Jerusalem, Ahmad Moussa,, 26/12/17)


President Jimmy Morales on his decision: "Guatemala is historically pro-Israeli. In 70 years of relations, Israel has been our ally. We have a Christian way of thinking that, as well as the politics of it, has us believing that Israel is our ally and we must support it. Despite us only being nine in the world (in the UN vote), we have the total certainty and conviction that this is the right path." (Guatemala leads move to Jerusalem, AFP, AP, The Australian, 26/12/17)


From a proud Israeli Zionista living and working in Guatemala (Israel-Guatemala, a surprisingly close friendship, Marina Smolyanov, Jerusalem Post, 4/10/14)

"Even before I arrived in Guatemala, a country mysterious and foreign, I stumbled upon evidence that Israeli footprints can be found in many aspects of everyday life in the Central American country. Why, my curiosity asked, did Israel feel such an ethical, historical and economic obligation to help Guatemala resolve its day-to-day challenges? While on the plane, I met an Israeli delegation of doctors making their way to Guatemala for a unique mission - volunteering their time and expertise to perform surgery on children from poor neighborhoods in Guatemala City."

"There is a fascinating collaboration between the Jewish community and the Evangelical community of Guatemala, in support of Israel."

"... I found Israeli fingerprints in every place and in every industrial field within this wild and untamed country... "

"Many Israelis coming from elite combat units in Israel, and with a significant security background, realized that their experience is a great added value in Guatemala."

"An endearing aspect of Guatemalans is their tranquilo (quiet/relaxed) way of life. In a country surrounded by 33 volcanoes... and with the constant threat of earthquakes and floods, you try to hold on to your peace of mind and calm before nature brutally breaks the silence one day. Similarly, Israel lives with a different threat to its citizens' way of life, surrounded by hostile neighbours that have threatened to wipe us off the map. Instead of enjoying a tranquilo way of life, many Israelis live each day as if it could be their last... "

Jesus wept.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Stratton 1, Wright 0

Further to my post on the Romper Stomper remake, Shakespeare's Romper Stomper II (6/12/17), compare and contrast:

"[Australian actress Jacqueline] McKenzie demurs when it comes to discussing the outrage that followed the original film [Romper Stomper], which depicts graphic violence between neo-Nazi thugs and the Vietnamese community in Melbourne. Review's David Stratton refused to give it a star rating: in response, [director Geoffrey] Wright tipped a glass of white wine on him at the Venice film festival." (Radical reboot, Justin Burke, Weekend Australian Review, 23/12/17)

"Wright is an ardent supporter of freedom of speech and association - features of our polity that he believes attract migrants from the world's trouble spots in the first place." (ibid)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Good Lorde!

NZ singer Lorde's 25/12 statement on why she's finally reversed her decision to perform in Israel:

"hey guys, so about this israel show - i've received an overwhelming number number of messages and letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and i think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show. i pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and i had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in tel aviv, but i'm not too proud to admit i didn't make the right call on this one. tel aviv, it's been a dream of mine to visit this beautiful part of the world for many years, and i'm truly sorry to reverse my commitment to come play for you. i hope one day we can all dance."

While I'm glad Lorde has finally complied with requests to boycott apartheid Israel, I find myself profoundly irritated by her statement on many levels:

1) If, despite her claimed wide reading on the subject of Palestine/Israel, she'd decided to perform anyway, I seriously have to question a) her notion of wide reading (Wikipedia?) and/or the bona fides of whatever it is she claims to have read.

2) If visiting Tel Aviv is her idea of a "dream," I can only conclude that, at least for the most part, she's off with the pixies.

3) If she's really taken on board all of those "messages and letters/discussions" she's received, why does she feel the need to apologise to apartheid Israelis?

4) Why is there not a single reference in her statement to anything real she may have learned from all this?

And, of course, the question of questions:

5) Why, as a self-proclaimed "informed young citizen," did she even need to be told that apartheid Israel was no-no in the first place?


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Armageddon, Y'all

From Samantha Bee's Full Frontal feature on Trump and his base Christian Zionist base:

Footage of interview with an elderly Texan couple at one of Pastor Hagee's Christians United for Israel (GOOFY) gigs: Are you looking forward to the Rapture?
He: Amen, amen.
She: By all means.
He: I got a bag packed.
Samantha: You can't take a bag, dummy! Even I know that. Jesus wants you naked - I assume for some kind of orgy. This nonsense isn't good for anybody, especially Palestinians who find their fate in the hands of an Aryan death-cult half a world away from them. Look, does Trump genuinely believe in fundamentalist Christian prophecy?
Trump's voice: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
Samantha: That's a no! But he does believe in people worshiping him, so what better group of people to pander to than the ones who are already super good at worshiping. Enjoy Christmas everyone. If Trump's fans have it their way, it could be our last one.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
Imprisoned you now lie.
Above thy deep and silent grief,
Surveillance drones now fly.

And through thy old streets standeth,
A huge illegal Wall.
The hopes and dreams that peace will come
Are dashed in this year's Fall.

O morning star's together,
Look down upon this crime.
The people sing to God the King
But justice, who can find?

Yes, Christ was born of Mary,
God's love remains supreme.
But mortals sleep as children weep,
Their pain is never seen.

How silently, how silently,
The world and Church protests.
As checkpoints grow and towns confined,
As settlers steal and rest.

No ear may hear the outcry,
As Israel's Wall is built.
While meek souls muse, Apartheid rules -
We speak or share in guilt.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Give strength to us, we pray.
Cast out our fears and open eyes.
O give us voice today!

We stand against injustice,
The Occupation must end.
May justice rule our Lord's birthplace,
May now Christ's peace descend.

Stephen Leah, 2007

Who'd Be an Occupier These Days?

"The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than harm them." (Women's 'assault aims to provoke Israeli soldiers', AFP, The Australian, 23/12/17)

The 50-year-old Israeli occupation of Palestine is unique in the annals of military occupations.

Up to now, military occupations were always thought to consist of an occupying force, lording it over an occupied people.

The former was a strutting brute, armed to the teeth. A potential thug, or even killer.

The occupied, on the other hand, were essentially at his mercy, although, when sufficiently provoked by the inherent injustice of the occupation or by specific incidences of brutality on the part of the occupier, sometimes lashed out at the occupier. (Up until the Israeli occupation of Palestine, these were known as acts of resistance, and every right-thinking person understood them as such and applauded them.)

Not any longer, however.

These days, none of this received wisdom applies. These days, in occupied Palestine at least, it's the occupying forces, not the occupied population, one has to feel sorry for. Just imagine: Israel's occupying forces, innocent bystanders really, must go about their pure-as-the-driven-snow business, never knowing when they may be provoked or - God forbid! - harmed.

Given this paradigmatic shift in our understanding of these matters, maybe its time historians revisited the subject of, say, the French resistance to the Nazi occupation. What say you, Agence France Presse?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Great Moments in 'Back to the Drawing Board'

Oh, like, wow:

"The US has blacklisted a rogues gallery of alleged rights abusers and corrupt officials as a new global sanctions law goes into effect. US diplomats and Treasury officials spent a year compiling evidence of the most brutal and cynical crimes by 14 senior figures and dozens of companies. Then yesterday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking any assets that those exposed on the list might have in banks or property on US soil... The blacklist also includes officials and businessmen from Russia, China, Ukraine, Guatemala, Pakistan, Serbia, the Dominican Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo." (Myanmar general on rogues gallery, AFP, The Australian, 23/12/17)

But, but, but, didn't Guatemala vote with USrael in the UNGA the other day? And weren't the Dominican Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo conveniently AWOL?

Back to the drawing board.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Sinners of Omission

Just so you know:

128 member states voted for UNGA Resolution A/ES-10/L-22 on the status of Jerusalem. The Resolution calls on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and declares any such move "null and void."

They refused to be intimidated by Trump.

Here are Trump's gang of 9 who voted against the Resolution:

Guatemala, Hondurus, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States, Palau, Togo

Here are the 33 chickenshit abstainers:

Antigua, Argentina, AUSTRALIA, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu

Another 24 members were AWOL.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Truly Vile Stuff!

What happens if Israel's occupation forces have just shot your 14-year-old cousin in the head and are hanging around your house like a bad smell?

What happens if you confront the bastards, and even slap their ugly faces?

Any decent human being would hail your courage and your spirit.

But not Ruth Eglash of the Washington Post:

"Israelis call her 'Shirley Temper' and say she epitomises 'Pallywood,' or Palestinian propaganda attempts to discredit Israel. Palestinians call her a hero, for fearlessly standing up to those who enforce the Israeli occupation of their land and those who terrorise her village. Her real name is Ahed Tamimi. And a video of her confronting or provoking Israeli soldiers - depending on how you look at it - has gone viral." (Israelis call her 'Shirley Temper.' Palestinians call her a hero, 19/12/17)

Truly vile stuff!

The (OFF) White Tribe

A fascinating piece in yesterday's Australian, Hanson's Stonehenge gran is no laughing matter, by Catherine J. Frieman, lecturer in European archaeology at the Australian National University's school of archaeology and anthropology:

"Of all the strange section 44 news, by far the most surreal was Pauline Hanson's claim that her grandmother was born at Stonehenge. Stonehenge... is a 4000 to 5000-year-old stone circle in the middle of a dield by the side of the A303 in Wiltshire, in the south of England. No one lives there... Wags and internet commenters (rightfully) got a bit of a laugh out of this news, and I'll admit that my first reaction was also to snigger. But, as an archaeologist who studies European pre-history, I also know that claims about personal connections to Europe's past may be more insidious than simple historical misunderstanding. As recent events have demonstrated, European icons now hold sway as status markers of white supremacy.

"In August, neo-Nazis and white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many of them carried signs and paraphernalia decorated with medieval and Viking designs. At the same time, in Britain a white supremacist, neo-pagan group known as Odinists demanded that the Church of England hand over a number of churches that were, they claimed, built on Norse holy sites. Also around that time, renowned ancient historian Mary Beard spent weeks fighting with right-wing commentators and Twitter trolls over her (entirely correct) claim that Roman Britain was diverse and multicultural.

"Ideas about who our ancestors were, where they lived and what they believed are powerful. In Australia, this power has been harnessed in a strong and positive way by indigenous communities asserting their rights to their country and to their status as Australia's first people. But there is a dangerous power in the past as well. Nazi Germany funded considerable prehistoric archaeological research because Adolf Hitler believed he could draw lines of descent between Nazi Aryans and people in the Bronze and Iron ages from 3000-4000 years ago.

"Today's neo-Nazis are continuing Hitler's project when they brandish shields painted with Viking runes and symbols, or shout at marches about Vinland - a Viking settlement in northeast North America. This is, they imagine, a noble period of white European dominance. They claim (cultural, if not always genetic) descent from these imagined Vikings and so they argue that they, not First Nations people and Native Americans, are the true indigenous people in the continent. The idea here is that there was no civilisation of value in North America before Europeans arrived - a version of terra nullius that replaces the English convicts with Viking fishermen.

"In fact, we know that during the Viking period - and the medieval and Roman periods, and earlier in prehistory - Europe was ethnically diverse and people with different genealogies and skin tones lived alongside each other. Recent skeletal and DNA research demonstrates that some of Roman York's wealthiest inhabitants were African and Middle Eastern. Other DNA evidence tells us the first farmers in western Europe were genetically closer to today's Turkish population than to contemporary Europeans.

"When we talk about the ultra-right and how it creates these imagined white pasts, we almost never mention Stonehenge. Despite Hitler's love of the Bronze Age, the modern alt-right tends to stick, at least publicly, to the Vikings. But Stonehenge is not without controversy. It is probably the most famous prehistoric monument in England, if not Europe... It is also a site of spiritual significance for neo-pagans who claim they have a religious and cultural connection to Iron Age Druids... So I doubt that Hanson was engaging in nefarious acts when she listed her grandmother's place of birth as a 5000-year-old stone circle. But I also can't just laugh and move on because I know the past is powerful and no site is more English than Stonehenge.

"The settler ideology of European dominance in Australia relies on a belief that European culture, values and traditions are superior to anyone else's. European white have (Western) civilisation, the rest of the world just has identities. Call me alarmist, but when the leader of a right-wing party with explicit planks against multiculturalism, Muslim religious practices and indigenous sovereignty publicly asserts she has a blood tie to a European prehistoric site, I think it's time to start worrying."


Like I said, a fascinating piece, but notice how the the biggest reinvention of the past, that of political Zionism, has gone completely unreferenced.

OK, so Hitler "believed he could draw lines of descent between Nazi Aryans and people in the Bronze and Iron ages from 3000-4000 years ago," but what about Binyamin Netanyahu's immediate "line of descent": Nathan Mileikowsky (grandfather), Benzion Mileikowsky/Netanyahu (father)? What's that change of names all about?

Nathan Mileikowsky, bitten by the Zionist bug, imagined himself a direct descendant of the ancient 'Israelites,' and passed this incredible delusion on to his son, whom he named Benzion Mileikowsky. Benzion Mileikovsky then dropped the Polish 'Mileikowsky' for the Hebrew 'Netanyahu', and the rest, as they say, is history:

"In my office in Jerusalem," said PM Netanyahu in his 2011 UNGA speech, "there's an ancient seal. It's a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of  King Hezekiah. Now, there's a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That's my last name. My first, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin - Binyamin - the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Samaria 4,000 years ago, and there's been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since."

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Reflections on Barry Cohen (1935-2017)

Barry Cohen was a cabinet minister in the Labor government of Bob Hawke. Here are my thoughts on certain lines from his obituary in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald:

"Cohen recalled that at his first day at boarding school, he had three fights with classmates who called him 'a dirty bloody Jew'. He developed defence mechanisms: humour, and pride in the Holocaust survivors recreating a Jewish nation." (Labor hero fought for the Barrier Reef and Kakadu, AAP, Sydney Morning Herald, 19/12/17)

It's not that hard, is it? Anti-Semitic bullying has propelled many a young, unthinking Jew into waiting Zionist arms. Thus anti-Semites, in effect, act as recruiters for Zionism.

Unfortunately, Barry Cohen never seems to have developed any real insight into the nature and history of the Zionist movement, namely that it is a particularly toxic form of settler-colonialism; that it had come into existence long before the Holocaust; that it was in fundamental agreement with the Nazis that Germany's Jews should be transferred to Palestine; and that it was and still is bent on the wholesale dispossession of Palestine's indigenous Arab population. A little research or reflection, at least in retirement? Sadly, not for Barry Cohen.

"As he's told it, he was an armchair critic of discrimination in all its forms, mouthing endlessly against anti-Semitism, apartheid and the appalling treatment of Aborigines. Then a friend asked him what he was doing about it. His answer was to join the ALP."

What to make of those who can see discrimination and injustice everywhere - except in one tiny corner of the world? The word 'phony' springs to mind.

"Cohen had been close to Hawke. They shared an emotional attachment to Israel and a love of golf."

At least Hawke's emotional attachment to Israel eventually gave way to a more critical understanding that Israel was not quite what it had been cracked up to be. Less time wasted on golf might have helped in both cases. Life really is too short.

"Occasionally his serious side surfaced, as in a 2004 denunciation of Labor's growing Palestinian lobby."

Sadly, it never seems to have occurred to Cohen that the anti-Semitic bullies of his youth, the perpetrators of the Nazi genocide, and the ruthlessly dispossessed Palestinian people are not all cut from the same cloth. Truly, Zionism rots the brain.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Sydney Morning Herald is a Disgrace

Locals channel their disapproval (Andrew Taylor) runs the headline on page 12 of the print edition of yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald.

"Residents," it goes on to tell us "are not impressed with the developer's latest plan for the Channel Nine site on Sydney's north shore." The report, which dominates the page, is accompanied by a photograph of 11 residents, one of whom displays a placard which reads, 'Channel 9 is back again: it's too high, too dense'.

Well, good on those residents! I wish them and their cause well. It's not them but the Sydney Morning Herald itself that is the subject of this angry post.

On the very same day (17/12) as those 11 residents gathered for their north shore photoshoot, thousands of Sydney residents, largely from Western Sydney, gathered at Sydney Town Hall to protest Trump's decision to recognise Israeli control over Jerusalem. They flooded Town Hall Square, and then, after speeches, marched down George Street to the American consulate in Martin Place, chanting their outrage all the way.

And yet, incredibly, there wasn't so much as a mention of their presence or outrage in the pages of the SMH.

Not, mind you, that the Herald ignored the local response to the issue entirely. After all, they saw fit to devote an entire opinion piece, Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a welcome, symbolic move  - by Israel lobbyist Colin Rubenstein, executive director of Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) - to it.

Of course, you could conclude that the Herald is simply under the thumb of the Israel lobby, but I'm inclined to see an element of racism here. Whatever the precise motive, or mix of motives, behind the Herald's appalling failure to report the spirited activism of thousands of protesters in Sydney's CBD, the Herald, which claims on its masthead to be 'Independent. Always.', is an utter disgrace.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Martyrdom of Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh 2

The Israel military first took his legs, then his life by Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 17/12/17

"The Israeli army sharpshooter couldn't target the lower part of his victim's body - Ibrahim Abu Thuraya didn't have one. The 29-year-old, who worked washing cars and who lived in Gaza City's Shati refugee camp, lost both legs from the hips down in an Israeli airstrike during Operation Cast Lead in 2008. He used a wheel chair to get around. On Friday the army finished the job: a sharpshooter aimed at his head and shot him dead.

"The images are horrific. Abu Thuraya in his wheelchair, pushed by friends, calling for protests against the US declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital; Abu Thuraya on the ground, crawling toward the fence behind which the Gaza Strip is imprisoned; Abu Thuraya waving a Palestinian flag; Abu Thuraya holding up both arms in the victory sign; Abu Thuraya carried by his friends, bleeding to death: Abu Thuraya's corpse laid out on a stretcher: The End.

"The army sharpshooter couldn't aim at the lower part of his victim's body on Friday so he shot him in the head and killed him. It can be assumed that the soldier realized that he was shooting at a person in a wheelchair, unless he was shooting indiscriminately into the crowd of protesters.

"Abu Thuraya posed no danger to anyone: how much of a danger could a double amputee in a wheelchair, imprisoned behind a fence, constitute? How much evil and insensitivity does it take in order to shoot a handicapped person in a wheelchair? Abu Thuraya was not the first, nor will he be the last, Palestinian with disabilities to be killed by soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces - the most moral soldiers in the world, or not.

"The killing of the young disabled man passed almost without notice in Israel. He was one of three demonstrators killed Friday, just another humdrum day. One can easily imagine what would happen if Palestinians had killed an Israeli who used a wheelchair. What a furor would have erupted, with endless ink spilled on their cruelty and barbarism. How many arrests would have resulted, how much blood would have flowed in retaliation. But when soldiers behave barbarically, Israel is silent and shows no interest. No shock, no shame, no pity. An apology or expression of regret or remorse is the stuff of fantasy. The idea of holding those responsible for this criminal killing accountable is also delusional. Abu Thuraya was a dead man once he dared take part in his people's protest and his killing is of no interest to anyone, since he was a Palestinian.

"The Gaza Strip has been closed to Israeli journalists for 11 years, so one can only imagine the life of the car-washer from Shati before his death - how he recovered from his injuries in the absence of decent rehabilitation services in the besieged Strip, with no chance of obtaining prosthetic legs; how he rumbled along in an old wheelchair, not an electric one, in the sandy alleys of his camp; how he continued washing cars despite his disability, since there are no other choices in Shati, including for people with disabilities; and how he continued struggling with his friends, despite his disability.

"No Israeli could imagine life in that cage, the biggest in the world, the one called the Gaza Strip. It is part of a never-ending mass experiment on human beings.

"One should see the desperate young people who approached the fence in Friday's demonstration, armed with stones that couldn't reach anywhere, throwing them through the cracks in the bars behind which they are trapped. These young people have no hope in their lives even when they have two legs to walk on. Abu Thuraya had even less hope. There is something pathetic yet dignified in the photo of him raising the Palestinian flag, given his dual confinement - in his wheelchair and in his besieged country. The story of Abu Thuraya is  an accurate reflection of the circumstances of his people. Shortly after he was photographed, his tormented life came to an end. When people cry out every week: 'Netanyahu to Maasiyahu [prison]' someone should finally also start talking about The Hague."

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Martyrdom of Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh

Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh's dream was to break out of the Gaza Ghetto and walk free on the occupied Palestinian land which beckoned to him from the other side of the wire. So his Israeli prison guards hacked off his legs. Undaunted, he continued to defy them - on his stumps.

As long as he had a hand which could pick up a stone, and an arm to fling it at the enemy with, his resistance against those who would keep this lion in his cage would continue. However, since any act of resistance, no matter how small, was utterly intolerable to his jailers, they shot him in the head:

"The narrow streets of the 70 acres of Gaza City's densely crowded Beach refugee camp were never so quiet as today. The poor camp on the western side of the city is famous for starting life early every day, with the fuss of street vendors, donkey cart drivers and the vegetable market, which is filled with customers by 6:30 am.

"All of these faded away this morning, one day after Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, 29, was shot dead during skirmishes with the Israeli army east if the city.

"In front of his old family home, Abu Thurayeh's friends began to set up a condolence tent for his relatives and neighbours. His 27-year-old cousin, Mahmoud Abu Thurayeh, was delivering the chairs shortly before mourners arrived. 'Ibrahim has always been the first to offer help to set up such tents for the martyrs of the camp,' Mahmoud said. 'But today it seems he will not, forever.'

"Ibrahim had lost his legs in an Israeli attack on Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he took down an Israeli flag along the border and raised a Palestinian one.

"Since that time, he has been active in the clashes - until he was killed with a bullet above his eye fired by an Israeli soldier.

"About 150 Palestinians were injured and four were killed near the border fence in Gaza on a day of clashes that erupted also in the West Bank in protest of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"In a video clip two days before his death, Ibrahim said he had come to participate in the clashes at Nahal Oz (east of Gaza) because he wanted to cross the occupied land on the other side of the barbed wire border just once in his life. But his dream ended with the fatal shot.

"'The Israeli army is cowardly and does not appear to fight except behind the concrete cubes,' he added in the video. 'We only have small stones that reach only 50 meters, and every day I come, crawling on my hands. I am here to deliver a message to those soldiers: 'This is our land and we will not give up. The United States should withdraw its declaration over Jerusalem'." (Ibrahim 'the half-bodied', an icon of Gaza skirmishes, loses his other half for Jerusalem, Ahmad Kabariti,, 16/12/17)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christian Wahhabis... 2

Positively prophetic:

"Some of the 'holy' violence alarmed even the Church. In North Africa at the turn of the fifth century, the circumcellions became notorious not only for their suicides but for their vicious attacks on those who didn't share their particular Christian beliefs. One bishop was standing next to his altar when suddenly he found himself surrounded and beaten by men with clubs. Then his attackers tore his altar apart, beat him with its remnants, before finally stabbing him in the groin. Another priest found himself dragged from his house and, once the circumcellions had him outside, they gouged out his eye. Like the tailor-made tortures that awaited sinners in Hell, where blasphemers were strung up by their tongues, there was a ghoulish appositeness to these assaults. Eyes of the erring were gouged out because those who couldn't see the true religion were 'blind' anyway. Another bishop was seized, his hands chopped off and his tongue, which had preached falsehoods, cut out.

"The circumcellions roamed widely, vandalizing property, setting light to churches and torching houses. Just when people thought that these 'warriors', as they called themselves, could not have got any worse, they invented what Augustine called a 'new and unspeakable kind of violence, a piece of cruelty deserving of the Devil Himself'. By mixing together caustic lime powder and vinegar they created a solution strong enough to burn human skin. This they took to throwing into the eyes of priests, blinding them. Nowhere was safe: if a 'traitor' - as they called those who didn't share their beliefs - was known to be at home, the circumcellions would go into their house, drag them out, and then attack them. The more unexpected the attack, the more glorious the effect.

"Festivals of the old gods were a favourite target: circumcellions raided these, smashing statues and shouting their rallying cry of Laudes Deo - 'Praise the Lord' as they went. In a moment, a joyful, drunken celebration could be reduced to sheer chaos. Like so many before and since, these men wanted religious conformity and they would stop at little to get it. Because Matthew 26:52 advised Christians to 'sheathe your sword', with almost Jesuitical precision they adopted the club as their weapon of choice. Appalling violence could thus be done while sin was avoided. Besides, a club was efficient enough: they would beat to death as many as they could before melting back into the landscape. The sticks with which these men carried out this work became their proud trademark; they called them their 'Israels'." (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey, 2017, pp 223-24)

Required Christmas reading.

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,, 13/12/17)

Trump Declaration Protests in Australia

Melbourne and Adelaide had theirs yesterday.

For the rest:

Fri 15, 2pm, Moonah Pl, Yarralumla
Sat 16, 11am, Murray St Mall, Murray St
Sat 16, 3pm, King George Sq, 110 Ann St
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,, 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,, 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,, 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


"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,, 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


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." (

Religion is nowhere to be found.

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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

St Theresa


"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,, 29/11/17)


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,, 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,, 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?


*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,, 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,, 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

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.
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." (, 10/11/17)