Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Netanyahu's Final Words

Netanyahu's gone at last, but lo, he's left behind an EXCLUSIVE message, relayed to us by Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian:

"When I look at Syria and Iraq, I think that the danger of ISIS has been greatly reduced. But the possibility now looms that the militant Sunnis of ISIS and al-Qaida may be replaced by the militant Shi'ites of Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah." (Beware threat of Iran's extremists: Bibi, 27/2/17)

OMG! This is getting way too complicated.

So if a swarthy gent of 'Middle Eastern appearance' with that look in his beady eye applies a blade to your neck and exclaims, 'Convert or die, infidel dog!', remember Bibi's words, and ask the guy, ever so nicely, 'Sunni or Shia?'

Greg also reports Netanyahu as saying that Jewish settlements are "not what drives the conflict," because "The Arab and Palestinian opposition to the state of Israel preceded the settlements by half a century."

Needless to say, Greg didn't remind him that before the settlements there were the kibbutzes - same colonial shit, same colonial smell - and that they too were opposed by the Palestinians.

Funny, this thing natives have about colonies, eh?

Greg also quotes Netanyahu as saying:

"No one in their right mind would say to the Palestinians here, have a state which will reduce Israel to a width of 10 miles and have them continue to seek our annihilation, to continue to seek the flooding of Israel with millions of descendants of refugees and use the territory of a Palestinian state as the launching ground for thousands of rockets and endless attacks on the Jewish state." (ibid)

Needless to say, Greg didn't remind him that in 1948, Arab Palestine was drastically reduced to 22%, 60% of which (known as Area C) is under Israeli control; or that historic Arab Palestine was flooded by wave after wave of British-backed European Jewish settlers from 1918 on; or that the Jewish settler community in Palestine became a launching ground for the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine's Arab population in 1948.

Netanyahu further offered this highly scientific evidence that he had won the hearts and minds of most Australians whilst, presumably, meeting and greeting on Manly Beach.

"Mr Netanyahu said he had received a very warm reception in Australia, including several hours on Manly Beach interacting with, he said, more than a thousand Australians, of whom only two made critical comments." (ibid)

Now quite how this casual, man-of-the-people stroll on the beach fits with the elaborate security lavished on an earlier Netanyahu jaunt is frankly a mystery to me:

"If you're a Jewish baker up to host the wife of the Israel Prime Minister, there are certain tests you must pass - and they don't just involve the quality of your bagels. The only thing is, as Sydney cafe owner Jesse Meguideche learned yesterday, you won't even know you're being scrutinised, so efficient is the Israeli advance guard of eatery secret operatives. First, a clandestine team was sent to test the facilities, service and, most importantly, kosher food at his friendly little Rose Bay establishment, Jesse's Cafe... when the the pair [Sara Netanyahu and M'Lady Lucinda T] finally showed up mid-morning yesterday, accompanied by dozens of uniformed and plainclothes security people, an enforcer told Mr Meguideche, 'We chose you because you ticked all the boxes.' He'd known something was up: a booking was made a week ago, and there were security sweeps and sniffer dogs in recent days, but so tightly guarded were details of the visit, he was left to draw his own conclusions until the very last minute... 

"Security was heavy, and spilled out onto busy Old South Head Road, but even that was as nothing compared with the precautions a little later across the way at the heavily fortified Moriah College, where the two prime ministers visited with their wives. There riot squad detachments, federal police, uniformed motor-cycle outriders, emergency services, local coppers on foot and a bewildering number of men dressed down to the point of hobo, but with that steady gaze usually born on the battlefield, were backed up for a time by a hovering police chopper." (Cafe fits bill for first ladies' sweet, not-so-secret soiree, Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian, 24/2/17)

"Several hours on Manly Beach interacting with more than a thousand Australians"? Pull the other!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Meet the ALP's 3 Alt-Amigos

Tired of Labor's 3 Amigos (Hawke, Rudd & Evans), as that prince of pundits Greg Sheridan refers to them? How about Labor's 3 Alt-Amigos then?

Read on:

There's Kimmie, a Middle East specialist who could have pulled off a peace deal between Palestine and Israel long ago if only Bill Clinton hadn't hogged the stage:

"Former Labor leader Kim Beazley has waded into the growing rift within Labor over formal recognition of Palestine, saying Palestinian leaders have become 'very comfortable' applying moral pressure on Israel but have not undertaken the hard yards necessary to reach a lasting peace... Mr Beazley said the focus on Israel and Mr Netanyahu, who he described as a 'difficult messenger' for social democrats to bear, had effectively given the Palestinians a free pass on hard questions such as the issue of Palestinian returns [?] and the status of East Jerusalem." (Palestinians must do the hard yards: Beazley, Paul Maley, The Australian, 24/2/17)

And Kimmie knows all about the hard yards. That slog in Washington as Australia's ambassador was hell. Hell! So bad, in fact, it drove the poor man to drink: "Former Labor leader Kim Beazley charged taxpayers $3, 420 for 12 bottles of Penfolds Grange during his time as ambassador to the US in 2014, an expenditure list shows." (Kim Beazley charged taxpayers thousands of dollars for bottles of Penfolds Grange while US ambassador, Uma Patel, ABC News, 29/9/16)

There's Mr Bean. For sheer depth of knowledge of the Palestine problem, he's in a class of his own, as these perceptive comments show:

"A Right faction powerbroker, Senator Dastyari, who does not support immediate recognition of a Palestinian state as advocated by Bob Hawke, Mr Evans and Mr Carr, said the party should not ignore other humanitarian challenges abroad. In recent years, there have been atrocities in Syria, Libya, Iraq and throughout the Middle East... I have always been a strong supporter of a two-state solution and of Australia playing a role to help facilitate that (but) the Labor Party can't afford to focus on the Palestinian question at the expense of the other humanitarian challenges.' The Iranian-born senator said he supported the party reviewing its policy but made it clear recent interventions in support of Palestine by Mr Hawke, Mr Evans and Mr Carr were unhelpful prior to Mr Netanyahu's visit." (Sam Dastyari berates Labor Party push to endorse Palestinian state, Troy Bramston, The Australian, 20/2/17)

Finally, there's the legendary Richo, who, as an ALP factional warrior, brings his unique experience of Ultimate Cage Fighting (UCF), ALP-style, to say nothing of his wealth of expertise and profound insight on the subject of Palestine/Israel, to bear on that fraught matter:

"An emboldened Netanyahu has since expanded his plans to settle more Israelis in the West Bank. The new settlements are at the heart of why those Labor elders like Bob Hawke and Bob Carr, Gareth Evans and Kevin Rudd are walking away from Israel and seek succour and comfort in the tender arms of the PLO and Hamas. Frankly I don't see much comfort there and I can't go along with recognising the Palestinian state unless and until Hamas resiles from its commitment to boot every Jew out of Israel... Ever since I was born there have been troubles in Israel and that will continue till I am gone and beyond." (Netanyahu not a man given to compromise, Graham Richardson, The Australian, 24/2/17)

No doubt about it, Labor's got talent.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Auntie Poppy Syndrome

If you were an aging baby boomer and, while still young and tender, had the misfortune to have in the family a dotty old aunt who had one too many bees in her bonnet for her own or your good, and who repeated, mantra-fashion, in year ear, the injunction to never forget that the Jews are God's chosen people, you may - perish the thought - contingent on the onset of some kind of developmental delay, have ended up as the foreign editor of Murdoch's Australian, projectile-vomiting such dark green prose as the following:

"What a caterwauling coven of craven zeitgeist whisperers they are - Bob Hawke, Kevin Rudd and Gareth Evans - calling for Australia to formally recognise a Palestinian state, the three of them like the witches of Macbeth intoning sterile incantations; in this case not with the purpose of affecting reality but rather to signal once again their sublime and ineffable virtue." (ALP's three amigos only invite ridicule by maligning Israel, Greg Sheridan, 25/2/17)

I, therefore, nominate what I call 'Auntie Poppy Syndrome' (after Sheridan's Auntie Poppy, as described on page 22 of his 2015 memoir When We Were Young & Foolish: A Memoir of My Misguided Youth with Tony Abbott, Bob Carr, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd & Other Reprobates) for inclusion in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

'A Sea of Billionaires & Millionaires'

And "two prime ministers in heated agreement."
"A sea of billionaires & millionaires"
And "two prime ministers in heated agreement."
"A sea of billionaires & millionaires"
And "two prime ministers in heated agreement."

"In front of six billionaires and 450 of Australia's business and political elite, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday heralded a new era of closeness between Israel and Australia... Six billionaires - Gina Rinehart, Harry Triguboff, Solomon Lew, John Gandel, Jeanne Pratt and her daughter Fiona Geminder - watched the leaders plight their troth commit to closer relations between the two countries.

"But somewhere among the sea of billionaires and millionaires there was an elephant in the room. The concept of a two-state solution was barely mentioned - Mr Netanyahu did not refer to it at all, while Mr Turnbull made only a passing reference to it... At the top table Mr Netanyahu was flanked on one side by Mr Turnbull and on the other by former PM John Howard. Mr Turnbull showed some cross-party magnanimity to usher Labor's justice spokesman Mark Dreyfus to meet Mr Netanyahu. Opposite Mr Netanyahu were Scott Morrison, businessman David Gonski, Ms Geminder and Mark Leibler, the national chairman of the Australia-Israel & Jewish Affairs Council [AIJAC], who was the event's master of ceremonies... 'This is not happening in the US or Europe, [he said], where leaders hop in and out - it's happening in Australia.'

"Bill Shorten was present, seated between [AIJAC's] Colin Rubenstein and Mr Lew. The head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation [ASIS], Nick Warner, was also a guest... Others present included businessmen Albert Dadon, David Gonski and Barry Smorgon, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Sam Lipski... the chief executive of the Pratt Foundation. Key leaders of the Jewish community were present, including Peter Wertheim from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry [ECAJ] and Danny Lamm from the Zionist Federation of Australia [ZFA]... The two prime ministers were on heat in heated agreement." (Colour me Aussie, leader tells the faithful, John Lyons, The Australian, 23/2/17)

"This is not happening in the US or Europe... it's happening in Australia."
"This is not happening in the US or Europe... it's happening in Australia."
"This is not happening in the US or Europe... it's happening in Australia."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Who is Writing Trumble's Pro-Israel Propaganda?

I mean, Jeeesus:

"Whether it was the elaborate water system of Herod's fortress on Masada or the desalination plant at Ashkelon, whether it was the ancient streets of old Jerusalem or the boardrooms of Tel Aviv... throughout its history the greatest natural resource of Israel has been the brilliance and the enterprise of its people,' the Prime Minister said at a lunch in Sydney in honour of Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu." (PM lauds Israel as 'original start-up nation', Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian, 23/2/17)

And how can he deliver it with a straight face?

More Than Friends...

You & I are more than friends. We're like a really small gang.

"Seeking to smooth over relations ahead of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu tomorrow, Mr Shorten told The Australian the Israeli leader could be confident that the longstanding friendship between Labor and the Jewish state remained strong. 'Israelis and Palestinians can be sure that they have a great friend in the Labor Party,' Mr Shorten said. 'Good friends are honest with each other, we always have been. I've met with the Prime Minister before and we get on well. We have a direct relationship. I'm looking forward to seeing him again'." (Israeli PM blasts Labor elders, Simon Benson/ Sarah Martin, The Australian, 23/2/17)

"More moderate Arab nations will begin to see Israel as a friend and ally against extremist 'barbarians', visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared. Mr Netanyahu said last night that recent visits to Muslim-majority nations Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, where Jews were free to practice their religion openly, had given him hope Israel would be seen as a 'beacon of light amidst the darkness'. 'Many Arab countries (will) realise Israel is not their enemy but their valuable ally in fighting off the barbarism that surrounds all of us,' Mr Netanyahu told about 2000 mostly Jewish attendees at Sydney's Central Synagogue last night. During the recent trips to the two former Soviet republics, Mr Netanyahu saw Jews singing 'Jew songs in Arab countries'." (Israel a friend for all in the battle against barbarism: Bibi, Anthony Klan/ Simon King, The Australian, 23/2/17)

"We would never support a resolution so one-sided, attributing fault only to the state of Israel,' Mr Turnbull said. 'We are a committed and consistent friend. We have been so since the beginning and we will always be." (ibid)

"The lunch cemented a close bond between Australia and Israel. 'When I colour the map', Mr Netanyahu told those attending, 'I colour Australia the same colour as I colour the United States'." (ibid)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Deconstructing Trumble's Cut & Paste

A critical look at PM Trumble's pro-Israel propaganda piece in The Australian of 22 February, specifically the first 3 paragraphs, yields much of interest for those of us who still harbour a preference for facts over myths and a respect for the historical record.

Trumble kicks off with this sentence:

"Our friendship is as old as the state of Israel itself."

Now compare that with the opening sentence from the second section of former Labor foreign minister Stephen Smith's Australia & Israel speech, delivered on 19 May, 2009:

"Australia's support for the State of Israel goes right back to its creation."

Now consider the next two sentences in Smith's speech:

"Foreign Minister H.V. Evatt, one of my predecessors, played an important role through his Chairmanship of the United Nations International [sic: Special] Commission on Palestine in 1947. Evatt understood the justice of Israel's right to full international citizenship at a time when many still did not."

As a Liberal, of course, Trumble had no use for those two sentences about a former Labor foreign minister (1945-49), whatever services he may have rendered to the Zionist movement in the late 40s. So the Evatt references ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Trumble's next sentence reads:

"Australia was the first country to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution adopted by the General Assembly, which led to the establishment of Israel in 1948."

Now compare that with Smith's next sentence. As you'll see, both sentences are based on the curious idea that Australia, like some over-the-top, competitive schoolkid with his hand up, screaming Sir! Sir! Sir! to a teacher's question, just couldn't wait to give the Zios a leg up in Palestine:

"When a vote was called that year on General Assembly Resolution 181 to establish separate Jewish and Arab states, the Australian delegate was the first to vote. And the first to vote in favour of the proposal."

(Actually, in Trumble's version, the implication seems to be that the Australian delegate somehow, preternaturally knew he was voting for 'Israel', which was still 6 months away from being declared!)

Smith then proceeds to tell us that Evatt "presided over the historic May 1949 vote admitting Israel as the 59th member of the United Nations."

Again, Evatt has been trimmed from Trumble's piece,

Smith continues:

"Following that vote, Israel's distinguished representative Abba Eban acknowledged the contribution that Evatt and the Australian Government had made to the international recognition of Israel, when he said: 'The manner in which you steered to a vote this second historic Resolution... the warmth and eloquence with which you welcomed Israel into the family of nations, have earned for you the undying gratitude of our people'."

Now here's Trumble's near duplicate version:

"Following the vote, Israeli representative Abba Eban acknowledged Australia's contribution. 'The manner in which you steered to a vote this second historic resolution... the warmth and eloquence with which you welcome Israel into the family of nations, have earned for you the undying gratitude of our people'."

Notice that, in Trumble's version, Eban is portrayed as as praising Australia for "steering to a vote" the 1947 partition resolution (181) of November 1947 (as chair of the UN's Ad hoc Committee on Palestine - and after succumbing to the blandishments of Australian Zionists - he favoured partitioning Palestine over seeking an ICJ advisory opinion), whereas, in fact, he was praising Australia's vote with respect to the May 1949 admission of Israel to UN membership (conditional, BTW, on Israel's implementation of UNGA resolution 194, allowing the return of Palestinian refugees displaced by the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948). The reference to "second historic resolution" (the first referring to the 'partition' resolution) confirms this.

IOW, what we have here is nothing more or less than a cheap cut and paste of an earlier Labor speech, itself probably cribbed from some Zionist propaganda document. Obviously the work of one of Turnbull's minders, it's a perfect example of what is known as 'received wisdom', never examined factoids, endlessly recycled as fact by the mainstream media and junk 'scholarship'.

But it's particularly on this one-sentence third paragraph that I wish to dwell. Because nothing could be further from the truth:

"The key role Australia played in ensuring the security and prosperity of the Jewish people should be a source of pride for us all."

One implication here is that Australia (and, presumably, the other countries which voted for partition in November 1947) was thinking primarily about the fate of Holocaust survivors, many of whom were living at the time in Displaced Persons Camps in Europe. And contrariwise, that those countries which voted against the partition of Palestine were one and all Jew haters.

Now consider the following excerpt from the anti-partition speech of Pakistan's representative, Sir Zafrullah Khan, and note, in particular, his sarcastic reference to Australia:

"What has Palestine done? What is its contribution toward the solution of the humanitarian question as it affects Jewish refugees and displaced persons? Since the end of the First World War, Palestine has taken over 400,000 Jewish immigrants. Since the start of the Jewish persecution in Nazi Germany, Palestine has taken almost 300,000 Jewish refugees. This does not include illegal immigrants who could not be counted.

"One has observed that those who talk of humanitarian principles, and can afford to do most, have done the least at their own expense to alleviate this problem. But they are ready - indeed, they are anxious - to be most generous at the expense of the Arab.

"There have been few periods in history when members of the Jewish race have not been persecuted in one part or another of Europe. When English kings and barons indulged in the pastime of extracting the teeth of Jewish merchants and bankers as a gentle means of persuading them to cooperate in bolstering their feudal economy... Arab Spain provided a shelter, a refuge and a haven for the Jews.

"Today it is said: only the poor persecuted European Jew is without a home. True. And it is further said: why, then, let Arab Palestine provide him, as Arab Spain did, not only with a shelter, a refuge, but also with a State so that he shall rule over the Arab. How generous! How humanitarian!

"The United Nation Special Committee on Palestine, as we know, in recommendation VII, one of the unanimous recommendations, urged that the General Assembly take up this question of refugees and displaced persons immediately, apart from the problem of Palestine, in order to afford relief to the persecuted Jew so that there should be an alleviation of this humanitarian problem and an alleviation of the Palestinian problem.

"What has this great and august body done in that respect? Sub-committee 2 made a recommendation and drew up a draft resolution on that basis (resolution II, document A/AC.14/32). First, let those Jewish refugees and displaced persons who can be repatriated to their own countries be repatriated; secondly, those who cannot be repatriated should be allotted to Member States in accordance with their capacity to receive such refugees; and, thirdly, a committee should be set up to determine quotas for that purpose.

"The resolution is put forward for consideration. Shall they be repatriated to their own countries? Australia says no; Canada says no; the United States says no. This was very encouraging from one point of view. Let these people, after their terrible experiences, even if they are willing to go back, not be asked to go back to their own countries. In this way, one would be more sure that the second proposal would be adopted and that we should all give shelter to these people. Shall they be distributed among the Member States according to the capacity of the latter to receive them? Australia, an overpopulated small country with congested areas, says no, no, no; Canada, equally congested and overpopulated, says no; the United States, a great humanitarian country, a small area, with small resources, says no. That is their contribution to the humanitarian principle. But they state: let them go into Palestine, where there are vast areas, a large economy and no trouble; they can easily be taken in there.

"That is the contribution taken by this august body to the settlement of the humanitarian principle involved." (Sir Zafrullah Khan's speech on the question of Palestine, themuslimtimes.info)

So let us revisit PM Trumble's final paragraph:

"The key role Australia played in ensuring the security and prosperity of the Jewish people should be a source of pride for us all."

If PM Trumble is referring here to Jewish Holocaust survivors in DP camps, most of whom would have gone to the US if given half a chance*, then he's messing with history.

If, on the other hand, he means "the Jewish people" (as in the Balfour Declaration's "a national home for the Jewish people"), that stock standard Zionist ideological construct which supposedly provides the rationale for the Jewish state of Israel, he needs to explain quite why Australians should take "pride" in "ensuring the security and prosperity" of a sectarian, apartheid state founded on the mass dispossession and expulsion of Palestine's indigenous Arab population.

[*See my 4/8/10 post Humanity or Zionism. Just click on the label for Yosef Grodzinsky below.]

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rudd & Netanyahu Cross Swords

The public airing of friction between a foreign head of state, while he is visiting a country, and one of that country's former leaders must surely be unique in the annals of international affairs.

Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd was moved to post the following unprecedented statement on his FB page yesterday:

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today challenged former Prime Minister Hawke and myself on what sort of Palestinian state we would recommend Israel recognise.

"I have a simple reply to Mr Netanyahu: The boundaries, internal security, external security, public finance and governance of a Palestinian state have been elaborated in detail in multiple negotiations with the US under the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations, most recently in the Kerry Plan. Mr Netanyahu knows these formulations like the back of his hand. Mr Netanyahu also knows he has torpedoed each of them, often at five minutes to midnight, often by changing the goalposts, to the enduring frustration of both Republican and Democrat Administrations.

"I have been a supporter of Israel all my life. And a public campaigner against any form of anti-Semitism. But to support the state of Israel does not mandate automatic support for each and every policy of Mr Netanyahu. The state of Israel and Mr Netanyahu are not co-definitional. That is why I beg to differ on this and other aspects of Mr Netanyahu's policies.

"For example, I also have a simple question for Mr Netanyahu. Will he use this visit to Australia to apologise to the Australian people for his government using forged Australian passports to facilitate an Israeli assassination of a member of Hamas in Dubai?

"No apology has ever been received for that action which had the consequence of putting the integrity of Australian passports and the security of Australian passport holders travelling to the Middle East at risk."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


"'The circumstances of the times... do appear to create the opportunity where perhaps the moons are aligning such that this could be a good time... for the parties to come back to the table and reach an agreement,' [PM Turnbull] said. 'But, of course, as with any agreement, it takes two to tango'." (Benjamin Netanyahu attacks former Australian PMs' calls to recognise Palestine, Ben Doherty, theguardian.com, 22/2/17)


"Mr Shorten said he would press Mr Netanyahu on the vexed issue of Israeli settlements. 'I will make it clear to Mr Netanyahu that where settlement-building is an obstacle to a two-state solution, it should be stopped. Full stop,' the Opposition Leader said." (Netanyahu visit to see tightening of security ties, Paul Maley, The Australian, 21/2/17)

"In public though, discretion was the better part of valour. The opposition leader thought the parties ought to return to direct negotiations and refrain 'from actions that jeopardise this.' He meant aggressive settlement building of course. But best not to mention the s-word, not while polite people are having a bite of lunch. Bibi might not like it." (Get on with it, Bibi: Turnbull's message to Netanyahu on peace deal, Katharine Murphy, theguardian.com, 22/2/17)

What Kind of Government is This?

1) It invites the head of an apartheid state for a visit.

2) Even before the war criminal arrives, its PM rolls out the welcome mat in the form of a fawning column in today's Australian (Israeli PM's visit cements a warm, old friendship), in which he gushes such guff as the following:

a) "Our friendship is as old as the state of Israel itself."

b) "As a majority Christian nation, we share the rich cultural inheritance of the Bible, its stories and values a foundation and a context for our history, our literature, our imagination."

c) "Israel is a miraculous nation."

d) "In a region racked by war [Israel] succeeds as the sole liberal democracy, a world leader in every field of science and technology, its culture of innovation the envy of the world."

e) "My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticising Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimise the Jewish state."

f) "We believe that with so many other, more destructive and intractable disputes in the Middle East, this is a time when Israeli and Palestinian leaders... should return to the negotiating table and work towards a solution that upholds the rights of both peoples to live side by side in peace and security."

Now if wealthy Zionist donors had at least paid for all this grovelling by covering the Liberal Party's 2016 election expenses, I could maybe half understand 1) and 2), but face it, PM Trumble had to dig deep into his own pocket for $1.75 million to cover those costs.

Please explain... someone?... anyone?


Over at News Corpse, Greg Sheridan's fairly beside himself at the First Coming of King Bibi. Even Fairfax has plonked its useless bum on the proverbial fence for the occasion, with a pro (Anthony Bergin) and a con (Stuart Rees) on its opinion pages. But this week's (17/2) Australian Jewish News is strangely silent on the subject, no front cover pic of the Zionist Messiah, no editorial encomiums, nothing really.

Could this AJN report on page 3 possibly have anything to do with it?:

"Australian Jewish leaders have expressed concern over Israel's controversial new legislation on settlements, describing the law which would retroactively legalise an estimated 4000 West Bank settler homes built on privately own Palestinian land as 'troubling' and 'counterproductive'. In a joint statement, Executive Council of Australian Jewry [ECAJ] president Anton Block and executive director Peter Wertheim said the Regulation Law passed by the Knesset last week, which prevents the government demolishing the homes and forces the landowners to accept compensation, is 'very troubling'. 'It seeks to legalise retroactively outposts that were built on land in the West Bank that had been privately owned by Palestinians. At the time they were built these outposts were illegal under Israeli law,' Block and Wertheim noted. Stating that the law was enacted 'despite the opposition of the Attorney-General of Israel', they said, 'Both he and the Defence Minister, as well as many legal experts, are predicting that the law will be successfully challenged in the Supreme Court of Israel. We can only hope that occurs, reaffirming that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is a democracy governed by the rule of law'." (Leaders unsettled by settlement legislation)

OMFG, they're criticising Israeli colonisation here, folks! ECAJ is criticising core Zionist business, namely the theft and settlement of any and every bit of Palestinian land they can possibly lay their hands on!

So WTF is going on here? These boZos have spent their entire lives cheering on, and otherwise aiding and abetting, Israel's colonisation of occupied (River-to-Sea) Palestine, but this latest land grab is a bridge too far? C'mon, guyZ, talk about swallowing the proverbial camel but straining at the proverbial gnat.

But lest one think that the Zcales have at last fallen entirely from their eyes, Block and Wertheim are really only worried that "this episode will... have  the 'unfortunate effect of feeding the false narrative that settlements are the primary reason for the absence of peace and will provide the Palestinians with a further excuse to keep avoiding a return to direct negotiations with Israel'."

(As Yishai Fleisher, the International spokesman of the Jewish community of Hebron, said in the New York Times recently: "Israel never seems to have a good answer to accusations against the settlement enterprise. Whenever the claim that Israel stole Palestinian lands is heard, Israel's answers inevitably are: 'We invented the cellphone,' 'We have gay rights,' 'We fly to help Haiti after an earthquake.' Obvious obfuscation. And when pushed to explain why the much-promised two-state solution is perenially stuck, the response is always to blame Arab obstructionism." (A settler's view of Israel's future, 14/2/17))

But there's more:

"Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) national chairman Mark Leibler and executive director Colin Rubenstein said AIJAC believes the bill is a 'counterproductive and unwise piece of legislation aimed at pandering to fringe constituencies at the expense of Israel's integrity and image abroad'."

Whaaat?! Did they say "fringe"? As in 'lunatic fringe'? OMFG, they're calling Israeli colonisers, pioneers, FFS, who are merely doing what Zionist colonisers, formerly known as kibbutzniks, have been doing ever since Balfour gave them Britain's blessing in 1917, lunatics! Can you believe it?

Nonetheless, they too insist that "the Palestinian refusal to negotiate, not settlements" is "the biggest barrier to peace."

(Reread Fleisher.)

Seriously - well, not really - you've got to feel sorry for the current King of the Colonies once he gets to Sydney. Should Block, Wertheim, Leibler and Rubes draw too close to Caesar, will he fix them with his eye, and ask, Et tu, ECAJ & AIJAC?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Israeli Apartheid... in The Sun-Herald!

When was the last time you saw journalism on Palestine/Israel like this in the normally don't-go-there Fairfax press?:

"This is the occupied West Bank, the putative Israeli-occupied Palestinian state as described by the 1967 war and contemplated in the 1993 Oslo Accords between the Israeli government and the PLO. Some souls live up here. Dotted hither and thither as the highway snakes eastward are Jewish settlements, invariably holding commanding hilltop positions. And lower down, perched awkwardly in the treeless gullies closer to the highway, there are Bedouins. Their ad hoc micro-settlements are untidy off-grid affairs. Illegal shanty towns of tin and tarps, marking out these itinerants as the most dispossessed of the 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

"In one such community, just 20 minutes from First World Jerusalem, a mud-brick school clings to a hillside. Its defiantly permanent adobe structures use solar panels for electricity, fake grass for play areas, and rely on donated equipment, most notably from Italy. But even that international recognition has not protected the tiny school from capricious treatment. A community leader displays a children's swing reduced to a useless frame after its parts were allegedly confiscated because the concrete footings had breached the rules - an example of the countless small ways in which officialdom makes life hard for non-Jewish persons in the hope they simply give up.

"Overlooking all this sits a gleaming white hamlet of Jewish settlers, replete with valuable water rights, extra security and private service roads - just some of the 600,000 state-subsidised outliers intent on expanding the Jewish state into the West Bank permanently per force of occupation." (Blind support for Israel does it no favours, Mark Kenny*, The Sun-Herald, 19/2/17)

Have you ever seen phrasing like this before in the normally black-is-white, Israel-is-a-democracy, up-is-down Fairfax press?:

"Israel is a... purportedly democratic nation..." (ibid)

When was the last time you read plain talk on Israeli apartheid like this in the normally afraid-of-its-own-shadow Fairfax press?:

"This... is conflict central. A place where rights are dependent on race and religion." (ibid)

Or this:

"The comprehensiveness of Israel's suppression of the local population is staggering. Yet it occasions little serious study from governments like Australia's, which has succumbed to the self-serving binary that there are only two critiques of Israel: unqualified support or anti-semitism." (ibid)

Or this:

"... it's not just Cold war-style partitioning to which much of the world has turned a blind eye, but now a new South Africa." (ibid)

[*"Mark Kenny is chief political correspondent. He travelled to Israel in 2014 courtesy of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council and to the occupied territories in 2016 courtesy of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network." (ibid)]

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Netanyahu Down Under

by his greatest Australian fan, Greg Sheridan:

It'll be bigger than Ben Hur:

"... Mr Netanyahu has extended his stay... to stretch now from Wednesday to Saturday. He will hold a series of talks with Malcolm Turnbull, and the two leaders will appear together at a number of events. The Israeli leader will also meet Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, as well as Bill Shorten and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. He will also attend a full meeting of federal cabinet and address Jewish community functions." (Security key as Israeli PM breaks new ground, The Australian, 18/2/17)

Despite Israel being the home of the NSO Group, "an Israeli cyberarms dealer" whose "motto is 'Make the World a Safer Place'," but whose "spyware is increasingly turning up on the phones of journalists, dissidents and human rights activists"*:

"The two countries will formalise a cyber-security dialogue and enhance cyber-security co-operation."

Business is business:

"Mr Netanyahu is believed to be bringing a delegation of about 25 leaders of hi-tech industries, including space, agribusiness, cyber and medical devices."

Shhh... don't mention the settlements:

"The Turnbull government will reiterate its support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [and] will also emphasise that a peace agreement cannot be imposed by outsiders."

Let's talk about Iran instead:

"The Israeli Prime Minister's highest priority on strategic issues is Iran... He will get a sympathetic hearing... and likely find some support for his position, although Australia will not be as critical of Iran as Israel is."

It's us against the world, Trumble:

"The fact the visit is going ahead, and that it matches or exceeds in length Mr Netanyahu's visit to the US this week, is a sign of his appreciation for Australia and the priority he puts on the relationship."

OK, Trumble, how about a joint bombs-away over Asad's presidential palace in Damascus. C'mon, Trumble, you know you want to:

"There will also be extensive talks on Syria, where Australia is involved militarily, and on the threat of Islamist terrorism. Mr Turnbull is likely to express solidarity with Israel in combating terrorism."

And, Trumble, you may as well stick around for our Balfour Declaration centenary shindig while you're there:

"It is possible Mr Turnbull could announce his intention to attend the centenary celebrations of the Beersheba operation in Israel on October 31 this year."

[*Bitter taste for soft drinks campaign, Nicole Perlroth, New York Times/ Sydney Morning Herald, 14/2/17]

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Israel Discovers Cure for Cancer

Simply shoot the sufferer:

"On his way to what was supposed to be his final chemotherapy session, last November, he boarded the wrong shared taxi. Discovering his mistake, he got off and ran across the highway to catch a taxi going in the opposite direction. Israel Defense Forces soldiers, who may have thought he was going to attack them, shot him, seriously wounding him. For the next three months he was bedridden in Beilinson Hospital, in Petah Tikva, most of the time in an intensive care unit. Throughout that entire period, no one in the IDF thought of updating his parents and family about the condition of their loved one. His mother was the only one allowed... to visit him, but even though she came a few times, on all but one occasion she was not permitted to enter his room. Just as his condition seemed to be improving, he died, apparently last week. No one thought to inform the family about his death, or the circumstances surrounding it. Israel has not yet returned the body In his native town of Tul Karm, in the northwestern part of the West Bank, no one believes that Mohammed Aamar Jalad [25] tried to attack soldiers on the way to his last chemo session." (Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli troops on his way to his last chemo session, Gideon Levy & Alex Levac, Haaretz, 17/2/17)

Danby to Hawke: How Very Dare You...

Born and bred in Melbourne, portly, pudding-faced Labor MP for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, looks just like any other comfortable, well-upholstered, whitebread pollywaffle with a princely retirement package lying in wait.

But appearances, as always, are deceiving.

Beneath that puffy, humdrum visage lurks a fierce Semitic Son of Israel with an unbroken DNA connection going all the way back to the warriors of Moses' Israeli Labor Party who once stood on the desert verge, gazing wide-eyed at the land flowing with milk and honey which lay before them, and which that mysterious entity G-D had conveniently promised them for their exclusive use.

With this antique connection surging through his veins, grinding all the while a photo of Bob Hawke underfoot, and the aforesaid mysterious entity guiding a hand trembling with righteous indignation at the silver bodgie's blasphemous use of the words 'Palestinians', 'indigenous', and 'Holy Land' in the same sentence, he furiously penned the following words, which, lo and behold, appeared in yesterday's Australian:

"Hawke's analysis of the conflict included a surprising throwaway that the Palestinians are the 'indigenous' people of the Holy Land. How could anyone, let alone a former prime minister, ignore the plethora of historical documents and archaeological artefacts that attest to the unbroken chain of Hebrew, Israelite and Jewish language, culture, religion and civilisation in the Holy Land over the past 3250 years?"" (Labor troika fails to see the roadblocks in Palestine)

But wait. What's this?

"And I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt into the land of the Canaanites..." (Exodus 3:17)

Once again: "... the land of the Canaanites..."

Just in case you missed it: "... THE LAND OF THE CANAANITES..."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Alice's Adventures in Trumpland 2

Alice: Just trying to pin the POTUS down here, Nikki. Seems he finds both the two- and the one-state hot. But which solution, do you think, is he more inclined to grab by the pussy?

Nikki Haley: "First of all, the two-state solution is what we support... We absolutely support the two-state solution, but we are thinking out of the box as well."*

[*US ambassador to UN contradicts Trump's position on two-state solution, Julian Borger, theguardian.com, 17/2/17]

Trump's Palestine/Israel Policy in a Word


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Alice's Adventures in Trumpland

Alice: What do you think about the two-state solution?

Trump''I'm looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like."*

[*Trump says US not committed to two-state Israel-Palestine solution, Julian Borger/ Peter Beaumont, theguardian.com, 16/2/17]

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bob Hawke's Crazy Love

In an Australian Financial Review op-ed published yesterday, former Labor PM and die-hard "friend of Israel," Bob Hawke, confesses to being worried about "the danger of Israel being blinded to the threat to its very soul and the vision of its future."

In Time to recognise the state of Palestine, he describes a meeting he had with former Israeli PM Golda Meir, at the end of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973:

"I listened with admiration and in total agreement as this wonderful woman, still traumatised with grief, looked into my eyes and said there could be no peace for Israel until there was an honourable settlement of the aspirations of the Palestinian people."

"Soul"? "Vision"? We're dealing here with a-worse-than-apartheid-state for God's sake, with no other "vision" than to cram in as many Jews as possible, and knock off as many Palestinians as circumstances allow. As for that "wonderful woman," Golda Meir, wasn't she the one who said, "There is no such thing as Palestinians"? (See my 17/8/08 post The Zionist La Passionara.)

Unfortunately, despite all his free time and a taxpayer-funded retirement package an aged pensioner could only dream of, he still hasn't taken the time or trouble to revisit, research, revise and apologise for his youthful infatuation and where it led him.

Clearly, the old codger's still not over it.

The only thing, it seems, which perturbs his rosy vision of an imagined Israeli golden age, is the current "sentiment of Israeli political leadership" as exemplified in "the inexorable expansion of Jewish settlement in the West Bank," where "some 580,000 Israelis live in 123 government-authorised settlements and about 100 unauthorised outposts on the West Bank and 12 major neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem." Not to mention those recently announced.

"The least we can do," he concludes, "in these most challenging of times, is to do what 137 other nations have already done - grant diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine."

The appalling thought arises: Will this be it? Will Hawke's be the one and only opinion piece in the lead-up to Netanyahu's visit in the Australian press that deviates from the usual, bipartisan kowtowing to Israel?

Perish the the thought.

But there's more to Hawke's piece than meets the eye. Something quite astonishing in fact. This:

"It was our great foreign minister Dr H.V. Evatt who chaired the UN Special Committee on Palestine and it was the resolution of that committee that authorised the partition of Palestine into two states. It was on the basis of this resolution that the state of Israel was established in 1948. The resolution gave the already settled and the newly arriving European Jewish settlers - who by then constituted a third of the population and owned less than 6% of the land - exactly 56.47% of the Palestinians' best cultivated land and cities. The two-thirds population of indigenous Palestinians who owned more than 94% of the land were given 47% of their own country."

Think about it...


a) Evatt had a hand in proposing that the indigenous Palestinians be divested of 56.47% of their patrimony, to be handed over, lock, stock, and barrel, to a minority of recently-arrived European settlers who had purchased only 6% of it (and he did);

b) and if the partition proposal enshrined in the UNGA's resolution of 29 November, 1947, was as draconian as has been described (and it was);

c) and if said partition resolution was, at least in part, Evatt's legacy in Palestine (and it was), then how the hell can Hawke describe Evatt as "our great foreign minister"?

In fact, it was the partition resolution of 1947 that gave Zionist fanatics such as David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir all the excuse they needed to embark on the military offensive they'd been preparing for for decades, drive out the indigenous Palestinian population, occupy 78% of their ancestral homeland, destroy hundreds of their villages, steal their land, and strew it with settlements (called at the time kibbutzes).

If Hawke really wanted to make a statement at this time, the very least he could have done would be to repudiate Evatt's legacy in Palestine, demand Israel withdraw to its 1947 partition borders, and call on it to implement all relevant UN resolutions, particularly UNGA resolution 194, enshrining the right of Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1948 to return home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Understanding Australia's Bipartisan Support for Israel

Isn't it beyond amazing that, despite their political differences, there is only one nation (apart from the lucky ducky country, of course) that has the power to move both PM Trumble and Opposition leader Bill Short-on to near constant declarations of undying love and affection - namely, Israel.

This remarkable coincidence, of course, is no doubt due, in both cases, to years of research and rapt contemplation of respective moral compasses by both parties.

Or could there be an another explanation?

"Bill Shorten first became a household name in 2006, surfing a wave of favourable publicity when the news broke that two men had survived the dreadful Beaconsfield mine disaster. It was a brief burst of fame, still more than a year before Shorten resigned as head of the Australian Workers Union to enter parliament and have a shot at realising his dream of becoming prime minister one day...

"Dick Pratt, the super-wealthy cardboard industry king, was Shorten's enabler on that occasion. It was a Sunday night and all hope of finding survivors of the mine collapse was lost. Shorten was stranded at home in Melbourne when the stunning news came through - he'd just returned from the mine site and there were no domestic flights back to Tasmania until the next day. Shorten's first thought? Naturally, call Pratt and ask to borrow his private jet... In quick time, Shorten was back in Beaconsfield. With the mine's management falling silent, he happily filled the void for an information-starved national media... It was a mark of Shorten's closeness to one of Australia's richest men that just a phone call to Pratt could secure his private jet free of charge.

"But that was far from the first, or last, time that Shorten would fly Air Pratt. He and his then wife, Deborah Beale, flew to the US on board Pratt's jet for family holidays at the packaging magnate's New York apartment... Privately, Shorten has always been keen to say the Pratt connection was because of Beale... Those close to Shorten say he conveyed the impression, indeed encouraged the idea, that Pratt was Beale's godfather... The marriage to Beale, say Shorten insiders, offered much more to a man who relished mixing with the rich and powerful... Beale helped open doors... to the Melbourne establishment [and] assisted with introductions for Shorten to captain's of industry.

"[Shorten] also got to know retail giant Solomon Lew. The Lew relationship was based in large part on their shared pro-Israel stance. As leader of the right-wing AWU in Victoria, Shorten devoted much time to battling the Left over Israel. He mixed easily with Lew and other Australian Jewish businessmen. It was good politics, too, for Shorten, to win the support of Melbourne's Jewish business community." (High-flying fake or workers' champion? Brad Norington, The Australian, 11/2/17)

"No domestic house in Melbourne has had more influence on public and philanthropical life than Raheen, the 1870s Italianate mansion owned for more than 35 years by the family of billionaire packaging king Richard Pratt... Raheen is used by the Pratts to court and entertain both sides of politics, to conduct fundraisers and to highlight the cause of Israel, into which the Pratt Foundation pours millions of dollars... Last week Mr Turnbull and his wife Lucy were invited to a party at Richard Pratt's son Anthony's Fifth Avenue apartment above New York's Central Park... " (More than just a home, Pratt mansion welcomes all parties, John Ferguson/ Rebecca Urban, The Australian, 11/2/17)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Historically Illiterate British MPs Debate Palestine

Following Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's  'STFU, I'm talking about Iran, not settlements' visit to the UK, the British parliament passed the following resolution on 9 February:

"That this House reaffirms its support  for the negotiation of a lasting peace between two sovereign states of Israel and Palestine, both of which must be viable and contiguous within secure and internationally recognised borders; calls on the Government to take an active role in facilitating a resumption of international talks to achieve this; welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted on 23 December 2016; and further calls on the government of Israel immediately to halt the planning and construction of residential settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which is both contrary to international law and undermines the prospect for the contiguity and viability of the state of Palestine."

While I liked (and disliked) some of the speeches which preceded it, I couldn't help but notice, and be profoundly irritated by, the historical illiteracy of certain MPs when it came to Britain's key role in opening up Palestine to wave after wave of Zionist fanatics from 1918 on. After all, this is their history, and there can be no excuses for not knowing it. So here are some snippets from the debate, both those I enjoyed, and those by MPs in dire need of a remedial history course:

Sir Desmond Swayne (Con), mover of the motion: "On Monday night, when a Bill was passed in the Knesset retrospectively legalising 4,000 homes in illegal settlements, the Israeli Minister of Culture welcomed the result, saying that it was 'The first step towards complete... Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.' The words 'Judea and Samaria' were chosen carefully. When President Trump was elected, the Israeli Interior Minister, no less, welcomed it by saying that we are witnessing 'the birth pangs of the Messiah when everything has been flipped to the good of the Jewish people.'... It is absolutely clear that a significant proportion of the Israeli political establishment is in thrall to an increasingly strident settler movement that regards Palestine as a biblical theme park - Judea and Samaria."

"I am certain that the Prime Minister will have made representations to the PM of Israel on Monday. I last made representations to an Israeli politician at a meeting in the Knesset with the chief negotiator with the Palestinians and Deputy PM. Halfway through that meeting, he stormed out announcing that I had launched a brutal assault - moi! As you know, Mr Deputy Speaker, I am a pussy in comparison with the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), who is a terrier. I am absolutely convinced that his representations will be much more robust than mine but, so long as they remain representations, the Government of Israel will continue to act with absolute impunity."

[Do we even have one Desmond Swayne in the Australian parliament? Anyone? Rhetorical question.]

Richard Burden (Lab): "What John Kerry was getting at was that if we end up with the de facto annexation of the West Bank, that gives Israel a choice. It can say either that everybody living there should have the vote and rights equal to those of its own citizens, or that they do not. If it says that they do have those rights, the future of Israel with a Jewish majority is at an end. If it says that they do not have those rights, Israel can no longer claim to be a democracy. Not only that, but if there is de facto annexation while Israel maintains a system of laws and controls that discriminate against the majority of people who live in the West Bank and denies them basic rights, what term can we use to describe what we are left with but a form of apartheid?"

[Just imagine what would happen if an Australian MP invoked the word 'apartheid' in connection with Israel.]

Crispin Blunt (Con): "Since Oslo, Palestinians have been betrayed by two decades of factionalised leadership; by the international community in the disastrous consequences of the implementation of the Oslo process; historically by their Arab neighbours in the catastrophic way that they first advanced their own interests ahead of the Palestinian cause; and, also historically, by Britain in our failure to deliver the second half of the Balfour Declaration."

[OFFS, does Blunt seriously thinks that Balfour promising the Zionists "a national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine was fine and dandy, just so long as "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine"?

Think about it: assorted Russian, Polish and Romanian Zionist fanatics score a "national home" in Palestine, while Palestine's "existing non-Jewish communities," which is how the Balfour Declaration dismissively referred to the indigenous Muslim/Christian Palestinian Arab majority (over 90% of Palestine's population in 1917), get mere "civil and religious rights." What a bargain!

Honesty dictates that Blunt's last comment should have been replaced with, The Palestinians have been betrayed historically, by Britain in our CRIMINAL decision to issue the Balfour Declaration."]

Joan Ryan (Lab): "Before addressing the motion, I wish to condemn the rocket attack on Israel last night, when Islamic State fired four rockets from the Sinai Peninsula into Eilat. I expect that the whole House wants to join me in that sentiment."

[LOL Ryan, you'll remember, heads Labour Friends of Israel, and was caught on film, in the recent Al Jazeera expose, licking her lips at the prospect of receiving 1 million pounds from the Israeli Embassy operative, Shai Masot.]

Philip Holobone (Con): "My point was that Britain's connection with the region goes back an awfully long way. For the best part of 30 years after the First World War, we did our best to try to come to a reconciled solution between Arabs and Jews. As a nation we failed, which was why we pulled out in 1948."

[Holobone's historical sketch doesn't go back far enough. The British betrayed a 1915 treaty they had signed with the Arabs promising Arab independence, including Palestine (the Hussein-McMahon pledge), in exchange for a rising against the Ottoman Turks, by doing deals, first with the French, to carve up the Middle East between them (the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916), and second with the Zionist movement, to which they promised Palestine in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.


Any British MP who isn't familiar with these elementary historical facts, and thinks that Britain 'did its best to reconcile Arabs and Jews' (as opposed to unleashing hordes of Zionist fanatics on the unsuspecting Palestinian Arabs) in British-occupied Palestine (1918-1948), should be debarred from holding office on the grounds of historical illiteracy.]

Tommy Sheppard (SNP): "This is the longest-running conflict in the modern era and its solution seems further away than ever, but its very intractability is a reason why we should rededicate ourselves to trying to move the process forward. Every time the international community has considered the competing claims in the region, they have arrived at the same conclusion: that two states living side by side, one Jewish in character and one Arab in character, in peaceful coexistence is the solution to aim for. That was true when Balfour and Sykes looked at it 100 years ago... "

[Bullshit! Sheppard seems to think that when Balfour and Sykes were playing colonial games in the Ottoman Middle East, they found, in Palestine, two equal, indigenous communities, one Jewish and one Arab, who needed a little help from the British to get along together. He doesn't seem to know that the Arabs were not only indigenous to the area, but were, in fact, the overwhelming majority of the population (90%+) at the time, while the Zionists were British-backed and protected European settlers, out to create their very own, exclusive, ethnocratic Jewish (and hence Arabrein) state.]

Andy Slaughter (Lab): "The tragedy of the Palestinians is the occupation. The length of the occupation... The settlements are the embodiment of occupation. Everything else that is wrong in the occupied territories flows from those settlements; 85% of the barrier, which is there to protect the settlements, is on occupied territory. It has been said that the settlements occupy only 1.5% of the land, but they control 42.7% of the land. Palestinians in the West Bank are not allowed to build on 60% of the land."

[A useful rebuttal to the Netanyahu line that the settlements are not the problem.]

Alan Brown (SNP): "On one trip, I saw a settlement positioned, nice and bright, on the top of a hill, with plenty of green shrubbery made possible by the piped water supply. Meanwhile, the closest Bedouin village, despite having electricity pylons running past it, is not allowed to connect to the electricity. The water supply for the settlement runs through the Bedouin village, but the villagers are not allowed access to it. The school in the village is part funded by the EU but has a demolition order hanging over it. That is state intimidation by Israel."

[Nicely put.]

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Packer Exec Paves Way for Netanyahu Visit

James Packer is not the only one to fall in love with Benjamin Netanyahu (See my 2/2/17 post His Secret Love's No Secret Anymore). Now it's the turn - surprise, surprise - of Harold Mitchell, a director of Packer's Crown Resorts. And he's spilled his guts in that easy rag the Sydney Morning Herald. Here it is, along with my picking over the *ahem* entrails. (Well, somebody's gotta do it!):

"No matter what President Trump says or does, this century belongs to Asia... But there are other places now where the catalytic forces of immigration and innovation are creating new opportunities. One of them is Israel, where I have been this week. Its 8 and a half million people are crammed into an area about a third the size of Tasmania with no natural resources."

Er... their choice.

"And while being on a constant war footing... "

Their choice again. Muscle your way into someone else's patch and what do you expect?

"... Israel produces more start-ups than Japan, India, Korea, Canada and Britain combined."

Oh, and more trigger-happy upstarts than all of them combined!

"It is no surprise that this tiny country has more than 10% of the world's cyber-security industry and it's doubling every year."

"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying 'Send men that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, everyone a [Crown] prince among them." (Numbers 13: 1-2)

"And the booming innovation companies work in fields as diverse as medicine and irrigation. It's no surprise that a country that transformed desert into a fruit and veg bowl invented drip irrigation."

Yep, before that, not a fruit or veg as far as the eye could see. Just sand. Sand, sand, sand, sand. And the odd sand nigger. So they innovated, and invented the Uzi submachine gun, the Galil assault rifle and the Merkava tank, and hey, the rest is history...

"Three things stand out. First, Israel's motivation is the survival of its people. Let's not forget that it's a land of immigrants, bound together by a shared commitment to build a safe and prosperous nation."

After giving the place a thorough ethnic cleansing, of course.

"Second, the Israelis have an enormously strong family culture. I built my business on the simple domestic values of of telling each other the truth and arguments are fixed before bedtime."

Hello? Sub-editor? Must've fallen asleep at this point.

"And third, some Israelis are not afraid to question authority, be it the boss or the government. And what's more, authorities usually listen. We should all know by now that if you tend to surround yourself with people who only agree with you, collapse is just around the corner. That is the story of the great Napoleon and it will be the fate of some current leaders who don't have the capacity to listen to news they'd rather not hear."

Hm... most cryptic this... OK, OK, you guys, which one of you isn't listening to James/ Binyamin???

"There was a good example just before I left. The governor of the Bank of Israel said: 'The key to realising the economy's potential will be the development of policies that address economic issues of inequality, inefficient regulation and the need to increase both investment and human capital."

You've heard of the Lost Tribes? What about the lost 'Book of the Bank of Israel'? Now wouldn't that add a little more vibrancy to the fusty Old Testament?

"Which raises a fourth great strength, success through risk taking... "

Except when it comes to dismantling apartheid...

"We are not doing enough and with Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Australia in a week or so we should listen; we can learn from Israel."

Aha! So that's what this grubby PR exercise is all about. A promo for Netanyahu! Show some respect, you Aussie layabouts, and LISTEN to what the great man has to say!

"But the story of Israel cannot end without an account of my visit to the Hadassah Medical Centre, part of the Hebrew University and with one of the world's great cardiologists, Professor Chaim Lotan. He asked if I wanted to witness two simultaneous heart operations."

Cinch, we're Israelis, you know. (With apologies to Irving Berlin):

Chaim: Anything you can do, we can do better. We can do anything better than you.
Harold: Yes you can.
Chaim: Yes we can.
Harold: Yes you can.
Chaim: Yes we can. Yes we can, Yes we can.

"Now I hate the sight of blood... "

Good thing you didn't go the OCCUPIED West Bank & Gaza then.

"... and I had my own heart somewhere near my mouth as I walked into the control room for operating theatres. On the right was an older Jewish man and to my left was a 12-month-old baby. And the team performing these lifesaving operations within sight of the wall dividing Israel from the Palestinian territory was made up of Arab Israeli and Jewish technicians, side by side. This is as you'd expect from doctors of course. But it struck me strongly that here in the operating theatre the animosities of the outside world didn't mean a thing. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life." (Australia could look to learn from Israel's successful innovations, 10/2/17)

OK, big thinker, if Arab and Jewish technicians can work side by side, tell me why we need a self-described 'Jewish' state. Think about it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

There's No Business like (Israeli Apartheid) Show Business

"It took 3000 [Israeli] police to clear the isolated hilltop of protesting [Israeli settler] youths." (Knesset passes West Bank land law, William Booth, Washington Post/Sydney Morning Herald, 8/2/17)


Oh, I see. One to dispense tissues. One to serve cool drinks. One to apologise profusely. One to...

After all, G-d himself gave this land to these gilded youths with Brooklyn accents, don't you know?

Just ask them and they'll tell you: "The Amona settlers said God had promised the land to the Jews and denied the Arab claims." (ibid)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the apartheid wall, only a handful of Israeli troops are needed to keep the G-d forsaken Palestinian untermenschen in line.

In fact, only 4 Israeli ubermenschen were needed when the 17-year-old Palestinian youth, Qusai al-Imour was SHOT 6 TIMES while resisting the Israeli OCCUPATION of his ancestral homeland:

"A human rights group has demanded that the army investigate the killing of a Palestinian teen after footage showed soldiers dragging the youth's bullet-ridden body to their vehicle with his head banging on the ground. Only then did the soldiers offer medical care." (Video shows Israeli soldiers dragging Palestinian teen shot in clashes, Jack Khoury & Gili Cohen, Haaretz, 17/1/17)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Netanyahu's Charmless Offensive: UK 3

As charmless Israeli thug Benjamin Netanyahu lectured UK PM Theresa May on Iran, and ignored her on Israeli settlements, Israeli aircraft and tanks were once again pounding the crippled, impoverished Gaza ghetto, and the Israeli Knesset was passing legislation enabling Netanyahu to "unilaterally seize [occupied West Bank] land privately owned by Palestinians, make it state property, and then transfer it to settlers for the construction of settlements... " (Israeli Knesset agrees to seize Palestinian land in late night vote, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 6/2/17)

Her reaction? Invite him back later in the year for a birthday bash:

"May also invited Netanyahu to return to the UK later this year to attend events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration in November." (May refuses Netanyahu's call to impose new sanctions on Iran, Patrick Wintour, theguardian.com, 7/2/17)

 Teensy Weensy Britain...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Netanyahu's Charmless Offensive: UK 2

Typically, Netanyahu talks - lesser mortals listen:

"[UK PM Theresa] May was due to raise the issue of illegal settlements with Israel's leader on a bid for a 'lasting two-state solution'. But before the formal talks could begin, he lectured Mrs May publicly on the need to stand up to Iranian aggression.

"On the steps of No 10... Mr Netanyahu said 'responsible' countries should follow Donald Trump in imposing fresh sanctions against Iran after it tested a ballistic missile. He took the unusual step of using the so-called 'warm words' in front of the world's media, telling Mrs May: 'We face challenges, that's very clear, from militant Islam and especially from Iran. 'Iran seeks to annihilate Israel, it seeks to conquer the Middle East, it threatens Europe, it threatens the West, it threatens the world. And it offers provocation after provocation. That's why I welcome president Trump's assistance of new sanctions against Iran, I think other nations should follow suit, certainly responsible nations. And I'd like to talk to you about how we can ensure that Iran's aggression does not go unanswered'." (Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu kept waiting on Downing Street doorstep for talks with Theresa May, Arj Singh, Dan Bloom, mirror.co.uk, 6/2/17)

UK Prime Minister tweet:

"The Prime Minister and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met at Downing St today. They committed to build on the strong UK-Israel ties in a wide range of areas, including trade and investment, innovation and technology, and defence and security." (6/2/17)

The incredible, shrinking Little Britain...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Netanyahu's Charmless Offensive: UK 1

Benjamin Netanyahu is on a charmless offensive this month. Australia, of course, is on his itinerary.

First stop, however, is Theresa May's United Kingdom... today.

The UK's Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called for a 'Justice Now: Stand Up for Palestine' rally outside Downing Street this morning. Here's why:

"Netanyahu's visit comes at the start of a year which marks significant anniversaries in the history of the dispossession of the Palestinian people and denial of their basic rights, including;

*100 years since the Balfour Declaration where Britain promised the land of Palestine to another people
*70 years since the UN Partition Plan and the beginning of the Nakba which saw 750,000 Palestinians driven into exile and nearly 500 Palestinian villages and towns wiped from the map
*50 years since Israel's illegal occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem
*10 years since the imposition of the siege of Gaza

"These anniversaries highlight Britain's complicit role in Palestinian dispossession. It also highlights our continuing responsibility to act in accordance with international law, in order to support the rights of the Palestinian people to justice and equality and to help secure a lasting peace.

"As we stand outside Downing Street on Monday, we will be calling on Theresa May to make Netanyahu aware that Britain was serious when it supported UN resolution 2334. The resolution confirmed the illegality of Israel's occupation and condemned settlement building as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Given that Netanyahu has made it clear he will ignore the resolution, Theresa May must make clear that the UK will follow up its words with action. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but the UK government should do the following if it wants to remain true to its word:

*Announce a review of all of the UK's financial relationships with settlements and exclude all settlement goods from UK markets.
*End any talk of a UK trade deal with Israel unless it complies with international law.
*Suspend military relations with Israel - UK arms exports to Israel violate the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

"Theresa May told us on the eve of her meeting with Donald Trump that she would not be afraid to tell the heads of other governments when they were doing things that were unacceptable. Her failure to respond to Donald Trump's announcement of a ban on Syrian refugees and Muslims from 7 different countries travelling to the US saw her fail the test she had set herself." (Protest Netanyahu's Visit on the 6th February - Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 4/2/17)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Unleashing the Settler Hordes

Zionists have been playing word games ever since Herzl's 'Jewish State' of 1896 was transmuted, in the infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, into 'National Home for the Jewish people', and the tweeted grunts, belches, farts and turds of the rampaging Trumposaurus are providing Netanyahu with all the wriggle room he needs and more to implement the Irgun/Herut/Likud, facts-on-the-ground, Zionist wet dream of a Greater Israel stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean:

"Everyone was surprised yesterday when the White House issued a statement warning Israel to tone down its settlement construction announcements, faulting them for large unilateral moves and asking them to hold off pending future talks between President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli officials seemed less surprised by the comments, deciding that they're going to officially interpret them as a full endorsement of continued settlement expansion, amounting to giving the Israeli government 'carte blanche' to build as they wish with no restrictions.

"How they were told to 'stop' and heard 'go' appears to be related to previous statements from President Obama, which Trump's statement yesterday closely mirrored. Israeli officials saw the Trump statement as softer in tone than Obama's calls for Israel to stop building settlements, and are therefore presenting it as a net win. After all, it's not like Obama did much of anything about Israel's reckless expansion of settlements, and after this statement, Israel seems to reason Trump is liable to do even less." (from Israel interprets Trump warning as green light to keep expanding settlements, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 3/2/17)

Just since Trump's 20 January inauguration we've had 560 more settler homes announced for occupied East Jerusalem and another 5,500 announced for the occupied West Bank. This speaks volumes about Netanyahu's contempt for UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which recently declared Israeli settlements a "flagrant violation of international law."

Friday, February 3, 2017

Why Didn't Malcolm Just Ring Jared?

"Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal." (Trump tweet 2/2/17)

So Trump's effectively told Turnbull to fuck off and hung up on him. And everyone's surprised? Why?

Face it, Turnbull's the cringing, servile head of a mercenary vassal state, located halfway up the POTUS's posterior, and Trump's a bloke with a God complex. That fateful phone call could only ever have ended in tears for Turnbull.

I mean, just listen to this sycophant:

"[Turnbull] added he had enjoyed his interactions with Mr Trump, saying Australia's alliance with the US remained 'rock solid' and was based on generations of commitments, service, courage [sic] and partnerships between the people." (Donald Trump slams 'dumb' refugee deal with Australia after 'worst' phone call - Donald Trump's America, ABC News, 3/2/17)

Seriously, what was Turnbull thinking?

All the klutz had to do was cast his mind back to the American-accented words of Rabbi Wolff, delivered at Bondi Junction's Central Synagogue on December 30 last year. The UNSC had just passed Resolution 2334, slamming Israeli settlements as a "flagrant violation of international law," and Turnbull was at the synagogue, kippah on head, lapping up the following words of Rabbi Wolff:

"Earlier today I received a phone call from the Prime Minister. He said that he wanted me to know that he was thinking lots about us during this most turbulent week for Israel & the Jewish People. How truly heartwarming when Israel found itself isolated from foes and allies alike. There was one voice of morality, a voice of justice that refused to be silenced, and that voice is the voice of our country, Australia, under the stellar leadership of our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Foreign Minister Julia [sic] Bishop."*

That's right, Israel & the Jewish People!

Turnbull had inexplicably forgotten that no man cometh unto the POTUS but by "Israel & the Jewish People."

Fair enough, you might argue, but how could he possibly have forgotten Trump's unambiguous tweet on the subject of Resolution 2334 (which will surely be the leitmotif of his Middle East policy: "Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast appearing!"

Really, it's not Trump, but Jared Kushner he should've rung.

Had he done so, Jared would have cooed reassuringly: 'Don't you worry, O Voice of Morality, O Voice of Justice, O Voice of Australia. Relax, Valiant Friend of Israel & the Jewish People, I will intercede with the POTUS on your behalf, OK? It's in the bag, already! Just give me five, and I'll ring you back, OK?'

Maybe there's still time.

[*See my 30/1/16 post Turnbull 'Govt' an Ethical & Moral Black Hole.]

Independent, Fearless Journalism, Guardian-Style

"Become a supporter. Support our independent, fearless journalism in Australia," pleads the ad on the Guardian Australia website.

I wonder, though, what happened to that independent, fearless journalism when the Guardian reported on the recent case of the Quebec terrorist, Alexande Bissonnette as follows:

"Those who know Bissonnette have described him as pro-Donald trump, anti-immigration and sympathetic to the far right." (Fox News tweet made no mention of the other man arrested after Canadian PM's office steps in, Ashifa Kassam, 1/2/17)

The Guardian left out the fact that Bissonnette was an admirer of Israel and its army. To learn about that one has to go to the Electronic Intifada website, where Ali Abunimah points out that:

"Quebec media have pointed to the Facebook page of Bissonnette [which] showed that Bissonnette has 'liked' a number of political figures and entities which, if taken as signs of his views, may indicate far-right leanings. His 'likes' include the official Facebook pages of Trump, Le Pen, the 'Israel Defence Forces' and a group called 'United with Israel'." (Quebec mosque attack suspect liked Trump, Israeli army, French far-right, 30/1/17)

For those with eyes to see, Zionism and far-right extremism are natural bedfellows. See my 19/4/12 post 'Our Zionist brothers'.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

His Secret Love's No Secret Anymore

The ABC's 7.30 just got steamy.

Steamy, but nice steamy, know what I mean?

Nice, as in Doris Day singing:

Once I had a secret love/ That lived within the heart of me/ All too soon my secret love/ Became impatient to be free/ So I told a friendly star [of David?]/ The way that dreamers often do/ Just how wonderful you are/ And why I'm so in love with you...

Sophie McNeill: "The relationship between one of Australia's richest men and the Prime Minister of Israel can be traced back to a star-studded dinner held in Mr Netanyahu's honour in March 2014. The evening's host was Hollywood producer and Israeli billionaire businessman Arnon Milchan. There, but hiding from the cameras, was the party's co-host, James Packer." (James Packer caught in middle of Israeli political scandal, 31/1/17)

Raviv Drucker: "He's not Jewish, but there was a very immediate chemistry... between him and Mr Netanyahu..."

OMG, those dreaded Israeli pheromones have done it again!

Sophie McNeil: "The relationship quickly developed. Mr Packer purchased a million-dollar beachfront mansion in Israel, right next door to the private home of Mr Netanyahu... Then, in March 2015, James Packer was a surprise guest in the audience as Mr Netanyahu addressed the US Congress in Washington... [He] then appeared at another speech Mr Netanyahu gave to the UN General Assembly, standing with senior Israeli officials and the Netanyahu family. Questions began to be asked."


Sophie McNeill: "Raviv Drucker is one of Israel's most acclaimed investigative journalists... His report on James Packer's relationship with the Prime Minister caused shockwaves across Israel. The report alleged the Australian billionaire showered lavish treatment on the Prime Minister's family, particularly on his 25-year-old son, Yair..."

Ain't love grand?

Doris, if you please?

Now I shout it from the highest hills/ Even told the golden daffodils/ At last my heart's an open door/ And my secret loves's no secret anymore...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Trump's Biggest Fans

Palestinian-Israeli freedom fighter Haneen Zoabi MK on Israel and Trump:

"Israel, she says, wants to 'close the file on the Palestinians' demand for a state. Binyamin Netanyahu... 'is shifting the paradigm from managing the crisis to solving the crisis - but [this is] a one-sided solution in the interests of Israel. Something has changed in the minds of Israelis: Palestinians have ceased to exist. The walls are not just physical, they are also psychological.'

"This mindset is reinforced by the new US president, she says. 'Donald Trump may seem bizarre and unique to most of the world, but not for Israel. His kind of populism [and] his way of violent speech are the dominant model in Israel. Israel is the only country not shocked and not afraid of Trump. On the contrary, Netanyahu and Trump represent the same model.' If Trump follows through on his election pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, signifying endorsement of Israel's claim of the city as its 'eternal and undivided capital', there should be 'strong reaction', says Zoabi.

"Zoabi said that Trump's ban on people from some Muslim countries entering the US was a dangerous formalisation of Islamophobia. 'This hatred is nothing new, it's part of the culture, but now it's being turned into policy. It's becoming part of the norm that you can talk with hatred about Muslims without feeling any shame,' she said." (From Haneen Zoabi: 'Israel is the only country not shocked by or afraid of Trump', Harriet Sherwood, theguardian.com, 31/1/17)