Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I have often maintained that the fringe group Australians for Palestine is not about supporting Palestine or Palestinians at all.

The AFP site is carrying a story taken from the Maan Newsagency entitled "Dutch ministry advises businesses to label settlement products", The Maan story carries a photograph of two men wearing polo tops with a slogan in Arabic.

The AFP site has done away with the Maan picture and has run with this instead -

You can draw your own conclusions.

Monday, March 11, 2013


A BBC snapshot of the bereaved father of a Palestinian child killed firing Operation Pillar of Defence. Human Rights Watch and other pro Palestinian groups automatically blamed Israel. A UN report has now concluded the death was due to Hamas rocket fire.

Reporters of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours know full well the impact of footage of innocent children caught up in war can have to elicit sympathy for one side. After all, it was the graphic vision of the death of young Mohammed Al-Dura at the outset of the Second Palestinian intifada that not only enflamed the Muslim world but garnered much international sympathy for the Palestinians and hatred towards the Israelis. The rage continued even when it became clear that it was unlikely that the Israeli army was not responsible for the death and in that respect, the media also played its role by ignoring the truth.

This scenario has played itself out on numerous occasions and last year we saw photographs of eleven year olds A’hd Tamimi, and her cousin Marah Tamimi on the front pages of Fairfax media outlets alongside an article charging the Israeli army with the routine abuse of Palestinian children. A caption in the Age said "An Israeli soldier restrains a Palestinian girl crying over the arrest of her mother during a protest over land confiscation in al-Nabi Saleh." It turned out that the two were children of well know Palestinian activists and were being used as props in a campaign against Israel, encouraged by their parents to be exactly where they were. They were being put in harm's way in a cynical attempt to garner international sympathy for the cause of delegitimising Israel.

Despite being caught with its pants down, Fairfax Media persisted. During Israel’s recent war with Hamas, its now Palestinian based reporter Ruth Pollard reported as follows in Hopes of truce fail as Israel and Hamas remain defiant
The devastated family of the BBC journalist Jihad Misharawi mourned the death of his 11-month-old son Omar, killed along with his sister-in-law when an Israeli mortar shell crashed through their house as the attacks escalated on Thursday.
As it happens this has been proven to be yet another lie in the campaign against Israel – UN clears Israel of charge it killed baby in Gaza. Human Rights Watch blamed Israel without the slighest amount of investigation into the incident. It now turns out that it wasn't an Israeli mortar shell at all but an errant Hamas missile.

But don't hold your breath waiting for an apology from Pollard or HRW.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


In today's letters section, a piece from one correspondent who reckons Hamas, despite the fact that its "repugnant", should continue its policies of violence and hatred towards Jews because if it doesn't then the Israelis will oppress the Palestinians. Sounds a little confused about the meaning of peace negotiations, doesn't he? Sole bargaining chip Paul McGeough rightly focused on an important issue - the conditions imposed on Hamas before the Western powers will negotiate with it (''Hamas chief opens up but stays defiant'', 3/3). While it sounds reasonable to, among other things, ask Hamas to renounce violence and recognise Israel, it should be realised that these are the sole bargaining chips that Hamas has. Once these concessions are made, Israel has what it wants and does not need to offer any concessions of its own. It can continue to oppress the Palestinians and proceed with its progressive theft of Palestinian land, while stonewalling in any negotiations. Hamas is a repugnant organisation, but that doesn't prevent its leader speaking the truth occasionally. GREG PLATT, Brunswick Then there's this view that sums it up so much better. Nothing has changed Folksy photographs of Hamas leader Khalid Mishal belie the fact that nothing has changed: Hamas is a still a terrorist organisation whose charter formally calls for the genocide of a neighbouring country (Israel), and whose military wing routinely attempts suicide and rocket attacks to further this aim. Mishal's view of the region may well include himself as leader of the Palestinian people, but it also includes the eradication of Israel. ALAN FREEDMAN, St Kilda East

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Sheridan gets it right: Carr & Rudd get it completely wrong

If you have read the perversion of the facts of the sad case of Ben Zygier as presented in the Fairfax Media, then get today's Oz where Greg Sheridan, by contrast really nails the truth. Bob Carr and Kevin Rudd completely wrong on Israel
THE sad case of Ben Zygier, the Mossad agent who committed suicide in an Israeli prison in 2010, brings to the fore the strange pathologies in Australian opinion concerning Israel.
He's no doubt referring to the likes of Ruth Pollard before going on to deal with Rudd and Carr:
It also underlines how badly the Labor government has gone off course in its conception of Israel, and Israel's place in the world.
Beyond Zygier, let me offer some examples of where Labor has got it wrong on Israel and then suggest the analytical mistake at the root of these missteps. Last year in a cabinet revolt, Julia Gillard was overridden on a key UN vote. Australia was set to vote no to elevating the status of the Palestinian Authority to an observer state at the UN. Carr and Rudd opposed Gillard's position (though Rudd was not a player in this vote). Under the baleful influence of Gareth Evans, a tremendously negative force on contemporary Labor foreign policy who offers only a bureaucratic version of conventional wisdom (and conventional wisdom is often wrong), Canberra changed its vote and abstained. In its own terms, this was a very bad move. There will never be a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute until both sides compromise over an agreement. This UN move, along with many tens of millions of dollars of increased Australian aid to the Palestinians, gives them something for nothing. It helps convince the Palestinian leadership that the way to success doesn't involve compromise and negotiation. Instead the international community will do their job for them. It is a destructive syndrome. ... Israel is Australia's friend and ally. The Labor Party used to know this and care about it. Joining in the popular kicking of Israel is not a sign of moral courage, though it will win plaudits from the usual suspects at the UN and in conventional international relations think tanks.

Friday, March 08, 2013


Thursday, February 28, 2013


Today's Sydney Morning Herald
(Loyalty disparaged
Bill Tango (Letters, February 27) is quite right: to say there is a possibility of a conflict of loyalties for an individual with dual Australian-Israeli citizenship is not veiled antisemitism. But to exploit the issue to cast aspersions on the loyalties of Australian Jews as a whole is.
Peter Wertheim Executive Director, Executive Council of Australian Jewry

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Report: Israel informed Australia when Zygier was arrested

It seems that a former Age journo may have played a role in the death of Ben Zygier.

Report: Israel informed Australia when Zygier was arrested