Thursday, November 30, 2006


James Kirchick writes in today's online edition of The New Republic about THE STAGED LEGACY OF RACHEL CORRIE.

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" is a one-woman show playing in New York about the International Solidarity Movement activist who died in 2003 after being crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in disputed circumstances while attempting to prevent the destruction of Palestinian houses near the Gaza/Egypt border.

The play opened in London two years ago to mixed reviews. The more prescient observers recognised immediately that it was nothing more than a simple piece of agitprop designed to promote antagonism towards the Jewish state.

The ISM is an organization which supports the Palestinian "armed struggle" while at the same time claiming to be "anti war". As such, it has been reasonably successful in recruiting naive young activists like Corrie to do their handiwork (i.e. disrupt the IDF's attempts to protect its own citizens from terrorism) in the Palestinian territories.

Kirchick points out that while the play takes us into the streets of the Rafah refugee camp where Corrie worked just before her death, "there is hardly any mention of the Palestinian people she was so committed to."

He adds -

"We hear machine guns, helicopter blades, and tanks (though never the sounds of suicide bombs). If you watched 'My Name is Rachel Corrie' knowing little about this decades-long crisis, you would leave thinking that Israelis are sadistic monsters who kill Palestinians at random, destroy olive groves, and harass women and children for the sheer thrill of it. The few mentions of terrorism or suicide bombing are vague, and only in reference to 'the right of people to legitimate armed struggle.' Never is it suggested that these acts take place against civilian targets, not soldiers (though, in her diary, Corrie excuses that, too)."

And this highlights what is so sad about the Palestinian narrative.

While many Palestinians and Israelis would like to see a peaceful and a just solution to the conflict, it seems that for some Palestinians and their supporters, the propaganda war and the lies and deceit never stop.

Earlier this week, the Age published a letter from reader Moammar Mashni of Hawthorn. Incredibly the letter that follows was headed "A glimmer of hope in the Middle East" -

"HOPES of renewed peace negotiations in Palestine/Israel were lifted this past weekend after a truce was announced. Since June, Israel has blasted its way through the towns and villages of Gaza, killing more than 500 Palestinians. Five Israelis have also died since the assault began.

Without being too pessimistic, one wonders what will be the trigger for the collapse of this current truce. Reports of militants firing rockets from Gaza have already begun filtering out (The Age, 27/11), which will no doubt be the pretext for another bombardment of the Palestinians. These home-made rockets have killed eight Israelis in five years and in response Israel has killed over 4000 Palestinians. Such disproportionate force is precisely why mutterings of an Israeli peace pact are met with scepticism by the Palestinians."

Putting aside for a moment the reasons why the Age could see fit to publish such a deceptive piece of drivel, the letter shows how difficult it is going to be for the current ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian terrorists to hold.

Apologists for Palestinian terror feel it is necessary to portray events even untruthfully and without any ethics if it can win an argument.

In his letter, Mashni ignores the reasons why Israel started operating in Gaza in June of this year. He ignores the fact that the Israeli death toll at the hands of Palestinian terror during the Second Intifada was in far in excess of eight; in fact it was in excess of 1,000!

Also conveniently ignored is the fact that the majority of the Palestinian casualties were armed combatants or put in harm's way by terrorists.

So, even at a time when they should be looking forward to an era of peace in the region, the public is fed a never ending stream of deceit from the Palestinian propaganda machine.

And this is what I see as the staged legacy of Rachel Corrie and the tacky little play that carries her name.

[And yes, I have read and been bored by the terrible script]

Monday, November 27, 2006


A: A mass murderer in the employ of Hamas.


Lorna Fitzsimmons tells WHY I'M BACKING ISRAEL in the London Guardian.

Compare this with the hateful piece of propagandist garbage put out by Terry Lane in yesterday's Sunday Age about which I will have more to say in due course.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Thanks to HONEST REPORTING for bringing to our attention this New York Times article entitled A DISCREDIT TO THE UNITED NATIONS.

"The council is new, but its deliberations have already fallen into a shameful pattern. When it comes to the world’s worst and most consistent human rights violators, like China, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar and Sudan, there has been a tendency to muffle words and conclusions and shift the focus from individual and political rights to broader economic and social questions.

"But when it comes to criticizing Israel for violations committed in a wartime context that includes armed attacks against its citizens and soldiers, the council seems to change personality, turning harshly critical and uninterested in broader contexts."

There's a lot more to ot than this because the New York Times report represents a virtual oasis in a desert of reporting on this corrupt organisation.

Thinks about it when next you read of the daily deaths and the despair of Darfur or even about the massacres taking place in Irak and described as a "sectarian war".

It seems that the "human rights" gang at the U.N. only springs into action when Israel tries to defend its citizens against gangsters who who like to do the same thing to the Jews as their kindred spirits in Sudan are doing to the defenceless Darfurians.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


What's wrong with the above picture?

The two elderly characters are a priest and a nun from Michigan who have joined dozens of Palestinians who gather at certain Gaza houses in effort to prevent Israel from bombing the houses. The Israelis say they are houses used by terrorists involved in the organisation of such activities as planning attacks on Israeli civilians and the storage of weapons. The human shields say that if family members are involved in violence the Israelis should come and arrest them and not destroy homes populated by entire families.


And if these houses were located in Michigan, U.S.A, it's a sure fire bet that the responsible authorities would come and arrest them. However, in Jabalya, Gaza things are a little different.

The "responsible" authority is the popularly elected Hamas government which runs part of the local terrorist infrastructure. If the Israelis went into Jabalaya to arrest the thugs, then human shields would come out to protect them as they did last week in Beit Hannoun. And who knows?
A large number of non-combatants might die.

Meanwhile, our smiling holy people claim they are equally disturbed about the firing of Qassam rockets into Israel by Palestinian terrorists.

Sister Mary Ellen told Ynet that she was well aware of the Qassams and that, "I adamantly oppose and condemn the firings like I condemn all violence." [NEW IN GAZA: PRIEST, NUN, HUMAN SHIELDS]

Nice, but does she really believe that?

Surely, Sister Mary Ellen should be sitting and protecting the residents of Sderot from the Palestinian terrorists who target civilians and do so irrespective of the presence in the vicinty of priests or nuns acting as human shields.

The good sister knows full well that Israel would not target her where she is at present and that as long as she's shielding the terrorists from the Israelis, then she's as safe as houses.


UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour, who was visiting the Israeli town of Sderot, when Quassam rocket fire killed an Israeli civilian and wounded several others, has decided not to meet with the families of kidnapped soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit despite approaches from their families.

According to Benny Regev, brother of Eldad, "...the decision of the Commissioner Arbour not to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers during her visit to Israel should set off red lights in Israel and the other 15 countries that are signed on UN Resolution 1701. The UN is not interested in the fate of the soldiers, and maybe it doesn't even stand behind the resolution."

The UN is not lifting a finger to prevent a massive arms smuggling operation from Syria into Hizbullah's hands in Lebanon (despite an enlarged presence there) so why on earth would we expect it to stand by the Israeli captives of Hizbullah and Hamas or give any solace to their families?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


The second Israeli civilian in a week, Yaakov Yaakobovich, 43 of Sderot has died as a result of Palestinian Quassam rocket attacks and Hamas continues to threaten to rain its rockets down on Israeli towns and villages.

According to a report in Ha'aretz Man dies of wounds sustained in Qassam strike on Sderot, Abu Obayed, a spokesman from the ruling Hamas' military wing, told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday that unless Israel stopped its campaign of tragetting those who fire these rockets it would have to "empty Sderot of its residents." Obayed added that "the range and quality of Qassam rockets had improved", no doubt as a result of the increased smuggling along Gaza's border with Egypt which the Egyptians are supposed to be monitoring.

It seemes to have escaped the world's attention that such threats combined with the continuation of Quassam rocket attacks against non combattants is a war crime. The question is when will this thug and the Hamas leadership he represents be tried for war crimes?

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, was visiting in Sderot at the time of the attack. When are we going to hear something about this from her and her boss, Mr. Annan?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Reuters reports that Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets - ISRAEL DEVELOPING ANTI-MILITANT "BIONIC HORNET".

According to Reuters, the technology is being developed to "combat militants" but it's more likely that this state of the art weapon will be unleashed on Hizbullah and Hamas terrorists (like the one in the photograph above).

I just wonder if the Israelis provide their enemies the usual courtesy of a telephone call before they strike!

POSTSCRIPT: I note that Reuters is still falling for the Hizbullah line that the majority of the 1,200 Lebanese killed during the 34-day war in Lebanon were "civilians". The distinction between civilians and terrorists is of course, totally blurred when you understand that Hizbullah is an army of civilian terrorists.

Friday, November 17, 2006


On 23 September 2005, there was a large explosion at a Hamas rally at the Jabaliya refugee camp in Northern Gaza where members were parading with homemade weapons and explosives.

Associated Press correspondent Ibrahim Barzak wrote that originally "Hamas blamed Israel for that blast, claiming Israeli aircraft fired missiles into the crowd."

Hamas followed this up with rocket attacks on Israeli towns that "were meant as retaliation."

Barzak reported howver, that "the Palestinian Authority held the Islamic militants responsible, saying they apparently mishandled explosives on a large truck which was carrying missiles." The final toll was 19 dead and 80 wounded.

So it came to pass that nineteen Palestinians died in Gaza as a result of an accidental explosion at a Hamas rally, the same number as those who died last week in the accident at Beit Hanoun.

Back then however, the story dissolved completely from public sight once it became clear that Israel had nothing to do with the tragedy.

There was no condemnation of Hamas in the United Nations, the story was moved swiftly out of the BBC and CNN news reports, nobody wrote letters to the Guardian or the Melbourne Age complaining that the tragedy hadn't been given sufficient space in its news sections, the cynics did not question that it was an accident, not a single eyebrow was raised at Hamas' ingenuous attempt to deflect blame on Israel by lying and there were no calls for the leadership of Hamas to be tried for war crimes.

Nobody cared much about the dead.

Least of all the Palestinian electorate which, a mere four months later, elected Hamas to govern them.

And the rockets are still being fired at Israel. Two days ago they killed Faina (Fatima) Slutzker, 57, a resident of Sderot. Not that most of us here in Australia would know if we picked up a newspaper.

It's a very strange world!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Photojournalist Bruno Stevens tells an interesting tale about the Beirut "garbage dump" which was was allegedly the site of a downed IAF plane at the height of the Lebanon war.


Monday, November 13, 2006


Daniel Mandel, in an opinion piece published in today's Melbourne Age states that "ISRAEL STILL HAS NO GENUINE PEACE PARTNER".

The question is still being asked - "what is a peace partner"?

We all might have different answers to that question but Mandel makes a good point when he says that "... to this day, both Fatah and Hamas, which together command the support of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, call in their respective charters for Israel's destruction, while Hamas goes one further and calls for Jews to be murdered ... ".

The Palestine Authority on the other hand did purport to amend the Palestine National Charter some years ago but never got around to producing the new wording which was supposed to accept Israel's right to self-determination.

All of that became pretty well irrelevant after Hamas was elected to govern the Palestinians and its leaders have confirmed on a number of occasions that Hamas would never grant recognition to Israel.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


While surfing around this morning I came across Bagel Blogger who, while surfing around a few days ago, came across a site masquerading under the name PEACE IN THE DESERT.

I'll leave it to Bagel Blogger to tell the story of what happened when he looked a little closer and read what Desert Peace has to say about "peace" in POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM: APPEARANCES AND DECEPTIONS.

Suffice to say, the word "peace" is being well and truly mauled by Desert Peace who claims to be located in Jerusalem, Israel and an " Peace/Civil Rights Worker.. Aiming to establish a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, while at the same time continue the struggle against racism and for peace throughout the world."

Friday, November 10, 2006


The Israel-Palestine conflict is back in the news today in the wake of the tragic deaths of 18 Palestinians in the Gazan town of Beit Hanoun as a result of an apparent misfire of Israeli shells.

There has been widespread international condemnation of Israel as a result of the shelling while the Palestinian leadership has vowed to renew suicide bombings against the Israelis. For their part, the Israelis expressed regret about the tragedy and offered aid for the wounded.

The incident was covered all of the daily newspapers available in Melbourne. The Australian Newspaper and Melbourne's Herald Sun covered the story and provided at least a little context to the Israeli shelling by reference to the IDF's operation to deter the firing of rockets from the area into southern Israeli communities.

Predictably however, the Melbourne Age chose to provide a report from Nidal al-Mughrabi of Reuters which simply fails to provide any of that context for its readers who must be left wondering why on earth those nasty Israelis were operating in the area [RETALIATION URGED OVER GAZA SHELLS] ?

Thankfully, there are some journalists who have the desire to paint a more complete picture in order to provide the necessary context to such a tragic story as that of the deaths in Gaza - journalists like Anne Barnard and Sa'id Ghazali of the Boston Globe. Their report told us what Zakaria al-Kafarna, an uncle of one of the victims, said:-

"... he blamed the bombing in part on militants who fired rockets nearby. Anyone can come to the area and fire a rocket, he said. 'What about us? We are sleeping.'"

Why are there "militants" firing rockets across the border at Israeli towns and from inside such heavily populated areas as Beit Hanoun?

A little over a year ago, Israel departed from Gaza and ended its occupation of land inhabited by 1.4m Palestinians.

Surely, the withdrawal from Gaza would have provided the Palestinians, governed then by Fatah and now by Hamas, with a perfect opportunity to show the world that they can develop a peaceful civil society in at least this part of the world.


All we heard was the thunder of Quassam rockets, the noise of the destruction of greenhouses, the digging of more tunnels with which to import weapons of war into the hands of terrorists and the din of the critics who complained that Israel was still in "occupation" because it controlled the borders, the airspace, the ports etc. There were even those among the Palestinians who were desperately searching for a Gaza equivalent of the Sheba Farms to hang their "no end to occupation" hats upon.

And during that time, Beit Hanoun has been a hub of terror activity - a place where some of those smuggled weapons have been discovered by the IDF and a place where Quassams are being fired at Israeli towns on a daily basis.

The Palestinian government has done nothing to prevent the smuggling of the weapons or the firing of the Quassams.

And the Melbourne Age has done little to report on this activity or the looming tragedy for the people on both sides of the green line between Israel and Palestine as a result of the weapons build up and the continuing indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian targets.

FOOTNOTE: Among the ignored items in much of the media was the report from earlier this week about the Palestinian woman suicide bomber who blew herself up in Gaza. There have been several other unsuccessful and unreported suicide bombing attempts in recent months which have remained on the Blank Pages. These attempts come with the full support of the official Palestinian Authority media. You can read about these in Arnold Roth's excellent blog This Ongoing War.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This one from the BBC would have to take some beating:-


Monday, November 06, 2006


John Keegan of the London Daily Telegraph predicts that Israel will go to war again soon and tells us why.

The coming war will be on two fronts - southern Lebanon and Gaza where there has been a build up of weaponry coming in from its border with Egypt.

Despite Egyptian undertakings to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza, not a single arrest has been made on the southern Gaza border. Ze'ev Schiff of Haaertz reports that the Egyptians are "neglecting the prevention of smuggling" [EGYPT AND WEAPONS SMUGGLING/EMPTY PROMISES TO PREVENT 'HAMASTAN'].

Aware of the weapons build up and tiring of the continued firing of quassam rockets into its civilian areas the Israelis are striking hard at armed Palestinian groups while Palestinian leaders call for international intervention.

What they mean is that they want the same sort of international intervention that we are seeing in Lebanon - the sort that looks the other way at the smuggling of arms and the digging of fortified tunnels in civilian areas.

But not the sort of international intervention that would bring the parties to the peace table.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Abdollah Derkaoui of Morocco this week inherited the mantle of the foremost racist in the art world (a title officially vacated since the days when Adolph Hitler used to paint walls in Munich) after he was awarded first prize in Iran's Holocaust art festival - Moroccan wins first place in Iran Holocaust cartoon contest.

The winner would have had some stiff opposition from a vile Michael Leunig cartoon originally entered as a practical joke by a member of the ABC's satirical Chaser programme. When the artist was informed of this, he apparently threw a fit and promptly had his cartoon withdrawn. He later thanked the nice Iranians for their kind consideration in removing his piece from the exhibition.

Leunig's picture was a cheap and nasty attempt to draw equivalence between the deaths in combat of 52 Palestinians, the vast majority terrorists involved in the suicide bomb making industry of Jenin in 2002, and the slaughter of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. The then Age editor, Michael Gawenda, saw the Leunig cartoon for what it was and refused to publish. This, in turn, upset Leunig's mates on Media Watch who thought the message it imparted was worthy of an airing.

It's a bit of a shame that the Iranians let Leunig off the hook so easily.

I'm by no means an expert on cartoons, but in my view it would have been one of the favourites. Indeed, I'll go further and state that Mr. Derkaoui stole the idea for his work from Leunig himself. The winning cartoon depicts Israel's security barrier as a mirror reflecting the image of Aushwitz which is interesting in itself given that the sponsors of the competition reckon that the Holocaust was a myth!

Perhaps Leunig, who seems to get on so famously with the Iranians, could redeem himself by paying his mate Ahmadinejad a visit with a request that he stops his anti Semitic ranting and puts an end to his nuclear weapons programme.

And then perhaps pigs might fly too!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


One strike involving three Pakistani helicopters and ... poof!

The lives of 80 innocent young students at a Muslim religious school have been snuffed out - PAKISTAN GUNSHIPS KILL 80 AT RELIGIOUS SCHOOL!

That's just one strike in one day!

Now imagine if Israel acted with such efficiency when it defended itself against Hizbullah's 14 July 2006 attacks in their recent 34 day war?

The IDF struck Lebanon hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day with precision attacks on Hizbullah targets.

If it was Israel's real intention to cause disproportionately massive loss of life as has been alleged against it, then just ten daily incidents of that magnitude would have led to 800 deaths per day or over 27,000 fatalities in slightly over a month of conflict.

Instead, the death toll was around 1,000. If we believe Lebanese estimates then all of the dead were presumably as "innocent" as those young Pakistani "students" in that madrassa in Chingai.
Of course, we know now that it's likely that at least 600 of those killed in Lebanon were Hizbullah.

This still leaves too many non-combatant deaths but that sort of thing will inevitably happen when a movement like Hizbullah embeds itself within a civilian population and then makes war on a neighbouring country and its citizens.

At least we now have something against which to measure the concept of proportionality.