Tuesday, February 20, 2007


This is a story that I have taken from the Maan News a Palestinian news site (with thanks to the blogger elderofziyon) -

Birzeit graduate works on Tel Aviv light railway plan

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Issa Al-Zananiri, 25, is an engineering graduate of Birzeit University near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Originally from the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Hanina, Al-Zananiri applied after completing his undergraduate degree to study a Masters in Engineering at the Israeli 'Technion' Institute of Technology in Haifa.

At Technion, Al-Zananiri found himself under the supervision of a professor who had lost his father in an armed operation against an Israeli bus in Egypt in 1990. Issa only discovered the truth about the supervisor, Yoram Shifton, while preparing for his interview for acceptance on Tecnhion's higher education program.

Issa told the Israeli newspaper 'Yedioth Ahranoth', "I arrived at the interview with many fears interacting inside me but I only found in my supervisor cooperation and help, far from any aggressive atmosphere."

When Zananiri arrived at the "Technion" institute, he did not know Hebrew and so he began studying it from home, making use of dictionaries, the internet and television.

As Zananiri's family home is on the West Bank side of the wall that runs through the suburb of Beit Hanina, Issa also greatly relied on the help of his supervisor to obtain the necessary permit to enter Israel for his Masters. Shifton stood by him until he graduated and then helped him obtain a job in the company "BGL1", which specializes in public transportation planning and is responsible for the planning of the proposed light railway in Tel Aviv in Israel.

Issa said, "They accepted me to work with them without hesitation because of the recommendation of my higher studies' supervising professor".

Issa describes himself as a Palestinian who, during his studies at Birzeit University, opposed the bombing operations and even the throwing of stones at Israeli cars. He said that he is grateful for being absorbed into the Israeli community. He currently lives in an apartment with his brother in Haifa and works in Tel Aviv in the planning team of the city's trains.

The re-publication of this article is my response to the editor and staff at the Melbourne Age which continues to publish blood libels against the Jewish State in both articles and, in particular, in letters to the editor which falsely accuse Israel of being involved in "apartheid" and "ethnic cleansing" of its Arab population.

The Age knows that these claims are palpably false and yet exercises its discretion to publish such lies as one which appeared in today's edition. Michael Danby has pointed out in his critique of the peanut farmer's recent book ... "there are 1.4 million Arabs living in Israel, where they enjoy full political rights – there are 13 Arabs in the Knesset, one in the current cabinet, and one on the Supreme Court bench." The Palestinian population has doubled since 1988. So is this apartheid and is this ethnic cleansing?

The Age also does a good job of shielding Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas, which was elected to lead the Palestinians a year ago, from the accusation that their stated aims include not just destroying the Jewish State but killing Jews. I know this because I have received copies of letters to the editor which it saw fit not to publish.

Here's an example:-

"Ed O'Loughlin's chilling report on the stranglehold that Hamas has apparently taken over Gaza (The Age, 9/2) does not make good reading for those who hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Hamas not only refuses to recognise Israel and to eschew violence, its charter makes it clear that its avowed aims are destroying the Jewish State and "killing the Jews". The ascendancy of such an organisation therefore makes the prospect of any peaceful and just solution for both sides a distant prospect."

The Age doesn't see fit to publish letters like this but gives us weekly servings of porkie pies from correspondents like Colin Sheppard of Essendon who today repeated the "ethnic cleansing blood libel" and then suggested that Israel runs the Palestinian refugee camps. That's another lie because the United Nations runs those refugee camps and they continue to exist to this day only because they are a useful propaganda tool for ignoramuses like Sheppard.

If Israeli apartheid really existed would a Palestinian newsagency ever be able to write a story like that of Issa Al-Zananiri?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said Wilbur.

Here's a letter from a Christopher Paul of Elwood that appeared in Saturday's Age under the heading
Familiar tune with a racist beat

"IT WOULD seem Israel has its own version of Sheikh al-Hilali in the form of Professor Raphael Israeli. After making inflammatory and racist comments about Muslims, he pleads that he has been taken out of context.

I'm sorry, Professor Israeli, but how else are we supposed to interpret your comments? If there is to be any screening done about who comes to this country, it should be for racists with an agenda. The professor is being promoted by the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council, which is not surprising, but the fact that he is sponsored by the University of NSW's Shalom Institute is nothing short of disgusting."

I'm not endorsing the professor's views but wasn't it only a week or so ago that another letter writer in the Age complained they couldn't debate Israel/Palestine without being called an anti-Semite and that sort of labelling was unfair.

Now it seems that the mob wants to stifle debate on militant Muslim immigrants and call anyone with an opinion other than theirs a racist?