Sunday, October 31, 2010


Thanks again to Yaakov Kirschen of DryBlonesBlog for this masterpiece.

There is only one country in the Middle East that recognizes Feminists, Christians, Professors for Academic Freedom and Gays as having human rights. There is only one nation in the entire Middle East which respects their right to live openly as the people they are in the life style that they enjoy in the West.

That one country is the Jewish State of Israel.

The country that their organizations love to hate.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Friday's Sydney Morning Herald - a clear minded response to lunacy.
Israel's freedoms in eye of beholder

For an alternative to Antony Loewenstein's polemic against Israel ("Western politicians prefer to ignore Israel's inherent racism", October 28) I refer readers to Freedom in the World: Israel 2010 by Freedom House, a venerable and widely respected non-governmental organisation.

Under the Freedom House criteria, Israel has the highest of seven rankings for political rights and the second highest for civil liberties. It is the only country in the Middle East rated "free". Its media is described as "vibrant and independent".

Although Israel describes itself as a "Jewish and democratic state", freedom of religion is respected, with Christian, Muslim and Bahai communities having jurisdiction over their members in matters of marriage, divorce and burial.

The judiciary is independent and regularly rules against the government. Freedoms of assembly and association are respected. Workers may join independent unions and have the right to strike and bargain collectively. Women have achieved substantial parity at almost all levels of society. Openly gay Israelis are permitted to serve in the armed forces.

Certainly, some serious discrimination exists in Israel, as in other democracies. But overall, not a bad record for a country faced with neighbours such as Iran and Syria, and organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

Peter Wertheim Executive director, Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Sydney

Friday, October 29, 2010


A new flotilla heading towards Gaza seems to have been thwarted by Nigeria - Nigeria intercepts 13 Iran missile containers possibly destined for Gaza.

Unfortunately, Fairfax's budget didn't extend to embedding one of its journalists with this shipment so there will be no articles on tomorrow's front page of the Age or the SMH blabering on about Nigerian hyenas intercepting much needed supplies for the poor Gazans.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


The Sydney Morning Herald has again allowed anti-Zionist spruiker Antony Loewenstein to get away with a blood libel against Israel and the Jewish people in Western politicians prefer to ignore Israel's inherent racism.

In today's edition, Loewenstein, whose book "My Israel Question" has been largely discredited for the encyclopaedic nature of its obvious errors (it has a map that places Lebanon in the Galil region of northern Israel) made numerous false claims including the old one about the "Jewish-only settler roads in the West Bank" which never existed and both Loewesntein and the SMH should know that all too well. 

This lie was exposed years ago to Loewenstein's face on national television by Ted Lapkin - see here.

The fact that the roads can be user by all Israelis matters not a whit to Fairfax editors who think the best way they can show balance is to publish an opinion piece by Colin Rubenstein next to that of the twit Loewenstein (I wonder if he still thinks Tzipi Livni is a male?).

The balance is between Rubenstein's truth and Loewenstein's lies which hurt the Palestinians mored than they do the Israelis.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Our autotext conversion from Farsi to English comes up with something like "Arbeit Macht Frei" for the text above Ahmedinejad's head. A bit garbled on the stuff below but it looks like it has something to do with a Mr. Bracken and a Maritime Union. Is that possible?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


From PALESTINE MEDIA WATCH - Replacing Israel with "Palestine" more important than education: PA daily cartoon

Monday, October 25, 2010


The Vatican has been otherwise occupied with pressing matters of its own for some time but has now been moved to comment on the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Arabs, condemning Israel's occupation of territory captured during the 1967 Six Day War. According to the Vatican, "we Christians cannot speak of the promised land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people" - West Bank occupation unacceptable: Vatican.

The Israeli response came from spokesman Yigal Palmor who told The Australian:

"The debate over who holds the correct interpretation of the scriptures was something debated in the Middle Ages and it would seem unwise to try to revisit that," he said.

Asked about the criticism of the use of the Bible to justify Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, Mr Palmor said: "Firstly, this has not been any official policy in Israel by any government and, secondly, he who has not sinned should cast the first stone - that is something they should understand."

What I would like to see now is a statement from the Vatican responding to the stands taken by Hamas, Hizbullah, other Islamic fundamentalist groups and Fatah which all have policies of different shades which claim the same land as the privileged province of the Palestinian Arab people - all of it.

Of course, if the Vatican was concerned with its flock in the Holy Land it might want to take a look at what's happening to the dwindling Catholic community in Gaza, of which this story is unfortunately but one example.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Another clever piece of work about the growing legion of dupes from the irrepressable Yaakov Kirschen of the A new addition to the Dupophobia file is the person responsible for accepting nominations for Australia's Walkley Awards for excellence in Australian journalism but more of that later ...

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Earlier this months I commented on how Christopher Hitchens had been exposed for having double standards when it comes to dealing with Palestinian terrorists as distinct from other Arab terrorist groups in Hitchens Blank Paged.

Well, while Hitchens continues to maintain this appalling position, unlike many other observers, he at least understands that in Lebanon, Hizbullah foments racial and religious hatred against the Jews - Lebanese destiny in hands of foreign powers.

It's such a pity that he is in denial about Hamas and Fatah which are also driven by and display the same racist attitudes as Hizbullah and that so many commentators in the media are not only blind to this fact but actively support and act as apologists their racist words and deeds.

Friday, October 22, 2010


It's nothing new that much of the anti-Israel campaign generated by the Palestinian lobby is founded on faleshood. In the past decade we have seen the al Dura affair, the fake Jenin massacre, the faux photography of the Second Lebanon War and the lies of Gaza. The cries of massacre aboard the Turkish Flim Flam Flotilla attracted its share of liars whose tall tales were willingly accepted by their media dupes. The BDS campaign is fed on similar falsehoods.

But here's one that takes the cake. The fiction surrounding the so-called "liberation of Tel al-Rabia", a non existent Arab town where Tel Aviv sits today. Except that it is well documented that Tel Aviv was built on sand dunes.

There are enough Israel bashers and Jew haters on the face of this earth who will swallow the story of "Tel al-Rabia" lock, stock and barrel - the Palestine lobby has a ready market of believers who relish such lies.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Mahmoud Abbas the real Apartheid Man

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The Maritime Union of Australia is hosting a racist Australian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Conference for Palestine in Melbourne later this month.

In order for people to understand the sort of people attracted to this racist BDS lunacy, here's an item from today's Australian - Union leader Kevin Bracken says September 11 attacks were a conspiracy. Apparently, he wasn't asked whether the well documented scenes of Palestinians celebrating the attacks were a figment of someone's imagination but I can guess his answer.

So now you know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


If you ever feel the need to vomit then I highly recommend that you read the fawning work of the obnoxious one - Robert Fisk. Here's an example of from last Friday's Belfast Telegraph - Robert Fisk: Israel comes face to face with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
He looks like a shepherd, but he might have been the Shah.
And there he was last night, the President of Iran, one of the triple pillars of
the "Axis of evil", scarcely two miles from the border of that holy of holies
which every American president must support – the State of Israel, or the
"Jewish State of Israel", as its government claims it to be.

POSTSCRIPT: Congratulations to the first poster of a comment realting to this execrable piece of nonsense who wrote:-
This was a 'puff piece' by a hard-nosed journalist? The 'shepherd' in question … is a racist Holocaust denying … war mongering … demagogue

This is how you treat evil leaders? You should be ashamed of yourself but you have no self-respect Robert Fisk … why not expose the 'truth' about Hezbollah and its hold on ALL the Lebanese. Tells us about the threat Hezbollah poses to the UN Tribunal into the MURDER of Hariri?

It's funny … you mentioned Nasrallah … as speaking from a video screen … that is, confirming he's still UNDERGROUND since the 2006 war with Israel … in 4 Years NO ONE HAS SEEN HIM ABOVE GROUND … maybe he belongs underground … make that 6 ft underground … along with his 'buddy' the Iranian shepherd …
I dips me lid to you Mr. or Ms. tzatz

Monday, October 18, 2010

Building stops when peace starts: Israel

Israel has made its position clear on settlement building - Building stops when peace starts: Israel.

The Israelis are tired of constantly offering concessions in return for nothing but hate speech and a refusal to engage in mutual recognition. The most recent offer by PM Netanyahu of an extension of the settlement freeze in return for recognition has fallen on deaf ears.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On the Bleeding Edge of the West

A Hamas poster in Gaza

Some interesting observations from Michael J. Totten, a journalist with interesting views on the Middle East - On the Bleeding Edge of the West

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The Australian newspaper continues to lead the way in terms of presenting a balance of views on the Israel/Arab conflict.

Like him or not, Rupert Murdoch's views are interesting - No ceasefire means no peace in war on Israel

Friday, October 15, 2010


The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement wants nothing short of the two state solution and the absolute destruction of the Jewish State:

This video was produced by Stand With Us - see their video channel

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More on the flotilla fraud ...

And here's a Sky News interview that questions further the credibility of the few left in the media who still believe the IDF was responsible for the deaths on the Mavi Marmara:-

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This piece of vitriol from Healesville resident Patrick Wolfe was published in yesterday's Melbourne Age letters section:
PALESTINIAN citizens of Israel are to be required to affirm allegiance to an oxymoron, for such is a state that claims to be simultaneously Jewish and democratic (''Law seeks pledge to Jewish state'', The Age, 8/10).

To appreciate the absurdity of this latest oppressive imposition on Palestinians in Israel, one only has to contemplate, for instance, Tibetans having to affirm allegiance to a ''Chinese and democratic'' state; Christians, Jews or Bahais in Iran being obliged to affirm allegiance to a ''Muslim democracy'', or Tutsis in Rwanda to submit to a ''Hutu democracy''. Apartheid South Africa, after all, was a democracy for white people.

For Palestinian citizens of Israel, to affirm allegiance to a Jewish democracy would be to affirm their own non-existence as a distinct people within a multicultural modern nation-state. But Israel is not a multicultural state, any more than it is modern or democratic.
One would expect some responses from readers who think differently but none were published in the Age today. If you believe that none were submitted to the Age or that none were worthy of publication in an arena where free speech supposedly flourishes then you might possible be almost as ignorant as Mr. Wolfe.

Personally, I don't believe the recent legislation was necessary but Wolfe has totally misinterpreted the an amendment to Israel's citizenship law. The oath doesn't require a new Israeli citizen to be Jewish, but to acknowledge the essentially Jewish nature of the country. According to the Washington Times:
This measure shouldn't be controversial. Israel is the most diverse country in the Middle East, in which people of many nationalities and religions live, work and worship. The citizenship oath only makes explicit that Jewish national identity is fundamental to the Israeli state.

Article 4 of the Palestinian Basic Law proclaims, "Islam is the official religion in Palestine" and "the principles of Islamic Sharia shall be the main source of legislation." The Hamas slogan is "Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the ! Koran its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the case of Allah its most sublime belief." That's hardly a declaration of inclusiveness.

Naturally, neither Wolff nor the Age are likely to ever bring to the attention of their readers the implications of what Article 4 means - or the fact that those are the supposed good guys of Palestinian politics. As for the bad guys, according to one supposed journalist at the Age, the Hamas Covenant and its call to genocide should be dismissed because, like Mein Kampf, nobody takes it seriously.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Peter Hitchins in the London Daily Mail with a report on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank that tells a little more of the full story of what is happening there than your standard superficial report from (well, you know where) that hides much of the truth in the blank pages.

Lattes, beach barbecues (and dodging missiles) in the world's biggest prison camp

Enjoy it while drinking your latte.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Standing up to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

Hat tip to Eric Lee of Tulip whose website has published the following speech by Paul Howes to Zionist Federation of Australia conference in Melbourne, Sunday October 10 2010

Standing up to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

Thanks for inviting me to speak to the Zionist Federation of Australia conference.

We are here at both an exciting time: — the new round of peace talks between the Palestinian leadership and the Israeli leadership;

And at a time of a new threat to Israel: —- a spreading international de-legitimisation campaign largely under the banner of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

I am proud to join you here because like you I am a firm supporter of the State of Israel.

I believe that the Jewish people have a right to a homeland.

No ifs.

No buts.

I believe that the best way to deliver on that right to a homeland is the two state solution.
Can I say that this support for the State of Israel – and the two state solution – is part of a long tradition in our union.

I am proud of the fact that our union believes in, and supports, democratic societies, democratic institutions.

I am proud to say our union has a long history of supporting the building of democratic civil society groups – like unions.

We have always been ready to stand side-by-side with those who fight against authoritarian, dictatorial regimes.

I am proud of the fact that our union actively backed the creation, growth, and eventual success, of the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s.

Well, how am I to apply AWU tradition in the context of the Middle East?

I think I am upholding that union tradition when I work to support the development of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions as an independent, democratic, civic society institution.

I think I am upholding that union tradition as I stand with the union movements of both Israel and Palestine, as they fight for workers rights on both sides of the Green Line.

I think I am upholding that union tradition when I support the trust-building co-operative projects that the Israeli trade union movement – led by the Histadrut – and the Palestinian trade union movement – led by the PGFTU – are promoting.

If you truly believe that a-worker-is-a-worker-is-a-worker then the function of any trade union is to ensure fair payfor a fair day’s work and a safe and healthy workplace.

This applies to an Israeli worker , this applies to a Palestinian worker.

I can’t see how you can discriminate between an Israeli worker and a Palestinian worker. (Let alone a foreign worker from Asia or Africa working in Israel)

Our task now is to support and ensure that trade unions – Israeli or Palestinian – have the capacity to address these issues; and to do so co-operatively.

It is because of these principles that I joined with fellow union leaders in the UK and the USA to establish Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP).

That leads me to the new threat to Israel – Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

In this room I don’t think there is much need for an explanation of BDS.

It is an attempt to demonise Israel; to undermine its legitimacy by suggesting its people:

the working families;

the companies seeking to export;

academics wanting to take part in intellectual pursuits with colleagues everywhere

…… None of them should be treated fairly, decently and equally in the global marketplace.

On that basis I can’t see how any unionist can back the international BDS movement.

Now I know there has been a lot of talk in the media, both here and abroad, about trade unions backing the BDS movement.

But let’s take a step back from the headlines.Take an overview of the global situation.

The reality is that despite the headlines most of the trade union movement in Australia, and across the globe, has not backed BDS.

The bulk of the international trade union movement, and in particular unions in countries like the USA, Germany and Austria, are rock-solid in their support for Israel.

Let’s remember just a few months ago,in Vancouver, Canada, the World Congress of the global union movement, the International Trade Union Confederation – the ITUC – stared down attempts to label Israel an apartheid state.

The international trade union movement delivered a stinging rebuff to advocates of the campaign to boycott Israel.

In an even-handed response – this was supported by both the Palestinian and Israeli trade unions – the World Congress praised the landmark agreement between the Histadrut and the PGFTU on the rights of Palestinian workers.

The ITUC – now led by my former ACTU colleague Sharan Burrow – of course played a key role in delivering that Palestinian-Israeli agreement.

The ITUC Congress statement declared: “This agreement and other actions to promote decent work and end discrimination is crucial to building the basis for just and equitable economic development.”

Most importantly – in a stunning blow to BDS activists in some unions – the Israeli national trade union centre, the Histadrut, was honoured by the global trade union movement.

Its leader, Ofer Eini, was elevated to the ITUC’s 25 member Executive Board, as well as its General Council.

Mr. Eini was also elected as one of the global union groups Vice Presidents.

And now we are seeing a range of new, admittedly small at the moment, initiatives by global unions in different industrial sectors supporting co-operation in defence of workers’ rights in Palestine and Israel.

None of this means there are not real threats; that the social movement traditions of the union movement will not be turned against Israel using the language of the international BDS movement.

But the majority of unions are with Israel.

We should use this majority to maintain support for a peace process which delivers security to Israel and justice to the Palestinians.

I know later this month there will be a conference here in Melbourne to build the BDS movement in Australia – and especially to create strategies to get Australian unions backing BDS.

We have to be clear-eyed about this conference.

I’ve looked through the speakers list.

There is not one person of significance in the Australian union movement speaking here.

There is not one person from the 50-plus ACTU Executive speaking here.

That should give you an indication of the status and importance of the Melbourne meeting, at least as far as Australian unions are concerned.

But yes we do have to be keep a watching brief if we are to stop that movement gaining strength in Australia.

We must know our arguments against the international BDSers.

The BDS movement likes to compare themselves to the boycott campaign against apartheid South Africa.

We have to explain to people why the two are just not comparable.

The South African boycott apartheid movement was home grown, it originated in South Africa and was run and controlled by Nelson Mandela and his ANC and the peak South African trade union organization COSATU.

Australian unions played a major role in backing the South African boycott. Nelson Mandela travelled to Australia soon after his release and told a union rally here in Melbourne that he specifically wanted to thank the ACTU, and its affiliates, for their work.

Most importantly we must explain that the BDS movement, as it relates to the Palestinian struggle, is not really a home-grown initiative.

Today’s international anti-Israel boycott movement is largely an initiative imposed on the Palestinian body politic by outside agitators who run so-called solidarity groups.

These solidarity groups have little or no institutional connections or support from within the Territories – especially not the West Bank.

The person credited for founding this international BDS Movement, Omar Barghouti, was born in Qatar, grew up in Egypt and moved only relatively recently to Ramallah.

Omar Barghouti is actually now a post-graduate student in Israel at Tel Aviv University. He is due to complete his PhD this year I believe.

When Israeli students at the university raised a petition to protest his presence on campus, and demand he be expelled, the university authorities rejected the petition and announced they would not expel him.

They were not going to boycott Mr. Barghouti because of his ideas – even though Omar Barghouti himself promotes and supports an academic boycott of Israeli universities.

When Omar Barghouti was asked about this irony he told the media “my studies at Tel Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.”

My Palestinian acquaintances have pointed out to me a number of times that, unfortunately, the Palestinian Diaspora are by far bigger agitators for the BDS cause than the people who actually live in the Territories.

My Palestinian acquaintances also point out that there always has been a difference, a disconnect, between the Palestinians in the Territories, and those in the Diaspora.

The Palestinian Diaspora is less willing to compromise, more willing to keep the fight going, because they don’t have to actually live the oppressive life suffered by those in the Territories.

Living comfortably in Australia, Canada, USA, UK or Europe these Diaspora activists are happy to fight to the last blood of Palestinians who actually have to live under the Occupation.

( Now some of my Jewish friends say that this ‘ hard-line’ anti-compromise phenomena is sometimes also reflected in the Jewish Diaspora – but in their view it is not the dominant trend, as it seems to be in the Palestinian Diaspora.)

It is interesting to note that that all three featured Palestinian speakers at the upcoming Melbourne International BDS conference, whose names I have seen – Rafeef Ziadah; Samah Sabawi and Yousef Alreemawi – all live in the Palestinian Diaspora.

It is easy to promote the international anti-Israel BDS cause if you don’t have to live through the practicalities of the day-to-day lives of the workers in the Territories.

It is easy to oppose the compromises that both sides will have to make to achieve security, justice and peace.

Now even if you have only a passing knowledge of Palestinian politics you will know that the Palestinians who actually live in the Territories are only just now – and ever so slowly – backing a limited boycott campaign.

The Palestinian Authority talks about a boycott against the West Bank settlements – not Green Line Israel.

On the other hand the solidarity groups stress an international BDS against all of Israel. No differentiation at all between Green Line Israel and the West Bank.

If you read closely, between the lines, you will also see that the PA, and its instrumentalities, place many, many qualifications, and adjectives, in front of their boycott statements because they are aware of the pain it will cause their own people.

The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions – who are also late, and in my view reluctant, boycott backers – have been at pains to limit their calls to a boycott only of goods produced by companies which operate in the West Bank.

The PGFTU have said they only want the BDS implemented by the Palestinian Authority if alternative jobs can be found for the thousands of Palestinians who daily work in the Israeli West Bank settlements.

The PGFTU has been explicit in their rejection of any call for a general BDS, or one that extends to companies which operate only in Green Line Israel and not the West Bank.

The leader of the PGFTU, Shaher Saed, is respected around the globe for his street smarts. People tell me that he is a realistic, pragmatic trade unionist – who knows when to compromise to achieve a deal. Now in my view they’re the types of trade union leaders who best succeed in representing workers

The reality is that after the peace process is finally settled Israelis and Palestinians, in a region which is a third of the size of Tasmania, will have to learn to live together, work together.

Once peace and justice has come I believe Palestinian and Israeli workers will see a well-spring of new economic and job opportunities for themselves and their families.

But they will need the support of good unions on both sides of the Green Line, to protect them, promote their interests and push for improvements.

To improve the lifestyles of Palestinian workers the PGFTU and the Histadrut will have to build a strong relationship; build co-operative projects.

To do that we need to help establish trust-building exercises between the PGFTU and Histadrut members.

The international BDS solidarity groups, and their spokespersons across the globe may from time-to-time mouth words about their support for a two-state solution.

But they are in reality one-staters. Defacto they support Hamas. They do not back President Abbas and his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

I like the recent analysis of the Chicago-based Palestinian-American commentator Ray Hanania who abhors the extremists.

He rightfully says that the international BDS movement is playing a pea and thimble trick with their BDS targeting; they are happy to play with perceptions, so you are never quite sure where they are with the BDS ‘pea’.

The international BDS movement have adopted a strategy which says if you can’t get commitment to a complete anti-Israel BDS in a particular international community, oh well they’re happy with the wedge potential of just targeting the West Bank settlements.

But this stance should be seen for what it is – the pea and thimble trick. Confuse people so you never really know under which shell the pea is hidden.

It is of course a variation on the old Soviet strategy of building coalitions with ‘useful fools’ as allies. The ‘useful fools’ in this instance are people who are really, truly, quite genuine and honest peace campaigners.They genuinely only want to target the illegal settlements in the West Bank.But they are being used!!!!!!!

In reality, for the international BDS movement leadership, there is no difference between the West Bank and pre-1967 Israel.For them if the ‘useful fools’ want only to talk about the West Bank that’s OK.

For them this is the first step; part of their broader campaign to demonise all Israel; this for them is just a useful first step to attack the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

It doesn’t take much to find out what the international BDSers actually back: a campaign which wants to see Israel disappears.

Omar Barghouti – the international BDS movement founder – has been quite explicit in stating that his real aim is not a two State solution but the end of Israel itself.

In Barghouti’s own words he supports: “ a Palestine next to a Palestine, rather than a Palestine next to an Israel.”

The international BDSers want to fight the good fight, ready to spill more blood – both Israeli blood and Palestinian blood.

Now I am sure you are all keenly aware of the extraordinary history of Zionist institution building in pre-state Israel.

It is now possible to legitimately argue that the PA, under the leadership of PM Fayyad and his Ministry of the National Economy, are actually mimicking the Yishuv era. The Zionist movement should be flattered that PM Fayyad is copying their tactics.

Mr. Fayyad is demanding Palestinians should prefer Palestinian product over settlement products; and so help create what they call “a solid shield to build and protect the Palestinian economy.” Fayyad – like the leadership of pre-state Israel – is working hard to build up the institutions of a future Palestinian state, building the economic infrastructure for a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

That’s why I am saying to you that in developing a strategy to counter the international BDS movement we have to adopt a nuanced understanding of what are really different campaigns.

The international BDSers should be looked at differently from what the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Mr. Fayyad is proposing.

The international BDSers should also be treated differently from the Israeli actors who are participating in the active, very loud, very vibrant, democratic argument that goes on in Israel —- all the time.

They choose not to take to the stage at the new Ariel Cultural Centre in the West Bank – that is their democratic right. That doesn’t mean they are attacking Israel, attacking Zionism.

They like many other Israelis are debating the vital issue of how we achieve a secure peace for Israel and Palestine; how we win the two-state solution.

The actors are not like the international BDSers who want to attack Israel. Demonise Israel. Delegitimise Israel.

The PA targets in the West Bank – and let’s remember they are half-hearted – should also be treated as part of the ‘game’ that is international diplomacy and part of an attempt to build healthy economic institutions for the future Palestinian state.

Now the Israel haters want to muddy the waters. They want to play with your perceptions. They want to play the pea and thimble trick. They want to claim the PA and the actors as part of their campaign.

We should not fall into this trap. We should not take part in their pea and thimble game playing.

We need to be smart, nuanced, understand the strategy of the international BDSers – and act to suck the wind out of their effort.

In less than two months I will be visiting Ramallah and Jerusalem so I can get a deeper understanding of how Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine can provide more support for the joint work of the Histadrut and the PGFTU.

I will be there to explore what co-operation between Israeli and Palestinian trade unions we can validly back with our meagre resources.

While there I also plan to take time out to visit Yad Vashem the Holocaust Martyrs’ Centre. I am especially interested in checking out the site being prepared for a tribute to William Cooper, the Aboriginal leader who led the Melbourne protest over Kristallnacht.

A ceremony memorialising him will be held at Yad Vashem shortly after I visit Israel.It is unfortunate that I cannot stay on to witness this important event.

A little known fact is that William Cooper, a shearer, was a prominent member of the Australian Workers’ Union. Historians have argued that it was his membership of my union that gave him the skills to organize dispersed Aboriginal communities, as well as the famous Melbourne Kristallnacht protest.

I believe it is part of my role as a leader of my union with strong connections to your community; a national labour voice; and an activist in the international union movement; that during my visit to Israel and the West Bank I look to creating links between Israeli and Palestinian workers; and links between Israeli, Palestinian and Australian workers.

That is the role of Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine – TULIP. Thank you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So Little Time

When a newspaper is seemingly unable to delve into the realities of life under the Hamas junta in Gaza, the Age certainly comes up with some absolute doozies at times and Jason Koutsoukis' latest effort is no exception. The David Knows blog takes him apart in So many Muslim apologists, so little time

I love his finishing line:
I guess Koutsoukis knows full well that if he is overly critical of Hamas, the secret police may deal with him in the same way they deal with all those recalcitrant winemakers, social club operators, and other "rebels".

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Friday, October 08, 2010

Saudi Arabia's Accelerating Social Unrest

Another blank page item - Saudi Arabia's Accelerating Social Unrest

"Saudi labour law" is something of an oxymoron, as even native Saudi workers have few of the employment rights typically guaranteed in developed countries. Unfortunately for the oil sheikhs, many of the large contingent of foreign workers come from countries where standards are, if only on paper, more up-to-date. In late September, Chinese contract laborers employed in the construction of a Metro system in Mecca went on strike for a week. Translators were required to inform Saudi police that the workers had not been paid for months. According to Saudi media, Mecca police intervened to obtain a promise of payment for the strikers, who then went back to work.

Protests over women's rights, labor grievances, and general liberties constitute a growing challenge to the Saudi rulers. In the realm of free communications, blogging and internet news sites have spread exponentially; a heated discussion broke out when the Saudi Ministry of Information domestic media supervisor, Abdulrahman Al-Hazzaa, announced on Al-Arabiyya television that a new electronic media law would require government registration of bloggers. Facebook and Twitter users were particularly outraged by the suggestion they might come under government control. Al-Hazaa quickly "clarified" that on-line news sites would require licensing, but that bloggers would merely be "encouraged" to register.

In the controversy, Al-Hazaa delivered a revealing remark about Saudi bloggers: "There are so many," he said, "we cannot control them". The comment could also apply to other advocates of human rights in the kingdom – Saudi women opposed to Wahhabi "morals" strictures, foreign workers of both sexes, and, above all, the young.

Social forces are developing, pressing with growing insistence against the bonds of the repressive Saudi state.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


The vexed question of the continued unification of Jerusalem is looked at by journalist Khaled Abu Toameh - Ask the Arabs of East Jerusalem: Should Jerusalem Be Redivided? .
Redividing Jerusalem means bringing either the Palestinian Authority of Hamas into the city. The Arab residents of Jerusalem have seen what happened in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the past 16 years and are not keen to live under a corrupt authority or a radical Islamist entity.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


The silence in the international media about the growing incidence of rape by female peace activists by Palestinians in the West Bank is both disturbing and deafening -
Arabs Harass Female 'Peace' Activists; Left Silences Victims.

Roni Aloni Sedovnik, a feminist activist, penned an article in News1 – an independent website run by respected investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak – under the heading “The Left's Betrayal of Female Peace Activists Who were Sexually Assaulted.”

“A nauseous atrocity has been going on for a long time behind the scenes at the leftists' demonstration at Bil'in, Naalin and Sheikh Jarrah [Shimon HaTzaddik],” she writes. “A dark secret that threatens to smash the basic ideological values upon which the demand to end the occupation of the Territories rests.”

The story has been around for a long time but one has to ask why this shocking news is being supressed in the media.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Gilad Shalit - 4 years a captive

To those socalled humanitarians who think Hamas are "nice guys":

Monday, October 04, 2010


There's an excellent response on the Zionist Council of Victoria website to a particularly nasty piece in the Fairfax media from Paul McGeough.

Read it here.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The business of settlements

Thanks to Jason Koutsoukis we now know that for some Palestinians, settlements are good news and that the "West Bank is no place for principles."

Of course coming from a media outlet where journalistic principles mean that those who are supposed report on the facts are also allowed to express their one-sided opinions, it doesn't mean very much does it?

Saturday, October 02, 2010


"I will not agree that there will be Jews among NATO forces and I will not allow even one Israeli to live amongst us on the Palestinian soil" - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Jerusalem Post - August 17, 2010)

Friday, October 01, 2010


According to eminent historian Benny Morris, "Christopher Hitchens, one of the most important journalists in the English-speaking world (a columnist for Vanity Fair, a contributing editor to The Atlantic), is of two minds about the Islamic Arab world. Or, rather, for him it is divided in two - the Palestinians and all the rest" and he "needs to take a long, hard look at Palestinian history and at the nature, behavior and aims of the Palestinian national movement" - No love for Muslims, unless they're Palestinian

Unfortunately, too many observers these days tend to sweep history under the carpet in much the same way.