Monday, March 31, 2008


The Independent Australian Jewish Voices is in tatters but what remains of the rump of this bitterly anti Zionist lobby continues to trot out that highly overused line about dissenters in the Jewish community not being heard. So for the 100th time, Messrs. Peter Slezak and Antony Loewenstein have today lodged their complaint in the Melbourne Age in the form of an Op Ed article about that hoary old chestnut - the fact that, as dissenters fighting against the so-called "Israel lobby", their voices are being silenced.

The truth of the matter is that a little over a week ago, the pair were given the opportunity in the Australian Jewish News of all places to voice their opinions on their scandalous attempt to align the rank and file of IAJV signatories with the notorious Nakba Advertisement that co-incided with the bipartisan resolution in Federal Parliament congratulating Israel on its 60th Anniversary.

So much for being silenced!

As if that's not enough, Slezak and Loewenstein go on to again demonstrate how little they understand about the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours. It's one thing to be critical of individual actions of Israelis in the past but they really shoot themselves in the foot by citing a largely discredited book on the "lobby". This is what they have to say:

"In their controversial book The Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt point out that the popular image of David confronted by Goliath, cultivated to maintain Jewish support, is the reverse of the truth."

Mearsheimer and Walt's thesis on this aspect of the Israel/Arab narrative was demolished soon after their views were first published by no less eminent an historian than Benny Morris. Slezak and Loewenstein cannot dispute Morris' credentials because they quote him later in their own Op Ed article and they call him a "leading Israeli historian".

In order to appreciate the enormity of the howler Slezak and Lowenstein have committed by slavishly following the Mearsheimer/Walt fantasy line, I commend you to an article by that leading Israeli historian Benny Morris in which he completely shatters the very foundations of their argument - THE IGNORANCE AT THE HEART OF AN INNUENDO. And Now For Some Facts. His opening paragraph gives an insight of what follows:

"John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt's "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" is a nasty piece of work. Some of what they assert regarding the terrorist tactics of certain Zionist groups during the 1930s, and the atrocities committed by Israeli troops in the War of 1948, and the harsh Israeli measures against the Palestinians during the second intifada, and certain activities of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States over the past decades--some of this is correct, and I realize as I write this sentence that it will henceforth be trotted out by the Mearsheimers and Walts of the world, as by their Arab admirers, while they omit the previous sentence and all that now follows. But what these distinguished professors have produced is otherwise depressing to anyone who values intellectual integrity."

Exactly the same thing can be said about Slezak and Loewenstein's sloppy efforts although one should add that while they once might have been able to claim that their views had the support of 0.05% of Australia's Jews, the number has fallen to 0.005% and still heading south.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Roz Rothstein, CEO and International director of StandWithUs, spoke before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland last week. It seems the Egyptians and Iranians protesteth too much ...

Friday, March 28, 2008


The following comes with greetings from Jerusalem on behalf of Keren Malki and written by Frimet and Arnold Roth:-

The New York Times carries a review of a film called 'Hot House' that goes inside Israeli prisons and examines the lives of Palestinian prisoners. We're not recommending the film or the review ... but we do want to share our feelings with you about the beaming female face that adorns the article.

The film is produced by HBO. So it's presumably HBO's publicity department that was responsible for creating and distributing a glamour-style photograph of a smiling, contented-looking young woman in her twenties to promote the movie.

That female is our child's murderer. She was sentenced to sixteen life sentences or 320 years which she is serving in an Israeli jail.

Fifteen people were killed and more than a hundred maimed and injured by the actions of this attractive person and her associates.

Neither the New York Times nor HBO are likely to give even a moment's attention to the victims of the barbarians who destroyed the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and the lives of so many victims.

So we would be grateful if you would pass along this link to some pictures of our daughter whose name was Malki. She was unable to reach her twenties - Hamas saw to that.

Though she was only fifteen years old when her life was stolen from her and from us, we think Malki was a beautiful young woman, living a beautiful life.

We ask your help so that other people - far fewer than the number who will see the New York Times, of course - can know about her.

Please ask your friends to look at the pictures - some of the very few we have - of our murdered daughter.

They are at:

And remind them of what the woman in the Israeli prison - the woman smiling so happily in the New York Times - said last year.

"I'm not sorry for what I did. We'll become free from the occupation and then I will be free from prison."

With so many voices demanding that Israel release its terrorist prisoners, small wonder she's smiling.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today is the sixth anniversary of the Passover massacre, a suicide bombing carried out by Hamas terrorists in the Park Hotel in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya. The attack occurred on a night when the traditional Jewish holiday of Passover was being celebrated. The Park Hotel was holding a Passover dinner for its 250 guests in a ground-floor dining room when a Palestinian suicide bomber entered the room and detonated an explosive device carried in a suitcase. Twenty-eight people were immediately killed, and about 140 were injured, of whom 20 were seriously injured. Two of the injured later died from their wounds. Many of the victims were Holocaust survivors.

The attack triggered Operation Defensive Shield, an operation in which Israel was falsely accused by many in the mainstream media of carrying out massacres against the Palestinians. The fiercest fighting in that period took place in Jenin where investigations later ascertained that 52 Palestinians died, 45 of who were combattants. Thirteen Israeli soldiers were also killed, most of them in a booby trapped building.

Yesterday, Omar Jabar, the Hamas mastermind who planned the attack and dispatched the suicide bomber to the Park Hotel, was captured - Israel: Hamas mastermind captured - and the world yawned.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


The word is out that Ed O'Loughlin is packing up his desk in preparation for his long awaited departure from Fairfax. This is possibly the reason why there's been such a reduced output from his neck of the woods of late. Last week for example, the Melbourne Age had just one report from Jerusalem and it was a nice sympathetic piece about the visit to Israel of German PM Angela Merkel - Holocaust fills Germans with shame, says Merkel. It was written from Jerusalem by Richard Boudreaux of the New York Times and represented a marked departure from the style of reporting we have become used to from Fairfax when it comes to matters Jewish. Not surprisingly, the Jerusalem Bureau Chief had nothing at all to do with the article.

O'Loughlin might have been on assignment elsewhere, perhaps in Gaza where he has been in the past when important stories have broken in Jerusalem but that doesn't make sense because if that were the case he would have picked out some of the following:-

Hamas militias attacked the Egyptian embassy in Gaza City. The embassy officially moved to Ramallah but it still seemed to maintain a skeletal presence in Gaza and according to Palestine Press Agency, Hamas assualted a guard and ransacked the building, taking down the Egyptian flag.

Humanitarian aid coming into Gaza was plentiful with one hundred truckfuls of food entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, including ten trucks from Egypt. Israel also sent some 61,000 animal vaccines to Gaza and is coordinating their distribution and the analysis of blood samples.

Hamas abducted more Fatah officers in Gaza. [Hat Tip for these: Elder of Ziyon].

And where was Ed while all this news was breaking?

Doing things his way, no doubt.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I promised a while ago that I would refer back to Australian Jewish News columnist Tzvi Fleisher as soon as his response to Ed O'Loughlin's embarrassing self-serving article was available (THE LAME DUCK QUACKS - READERS HAVE THEIR SAY). Events overtook me somewhat but better late than never:-


When responding to critics, it’s always a good idea to get your facts right!

COMMENT: Why should he get his facts right when responding to critics if you can't get them right in the first place?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Krystallnacht, USA. Could it happen here?

A disturbing piece from It's happening there, it's happening in Britain and there is evidence of it stirring in Australia.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Late last month the United States Congress recognised the suffering and terrible injustices visited upon the Jewish refugees of the Middle East.

Jews and Jewish communities existed throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region for centuries and although they were rarely accorded equal rights by their hosts, they generally lived peacefully until the rise of Arab nationalism saw the emergence of a widespread pattern of persecution and the mass violations of the human rights of Jewish minorities.

With the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, the status of Jews in these Arab countries deteriorated. Many were uprooted from their homes and others became "political hostages of the Arab-Israeli conflict." The end result is that only handful of more than 850,000 Jews resident in the Arab states at the turn of the 20th century remain there today. The great majority have been absorbed as citizens of Israel.

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) who introduced the resolution in Congress, Jerrold Nadler said: "It is simply not right to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of Jewish refugees, who, in fact, outnumbered their Palestinian counterparts. By any definition, these displaced Jews are refugees, and we should recognize them as such."

The Resolutions are the strongest declarations adopted by the U.S. Congress, on the rights of Jewish and others refugees that were forced to flee Arab countries.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The Palestinian propaganda machine together with its friends in the west have been ripping off the Jewish people for decades. They seek to revise our history in the most devious and underhand manner with the concept of Nakba (a 'catastrophe' for them because they lost a war to exterminate us) and with odious comparisons between the suffering of Jews in the Holocaust and the way they perceive they have been treated in the six decades since Israel became an independent state.

Palestinian refugees are kept in squalid camps and are refused basic human rights by their hosts so that for generations the people have been used as political pawns in a war against the Jews. The war is fought from inside populated areas and they attack non-combatants but when Israel creates a security barrier to keep these murderers out they cry 'apartheid' - yet another one of their nasty untruths. Israel is in negotiation with the Palestine Authority to resolve all differences between the sides; it ended its occupation of Gaza two and a half years ago and its citizens were attacked from the territory it left. But that's not enough for some people.

The latest rip off is the traditional parade held by Jews to celebrate the Festival of Purim which takes place tomorrow. In the photographs displayed here, local Palestinians and their supporters are shown lining up outside the Crown Casino on Tuesday evening in true Purim spirit and parading as a travelling freak show. The award for the best and freakiest in the parade would go to the bearded people in the photographs below.

These people are rabid in their senseless attacks on Israel and the Jews. Some in the crowd openly yelled out anti-Semitic comments at arriving guests while presumably, the few Jews among them stood shtum - silent. And their banners, like the one below make no sense to anyone (unless they happen to be the therapists of the sad individuals carrying them). The ludicrous comparison of Israel with Apartheid has been well and truly debunked here: Franchising Apartheid

I am reliably informed that a small number of those who took part in the parade are or were once Jews. This fits in nicely with the concept of betrayal that lies within the story of Purim. One price they are paying for the betrayal of their people and the attempted theft of its history is the fact that they find themselves part of this obnoxious parade of freaks.

FOOTNOTE: At least one of the small number of Jewish protesters on Tueday night was Alex Nissen (I'm not sure if it's a he or a she) and it would come as a surprise to nobody that this person is one of the signatories to the infamous Nakba Advertisement which appeared in last week's Australian. Two of her co-signatories are co-authors of a letter in the current edition of the Australian Jewish News which will go down in history as one of the worst attempts to backflip and regain face in the history of the Jewish community in this country. LAntony Loewenstein and Peter Slezak along with James Levey are all of Sydney but really, they would have been right at home with this crowd in Melbourne last Tuesday night.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Visitors to Melbourne's Crown Casino last night must have wondered about the handful of protesters who congregated vainly with their hateful and fraudulent posters decrying Israel while 1,200 supporters of that country were inside listening to the Prime Minister giving a glowing tribute to the Middle East's beacon of democracy.

One bystander told me she had little difficulty identifying the problem with the protesters and the reasons why they and their cause lacks credibility - the hatred inherent in their message. It's a message that will not assist the Palestinian people who continue to suffer under the jackboot of their rejectionist, terrorist leadership.

In the video 'We seek death like you seek life' Palestinian MP Hammad, a leader of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, admits his group uses women and children as human shields for its murderous attacks on Israeli schools, kindergartens, hospitals and homes.

"[The enemies of Allah] do not know that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life.' "

Hammad is also director of Al-Aqsa TV, which aired his comments on February 29. The same hatred and racism clearly evident in his voice was rife among the 30 or so demonstrators in the parking area outside the Crown Casino. Their mood and their sentiments provide ample reason why their cause garners so little support among decent men and women in this country.

Monday, March 17, 2008


A Right-wing protester is hit with an elbow as he is arrested by police in Jabel Mukaber Sunday.Photo: AP

On Sunday, hundreds of right-wing activists stoned Arab homes in East Jerusalem in an attempt to raze the house of the family of Ala Abu Dhaim, murderer of eight students in the shooting spree at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva - 22 nabbed in right-wing Jebl Mukaber protest. In doing so the protesters were behaving no better than those of their neighbours who throw stones and worse at Jews in different parts of the country and in the Palestinian territories. Such behaviour is reprehensible and must not be condoned.

The comments of some Arab MK’s have not been helpful either. Hadash Chairman Muhammad Barakei described the attacks as "pogroms" and blamed not only the protesters but also the "government's policies, which nurtures these groups and sabotages any progress towards peace and calm." Someone should suggest to Barakei that perhaps the murders themselves, the reaction of thousands of Palestinians who celebrated them and the incitement on Palestinian media both from the PA and from Hamas are also likely to hamper progress towards peace?


It's St. Patrick's Day and the topic of conversation is whether the Israelis should talk with Hamas in the same way as the British and the IRA eventually resolved their conflict by peaceful means after negotiation.

This is the argument against as put by Israel's ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony - Hamas is not the IRA.

"While there are some similarities between these two complex and protracted conflicts, and indeed some lessons can be learned, it is a dangerous exercise to conclude that they are the same because of their largely different historical, geopolitical and cultural circumstances. Especially, the different importance attached to religious beliefs in the IRA's and Hamas's political platforms ...

"Such expectation is rooted in the assumption that when two parties with diametrically opposing views engage in a dialogue, the dynamic created changes the chemistry of the conflict, moderates the positions of both sides and makes a compromise possible. Although this theory may be valid in some cases, unfortunately it is not in the case of Hamas."

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Melbourne is gripped by Grand Prix fever today and, although I live some kilometres away from the Albert Park track, I can hear the cars warming up for practice. We've also been treated in recent days to some Grand Prix journalism here from our national daily, The Australian. There's a selection of it here, here and here.

The Weekend Australian's editorial forcefully puts the case why Australia cannot be bullied out of backing Israel and describes it as an "island of hope in a sea of darkness":

"The Weekend Australian supports the bipartisan goodwill shown to Israel in parliament this week that acknowledged the unique relationship that exists between the two countries and the shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism. We share the Government's belief that the establishment of an independent and economically viable Palestinian state must remain a key objective in the Middle East peace process, just as Israel deserves the right to exist within secure borders. As Brendan Nelson told parliament, in a region of the world that is characterised by theocracies and autocracies, the state of Israel is the custodian of the most fragile yet powerful of human emotions, and that is hopeful belief in the freedom of man, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly."

In stark contrast we have the shrilling tomes of incessant Israel basher, the Sydney Morning Herald columnist Alan Ramsay who complains about the one sidedness of Wednesday's motion congratulating Israel on attaining its 60th Anniversary in Blinkers off for the other side of story.

Ramsay lauds right wing Liberal MHR Sussan Penelope Ley who spoke on the subject in Parliament on Wednesday evening:

"When Ley got the call 7½ hours later, at 7.38pm, to speak on the adjournment, there were five people in the public gallery, four Labor MPs and two Coalition MPs in the chamber, and one journalist in the press gallery."

Ley's message was nowhere near as rabid as that which Ramsay usually spouts on and on about but what the hell - anything to bash the Jews around the head will do when it comes to the spitefulness of his kind. That way, the Canberra Times can cover a story about 100 MP's voting overwhelmingly on a motion in terms of those missing MP's who are automatically assumed to have snubbed it (even though in most cases, the absences were for entirely unrelated reasons) but when 6 MP's are on hand to listen to Ley, Ramsay can only rant about the message being delivered by the speaker and the fact that "the other side of the story" isn't being covered properly.

Which is all a real hoot coming from a writer for the Fairfax organisation whose Jerusalem Bureau chief has a consistent record of failing to cover one side of the story for six years and Ramsay hasn't, to my knowledge, complained about it even once in all that time!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


The majority of the Independent Australian Jewish Voices have disowned him and the Australian Jewish News has labelled him a "fraud". He supported the Nakba Advertisement in this week's Australian - the one that conveniently ignored most of the historic events of 1948 and concentrated solely on a warped narrative of the Palestinian revision of history.

We know that Loewenstein’s knowledge about the history of the conflict is rather limited and he confirmed this ignorance by his support of the Nakba Advertisement in this week's Australian.

The advertisement failed to mention the UN vote in November 1947 that favoured the establishment of a Jewish state alongside an Arab state, its rejection by all Arabs including the Palestinians and the subsequent invasion of the area by surrounding Arab nations with the stated aim of pushing the Jews "into the sea". It ignored Israel's Declaration of Independence in 1948 which gave equal rights to all citizens in the land including full voting rights and recognition of Arabic as an official language of the state. And it did a blank page job on the current malaise of Palestinian terrorism with its callous disregard for innocent human life on both sides and which seeks to perpetuate conflict and avoid a peaceful outcome.

That's why the only democracy in the Middle East has the unqualified support of the leadership of both major Australian political parties.

But far worse than his knowledge of 1948 is Loewenstein’s understanding of the here and now. This is his letter published in the Sydney Morning Herald last Thursday (13 March, 2008) headed "Many Jews feel shame about Israel's actions":-

Robert Goot and David Knoll (Letters, March 12) round on Alan Ramsey for suggesting that Palestinians will not be celebrating Kevin Rudd's parliamentary motion on the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.

They use the armoury of Israeli Foreign Ministry talking points to portray the Palestinians as bloodthirsty terrorists out to obliterate all Jews. Many Israelis do not agree, a majority recently telling a Haaretz-sponsored poll that they believed in talks between Hamas and the Israeli government.
Despite the rhetoric in the Western media, many in the Hamas leadership have consistently offered a long-term ceasefire and accepted a two-state solution.

After unilaterally disengaging from Gaza in 2005, Israel has maintained an economic blockade. Israel targeted civilians at the end of the 2006 Lebanon war by dropping cluster bombs in the last days of its botched campaign. Mr Goot and Mr Knoll paint Israel as a robust democracy in the heart of the Middle East, conveniently ignoring the ever-expanding illegal occupation in the West Bank and racially discriminatory policies in Israel proper.

Many Diaspora Jews, myself included, remain ashamed at Israel's behaviour. It does not speak in my name.

Antony Loewenstein Petersham

The outrageous claims about Hamas offering ceasefires and of its so-called support for a "two- state solution" is Loewenstein's hallmark - it's all double talk. A Hamas ceasefire is one which permits it to rearm and permits other terrorists to continue fighting with its support. There is no evidence whatsoever of any Hamas acceptance of a "two-state" solution but even if it were true, then it's worth knowing that Loewnstein's "two-state solution doesn't mean a Jewish State and an Arab State living side by side together in peace as contemplated in United Nations Resolution 181 of 1947. What he really means is this:

"Mr Loewenstein ... said he supported Israel's right to exist but did not believe in the idea of a Jewish state that discriminated against non-Jews." - Jewish voices in discord after Israel ad. Now, that's what I call "double talk" and it's why his former allies are running away from him at a rate of knots.


On Wednesday 12 March 2008 a motion was moved in Australia's Parliament by PM Kevin Rudd to commemorate Australia's role in the establishment of the State of Israel and to commend Israel's commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism. It reiterated Australia's commitment to Israel's right to exist and to finding a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Here are some photographs taken at the Israeli Ambassador's Reception held in the Mural Hall of Parliament House after the Motion was overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support from both sides of the House of Representatives: -

Friday, March 14, 2008


Yesterday, while still in Canberra and sipping my coffee in a wonderful little cafe on a wide and sunny sidewalk, I thought I had seen the ultimate in dishonest reporting in what masquerades as the national capital's newspaper - the Canberra Times. Nothing prepared me however, for this story from CAMERA about the BBC's Fabricated Home Demolition Report which takes the cake in a big week of lies, dissembling and evasion from the world wide web of Israel bashers for who the words "honesty" and "truth" seem as distant as some of the galaxies on the outer reaches of the universe.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The Honourable Member for the Federal Seat of Wakefield was making his maiden speech in the House of Representatives as I entered the Public Gallery at around 11:40 am. The ALP's Nick Champion was speaking in front of an almost empty chamber made up initially of not more than a handful of MP's, mostly from his own party. There was hardly anyone there on the opposition benches when Champion began by thanking his family, friends, mentors, the party and the voters. He spoke of his aspirations for the future as part of the government and of how his early days working as a trolley pusher had guided him in his quest to look after the interests of the working men and women of his country. This was my first visit to Parliament, the first opportunity to listen to the democratic process in action and, despite the empty chamber, Nick Champion’s sincere words were uplifting and exciting. By the time he was finished, the place was filling up and by close to midday when Prime Minister's motion congratulating the State of Israel was being put to the floor, there were over 100 MP's in the House.

It was a fitting start to the day.

That was yesterday.

Today, the pace was somewhat less hectic. I had the Australian delivered to my room and found the letters section of interest. Following yesterday's Parliamentary Motion and the notorious Nakba Advertisement, it was not surprising that Israel came under the heading "Most Talked About". Here are the letters (with my emphasis):-

An island of civilisation in a sea of barbarism

A SURVEY of the 60 years of Israel’s existence shows that its conduct has not always been beyond reproach (which nation’s has?) and that the Palestinians have a case which deserves consideration.

The most extraordinary feature of Isreal’s history is that - surrounded by enemies dedicated to its destruction and the extermination of its inhabitants - it has not only survived but maintained a high standard of liberalism and democracy. In the context of the Middle East, Israel remains an island of civilisation in a sea of barbarism.

It would be interesting to know how many of the individuals and organisations in the anti-Israel advertisement in The Australian (12/3) have ever protested against the dictatorship, torture, sexism, racism, censorship, arbitrary imprisonment and denial of human rights rife among Israel’s opponents.

Bill James Bayswater, Vic

HELEN Cox expresses "deep regret, disappointment and a sense of betrayal" in relation to federal parliament’s honouring of Israel’s 60 years of independence (Letters, 12/3).

For reasons vastly different from hers, I share those sentiments: deep regret that modern Israel did not exist for the 6 million European Jews murdered by the Nazis while most of the rest of the world refused them sanctuary and looked the other way; and a sense of betrayal that Israel, despite being a beacon of enlightenment, egalitarianism and democracy in an area of repression, fundamentalism and black hatred, remains so isolated and misrepresented internationally. Australia is to be commended for its long-standing, principled and bipartisan support for the state of Israel.

Merv Morris East St Kilda, Vic

ANY blood that was spilt following Israel’s founding in 1948 was as a direct result of the invasion of the fledgling state by Arab armies intent on wiping it out. Unfortunately, this 60-year-old hatred lives on in the words and tone of Helen Cox and Margaret Millar’s letters (12/3).

Perhaps it is impossible to change the minds of some people whose mind has been made up, but I cannot help thinking that there might be some real moves to reconciliation if contributors such as these occasionally felt some compassion for the other side.

George Adamowicz Brighton, Vic

MY wife and I sponsor, through World Vision, a child living in Gaza. This is something we can do to show our sympathy for the suffering of the Palestinian people. Most of the land where the child’s family lives has been confiscated and what remains is restricted by regulation. Clean water is scarce and sanitation poor. We have been most anxious about the child’s safety.

The Australian’s editorial praising Israel and parliament’s congratulations on its 60 years of independence made no reference to the sufferings imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel’s powerful military forces.

We pray that the child we sponsor may grow up healthy and in peace, but we fear that this won’t happen as long as the US and its allies continue to praise Israel while portraying Palestinians as bad.

Vincent Matthews Forestville, NSW

HELEN Cox’s view that Israel was founded on the blood of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians is a strange warping of historical fact. Israel was founded on the ashes of millions who were executed in the Nazi Holocaust. Ms Cox might find it illuminating to reflect on how much better off the Palestinians would be if, over the last 60 years, they had shed their victimhood to develop a democratic government.

Mark Reid Doncaster, Vic

THE Australian Workers Union has written to the Histadrut, the umbrella body of the Israeli trade union movement, to congratulate them on their important role in the creation of the state of Israel 60 years ago.

The AWU wholeheartedly supports Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s initiative to have parliament offer Australia’s continuing goodwill and support to the people of Israel.

We are heartened by the fact that the Histadrut and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions are working closely on a number of projects to improve the economic lot of the people of the West Bank.

Our union cannot understand those union leaders here in Australia, and Labor MPs who line up in support of Hamas. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a history of hostility to labour unions. Palestinian union leaders have been assassinated and kidnapped by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, union leaders have seen their offices and homes burned down by these elements who are hostile to the creation of independent civil-society organisations.

While there is much to be critical of in the way Israel has handled some elements of the Palestinian question, our critique is no different from that of many others inside Israel, a nation with a vibrant civil and political life that allows for the equal participation of all its citizens.

Unfortunately the same democratic values are not upheld by the Palestinian leadership who have stood by and allowed corruption and thuggery to be the dominant language in the Palestinian territories.

Paul Howes National secretary, AWU Sydney, NSW

The good thing about staying at a hotel is that all the newspapers in the breakfast room are complimentary so I picked up both Fairfax papers and was treated to a slightly different version of the events I had witnessed with my own eyes the day before. The Melbourne Age report on the events in Parliament concentrated on Julia Irwin's snub of the PM for abstaining on the issue. There was no questioning of the fact that she represents an electorate where you might expect some pressure from the Arab and Muslim lobbies but that's Fairfax for you. The SMH featured three nasty letters including one from Australia's foremost apologist for the Islamist fascist movement Hamas but more of that later. I expected nothing less from Fairfax.

Then I discovered the Canberra Times, the local rag which understandably has a small circulation, is read mainly by public servants and, to quote my youngest child, it "truly sucks". I have finally discovered a reporter who makes Ed O'Loughlin look like an unrepentant Likudnik. His name is Ross Peake, he's their National Affairs Writer and an early candidate for Dishonest Reporter of the Year (although he has major competition from the BBC but more of that later as well). Peake's write up of the events of yesterday were truly mindboggling - PM snubbed from all sides over Israeli motion.

Peake's story wasn't about the motion at all. It was a story about the MP's who weren't there and he infers that their absence amounted to a "snub" for Prme Minister Rudd. I'm not so certain that the absence of the most far left and the most rabid right wing members of the House constitues a snub. They make up two of a House of 150. How does Peake know that the remaining absentees were "snubbing" the motion?

Yesterday was my first time inside Parliament House. However, it seems to me that the Chamber is rarely ever full when I watch it on television and for Peake to suggest that the absence of any MP's on either side was because they were snubbing the Israel motion is quite a stretch. I remained in the House for most of the day and it never appeared to be as full during the afternoon as it was for the midday motion. I suppose the absentees were "snubbing" those who were moving the various motions put for the remainder of the day. And when I left at 6:00 pm, there would have been about 140 "snubbers" outside the Chamber.

Now, as if that drivel wasn't enough I discovered from the same edition, that the Canberra Times has a cartoonist, Pope, who makes Ross Peake look like an unrepentant Likudnik. His obscene cartoon misrepresenting Jewish history and excusing as acts of despair the firing of rockets at Israeli civilians was vomitous.

And as if that wasn't enough, the Canberra Times also gave op-ed space to some Palestinians to turn what was left of the newspaper into an encyclopaedia of historic revisionism and lies. By the time I got through with that, I wasn't prepared to waste my time, even on the sports pages which is often the first part of a newspaper that I read. On what the national affairs writer, the cartoonist and the op ed writers had provided, I could fully have expected an item to the effect that Elvis Presley had just broken the world 100 metre sprint record and I wasn't ready for that.

I folded up the Canberra Times and consigned it to the waste bin where it joined what was left of my breakfast of scrambled eggs and reflected on yesterday's events. I thought of the Israel motion, the reception that followed and Nick Champion's maiden speech. I still think it was quite inspiring and probably the highlight of the young man's life so far. But had Ross Peake of the Canberra Times deigned to cover that speech, he would no doubt have reported how the newly elected Member for Wakefield was snubbed by all sides of the political divide. And that's how you define "dishonest reporting".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008



I'm in Canberra today and hope to be in Parliament House when our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moves a motion congratulating the State of Israel on its 60th Anniversary. The motion is to be seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Nelson.

Israel's achievements over the past six decades are a thing to be marvelled at; the Israeli people have built a state which sits as the only true democracy in a sea of hatred and blood. It is a nation conceived in the shadow of the Holocaust and its birth took place in the shadow of another threatened Holocaust when five Arab armies joined the local Arab population in seeking to still its birth with calls for "a momentous massacre" of Jews.

Against the odds, and at a terrible cost - the loss of 1% of its Jewish population at the time - it triumphed against murderous foes.

It exists stronger today than ever but, like all nations, it is by no means perfect. It still remains under the threat of annihilation from many of its neighbours but, even as I write, its hands are stretched out in peace to them.

One can only hope that one day its neighbours will follow its example and seek to build a peaceful society in which its citizens can prosper and that they turn away from those whose dedicate themselves to the futile aim of maintaining old hatreds. Only then, will true justice be done for all sides.

Today, is Israel's day and I am proud as an Australian and as a Jew that the country that gave my family a place of refuge so many years ago, is celebrating this wonderful milestone.


The floor of the House of Representatives was almost empty until a few minutes before midday. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd entered and within minutes the room began to fill and there was a buzz of electricity flowing through the room. Here is the text of the Prime Minister's motion for the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel:-

That the House:

(1) celebrate and commend the achievements of the State of Israel in the 60 years since its inception

(2) remember with pride and honour the important role which Australia played in the establishment of the State of Israel as both a member state of the United Nations and as an influential voice in the introduction of Resolution 181 which facilitated Israel’s statehood, and as the country which proudly became the first to cast a vote in support of Israel’s creation

(3) acknowledge the unique relationship which exists between Australia and Israel a bond highlighted by our commitment to the rights and liberty of our citizens and encouragement of cultural diversity

(4) commend the State of Israel’s commitment to democracy, the Rule of Law and pluralism

(5) reiterate Australia’s commitment to Israel’s right to exist and our ongoing support to the peaceful establishment of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue

(6) reiterate Australia’s commitment to the pursuit of peace and stability throughout the Middle East

(7) on this, the 60th Anniversary of Independence of the State of Israel, pledge our friendship, commitment and enduring support to the people of Israel as we celebrate this important occasion together.

Today the parliament of Australia notes the occasion of this year, being the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel. The story of the establishment of the state of Israel begins with the unimaginable tragedy of the Holocaust. At the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem the words of the Australian delegate to the 1938 Evian Conference are recorded.

He said that Australia could not encourage refugee immigration because, ‘as we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one’. Thankfully, later in 1938 the Australian government took the decision to admit 15,000 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. But by the time the war began only 6,500 had reached Australia.

By war’s end, six million Jews had been murdered.

By war’s end, the international community finally began to look again in earnest at the question of a homeland for the Jewish people. Australia is proud to have played a significant part in the international process that led to the foundation of the state of Israel. Australia’s then Minister for External Affairs, Dr Evatt, was part of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, which recommended in August 1947 the termination of the Mandate for Palestine. And he was chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee meeting on the Palestinian Question that proposed the partition of Palestine.

He strongly believed that the fundamental right of self-determination for the Jewish people and for Palestinians could only be achieved by each having their own state. The resolution that the United Nations adopted in November 1947 reflected that. It proposed the establishment of two independent states one Arab and one Jewish. And Australia was the first state in the historic vote of the international community on that resolution to cast its vote in support of the modern State of Israel.

On 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion declared the foundation of the modern state of Israel. Prime Minister Ben Chifley, too, was closely involved in Australia’s policy towards Israel. In June 1948 he reinforced Evatt’s strong support for a two-state solution when he cabled British Prime Minister Clement Attlee and urged early recognition of Israel, saying that: Such [a] declaration would properly indicate willingness to agree in principle to the recognition of the Provisional Government of Israel, and at the same time willingness to recognise de facto the Arab authorities in actual control of Arab Sections of Palestine.

On 29 January 1949 he announced that Australia would become one of the first countries to recognise the new State of Israel, describing it as ‘a force of special value in the world community’. As President of the General Assembly Dr Evatt then presided over the historic May 1949 vote admitting Israel as the 59th member of the United Nations. On 11 May 1949 the Chifley Labor government opened an embassy in Tel Aviv. Evatt later said that, when working on the question of Israel, he wanted to ensure that the “new State of Israel, whose people had in the past done so much for humanity, would be welcomed, not merely formally but with good heart and good conscience” into the international community.

The 60 years since the establishment of Israel have been full of challenges and full of trials. Similarly, the process for the emergence of a Palestinian state has come along a torturous path. There has been too much bloodshed. But over those 60 years there has also been cause for hope.

We think today of Prime Minister Menachem Begin standing with President Jimmy Carter and Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat, at the White House on March 26 1979 at the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty that followed from the Camp David Accords. Prime Minister Begin used both the Hebrew and Arabic words for peace when he urged: “No more war, no more bloodshed, no more bereavement. Peace unto you. Shalom, salaam, forever.”

We can think, too, of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, shaking hands with his lifelong enemy Yasser Arafat on the lawns of the White House on September 13 1993, saying: We, the soldiers who have returned from battles stained with blood we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes we who have attended their funerals and cannot look in the eyes of their parents we who have come from a land where parents bury their children we who have fought against you, the Palestinians we say to you, in a loud and clear voice, enough of blood and tears. Enough! All peoples of goodwill yearn for that vision to be realised. It has not been realised yet.

To borrow again from Yitzhak Rabin, a man who tragically paid the ultimate price while pursuing peace: The risks of peace are preferable by far to the grim certainties of war.

We firmly believe the establishment of an independent and economically viable Palestinian state must remain a key objective in the Middle East peace process. This is important for the future. It was important in the vision of 1947. It remains the vision today, just as our objective must be for Israel to exist within secure and internationally recognised boundaries.

Today, we in Australia support the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority towards a final status agreement by the end of 2008, as launched at the Annapolis Conference in November last year. To support the establishment of a viable and sustainable Palestinian state Australia pledged a $45 million assistance package at the donors conference for the Palestinian territories in Paris on 18 December.

Australia remains, as we have in the past, committed to an effective two-state solution. Over the past 60 years Israel has preserved its robust parliamentary democracy and has built a vibrant society and economy. If anyone wants a dictionary definition of the term ‘robust’ they should spend an afternoon in the Israeli Knesset. That is where you see the definition of ‘robust’ at work. By contrast we are a pack of pussycats in here!

Over the past 60 years governments from both sides of politics in Australia have supported our strong relationship with Israel. That relationship is strong and it is deep and it will remain so. Because we are both democracies, as democracies sometimes we will agree and sometimes we will disagree. That is in the nature of strong relationships. But the underlying friendship between us does not alter.

Australia offers our congratulations to the government and people of Israel on this the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the modern Israeli state. We acknowledge our special history and relationship and we look forward to its continued strength and development into the future.

I commend this motion to the House.

Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson responded with an equally emotional and brilliant endorsement of the motion - click here. The end result of two magnificent speeches recognising Israel's achievements in facing up to 60 years of challenge and its search for peace with its neighbours was an almost universal acceptance of the motion by members of both sides of Australian politics. The motion was passed unopposed and MPs received a standing ovation from the Public Gallery after it passed.

I was later informed that there was an abstention from Labor MP Julia Irwin who represents the Sydney western suburbs seat of Fowler and that one coalition member absented herself rather than take part in the vote because she's supposedly a "friend" of Palestine. It's interesting that some who claim to have at heart the interests of Palestinians and possibly Israelis as well would disassociate themselves from a motion supporting the peace process but that's politics!


As with most events involving Israel and the Jewish people things don't always move as smoothly as one would like. If I were to be critical of the speeches in favour of the motion I would have to admit that Mr. Rudd's opening that the "story of the establishment of the state of Israel begins with the unimaginable tragedy of the Holocaust" was factually incorrect. The story began thousands of years ago in the Land of Israel - the Holocaust was one gigantic and horrible episode in a long journey that also included the tragic dispossession and persecution of almost a million Jews from Moslem countries who played a formidable part in the establishment of the Jewish State but their significant role was rather unfortunately ignored.

The proceedings were momentarily marred by a lone demonstrator, who stood up and shrieked something about "the occupation and UN resolutions". She was promptly removed from the Public Gallery and Kevin Rudd continued his speech as if nothing had happened. The irony of that was in the timing of the interjector's outburst. It came when the PM was referring to UN Resolution 181 adopted in November 1947 proposing the establishment of two independent states one Arab and one Jewish. This was the resolution that was rejected by the Arab League and the local Arabs of Palestine when the Arabs attacked the nascent Jewish State with the slaughter of Jews as its objective. Had it been accepted, the objector would have had no reason to be in the House, the small group of protestors would not be aimlessly wandering about outside and the various groups who tried to in vain to revise history with their twisted narrative could have saved the $20,000.00 they wasted with a futile attempt to publicize a hateful cause in our national newspaper with The Nakba Advertisement.

These facts were not lost on the majority of those in the Public Gallery - Jews and non Jews alike. It was also understood by well over 100 Australian politicians who did themselves and their country proud by recognising this brave little democracy and its ongoing and courageous battle for survival in a far off part of the world.


Later in the day, the Israeli ambassador hosted a reception for 500 people in the Parliament House Mural Hall. The PM and the Opposition Leader were in attendance as well as other Canberra identities, members of the Jewish community and many guests from many walks of life. The speeches at the reception were again warm and sincere and included a message from the iconic Israeli President Shimon Peres as well as from Israel's Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Yuval Rotem. the goodwill shown towards the Jewish State was so welcoming and totally brilliant.


The editorial on the motion in the Australian Newspaper was outstanding. It was a brilliant response to the Nakba Advertisement while an article in its op-ed section outlined why Israel was receiving such strong bipartisan support. I had missed the opportunity to read them in the morning so when I got back to my room later in the day I opened my copy of the newspaper and carefully read both. With that done, I looked again at the offensive Nakba Advertisement on page 7 with its starkly contrasting destructive message in white print etched on a black background: a sad but incindiary narrative of obsessive hatred that spells out the real meaning of Nakba. As Professor Gil Troy of Montreal's McGill University remarked recently, "if so many people in the world did not equivocate in the face of Palestinian terror, let alone justify it, peace would have been achieved long ago."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


UNPOPULAR: Antony Loewenstein has alienated many of his former supporters who were original signatories to the IAJV Statement of Principles for what they regard as his unprincipled and duplicitous conduct. Based on this photograph he could also be in trouble with the fashion police.

Antony Loewenstein is not a popular young man at the moment after his latest efforts have left signatories of the original Independent Australian Jewish Voices campaign turning on him with accusations of intellectual dishonesty. Loewenstein is one of the founders of the IAJV and he co-wrote its Statement of Principles of March 2007 (click here for the Statement), which included the following wording:-

"We believe that Israel’s right to exist must be recognized and that Palestinians’ right to a homeland must also be acknowledged."

These words in this motherhood statement enticed many well meaning people to sign on in the belief that the IAJV stood for two states living side by side in peace but they were wrong. Within a month, Loewenstein had written his introduction to the second edition of his not so best selling book "My Israel Question"; a book so replete with factual errors, twisted logic and some, well ... borrowed ideas that it beggared belief why some IAJV followers failed to see the warning signs there and then (i.e. a month after the Statement of Principles first saw the light of day). Loewenstein was quite open about his views - he supported a one state solution, euphemistically meaning an end to the Jewish State and, in all probability, an end to Jewish existence in the original homeland for Jews. If that wasn't enough, one only needed to go to the Antony Loewenstein website to ascertain where he stood on Israel and the Jewish people.

And still, the faithful believed because they wanted to believe that you can mix rabid, radical politics of an overpowering hatred of the West, remain not just a staunch critic of Israeli politics but a hater of the nation, even embrace some of the nastier regimes in the Middle East and still be speaking with a Jewish voice.

A little more than half a year into its existence and the IAJV was promising a lot but delivering very little. It had almost 500 signatories (a minute proportion of Australia's 100,000 plus population), some of them quite dubious and decidedly unkosher sounding but was otherwise doing nothing. Come October and Ant had developed enough chutzpah to pen a letter to the Australian newspaper signed as representating the IAJV. The problem was that the views presented in the letter weren't in accord with those incorporated in the Statement of Principles. Although he apparently acknowledged this fact and was "profusely apologetic to individuals who wrote to him" he failed to publicly correct despite repeated urging from other fellow signatories.

In the meantime, the man who plied his trade on the annoying complaint that the mainstream Jewish community was denying him a voice with which to air his views (while remaining more or less ubiquitous), was banning those whose views differed to those of his own from the Antony Loewenstein blog. The megalomania was spreading at an ever-increasing rate.

So there should have been no surprise among IAJVniks when an email was circulated to signatories urging them to sign up for a Nakba Advertisement scheduled to appear in the Australian on the morning of March 12, 2008 to coincide with a government motion in the House of Representatives in Canberra and even to contribute to its cost of $20,000.00. The proposed advertisement was enclosed with the email and to the surprise of many it was so hostile, so hateful and so inflammatory to the Israeli people and constituted such a revision of the history of the conflict with its neighbours as to be unacceptable to even some of Israel's most trenchant Jewish critics.

Here is an example of the proposed wording: "We as informed and concerned Australians, choose to disassociate ourselves from a celebration of the triumph of racism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians since the al-Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948."

his marked a total change in direction from the motherhood statement that explicitly supported a two state solution but for reasons already mentioned above, they should have seen it coming. The email was sent around and began to find itself on the screens of non-IAJVniks. In no time at all, ordinary members of the Jewish community were reading the email and many on the current list of IAJV signatories which included Zionist youth group Hashomer Hatzair were rightfully spitting chips.

Refugee rights activist professor Linda Briskman was quoted as follows: "Even for an old radical like me I thought the wording was extremely inflammatory and can't bring myself to sign it." while Miriam Faine, wrote: "While agreeing that the situation in Gaza is appalling, I don't think your letter is at all constructive and in no way addresses the complexities of the situation.

"It will, however, put IAJV well and truly outside the Jewish community in Australia. People like me who signed your original statement in good faith - because I agreed with it - will now be associated with your current position, which is extreme.

"Your letter will bring much joy to the right wing voices within the Jewish community who construct all criticism of Israel as anti-semitic and promoting the destruction of the State of Israel. And it will inhibit other members of the community from publicly expressing views about the nature and future of Israel which could have a positive effect of softening Australian government policies of support for Israeli expansionist policies."

Actually, the right wing voices within the Jewish community didn't react as predicted at all. It brought them little joy but they were upset and angry. So too were the moderates amd left wing voices (including some of the radicals) who were entitled to be livid about the duplicitous attempt to hijack some well meaning activists into a cause so full of hatred that Australian Jewish Democratic Society figure Sol Salbe pointed out would simply not "help the Palestinians in Gaza or anyone seeking peace and justice for that part of the world." He also raised the issue of intellectual dishonesty in that while it was proposed to include the IAJV as a group supporting the petition, it had no input in the text which had been put together by a number of Palestinian groups whose key individuals are said to "take the attitude of no cooperation with Israelis or Jews except on the basis of 100 per cent endorsement of their narrative." (Ironically, this is exactly what many non IAJV Jewish supporters of peace initiatives have been complaining about for years!)

It was clear that Loewenstein was seeking to ambush Jews to join in a Palestinian initiative hostile to Israel that, in any event, was not really serving the cause of peace for either side.
Loewenstein's duplicity was finally coming out into the open and, in the end, his attempt to hijack the IAJV was being thwarted from within.

This should not surprise those who have read his book and his blog and it certainly does not surprise Loewenstein's cousin Ronald Green who opened up his home for his young relative 2005 while he was researching his book. I'll leave it to Green to tell the rest of that tale:

"Antony Loewenstein doesn't rest for a moment in his relentless attacks about Israel and anything that has to do with Israel. It's surprising, in fact, that he sleeps at all, as I must assume that he is also active in other world evils, occupations and the like, such as Tibet, Chechnya, Sudan, Chad, Zimbabwe, and others. Unfortunately we haven't yet heard about those from the intrepid Lowenstein, fighter for good over evil. In the meantime, he has his work cut out in chasing the compounded evils of Israel, so much so that his facts - never a strong point with him - still leave much to be desired. Coming to think of it, though, wouldn't we expect that after so many years of being an expert on Israel and the Middle East that he would get better with facts?

"Or could it be that he does know the facts and just isn't interested in letting others know? Here's an example, from his blog of 8 March 2008, headed "This is how the Australian government grovels before Israel and its local propagandists SMH" in which he gleefully reprints a hatchet piece from the Sydney Morning Herald in which the hilariously named "Australian Committee for Truth in the Middle East" is quoted as referring to the Hamas rockets as "the relative pinpricks of [homemade] Hamas rockets fired into territory illegally occupied by Israeli settlers …

"Now, now. Are the inhabitants of Sderot and Ashkelon "Israeli settlers"? Are those two towns in "territory illegally occupied?" Is all of Israel now "illegal", not only the lands captured in 1967? Surely everybody knows that Hamas rockets are landing in Israel proper, recognized as such by the world (apart from, of course, that so-called truth committee)

"Perhaps nobody noticed the extent of the 'truth' spewed out by that website. Perhaps the SMH didn't. Or perhaps it doesn't care. And Loewenstein? Does he know where Sderot and Ashkelon are? He certainly didn't visit them during his one sojourn of 2 weeks in 2005. Does he care where they are? Or does he actually consider all of Israel a bone in his throat?"

POSTSCRIPT: In a victory for common sense the Loewenstein camp buckled under and failed to add the IAJV brand to the endorsement on the Nakba Advertisement which was printed on Page 7 of The Australian of 12 March 2008. It a horrible piece of advertising and, based on both its content and appearance, I believe it represents $20,000.00 well and truly pissed down the toilet along with what's left of the Independent Australian Jewish Voices. At least the prospects for a decent dialogue both within the Jewish community and with others is enhanced now that LAntony Loewenstein has been sent in disgrace to his own little patch of Hamastan somewhere well outside the Jewish community where he belongs with the handful of Jews who shamefully put their names to this piece of bilge - (click here).


Denis MacEoin writes in A Liberal Defence of Israel - Israel, the filthy germ:

"One of the first things that strikes the visitor to Iran is how polite everybody is. Hands go on chests (male chests anyhow) in a gesture of humility, it is commonplace to address someone as jenab, ‘your excellence’, to call oneself ‘your sacrifice’, and much besides. It’s an old fashioned society in which interpersonal relations are valued at all levels.

But ever since the revolution of 1979, there are more and more ways of insulting anyone perceived to be the enemy of Iran or Islam. Almost the first slogan of that revolution was marg bar-Amrika, ‘death to America’. Later, marg bar-Isra’il was added to the chants after every Friday prayer meeting. Verbal insults were matched by vicious disrespect for the most basic human dignity, in the parading of the US embassy hostages, the broadcasting of film of the US pilots burned in their helicopters during the failed Eagle Claw operation to rescue those hostages, the 2006 exhibition of cartoons mocking the Holocaust and its victims, or the conference on Holocaust denial held later that year

Now, Ahmadinejad has made a speech in which he describes Israel as ‘a filthy germ’ and ‘a savage beast’."

"If there is a virus, it has to be the curious one that has infected so many in the West, notably on the left. No matter how strong the moral and rational arguments in Israel’s favour, this benighted group persists in mouthing slogans, calling for boycotts, boosting terror groups like Hamas (freedom fighters even when they are attacking kindergartens), and denying any rights to Israel whatever. And when the Islamic state has been established, and they start stoning women and hanging gays and killing the Baha’is, and imprisoning the socialists, no doubt our brave enemies of Israel will slink off to find another cause. May that day never come."

As strange as it may seem there is a small group of Australian Jews who have been infected by that last virus described by MacEoin. The virus has even been given a name: Type IAJV and it stands for Impersonating Australian Jewish Voices. The virus is so acute that these people have, in their delirium, gotten into bed with some of the nastiest Israel bashers this side of Tehran by putting their names to an advertisment hostile to the Jewish State for publication tomorrow in The Australian Newspaper. Needless to say, the ad won't be mentioning the threats of genocide, intent to destroy Israel by violent means and the violence itself of the major Palestinian players in the region.

We should pray for what's left of their Jewish souls.

Monday, March 10, 2008


"It is important to note that the Palestinians have continued their terrorist attacks in recent years despite the complete Israel withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Instead of seizing he opportunity to engage in state-building and in improving the standard of living for Gazans, the Palestinians acted upon their hatred and continued to attack Israeli civilians, which is in itself a war crime.

"In contrast, Israeli military activities have never targeted civilians. Civilians are hurt occasionally in urban warfare, particularly when Hamas cynically places missile launchers or weapons stockpiles in the heart of a civilian area. These sites are, nevertheless, lawful military objectives. Under the Geneva Conventions, the responsibility for civilian casualties arising from the "shielding" lies with the party that deliberately placed civilians at risk. Moreover, Israeli military units do their best to minimize the collateral damage when attacking military targets in the midst of civilian concentrations. The officers in the field are so instructed and they have great leeway even to abort missions in case the lives of too many civilians are at stake. More than once, IDF officers have risked their own troops to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties."

From Efraim Inbar - Israel's moral war against Hamas for those who continue to make the nonsensical claim that there is moral equivalence between those who commit criminal attacks targetting civilians and those who must fight to defend their people from them.

And for those who make sport of shielding the crimes of Hamas and Hizbullah away from the eyes of the world, you now can hide this information in the blank pages - Palestinians: Hamas, Hezbollah cooperated on Jerusalem terror attack.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


For a touch of sanity and good journalism, I recommend Greg Sheridan in yesterday's Australian - ISLAMISTS LEAVE ISRAEL NO CHOICE.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


From the creator of Dry Bones, Yaakov Kirschen

Ed O'Loughlin is prolific in this morning's Melbourne Age with not one but two articles from the Middle East. The first, a report on the terrorist massacre on Thursday of eight students at a religious institution Massacre puts Israel on high alert and the second, a really touching human interest puff piece about Palestinian rocket and explosives engineer - Rocket man gets call from the foe.

The latter story begins ... ""'ABED' is a 28-year-old father of two and a rocket and explosives engineer for the Popular Resistance Committees, a close ally of the Islamic movement Hamas.

Imagine his surprise when he received a phone call recently from the Israeli Government," ... and from there is only gets worse.

That there exists a newspaper editor on the face of this earth who has such a lack of taste as to publish such an abominable piece at the very same time that the bodies of the eight student victims of the massacre are being buried, and on the same page as the report of their murder is testament to the madness of journalism as a profession. The gods must surely have driven him crazy!

As for O'Loughlin, his disingenuousness shines through as if on schedule. While he does mention at the end of his article on the massacre that the "attack was greeted with jubilation in Gaza City", he lets Hamas off the hook once again by conveniently omitting to mention how a Hamas statement welcomed the terrorist attack. "We bless the [Jerusalem] operation. It will not be the last." To leave that out is a startling omission from a person who was praised in the Australian Jewish News by a lone fan, Mr. Steve Brook of Elwood. Brook wrote this in a letter that appeared in this week's AJN:

"If O'Loughlin has a bias, it is only implicit - all violence is evil, whoever its perpetrators."

That's bullshit!

On Thursday night, Yitzchak Dadon was the first to shoot the Jerusalem terrorist. His violent act of firing his gun at this man stopped his murderous rampage and saved the lives of many of his fellow students, some as young as 15 years of age. When a nation defends its people in a war against those committed to its destruction and whose methodology is to attack innocent civilians, it is sometimes necessary to carry out some violent acts in response and civilians used a shields by the other side will sometimes get hurt. That's what Hamas wants (but we're not always reminded of that by certain journalists). Like the journalist he admires so much, Brooks' moral compass is dramatically askew.

The other part of Brook's vindication of O'Loughlin is also way out of kilter. The truth is that you won't find many sympathetic pieces at all from Ed about the hundreds of Israeli civilians killed and the thousands wounded by terrorists who targetted them or their families since he started with Fairfax in 2002. You won't find that much from him which exposes the evil of Hamas - where are his articles about its charter, its incitement to murder in the media, its children's television programmes encouraging a pathological hatred of Jews, its vicious and violent attacks on political opponents etc, etc, etc. This evidence suggests that, contrary to what Brook claims, his bias is not related to the proposition that all violence is supposedly evil. Otherwise, he would tell us all about the violence of the Palestinian terrorists, particularly about Hamas!

Instead, you will only find such things in the news items that end up in the blank pages. But in any event, the fact that today, of all days, instead of a sympathetic interview with a relative of the dead we found one about a man who makes rockets designed specifically to kill innocent people going about their normal everyday lives, is quite enough for me!

ODD SPOT: In his insipid attempt to justify his reporting from Israel last month in the Australian Jewish News, O'Loughlin gave as his excuse for not reporting on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Hezbollah of committing war crimes by bombarding Israeli civilian centers during the 2006 war, the fact that "I was on another assignment in Gaza at the time of its release. In my absence, the story was covered with a syndicated piece from The New York Times." However, AJN columnist and media watchdog Tzvi Fleisher claims he couldn't find this syndicated piece.

Today's double whammy from O'Loughlin shows that it is possible for him to report from two places at the same time.

What he lacks however, is the capacity to produce a really good piece of interviewing and his rocket man piece proves that beyond doubt.

In the end, Abed insists that his rockets are home made and that he is "working on one that will go 45 kilometres. The real trouble is the cost. The new 45 kilometres rockets will cost $7,000 each ($A7,530) to build," while the most commonly fired missiles "cost 1,500 shekels ($A445) to make".

The question that any interviewer worth his salt should be asking at that point in light of his newspaper's recent report on Gaza’s dire humanitarian situation which revealed that “more than 1.1 million people out of a population of 1.5 million are now dependent on food aid” and according to the Oxfam website most of these people are living in households “earning less than $1.2 per person per day“ is one that would be bleedingly obvious to anyone who really believes in exposing the evil of Hamas but the lame duck O'Loughlin obviously passed on that one.

And the excuses just keep sounding lamer as every day passes.


Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston has this advice for the Westerner who 'understands' the terrorist:

Spare us the explanations.

Spare us the learned, sociology-drenched justifications.

Spare us the reasons why you "get" Palestinians when they gun Jews down in cold blood.

Spare us the chapter and verse on how the plight of the Palestinians is at the root of Islamic terrorism the world over, and if the Palestinians were to receive full justice, Islamic terrorism would pass from the world.

Spare us.

You may well believe, with the blind faith of the hopeful and the fear-stricken, that when these people are through with the Jews, they won't come for you.

Think again.

There's more especially for those who think they know the meaning of the word "evil" - read the entire article on the above link.