Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today is Yom HaShoah or Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה) which means "Remembrance Day for the Holocaust and Heroism" or "Holocaust Remembrance Day." It is observed as a day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The day is traditionally observed worldwide by Jews eight days before Israel's Independence Day.

It is fitting that this day and the date of Israel's independence are intertwined because Israel was the place where many victims of The Shoah and their families found a safe haven and further, in its very early days, the courage and braveness of Israel's fighters saved the Jewish people from enduring a second Shoah in the shadow of the first.

The second Shoah which never came to pass was the massacre threatened against the Jews by many in the Arab world in the wake of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 181 of 29 November, 1947 which partitioned the British Mandate into two States - one Jewish and one Arab.

The Arabs rejected the two state solution and chose violence. Palestinian Arabs (including veterans of the 1936-9 Arab Revolt, members of Arab youth organizations, and police) immediately initiated hostilities against the Jewish population with attacks on villages and terrorism in the cities. They were soon joined by regulars from Arab armies.

When the Jewish State in Palestine was declared and named "Israel" on 14 May 1948, the armies of five Arab States invaded with the declared intent of destroying it and committing ethnic cleansing by way of massacre of the Jews.

Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, at Cairo press conference reported in the New York Times, May 16, 1948, rejected partition and declared "jihad" (a holy war):

"This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades".

The reaction of the Arab world and the Palestinian leadership was not surprising. At the height of the Shoah in 1943 Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and one of the worst Nazi collaborators, called for Jihad against Jews in a broadcast from Radio Berlin:

"Kill the Jews wherever you find them, this is pleasing to Allah".

The Arab world's view was that the creation of Israel was a Nakbah (catastrophe) - an affront to their faith. Accordingly, Israel must be resisted by all available means and eradicated as soon as possible. This view is the basis for not only the events of 1947-1948, but even now, some sixty years after the Jews foiled the second Shoah, it remains an obsession with them and their supporters.

A full recounting of the historical events would embarrass Israel's detractors, so they have to be very selective in recounting the events of this period. In this opinion piece published yesterday and written by Peter Manning, a significant slab of the history of the formation of the Jewish State is suppressed in what can only be described as an horrific example of historic revisionism - REDRESS THE BALANCE ON PALESTINE.

Manning disingenuously cobbles together a questionable version of the events by his selective interpretation of historical material, some of which is hotly disputed, and by the omission of well documented evidence that makes a mockery of his central thesis that it was the Jews who were solely responsible for putting the Palestinians into their current position of hopelessness and dispossession.

Those Arabs who remained in the area allocated to the Jewish State were not dispossessed at all and indeed, they live peaceful lives today as equal citizens in Israel, a fact which Manning conveniently overlooks. He also ignores the fact that, had the Arabs shunned war and accepted UN Security Resolution 181 they would have had their own State and neither side would be in a position to claim they had suffered from a catastrophe sixty years later.

In any event, if there is an imbalance, it can only be redressed by supporting the current peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Authority which is, very properly, the stated position of the current Australian government and the opposition.

In the meantime, no amount of avoiding the truth and tacky opinion pieces like that which Manning managed to get into the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday will ever manage to hide the real meaning of The Nakba - the failure sixty years ago by the Arabs to carry out a very public threat to exterminate a race of people by way of the "momentous massacre" that they threatened against Jewish population of the region.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Hamas gunmen steal power station fuel for their vehicles - no, that's from today's Jerusalem Post.

EU faults Hamas for Gaza fuel crisis - no, that was yesterday's in the Jerusalem Post.

Hayden: Syrian site could have produced fuel for 2 weapons - hell no, that was in the Associated Press yesterday.

Qassam hits Sderot home; residents treated for shock - sorry, that one's from today's Haaretz.

Iran official warns of 'danger' of Barbie, Harry Potter toys - nuh, can't fit any comment about unofficial Jewish taboos in that one.

Let's run with the gunmen story and turn them into modern day Robin Hoods helping out the poor, starving, emaciated masses in the open prison of Gaza or in the occupied West Bank. Make a note however, to leave out the pictures of the fat lady with the weapon. She doesn't fit the starving masses imagery and let's not go here either.


Yesterday's Australian editorial Incompetent or cruel nicely filled in the blank pages accompanying its rival (in my home town of Melbourne, Australia) broadsheet newspaper, the Age. It posits the question whether Hamas is being incompetent or cruel in its manipulation of Gaza's current fuel crisis. However, there's absolutely no reason why it can't be both.

"Hamas is responsible for hundreds of murderous suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks on Israel. This time, however, it seems prepared to let its own men, women and children go hungry. In doing so, it is showing the world that anybody who believes that Israel is the worst enemy of the Palestinian people needs to think again."

Amen to that!

Monday, April 28, 2008


There is a Jewish saying that when your enemy throws stones, then you should throw back bread. My response therefore to the recent muckraking and bigoted reporting by Ed O'Loughlin is to praise the work two neighbouring communities from the north of Israel - INTERFAITH ENCOUNTER ASSOCIATION.


On Sunday, March 9th 2008, the 6th grade students of Kalanit School in Karmiel hosted their peers from A-Salaam School for a joint experiential activity around the theme of "Emotions", following the general events and the war in the south.

This activity was in the happy spirit of the month of Adar that started on that day, as it says:

"When Adar enters - happiness is growing".

First we met in the classrooms. The children were happy to meet again their friends from last year. They set in circles and heard explanations about the course of the day.

Then we started with "Balloons of Emotions" - a personal page that we created based on the Hosen program, to identify the students' mood and emotions.

To our joy, all students - from both schools - marked the first balloons and explained that the chose them because they were happy to be part of this activity. The conversation took place in both languages (Hebrew and Arabic). The students of Kalanit were especially happy as they could practice their Arabic.

The events of the day were not brought up, although in the morning the students shared their educators in their feelings following the massacre in the Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

After joint breakfast in the classroom and joint activities during the break, we turned to the activity of "Mood Balloon". This is creative work around balloons: the kids chose the color of their balloon and designed it according to their feelings. We made chains of emotions' balloons to decorate the class for Purim - a mixed chain for each class.

After the creativity activity the boys' soccer teams from both schools competed. The game took place in a respecting and respected way. The girls from both schools cheered the game. The referee was the teacher Nader Taha from A-Salaam School.

When the game ended with the victory of the Kalanit team, the girls took the field for a dodge ball game. In this game the referee was the teacher Ayelet Yihya from Kalanit School and the girls from A-Salaam won.

To end the day we took a joint excursion to the nearby Galilee Park. The guiding was given, in both languages, by the geography teachers Amir Lazar and Nader Taha. We viewed our joint Galilee and learned about the scenery formations. We used this excursion as a summary for the joint Geography theme of the Galilee.

During the excursion children from both schools were walking hugged together.

The encounter ended with social games organized by the children and we fare welled with lots of satisfaction and wish for further encounters.

Reported: Osnat Freiberg-Boacio
Group's Coordinators: Najeeba Sirhan & Osnat Aram-Daphna

Sunday, April 27, 2008


The British lawyer Anthony Julius has written a penetrating essay on the origins and meaning of "Jewish" anti-Zionism."

It's long and it comes in two parts but its really worth reading:

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Mark down 26 April 2008 as the day when this once reputable newspaper crossed the line and became a vehicle for the dissemination of sheer filth - Arabs move in where Israelis fear to tread.

"But the resulting exodus of Jews — between 10% and 25% of the town's 20,000 people are estimated to have fled — has lured displaced collaborators from Gaza, frustrated by property prices in overcrowded Arab areas of Israel and the unofficial Jewish taboo against selling to Arabs."

The Palestine Authority does have on its books an official taboo against selling land to Jews as does the Kingdom of Jordan. As for Saudi Arabia, a Jew would find it hard to even enter the country. To my knowledge Ed O'Loughlin has never deigned to give this information any coverage in the hundreds of articles he has written for Fairfax. Yet, Age editor Andrew Jaspan, formerly the editor of The Sunday Herald in Scotland, allows his newspaper to publish this shameful racist slur against Jews based on a handful of selected anecdotes!

Then again, Jaspan is no stranger to racist slurs against the Jews. While at the Sunday Herald, he allowed these extraordinary claims to be made in an article on 9/11:

"Who do you think they were? Palestinians? Saudis? Iraqis, even? Al-Qa'ida, surely? Wrong on all counts. They were Israelis; and at least two of them were Israeli intelligence agents, working for Mossad, the equivalent of MI6 or the CIA. Their discovery and arrest that morning is a matter of indisputable fact. 'To those who have investigated just what the Israelis were up to that day, the case raises one dreadful possibility: that Israeli intelligence had been shadowing the al-Qa'ida hijackers as they moved from the Middle East through Europe and into America, where they trained as pilots and prepared to suicide-bomb the symbolic heart of the US. And the motive? To bind America in blood and mutual suffering to the Israeli cause.'" -2 November, 2003.

Jaspan is in deep trouble at the Age for reasons other than its coverage of news from Israel and non-coverage most of the news from Palestine while O'Loughlin is hanging around like a foul smell long after his use by date which was supposed to be months ago. The partnership has lingered just long enough to bring the organisation to the brink of disaster and everlasting shame.


Friday, April 25, 2008


According to BBC World's TV presenter, David Eades "more than half a million Palestinians have been warned their food aid is about to be suspended. The UN, which provides it says it no longer has the fuel to operate its vehicles."


Because of Israel, that's why!

Eades: "A short while ago, I spoke to Aleem Maqbool who is in Ramallah and asked him if the UN are blaming Israel alone for this situation."

Maqbool: "Yes, they are laying the blame with Israel. In fact the U.N. Special Envoy in the region called Israel's policies 'collective punishment'."

Now, Maqbool did go on to mention that the fuel shortage had been made more severe by a strike organised by the Palestinian fuel syndicate that organises fuel distribution in Gaza. He also alluded to the trifling little matter of a recent attack by Palestinian "militants" on the main fuel terminal linking Israel and Gaza (but failed to mention that the "militants" actually murdered two Israeli civilian workers in the attack).

And Eades did mumble something about Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns having something to do with the Israeli blockade and buried in an accompanying film clip that showed cute little Palestinian schoolgirls (looking nowhere near the brink of starvation) moving garbage bags from the gates of their school was a reference to the fact that the Israelis had made three days diesel fuel available on humanitarian grounds.

To heck with that! Israel and Israel alone, is to blame for the situation but what situation? Has anybody starved after almost two years in which the BBC and other like minded media have warned of hunger, starvation and humantarian disaster?

The UN Special Envoy's comments and the BBC's presentation provided the perfect backdrop to enable the Libyan envoy to the UN Security Council to seek to get across a message comparing "the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip to Nazi concentration camps" - Palestinians to go hungry as Gaza fuel dries up (for the purposes of providing some perspective, 6 million Jews and between 220,000 and 500,000 Gypsies were killed during the Nazi Holocaust.

French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff, Britain's deputy ambassador Karen Pierce, Belgian Ambassador Johan Verbeke and Costa Rica's deputy ambassador all walked out of the UN Security Council's consultation room after the Libyans backed by the Syrians, who together have done little over the years to help feed their fellow Arabs in Gaza with anything by hatred of the Jews, tried this shameful little stunt.

Strangely enough, neither the BBC, nor the Age, nor the UN, nor the UNWRA website has bothered to mention the fact that UNWRA offices in the West Bank were closed for three days in protest against threats by those pesky Palestinian "militant" groups to the camp committees involving preventing trucks from reaching their objectives and including threats to workers and threats to burn UNWRA stores - UNRWA, the developments and steps it considered highly dangerous (hat tip: Elder of Ziyon).

As for the UN Special Envoy in the region, he would do the Palestinians a favour if he told the world the truth instead of involving himself in a dangerous charade that can only make the lives of hundreds of thousands of people under his watch all the more miserable for his pathetic blustering.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


There is little likelihood that Julia Irwin would have been seen demonstrating against Chinese huiman rights abuses in Canberra today as the Olympic Torch wound its way around the nation's capital today.

Last month, Irwin was the lone ALP member who boycotted the Prime Minister's speech congratulating Israel on its 60th Anniversary in protest against what she described as "Israel's treatment of the Palestinians". This is what she told the Canberra Times:

"I find it hard to congratulate a country which carries out human rights abuses every day," she said.

"As we did 60 years ago, Australia must speak out against human rights abuses where ever they occur."

Of course, Irwin remained reticent about the gross human rights violations of the Palestinian leadership which openly encourages and, in some cases, somes unspeakable terrorist atrocities. Not just against Israelis, but against their own people. In Gaza, children's TV encouragessuicide bombing, and Hamas thugs murder their opposition. The Palestinian leadership in both Gaza and the West Bank have engaged in ethnic cleansing of ancient Jewish, Druze, Samaritan and Baha'i populations while Christian communities havebeen dramatically diminished in places like Bethlehem where they were once in the majority. Many of these oppressed communitieshave been given a home in Israel, which gives full legal and democratic rights to all irrespective of religion or ethnicity.

You may ask, where does this champion of human rights stand in the case of the world’s longest running occupation – the fifty year occupation of Tibet by China? For half a century, the Chinese have murdered hundreds of thousands of Tibetans and settled millions of Chinese in new cities inside Tibet. The oppression continues to this day, but of course, we haven’t seen a single Tibetan suicide bomber and no Tibetan leader has thereatened to wipe China off the map or to murder the Chinese people as a whole.

The answer to the question about Irwin can be found in Hansard. She supports the Chinese occupation of China and, when she had the opportunity to slam the Chinese for their human rights abuses in Tibet and elsewhere, she stayed shtum. Obviously, the Chinese can count themselves lucky that they’re not Jews. Here’s what the hypocrite said in Federal Parliament on the occasion of her visit to China in 1999 to take part in its 50th Anniversary celebrations:

Mrs. IRWIN (Fowler) (1.06 p.m.)—This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National People's Congress of China. On this occasion an invitation was extended to the Australia-China Parliamentary Friendship Group to visit China and meet with the national and provincial officials of the National People's Congress. In the light of world events during and since the visit, the delegation was able to gain valuable insights into developments in the world's most populous country. Ten members of the House took part in the delegation, led by the honourable member for Aston. The delegation visited Beijing and met with foreign ministry officials and members of the China-Australia Friendship Group of the National People's Congress.

A highlight of the visit to Beijing was a frank but friendly meeting with China's Premier Zhu Rongji. The meeting took place the day before the Premier departed for his visit to the United States. The Premier was confident of a positive outcome from his talks in the US concerning China's entry into the World Trade Organisation and other issues. The Premier expressed confidence in continuing good relations between Australia and China. As the delegation was to visit Tibet, the issue of the future status of Tibet and the role of the Dalai Lama was raised by the delegation. Premier Zhu restated the position that Tibet was part of China and pointed to the level of aid provided to the Tibet Autonomous Region by the central government. The Premier disputed statements by the Dalai Lama, suggesting that the Dalai Lama was free to return to Tibet as a religious leader but not as a leader of an independence movement.

Extensive discussions were held with the National People's Congress China-Australia Friendship Group on a broad range of issues including the progress being made with the reform of state owned enterprises, environmental issues, the status of Tibet and the Dalai Lama, the process of legislation in the National People's Congress, relations with Taiwan, developments in human rights in China and China's relationship with Australia. The group was particularly interested in the delegation's visit to Tibet, and again stressed China's position that Tibet is the inalienable territory of China and that the government of China is the legitimate government.

With regard to reconciliation with the Dalai Lama, the delegation was told that this would require the Dalai Lama to give up any claims for independence for Tibet and to stop separatist activities. As for Tibetans living abroad, the delegation was told that they were free to enter and leave Tibet and that some 10,000 had done so in recent years, with 2,000 resettling in Tibet. En route to Tibet the delegation visited Chengdu, taking the opportunity to meet with representatives of their congress. Chengdu is pursuing the development of high technology industries. The province enjoys some advantages due to its more modern infrastructure and equipment."


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The photograph above from Isranet shows a side of Israel that is rarely, if ever, revealed in the mainsteam media. The picture is of the dome and walls of the mosque of the Israeli-Arab village of A-Taibe in the Galilee painted in Israel's national colours - blue and white - in honour of the State's 60th anniversary.

"We are citizens of the State of Israel," village elder Hisham Zouabi, explained to the daily newspaper Ma'ariv. "For us religion encourages us to bring nations together. The goal is simple: coexistence. A Jew who comes here should not feel that the place is hostile but like home."

Of course, good news stories rarely sell and some editors and jornalists must feel that it's better to constantly highlight conflicts from a one-sided perspective at the expense of providing examples such as this one of true peace and reconcilation between people.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

If ...

According to Ha'aretz, Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshal has said his movement would accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside Israel in its pre-1967 borders, and would grant Israel a 10-year hudna, or truce, as an "implicit proof" of recognition if Israel withdraws from those areas - Meshal offers 10-year truce for Palestinian state on '67 borders.

So that's the deal. Israel will get some sort of implicit recognition which, in truth means a recognition that it exists now but not that it should continue to exist, and a 10-year hudna which, in truth means a 10 year window of opportunity for Hamas to continue to arm itself for a future battle of extermination against Israel. All this in return for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza and incidentally, blow the existing peace process which would be completely undermined if it swallowed this piece of chicanery.

And of course, Hamas can be trusted to honour any of this?

The same Hamas that was busily firing rockets at Israeli civilians and encouraging others to do so even as the Israelis were in the process of withdrawing from Gaza in 2005. The same Hamas whose spokesperson in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, says such a state would only be "transitional" - Hamas wants West Bank, Gaza state but 'won't recognise Israel'.

In translation, what this all means is that, even if Hamas were to honour this "hudna" (and it has a poor track record when it comes to honouring anything) and if Hamas would ensure that all of the other Palestinian "militant" groups honoured the "hudna", the State of Israel would still not be recognised, either as a Jewish State or as anything else, and that in 10 year's time, all bets will be off and rearmed Palestinian "militant groups" would be free to start another round of violence in this ongoing war.

Further, the Road Map to Peace which was signed "without reservations" by the Palestine Authority some five years ago, and would have given the Palestinians a State by now if the promises made by the PA including ending the violence and incitement, was never honoured either.

Today's Jerusalem Post editorial describes Hamas as "a toxic opponent of peace". Indeed, it is nothing less than a two faced opponent of peace when its representatives talk to former Presidents of its desire for peace, while it fires its missiles into Israeli civilian areas over the Green Line and carries out attacks on border crossings where humanitarian aid is brought to help its people.

And what sort of "peace" is Hamas talking about when its Culture Minister Atallah Abu Al-Subh can appear on official Hamas television to present excerpts from the antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as he did in this programme that was aired less than a fortnight ago?

The Israelis are entitled to something more than the insulting crumbs offered by the leadership of Hamas which can fool Jimmy the Dhimmi with their lies and their "ifs" and "buts" but not those who happen to have their senses about them.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Jimmy the Dhimmi visits Hamas in Damascus and begs for the third or fourth time on this tour for them to tone down their violent activities. His hosts smile at him and make the usual gestures and then they respond in the only way they know how - 13 soldiers hurt in Kerem Shalom attack. He tells the world that Hamas will recognise Israel (which is not true) and keeps on grinning.

The contempt shown by his hosts to the Dhimmi won't deter him. He'll keep coming back for more and they'll keep treating him as a sad joke leaving the prospect of real peace diminished and the Palestinian people shafted once again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


by Daniel P. Waxman

The cycle of violence between the Jews and the Egyptians continues with no end in sight in Egypt. After eight previous plagues that have destroyed the Egyptian infrastructure and disrupted the lives of ordinary Egyptian citizens, the Jews launched a new offensive this week in the form of the plague of darkness.

Western journalists were particularly enraged by this plague. "It is simply impossible to report when you can't see an inch in front of you." complained a frustrated Andrea Koppel of CNN. "I have heard from my reliable Egyptian contacts that in the midst of the blanket of blackness, the Jews were annihilating thousands of Egyptians. Their word is solid enough evidence for me."

While the Jews contend that the plagues are justified given the harsh slavery imposed upon them by the Egyptians, Pharaoh, the Egyptian leader, rebuts this claim. "If only the plagues would let up, there would be no slavery. We just want to live plague-free. It is the right of every society."

Saeb Erekat, an Egyptian spokesperson, complains that slavery is justifiable given the Jews' superior weaponry supplied to them by the superpower, God.The Europeans are particularly enraged by the latest Jewish offensive.

"The Jewish aggression must cease if there is to be peace in the region. The Jews should go back to slavery for the good of the rest of the world." stated an angry French President.

Even several Jews agree. Adam Shapiro, a Jew, has barricaded himself within Pharaoh's chambers to protect Pharaoh from what is feared will be the next plague, the death of the firstborn. Mr. Shapiro claims that while slavery is not necessarily a good thing, it is the product of the plagues and when the plagues end, so will the slavery. "The Jews have gone too far with plagues such as locusts and epidemics which have virtually destroyed the Egyptian economy." Mr. Shapiro laments. "The Egyptians are really a very nice people and Pharaoh is kind of huggable once you get to know him." gushes Shapiro.

The United States is demanding that Moses and Aaron, the Jewish leaders, continue to negotiate with Pharaoh.

While Moses points out that Pharaoh had made promise after promise to free the Jewish people only to immediately break them and thereafter impose harsher and harsher slavery, Richard Boucher of the State Department assails the latest offensive. "Pharaoh is not in complete control of the taskmasters." Mr. Boucher states. "The Jews must return to the negotiating table and will accomplish nothing through these plagues."

The latest round of violence comes in the face of a bold new Saudi peace overture: "If only the Jews will give up their language, change their names to Egyptian names and cease having male children, the Arab nations will incline toward peace with them." Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah declared.

The above article was originaly published somewhere under the title "If the Passover Story Were Reported by The New York Times or CNN". At a pinch, you could throw in the BBC, The Independent, The Guardian and of course, The Age. Some of the characters have changed over time ... unfortunately, most haven't.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


A Palestinian leader meets a Dictator during WW2 [above]

"When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that's the dictator, because he speaks for all the people" - Jimmy Carter quoted in Ha'aretz.

Thug hugging former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is earning a lot of respect among his new found friends in Hamas during his tour of the Middle East. On Thursday, he met with officials from the Islamic militant group urging them to "stop militants from firing rockets into southern Israel" - Carter meets with more Hamas leaders, defends peace efforts.

And, as if to underline the deep respect, admiration and trust that Hamas has developed for Jimmy the Dhimmi, the militants of Gaza did what? Oh dear! Umm, er ... they fired rockets into southern Israel: seventeen of them on Thursday and sixteen on Friday - Qassam hits power lines in Sderot causing blackout.

What else?


"Hamas proudly proclaims that 'the Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration.' Hamas leaders promise their followers not just rewards here on Earth but in the next world as well - a selling point neither Nazism nor Communism could offer. As a matter of religious conviction, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal cannot accept Israel's existence. Hamas believes every inch of Israel and, indeed, of any land ever ruled by Muslims is 'an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day.'" - Carter's Confusion - Clifford D. May.

Next stop. A meeting with a cuthroat murderer in Damascus.


So you think Jews can't be anti-Semitic?

Then read this.

Friday, April 18, 2008


[AP photo showing firefighters hosing down the vehicle of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana. The Age did not use this photograph in today's report on Shana's death.]

The death of any journalist reporting from a war zone is always regrettable but most know the risks when they take the job. Palestinian cameraman Fadel Shana certainly knew the ropes when he entered a battle zone in Gaza. He even told a colleague who asked for a lift to the scene of an Israeli air strike near Gaza's border with Israel that "it's too dangerous" - Israel denies killing TV cameraman.

According to another report from the Palestinian Ma'an Newsagency however, the cameraman who died yesterday in unusual circumstances, wasn't in a dangerous war zone at all. Says eyewitness, Yassir Qadih, a journalist:

"There was nobody around us except a group of children who we were going to film. There were no resistance groups in the area."

But wait!

According to this Associated Press report, "Shana died along with two bystanders after his car was hit while filming Israeli tank movements." If that's the truth and Shana knew the area was dangerous as reported in O'Loughlin's Melbourne Age article, then why on earth was he filming a group of children gambolling about in open fields?

None of this seems to make sense. The O'Loughlin article says that Shana's media vehicle was "clearly marked" and was attacked by a tank "visible on a hill a kilometre away". He says Shana "had parked in a lane-way off Gaza's main north-south highway and was standing beside his jeep to film the tank. The markings on his vehicle (see photograph above) might be visible from the air but would a jeep commander on a ridge a kilometre away notice anything other than someone pointing an object - perhaps an anti-tank missile - in his direction?

O'Loughlin might not remember this because he could have been away on an assignment elsewhere but last July, Islamic Jihad operatives used a jeep that was also "clearly marked" with "TV" and "Press" to assault an IDF position at the Kissufim crossing between Gaza and Israel. Following the gunbattle, journalists "charged that the incident, the first of its kind, would make their jobs more dangerous than ever" - Press slams gunmen for using TV jeep.

If you think there's any sense in this story, then try this report on the cameraman's death in The Australian which says that "an AFP photographer driving behind the Reuters jeep, which had TV and press stickers plastered across its doors and roof, said the vehicle burst into flames after a missile slammed into it." But the O'Loughlin narrative says Shana was standing beside his parked vehicle!

What makes even less sense is why O'Loughlin, whose article is credited as having been written "With REUTERS" fails to mention that Shana was a Reuters cameraman. Or that this particular cameraman was exposed as a liar in the Jerusalem Post almost two years ago.

Now comes the final nail in the coffin of this outrageous narrative:

"A medical examination showed metal darts from an Israeli tank shell that explodes in the air caused Shana's death, doctors said.

"X-rays from Gaza's Shifa Hospital showed several of the controversial munitions, known as flechettes, embedded in his chest and legs. Several of the three-centimetre-long darts were also found in his flak jacket and his vehicle."

Metal darts from an Israeli tank shell?

Based on what evidence - the doctors' say so?

Are we really supposed to believe in the proficiency of the examiners at Gaza's Shifa Hospital who not only move at a speed faster than television's fictional Quincy ME in coming out with their findings but can also determine from laboratories in their hospital that these metal darts were from flechettes fired from an Israeli tank a kilometre away from their target (flechettes are not incendiary but note what's happening to Shana's vehicle in the AP photograph above)?

Of course, we're not talking about just any hospital. Shifa is regularly in the news and, er ... let's just say that this facility is no stranger to controversy when it comes to its general reporting and recording methods or the way it handles its patients - Gaza beach blast victim wakes. Shifa has also been the scene of several gun battles between Hamas and Fatah - OCHA Report. This is not just a hospital, it's a place that gives a whole new meaning to the words "operating theatre" - one that makes it an integral part of a shonky PR exercise being waged against Israel!

The story of Shana's death is one that exudes a certain atmosphere of unreality - one in which the Israelis (who correctly are not prepared to admit culpability until they have fully investigated the circumstances) are being set up as the guilty party in the deliberate killing of an innocent Bambi - a veritable saint who was out filming some kids playing in a field when struck by a tank shell.

But Shana was no saint and while he died tragically, the aftermath of his death has clearly been staged through the clever use of smoke and mirrors in such a way as to damn the Israelis and their counter terrorist activities in the eyes of world opinion.

"Bambi the Cameraman" is a nice title for the next Pallywood epic but I'm not buying this story. Like much of the news reportage that comes out of this region, it stinks to high heaven.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Ashraf el Ajami has told Israel Radio the PLO's highest medal, the Al Kuds Mark of Honor would be given to two female terrorists who helped kill Israelis - J'lem official: Abbas award to terrorists 'grave'.

The award needs to be confirmed by Israel's peace partner, PA President Mahmoud Abbas who is reported to be considering nominations for Ahlam Tamimi, a Hamas affiliate serving a life sentence for driving the suicide bomber who exploded himself in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, killing at least half a dozen people (see photo above), and Amra Muna, who seduced Ophir Rahum over the Internet and then lured him to Ramallah where he was murdered.

The mere suggestion that such an outrageous and vile move could even be considered by Abbas provides a helpful insight into what the Israelis have to contend with in their search of a true peace in the region.


According to this Jerusalem Post report, Abbas has now confirmed that plans to present two female Palestinian terrorists with a medal of honor have been withdrawn. That's nice but it doesn't alter anything. I repeat:

The mere suggestion that such an outrageous and vile move could even be considered by Abbas provides a helpful insight into what the Israelis have to contend with in their search of a true peace in the region.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Cartoon by Cox & Forkum, February 24, 2006

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's tour of Israel and Palestine continues. Yesterday, he had an eventful day laying a wreath at the mausoleum of the late Palestinian embezzler Yasser Arafat and holding a meeting with an ex-minister in Hamas' government - Carter meets Hamas official, calls for group to be included in peace talks.

Carter hopes to use his negotiation skills, honed on a year's experience in dealing with the Iranian revolutionary government over United States hostages late in his own administration, to assist in bringing about a hudna between Israel and the Palestinians. He scoffed at the fact that in dealing with Hamas, he would be dealing with dictators and thugs dedicated to wiping out the Jewish State.

"When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that's the dictator, because he speaks for all the people."

Carter is lamenting the fact that he can't pay a visit to Gaza to meet those friendly folk who fire qassam rockets at the people of Sderot (whose actions he described as "criminal" when he visited there earlier in his tour). My humble suggestion is that he volunteers to replace Gilad Shalit as a hostage of Hamas, a gesture which should ensure that he gets to savour all of the beauty, romance and intrigue of this fascinating part of the world.

And when that's over, he can use his talents to convince his own government and his own people that the time has come to smoke the peace pipe (or whatever he happens to be smoking) with Osama Bin Laden.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Jimmy Carter is getting the cold shoulder treatment from the Israelis because he is meeting Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Damascus this week and because they are offended by Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" where he inferred that Israel's military occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza was like the policies of apartheid South Africa, reports Ed O'Loughlin in Israeli leaders shun Carter:

"In an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz, Mr Carter said he believed that for peace talks to work all parties had to be engaged.

"'Hamas' position is that they are perfectly willing for (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) to represent them in all direct negotiations with the Israelis, and they also maintain that they will accept any agreement that he brokers with Israelis provided it will be submitted to the Palestinians in a referendum. Hamas is also willing to accept a mutual ceasefire with Israel,' Mr Carter said.

"I do not agree with … the unwillingness to talk to someone who disagrees with you unless he agrees with all your prerequisites."

Pardon my cynicism here but is Carter certain that the declared Hamas position remotely resembles anything like that which he is suggesting? Perhaps when they meet, Carter might ask Meshal what he means when he speaks of liberating "every inch of Palestine" when he brandishes maps of the region showing a Palestine in place of all of Israel?

Surely, both Carter and O'Loughlin are aware of Hamas' racist Charter which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and for Jews everwhere to be killed and of the constant and repeated refusals of Hamas to recognise previous agreements made between Israel and the Palestine Authority let alone to recognise the Jewish State?

Further, it is more than somewhat astounding that neither the peanut farming former President nor the journalist who has supposedly been covering the news from the region for six years (and "still counting") is aware of the rantings broadcast on official Hamas television last Friday by Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal (above) in which he describes Jews as "the brothers of apes and pigs" and explains that the destruction of the Jews is just a precursor to Islam’s conquest of the entire world. Surely, this would have been a newsworthy item to add some perspective to the report?

For my part, I can't figure out why any reasonable observer would remain silent about such matters unless, of course, they were running a PR campaign for Hamas or something like that but surely, these two are honourable men and wouldn't contemplate such a thing.

In Carter's case, I think it's best put down to the onset of senility. After all, did he not admit that Israel wasn't really an apartheid state and he was exaggerating for effect and that it all had nothing to do with the fact that his Carter Centre is heavily subsidised by the Saudis?

But I'm scratching my head in wonderment as to why Carter would advise the Israelis to meet with terrorists who want to slit their throats while forgetting that it was only last year when he himself turned down an offer to debate the contents of his own book with Professor Alan Dershowitz on a U.S. campus when the challenge to do so was thrown at him!


Isn't it more than a trifle ironic, that as a footnote to his article, O'Loughlin refers to the fact that representatives of Lebanon and Iran have pulled out of a conference in Qatar due to the attendance of Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni?

Not only that but Ms. Livni provided the perfect "up yours" to the likes of Carter and O'Loughlin with her response to Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi as reported in Haaretz Newspaper Qatar's emir tells Livni Israel should lift blockade on Gaza :-

"Moments after delivering her address, Livni traded barbs over the nature of Israeli democracy with MK Ahmed Tibi, who attended the conference.

"In a question and answer session following the speech, Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) asked for an opportunity to respond to Livni's comments, and told her, 'Israel is an apartheid state. How can you speak about democracy when you speak about a Jewish state?'

"Livni responded that, 'If we return to '47, a Jewish state and an Arab Palestinian state [were on the agenda]. Do you also not agree to this? The fact is that you are an MK in Israel, and represent 20 percent of the public, and can say whatever you please. This is the proof that Israel is a democratic state.'"

Monday, April 14, 2008


Bassem Eid is the founder and director of the Palestinian human rights Monitoring Group in east Jerusalem. This article which first appeared in the Jerusalem Post and was featered in Isranet.


Before Oslo, Palestinians primarily desired unity and an end to the occupation. But as soon as the first intifada began to fade, divisions among Palestinians emerged. Throughout the Oslo years, these rifts continued to widen. While scores of Palestinians took to the streets, armed with stones and kitchen appliances, during the first intifada, the present uprising is increasingly characterized by the deadly firepower of small arms.

In December 2002, then Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas warned of the increased use of weapons - an evolution that he hoped to reverse. His short-lived government was ill-equipped to tackle the problem, and his successor, Ahmed Qurei, proved no more capable of confronting the weapons chaos in the region. The failure to reach a substantive and acceptable peace agreement has given rise to strong feelings of betrayal and futility. As a result of these internal divisions, Palestinians also turn their aggression and feelings of futility against fellow Palestinians.

The real extent of Palestinian infighting is often overlooked, as most people tend to view the conflict in simpler terms: Israel versus the Palestinians. This black and white portrayal of the Middle East conflict fails to account for shades of gray. One can only achieve a comprehensive understanding of Palestinian society through examining everyday disagreements and clashes between the various political factions, families and cities. These divisions have also led to an increasingly violent "intrafada" during the course of the Aksa Intifada. From 2000 to 2007, 16% of Palestinian civilian deaths were caused by Palestinian groups or individuals ...

Palestinians have lived with low level conflict for more than half a century. This has resulted in a lowering of the threshold of violence. Acts which in other societies are seen as brutal have become "normal" behavior. This evolution is not unique to the Palestinians. Subject, oppressed, or embattled peoples throughout history have commonly turned on themselves. The occupation and war conditions under which Palestinians currently live readily foster internal hostility and the loss of civil liberties. Because Palestinians are accustomed to seeing weapons and are also exposed to verbal and physical abuse of the military occupation, verbal disagreements easily turn into fist fights and sometimes even escalate into gang or family feuds. Growing up in a spiral of violence means that individuals find it harder to determine the limits of aggression.

The governing structure of Palestinians also causes internal fighting. According to many, the Palestinian Authority is inextricably linked to past failures and blunders, including the failed Oslo and Camp David Accords. As Palestinian cities are increasingly cut off from each other - a result of Israeli closures, control of movement, and the building of the separation wall/fence - the power of the PA to control, oversee, and adjudicate society has diminished. The situation in many Palestinian cities has become quasi-anarchic, as alternative power centers fill the vacuum…. There has never been a monopoly of force, a shortcoming linked to the quasi- or semi-state nature of the PA. This problem is compounded because the means of physical violence rest in the hands of non-democratic institutions and groups. Although there have always been opponents of Yasser Arafat, the rift between his supporters and adversaries deepened with the 2003 US insistence that he no longer hold the key position in the Palestinian government. Palestinians thus bowed to American pressure and restructured their institutions to establish a new post of prime minister...

As Arafat's power declined, the internal regime struggle intensified. Governmental changes have resulted in a schizophrenic administration, part of which holds that Palestinians need a national liberation movement under strong and authoritative leadership - a view espoused by Arafat and his supporters. Others advocate a move towards a mini-state requiring regular, democratic and transparent administration, a trend originating from the new prime minister's post. Since the governing elite is unable to clearly define its aims and priorities, this uncertainty is passed down to the populace, and fragments opinions ...

Palestinians have become refugees divided between themselves on the West Bank and Gaza. With each additional kilometer of the Israeli "security fence," the distinction between in- and outsiders becomes more complex. Since travel between Palestinian cities is restricted, controlled or even denied, each encircled enclave is left to fend for itself. Central authority and control is thus impaired and at times made impossible. As a result, Palestinian cities (such as Nablus) fall into the hands of local mobsters and gang-lords.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


"Suddenly I find that I've totally binned that ‘good guy, bad guy' thing I had in my head less than 24 hours ago."

Radio Netherlands Worldwide is asking the question - what does daily life look like in Israel and the Palestinian territory?

The station's website says two editors of its Arabic desk, will separately be travelling through the region in the coming weeks. Their trips coincide with the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel and what the Palestinians call "the naqba" (which means the catastrophe caused to them when they joined with five Arab armies in a failed attempt to massacre the Jewish population in the region).

The edited translation of the original Dutch report by Nicolien den Boer's account of her first day FIVE HOURS AT TEL AVIV AIRPORT is interesting. I'm surprised that she was surprised at what she found.

And from This Ongoing War Blog:

"Pnina Eisenman's mother Noa Alon and her five year old daughter Gal were murdered in the bombing of a Jerusalem bus stop at the French Hill Junction a few minutes drive from our home in 2002. Her tragedy is recounted in an online video here.

"In 1972, three Japanese terrorists attacked the airport we now call
Ben Gurion. Wikipedia says that 'Because airport security was focused on the possibility of a Palestinian attack, the use of Japanese terrorists took the guards by surprise, and their commitment to a suicide mission simplified the planning. Kozo Okamoto, Tsuyoshi Okudaira, and Yasuyuki Yasuda had been trained in Baalbek, Lebanon.' No further terror attacks against any Israeli airport have succeeded since then."

Thanks also to DAILY ALERT

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The Australian reported yesterday about troubles at The Age - Age blighted by bias, selling its soul.

Staffers are becoming increasingly unhappy with the way editor Andrew Jaspan has been pushing them around. The major concerns have been about journos being pressured not to write negative stories about Earth Hour and sports coverage being compromised by commercial considerations. They are also not happy about Jaspan's decision to participate in the 2020 summit claiming the decision to do so "breached the journalistic principle that the reporter and observer cannot be a participant without affecting objectivity."

This is more than somewhat ironic because the Age Middle East Bureau chief, Ed O'Loughlin's objectivity has been under question for years and it doesn't appear to have worried Jaspan one iota although I believe that many at Fairfax are bemused by his reporting technique and the slanted nature of his work.

When Hamas decided to stage its own version of Earth Hour in January, O'Loughlin played along beautifully. The above Reuters photograph shows how cynically Hamas and its useful assistants in the media worked their readership when they turned off the lights. They did it in much the same way as a clever magician works his audience so that readers would associate the darkness with Israel's decision to reduce fuel shipments. The background of the above photograph shows that it was taken in sunlight so why were the curtains drawn? At the same time Israel's Ruttenberg power station in Ashkelon was still streaming electricity into Gaza and there had been no Israeli action that shut the city's lights off.

And O'Loughlin?

His report on Gaza's "Earth Hour" whitewashed Israeli claims of this obvious Hamas deception as if wasn't even happening. He produced this piece of magic by quoting a local United Nations apparatchik whose own sympathies lie with the Palestinians he employs, many of who are members of Hamas - The Apologists.

O'Loughlin fancies himself as a photographer and, as a sideline, has allowed his photographs to be used by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. I'm not suggesting that O'Loughlin has done this for commercial gain (there is no evidence of that); nor am I necessarily questioning the work of the PCHR. I do however, ask whether it is appropriate for a person in his position to be openly lending his support to one particular group in a manner that might clearly be seen as affecting his objectivity and his capacity to fairly and truthfully report on events in the region.

But then, his own work speaks for itself. doesn't it?

Friday, April 11, 2008


Israel muzzles dove of peace

Ed O'Loughinkop, Jerusalem
April 11, 2008

ISRAELI customs authorities have thwarted the efforts of an Australian tourist to deliver a "peace dove" to a destination in Melbourne where it was to have been used as a symbol of peace and reconciliation at various peace rallies across the country.

The Australian tourist who arrived in the country en route home from Greece told authorities that he had the dove stuffed and mounted last week by a taxidermist in Tel Aviv.

He said he was intending to display his prized possession at a series of peace rallies to promote peaceful discussion and debate between supporters of Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah in his adopted country, Australia.

The tourist, who declined to be named, accused the authorities of silencing that debate and said they were callously using the country’s laws which ban dove stuffing as a “pretence to prevent me from passing on the peace message to my countrymen”. He was held overnight without charge and remains in police custody.

This latest incident comes in the wake of the news that Israel was stifling peaceful debate by banning the broadcasts of peace activists at Ram FM which authorities claim was operating without a broadcast licence. The Israelis have closed down the station's Jerusalem studios.

A spokesman for the Israeli Communications Ministry confirmed that a stuffed bird had been confiscated after a tourist, identified only as Mr T Mokbel, attempted to post the item to Australia from the Ashkelon Post Office without paying the full postage of 15 shekels. Customs authorities were then alerted and discovered the bird had been stuffed with, among other things, 32 grams of high grade heroin.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


From the David Knows blog, another look at O'Loughlin's pathetic one-sided propaganda piece in the Age about "muzzling":-


"Does Ed O'Loughlin have way too much time on his hands or what? Wasn't he supposed to have left his post in the Middle East and gone somewhere else where he could report on genuine issues of global importance? Maybe he should spend some quality time in Darfur, where people keep getting murdered while the world looks on (and journalists have no opportunity to speak out)? ...

"Israel is not the one muzzling peace. The real muzzling going on is the repression of
demonstrations against corruption with the muzzle of a gun. The real muzzling is the continued selective reporting by Ed O'Loughlin that paints whatever picture he wants. Any free thinking individual who relies on more than just The Age to find out what is going on in the Middle East can get a much better and more balanced idea of what is really going on."

With a little bit of luck, some credibility might one day be restored to this once great newspaper but who knows the date when the real muzzler is supposed to finally walk out of the door?


Those who slam Israel for allegedly causing Gaza's humanitarian crisis would almost certainly sneer at the fact that, despite the peristent Palestinian propaganda as to the cause of the poverty and suffering in this Hamas-controlled enclave, more than 127 trucks, carrying medical equipment, diapers and basic food products were transferred from Israel into Gaza in the past 24 hours. This is hardly the action of a responsible nation as some would allege or infer that seeks anything other than peace with its neighbours.

So how do its neighbours respond?

By firing over 50 rockets and mortars into Israeli territory and by murdering two Israeli civilians at a filling depot close to the Karni border terminal, near Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

That's right. While Hamas and its supporters complain on the one hand about the Gaza blockade, it is responsible for the attack on a fuel terminal that provides gas and fuel to the residents of the Gaza Strip.

And if Israel were to defend itself against the terror attacks from Gaza, we already know how the news would be treated by some in our local media.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


During the course of last year, when some members of my family were preparing for a trip to visit relatives in Israel, I came across a rather disconcerting report about an illegal radio station operating from the West Bank city of Ramallah that was causing interference to communications between Ben Gurion International Airport and airplanes taking off and arriving at the airport - Radio disruptions at B-G airport caused by W. Bank pirate station.

The article reported that the head of Israel's national pilots union, Boaz Hativa, had written to the ministers of transportation, communications, justice and public security warning of the dangers and demanding that the authorities put an immediate end to the pirate broadcasts and prevent their resumption. As a result, the Communications Ministry took steps "to eradicate the phenomenon of pirate radio stations." A number of illegal stations have been closed down amid threats of criminal proceedings against the perpetrators.

Without a doubt, many air travellers and others whose families travel to the region would have been reassured by the swift and reasonable action taken by Israeli authorites in locating and closing down the illegal station and most responsible people would agree with such action to ensure the safety of air travellers and that this would apply to any such action taken anywhere in the world.

Well, er ... anywhere in the world that is, except in the case of the situation where the safety of travellers to and from Israel is concerned according to the Melbourne Age Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Ed O'Loughlin who has been rather quiet lately as his tour of duty to the region winds down.

This week, the Israeli Communications Ministry announced that it ordered police to shut down a radio station RAM-FM, as part of a crackdown on stations broadcasting without a permit. But according to O'Loughlin in today's Melbourne Age, this was all part of a plot by the Israelis to shut down Israeli-Palestinian peace dialogue. Read all about it in Israel muzzles voice of peace.

The article is a sensationalist beat up par excellence. O'Loughlin does not hide the fact that the station was operating without a permit and even begrudgingly puts the Israeli response in its usual location in the final paragraph of the article and well under the heading (not necessarily composed by O'Loughlin) which suggests that the Israelis were up to something sinister by taking action to close down a radio station which has been operating illegally.

Now, imagine if that happened anywhere else in the world? The authorities would be roundly congratulated by all and sundry for doing their job and looking after the public's safety. If the inferences drawn by O'Loughlin weren't so serious they would be laughable!

The thing that is appallingly rotten about this piece of agenda driven pap is that it comes just two days after the publication of the excellent Op Ed piece - RESPONSES and appears as an almost deliberate attempt to counterbalance the view set out in that article.

Of course, O'Loughlin has for years steered well clear of mentioning how those among his Palestinian friends from Hamas and the Fatah controlled Palestinian Authority conduct themselves when it comes to seeking peace and reconciliation. They can both broadcast programme after programme incorporating a constant stream of hateful invective and racist incitement against Jews and you will not hear a single peep out of him. Not a single line.

Here is the most recent example of the sort of news item that O'Loughlin routinely misses in his "coverage" from the region:

Hamas: rocket attacks not meant to kill Israeli children or how Hamas tells lies about its missile attacks on Israeli kids (see also Quote of the Week).

Suffice to say that it doesn't surprise us any more when Fairfax and O'Loughlin shamefully consign such stories to the blank pages.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


"Hamas doesn't mean to kill children by its rockets," spokesman Ismail Radwan told reporters in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. His remarks were in response to al-Qaida's No. 2 leader Aymanal-Zawahiri who said Hamas' random rockets kill Jews women and children in violation of Islam law - Hamas: rocket attacks not meant to kill Israeli children.

What's really scary is that apologists for Hamas really believe this BS.

[hat tip: Israellycool]

Monday, April 07, 2008


Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, who died recently in Sri Lanka, maintained that mankind would be judged on the way it treated its animals. We have seen in these pages how Hamas treats animals in the Gaza Zoo and how Palestinian terrorists have booby trapped donkeys and other animals to carry out suicide bombing attacks. Recently, it was revealed that some Gazans were butchering rare sea turtles - not for food but in order to drink their blood as an aphrodisiac. By way of contrast, the above CNN/IBN report shows Israeli vets caring for and healing the same endangered sea turtles.


The Melbourne Age today carries an excellent Op Ed piece from State Zionist Council of Victoria President, Mr. Danny Lamm which not only responds to and demolishes last week's desperate attack on the Jewish State by IAJV hacks Loewenstein and Slezak who supported last month's notorious Nakba advertisement in the Australian newspaper but also sets out the responsible path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians - Israel is taking all the right steps along the pathway to peace.

Dr. Lamm's article makes a great deal of common sense and underlines why the bi-partisan motion congratulation the State of Israel was passed overwhelmingly in Parliament last month.

Meanwhile, the Nakba Advertisment continues to come under fire with the national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, Mr. Paddy Crumlin, distancing himself and his union from the advertisement which linked Israel's statehood to "racism and ethnic cleansing''. Mr. Crumlin said the inclusion of the MUA by its Sydney branch secretary, Warren Smith, "represented neither the union's position nor Mr Crumlin's.: 'I would be the last person to equate the establishment of Israel with racism and ethnic cleansing.' he said. 'That was an appalling choice of words.' - Union chief retreats from Israel advert.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union remains shamefully committed to its endorsement of the anti-Israel ad and continues to be "lined up'' with terrorist group Hamas and its supporters. I use the word "shamefully" because, in view of the political stance of the Palestinian groups behind the Nakba Advertisement, it makes the CFMEU the nation's only trade union with an openly anti-Semitic policy.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Professor Barry Rubin discusses some of his personal experiences with biased journalism gone bad in WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT: BLUE JEANS OR BEING BLOWN UP?

"Another personal experience. Australian Broadcasting Company, that country's main and official television network interviewed me on the main events of the Middle East in 2007. I said that the most important single thing was Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip, an action which set back the chances for peace by many years, even decades.

When the story was broadcast it had been edited so that I appeared to be saying that Israel policy had set back the chances for peace by many years, even decades.

I filed an official complaint and in the end they came down on my side, sort of. The decision was that the piece had been carelessly edited or something like that. In the online correction, however, they didn't even say that but merely that I had asked that an explanation be added to make clear my point was not about Israeli policy.

Of course, the reporter had done it on purpose."

Something the ABC's own Media Watch wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole - of course!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Path to Destruction

Asaf Romirowsky writes of the recurring mantra found in Arab historiography - the Palestinian's "hypersensitive focus on discrimination and inequality" which is leading them on the path to destruction. The "ongoing, unjustified animosity toward Israel, and continues to lead even well-meaning Palestinians down a path of false hopes built on false foundations." Palestinians Continue to Think It's 1948

Friday, April 04, 2008


Senator Michael Forshaw on Israel's 60th Anniversary in the Senate Chamber on 19 March 2008 - From Hansard.

Senator FORSHAW (New South Wales) (1.31pm) - I rise to express my support for the motion that was carried in the House of Representatives last Wednesday congratulating the state of Israel on its 60th anniversary. That motion was moved by the Prime Minister and seconded by the Leader of the Opposition. Since that motion was carried there has been criticism and there has been support. There has been a lot of comment in the media and elsewhere regarding the appropriateness of the motion. I believe it was an appropriate motion to move at the time, and I support it wholeheartedly.

On that day there was an advertisement published in the Australian newspaper which criticised the fact that the motion was going to be moved. I want to respond to some of the arguments that were put in that advertisement because it contained outrageous allegations and distortions of historical fact. Let me deal with a couple of issues first.

It has been argued that this motion is inappropriate for the parliament to pass because we should not single out one country to congratulate them on a particular anniversary. It has been said that it was not done in previous years on the 50th anniversary of Israel or the 40th anniversary of Israel so why should we do it now?

Firstly, the fact that it has not been done in the past does not of itself mean that it should never be done.

Secondly, there is precedent in the history of the parliament for similar motions of congratulations noting specific anniversaries or events to be put and carried by the parliament. For instance on 14 September 1976 the then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, moved: .

That this House records its sincere regret at the death of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, expresses to the people of China profound regret and tenders its deep sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

That was supported by Mr Whitlam, the Leader of the Opposition. There were others who spoke in favour of the motion. I also note that Mr William Charles Wentworth - Billy Wentworth -opposed it.

If you read the speeches - I do not have time to go through them in detail - you will see a lot of wonderful words said about Chairman Mao, his leadership of China and the great things he did for that country. Others, including I know Senator Mason, would probably think that we should hasten slowly when we do these things because we should remember the effects of the Cultural Revolution on the people of China.

But there have been other motions, not necessarily moved by the Prime Minister or supported by the Leader of the Opposition, and other occasions where particular events and anniversaries have been noted.

For instance, in June 1999 the member for Fowler, Julia Irwin, spoke on a report of an Australia-China Parliamentary Friendship Group that had visited China and Tibet in the 50th anniversary year of the National People's Congress of China. The delegation had gone to China at the invitation of the People's Congress in that anniversary year.

A similar motion was moved by Peter Coleman on the 30th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising. There was a speech on the 100th anniversary of independence of the Philippines by Roger Price, a speech by Senator Mark Bishop on the anniversary of Solidarity and a speech by Mr Somlyay on the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. And they are just a few. So I do not believe it is inappropriate at all for the parliament to do this. I believe it is appropriate that on a significant event such as this the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were the mover and the seconder of the motion.

It is also appropriate in the special case of Israel because Israel is one nation that was actually established by the United Nations back in 1947-48. Australia did play a major role at that time through Dr Evatt's participation in the work to bring about the ultimate decision of the General Assembly for the establishment of two states-Israel and Palestine-living side by side.

It is also particularly significant because today I think Israel, maybe more than ever, is constantly vilified around the world, including at the UN.

The remarkable thing is not that this parliament has recognised the 60th anniversary; the remarkable thing is that there actually has been a 60th anniversary of Israel. If many had had their way, Israel would never have had a first anniversary in 1949. Of course we recall that at the time the Israelis accepted the resolution for a partition of Palestine and the Arab nations did not.

They invaded Israel in an attempt to destroy the fledgling state at birth. That was not done in the cause of protecting the Palestinian population or promoting the concept of Palestinian nationhood; it was purely and simply to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state, a Jewish homeland.

The allegations that are contained in this advertisement that I referred to-that this really is a celebration of the triumph of racism and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians since the al-Nakba catastrophe of 1948 are gross distortions. It has been a catastrophe for the Palestinian people, because there is no Palestinian state. But that is not Israel's fault. The real attempt at ethnic cleansing was the attempt at that time to drive the Jews out of Palestine, just as they had largely been driven out of most Arab and Islamic countries in the region and just as they had been driven out or murdered in the Holocaust in many parts of Europe. Those who constantly claim they are standing up for the plight of the Palestinians by denigrating Israel conveniently ignore the facts that, at the time of its establishment, Egypt, Syria and Jordan sought to occupy and control parts of Palestine with the intention of incorporating them into their own countries. Indeed, Jordan itself annexed east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950. They did not move to establish a Palestinian state. It is a modern miracle that Israel celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1968 and its 25th anniversary in 1973, given that in both of those years it was forced to defend itself against its neighbours. The Arab invasion in 1973 almost succeeded in destroying the state of Israel. Today, that ambition is carried on by the terrorist groups supported to different degrees by other countries in the region.

I would like to also say a few things about the United Nations. There is always constant reference to the many resolutions condemning Israel carried by the United Nations. Kofi Annan said back in 2006: Some may feel satisfaction at repeatedly passing General Assembly resolutions or holding conferences that condemn Israel's behaviour. But one should also ask whether such steps bring any tangible relief or benefit to the Palestinians.

There have been decades of resolutions. There has been a proliferation of special committees, sessions and Secretariat divisions and units. Has any of this had an effect on Israel's policies, other than to strengthen the belief in Israel, and among many of its supporters, that this great Organization is too one-sided to be allowed a significant role in the Middle East peace process?

You always find that people who want to attack Israel's existence or condemn it refer to resolution 242, which followed the 1967 war. But they only refer to one of the two principles. They only ever refer to that which speaks of the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the conflict. There is never, or very rarely, any reference to the other aspect of it which is the need for sovereignty, territorial integrity and peace and security for all of the states. That is conveniently ignored.

I had the great privilege and honour to be one of the two parliamentary advisers to the United Nations General Assembly late last year. I have to say that whilst there are many good things about the United Nations - and I will speak about those on another occasion - one of the constant features is the continuing attack on Israel. I note that Senator Mason is here. He had been to the UN General Assembly the previous year. At the outset of last year's General Assembly in September, the two major issues of focus were the human rights abuses occurring in Myanmar-or Burma-and in Darfur. Those issues were addressed in debates in the Security Council and General Assembly. But very quickly the General Assembly then reverted to its annual practice: numerous speeches by representatives - often from some of the most despicable regimes and leaders in the world-condemning Israel. Accusations of genocide and ethnic cleansing are thrown about with alacrity. Even the language of the Holocaust itself is turned on Israel.

One of the worst examples of this bias against Israel in the United Nations is the Human Rights Council: the body that was established to replace the former UN Commission on Human Rights because it became clear that the commission was simply not interested in tack- ling the great human rights issues around the world. So the UN reformed it by establishing the Human Rights Council. But the permanent agenda of the Human Rights Council that was adopted last year singles out only one country as a permanent agenda item for examination. It is Israel. Item 7 of the agenda is 'Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories'. No other country is specifically mentioned.

Zimbabwe, North Korea, Belarus and Cuba are not mentioned. Attempts to include them on the agenda were blocked. There is no reference to the appalling genocide that continues to this day in Darfur. In 2006-07, the Human Rights Council carried eight resolutions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict condemning Israel.

Only one was carried on the issues in Darfur, where every day hundreds of people are massacred, where thousands upon thousands of people have been massacred in recent years. We all recall the conference on racism that was held in Durban in 2001. It simply degenerated into an attack on Israel. There is a proposal to hold a further conference as a follow-up. Let us hope they can do better this time.

Finally, I want to refer to a statement in an article by Alan Ramsey in last Saturday's Herald: The truth is there is no real debate in this country about the travesty of what is happening in the Middle East, and there are those in the community who, with their money and influence, do all they can to ensure no such open debate occurs, either in the national Parliament, in the media or anywhere else.

I actually have some respect for Alan Ramsey. I think he is a fine writer. I do think that he on many occasions is biased and has a vehemence in his criticism, but he is entitled to his opinions. But he is simply wrong. This is nonsense, that there is no opportunity for debate in this parliament, in this country or anywhere else, that somehow there is a powerful lobby that prevents it. I could use an unparliamentary word, but I will not. It is just wrong. The very fact that Mr Ramsey can have almost a page in the Herald, last Saturday and the Saturday before, puts the lie to his claim there is no de bate. Every member has an opportunity to stand in this place and debate this issue, as I do today. It is constantly in the news, whether it is the ABC, the print media et cetera, and debated in academic circles everywhere. There is probably no foreign policy issue that is more discussed, more debated or more commented upon in this country than the Middle East issues. So this rubbish that is trotted out all the time, that somehow there is a lobby that prevents debate, is untrue. (Time expired)