Friday, July 31, 2009
"There is little doubt that many of the plaintiff's remarks are offensive to Jewish persons and homosexuals," Justice McClellan said in his judgment.
"Many of his remarks are distasteful and appear to condone violence.
"I'm satisfied that the plaintiff does hold views which can properly be described as racist.
"I'm also satisfied that he encourages others to hold those views. In particular he holds views derogatory of Jewish people.
"The views which he holds would not be acceptable to most right-thinking Australians."
The full transcript should be laminated and put on public display.
I don't think that even The Age is capable of ignoring this one, so I look forward to reading all about it tomorrow morning.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS ISSUE FATWA
The terrorists in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have threated Sacha Baron Cohen after he portrayed them as ... um ... er, terrorists in the film Bruno - Sacha Baron Cohen threatened by Palestinian terrorists over Bruno film.
It's all in keeping with the policy of blackmail and racism being employed by Palestinian groups these days to demonise and deligitimise the Jewish State. They're even seeking to bludgeon a 74 year old Jew - Leonard Cohen - into cancelling his proposed singing tour of Israel later this year. Cohen had also planned a concert for Palestinian prisoners but that was cancelled because Cohen was also going to entertain his Israeli plans on the same tour.
Hopefully, Cohen will take the same prinicipled stand that was taken by the Melbourne International Film Festival which refused to be browbeaten by Ken "Cock" Loach into withdrawing support of an Israeli film. The terrorists and their enablers should not be given the opportunity to spread messages of war and hate within the context of any artistic endeavour. They are repulsive and deserve to be treated only with contempt.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
No Bathing Suits Allowed in the Lobby
In this short video, the hostess in the lobby of a big hotel informs a senior citizen that no bathing suits are allowed in the lobby. Score one more for the seniors.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Allah testifies that they are lying
Allah testifies that they are lying
A non-governmental Israeli organization claims that the IDF that attacked Gaza and the ostracized Hamas used local civilians as human shields and opened fire indiscriminately. The report by “Breaking the Silence” says the IDF destroyed buildings, mosques and private homes, and includes testimonies by 30 soldiers who participated in the attack on Gaza (2008/12/27–18/1/2009), but without revealing their names or unit affiliation.
However these allegations are to be rejected because the IDF has proved that its troops follow international law and obey orders despite the stress of battle. These testimonies lack sourcing or corroboration, thus preventing any conclusions from being drawn... Furthermore, it was the ostracized Hamas that caused much grief when it fired dozens of Qassam missiles at innocent civilians in the southern towns and villages of Israel. The IDF had no choice but to fight back causing the deaths of 1400 Palestinians, half of them civilians used as human shields by Hamas, in addition to the 5,000 wounded. Israel lost just 10 soldiers and 3 civilians.
The IDF defended innocent Israeli civilians against Hamas attacks and did all it could to prevent harming any civilians, targeting just the Hamas men, to disarm them by aerial bombing, shelling, and the use of heavy tractors, while maintaining the humane principles of the IDF that seeks to win with minimal human cost to either side.
The report by “Breaking the Silence” was unfair, unbalanced, and lacking in proof, so one wonders where it was when Hamas used schools and homes for weapons storage or for missile launchers. Israeli pilots reported many secondary explosions after they hit Hamas targets. Where was that organization when Hamas smuggled tons of illicit weapons through a network of tunnels from Egypt?
These guys get it. Why doesn't Al Guardian, Al Independent and Al Age?
Monday, July 27, 2009
FAROUK AND THE TRUTH ABOUT FATAH
People like Kaddoumi are affiliated with the so-called "moderate" Palestinians - supposedly Israel's peace partners.
The news of Kaddoumi's outrageous statements and conduct made it onto the pages of today's Australian in Arafat returns to haunt Fatah talks. However, as with all such things, the Age doesn't want its readers to know. Jason Koutsoukis must be looking the other way again.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
THE RANTING OF A SMALL MINDED IDIOT
LOEWENSTEIN SUCKS, SAYS JEW
The letter he quotes from George Greenberg of Malvern demonstrates the simpleton that is young Ant - a would be celebrity writer of failed books of dubious quality.
The headline in the blog confirms his problem with Jews, not just Zionists as is claimed by many Jew haters.
The kid needs to spend time on a couch.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
East Timorese president Jose Ramos Horta attended and spoke of the honesty and truth of the movie.
Honesty and truth is something that abounds at the MIFF which resisted blackmail attempts by the Chinese and supporters of Palestinian groups to ban its connections with aspects of the film art with which they disagree.
In the case of the Palestinians supported by British director of substandard movie fare Ken "Cock" Loach and the hypocrites at Australians for Palestine they really should take note of the theme of honesty and truth because the cause they are promoting could certainly do with some of that ingredient.
Here is yet another story about the lies which the Palestine lobby and its overworked propaganda machine promulgates - Another Tack: Self-exiled by guilt.
Don't expect to read about this in The Guardian, The Independent or our own Al Age. It can only be found in the blank pages.
However, it should be noted for the record that Jose Ramos Horta is a real leader and the Palestinians would do well to find one of his ilk to lead them into true peace with their neighbours.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Israelphobia and the Cockloach
Israelphobia? The New York Times reports on another withdrawal from the Melbourne International Film Festival:
BRITISH director Ken Loach has withdrawn his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival in protest against the Israeli government's sponsorship of another filmmaker, AFP reported. The Israeli government provided airfare for Tatia Rosenthal, whose film 9.99 is an Israeli-Australian co-production.
The Jerusalem Post reports on a film Loach may approve of:
THE first feature film produced by Hamas made its debut this weekend. The action-packed thriller is being shown to segregated audiences of bearded men and veiled women. "It's Hamaswood instead of Hollywood," Fathi Hamad, Gaza's Hamas Interior Minister said. "We are trying to make quality art that is Islamic and about the resistance, without provocative (sexual) scenes." Hamad doubled as producer and the screenplay was penned by Mahmoud Zahar, the Gaza strongman seen as one of the architects of the group's violent takeover of Gaza two years ago (and who) has always had an artistic streak, with three novels and two screenplays to his credit. Gaza's cinemas were closed down in the late 1980s because activists across the Palestinian territories felt entertainment was inappropriate at a time of struggle.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
One of the main reasons for the diminished activity of the bombers was the significant increase in security measures introduced by the Israelis, not the least of which was the construction of a security barrier (mostly fence and partly wall) dividing Israeli and Palestinian communities from each other and effectively helping to keep terrorists out of Israeli towns and cities and dramatically reducing the death toll on the Israeli side.
For their part, the Palestinian terror groups responded with a new strategy - particularly in Gaza where the Moslem Brotherhood inspired Hamas has now gained full control. The strategy was the use of missiles, many of them crude but others of increasing sophistication, fired indiscriminately over the security fence and into Israel's populated centres. This strategy ultimately resulted in Israel's Operation Cast Lead, an attack on Hamas in Gaza.
The Palestinian terror groups have developed a substantial following in the west of "enablers" - those who lobby on their behalf to assist them with their stategies of deligitimising and ultimately destroying the Jewish State. These enablers have ficussed heavily on all aspects of Israeli security and the use of lies, distortions and half truths have been their main tactical weapon. Hence, the security barrier which has saved so many Israeli lives has been wrongly described as an Apartheid Wall or an attempt at a land grab. Our own ABC, through its news and foreign affairs programmes has not been averse to joining the enabler's party.
So it came as something of a surprise this week when the ABC aired this week's "Foreign Correspondent" programme about a similar "us and them" situation in which the virtues of a similar security barrier which runs through and separates Belfast's Christian and Protestant area were extolled as a "Wall of Peace!"
Here's the transcript of the programme but don't hold your breath waiting for any self-righteous ABC correspondents to start wailing and gnashing his teeth about the "Apartheid Wall". It seems that these days walls that save lives are "Walls of Peace" - except of course when the lives saved are Jewish lives!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
JORDAN AND THE PALESTINIANS
Naturally not a word about this can be found in Al Age with Jason Kousoukis having bigger Israeli fish to fry.
However, had the Israelis been the ones to revoke the citizenship of Palestinian Arabs within its midst, you would have heard the biggest hue and cry ever.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
SUICIDE BOMBERS ARE NOT DRIVEN BY DESPAIR BUT BY VICIOUS OLD MEN.
To have added the promise of paradise to this pogrom is to have made spiritual and mental sickness complete; to have made it a sexual paradise is obscene into the bargain. (Women martyrs are obviously not offered the same level of bliss and promiscuity by the Koran.)
Meanwhile, the wall still stands and grows, ironically expressing the much more banal and worldly fact that there are two peoples in Palestine. Sooner or later there will be two states as well.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Director shows his blind spot
KEN Loach is one of my favourite film directors. I have followed his career with appreciation since his debut Cathy Come Home in 1966. But full marks to Melbourne International Film Festival executive director Richard Moore for standing up to Loach's attempt to blackmail the festival into boycotting Israel because of Israel's past defensive military operations in Lebanon and Gaza ("Israeli funding angers Loach", The Age, 18/7).
In May, Loach made the same demand of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. As a Scot, I am ashamed to say that the organisers of the Edinburgh festival cravenly gave in to his outrageous demand for censorship.
It is ironic that Land and Freedom (1995), which many consider Loach's finest film, presents a powerful and moving story about the men and women who fought against Franco's fascists in Spain in the 1930s. Loach can recognise and oppose European fascism but would appear to have a blind spot when it comes to the Islamo-fascism of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Dr Bill Anderson, Surrey Hills
Irrational, and fruitless
KEN Loach's decision to withdraw his film from the Melbourne International Film Festival due to Israeli sponsorship of the festival is a ridiculous stunt. This will only be to the detriment of the admired filmmaker.
Punishing the Israeli film academy will not do anything to curb the Israeli Government's policy towards the Palestinians. The notion of boycotting a country due to its actions should be directed at the government of that country.
Such a boycott will not serve to bring about a peaceful end to the Middle East conflict, nor will it provide stability in a fragile region. It will only result in an Englishman's film not being shown in an acclaimed international film festival. Loach's decision to pull his movie should not be viewed as a heroic act; it should be seen as an irrational act of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Joel Feren, Elwood
Sends a strong message
KEN Loach is to be commended for his moral courage to withdraw Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival. Boycott of such events, by luminaries such as Loach and the public, is an effective means of sending a message to Israel that we do not support its illegal occupation of Palestinian land, its inhuman treatment of Palestinians and the massacre of Gazans.
It should be remembered that we defeated apartheid in South Africa by refusing to play rugby and cricket with that country.
Bill Mathew, Parkville
It's Loach's loss
KEN Loach's boycott is an insult to the Melbourne film festival. What gives him the right to demand that the executive director withdraw a long-standing overseas sponsorship?
It is a shame that Loach has used his film as a political platform. All he has done is upset the people who have always been part of his supporting audience and will now miss his film.
His decision is his loss. It is good to see that MIFF has not bowed to his prejudicial pressure.
Rosie Hersch, Brighton East
Sunday, July 19, 2009
THE TERRORISTS KNOW THEY WILL NEVER WIN
That these atrocities occurred on the day Barack Obama formally congratulated Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on his election win last week sends a signal that will not surprise anybody who has clearly heard Osama bin Laden's message over many years. Whatever enemies of Israel and opponents of capitalism in the West think, the Islamist extremists of his al-Qa'ida organisation and its allies are at war with the world. They are not interested in improving the lot of the world's poor or creating a homeland for the Palestinians. Rather, they want a caliphate that bends all Muslims to its will, where infidels are unwelcome. These attacks demonstrate bin Laden and his allies are as good as their word. They do not care that the US has long since closed its bases in Saudi Arabia, al-Qa'ida's original objective, and is leaving Iraq. They are indifferent to the departure of George W. Bush, John Howard and Tony Blair from politics. And they fear Mr Obama's Cairo speech for the way its message of Middle East peace appealed to ordinary Muslims. These attacks demonstrate there is nothing the pious Muslims who rely on the mandate of the people to govern Indonesia can do to appease their attackers. The absence of demands demonstrates the bombings are not part of a campaign to change government policy, or even an attempt to destabilise the country. They are acts of fanatical belief in an unachievable cause. When the people who planned the bombings are captured, they will most likely take their lines from bin Laden and talk about American imperialism and the way the West dishonours Islam. The Bali bombers dressed up their motives in religious rhetoric at their trials, condemning Western decadence, claiming Australians, Americans and Jews -- it is always the Jews -- are oppressing Muslims. But to understand the truth of terrorism, look to the people who actually carry out the bombings, especially suicide attacks. They are the equivalent of the morally malformed adolescents all over the world who take guns to schools and slaughter students. These bombings are the ultimate example of nihilist violence.The Australian stands in stark contrast to the Fairfax Press which continues to mollycoddle the Palestinian lobby's efforts to demonise and deligitimise Israel and give succour to Islamist terrorism. Jason Koutsoukis' one-sided piece yesterday is yet another example.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
LOACH BLACKMAIL ATTEMPT DOOMED TO FAILURE
Loach is a serial offender having cowed organisers of the Edinburgh Film Festival into returning money to the Israeli embassy after he asked it to reconsider Israel’s sponsorship.
If Loach want to really help the Palestinians and bring about a peaceful outcome to this seemingly endless conflict, he would use his voice to persuade his Palestinian friends to end their campaign of hatred and violence against Israel's civilains and Jews in general.
Friday, July 17, 2009
WHO ARE THESE TERRORISTS?
But who the hell are these terrorists and what action should be taken to protect civilians of any nationality from the unnamed and unknown terrorists and is self defence permitted?
THEY SHOOT ISRAELIS DON'T THEY?
Here's my cut and paste of today's Oz:
Anonymous sources launch an attack on Israel's army, backed by Leigh Sales on ABC1's Lateline on Wednesday
SHOOT first and ask questions later. According to a new report that was the Israeli army's policy in January's invasion of Gaza. The report contradicts the country's official version of events and is based on the testimonies of soldiers who were on the battle front.
An SBS news report also assumes the allegations are made by Israeli soldiers:
A GROUP of Israeli soldiers has spoken out about the recent war in the Gaza Strip, claiming they were told to shoot first and ask questions later. They also say Palestinian civilians were used as human shields. The accounts of more than 20 soldiers contradict the official Israeli version of events that everything possible was done to avoid civilian casualties.
Israeli army spokeswoman Avital Leibovich tells ABC radio's PM what a cub reporter should know. Confirm your sources:
HOW do you know they're soldiers? How do you know these people that are speaking are soldiers? According to what? I don't know who they are, I have no idea in which way they were questioned. I don't have any clue to whether they're really soldiers or not.
The Israeli Defence Force spokeswoman spells out the ethical problems with the Breaking the Silence report:
YET another human rights organisation is presenting a report based on anonymous testimonies, without investigating their details or credibility. To ensure that the claims made in these testimonies are dealt with in an appropriate manner, the organisation should urge those who made these claims to really break their silence and to present specific complaints to the IDF. Most of the testimonies lack any identifying details that would allow the IDF to investigate, confirm or refute them.
Lateline has form on its anti-Israel line. The Australian Jewish News on February 12:
How would most Australians feel if a mainstream television station overseas interviewed far left-wing Australian journalist John Pilger as its only commentator on an Australian election? ABC's Lateline effectively did the equivalent on February 5. To comment on the Israeli election, the program's sole interviewee was Akiva Eldar, chief political columnist of Haaretz. Eldar, an opinion columnist, is one of the more extreme, as well as most vituperative, voices at that left-leaning Israeli paper. It may be pertinent that Tim Palmer, a controversial former ABC Middle East correspondent who was frequently criticised for anti-Israel bias, is currently executive producer of Lateline.
And, taking the cake - an insight into the corrupt depths to which an already jaundiced Human Rights Watch have plummeted. This is what happens when organisations are taken oven by the insidious Palestine lobby which is already exerting control over media outlets like Al Age, the ABC and SBS.
David Bernstein, in The Wall Street Journal, on the antics of another human rights group:
A DELEGATION from Human Rights Watch was recently in Saudi Arabia. To investigate the mistreatment of women under Saudi law? To campaign for the rights of homosexuals, subject to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia? To protest (against) the lack of religious freedom in the Saudi kingdom? To issue a report on Saudi political prisoners? No, no, no, and no. The delegation arrived to raise money from wealthy Saudis by highlighting HRW's demonisation of Israel. An HRW spokesperson, Sarah Leah Whitson, highlighted HRW's battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups in the US, the European Union and the United Nations". (Was Whitson required to wear a burka or are exceptions made for visiting anti-Israel "human rights activists"? .)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
LIFE IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES - A DIFFERENT SIDE
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas attacked a wedding party for the Madhoun family, shooting two guests including a woman. Their crime? They put up pictures of Samih Madhoun, a senior Fatah leader who was executed by Hamas (on video) in 2007. This is the state of freedom in Gaza when Hamas controls the area.
In the West Bank, the PA is taking Al Jazeera to court to suspend the channel's operations in the area. The PA is not saying that Al Jazeera is revealing state secrets, only that Al Jazeera broadcasts "incitement" against them. This is the state of freedom in the West Bank when the Palestinian Authority controls the area.
In Israel, the G.ho.st virtual operating system was released. It is the brainchild of an Israeli entrepreneur, a joint venture between Palestinian Arab engineers and Israelis to create an operating system on the web where users can upload, edit, and share files as well as do social networking tasks. It was developed via videoconference and with occasional meetings at a coffee shop in the West Bank. The Elder points out that this shows that Israelis value peace and co-operation above all and will go out of their way to work with the "enemy" in the quest for solving problems.
Over at Honest Reporting, Backspin also discusses the feud between the PA and Al Jazeera:
In the West Bank, the PA suspended Al-Jazeera after it aired allegations that Mahmoud Abbas helped Israel and the US poison Yasser Arafat.
HR adds that this is a joke compared to Hamas, which aired a special show about women suicide bombers dedicated to the "martyr," Reem Salah al-Riyashi. YNet News explains how low Hamas has sunk (you can't get odds on the Palestine lobby over Al Age touching this one with a ten foot pole):
Producers invited al-Riyashi's children to the show, so they can see a live reenactment of their mother's death in the terror attack. The shows host, a bear called Nasour, invited "martyr Riyashi's children" to enter the studio, before they proceeded to watch a video accompanied by music.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
RABBIS BEARING FALSE WITNESS
Rabbis who bear false witness against Israel: Protesting a Blockade of Gaza where there is no blockade
The PLO and Hamas web sites have worked over time in the last few days, proclaiming that Philadelphia Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Shai Gluskin had organized a fast day this coming Thursday (see www. FastforGaza.net) to protest what Rabbis Waskow and Gluskin describe the Israeli "blockade" of Gaza, with claims that Israel is not allowing food and humanitarian supplies into Gaza.
The only fly in the ointment is that there is no Israeli "blockade" of Gaza.
What is going on is that Israel simply restricts munitions and building material into Gaza that could be used for the Gaza war effort against Israel.
Only two weeks ago, Palestinian and Israeli business people gathered for a meeting of the Israeli Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, with the report that Israel now exports two billion shekels of products to Gaza and thirteen billion shekels worth of products to Palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria on the west bank.
Last week, more than a dozen reporters visited the Sufa Trade junction where Israeli products of all kinds are shipped into Gaza. Some of the items were luxury items - like 10,000 bottles of Head and Shoulders Shampoo, along with every food product and medical supplies imaginable.
Yet the Palestinian information machine grinds out daily reports of deprivation and hunger in Gaza, ascribing it to Israel's "blockade", with stories that Israel simply does not allow food and medical supplies into Gaza to feed the 1.2 million residents of Gaza, half of whom dwell in UN refugee camps for more than 60 years. under the premise and promise of the "right of return" to their villages that they lost in the 1948 war in southern Israel - making them the only refugee population that the UN refuses to resettle.
Rabbi Waskow was called and asked to respond to the fact that no blockade exists. He would not return the phone call. Rabbi Gluskin said that he was too busy to respond to the question as to where it was that he had heard of an Israeli "blockade" of humanitarian supplies to Gaza.
Yet Rabbi Waskow and Rabbi Gluskin have managed to recruit 55 Rabbis from around the United States to join them in a fast to protest an action which Israel is not taking against the Palestinian population.
It will be instructive to see how many of these 55 Rabbis show up at the Sufa junction to observe the daily routine of Israeli trucks delivering food and medical supplies to Gaza.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Amnesty's Bias in favour of Terror
A Bias Against Israel
Amnesty International's report on the conflict in Gaza is fundamentally biased against Israel ("Report Accuses Israel and Hamas of War Crimes in Gaza" news article, July 3). Nothing illustrates this more starkly than when the report deals with the issue of Gaza civilians caught up in the conflict.
When assessing Israeli efforts to warn civilians of an impending attack, whether by telephone or by leaflet, the report says that all such warnings did was create panic because the civilians had nowhere to flee.
On the other hand, when the report looked at Hamas's placing military infrastructure in the heart of civilian areas, it minimized the effect by arguing that Hamas did not force people to stay in their homes so civilians could flee attacks.
In other words, Amnesty adjusted its version of the facts to suit its a priori assumptions that Israel was the main party responsible for civilian deaths.
In fact, in a complicated situation, Israel did all it could to avoid civilian casualties. The main violator of human rights was Hamas; its eight-year rocketing of Israeli civilians and its deliberate placing of its military in civilian buildings, homes, schools, hospitals and mosques were major violations of international law. One would barely know this from the Amnesty "investigation."
Deputy National Director
New York, July 5, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
However, when Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Martha Stewart, Randy Cunningham, Gov. Edwards, Conrad Black, Senator Keating, Gov Ryan, and Gov Blagojevich messed up; no one reported what religion or denomination they were (they were not Jewish).
This is a reminder of a famous Einstein quote:
In 1921, Albert Einstein presented a paper on his then-infant Theory of Relativity at the Sorbonne, the prestigious French university.
"If I am proved correct," he said, "the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist.
"If relativity is proved wrong, the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Fallacies and Inaccuracies
THE editors of the Flame and Green Left Weekly (Letters, 10/7) attempted to rebut my expose of their extremism with a mixture of misrepresentation, logical fallacies and factual inaccuracies. I’m accused of providing “selected quotes, minus their context”. Moreover my article was a “tactic to stifle dissent”.
Firstly, context was explicit. I explained that the January edition “was devoted to the conflict in Gaza”. The editors complained that I did not mention Israel’s bombs that “rained down on Gaza civilians”. Despite their attempt to change the subject, my article was not about the civilians who were unavoidably killed as human shields for Hamas but about the Flame’s advocacy of the expansion of the war and empowering Hamas to kill, directly and indirectly, more civilians. GLW and the Flame may not regard this as extremism or terrorism, but I doubt many Australians would agree.
Their claim that I aimed to “stifle dissent” is telling. Nowhere did I advocate stifling, censoring or suppressing their paper. I simply publicised that the Flame promotes Hamas, an expansive war against Israel and political assassinations of Israeli ministers. While GLW’s anti-Israel stance is known, the Flame raised the bar. Apparently, those associated with GLW object to the non-Arabic speaking public knowing what the Flame actually says.
Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council
South Melbourne, Vic
The letter was in response to a self-serving apologia from Soubhi Iskander (Editor of the Flame) and Stuart Munckton and Emma Murphy (Editors of Green Left Weekly). Iskander is Sudanese but not of the type that is being butchered on a daily basis by Arab terrorists supported by the Sudanese government, most of the Arab League and of course, the Palestinian terrorist organizations themselves. In that respect he is very much the Sudanese Anthony Loewenstein.
Friday, July 10, 2009
NO MODERATION OF PREJUDICE
The impact of the internet is perhaps the most far-reaching of any communications technology developed in my lifetime. We are now irrevocably in the Information Age, a fact recognised by the Federal Government in its drive to deliver a national broadband network at speeds 100 times faster than those now available to most of us, certainly the largest nation-building infrastructure project in Australia's history.
The internet is also a powerful agent of social change that has created a fresh marketplace of ideas. It is no exaggeration to say that today we all have a soapbox to publicly express our opinion about anything. And as a member of a political party with a long social democratic tradition, there is surely something thrilling about a collaborative tool for democratic expression that cannot be easily subverted by entrenched interests.
At its core the internet is an ideal. I can arrange an online chat with a political scientist in South Korea, create an email focus group amongst my constituents, even discuss Islamic revolutionary theory with a student in Iran. But as with any movement or agent of change, an ideal can be undermined by the ideology of its users. For me, a clear example is the partisan coverage of the Israeli Palestinian conflict by some online magazines. This years output of two of these online publications, Crikey.com and New Matilda.com, is profoundly disturbing.
Both have pretensions to non-partisan coverage. Crikey is run by a staff who claim journalistic credentials in its mission statement to be fair and open. New Matilda similarly claims to provide non-partisan information and takes contributions, as it describes, from "journalists, current and former politicians, lawyers, critical and creative thinkers, bloggers, policy-wonks and satirists". Which is just about everyone in this room - and a good percentage of those outside of it.
Whatever their stated aims, a careful analysis of their output over the first three months of this year shows that when it comes to the coverage of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Crikey and New Matilda are in fact manifestly partisan. Both consistently adopt the Palestinian narrative, characterise Israel as an oppressor, and ignore Israeli's legitimate security concerns. It is their right to criticize the only free society in the Middle East but it is nonsense to claim they are not strongly biased.
Following the last Israeli elections, Crikey contributor Jeff Sparrow stated as fact that Israeli society had moved sharply to the right, at the same time that that the centre-left Kadima party secured the largest block vote and Likud's Netanyahu sought to broaden his coalition into a ruling government whose final makeup included longtime advocates of peace with the Palestinians. In another article the same contributor looked at the decision of the Israel's Central Elections Committee to ban the participation of two nationalist Arab political parties in the elections, drawing odious parallels with South Africa's apartheid regime - whilst ignoring the democratic Israeli institutions, not found elsewhere in the Middle East, that a few days later saw the Supreme Court reverse that bureaucratic decision. Similarly, New Matilda correspondent Ben White accuses Israel of apartheid control over the Palestinians. He condemns outright the erection of a security fence without reference whatsoever to it or the fact that it has lead to a 95% drop in homicide attacks on civilians in
Israel or the fact that it acts as a defensive measure against repeated terrorist attacks, or that the fence's route has always been subject to negotiation and moderation by the Israeli Supreme Court as part of the peace process.
Another Crikey contributor, Guy Rundle, downplays the genocidal policies of Iran's President Ahmedinajab to little more than populism, dismissing outright Israel's authentic fears of a nuclear-armed Iran, not to mention the apprehension of moderate Arab regimes at the prospect of an Iranian regional hegemony.
New Matilda is even more strident in its partisanship. Of the 18 articles run by newmatilda.com in the fist three months of this year concerning the Israeli Palestinian conflict, 17 presented a hardline Palestinian narrative.
Some themes emerge. Polemicist Antony Lowewentein is but one of the correspondents to claim as fact that Israel refuses to consider a two-State solution, despite the evidence of numerous peace overtures, the consistent views of mainstream Israelis in favour of a consensus solution, and the unprecedented territorial concessions offered by Israel at the 2000 Camp David Summit and later at Taba, and indeed reoffered by Netanyahu's predecessor Ehud Olmert.
Unmentioned is Hamas's refusal to recognise Israeli existence, as is the barrier presented to any unified proposal by the ongoing blood feud between the Fatah rulers of the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.
Time and again these articles refer to Jews, or the Jewish State, but rarely Israel as a sovereign entity . Paradoxically New Matilda contributor Michael Brull then complains that most Australian Jewish groups do not identify themselves as pro -Israel but as simply Jewish. Clearly he has not read the pro-Israel platforms of the Executive Council for Australian Jewry or the Australian Union of Jewish students, two of the organisations he mentions, he appears unfamiliar with the view of Australian Jewry, which is similarly pro-Israel.
In May this year in Crikey, Lowenestein attacked the Executive Council for Australian Jewry , this time because it fails to condemn other forms of racism as readily as antisemitism. But it is this gem that highlights the author's real intent: "Anti-Muslim sentiment has often been proudly displayed since September 11 by the Zionist establishment. In their world view, only what they find offensive should be censored". Here we have it, a shadowy unnamed Zionist elite that has the impudence to speak out against antisemitism, as though a Jewish group is not entitled to focus on racial attacks against its own ethnicity! This is a rigged rhetorical game. It doesn't matter whether Jews defend themselves or not, or whether the focus of critics is on Israel as a Jewish State or Jewish groups in Australia, the charge is relentlessly the same.
Journalism can be a democratic bulwark, but in doing so we assume certain principles of journalistic professionalism, including the training and commitment to place opinion in a factual context. Yet the rise of the bologosphere is often characterised by its proponents as a triumph against the elitism or corporatisation of the established media. It is all well and good to allege that the Australian newspaper's foreign affairs commentator Greg Sheridan is an Israeli propagandist, as one New Matilda correspondent suggests, but Sheridan has thirty years experience as a senior journalist and is the author of five widely-published books on foreign issues. The New Matilda correspondent may not like his views, but Sheridan works in an environment where facts are checked and factual errors are corrected. As former New York Times standards editor, Al Siegal has said, the most overt concern with accuracy at a newspaper can be seen in the volume of corrections. This hardly seems to concern the editors of Crikey and New Matilda in their coverage of Israel.
An exchange of letters between the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission Chair Tony Levy and New Matilda editor Marni Cordell highlights this problem. In April Levy sent to Cordell a sober, detailed and careful analysis of the magazine's content in the first three months of this year, explaining the ADC's concerns over partisan opinion and the broad slabs of hate-speak that appear regularly in the comments sections attached to each article. In her brief reply, Cordell failed to address the evidence of partisanship, instead championing her publication's contribution to ‘diversity of opinion' i.e Brull, Lowenstein et al all whom have broadly similar views. This thinking is explained by her charge that the one sided ‘diversity of opinion' is to balance what she asserts is a biased media environment - of course, without corroborating this charge. She does not address at all the allegation of antisemitic comment, nor does she respond to the ADC's concern that the magazine chooses not to censor these comments, even though it expressly reserves the right to do so if the commentary is abusive or promotes hate.
Nevertheless, is this antisemitism, or just sloppy journalism? Former Soviet dissident and human rights activist Natan Schrasansky distinguished the two by his "3D Principles" - he warns to look for demonisation, delegitimation, and double standards.
Looking at the coverage in Crikey and New Matilda, we see Israel as a manipulator of world events, an apartheid State engaged in ethnic cleansing, and an initiator of wars that have no strategic or defensive foundation. That is demonisation.
Israel as deserving of the rocket attacks on its citizens, or not entitled to defend its sovereignty? That is deligitimisation. Israelis portrayed as arch war criminals, while scant attention is given in the same publications to human rights abuses in Burma, or Darfur, or Zimbabwe, or Tibet, or North Korea, or Chechnya, or the Congo? That is a double standard. Cordell's pathetic excuse for the obsession with denigrating the Israeli's and ignoring other conflicts where far more people's lives are at stake is ‘As I'm sure I don't need to remind you, the Israel/Palestine question is not a conflict on the same level as other regional problems that you mentioned. Problems in the Middle East, within which Israel/Palestine is a major issue, are something that play
out in innumerable ways across the globe'
Perhaps most disturbing is the unmediated comments sections that flow from every article and contain repeated examples of vicious antisemitism. As the ADC has charged, given that New Matilda editors reserve the right to censor comments that are abusive or promote hate, we must assume the following have passed muster:
"The Gaza Ghetto - like shooting fish in a barrel. Don't it make you feel proud ? "Blogger Tim commenting on "The Gaza Strip: A Crikey ceasefire wrap" compiled by Eleri Harris 8/1/09 Crikey.com
"The racist Zionist(s) are not simply un-Australian in their lying, bigotry, psychotic injustice and racism - they are also anti-Australian and pose a huge threat to not only Australia but the whole World." 3/3/2009 blogger DrGildeon Polya commenting on "If Israel Does It Then It Can't Be Wrong" by Michael Brull 13/1/09 (New Matilda)
"tell us your last name..or are you just another Zionist coward, barracking from behind your nom de plume for the killing of innocent civilians .....you are full of shit........but of course the Crikey readership had made up its mind in that regard long before this issue arose......ZIONIST COWARD." Blogger Kevin Charles Herbet commenting on "The comic tragedy of Gaza" by Guy Rundle 13/1/09 Crikey.com
"Zionism and the zionists which it breeds is a sickness. Zionism is a debilitating fatal disease which has infected this planet for too long and it is encumbent upon mankind to rid ourselves of this disease before it reaches a terminal stage and consumes us all."Blogger Rockjaw commenting on "Peeking Into Gaza" By Jim Alexander 22/1/09 NM
"These intellectually & morally corrupt Israeli fascists don't care what the world thinks of their atrocities...just like the Nazis didn't. They expect to get away with it...and why wouldn't they given their jackbooting of the past 41 years. Mugabe has more credibility than these bastards." Blogger Kevin Charles Herbert commenting on "Backman column: Israeli lobby censorship" by Greg Barns 23/1/09 Crikey.com
·"Nazi German and Israeli policy will herd people into concentration camps, ghettos and other forms of imprisonment whilst simultaneously embarking on a policy of genocide, infanticide, theft of lebensraum, eradication and ethnic cleansing". Blogger Rockjaw commenting on "The Myth Of The Holy Land" By Roland Boer 2/2/09 New Matilda
"Sadly the power base of modern Judaism/Zionism, not to mention fundamentalist Jewish Orthodoxy, is a racist, xenophobic group of "Australian Jews," nearly all males, nearly all completely racist in that they view everything in life through the prism of race and tribalism."Blogger Hugh commenting on In "It's ok to be racist, just not about Israelis" by Greg Barns 2/2/09 Crikey.com"The Zionists exploit the massive racist discrimination and genocide exercised by the Nazis against Jews in general as a means of deflecting criticism from their own racist policies which they pursue with vigour." Blogger Greg Angelo commenting on "It's ok to be racist, just not about Israelis" by Greg Barns 2/2/09 Crikey.com
"It was clear that the Israeli's simply wanted to commit massacres - I suspect it has to do with their endless whining about demographics and the numbers of arabs. Why else wipe out so many kids." Blogger Maryj commenting on "Things You Don't Want To See" By Michael Brull 4/2/09"Yours are an uncivilised lot alphacrucis, a barbarous stone age mob with a flair for lies, deceipt (sic) and confidence trickery." Blogger Rockjaw commenting on - "Things You Don't Want To See" By Michael Brull 4/2/09
"Most people find it an increasingly inescapable conclusion that Zionism and Naziism are fundamentally of the same genus: to whit, an attempt to glorify a largely imagined nation-race (a "superior" race to boot) by somehow resurrecting its semi-mythological past in the form of a modern and expansionist nation-state, which in both cases only leads to mass murder." Blogger Rockjaw commenting on "Things You Don't Want To See" By Michael Brull 4/2/09 NM"Only fascist states like Israel today, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, and countless non-democratic, tyrannical, thug states like Israel do this in this day and age." Blogger RosRoss commenting on "Palestine: The Ultimate Franchise" By Bruce Riedel 5/2/09 New Matilda"The greatest difficulty is the level of denial with which most Israelis and all of their supporters live which ranges from delusional dysfunction to the criminally psychotic." Blogger RosRoss commenting on "An Israel Of The Mind" by Antony Loewenstein 19/2/09 New Matilda"The Israeli Right have no credibility as the deliberate malice of their squatter mates is expressed through regular murder and theft from Palestinian Arabs virtually at will. Shooting ‘fish' in a barrel comes to mind." -blogger Tom McLoughlin commenting on "Trade unions put squeeze on Israel" by Alex Mitchell 19/2/09 Crikey.com "Society will have to become aware of the structures used by our zionists to effect this dark control over our cultures and to intervene on behalf of both Jew and gentile to free Jews from that inner darkness and Palestinians from racist murdering zionist genocidalism." Blogger Rockjaw commenting on "An Israel Of The Mind" By Antony Loewenstein 19/2/09 NM"61% of "jews" don't live in Israel and they are perfectly safe as they would be if the stupid place ceased to exist tomorrow." -25/03/2009 - blogger Maryj commenting on David Hollier Obama Can Convince Israel-NM"Like any other reasonable person, I know full well that millions of gypsies, disabled, homosexuals, Jews and members of many other minorities were murdered in "The Holocaust", but still, isn't freedom of speech more important? It's also worrying that nobody seems to be speaking for the millions of people other than Jews killed during this time. Are their voices being drowned out by the Jewish, and Jewish influenced, media? - blogger Bill Malkin commenting on-"Palestine, Israel and the need for freedom of speech" by Antony Loewenstein 18/5/09 Crikey.com
Let us be clear. Crikey and New Matilda do not represent the traditions of journalism, and as someone who speaks with constituents and the public every
day, I know they do not represent mainstream Australian thinking about Israel
and the contribution of Jews to our country. Dr. Andre Oboler, an expert commentator on this subject, has cautioned that if left unchecked, online
antisemitism contributes to a social acceptability that can undo decades of work to counter racism. I invite you all to take a look for yourselves at the biased coverage in these online magazines. I promise it will be for you, as it is for me, both a sobering experience and a wake-up call.
Follow the link to read Michael Danby's letter to the editor of Crikey.com.au in regards to Former WA Premier wrong to slag Deputy PM Gillard
P.S I shouldn't get to overwrought about New Matilda and Crikey. I am probably the only parliamentarian to extract from my Junk mail and Quarantine box. The articles of Michael Brull, New Matilda's poor man's Lowenstein (and that is pretty poor) have a very low readership. New Matilda has only a handful of people who read their obsessive Israel/Palestine invective;
Brull article ‘Things You Don't Want to See' has had 71 views
Brull article ‘Who's Calling Who a racist?' has had only 22 views
Brull article - ‘Obama looking short on Change' has had only 2 views
Brull article -‘When is an Anti-Semite not really an Anti-Semite?' has had 78 views.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The Guardian's Failures
Anti-Zionist Guardian editorial illustrates failure to grasp real root cause of Israel-Palestine conflict
Israel is a liberal-democratic state where the political rights of Israeli Arabs are protected. One might add that they are far better protected than rights of minorities in any other state in the Middle East as well as in most states around the world.
But these awkward realities do not concern the anti-Israeli mindset. And we must be clear in saying that this is exactly what we are dealing with here. For the refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state is a refusal to offer legitimacy to Israel as the state envisaged by its founding fathers, by its current population and by the majority of Jews around the world. The Guardian and its allies in Europe thus expose themselves as emphatically rejectionist of the Zionist enterprise itself. They are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
A PEACE OFFER
Why the rejections and why the indignation about a plan that would give the Palestinians a state and end the "occupation"?
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
They'll be out in force when they read about this ...
Many of Xinjiang's roughly eight million Uighurs say they suffer political,
cultural and religious persecution. Like in Tibet, they also complain about Han
Chinese moving into the area in large numbers.
That should draw out the civil rights protesters and have them out en masse in front of the State Library with banners accusing the Chinese people of Nazism and Apartheid.
Monday, July 06, 2009
AS VIOLENCE SUBSIDES, CONCRETE POURS IN WEST BANK
The violence has virtually come to an end in Jenin and its absence has seen a marked economic upturn as a result of the increased trade and investment brought to the region by this stability - AS VIOLENCE SUBSIDES, CONCRETE POURS IN WEST BANK.
One can't help draw the contrast between what is happening in West Bank cities with Hamas controlled Gaza and this leads one to wonder what motivates outside urgers who seek to continue to destabilise Palestinian society by throwing their support behind the thuggish regime that controls the lives of the Gazans and ensures that peace in the region remains a remote prospect.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
DRY BONES CLASSIC
Saturday, July 04, 2009
AUSTRALIANS FOR HAMAS
Another instance of radical left wing alliances with fascist movements in the Middle East.
Friday, July 03, 2009
He adds that what they want the US and the rest of the world to continue believing is "that peace will prevail tomorrow morning only if Israel stops construction in the settlements and removes a number of empty caravans from remote and isolated hilltops in the West Bank."
But the Palestinians do not need another dictatorship or additional security forces, militias and armed gangs. Toameh wants hospitals, schools and housing projects and for the Palestinians to abandon the culture of uniform and weapons in favor of improved infrastructure and medical care but it won't happen while the international media has a policy of double standards in covering the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Such a pity that news editors like those for example at the Melbourne Age don't take any notice of what Abu Toameh writes because, if they did, they might even help the people in the region resolve the conflict that has been eating away at Israelis and Palestinians for decades. All they need to do is tell the whole truth about what's happening in the region.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
SHERIDAN BLASTS JEWS OF CONVENIENCE
Of course, the Age editors who censored a recent letter that mentioned the involvement of Hizbullah and Hamas in brutalising and murdering Iranian street demonstrators have esaped Sheridan's scrutiny for the time being.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Jason Koutsoukis has been trying to make a good fist of things as Jerusalem Bureau chief at the Age in spite of the obvious problems at the newspaper with respect to its capacity to deliver a balanced view of the events in the Middle East.
It seems that Koutsoukis has now become the Fairfax patsy for a fairly serious breach of journalistic protocol – Julia Gillard put at risk by Iraq story .- "The report was a serious error of judgment by the reporter,'' Fairfax said.
So the Age blames the journalist but presumably it's lax at checking the material he publishes. That would be surprising at most news outlets but nothing surprises when it comes to Al Age.