Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zionism does not equal racism - anti-Zionism does

Jerusalem Post guest blogger Ariel Rodal has hit the nail on the head with Zionism does not equal racism - anti-Zionism does:

Zionism is the belief that Jews have the right to self-determination in their own sovereign state on some part of their historic homeland. Zionism comprises a belief that Jews are a nation, and as such are entitled to the same self-determination that all other nations are. To oppose Zionism is to refuse to accept its political manifestation, Israel, as a legitimate entity. Anti-Zionism denies the Jewish people what it readily bestows other nations (most emphatically to the Palestinians) - the right to nationhood, self-determination and legitimate coexistence with other members of the family of nations. This is inherently anti-Semitic.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Andrea Levin of Camera responds to Jimmy Carter's attempt to apologise "for any words or deeds that may have upset the Jewish community". Carter said he was offering an Al Het, a prayer said on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement which signifies a plea for forgiveness. This is a response from Andrea Levin Executive Director of CAMERA

Dear President Carter:

We at CAMERA have been outspoken in our criticism of the many factual errors and distortions about Israel in your book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, as well as in various Op-Eds and media appearances. We've been greatly concerned that false allegations you've made damage Israel, promoting misunderstanding, enmity and prejudice against that nation and its people.

It is against this backdrop that we sincerely welcome your recent letter to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in which you ask forgiveness from the Jewish community for statements that may have stigmatized Israel. As you may know, in Judaism the process of repentance also entails action to reverse any harm caused.

In this spirit, we urge you to join your promising words with concrete actions to redress troubling false statements you have made only recently about the Jewish state. In a Nov. 6, 2009 Op-Ed in the International Herald Tribune entitled "Goldstone and Gaza" you made false and exaggerated charges concerning the UN's Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict. You referred erroneously to the "destruction" of 40,000 homes in Gaza and claimed "several hundred thousand homeless people suffered through last winter." You refer to the "destruction of hospitals" and claim the Gaza Strip is "surrounded by an impenetrable wall." You claim "the Goldstone committee examined closely the cause of deaths of 1,387 Palestinians who perished. . . "

All these statements are factually false and contribute to inflaming negative perceptions of Israel. Efforts to redress the errors via communication with IHT editors failed with their saying you have refused to correct the false statements. We do hope you'll set the record straight and affirm your commitment to undo any wrongful stigmatizing of Israel. Below is the factual detail corroborating our concerns

about the errors made:

• Israel did not destroy 40,000 Palestinian homes.

Al Mazen Center for Human Rights, a pro-Palestinian NGO, recently issued a report called "Cast Lead Offensive in Numbers" in which it found that 2,632 houses were destroyed beyond repair and 8,522 were assessed as repairable. The latest UN figures are 3,600 homes beyond repair and 2,700 homes that sustained major damages. The Goldstone Report provides additional sources including the Palestinian NGO, Al-Dameer-Gaza, that cites 2,011 civilian and cultural premises as destroyed, of which 1,404 were houses that were completely demolished and 453 partially destroyed or damaged. Even the Arab League's report on Cast Lead states: "Over 3,000 homes were destroyed and over 11,000 damaged." There is no credible report that comes near your charges.

There was no "destruction of hospitals."

Along with the World Health Organization and the Arab League, other international and Palestinian sources confirm that while there were hospitals damaged in the Gaza Strip, none were destroyed. The January 22-23 report by the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that four days after the cease-fire, hospitals were running at full capacity to treat the wounded. The report states:

Hospitals continue to function at full capacity as many injured patients remain hospitalized, with the result that hospitals have been unable to resume regular services such as elective surgery. Post-surgical physiotherapy is provided in Shifa hospital. Most repair work to the Al Quds Hospital in Gaza City, which was shelled on 15 January, has been completed and the facility is now functioning again.

• "Several hundred thousand" people were not made homeless, spending the winter in tents and caves and under plastic sheets.

A January 21-27, 2009 report by the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of

Humanitarian Affairs, issued just days after the end of the Gaza fighting found that

"Tens of thousands of Gazans remain homeless, with most staying with relatives or other host families." A Jan. 16-20, 2009 report, also by OCHA, stated: "As of late 20 January, 18,035 people remained in 30 shelters, down from 29,421 people on 19 January." Thus, the U.N.'s figure for those displaced last winter is one-tenth or less of the number you posit. Of those displaced, most stayed with relatives and not in tents, caves or plastic sheets.

• Gaza is not "surrounded by an impenetrable wall."

While a concrete and steel wall does separate Gaza from Egypt, a fence made of metal wire, posts and sensors separates Israel from the Gaza Strip. The fence has been penetrated many times, including when Palestinian gunmen crossed into Israel and kidnapped Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit and killed two of his comrades.

• The Goldstone Report did not examine "closely the cause of deaths of 1,387 Palestinians."

The report identified by name only a small fraction of the 1,387 reported fatalities, and certainly did not "closely" examine the "cause of deaths" of that total. Again, we hope your conciliatory words are indicative of a true change of heart in which Israel is no longer subjected to unwarranted and false criticism. We urge you to take the concrete step of correcting the wrong and distorted statements about Israel in your recent column in the IHT.

Thank you for considering this request and, perhaps, setting the stage for a new beginning.

Andrea Levin

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hubs of delegitimization

This fascinating Jerusalem Post article "Hubs of deligitimization" by Amir Mizroch sums up the "new battlefield" into which Israel has been thown by malevolent groups bent on attacking Israel's very legitimacy. The groups include Muslim and anti-Zionist Jewish organisations and their message is not unlike the classic anti-Semitic mantras starting with accusations of poisoning the wells. This time however, the target is the Jewish State rather than individual Jews but the rest has a familiar tone.


The Sunday Age has a giant crossword puzzle and one of today's questions/clues was:

Which strip of Palestine is under Israeli rule?

My son who is a genius at crosswords figured out that the the answer was "G _ Z _" but had trouble beyond that because, since 2005, when they moved out lock, stock and barrel, the Israelis haven't ruled in Gaza. For the most part, the place is ruled by a bunch of thugs from Hamas but don't tell the boffins at the Age.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kosher Face

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I've taken a bit of a break due to illness.

Don't tell anyone but I believe it was swine flu (which will probably limit my chances of visiting Saudi Arabia any time soon).

Anyhow, will be back from time to time till after New Year and then I'm back with a vengance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Recently, "a disturbing though unsurprising motion came before the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Students’ Union. The motion proposed the LSE SU’s twinning with the Islamic University of Gaza, with “twinning” meaning anything from symbolic solidarity to sharing resources. Despite attempts by those in opposition of the motion to inform student voters about the heavily Hamas-affiliated university, the motion passed. The Union reported that the final count was in favour of the motion 161-131, with 10 abstentions."- LSE partners with Hamas University.

The Islamic University of Gaza’s Rector of Advanced Studies has said:

"The Jews are the Jews…. They do not have any moderates or any advocates of peace. They are all liars. They must be butchered and must be killed…. It is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land, make war on them anywhere that you find yourself. Any place that you meet them, kill themThe Jews are the Jews…. They do not have any moderates or any advocates of peace. They are all liars. They must be butchered and must be killed…"

Imagine if an LSE professor had said that of Palestinians or Muslims.

Monday, December 14, 2009


"Egypt has begun constructing a huge metal wall along its border with the Gaza Strip as it attempts to cut smuggling tunnels, the BBC has learned" - Egyptians build steel Gaza wall.

Not built by Jews so it doesn't qualify as an apartheid wall.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Respect, compromise only way for middle east peace

There's a great Op Ed in today's Australian by Liam Getreu, the incoming chairman of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students, Respect, compromise only way for middle east peace.

This attitude is of course, light years away from the thugs who tried to bash their way into the Australia Israel Leadership Forum dinner on Sunday night chanting "Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea" (but which Age journalist Andra Jackson, not for the first time conveniently shortened to "Free Palestine" in her piece on the rioting in yesterday's Age or perhaps she's just partly deaf in the ear that was closest to the chanting). Miles away also from the Loewenstein crowd and Australians for Palestine whose is existence is based entirely on honing its Israel bashing skills and doing nothing to help the Palestinians or bring about peace with their Jewish neighbours.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Blank Page Experience

Tom Gross is the former Jerusalem correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph. In today's Guardian, he tells a story about how Israelis and Palestinians are building peace on the West Bank away from the interference and meddling of world powers. The picture he paints in Building peace without Obama's interference is far different from that which the Israel bashers would like us to see, not only of the West Bank but also of Gaza.

Although this article appears in the Guardian it's not what I would expect to read in the Melbourne Age while Jason Koutsoukis remains under the influence of the so-called "Peace Now" crowd in Israel. We read nothing in that newspaper of the growing prosperity in the West Bank.

Nor do we see images such as the one above which is one of many from Gaza depicted on the PalToday website that carry captions reading "Despite the blockade, Gazans go shopping for clothes for their children" and "Making cakes and buying sweets in preparation for the feast".

The Age and many others are either happy for their readers to believe that the Gazans are living in poverty and deprivation as a result of the "evil" Israeli blockade or totally ignorant of the true facts on the ground. Makes you wonder whether it's worth paying good money to have journalists swanning around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and where they get their ideas from.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


The usual suspects from the Bash Israel lobby must have been rubbing its hands with glee when it discovered that frequent Israel critic Rabbi Michael Lerner was heading towards our shores.
Lerner, who has been critical of Israeli policies in the past, has been used by this crowd to push their cause of dehumanising and deligitimising the Jewish State at every opportunity.

Of course, the Loewenstein camp and the oddly named Australians for Palestine (oddly named because they exist only to denigrate the Jewish State and are, in fact, more dangerous to the Palestinians than the Israelis) have actually been exposed by Rabbi Lerner who preached a different message to theirs during his visit.

You see, Lerner says:

'The first step towards peace is for both sides to stop saying 'We're the innocent victims and the other guys are evil' - which is the discourse which predominates both in the Arab world and the Jewish world. We have to transcend the blame game and move to a discourse of mutual compassion'."

This was like waving a red rag to bulls like the blogger who runs Middle East Reality Check (MERC).

Middle East Reality Check is a misnomer if there ever was one because a cursory examination of the blog only demonstrates that its author is far removed from reality.

Of Lerner, MERC goes straight into attack mode and questions his consistency (Lerner was at the forefront of the anti Vietnam movement in the 60s.

One should ask how on earth MERC thinks peace can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians? By the annihilation of the entire Israeli population as advocated by MERC's mates in Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups?

If not, why not? Because the NLF never had a written down aim to destroy the United States or to exterminated its entire population. That's why not.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Getting away with murder

Marwan Barghouti is a dirty piece of work. He has been convicted for his role in five murder cases where the victims were civilians, one of them a Greek monk. He is suspected of having a role in 21 other murders but in the Post-Goldstone world, he is seen as a leader of the Palestinian people - Palestinian murderer seen as a peacemaker.

Some people truly suck and Barghouti and his followers are among them.

Friday, December 04, 2009


I'm not a supporter of the Swiss proposal to ban minarets although they might want to scrutinise more closely what sometimes goes on under them. However, I like this letter in today's Melbourne Age to a letter which appeared earlier from a couple of AJDS identities:-


BEFORE Steve Brook and Tom Walkenberg get on their high horse over the Swiss referendum banning minarets (Letters, 2/12), they might like to consider trying to erect the cross of Jesus or the Star of David in Saudi Arabia.

David Rosner, South Yarra

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Political instability in Honduras?

The Jews get the blame again. Pardon me while I adjust my horns.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Gnome Chomsky