Saturday, December 20, 2014

Conflating the Unconflatable 3

'The Sewer' Mike Carlton calls it. Murdoch's Australian never misses an opportunity to slander the Palestinians:

"The same perversions [yes, this is from an editorial ostensibly about Man Haron Monis] have driven the unspeakable atrocities that have devastated the citizens of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. To peace-loving westerners, the bloodthirstiness of the Pakistani Taliban murdering 141 children and teachers is beyond comprehension. So is the capture, torture and sexual enslavement of Yazidi and Christian women in northern Iraq. The cruelty of Hamas terrorists using ordinary Palestinians as human shields, storing rockets and ammunition beneath homes, mosques and schools in the most built up areas of Gaza is another prime example." (Liberal-Left still in denial despite terror in Sydney: Like most jihad footsoldiers, Monis was a dysfunctional fool, 19/12/14)

It says everything about The Sewer that even The Australian Jewish News, wasn't going there - this time around:

"... one thing is clear - this was a man doing no one's bidding but his own. A rogue, demented operator at odds with the world and his religion, who exacted his terrible rage on innocents with devastating results. He was to face court on 40 sexual assault charges and stand trial for being an accessory to the murder of his wife. He was unhinged." (The lone wolf, editorial, 19/12/14)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Paying the Price?

Hm...

"Iran's police chief has said his country had demanded the extradition of Man Haron Monis, the Sydney hostage taker, 14 years ago over charges of fraud, but the request was rejected by the Australian authorities... In 1996, Monis established a travel agency, but took his clients' money and fled, Iran's police chief, General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, told the country's official IRNA news agency on Tuesday. Australia accepted him as a refugee around that time. The police chief said Iran tried to have Monis extradited from Australia in 2000, but that it did not happen because Tehran and Canberra did not have an extradition agreement." (Iran: Extradition of Sydney attacker refused, aljazeera.com, 17/12/14)

Given that Iran has been under one form or another of USraeli-initiated sanction since the Islamic Revolution of 1979...

Given Australia's traditional practice of subcontracting our Middle East policy to USrael...

Given that Iran's extradition request came on John (Jerusalem Prize) Howard's watch (PM:1996-2007)...

&

Given that then immigration minister Philip Ruddock (IM: 1996-2003) so loved Israel that he agreed to take in 200 members of its rollicking puppet South Lebanon Army (SLA) in 2000/01...*

It beggars belief that the mere absence of an agreement with the Iranians was the sole reason for not extraditing Monis, especially in light of Ruddock's own words: "The only exception [to deporting a recognised refugee] would be if it were proved that the refugee status had been obtained by fraud." (Philip Ruddock: Psychological problems part of humanitarian refugee intake, David Wroe, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/12/14)

The question arises, then: Was Man Haron Monis the price we had to pay for keeping Iran at arm's length to better please our USraeli mates?

[*See my 30/5/13 post Israel Gets What Israel Wants.]

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Conflating the Unconflatable 2

The following piece by Irris Makler, prompted by the Lindt Cafe outrage, blithely conflates Monday's violence in Sydney with that in Jerusalem. (Makler is described at haddasahaustralia.org as an "Australia-born Israeli journalist and author"):

"I love leaving Jerusalem, where I'm based as a foreign correspondent, and coming home to Sydney for the summer... On Monday 15th December, I felt I was finally on holiday. It was bright, warm and sunny... I was trying to decide between the beach and the gym when I heard the news. A hostage-taking in Martin Place. A chocolate shop. A black flag with Arabic writing held up by hostages... This simply doesn't happen in Sydney, and certainly not in the lead-up to Christmas... I felt a flash of anger that this easy, lovely time was being polluted by something familiar to me from the Middle East - political violence... [T]here's been a significant upsurge in violence in Jerusalem over the past few months. The increase in tension started with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in May this year. It was followed by the 50 day Gaza war, and then a campaign by Jewish extremist groups to be allowed to pray in [sic] the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. During October and November, Palestinian attacks were occurring in Jerusalem, one following another... Over the past 6 months, Israeli authorities saw that an angry man could grab a kitchen knife, and run out and attack civilians. He could grab a meat cleaver, and kill people at prayer. He could throw acid over someone... He could use his family car... to run people over... You would need a huge amount of pent-up fury to carry out any of these attacks..." (Returning home to a place I left behind, au.news.yahoo.com, 15/12/14)

That the Israeli occupation and colonisation of Arab East Jerusalem are directly responsible for that "pent-up fury" is nowhere mentioned.

Here is Makler's one feeble attempt to differentiate between the two cases:

"In Australia, there is no festering political wound, like there is between Israelis and Palestinians, which fuels violence on both sides."

But Makler's an amateur in the business of conflating the unconflatable. Here's her PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, offering his condolences to "Dear Tony":

"Israel and Australia face the same scourge of ruthless Islamist terrorism which knows no geographic bounds and targets innocent civilians indiscriminately." (jwire.com.au, 16/12/14)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oh My Allah!

One thing to emerge from the reporting of Sydney's Lindt Cafe murders is the remarkable degree of agreement on the part of both branches of the Australian mainstream press that there is no such thing as The Deity.

There are only deities.

Here's Fairfax:

"Even as hostages held their captor's flag to the window - 'There is no god but Allah,' it said - a sense of unreality enveloped a city whose citizens persisted with shopping according to a tradition linked to the Christian God." ('Is it for real?' Shoppers faced frightening truth, Rick Feneley, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/12/14)

Got that? There's "Allah"... and there's "the Christian God."

Chalk and cheese.

Ditto for Murdoch:

"The solid black background represents one of the banners used by the Prophet Muhammed during battles and the text is the Shahada - the testament of the Islamic faith: 'There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of God'." (Generic flag raises questions, Mark Schliebs, The Australian, 16/12/14)

Allah's strictly for Muslims, OK?

By the same logic, the French don't worship God. They worship Dieu.

The Spanish worship Dios.

The Italians, Dio.

The Germans, Gott.

The Russians...

Got the idea?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Conflating the Unconflatable 1

In 2012, whilst rambamming in Israel, twitter-happy NSW MLC and Zionist dupe Peter Phelps let fly with this:

"Just peered into Gaza - now I know how Frodo felt when he gazed first upon Mordor." (See my 20/8/12 post Frodos Gaze Upon Mordor.)

He's now excelled himself with this:

"You'd think that they'd be going after Max Brenner instead of Lindt... "

I'm wondering, could Phelp's be merely the first in a barrage of mephitic emissions conflating the unconflatable?

Let's wait and see just who among the usual suspects can't resist the urge, shall we?

Watch this space...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amnesty International Misrepresents Palestine-Israel

Whenever you Google Palestine-related words these days you're bound to come across the following ad, placed at the time of Israel's last (July-August) orgy of destruction in Gaza:

Gaza: What's Happening? amnesty.org.au,
Let Amnesty Explain The Situation in Gaza & Find Out How to Help

It may also look like this:

Gaza: 2 Minute Summary amnesty.org.au
Why Do Israel & Palestine Fight? Let Amnesty Help You Understand

Curious, I clicked. What a bummer!

Here is what you get, courtesy of Amnesty's 'crisis campaigner', Michael Hayworth:

"Israel-Palestine - it's complicated, right? Like you wouldn't believe. In fact, we can't help to cover every detail and the history here so we'll try to make it quick. Although the conflict has origins going back to the early 1900s, when the region was part of the Ottoman Empire, we're going to look at what happened during the mid-20th century."

Wrong, Palestine-Israel is really quite simple. It's an unresolved settler-colonial issue, as in colonisers vs colonised. Hayworth wimps out on this most fundamental point. All he had to do was say that 'Imperial Britain took Palestine from the Turks during World War 1 and gave it to a European settler-colonial movement known as Zionism, without consulting its people, 90% of whom were indigenous Arabs, both Muslim and Christian.'

"In 1948, back when Palestine was a British territory, the United Nations (UN) declared it would be divided into two independent countries: Israel and Palestine."

It wasn't 1948. It was 1947. Nor did the UN declare anything. It merely recommended that Palestine be partitioned, without consulting its inhabitants, two-thirds of whom were Arab Muslims and Christians, the rest recently arrived European Jewish immigrants.

"To cut a very long and complicated story short, the Arab leaders of Palestine rejected the divide and attempted to maintain a unified, independent Palestine. This led to fighting, the upshot of which was that Israel ended up controlling more land than the UN had originally granted to it and over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were displaced."

Over 700,000 Palestinians were displaced? Note how Hayworth uses the passive voice to avoid what actually happened - the ethnic cleansing of the native population. He should have written something like this: 'The partition of their ancestral homeland was opposed by the Palestinian Arab majority as a violation of their right to self-determination. Zionist forces then launched a military offensive, expelling some 750,000 Palestinians from 78% of Palestine. Israel has to this day refused their right of return. The only parts of Palestine to remain in Arab hands were the West Bank (under Jordanian control) and the Gaza Strip (under Egyptian control).'

"In 1967, growing tensions between Israel and Palestine ended in 6 days of hostilities from 5 to 11 June [sic: 10 June]. During that time, Israel seized Gaza and pushed Jordanian forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to the UN, another 500,000 Palestinians were displaced."

This should read 'growing tensions between Israel and the Arab states'. There was, and still is, no Palestinian state. Nor does Hayworth mention that the 1967 war began with an Israeli attack on Egypt. Yet again, he employs the passive voice to mask the fact of further Israeli ethnic cleansing from the territories occupied by Israel.

"Although Israel withdrew its occupying troops from Gaza in 2005, it maintains a full blockade of the territory. The West Bank still remains under Israeli occupation."

Not a word about Israel's rampant colonisation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem! Not a word about its illegal West Bank wall!

"In the years since occupation began, Israel and the Palestinian territories have been stuck in an unending cycle of violence and retribution. Whilst there are individuals and groups on both sides who are guilty of perpetuating the conflict, and Israelis live under the threat of missiles and rockets from Hamas, Palestinian civilians still bear the brunt of the conflict."

Anyone reading this rubbish would get no sense whatever that what we have today in Palestine/Israel is typical of settler-colonial scenarios throughout history: a ferocious occupying power seeking to hold on to its ill-gotten gains in the face of acts of resistance, some armed, most nonviolent, by a besieged and brutalised indigenous population.

Hayworth then goes on to sketch the Israeli massacres of July/August this year, saying "[p]otential war crimes are being committed by both sides." This is followed by the gloss that, while Israel's actions have only "the potential to be a war crime," Hamas has "clearly violated international law."

He goes on, under the heading What will stop the violence? to say that "Israel must lift its crippling blockade of Gaza which violates international law and Israel's obligations as the occupying power. It is a key element of the context of the current hostilities."

Note, it is not the key element, merely a key element.

Oh, and there's a photo of grieving Palestinian civilians balanced by one of grieving Israeli troops.

Say no more.

It's sanitised, so-called balanced misrepresentations like this that help perpetuate the interminable suffering of the Palestinian people. What a bloody shame!

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Side of Israel the World Too Rarely Acknowledges

Now here's a surprise. Not:

"Reports by UN observers in the Golan Heights over the past 18 months reveal the type and extent of cooperation between Israel and Syrian opposition figures... [I]n March 2013... Israel started admitting injured Syrians for medical treatment in Safed and Nahariya hospitals. The Syrian ambassador to the UN complained of widespread cooperation between Israel and Syrian rebels, not only treatment of the wounded but also other aid. Israel at first asserted the injured were civilians reaching the border of their own initiative and without prior coordination because they could not obtain suitable treatment in Syria. Later, as the numbers increased, Israel said it was coordinating with civilians but not opposition groups. However, the reports reveal direct contact between the IDF and armed opposition members... Observers remarked in the report distributed on June 10 [2013] that they identified IDF soldiers on the Israeli side handing over two boxes to armed Syrian opposition members on the Syrian side." (UN reveals Israeli links with Syrian rebels, Barak Ravid, Haaretz, 7/12/14)

Now I've already raised the question (in my 3/9/13 post Our Man in Tel Aviv 2) of why Australia's ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, was peddling Israeli propaganda in Murdoch's Australian last year. Just to remind you:

"About 72 Syrian patients have been admitted to Ziv Medical Centre [in Safed] since February [2013]... They have harrowing stories and horrific injuries. Suffering from shrapnel and bullet wounds, burns and crush injuries, they have somehow managed to limp to the border with Israel, from where they are then transferred to Ziv Medical Centre... On the day I visited, I saw how doctors had managed to save the leg of an 8-year-old girl from amputation by use of some of the most advanced surgical techniques and injury treatment protocols... Ziv hospital is a profound example of humanity and decency at its most compelling. It is Israel at its very best, and a side of Israel that the world too rarely acknowledges." (Origin no bar to Israeli lifesavers, Dave Sharma, 31/8/13 - See my 3/9/13 post Our Man in Tel Aviv 2 for the Full Monty.)

That question, still unanswered, takes on a whole new urgency, it seems to me, in light of the Israeli support for anti-Asad (pro-?) forces reported by UN observers (not to mention our latest intervention in Iraq extending at some stage to include Syria). Surely, the Australian public is entitled to know whether these UN observer reports were available to DFAT, and hence to Sharma and his staff last year?

If so, then the question arises of Australia's knowing participation in an Israeli cover-up:

Haaretz: "Israel at first asserted the injured were civilians reaching the border of their own initiative and without prior coordination..."

Sharma: "... they have somehow managed to limp to the border with Israel... "

If not (ie, assuming that they have only just become available, didn't anyone - DFAT, Sharma, Sharma's staff - smell a rat? I mean, can they really be that clueless?

Oh yes, and why hasn't the above UN/Haaretz revelation been reported in the Australian mainstream media? After all, to borrow Sharma's words: "It is... a side of Israel that the world too rarely acknowledges."

How true!