Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Syrian Skyscape 2

You wouldn't read about it (in the Australian ms media, that is):

"According to reports out of the Syrian media, Israeli warplanes launched four airstrikes against a Hezbollah base in western Syria, along the Lebanon border, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens of others. The report identified the slain as 8 Hezbollah fighters and 5 Syrian soldiers. No reason was given for the attack and, as with several previous Israeli attacks on Syria, there has been no formal statement from the Israeli military confirming the incident, let alone explaining it." (Report: Israeli airstrikes kill 13 along Syria-Lebanon border, Jason Ditz,, 24/11/15)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Syrian Skyscape 1

Heard this morning on ABC Radio National's Breakfast program:

"... in the airspace above Syria you've got the US-led coalition, including Australia, bombing targets. You've got the Russians, and occasionally, the Israelis..." (Matt Brown reporting from the Syrian border, AM,, 25/11/15)


Greg Sheridan Stuffs Up Again

Understandably, when it comes to mass murder and mayhem, we're all a bit jaded these days, but I'd ask you to cast your mind back to the August 17 outrage in Bangkok.

Here, for example, is The Australian's headline for August 19:

* 20 killed, 125 wounded *Police seek man in yellow t-shirt * northeastern [sic] insurgents accused 

On the same page, barely before the blood had dried and the dust settled, Greg Sheridan, the rag's foreign editor, was busy speculating about who the perpetrators were, with most of his guessing game focusing on Thai Muslim separatists from the southern state of Pattani.

But, and here's the thing, Sheridan's not the one to merely canvass the possibilities. He's got an ideological axe to grind - a bloody great Zionist one. It was given to him as a child by his Auntie Poppy, who, according to Sheridan, "always told me I must never forget that the Jews were God's chosen people." (See my 3/8/15 post, Greg Sheridan: the Making of a Gentile Zionist.)

The problem with Sheridan is that he's never recovered from that kind of indoctrination.

Which explains the insertion in his piece of the following, beyond gratuitous, bullshit:

"Southeast Asian and Western intelligence agencies have long been waiting for the separatists to bring their struggle to Bangkok. At the same time, intelligence agencies know that other terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah, have established an infrastructure in Bangkok." (Blaming rivals too neat and easy)

Now, here's the latest on the incident:

"A military court in Bangkok has indicted two men accused of carrying out the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine that left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured. The two, identified as Bilal Mohammad and Mieraili Yusufu, were indicted on Tuesday on 10 charges connected to the August 17 blast at the Erawan shrine. Thai officials have said the blast was revenge by a people-smuggling network against Thai authorities for breaking up their operation." (Bangkok bombing: court indicts Bilal Mohammad and Mieraili Yusufu, Associated Press, 24/11/15)

Not that that will detain "the most influential foreign affairs analyst in Australian journalism" - which is how Sheridan is amusingly described on The Australian's website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sharri Markson Meets Socrates

Beside herself with rage, little Sharri-pops tweeted:

"Outrageously, in two interviews in Ramallah, Palestinian officials justified the terror attacks against Israelis," (20/11/15)

... before referring her adoring readers to her 'report' on these blackguards:

"Palestinian government officials have justified violence in Israel, arguing the attacks are committed in the 'national' cause because Palestinians 'have lost hope.' The officials told The Weekend Australian the Palestinian community celebrated as martyrs those who committed attacks on Israelis. In interviews from the Palestinian city of Ramallah... Palestine Liberation Organisation spokesman Xavier Abu Eid said recent stabbing attacks were a reaction from the Palestinian people who had lost hope because of their living conditions.'Our people have been living under denied rights for decades so when someone goes out as a consequence of having lost hope, you don't have to read the Koran to do it,' he said. 'You cannot just kill hopes in the minds of people and expect these people not to react. Those people have been denied their basic rights and then you tell me they go to stab someone because of religion?" (Palestinian violence is 'in the national cause', The Australian, 21/11/15)

Fair enough, Xavier, but I would've adopted a more Socratic approach with the wee lassie:

Sharri-pops: Face it, Palestinian terror apologist, all these terrible knifings come down to religion, right?

XAE: No, they're about occupation. Tell me, how's your Jewish history?

Sharri-pops (taken aback): Jewish history? First rate, of course!

XAE: Good. Cast you mind back to the Roman occupation of Judea then.

Sharri-pops: Dreadful, just dreadful!

XAE: Right, as occupations tend to be. Now, did the Jews resist the Roman occupation?

Sharri-pops: Absolutely!

XAE: How?

Sharri-pops (the penny beginning to drop): Err... they ran around killing their occupiers with... with...

XAE: Say it!

Sharri-pops (barely audible): Knives

XAE: What's that? I can't hear you.

Sharri-pops: KNIVES, OK!

XAE: Correct. Knives. And what were they called?

Sharri-pops (in a barely audible voice): Sicarii...

XAE: And what does that mean in English?

Sharri-pops: Er... dagger-men...

XAE: I rest my case. Any more silly questions?

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Day Sharri Markson Went Feral

This is really too delicious... Journalist Sharri Markson detained on Israeli visit, Matthew Knott, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/11/15. (Annotations - mine, all mine):

"A prominent Australian journalist..."

"If little Sharri-pops is a 'journalist' then I'm a Kardashian," tweeted Mike Carlton in response to the above revelation. (23/11/15)

"... was detained by Israeli security officials in tense scenes last week during a visit to a hospital treating victims of the Syrian civil war."

Oh yes, that hospital. Ziv. Strange place, Ziv.

Must be the only 'hospital' in the Western world that patches up 'Syrian' jihadis and doubles as as a pilgrimage centre for rambamming foreign politicians and journalists experiencing the joy of Israeli apartheid.

"Sharri Markson, a senior writer at The Australian..."

Sharri-pops has had an interesting career trajectory: Cleo>Media Editor of The Australian>Senior writer - whatever that is - at The Australian. She first came to my attention for her coverage of/revelry in Mike Carlton's harassment by Fairfax management for speaking out against the Israeli cauldronisation of Gaza last year.  

"... was detained for questioning by security officials at the Ziv Medical Centre in northern Israel on Thursday. Markson was travelling with other Australian journalists on a week-long study tour organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council."

Study tour? Pull the other! Remember my definition of the verb Rambam?: "To be sponsored by smooth-talking Israel lobbyists in Australia for a grooming session conducted by tough-talking PR people in Israel, with a view to the sponsored adopting the missionary position for Israel, when required, in Australia. Usually used in relation to Australian politicians, media hacks and other useful fools." (For those interested in just how widespread this practice is, see my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too.) 

"Sources said..."

Knott can only mean fellow rambammer Bevan Shields, Fairfax Media federal politics editor.

"... Markson became 'aggravated' during the 'tense' incident in which security officials demanded she hand over her passport, mobile phone and notes. 'It was very intense and dramatic, a source said. 'There was a major commotion and suddenly there was security everywhere.'"

"Don't you know who I am?! cried little Sharri, stamping a Jimmy Choo in rage. 'You just wait till Chris Mitchell hears about this." (Mike Carlton tweet, 23/11/15)

How I envy that proverbial fly on the wall!

"Over 500 Syrians - including wounded fighters battling the Assad regime - have been treated at the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed, near the Syrian border."

And thereby hangs a (sorry) tale. For the full story on the identity of those wounded fighters battling the Assad regime, see my 3/7/15 post Those Rebels, That Hospital, Our Ambassador & His Wife.

"In a briefing before the tour began, hospital staff told the journalists that the patients could be at risk upon their return to Syria if it became known they had sought treatment in Israel."

Funny how these guys just waltz across the border into Israel, are immediately picked up by waiting ambulances, whisked off to free medical care, patched up, and sent back to fight Asad. Anyone else trying to penetrate Israel's border would be shredded on the spot. Did it ever occur to Sharri-pops or any of her other rambammers to wonder thus. Rhetorical question, of course.

"The hospital uses elaborate methods to secretly transfer the patients in and out of Syria."

Check them out in my 12/12/14 post, A Side of Israel the World Too Rarely Acknowledges.

"The 8 journalists were instructed not to record the names of the patients or to take photos that could identify them."

8! Hands up all those Australian journalists who've been rambammed? My God there are a lot of you!

Now we know about Sharri-pop's mob - see below - but who were the other 4? According to Guardian Australia's: Amanda Meade, they were: David Lipson, Sky News political reporter; and Aaron Patrick, print editor of the Australian Financial Review. (Sharri Markson: journalist at The Australian in run-in with Israeli security, 22/11/15)

That accounts for 6, so who were the other 2?  

"Fairfax media understands that during the visit, Markson broke away from the other journalists to speak to the patients without supervision and exchanged contact details with them. This led to her being detained by security forces."

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies supremo, Vic Alhadeff, whose job it was to keep an eye on his charges, attempted to crash tackle Ms. Markson, but proved no match for Markson's Jimmy Choos as he sprawled on the hospital floor to the cheers of the convalescing jihadis. Before the hapless Alhadeff could get to his feet and splutter, 'For G-d's sake, Sharri, he's only after a sex slave,' Ms Markson had swapped email addresses with the hottest jihadi in the ward... and the rest is history.

"Fairfax media understands the incident was resolved following intervention by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff. Mr Alhadeff, who has returned to Australia, said: 'In that regard, we are very mindful of not disclosing their identity. There was an unfortunate misunderstanding but the situation was quickly resolved'."

Too right you are!

"Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein, who was not on the trip, confirmed a 'kerfuffle' had occurred at the hospital. He said the council representative on the trip told him Markson 'took down the email address of a Syrian patient, security officials got wind of it and asked her about it on the way out. Most times it's very clear to all the participants what the guidelines are."

Although hardly any of them, it seems, are clear about The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance's guidelines/ Code of Ethics: "4. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence."

"It's never been an issue before. The condition of visiting the hospital is to respect and maintain the confidentiality of the patients' identities. If anyone's identity was disclosed it would put them at great risk - it's a brutal part of the world."

As any occupied Palestinian will tell you...

"Other reporters on the trip included Daily Telegraph deputy editor Ben English, Fairfax Media federal politics editor Bevan Shields and Channel 7 reporter Alex Hart."

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Never Happy

There's just no pleasing some people. Like Greg Sheridan.

One minute he's, like, If only Muslims were more like, well, Christians:

"Islamists have been successful beyond their wildest dreams. Like the communists before them, but more successfully than the communists,* they have established a constituency for their basic paradigm amid a substantial number of people in Western societies and the Middle East. More than that, they share in common with many non-violent Muslims a great deal of a common narrative that focuses on resentment and paranoia." (The future of Western civilization is under threat, but not just from extremists, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 21/11/15)

The next he's, like, If only (so-called) Christians were more like, well, Muslims:

"The West is undergoing a genuine civilisational crisis of belief and of governance. This is the first generation in Western history that, substantially, is not sustained by transcendent beliefs. The death of God is also in the West the death of purpose, and, for many, the death of meaning." (ibid)

[*Damn right, Greg! I mean, what a trifling affair the Soviet Union (1917/1922-1991) was compared with Islamic State's Iraqi-Syrian caliphate (2014-?).]

Friday, November 20, 2015

Letter of the Day

"So some people don't like Optus's posters in Arabic ('Optus pulls Arabic ads after alleged threat', November 18). I have a message for them: 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9. Those are Arabic numerals. They were brought back from the Middle East by the crusaders and quickly replaced old, unwieldy Roman numerals. So if you wish to object to signs and other messages printed in Arabic, I'm sorry. You're about a thousand years too late." Phillip Cohen Lake Munmorah (Sydney Morning Herald, 19/11/12)