Thursday, October 19, 2017

Like Pulling Teeth

"The Michael Danby disclosure story continues, one comically late update after another.

"Yesterday, Labor's member for Melbourne Ports fleshed out the details of his trip to Israel last year while on sick leave from federal parliament, finally revealing part of his trip had been funded by the Jerusalem-based Gerald M. Steinberg-founded NGO Monitor, which analyses and reports on the output of the international NGO community from a pro-Israel perspective.

"But still nothing on the convalesced Danby's mysterious corporate vehicle, Roosevelt Nominees, formerly known as Daroda Investments, which was created 20 years ago, before Danby entered parliament in 1998. Almost two decades on and it's yet to rate a mention on the register of members' interests. We were told last night that 'fast fingers' Danby was on the case, but the material was still to be processed by the registry office.

"And the paperwork shouldn't end there. Eventually there should be an update on Danby's Melbourne barrister wife Amanda Mendes da Costa's new job as a full-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, announced last month by Attorney-General George Brandis. The AAT reviews government decisions, with Mendes da Costa to be paid in the order of $305,000 a year for the job... As for the house that Mendes da Costa has in North Fitzroy, Danby tells us her mum lives in it rent-free. Still, there's a mortgage on it to Ian Narev's CBA that Danby perhaps may want to note. All in his own time.

"And what about the Qantas Chairman's Club membership and complementary Foxtel service that Danby has received but not disclosed? 'The electoral office has a Foxtel connection,' Danby told us. 'Like all MPs, I am automatically a member of the Qantas Club and it was not a sought membership.' That's an interesting interpretation of Privileges and Members' Interests committee chairman Ross Vasta's disclosure guidelines. Wonder what he makes of it?" (Danby's trip disclosure near dandy, Will Glasgow & Christine Lacy, The Australian, 19/10/17)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Danby Declines

"... Mr Danby has declined to say who helped fund his travels in September last year in a handwritten update to his parliamentary register of interests that was submitted hastily on Monday after The Australian asked questions about the trip. Nor has the Labor MP listed the dates for his sponsored travel and hospitality in the sparsely worded update that says: 'Economy fare Geneva-Ben Gurion 2 nights accomm'... Bill Shorten has refused to comment about Mr Danby claiming to be too ill to attend parliament and then leaving the country for speaking engagements... " (Danby fails to name donors, Brad Norington, The Australian, 18/10/17)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Zionising Palestinian & Australian History

Here we go again: more Zionisation of Palestinian and Australian history:

"Anticipating a visit to Israel by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for centenary commemorations of the charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba on October 31, the Times of Israel has reproduced a re-enactment photograph showing horsemen bearing the Australian and Israeli flags side-by-side. Quite apart from anything else the image is historically inaccurate since no such Israeli flag existed in 1917, nor the State of Israel itself. That would come 31 years later. (Australia's complicated contribution to the State of Israel, Tony Walker, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/10/17)

"Why such an ahistorical embellishment of a sacred event in Australian history should be necessary is a matter for the organisers, but it is difficult to escape a conclusion politics is involved... "

"Sacred"? When (not to mention why) did this event become "sacred."? If it ever did.

And no, it's not at all "difficult" to escape the conclusion that this event has been Zionised. (The word 'politicisation' doesn't even begin to call a spade a spade in this case.)

"It remains a stretch... to suggest that Beersheba was a midwife to Israel's birth."

Merely a "stretch"? Try 'utter bullshit'.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Not So Fine & Danby

"Danby is not a single-issue politician but is a strong supporter of Israel... " (Greg Sheridan, Its response to Danby lays bare ABC's hubris, The Australian, 14/10/17)

Apparently, last September, senior Labor MPs were looking everywhere for the shadow minister for Tel Aviv, scratching their pates and wondering, one to the other, where on earth he could possibly be, only to find he was on a Tel Aviv-related mission. Who'd have thought, they were heard to exclaim on this surprise finding:

"Federal Labor MP Michael Danby took a trip to Israel and pursued some of his favourite causes after allegedly telling his party back home that he was too ill to attend a sitting week of parliament. Mr Danby... made the trip in September last year during a two-week absence. He had supplied a medical certificate that stated he was unfit for parliamentary duties. The second week of Mr Danby's absence coincided with a sitting week of parliament. During that time he was in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, to attend a counter-terrorism conference...

"Senior Labor sources have confirmed Mr Danby's journey... was not sanctioned by the party leadership, and not known in advance. His leave was not related to representing Australia...

"A few days after attending the summit event... Mr Danby spoke at a media conference at the Jerusalem Press Club. The Jerusalem Post reported at the time that he had been invited by the pro-Israel group, NGO Monitor, to Jerusalem to address 'the recent World Vision scandal' which allegedly involved millions of dollars in aid money for Gaza that had been siphoned off to militant Palestinian group Hamas. 'If Australian money was spent on building (Hamas terror) tunnels, that is beyond the pale,' Mr Danby was reported as saying.

"Although some Labor MPs believed Mr Danby was at home in Melbourne and unwell at the time of his international trip, others thought he was on compassionate leave, spending time with his former wife, who had been seriously ill. When concerned senior colleagues called Mr Danby's mobile phone from Canberra during the parliamentary week to ask after his health, they were puzzled to hear 'international pips', they said... After further calls, they learned Mr Danby was in Israel and intended to speak out about World Vision at the Jerusalem Press Club. They attempted to persuade him not to hold the media conference, but failed.

"Senior Labor MPs have wondered how his activities could be described as parliamentary business when the House of Representatives was in session and he would normally be required to attend, if able. Questions have also been raised about whether Mr Danby's stand against World Vision, while consistent with the Israeli government's position, was in line with ALP policy. World Vision officials deny aid funds were wrongly diverted to Hamas. The manager of aid operations for Gaza has been in Israeli custody for 15 months pending a possible prosecution, with World Vision trying to secure his release.

"The Australian asked Mr Danby to comment on how he came to be abroad when he was assumed to be on sick leave during a parliamentary week. Mr Danby was also asked if any of his leave and accommodation costs in September last year were paid by sponsors, and if so, who paid. He was asked for comment on why a number of senior Labor colleagues were not aware of his overseas travel when parliament was sitting - until finding out during his absence. In response, Mr Danby told The Australian last night: 'I received medical advice to take a complete break and get away. I took that advice. Unauthorised release of private medical information is ethically wrong. None of us want our private health details released, especially when they're used to distort circumstances. No taxpayer dollars were involved in the trip.'

"Mr Danby's globetrotting in September last year was spread over three weeks, starting in Israel and including Geneva, where he spoke at a UN-linked NGO Monitor event on September 26... " (Shorten's 'sick' ally took trip to Israel, Brad Norington, The Australian, 16/10/17)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

He's Just Fine & Danby

Breaking: Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan has just come out swinging at the Little Red Book-carrying, green left ABC, in defence of his old mate, Michael Danby, Labor's shadow minister for Israel:

"Melbourne Ports is one of the two federal seats with the highest proportion of Jewish voters. Danby is not a single-issue politician but a strong supporter of Israel who believes the ABC does not report the nation fairly. Frankly no one could seriously contest that proposition." (Its response to Danby lays bare ABC's hubris, The Australian, 14/10/17)

But, Greg, think of it this way: Danby's strolling along the riverbank, right? And he sees Netanyahu and the Dalai Lama struggling in the water, right? We all know who he's going to rescue, right? Frankly, you couldn't seriously contest that proposition, right?

"A former chairman of the parliamentary joint standing committee on foreign affairs, he is an old-style social democratic internationalist with a passionate concern for human rights, free trade unions and the like."

C'mon, Greg, can the crap. He's an uber Zionist with a knee-jerk response to any criticism of Israel, however slight, and zero concern for Palestinian rights. Just like you, actually.

"The ABC is consistently biased against Israel in a similar way to the BBC and for similar reasons. The overwhelming majority of ABC reporters and general broadcast commentators share a fairly narrow spectrum of world view, ranging from the middle left of Labor to the green left."

OFFS, Greg, what planet are you on? I've been blogging away at this subject now for ten long years and, in all that time, I cannot recall a time when Israel's ever taken a hit from the ABC. Just the opposite, in fact!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Melbourne Ports to Monash?

Kate Ashmor, lawyer and chair of the Committee for Monash, argues, in an Australian opinion piece, as follows:

"When a list of the greatest Australians is compiled, names such as Bradman, Freeman, Laver, Buttrose, Mabo and Menzies frequently appear. But one name surpasses them all. It is a name synonymous with inspiring leadership, patriotism and excellence, a name that deserves a permanent place in our commonwealth's democratic institutions. That name is General Sir John Monash [...] After World War I broke out, Monash led the nation in battle, landing at Gallipoli on April 26, 1915. It was his deliberate decision-making that crafted the Anzac identity; he personally led annual commemorations of Anzac Day until his death. [...] His contribution cannot be over-estimated: Monash all but won the war for the Allies, despite the best efforts of prominent public figures at the time to deny him recognition at the highest levels, arguably because of anti-Semitism and his lack of professional military service." (Let's salute Monash, our great leader & patriot, 12/10/17)

Apparently, the Committee for Monash, described in her piece as "an informal grouping," wants this claimed lack of recognition remedied by having the electorate of Melbourne Ports (currently held by Labor's Michael Danby) renamed Monash. Well and good, Ashmor may indeed have a valid case to make here. But questions remain:

Who else makes up the Committee for Monash? Why doesn't Ashmor disclose her chairwomanship of the Liberal Party's Melbourne Ports Electorate Conference? And, most pertinently, why doesn't she tell her readers that Monash was head of the Zionist Federation of Australia and New Zealand from 1927 until his death in 1931?

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Weinstein Saga Takes a Turn for the Worse

With sordid revelation after sordid revelation, could the Harvey (Gimme a massage NOW!) Weinstein saga get any worse?

Of course!

Read on:

"Oscar-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein expressed his deep love and appreciation for the Jewish state on Monday, saying, 'I am an Israeli in my heart and mind.' Speaking on the red carpet at The Algemeiner's fourth annual gala in New York City, Weinstein emphasized, 'I love that country, I love what it stands for, I am proud to be Jewish.'... He also spoke of his upcoming movie 'Mila 18,' an adaption of Leon Uris' acclaimed novel on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 'When people see 'Mila 18,' they can subtitle it 'Jews with guns,' because this is not about going into the night quietly,' Weinstein said. 'This is the birth of the modern Israelis, these were the guys in the ghetto who said we are not going to walk into concentration camps and get herded like cattle. They said, we're going to kill some Germans instead.'" (Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein at Algemeiner gala: 'I am Israeli in my heart and mind', algemeiner.com, 20/9/17)