Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tweet of the Week

From George Galloway (25/9/16):

Hats off to Ken Stott!!

"We got off to a flying start this afternoon when actor Ken Stott, performing at The Theatre Royal, made a point of 'engaging' with us, only to aggressively screw up our leaflet, criticise Israel's treatment of Palestinians and eloquently tell us to 'Take your f*****g leaflet and stick it up your f*****g arse.' - Sussex Friends of Israel"

Why these pests were buzzing around The Theatre Royal at the time is unclear.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Rogue Elephant in the Room

M'Lord Turnbull struts his stuff and nonsense on the world stage:

"In his first address to [the UNGA]... Mr Turnbull has dispensed with the usual conservative coolness towards the UN's perceived ineffectiveness... to laud its performance in solving complex international problems... With the exception of Syria in particular, he will assert that the UN has performed remarkably well." (UN's crucial role in world peace lauded by Turnbull, Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/9/16)

With the exception of Syria? That's it?

What a joke this puppet of the Israel lobby is.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Magic Happens

Remember how the proposed UC Berkeley course on Zionist settler-colonialism was dropped after Zionists pressured the university administration?* Well, the students who'd enrolled pushed back, and... magic happened:

"After an abrupt suspension last Tuesday, a college course about the decolonization of Palestine has earned a reprieve from the University of California on Monday. After reviewing the course material, the Berkely campus officials decided the class promoted open discussion and didn't push a political agenda." (UC Berkeley reinstates Palestine class, rejecting pressure from pro-Israel group, Wilson Dizard, mondoweiss.net, 20/9/16)

Free speech 1, Zionist bullying 0

[*See my 16/9/16 post Let's Have a Course on Startup Nation Instead.]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Charming Visitor from Israel

This bloke was born in the Ukraine, migrated to "the only democracy in the Middle East," became a minister in the Netanyahu government, squats in a West Bank settlement, wants Israel to annex the West Bank, and is now in Australia to tell us we're being "ridiculous" and "anti-Semitic":

"A senior Israeli government minister has criticised as 'concerning' a new Labor publication produced for politicians who visit the only democracy in the Middle East. Ze'ev Elkin, who met Julie Bishop last week, told The Australian it was ridiculous to enforce requirements on how much time MPs spend in Israel and the Palestinian Territories and said anti-Israeli sentiment was the new politically correct form of anti-Semitism... Mr Elkin, who is in Australia to discuss environmental co-operation with the NSW and federal governments, said he was worried by anti-Semitism which, in his experience, was usually preceded by anti-Israel sentiment." (Labor guidelines a 'concern' for Israeli minister, Sharri Markson, The Australian, 20/9/16)

Oh, and:

"Mr Elkin... revealed he had little hope for a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority in the near future..."

Not, of course, that this has anything to do with his living in an Israeli settlement and wanting Israel to stop mucking around and annex the West Bank. Funny how Ms Markson left out that wee detail.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blame It On the Whizzbangs

"[Defence Minister] Senator Payne echoed a Defence statement... in saying the coalition had been 'tracking' what they believed was an Islamic State fighting position 'for some time'. This could suggest there was an intelligence failure from the fusion of information from drones, satellites, signal intelligence from sources such as mobile phones and informants on the ground." (RAAF to press on with IS strikes despite fatal error, David Wroe, Heath Aston & Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald, 20/9/16)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Conroy Conundrum

Don the sackcloth and ashes now!

Stephen Conroy, 53, has up and resigned... and, thanks to 20 years 'service' in the Senate, this great man will be getting a cool annual pension of $200,000. Nice.

I know... WTF?! right?

But wait, it gets worse:

In his Diary of a Foreign Minister, Bob Carr described Conroy as "the firebrand of the Victorian Right with an umbilical attachment to the cause of Israel." (p 233)

I know... OMFG!! right?

But what I want to know is why, O why, anyone in their right mind, in the 21st century, other than maybe a certifiably mad Christian Zio, would have such a thing as "an umbilical attachment to Israel"?

I mean, if Conroy wore a pith helmet everywhere, or a monocle, or a Davy Crockett hat, wouldn't you want to know why?

Is it Christian Zionism? Is it parental blah? Priestly blah? Is it Leon Uris? Morris West? Is it patronage? Is it some unholy combination of these? What is it?

Seriously, I'd really, really love to know what IT is.

Monday, September 19, 2016

WTF are We Doing in Syria?

Just in:

"Australia has said its warplanes took part in US-led airstrikes in eastern Syria that mistakenly killed Syrian army troops in an incident threatening to wreck an already tenuous ceasefire before it is a week old... An Australian defence department statement said its jets had targeted what had been thought to be Islamic State (Isis) fighters... The US [and Australia] has offered condolences and insisted that the airstrikes were a mistake. It said it had targeted Tharda mountain where a Syrian government offensive was seeking to capture Isis positions overlooking the Deir ez-Zour military airport." (Australian warplanes took part in airstrikes that killed Syrian troops, Julian Borger, The Guardian, 19/9/16)

However:

"Thardah mountain is made up of 6... hills, all under SAA control with no prior presence of Isis on them./ [It] has always been under SAA control, bar a small breach a few months ago, which was quickly reversed./ So again CENTCOM's statement in which it says coalition has bombed these positions in the past is puzzling." (Tweets by former Sunday Times journalist Hala Jaber, 18/9/16) 

Incidentally, Israel has been the only country up to now killing Syrian troops on Syrian soil.

PS: "In the defense of the Deir Ezzor Airport, the Syrian military has long depended on an army base in Jebel Tharda to repel ISIS advances. That base has been lost this weekend, after a disastrous series of US-led airstrikes killed a large number of Syrian troops defending the base, and ISIS quickly overran what was left." (ISIS overruns Syrian army base after US bombings, Jason Ditz, antiwar.com, 18/9/16)