Monday, August 3, 2015

Greg Sheridan: The Making of a Gentile Zionist

I've always been interested in what goes into the making of a Zionist, whether gentile or Jewish. As with any other ideology, whether political or religious, childhood influences seem to be crucial.

Take, for example, the case of Greg Sheridan, Australia's most influential foreign affairs commentator, or so Murdoch's Australian, of which he is the foreign editor, touts him. Did Aunt Poppy hard-wire him in his early childhood?:

"The biggest influence on Dad's life was his Auntie Poppy... My mother firmly believed that Auntie Poppy was Dad's real mother. She told me many times after his death that Dad had believed that too... It is impossible to establish whether this is true or not. Auntie Poppy never married. The only man she had ever been known to keep company with, before Dad was born, was Jewish, so perhaps I have Jewish ancestry on my father's side. In those far off days, how would a Catholic-Jewish union have worked? Auntie Poppy's family could cope with an irregular child... but they could never have accepted Auntie Poppy leaving the Church, or bringing up a child other than as a Catholic. And what of the man's family? My family was always pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Dad often told me that if Christ was the saviour, the Catholic religion was true, and if he wasn't the saviour, then the Jewish religion was true... Auntie Poppy always told me I must never forget that the Jews were God's chosen people... Dad and Auntie Poppy were always pro-Jewish and pro-Israel." (When We Were Young & Foolish: A Memoir of My Misguided Youth with Tony Abbott, Bob Carr, Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd & Other Reprobates, 2015, pp 21-22)

Has Sheridan ever struggled with such childhood/childish certainties? 

What, I wonder, would he make of 1 Corinthians 13:11?:

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Julie Bishop: From Zero to Hero in Just 4 Years

Thus spake Tone's Suppository of all Wisdom, Greg Sheridan, in today's Australian:

"This is a big call. But surely Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has never in her political career, indeed in her life, had a finer public moment than in the short, crisp, devastating speech she made to the UN Security Council rebuking Moscow. The rebuke was delivered for Russia's veto against a resolution to establish an independent tribunal to prosecute those responsible for bringing down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine... With no disrespect to our fine professional diplomats [hers] does not sound like a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade speech." (Julie Bishop's devastating denunciation of Russia over its MH17 veto was her finest hour)

High praise indeed. Yet it seems only yesterday that Greg was writing:

"Julie Bishop... has produced not a single sentence of substance or originality while in the portfolio." (Bishop's errors of judgment compound the Coalition's woes, The Australian, 14/2/11)

Ouch!

So how did Jules do it? How did she manage to go from prose zero to hero in just 4 years? Greg only knows!

But it's not his uncommon praise for she who can't quite see what international law has to do with Israeli colonisation of the West Bank that interests me, it's his concluding aside on Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

"Surely the most magnificent speech ever delivered at the UN came from Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He was the US ambassador to the UN in 1975, when the General Assembly passed a resolution saying that Zionism equated to racism. Moynihan began his magnificent and justly celebrated address with these words: 'The United States rises to declare before the General Assembly of the United nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.' This fine speech contributed to the ultimate repeal of that notorious resolution. In the body of the speech, informed throughout by a white flame of moral outrage, Moynihan drew the implications of what the resolution meant for the UN: 'The abomination of anti-Semitism has been given the appearance of international sanction. The General Assembly today grants symbolic amnesty - and more - to the murderers of the six million European Jews. Evil enough in itself, but more ominous by far is the realisation that now presses upon us - the realisation that if there were no General Assembly, this could never have happened.' There is a faint echo of this in Bishop's call to the Security Council to persist in prosecuting the case of the killers of MH17 even in the face of Moscow's veto. Bishop's speech is not quite in the Moynihan class, but it is as good, and as important, a speech as any Australian has delivered at the UN for a very long time."

Er... I hate to break it to you, Greg, but there are two mega problems here.

The first is that Zionism is actually worse than racism - it's apartheid.

And the second is that Moynihan didn't write that silly speech. To see who did, go to my 22/4/14 post The Grooming of Gareth Evans & Pat Moynihan.

Warning: You can expect a few more posts on Sheridan this month, inspired by his just-released autobiography, When We Were Young & Foolish.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Go Back To Where You Came From

"'I just want to live a respectable life here as a human; I just say, welcome us,' Ammar Mershed says in one of the most moving scenes in the new series of the award-winning Go Back to Where You Came From... Mershed is a Palestinian refugee from Iraq, encountered by some of the opinionated group early in the first episode. He's a deeply sincere but jolly and hospitable man now working as a teacher's aide. His family has settled in western Sydney's Bankstown, part of the world's 5 million stateless Palestinians." (The turnaround, First Watch, Graeme Blundell, Weekend Australian Review, 25/7/15)

Graeme Blundell's sympathetic sketch of Palestinian refugee Ammar Mershed is most unusual for a Murdoch rag. What a pity it isn't longer.

If I may take the liberty of adding the missing details:

Back in 1948, the Mershed family was driven out of their Palestinian homeland by the fanatical forces of Jewish State in the Levant (JSIL) and never allowed back. In those grim days, if any Palestinian refugees were caught by JSIL gunmen trying to return to their homes and lands, they were labelled 'infiltrators' and simply shot out of hand. (Ditto today, 67 years later.) The family found their way, somehow, to Iraq, where Ammar was born.

Then in 2003, Ammar, now with a family of his own, was displaced yet again after a cabal of JSIL-linked US neocons, having risen to giddy prominence in the administration of George W. Bush, persuaded that dumbarse and his cronies that Iraq should be next on his to-do list after Afghanistan. And so Ammar and his family found themselves once more on the run.

Somehow they ended up in Australia, where occasionally he'd encounter racist bogans who'd tell him to go back where he came from. But what could he do? He couldn't tell them that he came from Palestine and would give his right arm to go back there if he could, because he knew that the idea of a refugee actually wanting to go back to where he came from was simply too hard for these mental defectives to understand. They'd just think he was nuts, or trying to be funny, and get even more aggro. And anyway, some of them had actually taken to waving JSIL flags at Reclaim Australia rallies.

So whenever these grubs crossed his path and shot their mouths off, Ammar had little choice but to grin and bear it, retreat to the safety of his public housing digs in Bankstown, focus on the little map of Palestine, lovingly carved from the wood of an olive tree, which hung on his living room wall, and say to himself: Next year in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Danby & Dreyfus Heart ALP's Palestine Resolution

Do you need to know anything more about this deplorable ALP resolution than the following?

"Bill Shorten's Victorian Right faction - the most pro-Israel group in the ALP - was claiming victory yesterday after the Labor conference passed a motion that stopped short of unilateral recognition of Palestine and rejected the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign... Victorian MPs Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus, who are both Jewish, issued a joint statement in support of the resolution, which was put up in place of two Left motions that were advocating a harder pro-Palestine line but were withdrawn." (Right hails anti-BDS motion as victory on pro-Israel front, Rick Wallace/Stefanie Balogh, The Australian, 27/7/15)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ALP Fiddles While Palestine Burns

My between-the-lines reading of Labor's latest position on Palestine:

The Australian Labor Party conference:

Affirms Labor's support for an enduring and just two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties, and reflecting the legitimate rights* and aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state.

This merely means that Labor supports the division of historical Palestine into a sectarian, Jews-only apartheid state on 78% + of its former territory, and a bantustan, or series thereof, on what's left over.

Deplores the tragic conflict in Gaza and supports an end to rocket attacks by Hamas and the exercise of the maximum possible restraint by Israel in response to these attacks.

The crushing Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza, however, is not deplored. (Notice here the recycling of that musty Zionist propaganda trope: Palestinians always attack and Israelis only ever retaliate. Moving from propaganda to reality, what is actually being said here is that, while Palestinian retaliation must end, Israeli attacks are fine - just so long as they don't make the headlines.) 

Supports a negotiated settlement between the parties to the conflict, based on international frameworks, laws and norms.

... but not countless UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

Recognises in government Labor retained its commitment to two states for two peoples in the Middle East and specifically:

*Did not block enhanced Palestinian status in the General Assembly;

IOW didn't vote for it.

*Restated the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory;

Really? Must've missed that one. All I can remember is Blinky Bill saying, "Middle Eastern issues are very complex..." (See my 9/6/14 post Israeli-Occupied Labor.) 

*Opposed Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, recognising that a just, peaceful and enduring resolution will involve a territorial settlement based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps;

That one too.

*Held that the settlements are illegal under international law.

What's with the bleeding obvious here? What's next? Labor held that water is wet?

Recognises that any resolution will be based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, a timeframe to end Israeli occupation, demilitarisation of Palestinian territory, agreement on a solution to Palestinian refugee issues, and resolution of the issue of Jerusalem's final status.

So only the proposed Palestinian bantustan is to be disarmed...

Agreement on a solution to Palestinian refugee issues? Issues? What f*****g issues?

Anyway, we already have a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. It's called UNGA Resolution 194 and calls on Israel to repatriate those Palestinian refugees wishing to return or compensate those who choose not to. After all, we voted for it when it was first moved on December 11, 1948.

And if that's not enough, there's also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Specifically, Article 13(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, AND TO RETURN TO HIS COUNTRY.

As for East Jerusalem, the resolution has already stated that it is occupied territory, so shouldn't it be calling for an end to same?

Recognises that settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace.

Labor calls on Israel to cease all such settlement expansion to support renewed negotiations toward peace.

Settlement expansion? Hang on - Labor has already acknowledged that Israeli settlements are illegal so shouldn't it be calling on Israel to DISMANTLE the bloody things, lock, stock and barrel?

Rejects the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Since BDS is merely a strategy to pressure Israel to

a) end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in 1967 and dismantle the wall;
b) recognize the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
c) respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

Labor needs to spell out why exactly it rejects BDS.

But, of course, it won't, because then it'd sound indistinguishable from Zionist dead-enders who mutter darkly about a Palestinian 'demographic time bomb'. Definitely not a good look that one. 

Condemns the comments of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, during the recent elections where he ruled out a Palestinian state, and further condemns his appeals to race during the campaign.

Oh, FFS, the Likud platform has always ruled out a Palestinian state, and Zionism is racism. And apartheid.

Recognises a lasting peace will require a future state of Palestine to recognise the right of Israel to exist.

What this actually means is that, for Labor, the onus is on the dispossessed and occupied Palestinian people to give their seal of approval to the continued existence of the apartheid, Jewish supremacist regime which usurped their ancestral Palestinian homeland

Recognises the special circumstances of the Palestinian people, their desire for respect, and the achievement of their legitimate aspiration to live in independence in a state of their own. This a cause Labor is committed to. If, however, there is no progress in the next round of the peace process, a future Labor government will discuss joining like-minded nations who have already recognised Palestine and announcing the conditions and timelines for the Australian recognition of a Palestinian state, with the objective of contributing to peace and security in the Middle East.

That's it??? That's what we're supposed to write home about??? That's the light at the end of the tunnel???

Pull the other, Labor!

[*I'm using the version of the resolution that appeared on the Guardian Australia website. I note that in the Australian of 27/7 there is no reference to Palestinian rights, only legitimate aspirations. WTF! Will the real resolution please stand up.]

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Two Questions for Joe Bullock

Joe Bullock (a Labor senator for Western Australia) has gone to the extraordinary length of publishing, in the Australian, a propaganda blast for Israel on the eve of this week's Labor conference (24-26/7/15), where the issue of Israel and Palestine is to be discussed.

In it, he asks, "Why the focus on Israel and Palestine?" and denigrates I/P-focused Labor colleagues as "obsessives" and "cranks." (ALP must support two-state Middle East peace process: A motion intended to undermine bipartisan commitment was foolish & reckless, 24/7/15)

The all-too-easy answer to his question, of course, may be discerned in my last post, Pardon My French (24/7/15).

As for the rest of us, the really interesting question is why a former union boss (up until last July, Bullock was state secretary of the right-wing Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association), should have taken the time and trouble to emit something on this of all subjects.

Here's a sample paragraph:

"It is fashionable now to say the Israeli settlements are the cause of all the trouble, or that Benjamin Netanyahu is a barrier on the path to piece. Yet while Israel will have to give ground on settlements... so too will the Palestinians have to let go of the fiction that all descendents of the original Palestinian people are themselves refugees, with a 'right of return'."

Now if Joe can ask 'why?', so too can I:

1) Joe, why have you taken it upon yourself to label the international law-backed right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel a "fiction," while ignoring completely the real fiction in the matter, namely that the likes of Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus (to name but two of your Labor colleagues) belong to a nebulous entity known as 'the Jewish people'; are part of a diaspora whose true home lies on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea; and can, should they so desire, migrate to Israel under the provisions of its apartheid (Jews-only) Law of Return?

2) And Joe, why does your cited paragraph bear an uncanny resemblance to the words of Israel's UN envoy, Ron Prosor?

"'UNRWA fuels false promises and gives grievance to dangerous myths. We have heard time and again that settlements are a major hurdle to peace. In these halls, no one will admit that the real obstacle is the so-called 'claim to return'... UNRWA is responsible for helping fuel this 'fiction' of the right of return to Palestinian children..." (Israeli UN envoy: UNRWA fuels 'fiction' of Palestinian 'right of return', Maya Shwayder, The Jerusalem Post, 20/5/14)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pardon My French

The Australian Labor Party conference is now in full swing and, according to this week's Australian Jewish News, frontbencher Tony Burke "is expected to propose a resolution stating that if 'there is no progress to a two-state solution, and Israel continues to build and expand settlements, a future Labor government will consult like-minded nations towards recognition of the Palestinian state'." (Labor Party set to debate Palestine recognition, 24/7/15)

Will consult like-minded nations?

That's it? That's the whole f*****g enchilada?

You have got to be f*****g joking?!!!

Here it is 2015, and we've had almost 100 f*****g years of Zionist predation in Palestine. Jesus Christ, there's barely any of it left in Palestinian hands!

Most Palestinians are still living in exile, warehoused now for 67 f*****g years.

And most of the rest have been living under military occupation for nigh on 48 f*****g years.

One lot are even bombed mercilessly every few f*****g years just to show them who's boss.

But consulting with like-minded nations is the best Labor can come up with?!!!

And even that's going too f*****g far for the hardcore Zionist fanatics in the Labor cult:

"Meanwhile, a leading group within the ALP - comprising Melbourne Ports MP Michael Danby; Mike Kelly, foreign affairs adviser to Shorten; shadow-attorney general Mark Dreyfus; shadow defence minister Stephen Conroy; and former NSW Labor Council secretary Michael Easson - is believed to be working on a formula to minimise a proposed change of direction by the ALP on Palestinian statehood." (ibid)