Thursday, May 24, 2018

As Netanyahu Salivates...

... Israel's most loved US president and his shiny new Christian Zionist Secretary of State are gearing up for a war with Iran:

"When the Trump administration withdrew fro the P5+1 nuclear deal, they began talking about a plan B.' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set out the US strategy post-deal this week, threatening the 'strongest sanctions in history' and setting out an incredibly broad set of 12 demands.* Despite Pompeo's insistence that the demands are 'basic requirements,' they are anything but, and analysts and former officials broadly agree that this leaves no room for new diplomacy between the US and Iran. Threats and demands are the tired old US strategy towards Iran, one that has failed for the better part of 40 years.

"The point of this is to go back to the pre-deal situation, when the US was threatening to attack Iran constantly on the slightest pretext. 'Plan B' ultimately has meant setting the stage for a massive US war with Iran. Trita Parsi was quoted as saying that 'plan B' was completely unrealistic and designed to fail, paving the way for 'plan C, which is most likely war.' This is in keeping with virtually everything the administration has said since withdrawing from the deal, and they seem to be laying the groundwork for such a war." (US 'Plan B' with Iran sets the stage for war, Jason Ditz,, 22/5/18)

[*Among them that "Iran withdraw [its] forces from Syria and end support for Hamas and Hezbollah...  Pompeo said... 'We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East." (US to 'crush' Iranian operatives, Carol Morello, Washington Post/Sydney Morning Herald, 23/5/18)]

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another Australian Intellectual Fails the Palestine Test

While Peter Singer parades as an ethicist, he apparently sees no problem in placing Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement, on the same level as the colonising, apartheid state of Israel - or in flaunting his profound (and inexcusable) ignorance on the Palestine/Israel issue on Monday night's Q & A:

Tony Jones: Now Peter Singer, you've been critical of both Hamas and Israel. So let's hear your...

Peter Singer: Exactly. I am critical of both... and I think the situation is a tragic one and it has resulted in the tragedy that we're talking about this time.

Tragic? It's a massacre, stupid.

But clearly there are extremists on both sides. And, you know, there was hope some years ago, when Rabin was prime minister... But, sadly, he was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli [1995] and hopes for peace went down.

Rabin? An Israeli war criminal:

As a Palmach commander in 1948, Rabin was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian towns of Ramle and Lydda.

As Israel's chief of staff in 1967, Rabin was asked by Israeli PM Levi Eshkol "what would happen if the Egyptians [then in control of the Gaza Strip] simply marched the [Palestinian] refugees [who had been there since 1948] - women and children in the vanguard - toward the border with Israel. Rabin said they would not do that, and if they did, as soon as the IDF had killed the first 100, the rest would go back to Gaza." (1967: Israel, the War & the Year that Transformed the Middle East, Tom Segev, p 524)

As defence minister in the Shamir government he oversaw Israel's ruthless suppression of the first Palestinian Intifada (1987-1991), with his infamous 'break their bones' policy.

As Israeli prime minister in 1994, following the massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque, Rabin had the opportunity to evacuate Hebron's particularly vile Israeli settler community from the city. Instead, in the words of Haaretz journalist Amira Hass, he "decided to continue with the traditional policy of pampering the settlers, and instructed the army to punish the Palestinians for the massacre with a prolonged curfew, restrictions on movement, the closing of shops and marketplaces, and criminal forgiveness for the violence of the settlers." (See my 28/2/15 post An Anti-Semite's Dream Jews.)

It is telling that Singer seems more concerned about the assassination of one Israeli war criminal than he is about the 114 innocent Palestinian civilians murdered on the Gaza border so far.

And since then... both sides have gone to extremes. Certainly, the Israeli government has gone to extremes and has not shown and has not shown signs of really being interested in negotiating peace or stopping settlements.

Negotiating peace or stopping settlements? Since when has any Israeli government been serious about either?

But on the other hand, you have to say, as far as Hamas is concerned... Greg [Sheridan] is right...

Sheridan is right? I can guarantee that Singer has never picked up a copy of the Australian and read any of Sheridan's sermons in praise of what he once called "the plucky country." Not once.

... - they are a terrorist organisation, they are firing rockets into Israel, they are openly trying to kill Israelis where they can, and they did reject offers of cooperation back when Israel left Gaza. So that's tragedy for the people of Gaza. And it's very hard to see a way out.

Terrorist organisation? Offers of cooperation? This is just the kind of stuff you'd expect to hear from your average brainwashed supporter of Israel.

Tony Jones: Let's go to the original question, which was asking about Australia's vote to reject the investigation into an incident which killed a large number of people and wounded thousands. What's your view on that?

Peter Singer: I would have liked to see an investigation, both into why Israel used live fire...

Why Israel used live fire? Seriously, has Israel ever stopped using live fire?

... and could not find a less lethal way of preventing people from attacking and cutting through the fence, but also why Hamas was inviting people to go to the fence when Israel had made it clear that it was going to use force to prevent people, that there clearly was a risk of live ammunition, of people being killed.

More regurgitated Israeli propaganda! Then this:

And why people would go there with their children and babies actually, you know, is mind-boggling to me. What kind of a person would you have to be to say, 'I'm gonna take my baby to this area where there's likely to be firing.'

A little research is apparently beyond Singer: "Leila [al-Ghandour's] family told media that the baby's mother had left the child at home to join the demonstrations. When the infant began crying her uncle took her towards the protest area in order to locate his sister. Reports on Palestinian social media said Leila had been in a tent away from the security fence when a tear gas canister was dropped by a drone." (Gaza protests: Eight-month-old baby 'dies from tear gas inhalation' after 'massacre' at border, Bethan McKernan,, 15/5/18)


Bloody idiots...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hamas & the Great March of Return:

Israeli PR always goes into overdrive after its killers complete their latest massacre(s). As with the massacre on the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara in 2010, clipped, edited videos, sound-bytes, and texts appear in record time, constituting a smokescreen of victim-blaming. The aim, of course. is both to provide Israel's defenders with suitable talking points and to divert world public opinion from the bleeding obvious.

Hot off the presses is the following item, now flooding the internet and popping up in the msm rants of the pro-Israel pundits. Here it is, for example, in the always purple prose of our very own Piers Akerman: "[T]he ABC's attempted whitewash of the nature of the terrorist attack was demonstratively undermined by the co-founder of Hamas Mahmoud al-Zahar who told Al-Jazeera that the terror group was 'deceiving the public' when it spoke of 'peaceful resistance' before the violent protests began." (ABC hits a new low in biased reporting, Sunday Telegraph, 20/5/18)

Here's the original, as translated and edited by Israel's Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), an outfit that trawls the Arabic-language media, searching for items with potential (along with some judicious translating, cutting and pasting) for use as anti-Arab propaganda:

Host: Mr Mahmoud Abbas said that after all these years, Hamas is employing the same peaceful resistance that has been advocated by Fatah since day one and for many years. So why don't Fatah and Hamas agree on a united platform?

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: This is a clear terminological deception. When you are in possession of weapons that were able to withstand the occupation in the wars of 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014... When you have weapons that are being wielded by men who were able to prevent the strongest army in the region from entering the Gaza Strip for 51 days, and were able to capture or kill soldiers of that army, is this really 'peaceful resistance'? This is not peaceful resistance. Has the option (of armed struggle) diminished? No. On the contrary, it is growing and developing. That's clear. So when we talk about 'peaceful resistance', we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support. As for (Fatah's) 'peaceful resistance', it consists of rallies, demonstrations, protests, pleas, and requests, in order to improve the terms of the negotiations, or to enable talks with the Israeli enemy. This deception does not fool the Palestinian public. (Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar on Gaza protests: This is not peaceful resistance, it is supported by our weapons,, 13/5/18)

Assuming that we accept the veracity of MEMRI's translation and editing of the Al-Jazeera original, the first thing to note here is that Al-Zahar's words should be seen in the context of Hamas's rivalry with the Palestinian Authority and Abbas's Fatah organisation. One of the key differences between the two is that Hamas is still committed to the strategy of armed struggle against the Israeli enemy, while Fatah is not. Al-Zahar here is doing no more than defend the use of arms vis-a-vis Fatah's abandonment of them for 'peaceful resistance'. The "we" of the highlighted sentence above is somewhat ambiguous (perhaps even made so by the MEMRI translator), but seems to refer more to Abbas than to Hamas. It is Abbas then, not Hamas, who is "deceiving the public." In fact, in the very next sentence Al-Zahar says, "[T]his [the Great March of Return] is a peaceful protest... enjoying tremendous popular support," albeit "bolstered by a military force," none of which was used during the demonstrations. The concluding sentence makes crystal clear just whose deception we are dealing with here - Abbas's: "This deception does not fool the Palestinian public."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Simply the Best, Better than All the Rest

"Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has indicated Labor would have split from the US and backed a United Nations investigation into the killing of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza, arguing Israel's actions were damaging the country's reputation." (Albanese demands vote explanation, Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald, 21/5/18)

Really, if damage to Israel's reputation is Albanese's best argument for Australia voting (in the UNHRC) for an investigation into Israel's latest massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, I'd hate to think what his worst might be.

Dennis the Zionist Menace

Dennis Ross, you may remember, was Bill Clinton's Middle East 'peace' envoy. Mearsheimer and Walt see him as an integral of Israel's lobby in the United States, noting that, although Ross has "occasionally criticized specific Israeli actions," he "believes that the United States should give Israel substantial diplomatic, economic, and military support even when Israel takes actions the United States opposes" and that he "has devoted a significant amount of his professional life to encouraging this sort of support." (The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy, 2007, p 114)

Little wonder then at the Israel first content of his near 2-page spread in Saturday's Australian. Some gems - rebutted:

"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essentially one of two national movements competing for the same space."

No it isn't. The 'conflict' is essentially one of an indigenous people, denied self-determination in its ancestral home by the British, then set upon, driven out, or otherwise occupied, by a European settler-colonial movement - Zionism - introduced and fostered by the British." (Give them hope & peace, 19/5/18)

"In my talk [in 2005 to a few hundred Palestinians in Gaza before the Israeli withdrawal], I said that Palestinians had never been able to control their own destiny - the Arabs determined what would be done in 1948."

What rubbish! A US-manipulated UNGA set the scene in 1947 by disregarding the right of the Palestinians to determine the fate of their country and partitioning it into a Jewish and an Arab states. This, of course, gave the Zionist forces in Palestine the pretext they needed to overrun as much of Palestine as they could, and drive out as many Palestinians as they could, without any regard whatever for the borders laid down by the UN partition plan.

"Hamas said the protests would be peaceful even as it called them Demonstrations for Return - return to Palestinian homes in Israel."

To begin with, Hamas didn't organise the protests. And there is here the incredible suggestion that merely calling for the right of the Palestinians to return to the homes and lands stolen from them by Israel in 1948, and mobilising protests in support of that right, is enough to render those protests not peaceful.

"But, of course, those being mobilised don't have homes to go back to in Israel... "

And why is that Mr Ross?

"... and Israel is not the country it was in 1948."

Well, ain't that a COMPELLING reason for the Palestinians to kept in their Gaza Ghetto box?

"Hamas's leaders [want] to stigmatise Israel before the world as a way of also weakening Israel's ability to engage in self-defense and discredit it internationally."

So let me get this straight. Gunning down defenceless Palestinian protesters (we won't even mention journalists) with sniper rifles is self defence. And it's the protesters, not Israel's own actions, who are discrediting Israel. Right...

Ross pees on us but would have us think it's raining.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Gideon Levy: 'Israel is Set to Commit Horrors'

The next Nakba:

"The truth is that Israel is well prepared to massacre hundreds and thousands, and to expel tens of thousands. Nothing will stop it. This is the end of conscience, the show of morality is over. The last few days' events have proved it decisively. The tracks have been laid, the infrastructure for the horror has been cast. Dozens of years of brainwashing, demonization and dehumanization have borne fruit. The alliance between the politicians and the media to suppress reality and deny it has succeeded. Israel is set to commit horrors. Nobody will stand in its way anymore. Not from within or without." (From 60 dead in Gaza & the end of Israeli conscience, Haaretz, 17/5/18)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Israel's Contractors in the UN

The UN Human Rights Council has just voted (29 to 2, with 14 abstentions) for a Commission of Inquiry into Israel's 2018 massacres in Gaza.

It's important to know who those 2 are - the United States, predictably, and a certain other shitty little settler-colonial state known as Australia.

Of the 14 abstentions, the stand-out has to be the UK, which single-handedly created the Palestine problem over 100 years ago and, to this day, not only accepts no responsibility for its worst ever colonial crime, but chooses to avert its gaze from the latest killing spree by that shitty little settler-colonial, apartheid state in the Middle East known as Israel.

Well said:

"This was a chance to put principle before politics and Australia blew it. This was not about targeting Israel but targeting human rights violations. When security forces opened fire on protesters who pose no imminent threat, they must be held to account." Elaine Pearson, Human Rights Watch Australian director