Sunday, December 31, 2006


Jerusalem Post Editor David Horovitz discusses A Terrible Silence. He quotes former Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney General, Irwin Cotler:-

"On no occasion has the UN acted to prevent a genocide. Regrettably, we've had genocide again and again. Either action has come too late or there has been no intervention at all.

"Darfur is a genocide in the making. The media is still using the 2002 figure of 200,000 dead. Actually, 450,000 have already died. The media is still reporting 2.5 million displaced people. It's 4 million according to the UN's former humanitarian aid coordinator. There are mass atrocities - mass rape, forced expulsions, the bombing and burning of villages. In 2005, the UN passed a resolution banning Sudanese offensive flights. It has not been enforced. In August, the Security Council mandated the establishment of a multi-national protection force. It has not been established.

"In Darfur, the world knows and it is not acting. In Rwanda, the world knew and didn't act and 800,000 people were killed."

And then we have Iran and Hizbullah ... and on that note we say goodbye today to Kofi Annan.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


The brutal murderer responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths was hanged this morning.

Saddam Hussein, the demented animal who perpetrated atrocities, who murdered, gassed, maimed, raped, tortured and brutalised his own people and his neighbours, who fired scud missiles at Tel Aviv and Haifa, who paid the families of suicide bombers to console them in their grief, who wanted nuclear weapons and who planned genocide, is dead.

Saddam has long ago been replaced by others with the same brand of hatred in their hearts - some of them met recently in Iran. The prime target this time was the Jews of Israel but everyone, everywhere is under threat from these people and their evil plans.

Sadly therefore, the world is not a safer place today for the departure of the Butcher of Baghdad.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Here's a link to an article on the website of Judy Lash Balint which, contrary to what some of you might have read in your local newspaper about the situation in Bethlehem, is an honest eyewitness acoount:-

Letter from Bethlehem: Christmas 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


The Melbourne Age published an opinion piece by a Palestinian Christian Abe Ata today. Entitled "Christians are vanishing from the land of their origin" it expresses the author's concern at the declining number of Christians living under the Palestine Authority rule.

The author blames the Israelis for this as much as Hamas or the Palestine Authority. There's no mention of the fact that after the formation of the Hamas government, a fatwa was issued against the YMCA in the West Bank town of Qalqilya. Unknown gunmen set fire to the building in September. No mention of the violent attacks against Christian holy sites in the PA territories in recent years including a grenade attack on the oldest church in Gaza and the burning to the ground of a 170-year-old church in Tulkarm. No mention of Hamas' failure to honour a promise of funding for the City of Bethlehem's Christmas celebrations.

No money?

Of course not.

Hamas is using what money it can smuggle into its coffers to build up its weapons supplies, to pay its own bureaucrats and to develop its worldwide propaganda network. The Palestinian PR machine even managed to convince the Archbishop of Canterbury to scapegoat Israel for the appalling situation of Christians under PA rule - even when no evidence exists to support such claims. The truth lies more closely in views expressed by Tony Pearce, Pastor of The Bridge Christian Fellowship as quoted by Melanie Phillips in her Diary. Responding to Rowan Williams' attack on Israel he wrote:-

"Dear Dr. Williams,

I have read the article in ‘The Tablet’ in which you speak about people leaving Bethlehem in large numbers and then ask the question: ‘I would like to know how much it matters to the Israeli Government to have Christian communities in the Holy Land. Are they an embarrassment or are they part of a solution? That’s a question.’

No doubt the Israelis have already given you their answer, perhaps informing you that the Christian Arab population within the pre 1967 borders of Israel has grown from approximately 34,000 in 1948 to nearly 130,000 in 2005. Ironically this is the only part of the Middle East where the Christian population is growing.

You should really have asked the Palestinian Authority how much it matters to them that there are Christian communities in their territory. The main reason for the departure of Christians from PA administered territories is the religious persecution, murder and land grabs which stems from the increased Islamisation of the region. This is the result of the PA adopting Muslim religious law in the territories in contrast to Israel which safeguards the religious freedom on its citizens.

You have nothing to say about the likes of George Rabie, featured in a recent article in the Mail on Sunday who is a taxi driver from Bethlehem and was beaten up by Muslims using his cab when they discovered he is a Christian. He said 'Every day, I experience discrimination. It is a type of racism. We are a minority so we are an easier target. Many extremists from the villages are coming into Bethlehem.'

Nor have you championed the cause of those who have been subjected to forced marriages of Christian women to Muslim men, received death threats for distributing the Bible to willing Muslims, or been intimidated into wearing traditional ultra-modest Islamic clothing. Nor have you written about the churches which have been firebombed by Muslim extremists protesting against the remarks of the Pope (most recently in Nablus, Tubas, and Gaza). Nor about the situation in which Christian Arabs have found their land expropriated by Muslims or been forced to pay bribes to win the freedom of family members jailed on trumped-up charges.
All of this is the main reason why Christian Arabs have been selling or abandoning homes and businesses, seeking to escape the chaos and corruption of the PA and move to Israel, Europe, South America, North America, or wherever they can get a visa.

Why do you have nothing to say about any of this in The Tablet or other public media? Of course you do not need to answer. We all know. No one in public life dares to make any comment even mildly critical of Islamic behaviour. On the other hand Israeli Jews are an easy target. In this way we in the west are already submitting to Islamic demands and behaving like ‘dhimmi’ citizens subject to the rule of the mosque. I find this utterly shameful and a betrayal of the Lord Jesus Christ."

He’s right.

Israelis are an easy target, aren't they?

It's always Israel and it's always the "occupation".

The perfect excuse for everything.

But why are Palestinian Christians leaving PA areas in preference for Israel and why do the Christians of Bethlehem fear Moslem terror (read it here - you won’t find it in tomorrow’s Melbourne Age)?

Monday, December 25, 2006


Just imagine if your town came under constant missile attacks every day.

Sderot in southern Israel has been that way for more than fifteen months. That is, since Israel left Gaza by removing every single Jew and every Israeli settlement from this part of Palestinian territory. Israel left Gaza judenrein and ended its occupation over 1.4 million Palestinians. In return, the residents of Sderot have received an average of three "gifts" from their Palestinian neighbours every day.

This is the text of an address given by Noam Bedein at IDC Media Conference in Herzlia, Israel on 19 December 2006.

We are all aware of the reality in the southern part of Israel.

Ben Gurion’s vision in the Negev has been under lethal attack of more than 5,500 missile attacks over the past six years, with more than 1200 in the past fifteen months.

That is an average of three missile attacks a day…28 missile attacks have occurred since the "cease fire".

Yet with such staggering statistics, no public office is relating to the human side of this tragedy.

Children grow up with sirens as a part of their life.

When you hear the siren "Tseva Adom", you understand that you’ve got 15 seconds to take cover.

Yet we have revealed that there are over 8,000 citizens of the Western Negev, have no sheltered room to run to.

When you go into the office of the head of security in Sderot, you see a map of Sderot on the wall. You see dots on the map, with the head of security saying that he stopped putting dots 2 years ago, because you wouldn’t notice the map.

The conclusion: there is no street, neighborhood, community or family, which has not experienced the trauma of a missile exploding near by.

I’ve experienced it myself during a Friday night service in the synagogue.

I shall never forget the sight of the fathers not knowing which child to grab first to protect.

Only 6 psychologists work in Sderot. Half of the kindergartens aren’t protected.

Can any one imagine what’s it like to send a child to an un protected classroom?

Basically, it’s like playing Russian roulette.

Unfortunately, people in Israel, especially in the Israeli media, show an interest only when there is blood, under the principle of "only when it Bleeds it Leads".

The human tragedy, the anxiety, the trauma- that is not being shown, that is not being reported, that remains a secret to the media – especially during what is described by the government as a "ceasefire".

This is where our new information center comes in.

Its purpose is to show the human face, behind the cold media statistics and the "weather report" style of telling about a few missiles falling from the sky and nobody really being injured.

Our goal is to create awareness in Israel and in the world opinion, of what people are going through.

During my first six weeks in Sderot, I met with community workers such as: social workers, the head psychiatrist, the heads of the parents association. the security officers, the teachers, the families of victims, and the different projects that work with the community.

The task at hand was to put all this together, to liaison between reporters and groups that come to Sderot and to show them the human side of it, in an informal way and on a personal level, as a Sderot resident.

We've managed to host several groups, including The American Jewish Congress and AFSI, and most recently escorted American talk show host Gordon Liddy, who broadcast his radio show with 6 million listeners as the guest of our center in Sderot.

And we have been publishing timely investigative pieces in the Jerusalem Post, Israel National News and Israel Insider, while providing news reports for English Radio of Kol Yisrael and Shalom USA in Baltimore.

Our articles about the lack of protection for of the schools in Sderot reached important Jews in London, who confronted the Israeli ambassador in London with the letter that our agency had received from the Prime Minister’s advisor that the government was simply not going to add more protection for the schools.

That process produced a change in policy and a government decision to indeed allocate the necessary funds to protect all of the schools. in SderotPresently, our information center is working on an investigative piece about the Israel Tax Authority and their local representatives known as MAS RECUSH, in which we are investigating how and why people don't get their homes and stores repaired for long periods of time, and how the government tries to wait until people take money out of pockets that they do not have to cover the costs themselves until the Israel Tax Authority finally comes through with help.

Our center looks forward to take part in building a trauma center.

We were pleased to receive an offer from an architect from Tennessee who wants to volunteer his time in the design of the Trauma center, after reading our article about what the children in the Kindergartens go through these days.

Our center looks forward to bringing more volunteers from outside of Sderot.

My sister, who acts as a clown therapist, bringing a bus full of clowns to Sderot.

Our Center looks forward to recruiting help from the "Ayaliem project".

Students at the Sapir College who are now building Yeshuvim in the Negev.

And, most importantly, our center looks forward to being the only physical representative for the foreign press in the Negev, with the ability to function in seven languages.

At this moment, our center is getting ready for the next round of death and destruction.

We are ready to film with our video as the missiles fall, to interview the people who are affected, to place our material on our new web-site, only three weeks old and with more than 2000 people who have scrolled through the web-site.

Our information center runs as a private company, with a small borrowed computer.

Our center needs help to acquire state of the art computer equipment, to get a van to show reporters around, to cover expenses for volunteers and to hire staff.

We will do this by forming a membership support organization, by raising funds through a non profit organization in the US, and by selling shares in our small corporation.

On a personal note, after returning after a 13 months of travel by my self in the Far East, and coming home, it seemed like people had given up, that people had convinced themselves that they do not have the powers to do any thing about their situation.

Yes, it's so easy to just care only about ourselves, our own careers, and our families.

We have to wake up, and to understand that even we, the simple people can make a difference in this reality.

I may be a little "pisher", as my Grandmother called me once.

I know, however, that it is possible to make even the smallest change.

It's not even a question of believing or not.

It's a fact.

Friday, December 15, 2006


The Big Lie About the Middle East

There are at least a million big lies about the Middle East.

Lisa Beyer exposes one of them in Time Magazine.

"To promote the canard that the troubles of the Arab world are rooted in the Palestinians' misfortune does great harm. It encourages the Arabs to continue to avoid addressing their colossal societal and political ills by hiding behind their Great Excuse: it's all Israel's fault. Certainly, Israel has at times been an obnoxious neighbor, but God help the Arab leaders, propagandists and apologists if a day ever comes when the Arab-Israeli mess is unraveled. One wonders how they would then explain why in Egypt 4 of every 10 people are illiterate; Saudi Arabian Shi'ites (not to mention women) are second-class citizens; 11% of Syrians live below subsistence level; and Jordan's King can unilaterally dissolve Parliament, as he did in 2001. Or why no Middle Eastern government but Israel's and to some extent Lebanon's tolerates freedom of assembly or speech, or democratic institutions like a robust press or civic organizations with independence and clout--let alone unfettered competitive elections."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Former Ku Klux Klan leaders, Holocaust deniers, whacky Jewish ant-Zionists, Iranian fascists and an assortment of wierd hangers on - all of them gathering in Tehran to vent their hateful philosophies.


The problem of course is that this disgusting little group not only advocates that the Holocaust was nowhere near as bad as it is painted in the history books but they make it very clear that their aim is to see Israel "wiped off the map".

And they have the support of the usual suspects on the far left with who they make strange bedfellows indeed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Yesterday's Wall Street Journal editorial asks the question "Whose War Crimes?" and discusses the latest evidence about how terrorists used civilians in Lebanon and manipulated parts of the media to further their murderous cause.

The editorial discusses the modus operandi of the Islamists who "seek to use the restraint of Western powers against them. They shoot at our civilians from the safety of their own civilian enclaves that they know we are reluctant to attack. Then if by chance their civilians are killed, they call in CNN and al-Jazeera cameras and wait for the likes of Mr. Roth [Executive Director of Human Rights Watch] to denounce America or Israel for war crimes."

The real war criminals are being aided and abeted by their supporters in the media who chose to remain silent in the face of the overwhelming evidence that groups like Hizbullah and Hamas put innocent civilians at risk by deliberately deploying their forces in cities, towns and often private homes.

You can see some of the evidence including interviews with captured Hizbullah terrorists, captured Hizbullah documents, onsite and aerial photography and other first-hand evidence on the American Jewish Congress website.

Monday, December 11, 2006


According to Associated Press Writer Ali Akbar Dareini, the Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh is in Tehran outlining his Hamas-led government's policies with respect to its neighbour Israel.

Haniyeh told a crowd at an Iranian mosque at Friday prayers that Hamas will -

(a) never recognize Israel,

(b) will fight for Jerusalem, and

(c) will resist U.S. pressure to moderate.

Of course, Hanyieh won't change the Hamas Charter either. That's the document that invokes the anti-Semitic forgery the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and calls on followers to kill the Jews.

And on that basis, it's time for the United Nations to pressure Israel into commencing peace talks with Haniyeh's government.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


This New York Times article by Greg Myre Offering Video, Israel Answers Critics on War confirms that Israel has all the evidence necessary to prove what it was saying all along during the July/August war with Hizbullah; that the terrorist organisation "systematically fired from civilian neighborhoods in southern Lebanon and took cover in those areas to shield itself from attack."

Clearly, one would now expect the story to be picked up by the local media here in Australia, particularly by the Melbourne Age which did such a marvellous hatchet job on the Israelis through its on-the-spot reporter Ed O'Loughlin who heard no evil, saw no evil and spoke no evil about the Hizbullah fighters.

Here's an excerpt from Myre's article:-

"Elias Hanna, a retired Lebanese Army general, said of the Israeli allegations, 'Of course there are hidden invisible tunnels, bunkers of missile launchers, bunkers of explosive charges amongst civilians.'

He added: 'You cannot separate the southern society from Hezbollah, because Hezbollah is the society and the society is Hezbollah. Hezbollah is holding this society together through its political, military and economic services. It is providing the welfare for the south.'

Asked whether Hezbollah should be seen as responsible for the deaths of Lebanese civilians in the war, he replied: 'Of course Hezbollah is responsible. But these people are ready to sacrifice their lives for Hezbollah. If you tell them, Your relative died, they will tell you No, he was a martyr. The party’s military preparations from 2000 till 2006 took place in their areas. They were of course done with complete secrecy, but in accordance with the civilians."

Nice, but someone forgot to inform Ed about all this ...

Friday, December 01, 2006


Evelyn Gordon debunks what is fast becoming a hoary old chestnut about the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict being the pre-requisite to solving all the problems of the Muslim world in A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE.

Just last week, Sunni insurgents butchered 160 Shia in Baghdad but the likes of Kofi Annan, Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair would have us believe that the passion of the murderers were inflamed by their perception of injustices to Palestinians. Same goes for Arab Muslims who are committing genocide against blacks in Sudan or for those who slaughtered innocents on trains in Mumbai or in the bars of Bali.

It's all gibberish spoken in the furtherance of apologising for that culture of violence.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


James Kirchick writes in today's online edition of The New Republic about THE STAGED LEGACY OF RACHEL CORRIE.

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" is a one-woman show playing in New York about the International Solidarity Movement activist who died in 2003 after being crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in disputed circumstances while attempting to prevent the destruction of Palestinian houses near the Gaza/Egypt border.

The play opened in London two years ago to mixed reviews. The more prescient observers recognised immediately that it was nothing more than a simple piece of agitprop designed to promote antagonism towards the Jewish state.

The ISM is an organization which supports the Palestinian "armed struggle" while at the same time claiming to be "anti war". As such, it has been reasonably successful in recruiting naive young activists like Corrie to do their handiwork (i.e. disrupt the IDF's attempts to protect its own citizens from terrorism) in the Palestinian territories.

Kirchick points out that while the play takes us into the streets of the Rafah refugee camp where Corrie worked just before her death, "there is hardly any mention of the Palestinian people she was so committed to."

He adds -

"We hear machine guns, helicopter blades, and tanks (though never the sounds of suicide bombs). If you watched 'My Name is Rachel Corrie' knowing little about this decades-long crisis, you would leave thinking that Israelis are sadistic monsters who kill Palestinians at random, destroy olive groves, and harass women and children for the sheer thrill of it. The few mentions of terrorism or suicide bombing are vague, and only in reference to 'the right of people to legitimate armed struggle.' Never is it suggested that these acts take place against civilian targets, not soldiers (though, in her diary, Corrie excuses that, too)."

And this highlights what is so sad about the Palestinian narrative.

While many Palestinians and Israelis would like to see a peaceful and a just solution to the conflict, it seems that for some Palestinians and their supporters, the propaganda war and the lies and deceit never stop.

Earlier this week, the Age published a letter from reader Moammar Mashni of Hawthorn. Incredibly the letter that follows was headed "A glimmer of hope in the Middle East" -

"HOPES of renewed peace negotiations in Palestine/Israel were lifted this past weekend after a truce was announced. Since June, Israel has blasted its way through the towns and villages of Gaza, killing more than 500 Palestinians. Five Israelis have also died since the assault began.

Without being too pessimistic, one wonders what will be the trigger for the collapse of this current truce. Reports of militants firing rockets from Gaza have already begun filtering out (The Age, 27/11), which will no doubt be the pretext for another bombardment of the Palestinians. These home-made rockets have killed eight Israelis in five years and in response Israel has killed over 4000 Palestinians. Such disproportionate force is precisely why mutterings of an Israeli peace pact are met with scepticism by the Palestinians."

Putting aside for a moment the reasons why the Age could see fit to publish such a deceptive piece of drivel, the letter shows how difficult it is going to be for the current ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian terrorists to hold.

Apologists for Palestinian terror feel it is necessary to portray events even untruthfully and without any ethics if it can win an argument.

In his letter, Mashni ignores the reasons why Israel started operating in Gaza in June of this year. He ignores the fact that the Israeli death toll at the hands of Palestinian terror during the Second Intifada was in far in excess of eight; in fact it was in excess of 1,000!

Also conveniently ignored is the fact that the majority of the Palestinian casualties were armed combatants or put in harm's way by terrorists.

So, even at a time when they should be looking forward to an era of peace in the region, the public is fed a never ending stream of deceit from the Palestinian propaganda machine.

And this is what I see as the staged legacy of Rachel Corrie and the tacky little play that carries her name.

[And yes, I have read and been bored by the terrible script]

Monday, November 27, 2006


A: A mass murderer in the employ of Hamas.


Lorna Fitzsimmons tells WHY I'M BACKING ISRAEL in the London Guardian.

Compare this with the hateful piece of propagandist garbage put out by Terry Lane in yesterday's Sunday Age about which I will have more to say in due course.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Thanks to HONEST REPORTING for bringing to our attention this New York Times article entitled A DISCREDIT TO THE UNITED NATIONS.

"The council is new, but its deliberations have already fallen into a shameful pattern. When it comes to the world’s worst and most consistent human rights violators, like China, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar and Sudan, there has been a tendency to muffle words and conclusions and shift the focus from individual and political rights to broader economic and social questions.

"But when it comes to criticizing Israel for violations committed in a wartime context that includes armed attacks against its citizens and soldiers, the council seems to change personality, turning harshly critical and uninterested in broader contexts."

There's a lot more to ot than this because the New York Times report represents a virtual oasis in a desert of reporting on this corrupt organisation.

Thinks about it when next you read of the daily deaths and the despair of Darfur or even about the massacres taking place in Irak and described as a "sectarian war".

It seems that the "human rights" gang at the U.N. only springs into action when Israel tries to defend its citizens against gangsters who who like to do the same thing to the Jews as their kindred spirits in Sudan are doing to the defenceless Darfurians.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


What's wrong with the above picture?

The two elderly characters are a priest and a nun from Michigan who have joined dozens of Palestinians who gather at certain Gaza houses in effort to prevent Israel from bombing the houses. The Israelis say they are houses used by terrorists involved in the organisation of such activities as planning attacks on Israeli civilians and the storage of weapons. The human shields say that if family members are involved in violence the Israelis should come and arrest them and not destroy homes populated by entire families.


And if these houses were located in Michigan, U.S.A, it's a sure fire bet that the responsible authorities would come and arrest them. However, in Jabalya, Gaza things are a little different.

The "responsible" authority is the popularly elected Hamas government which runs part of the local terrorist infrastructure. If the Israelis went into Jabalaya to arrest the thugs, then human shields would come out to protect them as they did last week in Beit Hannoun. And who knows?
A large number of non-combatants might die.

Meanwhile, our smiling holy people claim they are equally disturbed about the firing of Qassam rockets into Israel by Palestinian terrorists.

Sister Mary Ellen told Ynet that she was well aware of the Qassams and that, "I adamantly oppose and condemn the firings like I condemn all violence." [NEW IN GAZA: PRIEST, NUN, HUMAN SHIELDS]

Nice, but does she really believe that?

Surely, Sister Mary Ellen should be sitting and protecting the residents of Sderot from the Palestinian terrorists who target civilians and do so irrespective of the presence in the vicinty of priests or nuns acting as human shields.

The good sister knows full well that Israel would not target her where she is at present and that as long as she's shielding the terrorists from the Israelis, then she's as safe as houses.


UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour, who was visiting the Israeli town of Sderot, when Quassam rocket fire killed an Israeli civilian and wounded several others, has decided not to meet with the families of kidnapped soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit despite approaches from their families.

According to Benny Regev, brother of Eldad, "...the decision of the Commissioner Arbour not to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers during her visit to Israel should set off red lights in Israel and the other 15 countries that are signed on UN Resolution 1701. The UN is not interested in the fate of the soldiers, and maybe it doesn't even stand behind the resolution."

The UN is not lifting a finger to prevent a massive arms smuggling operation from Syria into Hizbullah's hands in Lebanon (despite an enlarged presence there) so why on earth would we expect it to stand by the Israeli captives of Hizbullah and Hamas or give any solace to their families?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


The second Israeli civilian in a week, Yaakov Yaakobovich, 43 of Sderot has died as a result of Palestinian Quassam rocket attacks and Hamas continues to threaten to rain its rockets down on Israeli towns and villages.

According to a report in Ha'aretz Man dies of wounds sustained in Qassam strike on Sderot, Abu Obayed, a spokesman from the ruling Hamas' military wing, told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday that unless Israel stopped its campaign of tragetting those who fire these rockets it would have to "empty Sderot of its residents." Obayed added that "the range and quality of Qassam rockets had improved", no doubt as a result of the increased smuggling along Gaza's border with Egypt which the Egyptians are supposed to be monitoring.

It seemes to have escaped the world's attention that such threats combined with the continuation of Quassam rocket attacks against non combattants is a war crime. The question is when will this thug and the Hamas leadership he represents be tried for war crimes?

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, was visiting in Sderot at the time of the attack. When are we going to hear something about this from her and her boss, Mr. Annan?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Reuters reports that Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets - ISRAEL DEVELOPING ANTI-MILITANT "BIONIC HORNET".

According to Reuters, the technology is being developed to "combat militants" but it's more likely that this state of the art weapon will be unleashed on Hizbullah and Hamas terrorists (like the one in the photograph above).

I just wonder if the Israelis provide their enemies the usual courtesy of a telephone call before they strike!

POSTSCRIPT: I note that Reuters is still falling for the Hizbullah line that the majority of the 1,200 Lebanese killed during the 34-day war in Lebanon were "civilians". The distinction between civilians and terrorists is of course, totally blurred when you understand that Hizbullah is an army of civilian terrorists.

Friday, November 17, 2006


On 23 September 2005, there was a large explosion at a Hamas rally at the Jabaliya refugee camp in Northern Gaza where members were parading with homemade weapons and explosives.

Associated Press correspondent Ibrahim Barzak wrote that originally "Hamas blamed Israel for that blast, claiming Israeli aircraft fired missiles into the crowd."

Hamas followed this up with rocket attacks on Israeli towns that "were meant as retaliation."

Barzak reported howver, that "the Palestinian Authority held the Islamic militants responsible, saying they apparently mishandled explosives on a large truck which was carrying missiles." The final toll was 19 dead and 80 wounded.

So it came to pass that nineteen Palestinians died in Gaza as a result of an accidental explosion at a Hamas rally, the same number as those who died last week in the accident at Beit Hanoun.

Back then however, the story dissolved completely from public sight once it became clear that Israel had nothing to do with the tragedy.

There was no condemnation of Hamas in the United Nations, the story was moved swiftly out of the BBC and CNN news reports, nobody wrote letters to the Guardian or the Melbourne Age complaining that the tragedy hadn't been given sufficient space in its news sections, the cynics did not question that it was an accident, not a single eyebrow was raised at Hamas' ingenuous attempt to deflect blame on Israel by lying and there were no calls for the leadership of Hamas to be tried for war crimes.

Nobody cared much about the dead.

Least of all the Palestinian electorate which, a mere four months later, elected Hamas to govern them.

And the rockets are still being fired at Israel. Two days ago they killed Faina (Fatima) Slutzker, 57, a resident of Sderot. Not that most of us here in Australia would know if we picked up a newspaper.

It's a very strange world!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Photojournalist Bruno Stevens tells an interesting tale about the Beirut "garbage dump" which was was allegedly the site of a downed IAF plane at the height of the Lebanon war.


Monday, November 13, 2006


Daniel Mandel, in an opinion piece published in today's Melbourne Age states that "ISRAEL STILL HAS NO GENUINE PEACE PARTNER".

The question is still being asked - "what is a peace partner"?

We all might have different answers to that question but Mandel makes a good point when he says that "... to this day, both Fatah and Hamas, which together command the support of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, call in their respective charters for Israel's destruction, while Hamas goes one further and calls for Jews to be murdered ... ".

The Palestine Authority on the other hand did purport to amend the Palestine National Charter some years ago but never got around to producing the new wording which was supposed to accept Israel's right to self-determination.

All of that became pretty well irrelevant after Hamas was elected to govern the Palestinians and its leaders have confirmed on a number of occasions that Hamas would never grant recognition to Israel.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


While surfing around this morning I came across Bagel Blogger who, while surfing around a few days ago, came across a site masquerading under the name PEACE IN THE DESERT.

I'll leave it to Bagel Blogger to tell the story of what happened when he looked a little closer and read what Desert Peace has to say about "peace" in POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM: APPEARANCES AND DECEPTIONS.

Suffice to say, the word "peace" is being well and truly mauled by Desert Peace who claims to be located in Jerusalem, Israel and an " Peace/Civil Rights Worker.. Aiming to establish a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, while at the same time continue the struggle against racism and for peace throughout the world."

Friday, November 10, 2006


The Israel-Palestine conflict is back in the news today in the wake of the tragic deaths of 18 Palestinians in the Gazan town of Beit Hanoun as a result of an apparent misfire of Israeli shells.

There has been widespread international condemnation of Israel as a result of the shelling while the Palestinian leadership has vowed to renew suicide bombings against the Israelis. For their part, the Israelis expressed regret about the tragedy and offered aid for the wounded.

The incident was covered all of the daily newspapers available in Melbourne. The Australian Newspaper and Melbourne's Herald Sun covered the story and provided at least a little context to the Israeli shelling by reference to the IDF's operation to deter the firing of rockets from the area into southern Israeli communities.

Predictably however, the Melbourne Age chose to provide a report from Nidal al-Mughrabi of Reuters which simply fails to provide any of that context for its readers who must be left wondering why on earth those nasty Israelis were operating in the area [RETALIATION URGED OVER GAZA SHELLS] ?

Thankfully, there are some journalists who have the desire to paint a more complete picture in order to provide the necessary context to such a tragic story as that of the deaths in Gaza - journalists like Anne Barnard and Sa'id Ghazali of the Boston Globe. Their report told us what Zakaria al-Kafarna, an uncle of one of the victims, said:-

"... he blamed the bombing in part on militants who fired rockets nearby. Anyone can come to the area and fire a rocket, he said. 'What about us? We are sleeping.'"

Why are there "militants" firing rockets across the border at Israeli towns and from inside such heavily populated areas as Beit Hanoun?

A little over a year ago, Israel departed from Gaza and ended its occupation of land inhabited by 1.4m Palestinians.

Surely, the withdrawal from Gaza would have provided the Palestinians, governed then by Fatah and now by Hamas, with a perfect opportunity to show the world that they can develop a peaceful civil society in at least this part of the world.


All we heard was the thunder of Quassam rockets, the noise of the destruction of greenhouses, the digging of more tunnels with which to import weapons of war into the hands of terrorists and the din of the critics who complained that Israel was still in "occupation" because it controlled the borders, the airspace, the ports etc. There were even those among the Palestinians who were desperately searching for a Gaza equivalent of the Sheba Farms to hang their "no end to occupation" hats upon.

And during that time, Beit Hanoun has been a hub of terror activity - a place where some of those smuggled weapons have been discovered by the IDF and a place where Quassams are being fired at Israeli towns on a daily basis.

The Palestinian government has done nothing to prevent the smuggling of the weapons or the firing of the Quassams.

And the Melbourne Age has done little to report on this activity or the looming tragedy for the people on both sides of the green line between Israel and Palestine as a result of the weapons build up and the continuing indiscriminate firing of rockets at civilian targets.

FOOTNOTE: Among the ignored items in much of the media was the report from earlier this week about the Palestinian woman suicide bomber who blew herself up in Gaza. There have been several other unsuccessful and unreported suicide bombing attempts in recent months which have remained on the Blank Pages. These attempts come with the full support of the official Palestinian Authority media. You can read about these in Arnold Roth's excellent blog This Ongoing War.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This one from the BBC would have to take some beating:-


Monday, November 06, 2006


John Keegan of the London Daily Telegraph predicts that Israel will go to war again soon and tells us why.

The coming war will be on two fronts - southern Lebanon and Gaza where there has been a build up of weaponry coming in from its border with Egypt.

Despite Egyptian undertakings to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza, not a single arrest has been made on the southern Gaza border. Ze'ev Schiff of Haaertz reports that the Egyptians are "neglecting the prevention of smuggling" [EGYPT AND WEAPONS SMUGGLING/EMPTY PROMISES TO PREVENT 'HAMASTAN'].

Aware of the weapons build up and tiring of the continued firing of quassam rockets into its civilian areas the Israelis are striking hard at armed Palestinian groups while Palestinian leaders call for international intervention.

What they mean is that they want the same sort of international intervention that we are seeing in Lebanon - the sort that looks the other way at the smuggling of arms and the digging of fortified tunnels in civilian areas.

But not the sort of international intervention that would bring the parties to the peace table.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Abdollah Derkaoui of Morocco this week inherited the mantle of the foremost racist in the art world (a title officially vacated since the days when Adolph Hitler used to paint walls in Munich) after he was awarded first prize in Iran's Holocaust art festival - Moroccan wins first place in Iran Holocaust cartoon contest.

The winner would have had some stiff opposition from a vile Michael Leunig cartoon originally entered as a practical joke by a member of the ABC's satirical Chaser programme. When the artist was informed of this, he apparently threw a fit and promptly had his cartoon withdrawn. He later thanked the nice Iranians for their kind consideration in removing his piece from the exhibition.

Leunig's picture was a cheap and nasty attempt to draw equivalence between the deaths in combat of 52 Palestinians, the vast majority terrorists involved in the suicide bomb making industry of Jenin in 2002, and the slaughter of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. The then Age editor, Michael Gawenda, saw the Leunig cartoon for what it was and refused to publish. This, in turn, upset Leunig's mates on Media Watch who thought the message it imparted was worthy of an airing.

It's a bit of a shame that the Iranians let Leunig off the hook so easily.

I'm by no means an expert on cartoons, but in my view it would have been one of the favourites. Indeed, I'll go further and state that Mr. Derkaoui stole the idea for his work from Leunig himself. The winning cartoon depicts Israel's security barrier as a mirror reflecting the image of Aushwitz which is interesting in itself given that the sponsors of the competition reckon that the Holocaust was a myth!

Perhaps Leunig, who seems to get on so famously with the Iranians, could redeem himself by paying his mate Ahmadinejad a visit with a request that he stops his anti Semitic ranting and puts an end to his nuclear weapons programme.

And then perhaps pigs might fly too!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


One strike involving three Pakistani helicopters and ... poof!

The lives of 80 innocent young students at a Muslim religious school have been snuffed out - PAKISTAN GUNSHIPS KILL 80 AT RELIGIOUS SCHOOL!

That's just one strike in one day!

Now imagine if Israel acted with such efficiency when it defended itself against Hizbullah's 14 July 2006 attacks in their recent 34 day war?

The IDF struck Lebanon hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day with precision attacks on Hizbullah targets.

If it was Israel's real intention to cause disproportionately massive loss of life as has been alleged against it, then just ten daily incidents of that magnitude would have led to 800 deaths per day or over 27,000 fatalities in slightly over a month of conflict.

Instead, the death toll was around 1,000. If we believe Lebanese estimates then all of the dead were presumably as "innocent" as those young Pakistani "students" in that madrassa in Chingai.
Of course, we know now that it's likely that at least 600 of those killed in Lebanon were Hizbullah.

This still leaves too many non-combatant deaths but that sort of thing will inevitably happen when a movement like Hizbullah embeds itself within a civilian population and then makes war on a neighbouring country and its citizens.

At least we now have something against which to measure the concept of proportionality.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


In light of the absurdity of claims that assaults like the Simchat Torah attack on Menachem Vorcheimer are related to Israeli policy or the defence of its citizens against would be mass murderers in the Middle East, here's a thought provoking article from Adam Garfinkle of The American Interest Online THE MADNESS OF JEWCENTRICITY. I'd be interested in your comments.

[Hat Tip: Ronald Green]

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Six years ago, Sydney's southern suburbs were the location of a string of gang-rapes in which teenage girls were threatened at gunpoint and then beaten and degraded by assailants from Lebanese Muslim backgrounds. The young women were called "sluts" and "Aussie pigs" and subjected to dehumanising torture. When the perpetrators were sent to trial, most showed no remorse, their families intimidated the victim witnesses, some of who were spat upon and abused in the courtroom.

Leading Muslims were critical of the behaviour of the accused and correctly pointed out that the great bulk of their community were law abiding and should not be smeared by their association with rapists. Keysar Trad, then vice-president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, said it was "rather unfair" that the rapists' ethnicity had been reported "because these boys themselves have completely disaffiliated themselves from their culture or their religion".

This week Australia's most senior Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali endorsed the concept of blaming the victim in a sermon suggesting that immodestly dressed women are the cause of violent attacks such as the infamous Sydney gang rapes - MUSLIM LEADER BLAMES WOMEN FOR SEX ATTACKS. Strangely, his spokesperson Trad is one of his very few supporters.

Hilali's sermon brought condemnation from many sectors of society including the Muslim community. The Mufti apologised in his own feeble way explaining it all away as a case of being taken out of context. He was misunderstood. The same Hilali has been "misunderstood" in the past; he supports Hizbullah and Hamas, is an apologist for 9/11 and is an anti Semite. Understanably, he has a proclivity for being offensive to those with whose views he disagrees.

On the same low level in the human chain is British Muslim Cleric Arshad Misbahi of the Manchester Central Mosque who thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified IT'S OK TO KILL GAYS - BRITISH IMAM.

Local gay rights activist Peter Tatchell counters the Imam by saying, "It is disturbing that some British imams are endorsing the execution of gay and lesbian Muslims.

"Imam Arshad Misbahi's homophobic attitudes give comfort and succor to queer-bashers. They encourage conflict and disharmony between Manchester's large gay and Muslim communities."

Both Hilali and Misbahi enjoy turning the victims of disturbing crimes into the aggressors; dangers to their ordered view of society. This inversion of victim/perpetrator is both disturbing and unacceptable in our society and they are both being told in no uncertain terms that this is the case.

In much the same way, author Antony Loewenstein whose anti Zionist rant was recently published by Melbourne University Press under the title "My Israel Question", has sought to explain that the victim of a anti-Semitic hate assault was bashed because of "Israeli actions in Israel and Palestine and more recently Lebanon."

The factually challenged Loewenstein, who has no proof whatsoever as to what, if anything, was going through the brains of the drink addled thugs who beat up on Menachem Vorcheimer as he was walking through the streets of suburban Caulfield with his two young children, gleefully associated the attack on Israeli policy in a recent Geelong Advertiser article.

Loewenstein demonstrated he is not only factually challenged but also extremely confused because he told the newspaper that …"For the Jewish community to say there's a wave of anti-Semitism occurring is nonsense, it's just not true".

On the other hand, he claimed to understand that the cause of this non-existent wave of anti Semitism was Israel’s "illegal occupation". Of course, Loewenstein hasn't the slightest clue as to whether any of the hoodlums who attacked Vorcheimer held any views about Israel because the only comments attributed to them were "go Nazis". To that extent, the likelihood is that this particular attack had nothing to do with "Palestinians", "Lebanese" or "illegal occupation" as Loewenstein claimed while playing his insidious game of “blame the victim” with the Geelong Advertiser.

That's because Loewenstein, the current pin up boy of Australia's ultra right wing Jew hating Australian League of Rights, is himself obsessed with the Jews. In his little world, Jews are all fair game in Australia because they have a connection with other Jews in another part of the world called Israel.

That's the country whose citizens are under attack from madmen like Hassan Nasrallah who indiscriminately fires rockets and missiles at them or from Hamas and other would be mass murderers who send suicide bombers and others to attack Israeli civilians in their homes, on busses and in restaurants.

For that, Loewenstein wants to tell the world that Menachem Vorcheimer was viciously attacked in front of his two children while walking down a Melbourne suburban street on Simchat Torah.

At least the Geelong Advertiser wasn't fooled by Loewenstein's false claims. A photograph accompanying its article "BATTLING THE RISE OF ANTI-SEMITIC TIDE" [no link currently available] showed anti-Semitic graffiti in Melbourne containing the words "Victory of Islam. Death for Jew + ..."

The reality is that just as Hilali and Misbahi make poor attempts to explain misogyny and homophobia, Loewenstein does likewise with the actions of drunken anti Semitic thugs. They are all birds of a feather and their rantings should not be tolerated.

COMING SOON: Anti Zionist lobby tries to shut down debate.

Friday, October 27, 2006


"The head of news at the state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been accused of acting arbitrarily in unofficially blacklisting eight journalists and commentators. Among the banned journalists is Israel-based freelancer Paula Slier, a Jerusalem Post contributor, who has been barred from reporting because she is a Jew."


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Senator Michael Ronaldson's concerns about the lack of partiality in Australia's multicultural TV network SBS of Hizbullah's war on Israel are to be raised at next week's Senate estimates hearing in Parliament.

This has provided Sonja Karkar of Australians for Palestine with some concerns of her own. Her 475 word letter is generously given prominence in today's Melbourne Age under the banner What don't they want us to know about Israel?

Ms. Karkar uses that generous allotment of space to tell us exactly what SBS has been telling us about Israel and Lebanon and Israel and the Palestinians without enumerating the multitude of things that it hasn't been revealing to its viewers.

Indeed, SBS operates its reporting on the Middle East in much the same way as does the Age. That is, it tends to shun many of the facets of these ongoing conflicts where the news is not so favourable to the Arab side. And when SBS and the Age aren't hiding certain important aspects of the news from the region they're often putting their own biased slant on them. That's exactly what Sen. Richardson is saying.

Ask yourself for example, when was the last time you saw an item on SBS or read in the Age about the incitement to hatred within PA television controlled by President Mahmoud Abbas who much of the media seek to paint as a "moderate" among Palestinian leaders? Do you recall them ever telling us in any detail about the genocidal, anti-Semitic contents of the Hamas Charter or the racist rantings of Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah?

Senator Ronaldson is seeking to address bias on SBS and for both sides of the argument to be heard.

Sonja Karkar's letter is a plea for the existing bias to be endorsed and to become an intinsic part of SBS editorial policy. This goes against this taxpayer funded organisation's charter and should not be permitted under any circumstances.

FOOTNOTE: Good luck to you if you want to send a response to Karkar's letter to the Age. This is what you have to do and please note what the Age says about the ideal size of your letter.

Send your letters to: Fax: +61 (0)3 96012414Snailmail: 250 Spencer Street, Melbourne 3000 All letters and email (no attachments) to The Age must carry the sender's home address and day and evening phone numbers for verification. Letter writers who would like receipt of their letters acknowledged should send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Ideally, letters will be a maximum of 200 words.


Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad who last week questioned whether violence had become a Palestinian disease, was quoted in yesterday's Jerusalem Post as saying that the kidnapping of an Associated Press photographer in Gaza by four gunmen "damages the reputation of the Palestinian people".

I think he was trying to be serious.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Since well before Oslo it has been accepted that peace between Israel and Palestine is dependent on many things but the mutual recognition of each partys' right to exist and an end to incitement and violence are of paramount importance if peace is to be achieved.

The election of Hamas earlier this year was a major blow to the hopes of those who dream of peace in the region but some commentators still maintain that the road to peace can be achieved by way of dealing with Mahmoud Abbas who heads the Fatah party and who retains the PA Presidency.

It is in this capacity that Abbas runs Palestine Authority TV. Here's an item from Palestine Media Watch on political, hate and violence messages directed at Israel that is aired on PA TV's educational programmes. If you follow to the end of the story, you'll find some Abbas double talk on what the recognition of Israel means. Further down the page, there's the PA's take on the Pope and how Allah will punish him for his speech about Islam and below that, the story of the return of PA TV's big hit music video depicting a Shahid (Martyr for Allah) being rewarded by marrying the Dark Eyed Maidens (Virgins) of Paradise.

All very intriguing but not all that promising for those who want to see peace in the region in the near future!

Monday, October 23, 2006


The letters sections of newspapers don't discriminate against idiots.

This one from Shane McCartin of North Fitzroy appeared in today's Melbourne Age:-

Time for a rethink on Israel, too

NOW that Bush, Blair and Howard are finally expressing doubts about their frolic in Iraq, have they got the honesty to re-evaluate their other Middle East policies? Will they rethink their support for Israel's ongoing destruction of Palestinian civil society and the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations of statehood?

Israel's war against the Palestinians is just as illegitimate as the invasion of Iraq. Both wars are based on lies and deceptions. They both masquerade as wars against terror when, in reality, they are just old-fashioned, outdated, greedy colonial enterprises.

Shane McCartin, North Fitzroy

McCartin believes that Israel's war against the Palestinians is "illegitimate". But if only he could persuade the Palestinians to lay down their arms and come to the negotiating table as they have promised time and again in internationally sponsored agreeements, then perhaps the Israelis might have no need to defend themselves against armed terrorists who explode themselves is buses, schools and restaurants, who fire rockets at civilian targets and who attack unarmed men, women and children. In that event, there might be no "war" for him to write letters about at all.

McCartin is no match however, for Sydneysider Herbert Freilich when it comes to sheer stupidity. This appeared in last Friday's edition of the Australian Jewish News:-

No room for abuse

ONE may or may not agree with the viewpoints expressed by Professor Tanya Reinhart (AJN 13/10), but surely the only proper response should be a rationally-expressed counter-viewpoint – not abuse as illustrated by the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission’s retort about her “outrageous and extreme comments regarding Israel” being “counterproductive to achieving a realistic solution to the conflict”.

The viewpoints Professor Reinhart expressed are not new. They are widely held by people throughout the world, by many Israelis and by many Jews in the Diaspora.

Many of the latter, not wishing to offend and risk abuse from their Jewish colleagues, are reluctant to speak out.

We Jews, including those in Israel, are not reproducing ourselves and should face the reality of decreasing numbers of children per generation, a decrease that is already occurring.

By contrast, the Palestinians and the Arab world in general are increasing exponentially per generation.

A demographic clock is ticking. Time is not on Israel’s side. A hostile population cannot be pacified indefinitely by military means. They only increase the hostility. Peace with the Palestinians and with the Arab world is essential for Israel’s long-or even medium-term future. From my reading, this is what Professor Reinhart was saying.

Herbert Freilich Sydney, NSW

Herbert, you're not a very good reader. If you were, you would acknowledge that most Jews, including the good people at B'nai Brith are very conscious of the demography issue and the need for peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbours. The majority of Israelis support peace with their Palestinian neighbours and earlier this year voted in a government whose policy was to withdraw from Palestinian territories preferably by negotiation but if not, unilaterally. At around about the same time, the Palestinians elected a government that doesn't even recognise Israel's right to exist.

Moreover Herbert, the words you attribute to B'nai Brith are reasonably mild as far as my abuse meter is concerned; far less abusive than the muck which Ms. Reinhardt throws at her fellow Israelis who she accuses of "ethnically cleansing" the Palestinians.

Now here is where Herbert really excells himself in the stupidity department. My undertsanding is that in every instance of "ethnic cleansing" known to mankind, the population of the group of people being ethnically cleansed diminishes dramatically. Not so the Palestinians according to Herbert.

These people are undergoing a population explosion!

Go figure?

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Palestine's Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar has confirmed that his Minstry's policy is to establish a Palestinian state in place of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and that the Jewish State is an 'abomination' which Hamas will never recognize.

"If we can form a state within the 1967 borders we will do so, but this doesn't mean that we will relinquish our right to every centimeter of Palestine's land," he told a rally in Gaza on Friday.

Among the key requirements which the Road Map to Peace in the Middle East (sponsored by the quartet of international mediators including the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia) places on the Palestinians is the recognition of Israel, the denunciation of violence against it and the acceptance of all existing agreements between Israel and the Palestine Authority.

Now, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that it is unrealistic for the international community to expect the Hamas government to fully accept the quartet's conditions at present, and that the Palestinian movement should be given more time to honour them.

In other words, the Russians are prepared to give Hamas and the other Palestinian armed groups a free rein for the time being to build up their weaponry, to continue their murderous attacks on Israelis including the daily firing of quassam missiles into Israeli towns and to maintain the constant stream of incitement and the call to "kill Jews everywhere" in the PA's official media.

But how much time does the word "never" as used by the Palestinian Foreign Minister encompass?

If nothing else, the comments of his Russian counterpart prove that Russian civilization has moved very slowly since the time when starting a pogrom against the Jews was the national sport.

And with the encouragement of the Russians, it's likely that the Palestinian advance from their current parlous situation will move at a similar pace.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


What happened to the greenhouses originally built by Israeli settlers and gifted by Western businessmen to the Palestinian people when Israel ended its occupation of Gaza last year?

The greenhouses once produced a variety of fruit and vegetables and provided employment for Palestinian labourers but twelve months is a long time in the history of terrorism.

The greenhouses have now been converted by enterprising armed thus into conduits for the importation of weapons into Gaza for use against Israeli civilians in parts of Israel that were never occupied territory.

Thus, Gaza will become a war zone and it's peoples' suffering will continue.

Why, you ask?

Don't bother consulting the Melbourne Age if you want the answer. It won't even put you in the picture because it only tells its readers what it wants them to read.

Friday, October 20, 2006


According to Human Rights Watch, Hizbullah used cluster bombs during its war on Israel this northern summer [REPORT:HIZBULLAH USED CLUSTER BOMBS]. The report comes months after HRW's condemnation of the use by Israel of the same weapon in much large quantities and follows visits by the human rights organisation to the Israeli Druse village of Mughar "whose family members - civilians - were wounded by Hizbullah's cluster bombing."

Apparently, HRW made no comment on the fact that while the Israeli bombing targetted enemy combatants in the course of prosecuting a war, the targets of the Hizbullah bombing attacks, whether by cluster bombing, the use of sophisticated missiles supplied by Iran and Syria or by katyushas loaded with lethal ball bearings were exclusively civilian - and emanated maily from civilian areas.

And of course, the Melbourne Age which has been right on top of the cluster bomb story until now, has ignored the report altogether.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


The Melbourne Age newspaper today published an article that would have done Joseph Goebells proud.

The report entitled "INJURIES POINT TO NEW ISRAELI WEAPONS" is a truncated version of an offering from the Guardian newspaper by Rory McCarthy "GAZA DOCTORS SAY PATIENTS SUFFERING MYSTERY INJURIES AFTER ISRAELI ATTACKS" in which claims were made by Gazan doctors that they recently came across "previously unseen injuries from Israeli weapons that cause severe burning and leave deep internal wounds, often resulting in amputations or death."

The story is an obvious beat up.

The doctors in question provide descriptions of symptoms and make their diagnoses without a shred of evidence to support their outlandish claims. There's no indication whether scientific tests were undertaken to substantiate their conclusions but if the evidence existed, why did the doctors not produce it to human rights groups or to the reporter?

One of the doctors identified is Saied Jouda who just happens to be the deputy director of Kamal Odwan Hospital, the very same hospital where victims of the infamous Gaza Beach tragedy were taken earlier this year after the unfortunate explosion that was initially and wrongly blamed on Israeli shelling. There were questions raised about hospital procedure and recording at the time. Today's article has done nothing to dispel my doubts about the hospital's credibility and the competence of its staff.

The lack of evidence points to the whole story being another link in the endless chain of concoctions that form part of a carefully orchestrated anti Israel media campaign emanating from this part of the world. That campaign, based on lies and misinformation, in its present form stretches back from the opening days of the current conflict in 2000 with the death of Mohammed al Dura, to the infamous false allegations of a "massacre" in Jenin, to the above mentioned Gaza Beach "beat up". A similar monstrous and well documented campaign of deception was waged against Israel during the recent Lebanon war.

True to form, the Age didn't bother to include a rebuttal from the Israelis but the longer Guardian article at least allows them this courtersy. It quotes the IDF as denying the story and adding that the..."defence establishment is investing considerable effort to develop weaponry in order to minimise the risk of injury to innocent civilians." Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, a retired Israel air force general who was involved in weapons development said he believed the wounds came "from ordinary explosives".

An International Red Cross representative said his organisation was investigating and, although this is not reported anywhere, it should be added that the intervention of aliens from another galaxy hasn't yet been ruled out either!

An almost identical charge was levelled against Israel during the recent conflict in Lebanon but subsequent independent German tests found them to be false. This report from YOUTUBE is somewhat dramatic but it demonstrates the absurdity of the claim.

The question remains as to why the Age adopts such an unbalanced stance in its reporting of news from the region.

Why does the Age highlight people like Carmen Callil, Tony Judt and the execrable Antony Loewenstein when fatuous claims are made about the suppression of their free speech rights and then ignores the plight of Bangladeshi editor Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury (see here)?

Why are stories such as this one about the discovery of weapons smuggling tunnels in Gaza routinely ignored?

And closer to home, many are asking why has the Age shunned the story of a Jewish man* walking with his two children on the sabbath who was visciously assaulted by drunken louts coming home from the races?

It was a talking point in the city's major tabloid and on radio talk back for days this week but the Age preferred to leave the story on the blank pages while publishing dubious stories that, in all likelihood, originated inside Hamas' media machine and amount to nothing more than blatant propaganda.

POSTSCRIPT: * Since publishing the above, I have been informed that the Age did in fact, cover the story, albeit very briefly, in its on-line section but managed to get the victim's name wrong.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Ghazi Hamad is a spokesperson for the Hamas-led Palestinian government. This week, the Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam published an article he wrote in which he condemned the internal violence enveloping Palestinian society today.

Hamad questioned whether this violence has become a "Palestinian disease". His comments were quoted in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper - HAMAS SPOKESMAN QUESTIONS IF VIOLENCE IS PALESTINIAN 'DISEASE' and included the question whether violence "has become a culture implanted in our bodies and our flesh?" He concluded that his people had surrendered to violence to such an extent that it has smothered Palestinian society whole.

My reading of the article brought to mind the comments of an Australian author of Lebanese descent, Carmen Callil in a paragraph of the postscript to her new book, Bad Faith, about a Vichy official Louis Darquier, who arranged the deportation of thousands of Jews during the Second World War.

Callil claims she grew anxious while researching the "helpless terror of the Jews of France" to see "what the Jews of Israel were passing on to the Palestinian people. Like the rest of humanity, the Jews of Israel 'forget' the Palestinians. Everyone forgets."

Given what Hamad says about violence in Palestinan culture, must we be forced to endure such claptrap?

The London Guardian and Melbourne Age apparently believe that we must.

Last week the Age reproduced this piece of drivel from the Guardian's Ed Pilkington [AUTHOR SHUNNED FOR ISRAEL CRITICISM] reporting on the controversy arising from the cancellation by the French Embassy of a party in Ms. Callil's honour when the above paragraph was brought to its attention.

Pilkington claims that the cancellation caused a storm over the issue of "freedom of speech” suggesting there are forces at work out to douse criticism of the modern state of Israel. He also cites the cancellation of a forthcoming talk by Jewish author Tony Judt by the Polish Embassy after apparent pressure from the "pro-Israel lobby".

The claim is made that the issue in both instances is a simple one - the supressing of criticism of Israel. However, Judt is not just a critic of Israel. According to a paper published in 2003, he called for the dismantling of Jewish state dismantled and its replacement by a one-state solution as the method of resolving its conflict with the Palestinians. His solution involved the Jews of Israel putting their faith in the "international community" to ensure their safety in the event that others who might be suffering from a "culture of violence" harboured any sinister designs on them.

To the extent that this matter is a dispute about freedom of speech I agree with New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier who disagrees with Judt's opinions but agrees that he "has every right to express his contemptible views."

The same applies to the obnoxious comments made by Ms. Callil. She's free to publish her book, to make hateful and untruthful comments about what the Jews are doing to defend themselves from what Mr. Hamad calls "a culture of violence" and even to make the ludicrous suggestion that the Palestinians are "forgotten" by the world.

But this is not about freedom of speech or the freedom of people to criticise Israel. That sort of thing and more, goes on daily in the pages of the Guardian and the Age.

No, this is about something entirely different. It's about the right of people not to accept or tolerate deception.

I don't always agree with the French but their New York Embassy has every right to disassociate itself from sentiments that are deeply offensive. Ms. Callil's statement is more than just contemptible: it demonstrates a total avoidance of reality. To invoke the Holocaust and to make the comparison between the genocide perpetrated on European Jewry as a parallel to the unfortunate situation of the Palestinians is an ugly and obscene misrepresentation.

Callil compounds this obscenity with a further lie by claiming that "…like the rest of humanity, the Jews of Israel 'forget' the Palestinians. Everyone forgets."

Callil expects us to believe that the Palestinians have been forgotten by everyone and the Guardian and the Melbourne Age expect their readers to swallow this garbage?

Come now!

I googled "Guardian" and "Palestine" and came up with 4,240,000 entries in 0.07 seconds. It took a fraction longer than that to uncover 742,000 entries for the Melbourne Age. If that's what we call "forgetting" then what does "remembering" mean?

There must however, be some truth in the "forgotten" Palestinian angle.

Despite its almost daily coverage of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, much of which is devoted to items critical of Israel, the Melbourne Age continues to forget Palestinians like Ghazi Hamad.

This is most regrettable because the views he expressed about a Palestinian "culture of violence" might go some way to clarifying why their ongoing conflict with Israel has produced so much death and suffering on both sides.

There are other things that the Age "forgets" which might assist our understanding of the situation.

Forgotten are the daily attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilian communities by quasam rockets, by bombings, by gunfire, by knifings.

Forgotten is the current build up of tonnes of weaponry under the control of Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups.

Forgotten are the countless number of planned murderous attacks by Palestinians which are foiled by the Israeli Army, also on a daily basis.

Forgotten is the continued belligerence of Hamas' Khalid Mashaal who sits in Damascus and dictates the insane policy of the Palestinian government which refuses to recognise Israel and refuses to disarm the Palestinian terrorist groups as required by the international community under previously recognised peace agreements.

Forgotten is the fact that the international community that does nothing to enforce the disarming of Palestinian armed groups is the same "international community" which Tony Judt insists will safeguard the Jews in his utopian one state solution.

Forgotten are Palestinians like parliamentarian Maryam Farhat who sends her children off as suicide bombers and wishes that more of them would do the same.

There's another thing that the Guardian and the Melbourne Age seem to have forgotten in the context of Ms. Callil's postcript about the Jews, the Holocaust and the Palestinians. The only threats of genocide made in the context of the current conflict are those contained in the formal charters of the Palestinian armed groups and they are made against "Jews" (not "zionists" but "Jews"). Included among those that make such threats is the charter of Hamas, the party that was voted into power by the Palestinians earlier this year.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg but at least, for the benefit of Carmen Callil, it can truthfully be said that, the Melbourne Age has managed to forget some, if not all, Palestinians.

FOOTNOTE: I am informed that when asked in an interview on Israeli radio about violence against Jews, Hamad replied that he "approved of it". This comes from a moderate voice of the Hamas government who speaks of walking and sitting in peace and having "a dialogue in peace". However, he applies such concepts only to inter-Palestinian violence and he has no vision or desire to promote peaceful co-existence with his peoples' neighbours. Instead he is happy to consign his own people and their neighbours to many more years of "helpless terror".

Ah well, let's just forget the whole thing, shall we?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Dear Comrades,

The People's Republic of China has recently taken some dramatic steps in support of its communist ally North Korea by commencing inspections of cargo trucks bound for its neighbour and also by stepping up the construction of an Apartheid Wall along the border between the two countries - CHINA INSPECTS NORTH KOREAN CARGO.

To suggest however, that the objective of this action is to enforce the new United Nations sanctions levelled against the North Koreans for their recent wonderful nuclear test is an Imperialist lie. This has nothing to do with that glorious achievement.

The action has been taken as a vehicle for keeping the revolutionary motivation and steadfastness of the zealous North Korean peasantry at the highest possible level.

A dialectic materialist analysis of history has shown us many times that such things as food and the material products which are so important to capitalism's running dogs are of no use to the Proletariat and only serves to soften them. Accordingly, it was resolved that it is in the interests of our North Korean brothers and sisters to prevent cargo from crossing the border.

Further, in order to enable these heroic peoples to truly understand the nature of oppression, the People's Republic has made the decision to construct a massive barbed wire and concrete fence along parts of its border with the North.

"Although the project was approved in 2003, the fence-building appears to have picked up since the test was announced. Scores of soldiers have descended on farmland near the border-marking Yalu River to erect concrete barriers 8 to 15 feet tall and string barbed wire between them, farmers and visitors to the area said."

The construction is most definitely an Apartheid Wall but it is there for no other reason than to remind our North Korean brothers in arms and all good people everywhere of a similar barrier built in another place.

The identification with this Apartheid Wall is necessary to enable them to clearly understand that the root cause of their miserable existence and that the true blame for all of their problems including their poverty, their hunger, the crime, drug addiction, the sexual assaults on their revolutionary sisters and the corruption in their society lies with the zionist entity.


Author Salman Rushdie explains why the conflict between Israel and Palestine is not the explanation or the "root cause" of Islamic terrorism in this article in the Independent:-

"If tomorrow the Israel/Palestine issue was resolved to the total happiness of all parties, it would not diminish the amount of terrorism coming out of al-Qa'ida by one jot. It's not what they're after," he adds, his foot tapping against mine as he leans forward. "Yes, it's a recruiting tool, rhetorically. Many people see there's an injustice there, and it helps them to get people into the gang, but it's not what they want. What they want is to change the nature of human life on earth into the image of the Taliban. If you want the whole earth to look like Taliban Afghanistan, then you’re on the same side as them. If you don't want that, you're not. They do not represent the quest for human justice. That, I think, is one of the great mistakes of the left.”

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Australian Ambassador Naftali Tamir has apparently put his foot in his mouth here.

The statements attributed to him have not yet been verified and there are indications he might have been misquoted. However, the report has already given some of Israel's enemies ammunition with which to move into attack mode, not just on the beleagured diplomat but against the Jewish State and its people.

The remarks attributed to Ambassador Tamir are unacceptable; it is grossly offensive to suggest that our country's engagement with Asia could in any way be based on race. If he has been correctly quoted, he should apologise and resign his post.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recalled Ambassador Tamir as part of its investigation into the matter and has made it clear its disassociation with the sentiments attributed to him. Further, it has indicated that if the statement was verified there would be no return to "business as usual".

We await the outcome of the investigation (expected on Thursday) with interest.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Sometimes the Melbourne Age chief cartoonist and icon in residence gets it right.

Today's cartoon is brilliant and insightful in that it highlights one of the major deficiencies in news reporting these days.

Leunig correctly exposes the reporting sin of deliberate omission, one that much of the media is guilty of committing from time to time - even his own paper, the Melbourne Age.

Especially when it comes to its coverage of the events of the ongoing conflict between Israel and her neighbours.

Hardly a day goes by without a negative or critical article about Israel in the Age. There is no other nation in the world that has every aspect of its conduct scrutinised as closely as does the Jewish State in this newspaper. Those who oppose it, including the more violent ones, are often depicted as victims and subject to suffering; the families of suicide bombers receive more sympathetic attention than the bombers who kill and maim innocent people.

Conversely, when internal violence between the different terrorist gangs in Gaza or the West Bank leads to a dozen deaths including those of innocent bystanders as it did last week, heads turn the other way. The violent death cults, the intimidation, the honour killings and the bombing of churches by armed Palestinian groups in these territories are barely on the radar of the Age newspaper.

It's all just more stuff for the blank pages.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well, the Zionists get the blame for everything, including the slaughter of the innocents in Darfur by Arab militias backed by the Sudanese government, so why not North Korean nuclear testing?

Indeed, they might as well plead guilty now before the usual suspects at Counterpunch, Antiwar and assorted propaganda mouthpieces for the Palestinian terror networks and Hizbullah come up with the proof.

Ami Isseroff provides a good read here.

Now let's move on to ...


Ed O'Loughlin is still on tour in Lebanon.

In today's Melbourne Age he brings us the story of how HEZBOLLAH DIVIDES LEBANESE AS THEY RISE FROM RUBBLE.

The Israelis don't feature that much although O'Loughlin does reveal that during the recent war "Israel targeted Hezbollah's strongholds in south Beirut and southern Lebanon".

Fancy hearing that from Ed!

I was under the impression from the way the Age covered the war two months ago that the Israelis were targetting the entire country. Now, he reveals that for the most part, they spared the places where the Christian, Sunni, Druse and people other than the Shi'ite Hezbollah live.

I guess that would be right given that the Christians, Sunnis, Druse and others didn't use their residential areas from which to launch their rockets at Israeli homes.

This might also explain why the Age reports that Sh'ite Marian Srour, 39, one of hundreds of villagers who returned to her home in South Lebanon after the ceasefire, has a problem with members of the Lebanese army serving "tea to the Israeli soldiers."

Heaven forbid that one side should see the other as human and deal with them as such!

Today's Age also covers the Australian tour of prominent left-wing Israeli academic and author Tanya Reinhart who has announced she plans to quit as emeritus professor at Tel Aviv University in protest against her Government's handling of the Palestinian issue.

What took her so long?

Reinhart has been around for ages promoting her particular narrative of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Her own take on the recent war in Lebanon initiated by Hassan Nasrallah is that Israel, which was the subject of an unprovoked attack by Hizbullah after it spent six years building up an arsenal of lethal missiles, wanted to "ethnically cleanse southern Lebanon."

Of course, that makes no sense whatever and even if it somehow did make sense, there's no evidence for the claim. Still, she's entitled to her views and has been freely pushing them for a long, long time from the ivory tower she inhabits inside the halls of academe in Tel Aviv. I have little doubt that there are some Age readers who want to believe these improbable scenarios and that some will even turn up to listen to her ramblings at the Carrillo Gantner Theatre tomorrow. After all, the show's for free!

For my part, I believe Reinhart is living proof of the healthy and robust democracy that the pioneers of the Jewish State developed in Israel where it's possible to be a vehement critic of the government and to support the other side - even when that side includes an "armed resistance" that often resorts to murder and terror against its civilians.

As for the Israeli solders who were sipping cups of tea with their Lebanese counterparts, I somehow doubt that they would have partaken in such pleasures if they also happened to be on enemy territory with the intention of committing an evil deed like ethnic cleansing. If that was really your aim, why on earth would you warn the other side by leaflets of impending attacks? And if my memory serves me well, the only threat of ethnic cleansing made during the conflict came not from the Israelis but from Hizbullah's leader Hassan Nasrallah and that was against the Jews specifically. However, as I said above, Reinhart rarely ever makes any sense.

To my mind, if the people of Palestine or Lebanon can't even have a cup of tea with the so-called "enemy" then perhaps the answers to the problems of the region rest not with the Jews but with the "other side" including those who might have taken leave of their senses and jumped ship.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad calls President Bush and tells him, "George, I had a wonderful dream last night. I could see America, the whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner."

"What did it say on the banners?" Bush asks.

Ahmadinejad replies, "UNITED STATES OF IRAN."

Bush says, "You know, Mahmud, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner."

"What did it say on the banners?" Mahmud asks.

Bush replies, "I don't know. I can't read Hebrew."

Friday, October 06, 2006


When PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas says he will fire the Hamas-led Palestinian Government before the end of the month unless they accept Israel's right to exist, he doesn't really mean what he's saying.

That's because he doesn't consider that recognising Israel really means recognising Israel - certainly not in so far as any of the armed Palestinian groups are concerned. Read about it here.

And people wonder why Gaza and the West Bank are such lawless and chaotic places and why the task of achieving peace in this region is so damned difficult.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


They used to say the first casualty in war is the truth and that certainly was the case with the war between Hizbullah and Israel in Lebanon over July-August 2006.

Not only did we have to put up with the usual pack of lies from politicians and the warring parties, but we were also treated to a stunning array of fakery in the media ranging from doctored and staged photographs to news stories based on fraudulent accounts from so-called "eye witnesses" to dubious casualty figures which claimed, inter alia, that the fighting had claimed the lives of 1,000 Lebanese who, according to many reporters including Ed O'Loughlin of the Melbourne Age, were mostly "civilians".

Strangely enough, no figures were ever made available of Hizbullah deaths in action.

Of course, it's not always easy to differentiate between ordinary civilians and members of a civilian terrorist organisation who usually wear civilian clothes and operate within civilian areas turning those areas into battle fields when they use them as cover to fire at enemy civilian targets.

Still, the impression we got from the way the war was reported in the west was that, by some miracle, not a single Hizbullah fighter had succumbed in its glorious "victory" over Israel.

Well, finally an Hizbullah casualty has been uncovered.

According to Reuters, Radwan Saleh, a 35 year old American citizen and Hizbullah fighter, was buried yesterday in Lebanon after his body was discovered in the village of Maroun al-Ras.

That brings the unofficial Hizbullah death toll to exactly one.

Not a bad effort against the fifth strongest army in the world - that is assuming we believe what Hizbullah and its cheerleaders including some in the media are telling us is the truth.

[FOOTNOTE: My first thought when I saw the Reuters photograph of the goose stepping Hizbullah "militant" was that it might have been doctored. It's not - the picture is genuine!]

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Tension is mounting in the Gaza Strip as a Palestinian group threatens to kill prominent Hamas leaders and the power struggle between Fatah and the ruling Hamas movement escalates after two days of internal fighting in which 12 Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded. Palestinian group threatens to kill Hamas leaders

Apparently some of the dead were civilian bystanders and all of the deaths will probably be attributed ultimately to the Israelis where they will wind up on the scoreboard of Palestinians killed since Yasser Arafat started hostilities in late September, 2000.

And if not the Israelis, it will be somebody else who will be blamed, but not the Palestinians who are doing the fighting themselves. They are lillywhite because they "suffer" like no other people on this earth do and this gives them special privileges when it comes to dealing with their own people and their neighbours.

Azzam Tamimi, is a Palestinian-born academic based in Britain, who advocates "martyrdom", calls Israel a "cancer in the body of humanity" and maintains that it should be "eradicated". He not only has been given a voice in Britain’s Guardian newspaper but also a headline containing the word "Peace".

That's about as close as you'll ever get to reading about a meaningful and peaceful resolution of this conflict from Azzam Tamimi whose advice is nothing more than a recipe for a civil war, further bloodshed and more squandered opportunities to reach true peace.

I'm sure we'll be reading and hearing more of the same from the apologists for Palestinian violence and from those who seek to demonise Israel rather than encourage Palestinian compliance with existing agreements which obligate them to fight terrorism, to arrest and disarm terrorists, put an end to the incitement and to accept Israel as a sovereign Jewish state.

The international community recognises this as the best way to end the conflict and of course, to end the occupation of most of the land conquered by Israel in 1967. Unfortunately, the likes of Azzam Tamimi and the thugs who are slugging it out in Gaza and the West Bank don't get it yet!