Friday, February 27, 2009


New York Times correspondent Michael Slackman thinks the "T" word is loaded and tends to upset the terrorists who, after all, feel entitlef to consider their opponents (read: victims) as terrorists as well - MEMO FROM CAIRO DISENTANGLING LAYERS OF A LOADED TERM IN SEARCH OF A THREAD OF PEACE

"If President Obama is serious about repairing relations with the Arab world and re-establishing the United States as an honest broker in Middle East peace talks, one step would be to bridge a chasm in perception that centers on one contentious word: terrorism."

And so, peace will come if we describe thugs and murderers whose avowed aim is to commit genocide as what?

Rock stars?

Eric Trager of Commentary Magazine does a number on the Slackman whose own name, at least, is an apt description. The slack man is just a lazy journalist.

First, the administration’s choice of words – i.e., whether it calls Hamas and Hezbollah “terrorists” or “our dearest friends” – has nothing to do with Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects. Hamas didn’t start firing rockets into Israel because the Bush administration called it a terrorist organization; nor did Hezbollah kidnap Israeli soldiers to set off the 2006 Lebanon war because it was on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. In short, Slackman’s causal argument is at odds with the facts, not to mention basic logic.

Second, it’s not clear what the upshot is of the U.S. changing the language it uses to describe these groups. For starters, it seems incredibly unlikely – and that’s being generous – that Hamas would suddenly be willing to recognize and make peace with Israel if the U.S. no longer referred to it as a terrorist organization. Moreover, changing our definition of “terrorist” to give Hamas and Hezbollah a pass would jeopardize U.S. public diplomacy: the moment we fail to call non-state actors who target civilians for political ends – and this is precisely what Hamas and Hezbollah do – terrorists, we lose the right to our most compelling and widely accepted moral argument against al-Qaeda. How long will it be before 9/11 is seen as remarkable only on account of its scale, with its criminality a topic for navel-gazing debate?

Finally, Slackman conveniently ignores the primary reason why the U.S. still refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations – namely, because these groups have refused to renounce terrorism, and doing so has long been a key precondition for their engagement with the U.S. Naturally, Slackman doesn’t bother to ask a leader from Hamas or Hezbollah the obvious question: if you’re not really a terrorist organization, why don’t you just renounce terrorism as per western demands?

Of course, it’s easy to explain these oversights. In Slackman’s world, the Arab-Israeli conflict has little to do with the major combatants’ strategic choices – after all, Slackman doesn’t interview these combatants. Rather, he interviews ordinary Egyptians and a handful of former Arab diplomats and scholars – so, naturally, resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict requires that the U.S. do what it must to achieve their approval.

Does foreign policy analysis get any lazier than this?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Australian Newspaper is leading the way in exposing the oldest hatred.

Novelist Alan Gold who was a delegate at Durban I (rather inappropriately named the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism because it actually promoted racism) today tells why Australia should play no part in the second coming of this conference:-

" THE 120th anniversary of Hitler's birth falls on April 20, which coincidentally is the day nations will gather in Geneva under the banner of the UN to discuss ways of dealing with the growth of racism."


"As one of the small number of Australian delegates in Durban eight years ago, I witnessed some of the most egregious anti-Semitic propaganda, speeches and decisions since World War II.

"So bad was the venality, so biased the organisers, so effete the UN secretariat running the conference that the US delegation walked out in disgust halfway through."


"If the US does manage to shift the focus away from Islamic hatred of Israel, and turn the spotlight on to the pressing religious and racial discrimination across the world, US influence will be boosted. But what if this policy fails?"

Given that the original hatefest was also under United Nations auspices, I wouldn't hold out too much hope for anything other than total failure of this policy.

We only need to look at what's happening with one UN agency - the United Nations Relief and Works Agency which has effectively kept the Palestinian refugee problem alive for six decades. Not content with that and with acting as a shill for terrorists, now UNRWA is acting as a courier for Hamas - UNRWA offers political cover to Hamas. Hamas, whose charter espouses the views set out in the antiSemitic forgery from czarist times - The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which advocates the destruction of Israel and genocide against Jews.

I can see it now on 20 April, Ging and Gunness holding their glasses aloft and sipping Irish whisky in celebration of Adolph.


Following on from Caryl Churchill's obnoxious 10 minute play written for British skinheads but patronised at the Royal Court Theatre by extreme left wingers and jihadists, Marty Petetz of the New Republic has discovered some more things that Jews are good for - What Don't the Jews Do?

"The Jerusalem Post reports this morning that Turkish television has a new mini-series which features Israel as a crucial player in the local mafia's drug and prostitution enterprises.

"Reuters reports that Muammar Qaddafi, the long-time nutsy president of Libya and this year's president of the African Union (just to tell you how serious the A.U. is), says he has definitive proof that Israel is behind the war in Sudan and not the government in Khartoum. The International Criminal Court is considering pressing genocide charges against Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir. But Qaddafi knows these are not true.

"And, finally, the third accusation against the Jews for the day comes from Egyptian Muslim cleric Ahmad Abd Al-Salam on state television: The Jews "infect food with cancer and ship it to Muslim countries."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This article should have appeared in the Melbourne Age as a retraction for the calumnies it passed for publication when the event originally occurred [DUPED!] but the editor of the Age didn't speak up because ...

Instead it appeared in The Australian today.


In the initial version of the incident, based on Palestinian sources, the casualties were said to have been inside a UN school in the Jabalya refugee camp north of Gaza City. This proved to be wrong when UN officials acknowledged that no shell had hit the school. However, Israel was still accused of having caused the deaths of civilians.

"I know that no one was killed in the school," a senior UN official was quoted as saying.

"But 41 innocent people were killed in the street outside the school. The state of Israel has to answer for that.

"What did they know and what care did they take?"

An answer to that question has been furnished by Colonel Moshe Levi, head of the Israel Defence Forces' Gaza Co-ordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), which normally deals with the transfer of aid to the Gaza Strip through Israeli crossing points.

With the onset of the war, Colonel Levi and his staff began compiling a list of casualties in Gaza, as reported by Palestinian health officials, and comparing the names with those on its own list of Gaza residents and its registry of militants.

In a 200-page report recently issued, the CLA identifies more than 1200 Palestinian fatalities by name and gives their Palestinian identity numbers, the circumstances in which they were killed and the militant group, if any, with which they were affiliated.

The report concludes that about one-third of the total fatalities were civilian, and not two-thirds, as Palestinian sources claimed.



Hat tip [Elder of Ziyon]

COMING SOON TO THE ROYAL KANGAROO COURTHOUSE THEATRE: SEVEN ARAB CHILDREN by Pedro Chamberlain [this one's actually based on fact]

"Tell them Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys"

"Don't tell them the truth"

"Tell them the rabbit died protecting a Grad missile imported from Iran for the purpose of destroying kindergartens full of zionist murderers and thieves"

"Don't tell them the truth".

"Tell them our good friend Uncle John gave the IDF the GPS co-ordinates for the school their shells didn't hit anyway"

"Don't tell them the truth"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I find it extraordinary that Mr. Foot in the Mouth Chris Gunness is still a Spokesperson for UNRWA. In today's Australian, Mr. FITM tries to worm his way around some of the deceptions that he and his UNRWA cohort John Ging attempted to weave against the IDF during the recent Gaza War. Here's the letter which attempts to correct an earlier Australian article by Abraham Rabinovich followed by the journalist's curt response which places Gunness back in the box where he belongs. Both Gunness and Ging should be suspended by the UN pending an impartial investigation into the operations of UNRWA but that won't happen. After all, it is the United Nations!


I WRITE to correct the article by Abraham Rabinovich of February 6 ("UN back down on ‘school massacre“‘) which makes false claims about the UN and UN officials. The article refers to an incident on January 6 near the United Nations Relief and Works Agency school in Jabalia, Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people. The article infers that the UN’s reporting was misleading and that UN officials failed to “dispel widespread suspicions” about “Israeli culpability” for a “school massacre”, “even though they knew otherwise”.

Rabinovich’s assertion could not be further from the truth. All reporting by UNRWA was accurate and consistent and, in addition, UNRWA has repeatedly called for an independent investigation to establish the facts and accountability for the tragic loss of life.

From the outset, UNRWA reported that the attack happened outside the school, while the Israeli authorities initially claimed they were returning fire against militants operating inside the school. But when these Israeli reports were discredited later that same day, they corrected their reporting to state that they were firing at militants operating in the vicinity of the school.

The UNRWA statements were accurately reported in many major international media outlets and are a matter of public record.

In his article, Rabinovich has made one serious error on which his argument against the UN rests. He quotes the Director of UNRWA’s Gaza office, John Ging, as saying that “Those in the school were all families seeing refuge.” The problem for Rabinovich is that Ging was not referring to the incident at Jabalia, but to an attack the night before on the UNRWA school at Asma in Gaza City, where three people were indeed killed inside the school compound. The press conference from which Rabinovich quotes took place in the morning before the Jabalia attack, not afterwards as he leads the readers to believe.

We have looked back at the TV footage and this also makes it clear beyond any doubt that Ging was referring to the Asma school attack, as the Jabalia incident had not occurred at that time. Media outlets such as the Associated Press did attribute the quotes correctly and their report is a matter of public record.

Rabinovich, in his article, draws fully on a report that appeared in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper making similar allegations. However, the Globe and Mail made the same mistake, assuming that Ging was talking about Jabalia when he was talking about the attack at the UNRWA school at Asma.

As for the report of a sister UN agency—the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Human Affairs—cited by Rabinovich, he fails to mention that the agency in question correctly reported the facts on the day of the incident and that it was only in a subsequent weekly summary where they made an error (which was corrected without hesitation as soon as the inconsistency came to light).
Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, UNRWA

Abraham Rabinovich responds: The dismay expressed by John Ging during his press conference at the large-scale killing of civilians in Gaza was one of the most moving moments of the war. It would become linked in the public mind to reports that 43 civilians had been killed by Israeli shells in an UNWRA school.

In my article, I pointed out that Ging did not say that Israeli shells hit the school. Christopher Gunness notes that Ging spoke the night before the incident and not the day of the incident as I wrote. That, however, does not diminish the connection that formed in the mind of the public between the reported deaths of 43 civilians sheltering in one of the schools under Ging’s supervision and his expression of horror at the Israeli attack. His remark that “those in the school were all families seeking refuge” referred to another school where three persons were killed, says Gunness, but that is not what the public understood. The point of my article was not that Ging accused Israel of shelling the Jabalia school—he plainly had not—but neither he nor his spokesman made any effort to correct that impression which, amidst the spin and confusion of Gaza, had been lent credibility by Ging’s appearance.

As for my referencing an article in the Globe and Mail, the reporter, Patrick Martin, was the first foreign correspondent to report from the school after the fighting. He found that it had not been shelled and that there were no fatalities. Only after his report did another UN agency retract its accusation that Israel had shelled the school.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The so-called "human rights group" Amnesty International has called on the United States to stop weapons sales to Israel and on all countries to impose an arms embargo on both Israel and the Palestinians - Amnesty urges arms embargo on Israel.

In its report, Amnesty "focused on the issue of arms sales" however, it would have been more appropriate if Amnesty had focused on obtaining evidence from independent sources and not Palestinian witnesses who might have connections with Hamas or have their own reasons for misrepresenting the truth.

When allegations such as these are made against Israel, I have decided henceforth to apply the Greg Sheridan rule i.e.

I do not believe a single story of Israeli war crimes or atrocities in Gaza. There is no evidence of any such story beyond Palestinian eye-witness accounts and on countless previous occasions these accounts have been fabricated (DUPED)

"...Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of NGO Monitor, said, "This report is clearly part of a campaign to deprive Israel of the means to defend itself. This is another example of Amnesty's double standards and anti-Israel bias exploiting the language of international law."

"Amnesty's reports on Israel are often based on inaccuracies, half-truths and unverifiable allegations from so-called eyewitnesses, and reflect a lack of serious credible research capabilities," Steinberg said.

"In 2002, an Amnesty 'expert' first confirmed the nonexistent Jenin 'massacre,' and in the 2006 conflict with Hizbullah, many of Amnesty's claims were later shown to be unsubstantiated.

The factual errors are amplified by inaccurate statements using the rhetoric of international law, using terms such as 'disproportionate' and 'war crimes,' which they apply far more to Israel than to groups such as Hamas. This ideologically biased pattern was repeated in the recent Gaza conflict."

You can read all about it tomorrow in the usual places but when the stories are later discredited and proven false ...


A fascinating review of what sounds like a fascinting book by French Philosopher Bernard-Henri LevyLeft in Dark Times: A Stand Against the New Barbarism.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Now that the genie's been let out of the bottle, the blood libel that has become the Gaza School scandal simply won't go away. The more the Jerusalem Post delves into the story (IDF releases names of UN school deaths), the more exposed are those in the media and in UNRWA to claims of complicity with terrorists in helping to create the false impression that Israeli soldiers committed war crimes when they returned fire on Hamas fighters operating near the UN school in Jabalya on 6 January 2009.

Of course, the UN now says it is carrying out its own investigation but that is almost certain to be a whitewash set up to cover the backsides of its own officials who were so prominent in almost carrying out the deception.

What's really needed is a transparent investigation not only of this particular incident and others on the recent conflict involving UNRWA and its officials but also a complete look into the functioning of UNRWA itself. A UN investigation would not be enough although we can virtually be assured that its results would find their way into the otherwise uninterested media if there was opening to attack the Israeli version that came about as a result of some painstaking leg work.

The IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) which carried out the research, is so thorough that it identifies most of the terrorists and their civilian human shields. This story alone is of itself far more newsworthy than most of the unconfirmed reports alleging wrongful behaviour on the part of Israel during the Gaza conflict.

Yet it all remains firmly hidden within the confines of the blank pages.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


It must be the creative juices within me but I simply can't resist the urge to cash in on the roaring success of Caryl Churchill's hideous 10 minute exercise in verbal masturbation now playing to brain dead audiences at London's Royal Court Theatre so I'm writing my own play.

The working title is "Seven Arab Children".

I haven't written down a single word yet but the concept behind the play is that it will be narrated by Arab parents telling their children stories based on the plots of a popular Palestinian children's television programme "Pioneers of Tomorrow" featuring animal characters like rats, bunnies, bees, bears and such and every child will be given basically the same message - that Jews are descended from pigs and monkeys and that when they grow up their mission in life will be to destroy neighbouring Israel and to kill Jews everywhere.

There's little doubt that the Royal Court Theatre will snap up this play. The big selling feature is that, with its ten minute duration, it's just enough to satisfy the usual attention span of the target audience of British extreme left, the IJV contingent (pity about Pinter), neo-Nazis and jihadists.

My only concern is that, unlike Churchill's play, mine is based solely upon fact which might not be to the liking of the Royal Court Theatre's po faced impresarios.

Friday, February 20, 2009


More about the blind and toxic hatred of the extreme British Left for Jews from a man of the left named Nick Cohen (who is not yet a Jew!) - HATRED IS TURNING ME INTO A JEW.

"Today the old certainties have gone because there are two far-right movements: the white neo-Nazi parties that the Left still opposes; and the clerical fascists of radical Islam which, extraordinarily, the modern Left succours and indulges. I am not only talking about Ken Livingstone, George Galloway and their gruesome accomplices in the intelligentsia. Wider liberal society is almost as complicit. It does not applaud the Islamist far Right, but it will not condemn it either. From the broadcasters, through the liberal press, the Civil Service, the Metropolitan Police, the bench of bishops and the judiciary, antisemitism is no longer an unthinkable mental deformation. As long as the conspiracy theories of the counter-enlightenment come from ideologues with dark rather than white skins, nominally liberal men and women will not speak out.

"Fight back and you become a Jew, whether you are or not. Mark Lawson recently described an argument at the BBC over the corporation’s decision not to screen the charity appeal for Gaza. His furious colleague declared that the only reason Lawson supported the ban was because he was Jewish. Lawson had to tell him that he was, in fact, raised a Catholic."

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This Howard Jacobson opinion piece in the Independent constitutes a staggeringly brilliant expose of the hate-Israel mindset pervading not only segments of British society but of other parts of the world as well, including Australia - Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is.

What makes the story behind this piece even more staggering is the fact that it was published in a newspaper whose record of dishonest and blatantly antisemitic coverage of Israel's recent conflicts is so vile and so legendary that it gives our local equivalent the appearance of a high society gossip column comparison.

"And Israel? Well, speaking on BBC television at the height of the fighting, Richard Kemp, former commander of British Troops in Afghanistan and a senior military adviser to the British government, said the following: “I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare where any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of civilians than the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) is doing today in Gaza.” A judgement I can no more corroborate than those who think very differently can disprove.

"Right or wrong, it was a contribution to the argument from someone who is more informed on military matters than most of us, but did it make a blind bit of difference to the tone of popular execration? It did not. When it comes to Israel we hear no good, see no good, speak no good. We turn our backsides to what we do not want to know about and bury it in distaste, like our own ordure. We did it and go on doing it with all official contestation of the mortality figures provided by Hamas. We do it with Hamas’s own private executions and their policy of deploying human shields. We do it with the sotto voce admission by the UN that “a clerical error” caused it to mis-describe the bombing of that UN school which at the time was all the proof we needed of Israel’s savagery. It now turns out that Israel did not bomb the school at all. But there’s no emotional mileage in a correction. The libel sticks, the retraction goes unnoticed.

"But I am not allowed to ascribe any of this to anti-Semitism. It is criticism of Israel, pure and simple."

Well, not really just "criticism" of Israel as Jacobson explains in his article. Please read this magnificent deconstruction of Jew bashing trendies carried out with the deft skill of a master surgeon.

And the work could not have appeared in a more appropriate place.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The Melbourne Age today shifted its emphasis in the Middle East from the sublime to the ridiculous with an article sourced from the London Daily Telegraph based on unconfirmed pieces of intelligence suggesting that Israel has launched an "elaborate covert war including the use of hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents" as an alternative to direct strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities - Israel wages cloak-and-dagger war on Iran.

So the Age prefers dealing in the rumours and innuendo that operate within the murky world of Spy vs Spy to dealing in cold, hard facts. Readers might want to know what happened to give rise to the belief that Israel has issues with the Iranians but the Age isn't telling. There's no need to give such stories any context or inform of threats from the Iranian President to wipe the Jewish State off the face of the earth.

But why let facts get in the way of any good story anyway? The Age has yet to supply a single line discrediting its earlier beat ups about the Gaza school massacre which it gleefully ran last month when it was falsely alleged that Israel hit three United Nations-run schools in "attacks that killed up to 48 people" and then changed tack a day later to claim that three Israeli shells "exploded just outside the school grounds, causing pandemonium inside." When it turned out there was no pandemonium inside and that the only civilian deaths were three human shields of Hamas who died along with nine Hamas fighters, the Age went shtum.

And this silence extends to clear evidence of other Hamas atrocities, double-dealing and the repulsive treatment it metes out to its own citizens. Hush, we can't let our readers find out how Hamas treats its children and how its public broadcaster brainwashes them with nasties like Farfour the Mouse, Nahoul the Bee, Assud the Rabbit and now - Naasur the Bear . We must not inform them that Hamas steals humanitarian aid sent across border crossings from Israel and how the United Nations allows Hamas to guard unexploded Israeli ordinance from the Gaza War; weaponry that has suddenly and mysteriously gone missing - Explosives haul missing in Gaza.

These facts can only be found in the blank pages. You know where to go if you want to find unsubstantiated and suspect information, rumours and innuendo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The IDF has belatedly opened its dossier on Palestinian fatalities and revealed "an overview utterly at odds with the Palestinian figures" which were widely published and acepted by the world's media during the Gaza conflict." - World duped by Hamas death count.

The Israeli figure of roughly one third civilian casualties is consistent with claims by IDF supporters that its campaign was marked by an extraordinary effort to minimise civilian casualties in a battle against an enemy that shows no respect for civilians — either on its own side or on that of the other.

The Jerusalem Post article goes on to expose the so-called Gaza school massacre as even more of a scandalous lie than was previously thought:

As an example of such distortion, he cited the incident near a UN school in Jabalya on January 6, in which initial Palestinian reports falsely claimed IDF shells had hit the school and killed 40 or more people, many of them civilians.

In fact, he said, 12 Palestinians were killed in the incident - nine Hamas operatives and three noncombatants. Furthermore, as had since been acknowledged by the UN, the IDF was returning fire after coming under attack, and its shells did not hit the school compound.

“From the beginning, Hamas claimed that 42 people were killed, but we could see from our surveillance that only a few stretchers were brought in to evacuate people,” said Levi, adding that the CLA contacted the PA Health Ministry and asked for the names of the dead. “We were told that Hamas was hiding the number of dead.”

The media across the world fell into a spider's web of lies fed to it by Hamas and inflamed by its UNRWA lapdog spokespersons who seem to think its their job to shill for the terrorists. I have already noted that Toronto Globe and Mail recently refuted the early claims published around the world that Israel targeted the school but now it turns out that the Israel version that it responded to and took out an enemy that used its own civilians as human shields is right on the mark. And the number of civilians who died was three and not 42 as alleged elsewhere.

The Melbourne Age, which apologised for publishing an antisemitic opinion piece about the conflict in its business pages, has never properly retracted its atrocious deceptive on line headline story from the day following the incident - Israeli strikes kill 48 in school refuges.

It did not do so following the Globe and Mail revelations and my guess is that it won't do so now.

It is true that Age correspondent Jason Koutsoukis later reported that the IDF shells fell outside the school grounds but a one line statement in a news article hardly represents a proper retraction of the original lie told with bold headlines that highlighted the Age on line edition's home page for the better part of the day. Certainly, those who were duped by false tales of imaginary Israel war crimes and who marched in pro Hamas rallies remain oblivious to this very day. This is the lie the Age published on 7 January, 2009 and which prompted many to demonstrate in a crowd that included people who urged Jews to be gassed:

"Israeli forces blazed into towns across Gaza today, striking Hamas targets but also hitting three United Nations-run schools in attacks that killed up to 48 people and led to urgent new calls for a ceasefire."

The Age doesn't get it and won't apologise for its error but one person who does is Greg Sheridan of the Australian who wrote recently -

"The cost in innocent Palestinian lives was heavy and tragic, and the fault for this rests entirely with Hamas, the terrorist death cult that rules Gaza. I do not believe a single story of Israeli war crimes or atrocities in Gaza. There is no evidence of any such story beyond Palestinian eye-witness accounts and on countless previous occasions these accounts have been fabricated. Remember the reports of the so- called massacre in the West Bank Palestinian town of Jenin in 2002, reports buttressed by eye-witness accounts? Did you know that it never took place, as later international investigations acknowledged?" - There May Be the Will but Not Necessarily the Way.

Monday, February 16, 2009


The following speech from Baroness Deech on a House of Lords debate on Gaza delivered on Friday, 6 February 2009.

My Lord, I recently heard a speech by President Peres of Israel. He said that if we look back 50 years, who would have imagined then that the Soviet Empire would have ended, that the South African system of apartheid would have been dismantled and Mandela would have become president, that the Berlin Wall would have come down and that there would be a black president of America? He said that we should look forward 50 years from now in the same spirit. I want to start on that optimistic note because I believe that if we wait that longno doubt beyond our lifetimesthere will be change for the better. I want to emphasise that because inevitably much of my speech will be rather gloomy.

No one can accuse this House of not focusing on the distressing situation in Gaza. In the past 12 months, there have been 161 Questions and Statements about Israel, Gaza and the Palestinians compared with, for example, 33 on Sri Lanka and 24 on Tibet. I mention Sri Lanka in particular because noble Lords will be aware that recently there was a well attended protest in Parliament Square about the terrible attacks on the Tamils, the hospitals under siege, the killing of 70,000 people and the many more thousands who are trapped and displaced from their homes. This has attracted little opprobrium and no calls for the obliteration of Sri Lanka or talk of its brutalisation.

I raise that because I am interested in the particular focus on the Middle East that is expressed in this country. Part of the reason is that the war in Gaza has not been seen in perspective, but only as a minute fragment of what is, in truth, a larger picture. There is a wider war, of which Israel and Gaza are figureheads, and there is also a civil war. The talk about what is proportionateI prefer the word "necessary"has to be seen in the context of a response to an attack from Hamas designed not just to launch rockets at Israel5,000 rockets deliberately aimed at Israeli civilians and schoolchildren at 7.45 in the morningbut to end the state of Israel.Hamas has vowed to have an Islamic state over Gaza, the West Bank and Israel as part of a wider Islamic empire. Israel has a 20 per cent Arab population, but not one Jew is to be allowed to live in this Islamic state. We can well imagine the fate planned for the millions of Israelis were this to come about. The response from Israel was, if anything, as restrained as it possibly could be. We should recall the detailed precautions taken by the Israeli army to avoid wherever possible harm to civilians, bearing in mind the use of mosques, schools and hospitals, as has been referred to earlier today.

The charges of "disproportionate" were not made in relation to other wars that we have recently experienced; Kosovo, Georgia, Iraq or even Afghanistan, where people have died in their thousands. In fact, there has been some praise for the restraint that Israel has shown in trying to avoid civilian casualties. There is also a civil war in Gaza, which makes the prospects of peace unrealistic. The military dictatorship there did nothing to protect its own subjects, but took the opportunity of war to eliminate many of its Fatah political opponents. Other noble Lords have referred to the very cruel details of this. Even the Palestinian Authority's President Abbas said:"Hamas has taken risks with the blood of Palestinians, with their fate and dreams and aspirations for an independent Palestinian state".

The wider war is one of destruction of Israel, and those who criticise Israel's attack on Gaza must realise that they are unwittingly giving succour to that plan.

Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas all share that same aim of destroying Israel entirely and, indeed, Hamas has thanked Iran for its support in the Gaza war. As others have mentioned, the result has been that Jews all over the world have suffered for this. The attacks on Jews that have taken place here in the UK and elsewhere illustrate my theme of a wider war. It is Jews and synagogues in London and Venezuela, in universities, to their shame, and streets, that are attacked, with Gaza as the excuse, not Israelis. It is not Jews who see all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism; it is some of the critics of Israel who vent their displeasure on Jews in general.

The hatred of Israel, and sometimes Jews, is almost unique in international politics.

Then there is the propaganda war. I urge noble Lords not to believe all that they read in the newspapers about damage and killings in Gaza. We do not have the evidence. I cite just one case. The tragic killing of the three daughters of the respected Gazan doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish now seems to have been by Gazan rockets, not Israeli fire, according to the post-mortem examination of the fragments of their bodies.

On the humanitarian front, of course, it is exacerbated, because Hamas wanted civilian deaths to increase its worldwide exposure and sympathy. Humanitarian aid is another area where the wrong and pessimistic view has been taken. I noted with interest and approval that the BBC refused to screen the advertisement for aid and that it was backed by its own NUJ branch of journalists. It is not so good to hear talk of a Zionist lobby and Jews mugging protests and stemming disquiet in the United States, when you consider the very small numbers that there are. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has a huge budget. We do not yet know what happened to the millions that Arafat salted away and took to his death. We note the failure of other Arab countries to come to the aid of their brothers. The oil revenue of the Gulf states in 2008 was $562 billion; in Saudi Arabia it was $260 billion. One day's oil revenue would work a miracle for the West Bank and Gaza, but this is not forthcoming.

On the humanitarian front, Israel's Supreme Court in the past few days, a court known for its robustness, has examined the application of the Geneva conventions on humanitarian law and found them not to have been breached. Other Arab countries have not only not helped but have literally turned their backs on the Palestinians, as one can read regarding Syria in the report in the Times today.

What of the future? Gaza could have had a future. Every Israeli soldier and civilian was removed from there. Everything was ready for the Gazans a few years ago to start a new period of economic development. There was no blockade, and it remains true that Egypt could open its crossing if it wanted to. It does not, of course, because it no more wants an Iranian state on its borders than Israel does. Instead the rockets and the tunnels came, and the sad destruction of the very greenhouses where flowers and fruit were grown and could have continued to be grown.

What can the UK do? It can support Egypt, which is acting very well in this crisis, albeit for its own reasons of survival. It can help block Hamas from smuggling more arms by sea. It can press for the release of Gilad Shalit, who has been a hostage in Gaza for two and a half years with no access to the Red Cross or any other international agency. It can persuade Hamas to change the charter and remove mention of destruction. Above all, your Lordships should lend your voices to the end of the demonisation of Israel and to calm down the surging anti-Semitism. Your Lordships should recognise the need of Israel to exist and its legitimacy. It is no more arriviste in the Middle East than the other 22 Arab states to be found there. There can be no further removal of six million Jews from the Middle East. We must do nothing to feed the hatred that surrounds this issue and we must do everything to look to the future.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


In a surprising move, the Guardian published an article exposing Hamas' dirty dealings -Hamas murder campaign in Gaza exposed quoting Amnesty International which "said Hamas forces and militias were involved in a 'campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of 'collaborating' with Israel, as well as opponents and critics'." We hear a lot from AI when it comes to condemning violence where the victim of the violence is Palestinian. It's harder than drawing hen's teeth however, to hear or read of its condemnation of attacks on Israeli civilians which are taken for granted.

Another NGO that is often quoted by Israel bashers is Human Rights Watch. Tzvi Fleischer of the Australia/Israel Review exposes this organisation as being hopelessly infiltrated by Palestinian advocates with records of expressing deep hatred towards Israel - Personnel is Policy. The end result is a toxic abuse of what should be an important and vital function of securing the rights of human wrongs on this planet.

"... virtually all senior employees of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Division came to the job with a history of anti-Israel activism. Almost all of them, in fact, already belonged to organisations which declared Israel an “apartheid state”, demanded boycotts of Israel, and/or supported Palestinian terrorism against Israel."

Not only is HRW a bastard that needs to be kept honest but the bias of NGO's should be a worry for those in the media who have shamelessly and slavishly quoted their skewed reports to attack Israel over the years. The main culprit in this country was a previous Jerusalem Bureau person who often quoted human rights groups with anti-Israel agendas in articles critical of the Jewish State's defence of its own civilians.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Some Palestinian supporters are perfected the art of lying - Group fabricates story of Anglican church divestment.

"The Church of England has emphatically denied a report by a pro-Palestinian campaign group that it has divested in a company that does business with Israel.

This follows claims by a fringe group, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) that the Church of England had verified that last year it removed a £2.2 million investment from Caterpillar because "their equipment is being used to destroy the homes of Palestinians by the Israeli government." The false claim was parrotted in Australia by a pro Palestinian fringe opponent of the Jewish State who also claims to be Jewish and it's not the first time, this person has been exposed for telling porkies.

Friday, February 13, 2009


THE International Criminal Court is to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir over the alleged genocide in Darfur - Darfur deaths warrant on way.

Mr Bashir had "masterminded" a military campaign that "purposefully targeted civilians".

A protest march is not being organised for this Sunday at 2.00pm outside the steps of the State Library in Swanston Street, Melbourne. Annie Lennox is staying schtum, Sheik Hillaly and his new Jewish friend Ant are sticking fat, there's not a Greens Senator with hyphenated name to be seen and the Age is not publishing a scoreboard of deaths related to Bashir's handywork.

According to the UN, "300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million have fled their homes since rebels in Darfur rose up against the Khartoum Government in February 2003. Sudan puts the death toll at 10,000."


Last year, former Melbourne Age correspondent Ed O'Loughlin featured in the 2007 Dishonest Reporting Awards. There's an Ausie connection again in the award list for 2008.

The recipient of the Heil Hitler salute and goosestep for the Ugliest Rationalization For a Blood Libel goes to the racist ranter Roland Jabbour:-

"Defending broadcasts of Hezbollah's Al-Manar-TV in Australia, Roland Jabbour, chairman of the Australian Arabic Council, told The Age:

"He said he would not call Jews the offspring of apes and pigs, but that in the context of "the crimes of the state of Israel" it was reasonable for al-Manar to do so and to portray Israeli rabbis as killing Christian children to use their blood in Passover meals."

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A BBC journalist was about an elderly Jew who had been going to Jerusalem's Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a very long time so she decided to check this out as it might make a good story.

She went to the Western Wall and there he was walking slowly up to the holy site.

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane in a very slow fashion , she approached him for an interview.

"Pardon me Sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from BBC World News. What's your name?"

"Moshe Fishbein" he replied.

"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"

"For about 40 years.'

"40 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?''

"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the wars and hatred to stop, I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man.''

"How do you feel after doing this for 40 years?"

"Like I've been talking to a f***ing brick wall."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


A high-ranking diplomat at the Foreign Office has been arrested after allegations that he launched a foul-mouthed anti-Semitic tirade - High-ranking Foreign Office diplomat arrested over anti-Semitic gym tirade.

One hopes that the full force of the law is applied to this racist. Next week, Britain is hosting an international summit on combating anti-Semitism, with politicians from 35 countries. One way of dooing this would be to make an example of this ant-Semite by removing him from his job.

I don't have much respect for the British these days but at least they are being seen to be applying their race hate laws which is more that can be said of Victoria which allowed such behaviour to go on in the streets of Melbourne at two pro Hamas rallies in January.

And a word of advice to the worm from the gym.

By the look you in that picture, you should shut up and start concentrating on your exercise routine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


On February 3, 2009, James Lindsay and Andrew Whitley addressed a Policy Forum luncheon at The Washington Institute marking the publication of Mr. Lindsay's new study Fixing UNRWA: Repairing the UN's Troubled System of Aid to Palestinian Refugees. I have previously mentioned Lindsay's report here.

Lindsay made a number of recommendations for the reform of UNRWA and was particularly scathing of its partisanship on political issues. This led Lindsay to make this recommendation on the subject:

"Limit public pronouncements to humanitarian and relief issues, rather than getting involved in political issues, especially when taking Hamas's point of view. There are other UN platforms for political pronouncements. UNRWA claims that it condemns attacks by both sides, but in reality, the agency responds only to Israeli attacks and condemns Hamas's firing of Qassam rockets toward Israeli civilians only as an afterthought."

The partisanship issue is just one of the problems with which UNRWA is beset, the main one being that its continued existence in its current form is sustaining the Palestinian refugee issue into its fourth generation.

If proof was needed that Lidsay is hitting the nail right on the head about UNRWA's bias against Israel, the response from Andrew Whitley who is director of the UNRWA representative office at UN headquarters in New York provided it with this offering:

"The study ignores the context in which UNRWA operates and the tight line the agency walks due to various pressures. Someone reading this paper with no background would assume that the Israeli government was a benign actor. No mention is made of the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. "

Needless to say, Whitley makes no mention of UNRWA's co-operation with Hamas terrorists and the cover ups it has been involved in over the years when it's come to whitewashing crimes perpetrated against both the Israeli and the Palestinian people by the corrupt and thuggish leadership in Gaza over the years.

One has to ask whether Whitley is in the least interested in solving the Palestinian refugee issue and whether he's more interested in covering the backsides of those who are content with continuing to oversee an organisation that employs thousands of terrorist sympathisers and one suspects with 99% certainty, many, many Hamas terrorists.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Here is some more news about Hamas that you can safely bet won't be found in our local broadsheet:-

Gunmen ask the reporter 'Arab' (Wael Essam) to leave Gaza (Hamas feels more comfortable when the rest of the world gets only the news it wants it to get),

PA Health Ministry: Hamas using hospitals as detention centers (Hamas security services are turning medical centers into virtual prisons - that's OK because there are some top Norwegian doctors around to help repair those busted kneecaps if necessary),

Amounts seized with the Hamas delegation to Iran from the Rafah crossing (Hamas is trying to bring cash in the millions into Gaza but you can bet most of it won't be spent on the people).

(h/t Elder of Ziyon)

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Venezuela threw its hat in the Hamas ring during the recent Gaza War. It expelled the Israeli ambassador, cut off diplomatic relations and its President Hugo Chavez whipped up a frenzy of hatred against the Jewish State among his supporters. The result was the oldest and blindest form of prejudice against the country's Jewish population, which now lives in fear of a growing tide of anti-Semitism - Demonstrators fear anti-Semitism in Venezuela.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


It was not so long ago when one of the editors of the Age had a brain fade and allowed an article into its Business Day section that had nothing to do with business and plenty to do with the anti Israel and anti Jewish culture that has crept into that newspaper in recent years. Earlier this week, it appears there might have been another slip up by the letters editor. This time however, it seems to have been inadvertent but nevertheless, Ralph Saubern's insightful letter exposed the Age and the "usual suspects" for the repulsive and vile hypocrites they truly are:-

Accidental victims

SADLY your report on the shelling of a hospital in northern Sri Lanka ("Rockets hit packed Sri Lanka hospital", The Age, 3/2) will not result in howls of protest from the usual suspects.

There will be no front-page photographs of the tragedy, no letters declaring Sri Lankans to be the new Nazis, and no inner-city legal collective mustering signatures to take the Sri Lankans to the International Court of Justice. There will be no protesters in the streets of Paris and no articles in The Guardian, faithfully reprinted in The Age, arguing that the human rights abuses of the Sri Lankan Government are responsible for the growing tide of terrorism around the world. How unfortunate for the Tamils that their "oppressors" aren't Jews.

Ralph Saubern, Clifton HIll

Speaking of hypocrisy, here is an interesting explanation as to why human rights groups and the media aren't interested in actual Hamas war crimes and prefer to investigate allegations (many of them coming from unreliable sources) of Israeli war crimes - No probe for blatant Hamas war crimes.

"Human rights groups argued Wednesday that a detailed probe into Hamas's firing of Kassam rockets at Israeli communities is not necessary, because it constitutes such a 'blatant' war crime. By contrast, Israel's actions are more complex, and therefore do require such investigation, they said. "

Get it now?

Friday, February 06, 2009


I've come across this article by Judea Pearl who is the father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl. It's a fantastic read.

Daniel Pearl and the normalization of evil by Judea Pearl

This week marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of our son, former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. My wife Ruth and I wonder: Would Danny have believed that today's world emerged after his tragedy?

The answer does not come easily. Danny was an optimist, a true believer in the goodness of mankind. Yet he was also a realist, and would not let idealism bend the harshness of facts.

Neither he, nor the millions who were shocked by his murder, could have possibly predicted that seven years later his abductor, Omar Saeed Sheikh, according to several South Asian reports, would be planning terror acts from the safety of a Pakistani jail. Or that his murderer, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now in Guantanamo, would proudly boast of his murder in a military tribunal in March 2007 to the cheers of sympathetic jihadi supporters. Or that this ideology of barbarism would be celebrated in European and American universities, fueling rally after rally for Hamas, Hezbollah and other heroes of "the resistance." Or that another kidnapped young man, Israeli Gilad Shalit, would spend his 950th day of captivity with no Red Cross visitation while world leaders seriously debate whether his kidnappers deserve international recognition.

No. Those around the world who mourned for Danny in 2002 genuinely hoped that Danny's murder would be a turning point in the history of man's inhumanity to man, and that the targeting of innocents to transmit political messages would quickly become, like slavery and human sacrifice, an embarrassing relic of a bygone era.

But somehow, barbarism, often cloaked in the language of "resistance," has gained acceptance in the most elite circles of our society. The words "war on terror" cannot be uttered today without fear of offense. Civilized society, so it seems, is so numbed by violence that it has lost its gift to be disgusted by evil.

I believe it all started with well-meaning analysts, who in their zeal to find creative solutions to terror decided that terror is not a real enemy, but a tactic. Thus the basic engine that propels acts of terrorism -- the ideological license to elevate one's grievances above the norms of civilized society -- was wished away in favor of seemingly more manageable "tactical" considerations.

This mentality of surrender then worked its way through politicians like the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. In July 2005 he told Sky News that suicide bombing is almost man's second nature. "In an unfair balance, that's what people use," explained Mr. Livingstone.

But the clearest endorsement of terror as a legitimate instrument of political bargaining came from former President Jimmy Carter. In his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Mr. Carter appeals to the sponsors of suicide bombing. "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Road-map for Peace are accepted by Israel." Acts of terror, according to Mr. Carter, are no longer taboo, but effective tools for terrorists to address perceived injustices.

Mr. Carter's logic has become the dominant paradigm in rationalizing terror. When asked what Israel should do to stop Hamas's rockets aimed at innocent civilians, the Syrian first lady, Asma Al-Assad, did not hesitate for a moment in her response: "They should end the occupation." In other words, terror must earn a dividend before it is stopped.

The media have played a major role in handing terrorism this victory of acceptability. Qatari-based Al Jazeera television, for example, is still providing Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hours of free air time each week to spew his hateful interpretation of the Koran, authorize suicide bombing, and call for jihad against Jews and Americans.

Then came the August 2008 birthday of Samir Kuntar, the unrepentant killer who, in 1979, smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl with his rifle after killing her father before her eyes. Al Jazeera elevated Kuntar to heroic heights with orchestras, fireworks and sword dances, presenting him to 50 million viewers as Arab society's role model. No mainstream Western media outlet dared to expose Al Jazeera efforts to warp its young viewers into the likes of Kuntar. Al Jazeera's management continues to receive royal treatment in all major press clubs.

Some American pundits and TV anchors didn't seem much different from Al Jazeera in their analysis of the recent war in Gaza. Bill Moyers was quick to lend Hamas legitimacy as a "resistance" movement, together with honorary membership in PBS's imaginary "cycle of violence." In his Jan. 9 TV show, Mr. Moyers explained to his viewers that "each [side] greases the cycle of violence, as one man's terrorism becomes another's resistance to oppression." He then stated -- without blushing -- that for readers of the Hebrew Bible "God-soaked violence became genetically coded." The "cycle of violence" platitude allows analysts to empower terror with the guise of reciprocity, and, amazingly, indict terror's victims for violence as immutable as DNA.

When we ask ourselves what it is about the American psyche that enables genocidal organizations like Hamas -- the charter of which would offend every neuron in our brains -- to become tolerated in public discourse, we should take a hard look at our universities and the way they are currently being manipulated by terrorist sympathizers.

At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the greatest criminal in human history.

The primary purpose of the event was evident the morning after, when unsuspecting, uninvolved students read an article in the campus newspaper titled, "Scholars say: Israel is in violation of human rights in Gaza," to which the good name of the University of California was attached. This is where Hamas scored its main triumph -- another inch of academic respectability, another inroad into Western minds.

Danny's picture is hanging just in front of me, his warm smile as reassuring as ever. But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes and say: You did not

Thursday, February 05, 2009


The pressure is mounting for the reform of UNRWA in accorance with its mandate, particularly since the publication of a scathing report by its former chief attorney, James Lindsay - UNRWA staff not tested for terror ties.

"UNRWA has taken very few steps to detect and eliminate terrorists from the ranks of its staff or its beneficiaries, and no steps at all to prevent members of terrorist organizations such as Hamas from joining its staff," Lindsay writes.

The additonal scrutiny placed on UN officials in Gaza whose neutrality in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is being increasingly questioned has led to some surprising revelations from UN personnel.

United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Chief John Holmes blasted Hamas last week for its "cynical" use of civilian facilities during recent hostilities in the Gaza Strip - Top UN official blasts Hamas for 'cynical' use of civilian facilities.

"The reckless and cynical use of civilian installations by Hamas and indiscriminate firing of rockets against civilian populations are clear violations of international humanitarian law," Holmes told the UN Security Council."

Now, we have a rare confession from UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness who has admitted that Hamas police in Gaza have seized thousands of blankets and food parcels meant for needy residents - UN says Hamas seized Gaza food aid and blankets.

"Spokesman Christopher Gunness says Hamas police raided a U.N. warehouse in Gaza City on Tuesday evening. He says police snatched 3,500 blankets and more than 400 food parcels."

There have been numerous claims made about misappropriation of humanitarian supplies being delivered into Gaza by Hamas - all of them usually denied or ignored by UNRWA officials. Gunness claims this is the first instance of such theft (and pigs have been know to fly over UN compounds in Gaza too).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


An item in the Australian today covers the Gaza School Scandal through the eyes of a Jason Koutsoukis report in The Sydney Morning Herald on January 8 on "an Israeli war crime that once again wasn't," and of Patrick Martin in Canada's The Globe and Mail on January 29, 2009 wherein we discover that John Ging of UNRWA knew all along there was no attack on the school but didn't set the record straight - UN disseminates lies and a willing media swallows them.


Amos Harel in Haaretz reports that "[T]he United Nations has reversed its stance on one of the most contentious and bloody incidents of the recent Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, saying that an IDF mortar strike that killed 43 people on January 6 did not hit one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools after all." - UN backtracks on claim that deadly IDF strike hit Gaza school.

Maxwell Gaylord, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem, said Monday that the IDF mortar shells fell in the street near the compound, and not on the compound itself. Gaylord said that the UN "would like to clarify that the shelling and all of the fatalities took place outside and not inside the school."

Of course, the damage has already been done. Those in the media who are quick to pounce whenever there's a suspicion of Israeli indiscretion, fell for the lies and pushed this line incessantly from the beginning even though there were doubts cast on the story from the very beginning. Meanwhile, Israel and the Jews took the brunt of accusations of war crimes in the streets of Eurpoe, North America and even in Australia where swatickas were (and photographed) seen among crowds of demonstrators in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for the Melbourne Age to publish a repudiation of the lie that dominated the headlines of its online edition of 7 January, 2009.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


The BBC's Jeremy Bowen is a particulalry nasty fellow who never misses an opportunity to editorialise against Israel whenever there is a hint of any wrongdoing on its part and who generally ignores Hamas excesses so that he rarely reports on the growing list of atrocities that terrorist group visits on the Israelis and its own people. Here are two letters written by disgruntled BBC viewers. The first is on the subject of the notorious Bowen diaries

I wish to express my disgust at the partial - and in places lying - statements in the so-called diaries of Jeremy Bowen in the last week : diatribes would have been a fairer description. I accept that he may have been deliberately misled by the notorious Marc Galasco, who had already been outed as a propagandist for Hamas ; but we are entitled to ask why a senior BBC reporter should have shown such a lack of judgement.

To come to specifics, to suggest that most Israelis were indifferent to the deaths of innocent civilians in Gaza before this incident is palpably absurd : sincere regrets for every such death or injury have been pouring into the Israeli media daily. But most Israelis also know what Bowen seemingly does not : that the war was started deliberately by Hamas, in the hope (or belief) that a neighbour who suffered in silence while dozens of mortars and rockets were emptied into border towns daily, would be unlikely to take issue when those rockets were replaced by Iranian models, firing 30 kms. or more.

He should also know that the Israelis have already started investigating the incident and the claims of Dr. Abuelaish : (an interesting contrast with our own government, which only began investigating the brutal killing of an innocent Iraqui already in custody by British soldiers weeks after the event ; and making enquires into gang rapes by members of our army in Kenya only years after complaints had been made locally). The initial results of the Israeli investigation show that, contrary to Bowen's assertions, it is unlikely, (to put it mildly), that the wounds suffered were caused by tank shells ; and that wild shooting of light weapons by an undisciplined gang of terrorists looks much more likely. Some indication of doubt on Bowen's part might be thought more appropriate, but then he is not much given to doubt or introspection.

But he surely knows that Hamas have been deliberately firing their rockets from the yards of schools and mosques, confident that Jewish respect for life would not allow Israelis to return the fire. He should have known, as more than one senior member of Hamas has boasted that when the Israelis give 15 minutes' warning of an attack on a house or similar, Hamas can and does rush women and children onto the roof to foil the attack. And that in direct contrast to the Israelis, Palestinians had been increasing their fire into civilian areas on weekdays at the time, verifiable statistically, when the streets would be full of Jewish children making their way to school.

And to suggest that Palestinans - including wounded gunmen and launchers of rockets - are not taken to Israeli hospitals for treatment is an outright lie. I suggest that Bowen be asked to visit hospitals in Israel which are indeed treating substantial numbers of Palestinians, including many children whose parents have succeeded in getting them out despite bullying tactics and worse by the Hamas gangsters, unwilling to help their own people in a distress caused by themselves and their allies.

This brief war was wished onto Israel by a gang of criminals who seized power in a coup more than a year ago. Having inherited a land without the Jews who had made it less of a hell for its people than at any time in recorded history, they did NOTHING to build a prosperous future there. Instead, they have cultivated a worship of martyrdom and death, founded on undying hatred for the neighbour whose goodwill will be essential if the Palestinians ever do establish a state.

Denis Vandervelde

The second letter is addressed directly to Bowen:

For as many years as I remember, I have been reading and listening to your reports from the Middle East.

And I'll put my cards on the table straight away; you and your BBC colleagues' perspective on Israel and its conflicts with its neighbours is (and always has been in my view) equivalent to the propaganda that comes from the Hamas information office or from the desk of President Ahmadinejad. You (by which I mean the BBC) are no more objective than say Fox News on US domestic matters, although unlike self-proclaimed partisan agencies, the BBC masquerades as an impartial voice.

Jews in this country are not fooled, neither do we especially care. I am of your generation (two years younger than you), a British jew born to Hungarian parents, a generation which by and large survived the Holocaust but whose parents' generation did not. You are not a jew and have no emotional concept of anti-semitism. And I don't mean the Neo-Nazi variety of skinheads and Hitler moustaches, but the more subtle, middle class prejudices which blighted my university days in the early 80s and which sits on a continuum of centuries of persecution, banishment and exodus wherever and whenever jews have tried to live in peace with other people.

Nor do you have the emotional capacity to understand why and where Israel came from (I don't mean the historical background which is self-evident). While I was at university on anti-apartheid marches in the early 80s, most of the campus population was on pro-Palestinian rallies wearing the trendy Arafat kafiyeh and subscribing to that peculiarly British notion that the underdog must somehow be the righteous party in any conflict.

(By the way, I recall that Arafat was an Egyptian not a Palestinian and that he chose the name Yasser as he felt himself to be an Arab victim of the British mandate in Palestine, lest we get overly hypocritical about Britain's history).

If you could understand the WHY of Israel, you would know that Israel does not care what the rest of the world thinks about it, ie whether you merely hate Israel a little in the fashionable way of the middle classes, hate it very much as most of the world does, or hate it with the full venom of President Ahmadinejad; these are all merely shades of hate. In essence, Israel being the embodiment of jewishness is ubiquitously despised, anti-Zionism and anti-semitism in my book being largely synonymous. As you know, Israel has only one true ally in the world, being the US. Israel does not care or need to care about the rest of world opinion. Not should it; the rest of world opinion is and always has been hostile. If Ahmadinejad's dream of removing Israel from the map of the world came to fruition, very few people (including at the BBC) would mourn.

I think that the analogy you make in your latest diary on the current crisis between Britain and the IRA during the Troubles is weak; I would have thought that the Falklands War was a better exemplum of British attitudes to "defence" of the nation. And you'll be aware that this country has been fighting its own wars in the Middle East for some years now, although we have no obvious connection with either Iraq or Afghanistan. I recall also that Russia has had some not inconsiderable involvement in Chechnya and two Georgian breakaway regions, that China has had a hint of recent interference in Tibet, and that France's conduct in Rwanda has not been entirely meritorious etc. You get the picture.

In other words, the recent pronouncements of the UN Security Council members to the latest Israel conflict is, shall we say, just a tad hypocritical. No change there: was it a couple of decades ago that the UN passed a resolution that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination? And now Israel is supposed to heed the words of an organisation which bemoans its very right to exist? I don't think so…

Of course it's not fashionable to be objective about Israel (sorry, I don't recall the BBC's report on the death of a friend of mine's twin girls aged 11 a few years ago in a bomb explosion on a bus in Israel; perhaps there were no BBC reporters around at the time). Mr Bowen, Palestinians do not have the monopoly on suffering.

In summary, Israel does not care whether the BBC reports the facts or not. For the reasons mentioned above, Israel is not trying to court the favour of world opinion; this was a cause lost several centuries back. To put it bluntly, the fact that Israel exists as a highly successful nation state is two fingers up at you, at the BBC and at the rest of the world. Israel will be around whatever you write or say, diligently keeping its population (Israel also has women and children, by the way), safe from Hamas bombardment.

Or to put it in the context of the defining historical event of the 20th century, Israel means: "Never again."

So you can write what you want.

Kind regards,
Yours sincerely,

Monday, February 02, 2009


A man walks up to a newstand and asks the vendor for a copy of the Melbourne Age.

"That'll be $2.00," the newspaper seller tells him.

"But that's ridiculous. It says here on the front page that the cost of the paper is $1.50!", the man answers.

"Don't tell me you believe everything you read in the newspapers," comes the reply.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Hamas apologists have no answer to this from PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH:-

Gaza victims describe being used as human shields by Hamas by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Jan. 29, 2009

Members of a Gaza family whose farm was turned into a "fortress" by Hamas fighters have reported that they were helpless to stop Hamas from using them as human shields. They told the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper that for years Hamas has used their property and homes for military installations from which to launch rockets into Israel, dig tunnels and store arms. According to the victims, those who tried to object were shot in the legs by Hamas.The following are excerpts from the article from the official Palestinian Authority daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida:

"The Abd Rabbo family kept quiet while Hamas fighters turned their farm in the Gaza strip into a fortress. Right now they are waiting for the aid promised by the [Hamas] movement after Israel bombed the farm and turned it into ruins...

The hill on which the Abd Rabbo family lives overlooks the Israeli town Sderot, a fact that turned it into an ideal military position for the Palestinian fighters, from which they have launched hundreds of rockets into southern Israel during the last few years. Several of the Abd Rabbo family members described how the fighters dug tunnels under their houses, stored arms in the fields and launched rockets from the yard of their farm during the nights.

The Abd Rabbo family members emphasize that they are not [Hamas] activists and that they are still loyal to the Fatah movement, but that they were unable to prevent the armed squads from entering their neighborhood at night. One family member, Hadi (age 22) said: "You can't say anything to the resistance [fighters], or they will accuse you of collaborating [with Israel] and shoot you in the legs."[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 27, 2009]

I have no idea if this is from the same Abd Rabbo family that the forgettable Greens Senator with the hyphenated name was ranting about to the facist Jew hating crowd of thugs in the city a few weeks back but this story wouldn't interest her anyway.